Category Archives: Philosophy
I’ve just read two books to lift the heart above the media’s COVID monomania, albeit it in a bittersweet way. The second was Meadowland: the Private Life of an English Field, by John Lewis-Strempel, a birthday gift from my daughter. It traces the year in the life of a hay-meadow in Herefordshire as observed by its owner, which resonates with me because I own a hay-meadow in Devon.
In my last post I wrote about the subjectivisation of truth in the progressive programme. But it would be a mistake to think this is restricted to specific examples like race and gender, because the postmodern element of progressivism extends it to the whole of life. It is all truth that becomes subjectivised to a preferred narrative, not just particular instances. Needless to say, this has profound implications.
Paranoia is a pretty distressing symptom in its common setting of schizophrenia. My in-laws once went for a house viewing, only to find the place full of scrap metal structures intended to prevent US satellites spying on the owner. But it can occasionally be potentially lethal as well.
Bret Weinstein, in discussion with Heather Heying, makes some interesting observations on why “scientific consensus” is not always the virtuous thing it seems. His topical example is the increasing evidence that SARS-CoV-2 was accidentally released from the virology laboratory in Wuhan, as the evidence for the “wet market” hypothesis becomes less and less persuasive.
I’m pretty sure a new word is soon going to become part of the English language: “zoomed-out.” I keep hearing the concept, if not always the phrase, used by people who are, ostensibly, doing reasonably well under lockdown. Whether it’s our own student pastor, doing all his church and college work on a screen, or historian Neil Oliver comparing dreary lockdown life with the buzz he felt from a live audience on a book tour before all this, or even my old school-fellow J. J. Burnel commenting ruefully on trying to compose a new Stranglers album via Zoom (having sadly lost his friend and keyboard player, Dave Greenfield, to COVID … Continue reading
I’m reading a recent book by Carl Trueman, recommended by a Cambridge contemporary who read my e-book, Seeing Through Smoke (and generally liked it). It’s entitled The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self. Trueman is a Christian historian who seeks to explain the origin of our contemporary moral confusion. To capture his theme, how did a sentence like “I am a woman trapped in a man’s body” come to make sense?
Peter Boghossian is a US philosopher who has recently drawn attention to the post-modern phenomenon of “delegitimation.” Boghossian is a militant atheist, and no friend of Christianity, having worked on rather crass ways to “deprogram” believers in casual conversations, on the mistaken belief that we are captive to irrationality imposed by authority. But in these strange times, the champions of Enlightenment rationalism can sometimes be co-belligerents, simply because the Enlightenment grew out of Christianity’s commitment to truth, and we are now, without hyperbole, rushing into a post-truth society.
David Snoke’s presentation at last week’s Christian Scientific Society webinar added a useful thought to my treatment of animal suffering in God’s Good Earth. This question plays a large part in the kind of theodicy tangles that Evolutionary theologies tend to get into, deep time being held to build up an immense “debt” of suffering for God to requite, and evolution itself (apparently) being grounded on senseless and wasteful suffering.
I’m just re-posting a reminder that I’m giving a presentation on my first book, God’s Good Earth Earth: the case for an unfallen creation at a Christian Scientific Society Webinar thos Saturday, 24th October, on natural evil. It’s in the morning, in the US, or the afternoon in Europe. If you’re an Australian reader, you’ll have to set your alarm clock. Speakers are Stuart Burgess from UK, and Fuz Rana, Scott Minnich and David Snoke from America, and the general tone of the others’ abstracts seems to be on “design” good or bad. It’s free, though they ask for a donation in the region of $20 for the logistics (not … Continue reading
The word “black,” as in “Black Lives Matter”, is simultaneously both strictly defined, and as slippery as an eel. That’s a bad omen.