As I observe the increasingly evasive tactics of those who are defending Planned Parenthood, I can’t help but notice the sad similarities to those who so evasively defend blatant irrationality in theology. And I’m not surprised, because it all comes from the common root of relativism, and is supported by the militant insistence of moderation. Relativism and moderation: those are the destructive twin “narratives” of our time, and though evangelical Christians would love to protest otherwise, they are, in large part, complicit in that destruction. ...continue reading
In the last post, we concluded that the will must be free in some way, but we didn’t really specify in which way. I was going to do that in this post, but I realized that it would likely be more helpful to first discuss in which ways the will is not free. In fact, this will help us to narrow our focus down to see the simplicity of what is properly meant by the term, free will.
Free From Reality?
The most important question which must be asked about free will is, “free––from what?” You see, many wish to hold that, in order for the will to be free, it must be free in every possible way, from every possible thing. To this, I ask: free from reality? Then the will is not a real thing, for that is what it means to be “free from reality.” Free from any sort of cause and effect? ...continue reading
The idea of free will tends to run into problems (or at least perceived problems) in both atheistic worldviews (like Objectivism) and in theistic worldviews (like Christianity). The Christian Egoist advocates certain “brands”, or aspects, of both, and therefore I get a lot of questions about free will, or things pertaining to it. Whether you’re dealing with “strict” laws of logic and nature, or with “strict” ideas of God’s sovereignty and providence, many seem to think that such “suffocating” ideas must necessarily “crowd out” any possible notion of human free will. But could this be because such people haven’t thought very carefully about what free will is? I think so. ...continue reading
Thanks to conversations with a fellow follower of the blog (you know who you are! Haha), I was recently inspired to do a little bit of digging to see what the different modern Objectivist intellectuals had to say on this issue. I was surprised to discover such sharp disagreement.
Below, you'll find two of Peikoff's podcasts on this topic and one from Hsieh. I'd love to hear your thoughts. Which do you agree with? Why? Is there another position or major Objectivist out there who has a similar position on this?
"In a previous podcast you said that it is wrong to go against nature by undergoing a sex-change operation–that the metaphysically given is an absolute. But by this definition gender is not metaphysically given because we can now change it if we so chose."
"Since race is social construct, not a biological or theological one, some people reject that terminology altogether"
-K. Edward Copeland, on "Public Justice" at The Gospel Coalition
Yeah, try figuring out what that's supposed to mean. For a clue, check out this great (and revealing) article by Walter Hudson on the recent trend of counting "Black" as an ideology, rather than a skin color.
Do you see what is happening? The left has, for years, successfully peddled their ideology under the auspices of being the "non-racist" party, and recently has ramped up to hyper-speed the racial rhetoric to condemn any and all detractors as racists, even if the issue had nothing to do with someone's skin color. The right is (finally!) catching wise to the game and calling them on it, both by pointing out that skin color (i.e. race) has nothing to do with most of these issues, and by presenting many conservative racial minorities, or "people of color," who flat out contradict the left's "narrative".
You'd think this meant the game was up, but oh no! They're just getting started. You see, because race doesn't have anything to do with "biology" or "skin color" anymore–– ...continue reading
In this episode, I review some major objections against the traditional cosmological argument (particularly those raised by Objectivist philosopher, Dr. Diana Hsieh), and respond to each. You can view an outline of those objections below. You can also listen directly to Dr. Hsieh present these arguments in her series here.
This is the first episode of The Christian Egoist Podcast!
It is also the first episode in the series on Arguments for the Existence of God.
In this episode, I begin with a brief introduction of myself and my work, and then explain that this series is interacting heavily with Dr. Diana Hsieh's series on the same topic (More on her and her series below). Then, I give an overview of my various audiences, along with unique challenges to each. In sum though, my challenge to everyone in my audience on this (and every other issue) is to be devoted to the truth, whatever the costs! ...continue reading
Balance. It’s probably the fundamental functional morality for most people today. And it’s definitely the go-to answer for most moral conundrums. How do love and truth go together? Justice and mercy? Individualism and community? God’s sovereignty and human responsibility? Personal responsibility and charity? The answer: “Balance.”
A Dubious Assumption
But isn’t there a dubious assumption behind the idea that good and true things need to “balance” each other out? The idea of balance implies an inverse relationship between those things which are being balanced: the degree to which one goes up, the other goes down––and vice versa. The degree to which love goes up, truth goes down; and the degree to which truth goes up, love goes down. Such is the conventional wisdom. The key to morality then, in this case, is to “balance” the two out. But what does this mean? ...continue reading
In a recent interview with Collin Hansen (above), Dr. John Piper explained why he didn’t gravitate toward the language of color-blindness. At his Church (Bethlehem Baptist -- which is where I currently attend), his successor, Jason Meyer, just preached on the annual emphasis of racial harmony. In light of these events, and of course, Martin Luther King Jr. day, I thought this would be a good opportunity to flesh out my views on the issue. ...continue reading
The word “curse” often evokes fairytale imagery or some sort of mystical power which corrupts everything under its influence. But this magical motif in fiction has a very real non-fiction counterpart: irrationality (or sin). In children’s stories, we resort to magical language because it provides a simple and concrete way of depicting the corruption which takes place as a result of irrationality and sin in one’s life –– or in the culture. At least, that would be the rational way of using such mystical language.
The Curse is in You
Unfortunately, there seems to also be an awful lot of people who really do think of sin or evil as some sort of mystical or magical force –– like an invisible spell cast over the population, from which none can escape. After all, that would make it something beyond any one person’s control, and would therefore implicitly expunge everyone from any sort of guilt associated with it. Those who love their own darkness are all too eager to accept the premise that that darkness was pushed upon them, quite apart from their desires. And those who love their own darkness are quite opposed to shining any light upon that darkness (i.e. rationally analyzing it) in order to discover its actual causes and origins. ...continue reading