Apothegms and Observations XXIII

  1. Aristotle attempted to fashion an ethics based on Nature, but the common understanding of Nature has changed. The species are not stable, rather they are arbitrary and constantly in flux. Science deems humanity not teleological, but coincidental. Therefore, the only ethics based on secular Nature is an evolutionary ethics, a Nietzschean ethics, a Satanist ethics that says, “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.” Of course, with God’s existence, science’s Nature becomes God’s Nature, and we remain teleological, with quite a different ethics.
  2. “In Christianity, we meet people where they are.” I could not agree more! We apologists ought to follow the example set by Paul. That is, we ought to be familiar with Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Hume, Kant, Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Beauvoir, and Butler, at the very least, not to mention our own tradition. I have much work to do.
  3. Anyone with access to Wikipedia can educate themselves, and even more thoroughly with the Amazon book store.
  4. The cycle of poverty is perpetrated by many things, including the lack of discussion of the virtues necessary for an impoverished person to escape poverty anywhere in this fallen world. Hard work, perseverance, prudence, a fierce avoidance of the “victim mentality”, and a steady desire to escape poverty. Of course, this is not to say that the system does not need improvements.
  5. Three concepts that make up much of the Gospel: holiness, sin, and love.
  6. Surely it is pessimism to believe that ancient thinkers say nothing relevant.
  7. This century is asking the question, “What is spiritual health?”
  8. The best person to solve a community’s problems is usually a person in that community. Why? Because humans are complex. Therefore, local government solutions are usually better than national solutions. But of course, national solutions are occasionally necessary.
  9. Nihilism showed me the immeasurable value of art that desires to be encouraging.
  10. Truly, of making books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh.
  11. It is my impression, and I hope it is a correct impression, that New Sincerity has made Mona an artifact of the past.
  12. Love gifts freedom.
  13. The only real objection to theism is the problem of suffering, and indeed, it is quite a problem. It is curious that the Bible does not disagree that it is a difficult problem.
  14. When I read Nietzsche, the experience is of seeing written all the things that I have always half-way thought in the back of my mind. Some of these thoughts I know I believe, while some of them I know I do not believe.
  15. The joy of The Very Potter Musical is that it was made by those in the in-crowd, and thus lacks that cruel, self-conscious insecurity that is unfortunately so common in theater.
  16. Look to the corporation. Never has it been clearer that the individual can only operate as part of a community of diverse talents.
  17. The counselor who does not strengthen the counselee is not being successful.
  18. To commit to holding a conviction despite its being a minority view is either admirable courage or foolish arrogance, depending on the conviction.
  19. Nietzsche’s question: what kind of person would believe in Christianity? His answer: a botched, bungled person who is not able to stand on his own. My question: what kind of person would have written The Antichrist? My answer: a wildly insecure, incautious person (who laughably claims he is the most cautious), who does not doubt his own psychoanalysis.
  20. Life is often jarringly diverse, with coworkers who expect you to be giddy with them one hour and a friend struggling to tell you of his depression the next.
  21. As I shift into the real world, the doctrine of individual, different spiritual gifts becomes more and more obvious, and grand, and challenging.
  22. An odd hypothesis: Much of virtue has to do with competence.
  23. Much, if not all, of leading is simply making oneself useful.
  24. Not all of life is about being useful. If leisure exists to make work more productive, does leisure not become work, and thus vanishes?
  25. Conformity is not always bad.
  26. The doctrine of spiritual gifts means that God has allowed us to be more talented in certain parts of Love than in other parts. When we cultivate our gifts, we become specialists in wisdom, or compassion, or justice, or patience, or boldness, or charity, or peace, or joy, or others.
  27. In my deepest parts, I wish I could understand why homosexuality seems to be condemned in the Bible. But I do not.
  28. There is perhaps only one important philosophical question, and Camus said it similarly. Why is nihilism incorrect?
  29. Nietzsche taught me why Proverbs calls foolishness a seductress.

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