• Human Nature,  Mind

    If Intentionality, then Not Physicalism

    You and I believe, hope, fear, and have all sorts of other intentional thoughts. We think about things. If physicalism is true, then none of us have intentional thoughts. Since we plainly do, physicalism is false. Physicalism is the view that all existent entities are describable by theories of physics. On physicalism, one cannot provide a description of a soul. Thus, souls do not exist. Same goes for abstract objects, divine beings, and inbuilt purposes. But what about those mental states of intentional thoughts? Can they be described in purely physical terms? The answer is: no. Here’s one reason why. I believe that the best days are sunny. Me believing…

  • Economics,  Human Nature,  Politics,  Uncategorized

    On The Communist Manifesto

    In order to understand Marx, you must understand Hegel. But no one can understand Hegel. Ergo… Okay, so perhaps we don’t have to completely understand Hegel but merely get a rough grasp of what he was saying. Hegel was born in 1770, taught philosophy at the University of Jena until it was closed down in 1806 after Napoleon overcame the Prussian army, and taught at the University of Heidelberg from 1816 until his death from cholera in 1831. Hegel’s greatest contribution to philosophy is his view of history. Hegel thought that the flow of history has its own internal logic. The logical process of history is like the maturing of a spirit. Just…

  • AI,  Human Nature,  Mind

    Thinking Machine: No Such Thing

    By thinking, I mean something more than the capacity to calculate or process information. What I mean by thinking is something like having a thought about something. I guess the best place to start thinking about thinking is me. I think I am a thinking thing. As such, I think about stuff. I believe, hope, entertain, consider, fear, and wish all the time. That’s what I mean by thinking. And a machine cannot do it, not now and not ever. By a machine I mean a material object composed of physical parts arranged in such a way as they perform a certain set of functions. Old fashioned clocks are made…

  • Ministry

    God has a Plan for your Tongue

    We live in the Age of the Tongue.  We have more means to talk than ever before. I can blog, update my status, tweet, text, voice record, video, and even phone, write on paper or have a face-to-face conversation! Our speech lasts longer than ever before. The internet’s ‘way back machine’ ensures that anything I foolishly said ten years ago can be used against me now. We are also more worried about what we say than ever before. Our sentences sometimes become our identity to the world. We had better make them either perfect enough to be unimpeachable or vacuous enough to be harmless. We also live in a ‘speak up’…

  • Politics,  Uncategorized

    Government: What’s the Point?

    In an era when people are both fascinated and cynical about politicians and governments, it is worth pausing to ask: what exactly is the purpose of government? What is it supposed to do? In order to answer this question, we ought to first consider the kind of thing that is going to be governed – human beings. If we don’t know anything about human beings, it’s no good suggesting we know how to look after them. The problem is that we can’t merely consider them as they are now, under the authority of governments. Instead, we have to consider human beings as they might be without governments or institutions. Philosophers…

  • Aesthetics,  Art,  Uncategorized

    Art: Crisis, Creativity, and Christianity

    In the early part of the twentieth century, a crisis took place in the art world. Objects that were not beautiful were hung in galleries as art. Most famously, in 1917, Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968) submitted a urinal to an exhibition in New York. His piece was called “Fountain” (1917). If that could be considered art, then surely anything can be. The art crisis provoked questions. What counts as art? What is the nature of art? What makes it valuable? Definition of Art What kinds of objects count as art? Think of as many pieces of art as you can. You will probably come up with a list that includes things like paintings,…

  • Uncategorized

    Have You Thought About That?

    Someone might say, “I know what I think, but I can’t find the words.” How do you react? Do you imagine the person having a perfectly well-formed thought in their mind, but being unable to find the words to match? If there is a thought that is separate from words, then that thought is either well-formed or not. In order to tell if that thought is well-formed, we need some way to conduct a test. It is difficult to image what this test might be like. Do we gaze at it for a while, observing its well-formedness? And what does a well-formed thought look like? The most obvious test for…

  • Uncategorized

    Philosophy for Ministry

    Plato thought that philosophers should rule. In contrast, Christian philosophers ought to serve. Throughout the history of the church, God has called Christian philosophers to help missionaries, evangelists, pastors, teachers, and counselors in all sorts of ways including the following: Defending the Christian Faith against objections Refuting false teaching Thinking through issues methodically and rationally Aiding the theological task Building intellectual confidence Integrating beliefs into coherent whole Understanding nonbelievers Christian Philosophers, J.P. Moreland and William Lane Craig suggest that there are six ways in which philosophers can help the ministry of the church (Moreland and Craig, 16-19). Apologetics – when an objection is made against Christianity it is almost always…