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July 30, 2015 / compassioninpolitics

Questions from Epistemology

1. What is real: Is there a god? Is morality an actual thing, or only a trick of our genes or culture? Similarly, is there such a thing as “love” or only hormones and conditioning? Similar questions are asked about consciousness and beauty, among others.

2. Universals questions: do properties exist? And do they exist independent of things that hold them, or only in instantiations of things? Does a red ball possess “redness”, or is it just an example of a particular ball that happens to be red?

3. Identity questions: When I say “Look at that beautiful tree!” and you respond “what is a tree?”, I will say, “you know, that thing with leaves and a trunk!” Then you respond “what’s a trunk?” and I say, “the long, straight piece of wood that holds up the tree.” Then you say, “what is a “piece of wood?” and on it goes. Is there such a thing as a “tree” or are we just running in circles with word games? This is obviously related to #1.

4. Modality questions: does anything exist necessarily, or is everything dependent on something else for existence? Is it really logical to say “some things are impossible?” or is it more accurate to say, “nothing is impossible if you postulate sufficient preconditions?”

July 30, 2015 / compassioninpolitics

Some of the best quotes by CS Lewis–Also Pascals Wager Explained in Different Terms by CS Lewis

CS Lewis’ Wager:

Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in.
Aim at earth and you get neither.
– C. S. Lewis

This would work well with Lewis’ quote on Joy, which John Piper quotes in “Don’t Waste Your Life.”

* This is also a reason that agnosticism isn’t true or should be rejected.

It would obviously help to have a fuller development of the case for Christian ethics, meaning, character, etc..

Friendship, Ethics, and Utilitarianism:

Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy,
like art…
It has no survival value; rather it is one of those
things that give value to survival.
– C. S. Lewis

Our Spiritual Beings & Identities:

You don’t have a soul.
You are a Soul.
You have a body.
– C. S. Lewis

On the Search for Truth:

If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end;
if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort
or truth only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin,
and in the end, despair.
– C. S. Lewis

The Importance of Christianity:

Christianity, if false, is of no importance,
and if true, of infinite importance.
The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.
– C. S. Lewis

On Christianity, Humility, and Pride:

A man who is eating or lying with his wife or preparing
to go to sleep in humility,
thankfulness and temperance, is, by Christian standards,
in an infinitely higher state than one who is listening
to Bach or reading Plato in a state of pride.
– C. S. Lewis

(source)

July 30, 2015 / compassioninpolitics

Critique of ontological naturalism

Rob Koons on ontological naturalism:
For example, eliminativists like the Churchlands, Stich and (possibly) Dennett are ontological naturalists who avoid being representational naturalists by failing to accept the reality of knowledge and intentionality.  Conversely, a Platonist might accept that knowledge and intentionality are to be understood entirely in terms of causal relations, including, perhaps, causal connections to the Forms, without being an ontological naturalism
July 28, 2015 / compassioninpolitics

Biblical explanation of New Testament Slavery Verses

Here are two sets of New Testament Bible verses which are sometimes cited.

This isn’t citing that slavery is good, but that people who aren’t at the top of the hierarchy should still respect those who are at the top of the hierarchy. Second, slavery here is likely referring to something closer to a nanny than. Don’t professional sports players who are beholden to their CEOs–shouldn’t they play their hardest and respect their boss. Shouldn’t all workers do the same or find another job.

5 Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. 6 Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. 7 Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, 8 because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free.

9 And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him.

Just looking at 5 through 7 is missing large thematic issues with your interpretation, which I’ll point out at the end. [this is commonly done with the verses about women in Ephesians without looking at the verses about husbands that are right next to them]

This one is likewise out of context.  This is an allegory.  This is about the consequences of sin and temptation being hell.  A failure to understand that we aren’t just living for ourselves, but living for God causes us to realize that our lives aren’t our own–we are beholden to higher purposes:

41 Peter asked, “Lord, are you telling this parable to us, or to everyone?”

42 The Lord answered, “Who  then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge  of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time? 43 It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns. 44 Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 45 But  suppose the servant says to himself, ‘My master is taking a long time  in coming,’ and he then begins to beat the other servants, both men and  women, and to eat and drink and get drunk. 46 The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers.

47 “The  servant who knows the master’s will and does not get ready or does not  do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows. 48 But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows.  From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from  the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.

Why take these verses out of context?  What ideology did the person who passed these verses long have?  What was their agenda for their reader?

(Source)

July 27, 2015 / compassioninpolitics

The Cut-Flower Generation–Cutting Off the Core of Our Values, History, and Roots

“The attempt made in recent decades by secularist thinkers to disengage the moral principles of western civilization from their scripturally based religious context, in the assurance that they could live a life of their own as “humanistic” ethics, has resulted in our “cut flower culture.” Cut flowers retain their original beauty and fragrance, but only so long as they retain the vitality that they have drawn from their now-severed roots; after that is exhausted, they wither and die. So with freedom, brotherhood, justice, and personal dignity — the values that form the moral foundation of our civilization. Without the life-giving power of the faith out of which they have sprung, they possess neither meaning nor vitality.”

Will Herberg, Judiasm and Modern Man

July 25, 2015 / compassioninpolitics

Christian Values Public Policy Whitepapers

Insights and Research on Christian Family Values in Public Policy

Reasons for Marriage from Focus on the Family

Values of Religion from Heritage Foundation\

Cultural Impact of Christianity by In Plain Site

July 25, 2015 / compassioninpolitics

What are the best Christian music songs about grace and forgiveness

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