“Provincial Letters” By Blaise Pascal

Do not answer a fool according to his folly, Lest you also be like him. Answer a fool according to his folly, Lest he be wise in his own eyes. –Proverbs 26:4,5 Blaise Pascal, a Catholic theologian, scientist and brilliant thinker, wrote these letters to defend his Jansenist friends against charges of heresy by the Jesuits. I tend to think that Pascal and Kierkegaard are … Continue reading “Provincial Letters” By Blaise Pascal

The Brothers Karamazov: III. The Foundation of Morality

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

The Brothers Karamazov: II. The Nature of Freedom

Choice vs. Freedom There is an important distinction, which most people overlook, between free choice of the will, commonly known as free will, and freedom. Choice is consequent of multiplicity, but freedom is consequent of power of being or becoming. For example, when a person is present at a crossroad, he has a choice between one way or the other, but he does not necessarily … Continue reading The Brothers Karamazov: II. The Nature of Freedom

The Brothers Karamazov: I. The Nature of Morality

The Natural Law The word morality comes from the Latin root mos (meaning “custom or law”), which in turn is a translation of the Greek word ἠθικός (“character or moral nature”). The idea of natural law originated with Plato and the Stoics, and found its full expression in Cicero: The universe is governed by God, who has implanted the immortal soul in man from His … Continue reading The Brothers Karamazov: I. The Nature of Morality

Witnessing Creation

Creation in Seven Acts In my previous post “A Layman’s Interpretation of Genesis”, I made the point that the Days in Genesis 1 are defined, not by any physical entity, but by divine command. The Days, and time itself, are God’s creation. To give a further illustration, I’d liken the Creation account in Genesis 1 to a seven-act play, and the recurring phrase “there was … Continue reading Witnessing Creation

Creation of Adam

Finding Adam: A Layman’s Interpretation of Genesis

Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?” Genesis 3:9 Preface When I read the Book of Genesis for the first time many years ago, I did it out of scientific curiosity. I was an atheist who believed all religions were superstitions, but I was very curious why many otherwise highly intelligent human beings believed in the existence of … Continue reading Finding Adam: A Layman’s Interpretation of Genesis

Creation: A Personal Perspective

When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained, What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him? Psalm 8:3-4 The Creation Debate All Christians believe that the universe and living things are designed and created by God, but there is a wide range of opinions … Continue reading Creation: A Personal Perspective