The Sad Case of a Dated Education? (A Debate)

The Sad Case of a Dated Education? (A Debate) August 31, 2020

Dr. Holloway is a working engineer and not a professor, though he admits to professing things. He criticized a certain style of argument which caused another friend, Jeff Williams to worry he was being attacked. Mr. Jeff Williams, sometime UC Chicago grad, with an education from a better era, was concerned and so responded. Williams has a style that is fortunately inimitable and unfortunately jejune.

Holloway is a happy soul who enjoys the fray and so was glad to respond to William’s latest. If the rhetoric is tough, the good will is tougher. This is the sort of pointed, clear, and open dialogue that any Christian Republic must encourage. We are confident that if one follows the discussion, the divine Logos, where it leads, all will be well. Any good seminar at the College at Saint Constantine, where both Williams and Holloway have standing invitations to speak, can get more heated!

When you have seen the True Light, the heat of earthly disagreements is not so much. Sadly, one can also have learned in a different era and so end up with an education that research outran and so the credibility dies before the credential. We must stay fresh.

If you are a sometime reader of this site, note that hard and academic discourse can take place without violence in a liberal order. As the Christian super-majority in the United States sustained that order (however imperfectly) for two hundred years, so we must avoid any temptation in this year to end that open dialogue!

I will happily publish any response from Williams.

Here is Dr. Holloway:

Jeff Williams, proving the point

I am sure they teach many fine topics at the University of Chicago,
but from Jeff William response reading comprehension and logical
argument are not among them.

First, my article is not about him.  But, if he thinks the shoe fits…

Second, if UoC had done its job, Jeff should know that past
performance is no guarantee of future results.  Science has made
tremendous bounds understanding the physical world, but has made zero
progress understanding the mind.  All physical explanations come up
short.  The most promising, artificial intelligence, is a complete
dead end.  Just because a man can get closer to the moon by climbing a
ladder does not mean he can climb a ladder to the moon!

Instead, Jeff is left with empty appeals to the grandeur of his UoC
classes whenever it comes time to make a substantive point.  In fact,
this is probably all UoC and other such institutions can offer for way
too much tuition, since they’ve eradicated any coherent foundation for
a logical worldview.  In engineering, we call this a self licking ice
cream cone.



Background on the Discussion (Link Loaded Summary, Very Skippable): What is going on? 

If we wish to follow the Logos where He leads, we need to listen to critics, especially those with interesting things to say. Jeff Williams is a critic of metaphysics. A University of Chicago grad, he agreed to present his argument and I have posted it here unedited (except for some formatting and the title). As result of his rejection of metaphysics, he rejects objective moral law as an illusion.

Mr. Williams previously argued that Athens has no need of Jerusalem, which contributes nothing good to Western civilization. I responded and enjoyed the interaction immensely. Mr. Williams has taken the time to discuss Martin Heidegger, a philosopher not much in favor when I was in graduate school. I have enjoyed reading more Heidegger (alas in translation). As usual, I allowed his post to stand without comment for a time and now here is a  response. Mr. Williams suggested to me that I had not gotten him right, so it seemed decent and in order to let him respond. I suggested that Mr. Williams has ended up looking for a pony, because he has found a pile of LEGO blocks shaped like a pony. 

Mr. Williams finds my response lacking, so I joyfully invite you to follow the argument where it leads. In this case, it leads to a sadly dogmatic physicalism (or materialism) that sees “gaps” or problems where there are none. We also learn that having a bad history of the philosophy of science can lead to some bad conclusions. Williams has come back to straighten me out. Sadly, I am not straightened out by this response, since I do not think Mr. Williams makes arguments. On the other hand, Williams is my friend, because he is honest, forthright, well read, and unafraid to speak what he thinks is true.

This is vital to the dialectic, the very basis of our finding the Logos, the Lord Jesus. My take on his fascinating assertions comes in two parts: one, two.

Mr. Williams felt I had done him wrong so he wished to summarize his credentials and his case. The first are impressive, the reader can decide on the merits of the second. Our reader or so will be delighted to discover that I will only have a brief response to this extensive rebuttal by Williams.

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