Tag: Not Trump

Support an Alternative to the Big Tech Powers and Learn Cool Philosophy!

 

I’ve recently started using Rumble,  one of the alternatives to YouTube. A recently recorded philosophy series, scheduled for next year on my The Philosophers in Their Own Words playlist on YouTube, is airing early on Rumble! It’s about William James’ book The Will to Believe and Other Essays, and I invite you to look over it here.

The only reasons I can give you to watch me talk about William James are already in the title of this post. I can elaborate very briefly on the first two reasons by saying that I’d appreciate any help making my efforts to put philosophy on Rumble successful and that I think it’s good to help Rumble compete with YouTube. I can also elaborate on the third reason with the following summary of some of the extremely cool philosophy in this series:

Knowledge by Faith

 

My newest academic article is out in Evangelical Quarterly: “Blessed Are Those Who Have Not Seen and Yet Have Known By Faith: Knowledge, Faith, and Sight in the New Testament.” Ricochet saw the earliest version of this article in this old post. In an early draft of the article I began, by way of illustration, with a familiar New Testament way of teaching—a story:

At the time of the initial composition of this paragraph, I am between jobs. Technically, I am unemployed. I worked for four years as an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Forman Christian College in Pakistan before my name was found on a document in the possession of a local terrorist organization. So my family and I spent the past academic year—the fifth at FC College—packing and looking for a new job. Shortly after we returned to Texas I was blessed with a job offer at Hong Kong Baptist University—another liberal arts university in Asia with a Christian heritage. HKBU, thankfully, allowed me the option of a contract beginning in January of 2018. It is now August of 2017, and my wife and I have a few months to sort through our footlockers, our crate from Pakistan, and our storage unit—and repack for moving to Hong Kong! I prefer to think of this time as a sabbatical rather than unemployment—an opportunity to do some reading, some writing on Augustine, and some writing on other projects such as this one. I’m not worried about my family’s financial situation because we’re not likely to go into debt, because I think future income is more important than how much money I have now, and because my future salary is going to be a raise as compared to my last job.

Dialogue on Faith and Reason

 

Phil and Sophy–that’s Phil and Sophy–are talking about faith and reason in this ongoing YouTube playlist. They’re leaving out a lot of Aquinas and some other guys. But they’re doing a great job covering topics like empiricism, the Verification Criterion of Meaning, Hume, Kant, William James, Augustine, Alvin Plantinga, C. S. Lewis, and more. Here’s the first bit:

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Shall we file this under “What’s wrong with Ricochet”? Seriously people? The Largest blockbuster movie to ever flicker across the movie screen and no one has yet posted about it. It made over a billion dollars in four days over the weekend, it will probably make another billion dollars by the end of this weekend, […]

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It’s $10. Click the image to see the Amazon page. The Abolition of Man, C. S. Lewis’s masterpiece in ethics and the philosophy of science, warns of the danger of combining modern moral skepticism with the technological pursuit of human desires. The end result is the final destruction of human nature. From Brave New World […]

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So it’s not as impressive as How It Should Have Ended, but my TeacherOfPhilosophy hits can now be measured in the millions–albeit, at 0.1 million, with the use of a decimal place. The History of Philosophy playlist is a good introduction to the dialogues and speeches (plus one letter, one prayer, and one story) from the history of philosophy. There’s dudes like Socrates, […]

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“Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” These words of Jesus may suggest that Christianity is about faith and not about knowledge. But it’s not. The separation of belief and seeing, of faith and sight, in the New Testament is only a separation of one […]

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Augustine is not a Christian Platonist! He doesn’t think sex is bad! The evil City of Man is not politics! It’s a shame we know so little about Augustine, and that myths about him are so persistent. In light of that (and as another excuse for shamelessly advertising my book, The Conversion and Therapy of Desire: […]

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Some events are the hinges on which history turns: Moses at Sinai, the trial of Socrates, Caesar crossing the Rubicon, the Resurrection of Jesus the Messiah, the conversion of Augustine, Luther’s 95 Theses, the American Revolution, Darwin’s Origins of the Species, etc., etc. A word about one of those in particular: Augustine is the guy whose books […]

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It was this little toy dog made of clay. I handed it over to the Harappa museum director. This little guy might be older than the written Bible–even as old as the pyramids in Egypt. That’s how old some of the Harappa ruins are. On the other hand, he might be only a few hundred years […]

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Netflix and the Rule of Law

 

Netflix_Web_LogoNigeria and Pakistan — combined population, 355 million souls — aren’t exactly places where people are known for buying legal editions of films and television. But thanks to Netflix Nigeria and Netflix Pakistan, that may be about to change. This is a new thing. And it’s a good thing.

Netflix Inc’s video-streaming service went live in more than 130 countries on Wednesday, covering almost the entire globe except China, in a huge global push by Chief Executive Reed Hastings to counter slowing growth in the United States. Shares of the company, whose popular shows include Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Daredevil and Narcos, jumped 9.3 percent to close at $117.68. India, Nigeria, Russia and Saudi Arabia were among the major countries where the service was launched, Hastings said at a speech at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

I remember the early days of Hulu. Back then, I watched the entirety of the original Star Trek series through CBS’s streaming service, thanks to which commercials for Bertolli lasagna have been permanently imprinted onto my brain. At the time, I thought entertainment was becoming a free Internet thing, but it seems the free market had other ideas. I don’t blame it. But the market did make streaming cheap and convenient through services like Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime. And they’re not just distributing content, but also generating it; indeed, the next Star Trek series will premier on CBS.com! (May it live long and prosper . . . unless it annoys me.)

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I hold to a very important theory: the theory that we get knowledge from experience. I call this theory empiricism. In doing so I depart (a little) from some common uses of the word “empiricism,” such as this one from Wikipedia, which is more specific than my own; and I admit that none of the uses from the dictionary […]

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I doubt whether there is any point of theology that is not illustrated in or learned from a Bible story, or any Bible story the correct interpretation of which does not include at least one theological point. According to popular lore, Protestants and Catholics disagree because Protestants think salvation is by faith and Catholics think it is by […]

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Tired of talking Trump all the time?  Need a break from the big questions–life and death, liberty and taxes, knowledge and reality, the Constitution and the citizen, God and man?  Join a conversation on the lesser questions for a change!  Here are a few lesser questions I like: Why doesn’t the universal translator translate Klingon? Why […]

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I posted the below on February 2nd this year; while prescience is not always a sign of intelligence it is better than a poke in the eye … a couple other thoughts: Cruz will not win because he — along with Ricochet principals — is holding a conversation that the country is not interested in. […]

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I heard from the publisher today and got a look at the book cover they’ve chosen for The Conversion and Therapy of Desire. I’m not sure where the flowery background idea came from, but I’m not complaining. (And it’s growing on me.) My idea would have been to find some old public domain painting of […]

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I make to Rubio supporters, on behalf of all Cruz supporters, this challenge: PAWN TO E4! Here is what I propose: We have a communal chess match, Cruz supporters vs. Rubio supporters. Whenever it’s Black’s turn, the first Ricochetus who has voted or expects to vote for Rubio to comment on this thread with a legal move […]

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Surreal Reality

 

surreal

For a while I wondered why Facebook acquired Oculus. It didn’t make sense to me at the time, but now I understand. They did it to influence the world we choose to experience as well as the social media experience. And if you don’t believe that Facebook will attempt to create the experience it wants you to have with this technology, you don’t understand Facebook.

This picture is worth a thousand cold chills down the spine.