Copleston on Knowledge of God


For Aquinas, knowledge begins with sense perception. ‘Our natural knowledge takes its beginning from sense. Therefore it can extend only so far as it can be brought by (reflection on) the things of sense.’ (S.T., Ia, 12, 12) Neither a strict empiricist, nor a strict rationalist, though Aquinas believed that though knowledge starts with sense perception, it's completed in abstraction - experiencing the particulars and reasoning towards universals.Knowledge of God entails both this meta … [Read more...]

Bryan Magee on Jesus

A surprising quote from Bryan Magee, one of my favorite historians and commentators of philosophy. His writing is clear and eloquent, and in his Confessions of a Philosopher, also very humble, personal, and autobiographical. His love of the big questions and metaphysics is loaded in every page. As he's an atheist with a lean towards Kantian metaphysics, we're quite far off on theology and metaphysics, but as truth-seekers and metaphysicians with an interest in morality, we stand together on the … [Read more...]

A Christian vs. An Atheist: Two Friends On God and Government, Round 15


Adam:Thanks for your reply. I agree that the "typical small government vs. big government" catch phrase is a gross over-generalization and distracts from some deeper matters at hand. "Liberals and conservatives alike, we all cheer for government when it does things we agree with and denounce it as tyrannical when it does things we disagree with…" Don't forget independents! Speaking from experience, I've found that I can equally irritate liberals and conservatives. I believe the actual d … [Read more...]

A Christian vs. an Atheist: On God and Government, Round 14


Bud- Indianapolis was truly our pleasure! Thanks for making the trip out. I agree, I think we were not at all what people were expecting, which is a good thing, given the tone of how typical "debates" go. Let's keep them going!Abortion is a tough one. As I said earlier, I find the legal and moral arguments are frequently conflated in the discussion. We agree on mid to late term abortion being immoral, but for me, I cannot see a moral line of division in early pregnancy. True, I see late … [Read more...]

Augustine on Concealed Revelation


Concealed revelation - its's about the nature of God as comprehended by the limits of our rationality - God is the most obvious, yet most beyond our understanding. Aquinas called it ipsum esse subsistens - subsisting Being itself. Where all other living things are a combination of essence and existence , for God there is no distinction, His existence is His essence. God is pure Act (all activity with no potential), immanent in all things, yet infinitely transcending our understanding - perhaps … [Read more...]

Indy Debate Recaps

adam andrew

It was more like a vacation among friends - Adam and his wife Elizabeth stayed with my family and I amongst our debates last week. We truly enjoyed their company, hanging out, the post-debate parties over some wine and snacks, and talking honestly about philosophy, theology, and politics.The tour was kicked off on Wednesday, July 1st when I picked up Adam and Elizabeth at the airport. We had to head right to Theology on Tap at the Tow Yard Brewing Company. It was a fantastic turnout and … [Read more...]