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Saturday, February 25, 2023

Philosophy Gives Me a Headache!

Philosophy gives me a headache all right! All that talk about realism, rationalism, liberalism, modernism, Marxism, sophism, skepticism, and every other ism out there makes my head spin. I actually got an A in metaphysics in college, but don't ask me anything about it. Being and essence, mind and matter, substance and attribute.... good grief! We had to read Sartre's Nausea and it was definitely nauseating as was his entire philosophy in my opinion.

I do like Socrates and I suppose we are actually all philosophers when we ponder the serious questions of life which everyone does at least occasionally. But studying all the philosophers and their crazy ideas? Life's too short. It's not my job to read and refute them, although I do need to know enough to discern truth from error. Yes, Mr Philosopher, there is such a thing as absolute truth and I can know it through natural reason (the natural law) and Divine Revelation.

A few days ago, I visited a website that offered several hundred "philosophical questions" grouped in different categories: nature, the human condition, the universe, society and government, science and technology, reality, etc. - something to look at when you're bored I suppose.

I've always been puzzled by all the philosophers who can't figure out what's real. When we're checking our bee hives and one of the girls stings me, I know she's real and I'm real, and soon I'll have a real swelling to show for it. And when I taste their honey I know that's real too and really delicious!

Our chickens give us 6-8 real eggs most days. No, I don't mean they sometimes give us unreal eggs, but sometimes they lay fewer than six. When I hear Whopper's insane clucking I know she's announcing to the world that she's laid one of her real blue eggs. And, when we eat those real eggs for breakfast, I know we're getting real nourishment from that perfect little protein package. 

So many brilliant men and women made the world worse with their poisonous philosophies and still do today. Descartes, Darwin, Nietzsche, Machiavelli, Sartre, Freud, Marx, Hitler,...the list goes on and on. Proud, arrogant men who all thought they knew more than God, although many of them didn't believe in God at all or made a god out of something else. I always shake my head and laugh at the folks who believe that nothing made everything. Their God's name is Chance or Nobody. Besides a little humility, these guys need "fear of the Lord" to take their first baby steps toward wisdom. 

It's interesting to me that I find the writings of the saints much easier to read -- and not only because I believe in what they're teaching. They are mostly just easier to understand because they don't spout jargon. I don't have to read a page three times and continue scratching my head about what the heck they're talking about. And then there's the philosopher of common sense, G.K. Chesterton. How many people he brought to the faith through his writing! To imitate Chesterton is a noble aspiration. You don't have to be as smart as he was to reflect his childlike enthusiasm for the good life, i.e., a life committed to God's holy will.

I've been thinking about philosophy lately because I'm watching the Crisis in the Church Series and the early episodes deal with a lot of the philosophers who poisoned the world with liberalism and modernism. They weren't all evil men; some were well motivated. But their wrong and/or evil ideas have led to the moral chaos we live in today. Ideas have consequences. We need to be careful what ideas we champion, like the belief that women have the right to kill their babies in the womb. 

There's an easy antidote to avoid embracing evil philosophies! Love God and desire His will above all things. Don't believe in God? Then follow the Golden Rule. If you don't want to be mugged or have your house robbed or be lied to or manipulated, then don't do it to others. Seek truth because if you're looking for truth, you're looking for God. Reflect on the virtues like Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle did. 

The old Roman Republic lasted for a long time because it was founded on virtue. Honesty and honor, respect for parents, etc. Things changed when the tyrants took over and then Rome collapsed. Actually, that's what we're seeing today with Western Civilization. It's collapsing in depravity. 

So what can you do? Don't waste time wringing your hands. Be the best and most honest, and holiest truth seeker you can be. That's how the early Christians changed the world. "Look how those Christians love one another." 

Truth is beautiful. 

1 comment:

dave jacobs said...

If a philosophy is true its ancient so I always assumed the true philosophy would be found amongst those before the fall of Rome. Or basically philosophy (as in creation of new legitimate philosophy) ended with Christ. Afterwards, philosophers cannot add anything, and nothing legitimate. A true philosopher today (like me) will only be a coifier of the good parts of ancient philosophy into a coherent system.