Tuesday, November 10, 2009

J. D. Walters reviews The Last Superstition


Blue Devil Knight said...

That is very well written, and he points out exactly the right kind of data to fight antirepresentationalism in philmind. I hope it doesn't come off as condescending if I suggest that JD seems to have matured quite a bit as a writer. He used to be a citation junky, arguing via bibliography, but now he seems to be presenting reasons and arguments that should be able to stand on their own right. Especially in the rough-and-tumble world of informal internet conversations, citations just don't work as arguments.

8 said...

"The one striking, elephant-size absence from Feser's book is any discussion of how all these philosophical arguments line up with the Scriptural understanding of God, human nature and morality.

Who said this was about screepture, or even "G*d"?/ Paddy Feseri's discussing the grand tradition of Aristotle and Aquinas-- and like Machiavelli and La Cosa Nostra too. Roody Guiliani-style catholicism.

That said, he's sort of correct, in so far that the old Aristotelian metaphysics of "essencia", and the four causes upholds a profounder view of existence than that offered by any Billy Bob Baptist bibleschool. Feseri however forgets that Hegel arguably advances the Aristotilean schema (by way of spinoza, modern science, and a bit of Kant (as little as he can get away with)).

8 said...

That's a quote from Walter's review of Feser's TLS. Then cutting edge commentary from 8, free of charge.

A better question might be, does Aquinas get Aristotle right? And, should anyone care? The authentic hellenic tradition passed on to Hegel (who does not care for the angelic doktor)--but Feser doesn't acknowledge that.

Blue Devil Knight said...

Come on Victor get with the program.

Edwardtbabinski said...

Critiquing the new atheists by claiming Aristotelianism was given up without sufficient reason?

Whether or not Aristotelianism is fully abandoned for atheism is a matter of degree not kind. Philosophical questions abound from Kant onwards. Though even Plato and Socrates admitted they didn't know things for sure, not even concerning the afterlife. Aristotle also suggested that form follows function, so when the form of the brain vanishes at death, what's left?

As for Christianity being questioned I'd suggest starting not with grand philosophical ideas but with deist works that criticized "written revealtion," i.e., they compared and contrasted the Bible's two testaments, and also pointed out difficulties and differences in verses and teachings within each testament. Also note Jewish responses to Christian miss-useage of portions the Hebrew Bible. Start there, and then go on toward continuing open examinations of the Bible by Christian scholars from Strauss to Wrede to Schweitzer and on and on. Check out modern day bibliobloggers as well, google biblioblogging, and read how and what biblical scholars are saying on the web, along with the Biblical Studies Carnival. There's plenty of questions out there. Questions CADRE doesn't cover.

Personally, I'm not an atheist, but an agnostic. And I also suspect that with the invention of the printing press (such that heretics could speak and remain anonymous), and with the inventions of the microscope and telescope, humans finally began poking their noses in things other than the Bible, and other than trying to make perfect sense out of the whole cosmos simply by studying the Bible and the church fathers.

Edwardtbabinski said...
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