Background and Disclaimer Almost three years ago, I wrote a series of posts on John Calvin’s “Institutes of Christian Religion“, one of which critiqued the principle of sola scriptura. Ironically, a recent debate with a few Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Christians in an online forum helped me to appreciate Calvin’s position better than before. In the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, it is … Continue reading In Defense of Sola Scriptura
I wish Hume had taken Philosophy 101, with an emphasis on Logic, from Aristotle. That thought crossed my mind many times when reading the Enquiry. Hume should have known that many ideas he had difficulty expressing had been defined by Aristotle long before him. He could have saved himself some trouble reinventing the wheel –and his reader some time clearing away the rubble of logical … Continue reading An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding II.
Hume and Moral Philosophy Hume speaks of “moral philosophy” in the very beginning of his treatise. I have a sneaking suspicion that one of the main purposes of his writing is to overthrow moral philosophy and religion up till his time, like what Nietzsche attempted a century later. Hume didn’t come right out and attack Christian philosophy, perhaps because blasphemy law was still in effect … Continue reading “An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding” by David Hume
In a previous post on Dostoevsky, I formulated his argument that belief in God is necessary for morality from an ontological perspective. In this post, I’ll formulate it from an epistemological perspective, following the method of René Descartes. Foundation of Knowledge In his Meditations, Descartes reasoned that ideas formed within our mind have their origin beyond our mind, that is, our ideas are caused by … Continue reading The Brothers Karamazov: III. The Foundation of Morality
Rule I. All sciences are nothing but human wisdom, which always remains one and same, and is no more altered by the different subjects it is applied to, than is the light of the sun by the variety of the objects it illuminates. All sciences are interconnected and interdependent, therefore it is not necessary for the mind to be confined within any limits. Before delving … Continue reading “Rules for the Direction of the Mind” by René Descartes
I’ve enjoyed reading Kant so far, not because of any originality of his idea, but because of the clarity and architecture of his logic. To me it’s like listening to the music of Bach in a way. Freedom Freedom is the ratio essendi of the moral law, while the moral law is the ratio cognoscendi of freedom. For had not the moral law been previously … Continue reading “Critique of Practical Reason” by Immanuel Kant
How Far Can We Know the Truth? In Plato’s Meno, an argument is raised that there is no such thing as a “truth seeker”, because if a man knows the truth already, there is no need to seek, and if he doesn’t, he can’t seek, since he wouldn’t recognize it even if he stumbles upon it. Socrates’ solution to Meno’s paradox is Recollection, i.e., the … Continue reading “Philosophical Fragments” by Søren Kierkegaard