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Backing Down from Gregory of Nyssa’s Ascent

The early Church’s appropriation of Greek philosophy is easily caricatured as an exchange that left Christianity intellectually enriched but spiritually impoverished. In reality, the Church Fathers converted Plato before they baptized him. That is, they found Greek metaphysics useful, but they used it for their own purposes. Still, the question remains: Christians changed Plato, but how much did Plato change Christianity? Continue Reading »

God, Gods, and Fairies

One of the strangest claims often made by purveyors and consumers of today’s popular atheism is that disbelief in God involves no particular positive philosophy of reality, much less any kind of religion or creed, but consists merely in neutral incredulity toward a certain kind of factual . . . . Continue Reading »

A Tale of Two Thomases

Consider this description of one of “America’s Byways”: “Traversing the lush hills and farmlands of southern Indiana, and paralleling the mighty Ohio River, this route marks a timeworn and history-rich corridor linking historic villages and farms through a picturesque landscape. Rock . . . . Continue Reading »

Not Understanding Nothing

A Universe from Nothing:  Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing by lawrence m. krauss  free press, 204 pages, $24.99 Acritic might reasonably question the arguments for a divine first cause of the cosmos. But to ask “What caused God?” misses the whole reason classical . . . . Continue Reading »

A Philosopher in the Twilight

In his preface to the Philosophy of Right, Hegel famously remarks that the owl of Minerva takes flight only as dusk is falling, which is to say that philosophy comes only at the end of an age, far too late in the day to tell us how the world ought to be; it can at most merely ponder what already . . . . Continue Reading »

Ambiguity, Inception and Interpretation

In an interview with Wired about his movie Inception, director Christopher Nolan is questioned about an ambiguous scene in the film:So, there’s no one right answer.Oh no, I’ve got an answer.You do?!Yeah. I’ve always believed that if you make a film with ambiguity, it needs to be . . . . Continue Reading »

On Longing for Weirdness

Pity the person who looks at the night sky and sees only hot glowing balls of gas. If he starts to speak, you are likely to get a great deal of hot air, but little romantic glow. Knowing the composition of a thing is good, but it is at least as good to know what a thing is to mankind.Stars are more . . . . Continue Reading »

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