What is Ancient Biography?

Ancient biography or in the Greek language Βιοι, Bioi ; “Lives” was—by ancients like Plutarch, Tacitus, and Lucian—seen as very important literature during ancient times. It is handled today within the domains of New Testament and Greco-Roman literary criticism as an inclusive literary genre. Bioi was based on a particular individual, but not as a means to an individual self but against the social backdrop of family and community. The end result is that the writer purposefully presents a kind of anti-psychological person. What is highlighted is their, “character, achievements and lasting significance”[1] while at the same time deliberately setting them up as a public example. Bios, or Βιος (Greek for “life”), as literature is really a conduit that transmits, within a culture; social, religious and political heritage showing individuals as, “representative types rather than as unique individuals.”[2]

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What is mythology?

Mythology (Greek Mythos means “Myth” in English) has to do with the relationship of the human experience to, and subsequent attempt to explain, the realm of the divine. Myth usually connotes the time before human history, what is called prehistory. The primitive epochs of creation of the cosmos, and speculation on divine hierarchical structures even before such creation events are familiar ground for mythological thinking. Myths and mythology therefore can be generally considered as stories outside of, or before, human history.

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John Lennox vs. Richard Dawkins

Lennox Vs. Dawkins Debate – Has Science Buried God? Well Dawkins seems to think so, but Lennox does not.

Richard Dawkins is completely unaware of the divine simplicity argument. About 10 minutes in this becomes clear and continues to run throughout the whole debate as a kind of theme. This was put forth to him in a different debate moderated by  Sir Anthony Kenny found here. Divine simplicity basically posits that God isn’t a composite, God isn’t made out of parts. God is not complex in the sense most often understood by most scientists and atheists such as Dawkins. In classical theism, God is identical to his attributes, which are not abstract entities or quantities, and they are not some thing. This is why educated and philosophically minded people know to articulate the nature of God in this way; “God is goodness” not; “God has goodness.”

However the whole divine simplicity argument is lost to Dawkins and because it is lost to him he considers God complex, a being so complex that it requires an explanation of its existence. But according to this logic, if God isn’t complex, which has been the overwhelming argument put forth by the historical defenders of classical theism, then God doesn’t require an explanation for its existence.

Academic Analysis of In-Game

There is one of those must-read books recently published by MIT Press called In-Game: From Immersion to Incorporation by Gordon Calleja. It looks fascinating and well worth the read for a sophisticated and thus scholarly discourse upon the gaming experience. It does carry a hefty price tag for a hardcover at $30.00 but I personally think it is well worth it. There needs to be more of a concentration between academic studies of gaming and development of gaming. If these two can coincide with a deep philosophical-theoretical understanding of immersion or incorporation as Calleja puts it, the better the industry will recognize the implications of what they do and how they do it, and most importantly why gamers get pissed.

Aside from enabling us to transcend the practical limitations of our environment, digital games became popular because they transported our imaginations to the places represented on the screen. We no longer had to imagine landscapes of forests and mountains to roam in; they were right there in front of us.

Ahh yes, the power and ramifications of a screen-culture.

What is metaphysics?

Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that studies the underlying principles or nature of reality and the origin and structure of the kinds of ultimate categories of those concepts. It is concerned with the study of First Principles (those that cannot be deduced from any other) and of being. Defined as such it is different from philosophical epistemology and so it is not in relation to the study of knowledge. Metaphysics involves thought about abstract concepts not at the empirical level of understanding found within scientific methodology. This includes topics like the mind and body, or what is called the mind-body problem within philosophy. Also there are existential topics like being, non-being and existence usually brought into focus under ontology. Additionally free will and theism are considered metaphysical topics. Classical theism is thought to expresses core characteristics of the Christian concept of God throughout its history as a philosophy and so Christianity is metaphysical. Metaphysics however in the broader more philosophical sense, outside of Christian theism, also interacts with empirical evidences through reason and logic, transcending past just space-time physical reality.

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The Sociology of Philosophies by Randall Collins

Below are some random thoughts and notes that are relevant to a great book I have been glancing at recently called The Sociology of Philosophies: A Global Theory of Intellectual Change (SoP for short) by Randall Collins. This is of course strictly in-between reads of An Introduction to Metaphysics. I will have an article on the topic of metaphysics posted shortly on The Known Quantity, so keep your fingers crossed.

Sociology has always interested me personally. It seems the more and more I delve into philosophical topics the closer I brush up alongside it. Whether its the discipline of science generally or postmodern philosophy particularly, sociology plays an important role in both. I suppose this is because language used in sociology seems to have a type of meta-utility for all types of specific disciplines. Put that way, to me the philosophy of sociological language seems like a ripe macro-level concept for study by sociologists.

SoP is an epic book, more than 1,000 pages. However on page 21 it states:

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What is postmodernism?

Postmodernism or postmodernity includes poststructuralism within its intellectual landscape of the 20th and 21st centuries. Postmodernism is the move away from modernism of art and architecture, philosophy and truth, and general cultural account and critique. It requires especially the rejection of global cultural narratives, meta-narratives, universal theories, or what are also called grand theories like religious fundamentalism.[1] Narratives are constructed realities produced from cultural meta-narratives so that religious fundamentalism can be expressed in the Islamist narrative. However within postmodernism narratives are dynamic, changing and evolving within different times and places, that is, different contextual backgrounds. Meta-narratives cannot even be approached in any substantive way if what we observe from them, namely narratives, are not static. Postmodernism is a social theory of skepticism questioning what meta-narratives create like authority, political and cultural norms for not only a society but individuals, and also questioning where meta-narratives stem from like revealed theology or even human reason.

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What is the cosmological argument?

The cosmological argument is really a family of philosophical arguments (logos; See: Logic) that fall within natural theology and seek to demonstrate, through a priori or self-evident and empirical knowledge, a “Sufficient Reason or First Cause” for the cosmos.[1] Theism throughout the history of the cosmological argument has been the necessary metaphysics constituting what is needed by what is inferred from argumentation as the First Cause. A theistic natural theology, and so the philosophy of religion in that context, regard the cosmological argument as central, inexorably leading to the monotheistic view of a personal God. It is a central theme of the cosmological argument that there need not be a beginning to the universe and to physical space-time, but that the First Cause actually endures existence at every moment. In other words the most prominent historical defenders of the cosmological argument, outside of the Islamic inspired kalam version, do not formulate the argument with concern for a beginning of the universe (See: Big bang theory).[2]

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Hebrews 6:1-8

Hebrews 6:1-8:

 1 Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, 2 of instruction about washings and laying on of hands, and the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment. 3 And this we will do, if God permits. 4 For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame. 7 For ground that drinks the rain which often falls on it and brings forth vegetation useful to those for whose sake it is also tilled, receives a blessing from God; 8 but if it yields thorns and thistles, it is worthless and close to being cursed, and it ends up being burned.

Verse 1 – Sin is dead works, thus foundation of repentance is laid through dead works which is sin. Repentance is turning away from sin, constantly sinning and then repenting would be laying a foundation of repentance. Maturity is not laying a foundation of repentance from dead works or sin but rather always doing living works or the will of God which is not sin.

Verse 3 – God permits NOT laying down a foundation of repentance, in other words God does NOT permit sin but rather human will does.

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What is theism?

Theism is the religious metaphysical philosophy that asserts God exists and that He created and sustains the cosmos. Classical theism supports a creator God that not only exists but is omniscient, omnipresent, exists necessarily, is nonphysical, eternal and essentially good. The Cambridge Companion to Atheism puts the philosophical position of theism as, “coming to mean a belief in a personal God who takes an active interest in the world and who has given special revelation to humans.”[1] The most competitive alternative philosophy within the modern intellectual climate is metaphysical naturalism. An entrenched philosophy of science acting without the existence of God and the soul, preceding with the assumption of strict materialism.[2]

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