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2 Issues or Problems in the West
There are, in a general sense, 2 Issues or Problems in the West dealing with philosophy and the story of the Great Books and the question of "Reason." Issue 1: Is it "reasonable" to say the Natural Revelation of the Good, the Right, and the True is real, or is all just a matter of opinion, preference, and cultural relativity with no objective truth to the proper Nature of things and to true Good? Issue 2: Is it reasonable to take the Special Revelation of the Bible as true? Or, must the Bible by its very nature be a mere mythology comparable to the mythology of all other world religions, as the material or secular humanist and the spiritual or cosmic humanist say, usually because they have ruled out from the start a literal God of Genesis 1:1 (as well as a Logos of the Natural Revelation of John 1:1). If there is a God of Genesis 1:1, then it is possible, but not proven, that the Bible is true morally, theologically, and historically. But, What does historical analysis say? This video mini-series, 2 Issues or Problems in the West, is a prelude to our next Great Book, the New Testament, which will follow.
Archive of VIDEO Programs (258-292)
On the Natural and Special Revelations in Philosophy
from the series "2 Issues or Problems in the West">>>>
(This series Programs 271 to 292 dealt with the 2 (philosophical) Revelations as they will emerge in Classical Christian Philosophy, that is, the Natural Revelation and the Special Revelation.These videos followed our conclusion of Greek & Roman natural philosophy, before starting The New Testament of the Special Revelation in the fall of 2008. Arguably, if you can understand the relationship between the Natural and Special Revelations, you can understand almost everything in philosophy, and if not, almost nothing? )
(Most recent video Programs at top...)
Program 292: 2 Issues or Problems in the West
Part XXII: Reason & Natural Revelation, Reason & Special Revelation
Today, why the so-called "swoon theory" (which is what Durant argues, but not by that name) is much more complicated and less plausible than simple conspiracy theories, which Durant (as an eminent humanist historian) has already rejected as totally unreasonable. Think of all the things that would have to happen to make the "swoon theory" work, because if you take a live, breathing body down off the cross, you are not going to seal him in a tomb but attempt to nurse him back to life and, hence, start yet another more complex round of conspiracies, and you still have to deal with the body, which does, in fact, die a week or so later, etc.!
Click on the links below for Program 292 of "The Story of The Great Books":
For the VIDEO in Broadband "High Speed" (cable, etc.):
Final "2 Issues" marker board>>> Program 292 Photo Bottom-line? Even the most humanist historian by mid-20th century concedes it is a fact of history based on Reason and rational historical investigation that Jesus walked out of the grave. And with Russellís failures and Crickís concession, we also know now that there is a God of Moral Order, First Cause, and of Design and life in the Natural Revelation, again, based on Reason. This means the 2 Issues or Problems of the 2 Revelations (Special and Natural) for mankindís knowledge on earth are resolved and have been for a good 50 years, and I bet you did not learn that in school!!! "Why?" It just isnít taught in public or private, religious or secular education. "Why?" Because your professors were still operating inside the now discredited material-humanist paradigm that came out of the 18th century "Enlightenment"... But, regardless, Wells, as a humanist historian in relationship to the Resurrection of the Special Revelation, is something like Russell is, as a humanist philosopher, in relationship to the Natural Revelation. (Both fail in their efforts.) And Durant, as a humanist historian, is something like Crick, as a humanist scientist, each of these last two refusing to follow his own argument by Reason where it leads, in the Special and Natural Revelation, respectively! And the first two, Wells and Russell, are just wrong and unreasonable in their anti-Special Revelation and anti-Natural Revelation positions. In any case, we now "know," for almost all intents and purposes, "God did it" whether, causing Jesus to walk out of the tomb, as, now, an historical fact, or in creating unbelievably complex life, as a scientific fact! Just as Cicero will be taught for the next 1000 years, as he was (for 1800 years) up until the 18th and 19th century, so too the Biblical cosmology will be taught for the next 1000 years pretty much as it was taught (for 1300 to 1400 years) in the West from Augustine (d. 430 AD) to the 18th century. The sum is the rise in modern science in the 18th century was insufficient reason for rejecting the Biblical cosmology. For us in the early 21st century, this a bit of a paradigm shift, by historical standards, in manís recent "knowledge" on earth just as promised! Actually, the paradigm shift has been "in the can" for some decades now, but we are, for the most part, as human beings on planet earth, just coming to deal with it... in fact, for both Revelations... And we, here, are not really "proving" anything, as such, here, so much as just "pointing out" what has already happened over the past 100 years, and even 200 to 300 years, indeed 4000 years, when you get right down to it. Pretty simple really... So, next time... now scheduled for Monday, September 29, 2008, we will pick up where we left off with the same marker board with the The New Testament as a now understood to be actual "fact of history," by Reason! So, "proven" (or at least "pointed out"!) for the next 1000 years!
Program 291: 2 Issues or Problems in the West
Part XXI: Reason & Natural Revelation, Reason & Special Revelation
Today, one of my favorite humanist authors, the great humanist historian Will Durant, takes on the Resurrection in almost mid-20th century, and he concludes, given the virtual firsthand accounts of the Gospels, that there is not a way in the world that Jesus did not walk out of the grave or, at least, so the immediate followers thought and were so convinced. So? Durant is going to go with the obvious humanist "solution," namely, Jesus must not have died!
This idea of "no death" of Jesus (he only "swooned," as the expression goes), when unpacked, has many more problems than outright conspiracy theories, since the dead body, which lives temporarily, must be disposed of! And you eventually must have mere " stories" of "Resurrection," knowing he did not really die. In essence, with Durant in mid-20th century we have something of another Francis Crick, not wanting to go where the argument clearly leads, to any rational person, namely, "God did it," except this time it is not about the Natural Revelation and explaining the design of DNA, but about the Special Revelation, and Jesus' walking out of the tomb, undeniably! The humanist historian Durant so concedes, in effect, given the undeniable firsthand accounts, as he analyzes them, as an eminent humanist historian! The implications of this for a humanist demise in relationship to the Special Revelation and to historical (not mere philosophical) analysis about it cannot be overstated. Obviously...
Program 283: 2 Issues or Problems in the West
Part XIII: Reason & Natural Revelation, Reason & Special Revelation
"Who has believed our report, and to whom has the Arm of the Lord been revealed?" (Isaiah 53:1) Get this down, and you will understand not only the process of analyzing historical verification (versus mere hearsay and long oral tradition) but the Special Revelation of Scripture in particular. But how do you "prove" any historical event actually happened, whether of Caesar, Washington, or Jesus? And, further, is the entire cosmology of Christianity true? Yes,... if Jesus walked out of the grave... But is this a reasonable claim? As reasonable as Caesar crossing the Rubicon? Or Washington crossing the Delaware? In fact, much more reasonable... Maybe...
At 29:30 minutes, one might say, technically, science is a type of metaphysical truth about the nature of the material world, but the point is hardly worth arguing with the materialist humanist because he simply cannot see it, and he has so many other more pressing problems. Today's marker board>> Program 283 Photo Actually, the entire Christian cosmology stands or falls here with the Resurrection, just as Paul says on Mars' Hill, and just as one of historyís most famous humanists, David Hume, also says in denying even the possibility of a Resurrection. Again, Hume asserts, but does not argue (to establish the assumption) as Russell will 200 years later that there is no possible way a resurrection could happen... that is, unless there is a God of Genesis 1:1, so there is no problem with a possible resurrection says Hume, implicitly, since he simply assumes "no God." So, in effect, all agree we must "look and see" (as I like to say) to resolve this matter. Historyís most radical atheist and historyís most radical Christian agree?! We must "look and see" using the historical method, and then let the chips fall where they may!!! For the Resurrection and ultimately the entire Christian cosmology!!! Everything is on the table!!! Fasten your philosophical seat belts! Please!
Program 281: 2 Issues or Problems in the West
Part XI: Reason & Natural Revelation, Reason & Special Revelation
If you can follow todayís Program, you can probably follow almost any argument of philosophy, in the big picture, anyway. The Question of the Special Revelation (the Bible) is: Is faith versus reason, or is faith based on reason? Is Biblical faith mere "superstition" or "mythology," or are there good and valid reasons to believe the Special Revelation of the Bible is true, and the Resurrection is true in particular?
At 2:47 minutes I say Marsí Hill is "the entire message of the Gospel." That is not correct, specifically, of course. The Gospel is Jesus died on the cross for our sins and rose again to give us new life in Him. However, Paul is trying to set up the entire story of man from the creation to the final judgment (an entire cosmology, proved by the Resurrection) in order to have a context for the Gospel for the Gentile, as such. The humanist has argued if there is no God of Genesis 1:1, the Bible cannot be true, and, hence, there is no reason to investigate its historical, moral, theological, and covenant claims, assertions, and accounts, but we have seen in taking down Russell, this starting assumption of the humanist is not and was never very reasonable (and was entirely un-reasonable after the 1950s), and, hence, it is entirely possible the Bible is true, that is, if there is good reason to believe there is a God, which there is, and if there is good reason to believe the historical accounts, when and if we bother to go "look and see." That is, you cannot refute the Biblical historical accounts a priori, as necessarily " myth" without checking them out, if there is some good reason to believe there may be a God, which we now know there is with Russellís downfall, and with him down go all of modern and postmodern humanism as well as spiritual liberalism! (Good grief! My goodness, is this a spiritual/ historical Armageddon, or what? No more "metaphor"? No more " figurative analogy"? A possibly very real Revelation of 19:11- 20:6? Who would have ever guessed?)
Program 280: 2 Issues or Problems in the West
Part X: Reason & Natural Revelation, Reason & Special Revelation
So, What is on the table for all mankind and for all history? It is: Is the Christian cosmology true? That is, Creation, Satanís fall from heaven, the creation of earth and man, manís fall, and Godís interaction in covenant with Abraham and Moses, and ultimately a redemption and spiritual restoration in Christ, the City of God and the City of Man, and ultimately a Kingdom Era, and then at the end of time a Final Judgment, and even a new heaven and new earth?
Program 280 of "The Story of The Great Books":
Further, postmodern humanism arose (pretty much after the destruction of World War II) by asking what follows if modern (no God) humanism is true, which we now know, it is not? The postmodernist says "everything is absurd." Well, true, clearly, but Christians have been saying this since Dostoevsky pointed this out famously! Everything is permissible or okay, if there is no GOD! And, hence, life and history are a meaningless "tale told by an idiot full of sound and fury signifying nothing"! But, this is not so, if there is an actual Sovereign God of history, and an actual Creator, Designer, and entire Christian cosmology from the Creation to the Final Judgment, proved or confirmed by the Resurrection, says Paul on Mars' Hill!
Program 279: 2 Issues or Problems in the West
Part IX: Reason & Natural Revelation, Reason & Special Revelation
It is worth noting, again, that Russell was not simply claiming to be more reasonable, as virtually all humanists do, but he actually bothers to do the leg-work, so to speak, of actual argument and not just assumption, that is, he makes the specific "arguments," which to my knowledge no other humanists have had the courage or intelligence to do in the past 300 years for the Natural Revelation. And that is why when he fails, for certain (after the 1950s), he takes all of humanism down with him, and the whole Christian cosmology, as such, can stand as true, quite reasonably, if Christ walked out of the grave, says Paul correctly on Mars' Hill. (So, we have come full circle, as it were.)
Paper Pad Photo>>> Program 279 Paper Pad Again, The Humanist Manifesto in 1933 (just a few years after Russellís 1927 essay) is a manifesto, not an argument, but a mere list of 15 points of what follows if one accepts the idea there is no God, which is never proven or addressed, only assumed, as Hume also did with his material-facts-only empiricism, but not so with Russell, who went to bat in argument for the whole of modern humanism, but failed! Again, Russellís arguments on no Design and no Creation had some credibility before the 1950s, perhaps, but afterwards, not even close! Russell would agree with Hume that the Resurrection is "impossible" if there is no God (but so does the Christian!) Again, Humeís argument against the Resurrection is that if there is no God of Genesis 1:1, then the Resurrection could not have happened (that is, naturalistically)! Well, duh, Mr. Hume, even the Christian agrees with that! All Hume really did, in effect, or actually, technically, is prove that if the Resurrection did happen, then there is a God of Genesis 1:1! I do not think that was his intention! David Hume is perhaps the greatest materialist humanist of the 18th and even 19th century, and in reality The Humanist Manifesto does the same thing (as Hume) by asking if there is no God, then what follows? I am not sure that all their 15 points do follow, but it hardly matters, since they have zero arguments for no GOD. Hence, in the 20th century, Russell, one of Humeís philosophical descendants, is far superior to both Hume and The Humanist Manifesto. Russell actually attempts the philosophical arguments to prove the assumptions of Humanism! And it is ultimately for all history, no less. When Russell fails the entire cosmological paradigm of the last 200 to 300 years of modern humanism, postmodern humanism, and for the most part modern religious liberalism is toast. Hence, this series of Programs is probably the most important we have ever done, and Russellís essay is probably the most important humanist document ever written in modernity, or antiquity. (However, as Paul argues on Marsí Hill, if Jesus did walk out of the grave, the entire Christian cosmology is true or verified by that specific historical Special Revelation fact! But, is that claim "reasonable"?)
Program 278: 2 Issues or Problems in the West
Part VIII: Reason & Natural Revelation, Reason & Special Revelation
We finish up Russellís "Why I am not a Christian" today and prepare to go on to other things since all the humanists of modernity and all history have now bitten the dirt, tragically! If the main arguments of the main humanist figures fail, the worldview fails. Russell understands this completely. Again, for the most part so-called "Enlightenment" humanists assumed amoral atheism was true without doing the actual arguments, which Russell finally gets around to in 1927, and, hence, modern humanism pretty much stands or falls philosophically with this essay, as well as postmodern humanism and the humanism of antiquity. (And, of course, Christian and even Jewish liberalism are also based on these faulty philosophical concepts.) What this means is we are in a paradigm shift of historical proportions for human knowledge on planet earth (no small matter, out of materialist humanism) and have been since the 1950s, but we are just starting to come to grips with the literal truth of the Christian cosmology, and what this means for not just human knowledge, but life on earth...
Click on the links below for Program 278 of "The Story of The Great Books":
For the VIDEO in Broadband "High Speed" (cable, etc.):
Paper Pad Photo>>>Program 278 Paper Pad Humanism (of the Natural Revelation) is dead in the water, and the literal Biblical Christian cosmology (of the Special Revelation) from the Creation to the Final Judgment stands, if Christ walked out of the grave. You might say of all of this, amazingly, modern science in the second half of the 20th century pretty well "proved" the existence of God, once and for all for mankind on earth with the DNA/ complex life problem, and the created universe problem, and the really undeniable moral law within, for 99% of mankind, anyway. However, the Biblical cosmology specifically is proven by Jesusí walking out of the grave, says Paul on Marsí Hill, and this is entirely possible with the downfall of Russellís classic materialist humanism in the Natural Revelation. Bottom-line: The Argument of First Cause is in Aristotle, of course, (the Unmoved Mover is similar but not exactly the same). The problem is: if there is a creation, then it must start with an Uncaused Cause outside of the system, if not, then it had a Cause and is not the cause of the First Cause! The oscillating universe theory is an attempt to get around this problem, but it is all metaphysical ad hoc arguments and even silliness really. The Argument by Design goes back (at least) to Platoís Architect of the chaos into a cosmos, and the moral law within goes back clearly to Socrates, though you will rarely find that in philosophy textbooks. Socrates says, famously, "The unexamined life is not worth living!" Unexamined for what? Real moral virtue and good! And, hence, Plato follows Socrates with his theories of the Good, which is where Russell aims his guns on saying the moral law itself is not "real" and "good" (and of "God")! But, Heraclitus got the whole ball rolling with the Rational Nature of things as the very point of philosophy (the Logos), which is the philosophical theme of Francis Bacon, Newton, and even Einstein, it is said, famously, in the quote, "God does not play dice with the universe." In essence, Einstein, apparently, believed (in effect) in the Logos, that is, in the naturally ordered world or universe, but not the Creator, as such, you might say. And, so, here we are...
Program 277: 2 Issues or Problems in the West
Part VII: Reason & Natural Revelation, Reason & Special Revelation
Today, we continue with Russellís "Why I am not a Christian" or what I think should be called, "Why Christianity is Un-Reasonable" for Bertrand Russell in particular and humanism, philosophically, in general. This, today, is the Argument for (or against) God by Design, Part II, and all heavy weight scientists tend to agree that an ultimate naturalistic humanism is totally and completely and ultimately destroyed at this point in the 1950s because we now know the design or information system of DNA could not have happened naturalistically by any naturalistic process we know of, nor can even possibly imagine, as argued Crick, the discoverer of DNA, no less! Prior to complex life and complex cells, and DNA, etc., the Argument by Design was technically something of a "draw." That is, the universe has an apparent Design, but maybe that is just the way universes exist! But, we cannot say that of life, for we now know after the 1950s that "the design" of life and its complex information structures are not the product of naturalistic processes, nor even any we can imagine...
It is, of course, virtually "illegal" in the good ole US of A to tell our youth almost any of this these days, tragically. In any case, it is all a matter of cosmology, that is: either a God of Genesis1;1 and, ultimately, a resurrected Christ, and a final Judgment in all history, on the one hand, or complete atheism, on the other. There is no middle ground, for spiritual liberals whether Christian or Jewish, let alone for New Age and Gnostic spiritualities, ...all true lightweights, sorry. Please note, complex life, cells, etc. are not just a classic unresolved anomaly for Darwinian macro-evolution, but a "ship-sinker" or "paradigm-changer," especially when coupled with virtually zero transitional fossil record, let alone no massive fossil record, now all concede (as even Gould did as the basis of his theory, no less), and given the fact we pretty well know mutation and natural selection are not strong enough to power the entire train or change of macro-evolution. For this reason, Darwin could have, and probably should have, named his book the Origin, or Cause, of the Variation within Species. We used to think the whole of Darwinian evolution was true with the sole problem of the "missing link" to man, but we now know it is virtually a missing chain (from dirt to man)! We are in a paradigm shift for mankind on earth where we can say almost for certain, as a fact of knowledge, there is a Designer (or "X-factor"!) as well as a Creator or Uncaused Cause or Self-existent Cause behind everything. Namely God?! (No more "X-factor"?) We know, as well, there is a real moral Good, and, hence, God, unless you are morally depraved! All three arguments work for God, and it is simply silly for Russell to say there can be no God of Christianity in particular, because if he (Russell) were God, he would not have a hell! All that argument shows is Russell is being self-consistent after having argued that here is no real moral Good to judge anyone by! Please note: Russell, famously, does not use the fairly common (lightweight) atheist argument of "the problem evil" to justify his atheist position. As Russell correctly states elsewhere, if there is "no God," there is and can be no "problem of evil" ("everything" just "is"), and, hence, to address "the problem of evil" is to concede there is a God, the very thing the atheist is trying to disprove. (Russell is, clearly, pretty "nuts," but not stupid!)
Program 272: 2 Issues or Problems in the West
Part II: Reason & Natural Revelation, Reason & Special Revelation
What is reasonable in the Natural Revelation and in the Special Revelation? Are values facts in the Natural Revelation? And is faith reasonable in the Special Revelation? Or, that is to ask, Is the Christian Biblical faith a type of Reason? (Just as values are a type of facts!) Today's marker board photo>> Program 272 Photo
Click on the links below for Program 272 of "The Story of The Great Books":
For the VIDEO in Broadband "High Speed" (cable, etc.):
Archive of "The Later Stoics" & "A Timeline Pause,"
which we did after Plato and Aristotle>>>>>
(most recent video Programs at top)
Program 270: West and East
Fulfillment: Later Stoics, Buddhism, Tao, & larger cosmological & religious questions
I studied a few years under some of the leading Buddhist monks and scholars of the world. They were from Sri Lanka, in those days called Ceylon. Not your California or Colorado gurus that come to the West to exploit unsuspecting Americans, but rather they were some of the most respected Eastern Buddhist minds in the world on this subject, and they really believed it. It was a wonderful experience and truly "the real thing"! (Marker board photo from the video>> Program 270 Photo)
The Buddhist cosmology fails, of course for modern man, namely an eternal universe, and they make the same or a similar mistake as the Later Stoics, which is denying pleasure or passion itself. The goal of the Buddhist? To escape both good and bad desire for desirelessness! I have known numerous, if not many, Westerners who thought they were "Buddhists," but never one who understood the actual philosophy, and its massive self-denial, and its numerous shortcomings. Buddhism is remarkably similar to Later Stoicism, and even bears a certain similar resemblance to Hinduism as Later Stoicism does to the pagan religions of antiquity. In any case, Later Stoicism is significantly different than the Middle Stoicism of Cicero, but regardless join us next time as move on to the question of the Special Revelation of the Bible...
Program 258: Timeline Pause I
The aftermath (after Cicero), and the moral collapse of the Roman Empire, & eventually St. Augustine emerges
Today, we are back... and refreshed and ready to go! I even gave the whole staff a couple of weeks off! Fasten your philosophical seatbelts!!! One more time! I will do a lot summaries today that should be very familiar by now, and then on to the two big splits: One is of the Natural Revelation as seen in both Cicero versus the Epicureans in antiquity as well as in the Christians versus the materialist humanist Philosophes of the 18th century, and it is about the question: Are values facts, based on Reason, and so forth? And, the second big question, as we move on now to the big question of the Special Revelation of the Bible, becomes the question: Is faith based on Reason? (in such matters as, Did Jesus walk out of the grave? Did Moses get the Law on Mt. Sinai? etc.). "Yes!" to both questions about Reason say the 17th and 18th century Christians such as Sir Isaac Newton and John Wesley, etc. as well as the ancients such as Justin Martyr and Saint Augustine etc. But, "No!" to both questions say the materialist humanist Philosophes of the 18th century (as Voltaire, Hume etc.). Of course, the Epicureans do not address the question, "Is faith based on Reason?" since it has not yet become an issue for them in antiquity. In any case, there are two major questions of Western Civilization: 1.) Are values based on Reason? and 2.) Is the Christian faith based on Reason? The answer to both questions is "Yes!" And, also, today, our "Timeline Pause" Photo! Program 258 Photo
Click on the links below for Program 258 of "The Story of The Great Books":
For the VIDEO in Broadband "High Speed" (cable, etc.):