Monday, July 25, 2011

Wilson on Witch Trials

What do you think of the Salem Witch Trials from Canon Wired on Vimeo.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

“Are there Good Reasons for Abortion?” Wendy Savage and Madeleine Flannagan Debate on Unbelievable?

“Are there Good Reasons for Abortion?” Wendy Savage and Madeleine Flannagan Debate on Unbelievable?

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Free Will, Moral Responsibility, and Reformed Theology: A Contemporary Introduction

Paul Manata has written a full-length introduction to the topic of free will and moral responsibility from a Reformed perspective.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

New iTunesU Course available

Exploring Philosophy - Audio

by The Open University

Have you ever considered what being conscious actually means? By choosing to live in a particular state are you consenting to be subject to all its laws? For some there’s an assumption that philosophy might not be relevant to modern life but Dr. Nigel Warburton, senior lecturer in Philosophy at the Open University argues that many of us today are faced with philosophical questions such as these as we live our lives in the twenty first century. In this collection we ask academics to discuss these questions in addition to other important philosophical issues and concepts such as the morality of abortions and the reconciling a world with evil and a good God. This material forms part of the Open University course A222 Exploring philosophy.

Direct iTunes Store Link

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Libertarians should not use the continual punishment thesis!

Well, now it's gone from just pure speculation to organized rambling.  I cleaned up my original version of the argument and have posted it here.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Having a big vocabulary is like having a big truck...

...everyone assumes that you're just overcompensating! Or maybe they will just call you pretentious. Why? Because they despise your intellectual hard work?  No.  Because deep inside, they wish they weren't such a lazy ass. They don't want to be a foolish mocker.

What have the Romans ever done for us?

Friday, July 15, 2011

The benefit of taking philosophy courses

I have never set foot inside a college classroom to study philosophy (technology, business, and jazz piano were my subjects).  Over the last year my free moments have mostly gone towards studying philosophy.  (A 'free moment' is the hour before work when my wife is still tucked into bed.)  My understanding of the subject seems to be moving along nicely, but my belief is that studying philosophy in the academy admits of some considerable benefits.
  1. Guidance while wading through obscure passages and authors.  For instance: elusive German philosophers whose names begin with 'H' (Husserl, Heidegger, and Hegel).
  2. Feedback on writing skills, weak points, and general grasp of the topic at hand.
  3. Question/answer with the professor.
  4. Generally you would expect the professor to give an overview of relevant themes, historical contexts, trends, important versus non-important aspect, etc.
Now an objection: given the wealth of materials available to any earnest student, surely classroom learning is commensurate with solitary study.  Of course, the ceteris paribus here is the effort put forth by the student to master the subject.  But commensurate with respect to what?  An isolated student can achieve the same quality education as the collegiate student, but probably not in the same amount of time.  You pay to progress at a more efficient rate.  And that might persuade someone to pay tuition.  It has even tempted me a few times.

But this only applies to undergraduate courses.  I have no idea what the average grad course in philosophy is like.  But this I do know: my chances are slim for acceptance into an upper level philosophy program without an undergrad degree.  

Friday, July 01, 2011

House of Caiaphas Ossuary is Authentic

Israeli scholars have confirmed the authenticity of a 2,000-year-old burial ossuary bearing the name of a relative of the high priest Caiaphas, who is well known to Christians as a rival of Jesus. The ossuary – a stone chest for storing bones – bears an inscription with the name "Miriam daughter of Yeshua son of Caiapha, priest of Ma’azya from Beit Imri."