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A Reaction to Kelly Smith's Attribution of Reason to the Universe

Dilbert: And we know mass creates gravity because more dense planets have more gravity.
Dogbert: How do we know which planets are more dense?
Dilbert: They have more gravity.
Dogbert: That's circular reasoning.
DilbertI prefer to think of it as having no loose ends.

–Scott Adams, Dilbert (March 1, 1999)

Apparently there are universal rules of good thinking. They seem to apply to everyday living and to academic disciplines like science and others. We don’t get to choose them; they are imposed on us, but science doesn’t know for sure by whom or what. The rules seem to be very rigid such that if you break them other people might scold you and bad things can happen. One of these rules is called circular reasoning, also called begging the question. It says that your conclusion cannot be part of your premise. It’s just not allowed. Another rule is that if you make a claim about something you have to be able to back it up. You need evidence. 

  • 8 January 2021
  • Author: Scott Cherry
  • Number of views: 181
  • Comments: 0

John Locke vs. Thomas Hobbes

by Christian Ledford

In analyzing the creation of Adam by God, Locke made two arguments. The first argument is relatively simple; Locke argued that humans have rights and are free because God created Adam with explicit intention for him to have rights and be free. Specifically, Locke said that, although natural, rights of humans do not come randomly from nature itself or natural processes but as a direct endowment by God to mankind. The second argument is a bit more nuanced; Locke argued that, because God granted the Earth not to Adam specifically as some sort of divine monarch but to mankind in general, all of whom would come to possess the exact same rights that God endowed upon Adam, no individual has the right nor allowance to violate the rights of another. Specifically, rejecting and rebelling against the brutish Hobbesian notion of rights, Locke said that the rights of one man end where the rights of another man begin.
  • 22 December 2020
  • Author: Guest Blogger
  • Number of views: 121
  • Comments: 0

John Locke vs. Thomas Hobbes

by Christian Ledford

John Locke’s 1689 
Second Treatise on Civil Government is, without a doubt, one of the most fundamental and foundational texts of the Enlightenment. Not only did the work of Locke directly inspire the Founding Fathers of the American Revolution, but Lockean Classical Liberalism has laid the foundation of modern day political movements such as American conservatism and rightwing libertarianism. Locke, in writing his Second Treatise, took Hobbesian philosophy on natural rights and extrapolated and elaborated upon it to produce a definition of natural rights that was in direct alignment with both capitalist social mechanics as well as Christian ethics. Rather than endorsing Hobbesian philosophy that argued for an idea of rights where the only rights an individual possessed were those they could personally grasp and defend on pure, brute strength alone (up to and including the very property and lives of other individuals), Locke distilled the idea of natural rights into a consistent, universal standard in which each individual, on pure basis of humanity alone and regardless of any natural strength, possessed inalienable rights: life, liberty, and property.
  • 30 November 2020
  • Author: Guest Blogger
  • Number of views: 296
  • Comments: 0

John Locke vs. Thomas Hobbes

by Christian Ledford

In the coming decades natural rights may be more vulnerable to subversion and violation than they have ever been. It is of the utmost importance that we return to the ideals of Lockean Liberalism and the Christian origins of natural rights. ...Individuals across the globe must rise up and declare that their rights come not from constitutions, not from politicians, not from laws, and not from the state, but instead as a universal and inalienable endowment from their creator: God.

*This piece is both timely and fitting for the current political climate. It is an excerpt from a longer speech that Christian wrote for last spring's Locke and Lewis / Faith and Reason speech contest at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. He delivered this speech from the university's film studio on March 18, the first week after it had been shut down due to the Coronavirus. It won first place. The full video recording of the speech can be viewed in YouTube here: Christian Ledford is a recent political-science graduate of the university (2019) who aspires to a profession in law.

**The Editor has divided this piece into three parts beginning with the final two paragraphs. 

  • 11 November 2020
  • Author: Guest Blogger
  • Number of views: 462
  • Comments: 0

Why would an all-good and all-powerful God allow a pandemic?

by John Shaheen—

John is a junior at the University of MichiganDearborn. He especially loves philosophy and biology.

Fear is aroused, panic abounds, medical supplies dwindle, and the economy suffers… where is God?
  Why would he let the people that he loves suffer?  Within months, the Coronavirus has rapidly spread throughout the world.  What seemed like alarmism now seems like inadequate preparation.  Surely, the question on the minds of many is why would God allow this?  Where is the God of infinite and perfect love and mercy?
     In response to the logical problem of evil, many solutions have been offered, the most famous being the Free will Defense.  Perhaps evil and suffering are a consequence of allowing free beings to exist.  The objection soon arose, what about natural evil?  How are floods, diseases, earthquakes, etc. the result of free beings?  Alvin Plantinga suggested that perhaps these disasters are the result of the free actions of supernatural beings such as angels or demons.  Though this is definitely a solution that makes natural evil logically compatible with a perfect and powerful God, it still feels unsatisfactory.  Why did God give these beings this kind of power?  He could have easily restricted their power without limiting their free will.  They can only cause this kind of havoc if God allows them.  God is still the ultimate authority and power in this paradigm.  Furthermore, in an age of scientific knowledge of the causes of natural disasters, this solution may seem unsatisfactory to the naturalist.  
  • 22 July 2020
  • Author: Guest Blogger
  • Number of views: 1115
  • Comments: 0

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