Google Glass: The Whore of Babylon

“Google glass is the whore of Babylon” – Thornbury

Scribbled notes from a Phil class with Dr. Thornbury

Part 1

How culture is formed.

Scruton: 3 levels of culture: high culture, common culture, pop culture. Cultural manifestation flows downward in this way. Trickle-down culture. Always begins in elite institutions of society. Intellectuals, artists, philosophers, typically at universities, protected, highest abstract levels. High culture is involved in “world creation”, they come up with a plausibility structure which is an explanation of why things are the way they are.

Modernism is encapsulated in Mary Shelly’s Fankenstien. Plausibility structure is created then takes on a life of its own and confronts those who created it, like Frankenstien. Scientists creates acreature, the creature is beautiful at first, then confronts the creator. Modernism casts off old authorities and tries to put new authorities in its place.

Common culture institutionalizes the abstract ideas in media, government, economic policy. Plausibility structure becomes a mode of thinking outside of which it is impossible to think.

Pop culture assumes this explanation whole sale, there is no other way of thinking. Pop culture expresses these values in film, television. Producer of Sopranos was a philosopher. Philosophy is evangelism. This is where the game is. Philosophy asks the question behind the question, abstraction behind the concrete expression. Ask why until you get back to the theory.

Thornbury’s soap box: this is important for ministry. Ministry asks practical questions. But there are myriad legions of practical how-to’s. Yet the people at the level of theory are always a step ahead. We are always coming back to the issues of transcendence.

All theory is ultimately religious. Super important. Humans and their theories are irrepressibly religious. Tell someone this and they’ll get angry. Define religion: the belief in something or other as divine. Define divine: has status of not being dependent upon anything else. Bedrock, axiomatic, explains everything else. Every worldview has a divine placeholder. Many postmoderns take Christian theism & reshuffle it, keeping certain things like the trinity. Even people like Dawkins talks about material matter in a divine way.

Watch Steven Hawkins episode in “the story of everything“, where he says we don’t need a god because the law of gravity explains all of reality, which means its a placeholder, religious.

Core beliefs are exhibited in culture. There is no way not to be emerged in a worldview or culture. Want to engage culture? Too late, its already engaged you. Illustration: already soaking in the soap being presented to us.

Religion -> Culture -> Worldview -> cultural artifacts

Pople may not be conscious of their worldview, because they’re emerged in a culture that has a systematic plausibility structure. Out of the worldview flow the cultural artifacts, which are the products of culture. Two examples: Walter Isaksen bio of Steve Jobs, who wanted to form a Buddhist concept of simplicity and design, liberal arts company. Apple products come from a Buddhist worldview. Simple, elegant, aesthetically pleasing, near zen just holding it, revolutionizing how one thinks. CULTURAL ARTIFACTS which we receive, use, and integrate into our lives. Second example: jeans. Why are you wearing jeans? Comfortable? Stylish, fashionable, denote casual. Good concrete reasons for wearing them. But this isn’t the reason were wearing them. Two generations ago no one in college would have worn them. Why? Because denim was synonymous with lower working classes, coal miners, factory workers, the jeans could withstand a lot of dirt. Wearing jeans said, “I’m part of the proletariat, lower classes.” People who wore cottons and twill were part of the bourgeois. Marxist to get elites to identify with lower classes: wear jeans. High culture wants to break down the barrier between bougerois and proletariat. Push it through the common level, say, in movies, and then the pop culture follows suit.


Student Q: doesn’t it work opposite way? Pop culture influences the other way?

Thornbury: nothing new under the sun. Even if it goes backwards, it started from above. Wiki leaks/Snowden, should govt have secrets? This idea in culture goes back to radical leftist theories. Occupy Walstreet people wearing V For Vendetta masks – why? Alan Moore wrote a novel about it, he read Nietzsche. Perhaps reverse happens, sometimes it does work the other way around, but usually flows downward.

Anther student: homosexuality.

Bury: Argument is at theory, no absolute truth, Focoult. Push it out to common culture in media and Hollywood, where aspiring actors must conform or not play in big movies. Now the pop culture views this in masses and follows suit.

Bury calls himself an archaeologist: where do ideas come from. Doesn’t ask who people are, but “who are you?” Interested in origin story.


One implication of Bury’s theory of idea-flow is that the religious and secular blur and cannot be separated.

Postmodernism is to go back to the idea level, reassess the foundations. Hermeneutical spiral, like a tornado.

“Transcendent Man” film, knowledge doubles every 18 months, pace quickens in multiples onward to a singularity. Hyper-modernism.


Student Q: macro-strategy. Spinning wheels, wasting time in at a certain level?

Bury: everyone needs a seat on the bus. Evangelicals caught in reactionary mode. Caught up in too much time responding to things rather than preparing leaders for elite institutions in culture. We need more people at the first two levels – High and Culture. Too much effort and time and people at the bottom level. Francis Schaeffer would talk about the beetle, but also art house films, abstract artists like John Cage – we need to get back to this.

Student Q: what about preaching, low level?

Bury: references DL Moody, who says just preach gospel and forget the world at a higher level. Carl Henry “Uneasy Conscience”, shows…. Only electing people to office reaches the Common Level, not the Elite/High level. Bury is talking about “prophetic witness”, why Western Civ has flourished as it has? Where is the church: high, common, or pop? Church is in “super position” looks at all of these things simultaneously. Chuck Colson conference, more resources from Bury who talks on “evangelicals and culture change”. Randall Collins: there’ve only been about 300 people who’ve changed the world. How did Christianity go from small sect, branch of Judaism to being accepted to dominant religion of the empire? Because church is bearing witness outside of all things, gospel is transcendent, prophetic. Church is like Wyatt Erpe, witness to law and order in a world of chaos.

Neo-evangelical swag. Billy Graham.

Student Q: where is platform to go into the world? Only the church? Should church argue for different culture?

Bury: church made powerful witness is its people from different strata. Higher, lower, middle, everything. No class distinction. Early church is punk, underground, outside, mixing categories. This has a powerful cultural witness. In addition to this is the public display, seek to get message out to largest audience. Briar night witness to power. Now we’re back to a fundamentalist stage which focuses solely on the church, holy-huddle, focus on ourselves. This neglects people that need our help. Elephant in the room questions, good stuff.

Student Q: what?

Bury: fundamental, important statement: our world needs to seem distinction between with and ideology. Average person fears church is just another ideology. Our job is to show that we transcend ideology and plausibility structure, which are experiments tested against reality. Faith transcends this. The church is not Fox News at prayer. We need to show that we have a biblical conception of reality and its not jut another plausibility structure. Hegel is important, he’s become all the rage again, suggesting everything is jut a phase in history.


Bury’s goal is to introduce us to the material. Intellectual history approach to key figures behind rise of modernism and postmodernism. Scruton “Gentle Regrets” memoir. Kantian philosopher with conservative instincts, agrarian with a farm. Convicted by theology in hymns he played on organ for local Anglican Church. Trinity doctrine, greatest aesthetic idea in history of mankind, solves fundamental problem of philosophy, Heraclitus and Parmenides, many or one? Yes.

Bury: Phones are electric soul-molesters.

Keep a copy of systematic theology topics handy for to see how the things discussed in this class affect them. Each secular philosophy has a replacement theology for each topic. What is man? God? Lat things? Sin? The era in which we can give a quick telling of the gospel is over. Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection is too little info for people today, they need the bigger picture in which that story resides. Every culture has a question that only the gospel can answer. Listen for this question. If we tell people about what happens after I die, and people are asking why should I live, we are not reaching then. Heresy creeps in as doctrines are tweaked and the culture is constantly editing them. So constantly reference systematic theology as we consider the world’s philosophies.


Lecture

Middle Ages asked Q’s which lead to development of modern period, and divide between Catholic and Protestant, lays seedbed for debate between modern and postmodern. 11th-15th century, “medieval synthesis” where religious ideas, philo, theo, all bound together. Postmodern in some ways is back to this movement. “The name of the rose” postmodern novel which started PM novels, who done it murder thriller in a medieval monastery. Philo and theo talking to each other. Sill today debate is between Plato and Aristotle.

Carl henry – Revelation is a God-intiated activity disclosing his privacy into reality. God is a private being who discloses his self in acts of revelation, not obligated to make himself maximally known. Doug Wilson brings this up in debates.

Acquinas: does language do the job, does it picture ultimate reality? How does God speak? Like us? Is language analogically? Primarily through analogies, god speaks. Beyond via negativa, we need to say something positively. Key question of medieval theology. Speak of god positively by analogy, look out and use things to speak of what god is like. Aquinas theory of knowledge: sensation, imagination, intellect. Passive and active intellect. John 1:9. True light enlightens everyone. Therefore everyone has been given knowledge through Christ. We get started by natural reason. Active intellect = natural reason.

Contra Aquinas, True light that enlightens all men is a gift that can be given and taken away.

Pope John 22nd canonized Aquinas. Pope John 23rd leads Vatican II, returns to Thomist view divinized view of reason.

Realism is knowledge and language reflect the mind of God. Wins the day in its Thomist version. Big questions: whether or not words we assign to the world or ideas actually corresponds to what the thing really is? What is the relationship of names to things? Realism says names are adequate indicators of things they designate.

Ockham. No universals. Our language does not correspond to universal. Understand particulars in themselves. Augustinians and Franciscans agree with Ockham. No diff btween science and natural truth. Everything of God is revealed. One side is natural, another side is special rev.

Two roads diverge here. Renaissance and Reformation. Augustine: faith precedes understanding.

Luther studied under guy who had been taught by leading Ockham scholar of his time.

Mark Dever summarizes differences: Catholics believe that the church creates the word of God, evangelicals believe that the word of god creates the church. Catholic interps scrips, Eva holds that the word of god interps the church.

 

Pseudo-Dionysius. Deep darkness in God, not knowable. Mysterious. Gives Christians an out from having to defend their faith. Superluminous darkness = god.

Meister Eckhart. Soul is same essence as god. Soul is deep, dark, mysterious. So also is god.

St. John of the cross “dark night of the soul”, to know god is to go down into the soul, dark, experience him, do not know him. Explaining the experience is difficult because speech requires thought and propositions. The experience is not transferable.

How do we communicate with real people about this, who want to not know god but experience him on some personal level? In a Quaker church service, people are quiet because you can’t communicate god.

Bury: rule of St. Benedict, mystics love him. Karl Rahner – anonymous Christians, everyone is xian they just don’t know it yet. Just another way of saying divine spark, soul is same as god. Vatican II says anyone is going to heaven, we all have divine spark. Rowan Williams – god speaks as a mute child, ineffable.

To get into the mystical mindset, watch “Into Great Silence.”

Rob Bell, et al, are grasping at mysticism without claiming the name. Not saying anything new, but because they’re seen as being within the evangelical camp, its a big shock. Rachel Held Evans iffy. She writes as though she is. Tornado hits Missouri, Piper gives a theodicy, Evans flips and says we should give no reason, how dare Piper say that God has a rational providence, all we should do is be silent. This is the response of a mystic, a cranky mystic…

How can mysticism self-assuredly claim to not know if anyone is going to hell…. If mysticism claims it doesn’t know if anyone is going to hell, doesn’t that mean that it also doesn’t know if anyone is going to heaven as well? If Evans claims that its wrong to talk abut a rational God with plans in the face of tornados, isn’t she using rationality to debunk reason?

Mysticism replies to objections with antitheses which imply logic which they deny.

Daft punk – “random access memory” takes samples of songs, throws them into one. Postmodernism takes samples of ideas and thoughts and philosophies, throws them into one. Produces people who think more than choose or act. “C” people in the DISC scale.

Hume.

Descartes. Transitional figure in western thought. Father of modern philosophy. First to interrogate question of certain knowledge. Modernism is quest for certainty. Authoritative. Go back to foundations. How can I trust my sense? I think, therefore I am. Completely rationalistic. Purely through reason and not through the senses. Father of rationalism. His followers say everything can be explained through math and pure reason. Descartes made it possible to think about the world as though god does not exist. (Modern school curriculum/worldview and TV/worldview)

Locke. Disagrees with Descartes that we don’t know what underlies experience. Descartes is a nominalistic. Locke is Aristotelian, realist, empiricist. Active intellect organizes data actively, mind links concepts together, the mind then theorizes what it has compiled. Father of empiricist. We can only possess what we experience through the senses.

Baptist Faith and Message: “Scripture is truth without any mixture of error” straight from John Locke

So we have rationalism on one side and empiricism on the other side. Xianity presently is in proof mode, everything needs to be proven. Must provide rational proofs for god’s existence. Must provide empirically that the faith is true. Growing burden in church to prove its truth rising with the sciences. Important that one’s theology matches natural sciences, thanks to Locke.

Berkeley. Irish bishop, bothered by “scientism”. Modifies Locke’s theory of ideas. We don’t see the object itself but an image of the object. Locke said primary qualities of a thing exist apart from the mind, secondary qualities exist in the mind. Berkeley radically said nothing exists outside of the mind, primary and secondary qualities exist in the mind. He takes nominalistic one step further.

Personal question: has there been any consistently accurate philosophical witness/position held by Christians or a Christian throughout the centuries? If not, how are we today not going to be merely another slide in a PowerPoint slideshow or just another footnote in a history textbook?

TEDS video: Atheism 2.0. Guy starts with atheism as a given, there is no god, duh. But then wants to keep the niceties of religion such as truth, hope, value, purpose, art, meaning, morality, guidance, consolation. Problem: his premises for interpreting reality is philosophical naturalism but then he departs from there with an unrational hopeful hodge-podge picking from religions’ transcendent life-changing aspects. Problem: he provides no reason why we need these things. Why do we need to advance in knowledge? What is knowledge without a rational Being and a rational universe? Religion provides structure and rituals. Guy says we should have the same. But again, why? The universe is irrational, spontaneous, impersonal. Why should we humans want rationality, order, constancy, personality?

He uses words like should, ought, fascinating, admiring, interesting, important, “I think”, properly, bad, ridiculous – all which must be defined without god.

He doesn’t define how he got to atheism, he admittedly assumes it from the start.

Wants to change the world, advance mankind’s knowledge and existence. Why? If there is no god, why do this? Why not kill other humans for to advance the strongest?

 

Follow Maria Popova on twitter, Allain de Boton

 

Hume. Objected to Descartes. “Not so fast.” Aristotle Acquinas doctrine of analogy, big in western thought. This and this therefore this. Hume says not necessarily. Criterion of evidence. A and B connected in meaning: guitar is a musical instrument, statement of fact, or all bachelors are unmarried. Statements of fact. Math also, the two sides balance each other out. Anything else which must be observed can be a fact ony if it has massive testimony backing it up.

No universal truths whatsoever either by reason or revelation.

 

One underlying thought is that if there are no major Christian thinkers throughout the centuries which shaped the world at large on a comparable scale to secular thinkers, then why should we try to engage them today with competing theories as though we’re going to be taken seriously. If christian thinkers in the past were tossed aside as history kept on rolling, then what will our thoughts do today?

 

Kant. Critique of Pure Reason. Kant is filled with wonder and awe from the starry skies above and the moral life/law within. Things only appear to us, not in themselves. Truth is not out there, but filtered through the mind. No absolute truth, objective truth, but always subjective, subject to new data, revision, to new conscious experiences.

Modern period begins with Peace of West Falia, wars of religion are over now.

 

Sapere Aude. Trust yourself. We’re in a post-authority world. If truth comes through the individual, then authorities by default are bright into question. Theologically, higher criticism begins to question the bible and the historical Jesus follows. The bible itself is phenomenon, not the word of god, but a text of men to be subjected to scrutiny like any other text. Instead of analogically thinking, the preference becomes metaphorical and symbolical thinking. Language too, later on down the road.

 

Hegel. Main question for Hegel: noumenal and phenomenal split, what is history? Does it have meaning? Fee will. No determinism, rather its up to the people to decided which way history will go. This sounds great to the culture.

“Searching For Sugarman” watch movie. Main guy is Hegel, making a comeback.

To see the essence of the Geist, look into the mirror. We collectively are the collective of the Geist. Destroy is an arrival, idea that is finished, but needs to be revised. It’s a thesis, state of affirms, a proposition currently the way it is. The synthesis that became the thesis, which now needs an antithesis for no moment in history remains forever. Opposition, revolution.

Hegel key phrase: “the wings of Minerva only spread at dusk”. Minerva is Greek symbol of wisdom, formed in the owl. Old age goes when new age comes. While in a movement in history, You can’t tell whether this was a good idea or not. But afterward,

If Hegel’s philosophy is true, then isn’t his theory itself a thesis which must be met by an antitheses, which will then be changed by synthesis? And if so, then its return disproves its validity, for history should have “evolved” beyond Hegel.

Individuals are important but they are collective and find representation, leadership, and strength, and progress in a strong leader, a great man who abandons himself for the whole to advance them forward into history. Instead of floating downstream, paddle.

Marx takes this to a social level. What matters in history is the proper distribution of property. Gather the people into a collective consciousness.

The city of god, what’s it about? Barbarians at eh gates, people say Christianity is at fault for making a peopl weak. Augustine says we don’t car about Rome cause we’re going to heaven, gods city. For Hegel, all there is is the city of man, no city of god exists. Each age is its own era of truth, there is no time in hairy that is better than another.

 

Kierkegaard. Name means “church yard”. 1813-1855. Religious people try to jump onto Hegel’s idea and make the church a the collective conscience. Ordinands’ job is not to preach Christ crucified, but to preserve the church as an institution, which is the highest expression of the Geist. Kierkegaard comes to wreck shop.

I’ve never read in the holy scrips the commandment – thou shalt love the crowd, and still less, thou shalt recognize in the crowd, ethico-religious, the supreme authority of truth.”

Exact opposite of “personal relationship with Jesus. Rather, religion is a collective binding of people together.

He says there mut be content to faith, otherwise religion is irrelevant. Faith and rationality are distinct.

Kierkegaard discovers that his father is an adulterer and frequented brothels, and also blasphemed God. Begins to wonder who he is and whether the faith is true, since his father was supposedly a religious man.

Liberalism is the suggestion that supernatural doesn’t occur. Only natural.

Kierkegaard sees that Jesus makes faith difficult, not easy. How to reconcile fact and faith? Leap of faith. To trust god is to throw oneself headlong into the abyss hoping that god will catch you,

 

Nietzsche.

“I trusted you” youtube video. Postmornism short. Andy Kaufman? I trusted you, that’s how postmoderns feel about promises of the family, of science’s claims, about the claims of the church.

“Sea of Faith” youtube. Kierkegaard. Neo-orthodox people interpret him. How is this video from 1984 similar to things today in America? It doesn’t matter what you believe but only what you do, ethics over doctrine. Emphasis on choice, individual, one has to choose his own way, your own adventure. Video narrator contests Kierkegaard and Marx, where K chooses not to be like the rest of the crowd, not uniform. Although we live in a collectivist age, people want to be individual, but they end up just being followers. K is original Lone Rangerr Christian.

Big question after K, who opened Pandora’s box, there may be a way for people who want to identify with the Christian faith but not part of the church. Rather than salvation though the church one must be saved as an individual. Marx, Neitzsche, Freud – three high priests of modernity. N has great excitement. N is behind French philosophical thought: Foucult, Derrida. N takes on the Christ mantle upon himself, especially thus spake Zarathustra. Anti-Christ is a good thing, positive affirmation of self-worth and self-esteem.

Read the “Twighlight of Idols” shows how secular people think of ministers.

How we talk to propel today. Bury meets with ex-Christians, talks about weird things. Nietzsche believes that humanity will get better and better if it weren’t for religion turning us into slaves.

Nietzsche video. Hard to draw line between nazi and N. Pity is weakness. N hated nationalism and hated the denigration of individuals. Tricky. One major difference is N’s idea of übermensch is a multicultural hero, all races coming together and blending into one vision of humanity

Kanye West new album about Jesus, really about black man overcoming white man. One song is straight out of Nietzsche. Will to power. No one takes him seriously, but he wants to be taken seriously as a black messianic figure. Zizek sees profound importance in pop culture, he reads it with dead seriousness. Gangam style

 

After Nietzsche, dies 1900. Christiania thought kingdom was coming, things were looking up. With onset of WWI, the Nietzsche and Hegel optimism turns out to be utterly false. The 20th century overall is totally horrible. How do philosophers handle this? People begin to realize the sceintific, socko-economic, etc promises of making the world a better place, then they cry “I trusted you”. Never want to trust again. Now people say that at the end of the day we can’t really know all that we would like to know. The 20th century is a story of protest of group-oriented explanations. No more cohesive story. No totalizator system. No system that explains all systems. Kant says we can’t ascend into the noumenal realm, the best we can do is live by faith and do the best, hoping that god is there to receive us. No bridge between phenomenal and noumenal world. (Jesus is that bridge, jacob’s ladder) Where to go?

 

Wittgenstein. This guy perhaps most seminal thinker since Plato. Friends with Burtran Russel, who was an atheist and logical positivist. Cambridge. Tries to figure out language in a lorigcal, rational manner. Not logical positivism, which comes later. Clear affirmation of analytic philosophy, the world is all that is the case. Last sentence however, “whereof one cannot speak, one must be silent.” Philosophy cannot provide a unified theory of knowledge.

Picture theory of reality. We assign a name to something and the name references what the thing actually is. Texts have one and only one complete analysis. One interptation. Reduce text to elementary proposition. No fluff. A word must refer to a thing. Watch film “Pi” Aaron somebody

Boil down sentencedinto logical and non-logical. True objects and non-existence. High stakes game, for if you can prove if theology and ethics is non-talk then you’ve won and radicalized Kant by separating fact from value, religion is absurd private space that has no part of societal formation in the rational civilized West.

Russell wrote “Why I Am Not Christian”

Wittgenstein. Looking for proposition according to the state of affairs. The world is all that exists. Objects are then substance of the world, the substance to which all attributes adhere. He’s trying to return to the Thomistic vision without the upper sphere. Influenced by Thomas and Aristotle.

Proposition must correspond to a state of affairs, project objective relationship to the world. Example: sheet music corresponds to music.

Logical constants. W births logical positivism, but didn’t want it to go as far as it did. Atheism and logical positivism doesn’t want to deal with aesthetics.

“Here” is a problem for W. What is it? Steve Martin makes fun of him in his biography, “Born Standing Up.”

Changes his position. What if language is ordinary? What if its a way for us to explain our everyday ordinary experience? Duh. Language games, which have rules. Post-foundationalism, look at the family resemblance. Don’t get to the theory, only the construct.

Don Cuppid movie youtube of Wittngestein. Precursor to atheism 2.0, can’t go back to old theory of meaning, have to t something in its place. Fear not for famous figures have trodden this path.

Wittgenstein himself. The later W. Never hear that he was obsessed with god-talk. Pure pragmatism, what helps me live my life, you for your life.

 

Pragmatism. William James and John Dewey. WJ spirit of America explicated in actual epistemology. Democratic egalitarianism. Rather than the overman, you have the “Everyman” a the highest good. Lectures at Harvard on present dilemma in Phil, European Phil has arrived at an impasse. He’s infested in how he’s supposed to live his life. Proposition is important for how we experience it.

Pragmatism requires genetic theory of truth. Justice Kennedy’s opinion is related.

 

Idk what America you thought you lived in, but the America we live in for 100 years says truth is something that we innovate, its truth on improv everywhere. Propositions are subject to change. W make it up as we go along. Conflicts and problems arise in culture. ME have new experience that seem to countermand out previous experience in life. Two ways to go from here: romantic way sways go back to old ways: or create a ne situation that keeps with the times. Now this might deem crazy free for all, no because there’s an inerent traditionalism in culture that is hard to change. So it take s a huge catalytic moment to make a change. And that’s what we saw yesterday. They said yesterday its not right to treat people different because it does not help our day to day experience. And this is WJ.

America is positive. We can overcome. W can overthrow king James. Pull self up by bootstraps. Nothing can stop us from propelling into the future, bright and marvelous. President,s try to prevent hurricane and the rise of the oceans. America can stop the forces of nature. Pragmatism says there’s design behind the universe, so lets just try our best and when it doesn’t work out we’ll just make corrections. John Stewart is pragmatist.

Jamesian pragmatic ism says chill out to big problems. Mainstream Americans.

New Protestant reformation says James. Authorities can claim one set of rules axioms convictions, but we’re turning it back over to the people. Every man has the last word this is pragmatism’s appeal to subsequent philosophers. Nominalistic in extreme. Truth that we come up with are merely instrumental, they get us from point A to point B.

There are no absolute truths, and therefore there’s no absolute definitions to anything. There are no absolute truths and so there’s no absolute marriages, both in definition and in commitment.

A friend of mine wrote on FB yesterday, “”. This is the climate of the country. This is how the judges ruled.

They ruled by non-ruling. This is postmodern. The opinion of not to have an opinion.

Dewey. Jameson thought. Truth established by consequence. Death nail to American intellectual life to metaphysics. D likes collective consciousness of people fighting history, helps labor union, power back to people, give rights back. Get away from Aristotelian model of truth.

Richard Rorty “Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature”. Philosophy’s job is not to tell everyone what to do, but to facilitate conversations between other discipline. Tis also becomes the pastors role as well, not to tell people what to do but to mediate between covnersations, just talk about how we all disagree, somehow there’s an inherent good in talking.

Grand vision is most democratic society we can produce, most progress for most people, everyone most access to education, health care.

 

Edmund Husserl. German math guy. Taught Heidegger. Inspired by Descartes going backward to find knowledge, but with a twist – didn’t like relativist turn in continental phil, wasn’t fan of Nietzsche. Desecrate was right to examine the contents of his own consciousness. Difference between certainty and facts. Like Descartes he uses language of searching for Archimedean point, Kantian twist in that consciousness can only be found in the transcendental ego. Don’t go out there’s to find truth.

What is consciousness? Where is it? H claims we can prove through phenomena logical deductions. Investigate our own consciousness throu which we create the world. Calls transcendental ego as consciousness. Can’t explain through evolution. Very similar to Dutch phil guy, doyoverd. says hear can’t be explained through any means in reality, why human consciousness transcends the empirical world.

Suspension of empirical world. Consciousness is not interacting with chair, rather the concept of chair-ness is present in our minds. Eidetic reduction.way to know a form of something is to analyze something in our consciousness. To know reality we need to examine our daily experiences and interactions with them.

Jamie Smith, to books about kingdom.

Departure from Kant, here is things in themselves are relative to our consciousness. Forms and essences are back. Philosophy doesn’t have to be relativistic and sceptical. But H never explains how this is done.

Problem. How do we account for inter-subjectivity? He says there’s some kind of collective consciousness going on. Gets the ball rolling, but never really explains it fully.

 

Heidegger. How do I take all the lag surge of Christians theology and redemptive history, do what Alain de Boton does, and paraphrase it in secular language? Doesn’t want the dead end of talk about existence. Being and Time, quasi-religious theme. He becomes a gateway drug for peeps who want to be religious in the most general existential way. Spiritual but not religious.

Being and Time. Dasein, same thing as transcental ego. “There being”. It’s disorienting being in the world, not knowing how to feel in life, feel dizzy, vertigo about life, feeling of falling through space.

Realize your own potential by becoming an authentic individual. Own your own story. Loud and proud. Sin is being inauthentic. Being a clone.

Joel Olsteen. Very intelligent. Highly aware. Story of Michael Bloof, arrested development. JO doesn’t want the minditey. His father died unexpectedly only know the family business. He do you keep the fan together? To into fan business. Turn it into biggest fam business ever. Being dutifull son, keep dad’s church alive. Then Fruedian aspect, do better than dad.

Lee Geenwod. Represents people in Branson, twice a day lives greatest moment of his life, sings “proud to be an American” to senior citizens.

H creates oppositions on how to become authentic individuals, existence.

 

Wittgenstein and Husserl get out together, language and hermeneutics is big deal in 20th century. Philosophy of language. Most important debate as regards contemporary theology.

 

What is postmodernism? Most important to remember: Pomo is fine with oppositions ironies contradictions, no obligation to have coherent systematic explanation of life. Pomo at root is a move and response to perceived broken promises of key institutions of society. “I trusted you”. Pomo is an allergic reaction. The world said it would give peace and happiness, at end of 20th century and now this is not plausible. Optimism of science, institutions, or govt promises are bankrupt, and now we don’t trust anybody.

Sort of a bravado of modern period….. Dawkins and friends don’t understand the times, they’re turning people off because no one believes in science anyone. A technologies advance, so eity becomes more totalitarian. Great that we have iPhone and Internet, but now we have mass spying. Pomo is a way of coping with modernism and its failures.

Yet technology is here, we want it, e want to adopt it, use it, but its getting ut of control.

Metaphor for modernity: Mo was melting down of old traditions and reacting those traditions into new shapes and moldes. Pomo is liquid Mo.

Pomo is not a worldview at all. It’s a move. Not a philosophy, but a way of approaching things.

Style of critique. Critical theory. Pomo though. Not a view of the world.

Hyper-modernity. Hy-Mo. Initial awe, subsequent boredom. iPhone came out and people felt relies about it, worshipful. Now iphone 5 is a let down.

Pomo is a subversion of power structures and authoirities that limit people abilities to flourish and be themselves. Destroy whatever limits. This theme is behind chat e in attitude toward same-gender marriage. Not so much that there’s moral dimensions, but its all about not limiting what people can do.

Marriage is an institution, it needs to be broken, the recent expansion of marriage to include gays did just that. Mark regnoress, Robby George

 

Gadamer. Sets up new idea: truth or method maybe different from science or rationality. G is important in linguistics and art theory, how audiences perceive a work of art. Influential in theological hermeneutics, talks about difficult of learning to listen well to someone from a different horizon.

Church,s job is to interpret the text. The experience of lay people is that ere achord can’t get their story straight. Different interpretations. Why is misunderstanding the norm, rather than the exception to the rule? Why different perspective?

The art of learning. Not scientific. Text breaks apart from the author, become its own thing, part of the shared institution of the culture.

 

Derrida. The power of interpretation always lies in the power of the other. Items of truth lying in the source of the one speaking, for D the power lies in the Other regarding the text and creatively trying to understand what is being said. D speaks of the artificiality of interpretation. I the video, he appears fully dressed but says this is not how he normally appears, not who he really is. He’s one persons in public, but another in private. The public man is the one giving us all this philosophy, but the private man is entirely another person. Wo was the apostle Paul? The one in his letters or the one in private?

Deconstruction is not demolition. He wants to show how text shows possibilities. Deconstruction takes any confident assertion of the truth and disturbs its tranquility. If we don’t show how we got to us axioms, they will auto-deconstruct. Always anticipate the first three deconstructions will be for each assertion (especially in preaching).

Tim Keller is a good deconstrucionist. He anticipates his audience’s questions and auto-deconstructings. “Now you might think x, y, or z.” Bt here’s the proof.”

D isn’t saying there is no interpretation of truth or that they’re all valid, but that they’re coming. Get ready. There’s never just one.

Renewed patrisitic interpretation: four fold interpretation in each text. Pedagogical, analogically, etc

Medieval age is attractive to Pomo, because many streams are flowing, not jut one.

D sees his role as interrupting history of phil as finding pure undefiled logos that interpreted everything else, the hermeneutical key that unlocks all the doors. Phil has sought one key to make sense. Plato seeks forms. John stalked of logos, word, Jesus (some think this means god, some think it means logic, like Gordon Clark:

Gordon Clark reads John 1:1 Johannine logos, translates in the beginning was the logic nd logic speaks ith god and the logic was god. Derrida would say aha I knew

Augustine is facility of divine mind. Descartes is cogito, Archimedean point. Kant logos becomes internalized in the transcendental unity of apperception (but how do we experience e inter-subjectivity?) Derrida would say that we all experience an event together but interpret it differently.

Differance is differing the meaning of the text. Putting off debate, speech, logic, meaning. Words are merely signifiers.

 

Levinas. Jewish refugee, escapes nazi’s. alterity. Interested in practice. We do violence to others in saying we np know what’s best for them (Exodus Iternational). Only at this point does god speak to someone, for god speak through the other person. Ethics is the vision of god.

 

Zizek. Interested in theory. Purely a philosopher to repair question, not answer them. Exposing people who claim to be pious and unaffected are actually idealogical and hypo ritical. We need something to replace this gestalt. We are so emerged in the ideology of cultural capitalism, we can’t think of any other way that the world can be.

 

Faucoult. Institutions try to rule us. Each group feels marginalized, none feels neutral. People want to leverage the govt to do things. Govt power is violent and antipathetic to people. Put everyone in prison state. F panopticon, prison where no cell can see anything other than its own cell, but guard tower is in center and can see what the prisoners are doing.

Watch F and Chompski debate on youtube.

 

Meillassoux. Revive realism. Kant is wrong, Kant suggests knowledge is created by the human brain. M says no, for how could the universe operate according to laws if laws are only what the human brain invent?

Knowledge is not correlationist. Phenomenology, pragmatic, all false. Rather, the universe has its own agenda, moving forward indifferent to us humans. Correlation doesn’t apply to science nor religion.

Hope for an atheist future is to give up on Kant, only have scientific law, only have evolutionary process. Next stage of evolutionary contingency will be evolution’s creation of an almighty god. For us humans the next stage is the resurrection of the body, which is possible through physics. The universe can resurrect people after they die. Christian vision is correct, but it was myth created by ancient people who were wrong, but tht doesn’t mean it won’t be true in the future.

Irrepreissibility of myth making, pressing toward hope of resurrection and structure of universe that’s bent toward justice. Use Meillassoux for science people as an end-game, tell them that M hopes science gets beyond a certain state. Perhaps we don’t agree ith one an goeth, but the most promising up and coming philosopher is openly longing for a just universe which has a future for god and a doctrine of resurrection. If this guy is crazy, maybe we’re crazy too, but we’re all in the same boat together.

“If god doesn’t exist, we’d have to create him.” Voltaire

Watch M, though he may change. Watch Zizek, cool at first, but now he provides no way forward. Will M? Provide a better myth.

If M fails, we should stop doing phil altogether and move to a brutish materialism.

 

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