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#philosophy | Vox Clamantis In Deserto

On Experience

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Experience is something you don’t have until just after you need it. Vox

Deathbed Salvation

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Many non-believers scoff at the notion of deathbead salvation. Some consider it unjust, a self-serving means to an end, or an act of fear. But ultimately it makes perfect sense if one understands the subtext of salvation which is not simply the avoidance of punishment for our musdeeds but rather restoration of humankind to fellowship with God. The essence of homo sapien’s free will is that we choose everything on the spectrum of life choices from career and criminality. And everyone’s choices reflect a personal journey toward enlightenment. For some, wisdom comes naturally while for others wisdom comes stubbornly. Regardless of how fast or how slow and how naturally or how stubbornly it comes, ultimately God is simply looking for us to come to a point where we acknowledge that we are but mere mortals whose greatest function is to worship the one and only supreme God of the universe. That is what salvation is: humbling ourselves from our own self-constructed pinnacle of intellect. It is a conscious admission that we must realize out of our free will. Salvation only requires this one act of humble worship. Whether it takes a lifetime to reach this conclusion does not negate its efficacy.

Evolution as Religion

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Human evolutionAn exceeding number of evangelical Christians have long crusaded against Evolution Theory solely because it discredits Abrahamic teaching. But is this really the most appropriate doctrinal or theological battleground? It occurs to me today—and I hope to explore the idea in a future post—that Evolution Theory is a greater doctrinal threat to the premise of salvation than it is to scriptural inerrancy. Continue Reading

Edmund Burke on Moral Duty

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Two intrinsically-linked quotes from Sir Edmund Burke:

1) The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

2) Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.

On Hope and Misery

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Extreme hopes are born from extreme misery. Bertrand Russell

Beating a Dead Horse Led to Water

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I led the horse to water. I made the horse drink. The horse drowned in the process. I beat the dead horse until its flesh fully macerated and its bones completely pulverized. The currents carried away the horse. The horse is no longer my problem. Vox

On Securing Liberty

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He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.Thomas Paine (1795)

Adam and Eve

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According to the Genesis (chapter 2) account in which Eve was “extracted” from Adam, that means Adam was the biological sum of man and woman. So Adam became man simultaneously with Eve becoming woman. Man and woman were thus created simultaneously, not sequentially. Man is not preeminent over woman.

God Isn’t the Author of Confusion?

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Many years ago someone whipped out the “God is not the author of confusion” line on me to justify her position. In the moment I disagreed with her application of the principle, but I could not soundly refute it either. I failed to recognize the logical fallacy; she failed to consider the implications of her statement.Continue Reading

More Thoughts on Death Penalty

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I just finished watching The Ted Bundy Tapes on Netflix and I am conflicted more than ever by the death penalty. How does homocide remedy homicide? To what degree is the death penalty entrenched in antiquated Judeo-Christian religiosity? And what do the evolved states of those religions say about the preciousness of life? Does the Talmud not teach that to save one life is to save the whole world? Did Christ not teach that even the most wretched life is still worth sparing? And to what degree is pronouncing the death penalty our attempt to vangloriously exalt ourselves to equality with God to decide who should live and who should die? I think that as a society the death penalty must exist as the ultimate repudiation and condemnation of intolerable crime. But as a civilization, should we not then immediately commute that death sentence to exile (which is to say, prison)? We euthanize animals in the name of compassion, but we refuse that same compassion to those agonizing in the throes of slow natural death. Yet we force death upon those we condemn in the name of justice for the victims. Is that just a reverse–and a perverse–euthanasia? Using death in the name of compassion, not for the one dying, but for the one already dead? More death does not reverse the finality of the a priori death. And no, I haven’t been the victim of anyone like Ted Bundy, but I can say that the natural death of the alcoholic who terrorized my childhood brought me neither pleasure nor displeasure. His death closed the cover of an open book, but it did not erase the contents of the chapters.

The American President ACLU Rant

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For the record, yes, I am a card-carrying member of the ACLU, but the more important question is “Why aren’t you, Bob?” Now this is an organization whose sole purpose is to defend the Bill of Rights, so it naturally begs the question, why would a senator, his party’s most powerful spokesman and a candidate for President, choose to reject upholding the constitution? Now if you can answer that question, folks, then you’re smarter than I am, because I didn’t understand it until a few hours ago.Continue Reading

On Liars

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Liars are thieves of truth.Vox

Homo Sapien

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Is being “sapien” homo’s Achilles’ heel? Homo sapien’s life might be an easier existence but is it a better existence? Shouldn’t it be preferable to live in a state of nature? So is our sapienhood a perversity of evolution or a cruelty of creation?Continue Reading

Internal Paradox

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I find myself in a special paradox where my higher self observes my lower self. It’s like I am simultaneously the parent of my inner child and the child of my inner parent.

Gnostic Theology

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People like Ben Carson and Mike Pence shade intellectual Christians as much as they flame dogmatic Christians. As for me, yes, I can engage philosophical arguments without fear of sacrificing belief. Argument might alter my concept of God but argument will never change my belief in God.

Naked In Nature

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As I lay there naked in the heavy dampness and slight chill with only the drizzle and the creek accompanying me in the blackness, I contemplated the existence of my earlier hominid ancestors sheltering such nights in caves. Continue Reading

Mountains, Valleys, & Transitions

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Among the hardest words to internalize are these: you are where you need to be. Those words never come at the heights of success nor in the throes of ecstacy nor in the still waters of contentment; they come in the disenchanting valleys of transition between mountaintops. Valleys are where all the mountain runoff and detritus and pollutants collect as if to be ignominiously relegated to drink only of the mountains’ bathwater. But valleys are far more fertile than the mountaintops and while the natural elements will erode the mountains, valleys will never cease to be valleys and will enjoy the protection of the mountains which need not be perceived as hopes unattained but as insulators and protectors awaiting the moment. Valley water might not delight the palate in the moment, but it is plentiful and predictable; you will not thirst in the valley as on the mountain.