January 27, 2007

Scripture and Tradition in Protestantism

At the new blog Metaphysical Frameworks, Johnny-Dee (also of Fides Quaerens Intellectum fame) discusses the meaning of sola scriptura in its application to the practical methodology of Protestant theology. His suggestion is that "protestants consider the Bible to be like the Constitution, and the theological tradition to be like legal precedents from the Supreme Court." In other words, the determinations made by previous generations of Christians as to the teaching of Scripture are to be given great weight and not overturned lightly, but, ultimately, they are interpretations of Scripture and it is Scripture that is ultimately authoritative. Therefore, as much...
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January 25, 2007

Washington Primary System Case Appealed to Supreme Court

The State of Washington and the Washington State Grange have appealed the Ninth Circuit Court's ruling against I-872, the initiative of the people, authored by the Grange, establishing Washington's non-partisan "top-two" primary. The system was struck down by the district court and the Ninth Circuit after complaints by the Republican, Demcoratic, and Libertarian Parties. All the associated documents are here (see the bottom of the page...
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January 24, 2007

Quote of the Day

"Conservatives have a pretty strong hold on the Southern Baptist Convention right now ... They are not the sort of people who react well to people dancing with joy at the suffering of others, but mostly because it involves dancing." - Jeff the Baptist
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January 23, 2007

What is "Trope Theory" Supposed to Explain?

I'm taking a graduate seminar in metaphysics this semester and, for the first part of the course, we are focusing on the metaphysics of properties. One account of properties is known as "trope theory". Tropes are often spoken of, rather sloppily (it doesn't seem to be possible to speak of tropes without being sloppy - a point I take to be significant to the epistemological problem we are about to discuss), as "property instances." The reason this is sloppy is that the point of trope theory is to get rid of universals (Platonic forms or their equivalents in other small-p...
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January 17, 2007

Quote of the Day

Philosophy of religion, I believe, is best viewed as a process of critical dialog... Such a critical dialog is risky. Probably everyone has heard a story of a student in a strict religious environment who loses his faith as a result of the critical challenges hurled at him at a university. But there is something unhealthy and even dishonest about a faith which hides from such a challenge. Can one really believe in God wholeheartedly and at the same time assert that one can only continue to believe by refusing to consider the evidence against one's belief? Such a "belief"...
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January 15, 2007

Pub Theology

For all of our Irish Catholic friends (and anyone else who thinks beer and theology go well together), Paul Cat of Alive and Young explains why hypostatic union is like a black and tan. HT: Siris
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January 8, 2007

January 4, 2007

Why Idealism?

I talk a lot about Berkeley on this blog, and it has probably become clear to most regular readers that I am quite sympathetic to his position. There are a number of reasons for holding to various forms of idealism, and I have already discussed the chain of inferences which leads Berkeley to his theory. Important also is Berkeley's critique of matter, which proceeds by collapsing Locke's distinction between primary and secondary qualities (this collapse is almost universally viewed as successful by later philosophers), then applying Locke's arguments that secondary qualities are not actually in the objects to all perceived...
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January 3, 2007

Blog Year 2006 in Review

The year 2006 on this blog saw over 265,000 visits from nearly 95,000 unique users. Here are the top ten most popular posts (note: there is some margin of error here, as a configuration change part way through the year caused some posts to be accessible at two URLs, screwing up the statistics): May 30, 2006: More Comment Spam Reconfiguration. People must be finding this on search engines thinking it will help them eliminate spam from their own blogs (although none of the top ten searches get you here, so everyone must be searching with a different phrase). Kinda sad...
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January 1, 2007

Plato on Homosexuality

A month or so ago, I published a post which has been rather popular on Christianity and Homosexuality. In it, I discussed Paul's statements on homosexuality in contrast to the "received view" in Greco-Roman "polite society." I referred then to Plato's Symposium and Phaedrus, early and middle dialogs, respectively, which contain useful information on the practice of pedaresty in classical Athens. (If you are interested in interpreting Paul, it is important to note that classical Athens is some 400 years earlier...
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Quote of the Day

"For when two things are raised by one and the same exertion, the lesser quantity will invariably yield more readily and the greater (which offers more resistance) less readily, to the force applied." - Plato (tr. Donald J. Zeyl), Timaeus 63c
So what you're saying is that an object's acceleration is directly proportional the force applied and inversely proportional to its mass. Didn't some other guy get famous for saying that? Hmm...
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