Our “Elf on the Shelf” Has Good Taste

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On Monday morning, we awoke to find our "Elf on the Shelf" elf doing some light reading in the living room.He was reading The Examined Life by Robert Nozick. From the above picture, it appears that he was specifically reading the chapter on The Holocaust. This has come in handy, since I am writing specifically about that chapter today. Check back at Approaching Justice tomorrow to see if my collaboration with the elf ┬áproduces anything interesting. Merry Christmas! Yes, even to all those … [Read more...]

Lit Review: George and Wolfe “Natural Law and Public Reason” #rawlsreligion

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NOTE: This is a research note as I compile my literature review.Robert George and Christopher Wolfe argue that the "reason" aspect of public reason automatically cast religion as somehow being unreasonable or irrational (George 2000, 67). For George and Wolfe, public reason is hostile to religion in that the revelation which stands as the basis of religious faith is sacred rather than "publicly accesible" (67).George and Wolfe contends that prior to 1947 and the Supreme Court case … [Read more...]

Atheism, Relativism, and Morality #rawlsreligion

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Rawls says that atheism is one view that Bodin could not abide. For Bodin, atheism is not the the belief that God does not exist, rather it is the rejection of right and justice. Bodin, according to Rawls, believed "that people will honor right and justice only when they believe in God and fear divine punishments." (Rawls 2010, 267)This suspicion of non-believers was shared by John Locke. In his A Letter Concerning Toleration, Locke excludes atheists (and Catholics for other reasons) from … [Read more...]

I am Thankful for…Monty Python’s Philosopher Football

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With the announcement of a Monty Python reunion, I thought I would share my favorite sketch from Monty Python's Flying Circus.Here is some Philosopher Football:Of course, in philosophy...the Germans win in a landslide. Just saying. … [Read more...]

“My religion is of interest only to me…”

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"My religion is of interest only to me, as its various phases and how they followed one another are not unusual or especially instructive." (Rawls 2010, 261)The above sentence is how John Rawls begins his rather informal note titled "On My Religion." I have been thinking about this sentence lately and mostly laughing to myself about it.On one hand, this is an example of his humility. Afterall, who would care about musings on religion by some obscure philosopher. Rawls had similar … [Read more...]

Emanuel Swedenborg and Life After Death

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Emanuel Swedenborg is an 18th century scientist, thinker, and theologian. His name is one that I have heard of, but I have only recently read from his works.In Our Life After Death: A Firsthand Account from an 18th-Century and Seer, we find Swedenborg's story and argument about the afterlife. Swedenborg grounds his case in both his own near-death experiences and those of others.Swedenborg (1688-1772) takes very seriously the dichotomy of the body and the spirit. It is our spiritual … [Read more...]

Can Appeals to Free Will Solve the Problem of Evil?

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For me, appeals to free will and human agency have never been particularly satisfying when considering the problem of evil.If anything, I think they might tell us more about how we conceptualize God than how we conceptualize evil.I will need to spend more time studying the philosophy of religion before I can more fully respond to this question, but I found this video from the Center for Philosophy of Religion at the University of Notre Dame to be both helpful and enlightening about this … [Read more...]


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