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Evolution and Reason with G. K. Chesterton

“Evolution is either an innocent scientific description of how certain earthly things came about; or, if it is anything more than this, it is an attack upon thought itself. If evolution destroys anything, it does not destroy religion but rationalism. If evolution simply means that a positive thing called an ape turned very slowly into a positive thing called a man, then it is stingless for the most orthodox; for a personal God might just as well do things slowly as quickly – especially if, like the Christian God, he were outside time. But if it means anything more, it means that there is no such thing as an ape to change, and no such thing as a man for him to change into. It means that there is no such thing as a thing. At best, there is only one thing, and that is a flux of everything and anything. This is an attack not upon faith, but upon the mind; you cannot think if there are no things to think about.”

Exploring the Eastern Catholic Church

As many of you know, my family and I came into full communion with the Catholic Church in 2013. This momentous event took place at St. Nicholas Ukrainian Greek Catholic Mission in Raleigh NC – an Eastern Catholic parish of the Byzantine Rite.

Most of my Protestant friends and, surprisingly, the majority of Roman Catholics I know, have never encountered the eastern Church.  In fact, most assume “Eastern Catholicism” is just another name for Eastern Orthodoxy.

This common mistake is understandable.  Practically speaking, Eastern Catholics are Orthodox – they use the same liturgy, and share a common theological and spiritual tradition.  Like the Orthodox, Eastern Catholics utilize icons and incense in their worship and have married priests.

The only substantive difference is that Eastern Catholics are in full communion with Rome and the Pope.  That  means that they are fully Catholic.

If you find any of this interesting I encourage you to watch the video above!  Also, I would urge you to read this powerful apostolic letter written by St. John Paul II: Oriental Lumen.

 

Cadbury Lectures 2015

joshWLC

Thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to listen to William Lane Craig at this years Cadbury Lectures at the University of Birmingham!

Dr. Craig lectured on the challenge that “heavyweight” Platonism – the idea that abstract objects, like numbers, sets, and possible worlds, exist and are as real as concrete objects like cars or persons – poses to Classical Theism.  He surveyed the range of possible responses available to the Theist and put forth several arguments against the traditional notion that abstract objects exist in the mind of God.

Ultimately, Dr. Craig advocates an anti-realist approach to abstracta; which is quite a controversial position for a Christian philosopher to adopt.  While I can appreciate why he is making this move, I’m not convinced it’s the correct one to make.

Nevertheless, it was a great experience and a wonderful opportunity to meet a great scholar.  Here’s a picture featuring WLC with my dear friend Tyler McNabb (a PhD candidate at the University of Glasgow) and yours truly:

tylerWLC

Philosopher’s Diary

Periodically, I’ll share some news about my studies at the University of Birmingham.  Like, right now . . .

The next seven weeks are going to be intense. I’ve got three major essay’s to write and my dissertation proposal needs major revision!  Here are my essay topics:

(1) In the frist essay I’ll be arguing against David Benatar’s controversial thesis that existence is always a harm in favor of the Eastern Catholic view that existence is good.  Once establishing this ontological principle I will demolish Benatar’s “qualified defense” of suicide.

(2) In my second essay I’ll be arguing against David Lewis’s form of modal realism.  I will also argue in favor of an Aristotelian/Thomistic conception of modality.

(3) Finally, in essay three, I’ll make the case that natural rights theories of human rights are compatible with agreement theories.  Both theories have drawbacks and merits but are often juxtaposed. My aim is to show that the theories are not mutually exclusive.

My thesis, which I will explain in greater detail later, will involve arguing for the incoherence of ontological physicalism.  It should be really fun!

In addition to all this writing, I’m very much looking forward to meeting William Lane Craig in a couple of weeks.  He’s delivering this years Cadbury Lectures.

Well, that’s all for now.  More updates to come soon!