The Purpose of this Blog

The purpose statement of my blog was the first blog post that I posted. I have since realized that it is probably the least read post that I have written, for obvious reasons. I decided to make a page explaining the purpose of this blog so that it would be easier to find. 

The original sense of the word "Philosopher" is a lover of wisdom. It was first coined, according to tradition, by Pythagoras. According to Tradition people were calling him a wise man. Pythagoras is said to have responded by saying something like this, "Do not call me a wise man, for this assumes that I already possess wisdom. Rather, call me a philosopher (a lover of wisdom), as I am pursuing wisdom as a lover pursues his beloved." Thomas Aquinas, in his commentary on the Metaphysics of Aristotle, says this, "Pythagoras, when asked what he professed himself to be, refused to call himself a wise man as his predecessors had done, because he thought this was presumptuous, but called himself a philosopher, i.e., a lover of wisdom. (Bk.1, Lecture 3, paragraph 56)" I call myself a philosopher in the same way. It has become popular to talk about professional philosophers. In my humble opinion the notion of a professional philosopher is about as honorable as that of a professional lover (being a person who loves many but loves none).Philosophy is the pursuit of truth (or wisdom).
 In order to philosophize one must willingly pursue the argument where it leads, be coherent with their definitions, and be willing to change their mind if the arguments lead us in a direction that we did not wish to go. In order to truly interact with the arguments some knowledge of the history of philosophy is desirable. Philosophy is best done in dialogue.


I also consider myself a Christian theologian in that a theologian is a person who seeks to know what can be known about God (or gods), and a Christian theologian is a person who bases their knowledge of God on the divinely revealed scriptures (known today as the Christian Bible), and the created universe. Both the Bible and the Universe are open to interpretation. Interpretations are not divinely inspired, as such, I do not adhere to any one interpretation of scripture (be it Calvinist, Arminian, Anabaptist, Pentecostal, Catholic, or other). However, interpretations can be argued for, or argued against, and they can be demonstrated true or false. As such, any biblical interpretations that are given must not be assumed, but, rather, defended. Interpretations are defended by calling upon contextual, grammatical, historical, geographical, and linguistical evidence. Hermeneutics is the art of interpretation. In order to truly discuss theological questions one must hold coherent hermeneutical principles, and use them consistently. This implies knowledge of grammatical principles (and other linguistical principles), history, science, logic, and a number of important philosophical principles, all of which are necessary for the proper interpretation of biblical texts. (Even in my brief explanation of my understanding of what it means to do theology one can see certain influences.)

In this blog I will be posting my personal thoughts on philosophy and theology. As a philosopher I am seeking truth, and will be presenting arguments for the claims I make. As a Christian theologian I am seeking to better understand the God that I believe inspired the Bible. I would ask, therefore, that when you read my thoughts you do not allow your emotional attachment to a certain philosophical or theological claim (or to a certain author or school of thought) to distract you from objectively examining the arguments that I present.
 


As I am bilingual I will be posting, sometimes in french, sometimes in english. If you cannot read my thoughts in the language that they are written in, you can either ask that I translate my thoughts (which I will do if I think that the blog post is interesting enough to warrant a translation), or, you can translate it yourself (there are plenty of online text translator programs that you can use such as google, or babblefish). 

I welcome discussion on my thoughts so long as the discussion is relevant, respectful, and objective. Arguments from authority are the weakest arguments that can be used, so, I will not respond to a post that says, "your view is wrong because so and so says that it is false." Any post that is disrespectful, irrelevant, or vulgar will be removed. I do my best to refrain from rhetorical and sarcastic remarks, and expect those who interact with my arguments to do the same. That being said, I am not above the occassional sarcastic, but respectful, remark.

I hope that you will take the time to read my thoughts, and to interact with them.

Dave