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8 More Keys to the Catholic Environmental Vision

Nature2

This post will articulate the final eight of fourteen principles that I think underlie the Catholic environmental vision. Part one ended on the thought that the first six principles imply a positive and optimistic attitude toward the natural world, the creator, and the human race. Principle seven, however, is not positive, since Catholicism holds that at the very beginning, something happened which damaged the way man relates to creation. Original sin has disrupted the harmony that ought... Read More

Can Catholics and Atheists Agree on the Environment?

Landscape2

Tomorrow (June 18), Pope Francis will release his long-awaited teaching document on the environment and human ecology. With that in mind, I wrote this article to articulate some principles that underlie the Catholic environmental vision, with the hope that atheists can better understand it and perhaps find common ground. I don’t know if these principles have been set out systematically, but in my research, I have uncovered fourteen. My selection of them is my own, as is the order... Read More

Five Questions for Supporters of Gender Transitioning

by  
Filed under Anthropology

VanityFair

In light of the Vanity Fair cover story about Bruce Jenner’s decision to undergo a "gender transition" and current desire to be called Caitlyn Jenner, I thought it would be appropriate to look at five important questions those who support gender-transitioning need to answer. 1. What determines reality: facts or feelings? My wife used to work at a psychiatric hospital where it was standard procedure to not feed into a patient’s delusions. If a patient, for example, said he was a cat,... Read More

Why Materialism and Dualism Both Fail to Explain Your Mind

Magnifying

NOTE: This is a follow-up article to Patrick's post on Wednesday titled, "Body, Soul, and the Mind/Brain Question".     Having laid the foundation of the human soul in Wednesday's post, let us now turn to its proper character and function. According to St. Thomas Aquinas, man’s soul comprises all those powers proper to lower organisms, namely metabolism, sensation, and locomotion; however, a still higher power remains that is non-existent in all other soul-possessors—intellection.... Read More

Body, Soul, and the Mind/Brain Question

Frogs

In addition to my recent article, “Atheism and the Personal Pronoun,” Strange Notions has featured several related pieces, “Exorcizing the Ghost from the Machine” by Matthew Allen Newland, and more recently “Exorcising Epistemology” by Matthew Becklo. True to the spirit of the Areopagus and mission of Strange Notions, these authors and I have approached the much-debated topics of the mind-brain problem and consciousness from different perspectives, arriving at subtle and nuanced... Read More

Irreconcilable Differences: The Divorce of Materialism and Truth

Materialism

According to many today, the advance of the natural physical sciences continues to shrink the “space” for God. The “gaps” where someone can place God are decreasing, and therefore the “God hypothesis” will one day be swallowed whole by the progress of the scientific endeavor. Even more, the “space” where one could posit the human person as something more than just a complex, organized collection of matter and energy is said to have disappeared. While I find a materialist... Read More

Whatever Happened to the Soul?

Soul

Bad news, friends. You have no soul, according to a few professors at Fuller Theological Seminary. I say this after happening upon a copy of Whatever Happened to the Soul? Scientific and Theological Portraits of Human Nature, edited by Warren Brown, Nancey Murphy, and H. Newton Malony, all full-fledged Fullerian professors. They say the soul is now scientifically, and hence theologically passé. What happened to the poor soul, that it should suddenly be shuffled away? According to Murphy,... Read More

The Self-Defeating Argument About Intelligence

Intelligence

Alexander Wissner-Gross, a physicist at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Cameron Freer, a mathematician at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, have developed an equation to describe intelligent or cognitive behaviors. They suggest that intelligent behavior can be explained as an impulse to control events in the environment. The mathematics are rooted in the theory of thermodynamics. The model relies on entropy, the mathematically-defined thermodynamic... Read More

Love and the Skeptic

LoveSkeptic

"The greatest of these," wrote the Apostle Paul, "is love" (1 Cor. 13:13). Many centuries later, in a culture quite foreign to the Apostle to the Gentiles, the singer John Lennon earnestly insisted, "All we need is love." Different men, different intents, different contexts. Even different types of "love." You hardly need to subscribe to People magazine or to frequent the cinema to know that love is the singularly insistent subject of movies, songs, novels, television dramas, sitcoms,... Read More

Exorcizing the Ghost from the Machine?

Ghost

Not too long ago Patrick Schultz wrote a most interesting article for StrangeNotions.com on the nature of the “self” (or rather, the lack of one) if we attempt to describe human beings in material terms. Specifically, he says, when materialists try to explain the human person, “something quite puzzling (and frightening) occurs—human subjectivity disappears; that which makes humans human is explained away. The personal pronoun ‘I’ is swallowed up.” Shultz then illustrates... Read More

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