Essay / Culture

Playground Morality

Elementary school is a rather treacherous place to learn to navigate as a child. The first time I ever read Calvin and Hobbes, I discovered a kindred spirit. Calvin’s view of elementary school was akin to an intergalactic prison where the alien life forms torture

Essay / Art

The Space of a Sonnet

Nuns fret not at their Convent’s narrow room; And Hermits are contented with their Cells; And Students with their pensive Citadels: Maids at the Wheel, the Weaver at his Loom, Sit blithe and happy; Bees that soar for bloom, High as the highest Peak of

Essay / On This Day

Today Martin Buber was Born (1878)

Martin Buber (1878-1965) was a Jewish philosopher who did a great deal to put classic documents of Hasidic tradition into wider circulation. He is most famous for his 1923 book I and Thou. I and Thou is a remarkable book, a masterpiece of simplicity and

Essay / Misc.

On Remembering Facebook Friends

Just the other night I was doing something that all middle-aged university professors do on a regular basis — maintaining my Facebook! Yes, I have a presence on Facebook and, yes, on occasion I visit the site to see what all of my “friends” are

Essay / Philosophy

Naturalism, Human Persons and Rationality: Admitting the Problem

The recalcitrant nature of human persons for scientific naturalism has been widely noticed. Thus, Berkeley philosopher John Searle recently observed, “There is exactly one overriding question in contemporary philosophy.” How do we fit in?….How can we square this self-conception of ourselves as mindful, meaning-creating, free,

Essay / Philosophy

Human Persons and Equal Rights

It is a cherished belief of most people that human beings simply as such have equal value and rights and that they have significantly greater value than animals. However, this claim is difficult if not impossible to justify given a naturalist worldview. For many naturalists,

Essay / Philosophy

Human Persons and the Self

Throughout its history, the Judeo-Christian tradition has been interpreted as giving an affirmative answer to questions about the reality of the three great topics of Western philosophy, viz., God, the soul, and life everlasting. For two thousand years, the vast majority of Christian thinkers have

Essay / Philosophy

The Argument from Consciousness

Consciousness is among the most mystifying features of the cosmos. Geoffrey Madell opines that “the emergence of consciousness, then is a mystery, and one to which materialism signally fails to provide an answer.”[i] Naturalist Colin McGinn claims that its arrival borders on sheer magic because

Essay / Philosophy

Worldview Anomalies, Recalcitrant Facts and the Image of God

Once upon a time there was a man who thought he was dead. His wife tried everything she could to convince him he was very much alive. But try as she may, he would not change his mind. After several weeks of this, she finally

Essay / Misc.

Undergrad Conference on Good & Evil at Biola

One interesting sign of intelligent life in American colleges is the proliferation of academic conferences by, of, and for undergraduates. These undergrad conferences, where college students present arguments and research to each other, are popping up in more and more disciplines these days. Biola University’s

Essay / Philosophy

Christianity and Non-Empirical Knowledge

Last time we looked at the nature of knowledge and we defined it in this way: It is to represent (i.e., experience or think about) reality the way it really is on the basis of adequate grounds, on a solid basis of evidence, experience, intuition,

Essay / Philosophy

What is Knowledge?

Do we the disciples of Jesus possess through Scripture and other means a reliable source of knowledge of reality or do we not? We have seen that this is an important question. The possession of knowledge—especially religious and moral knowledge—is essential for a life of