Wednesday, March 21, 2018

A Confucian Debate on Human Nature: Mengzi vs. Xunzi

Is human nature basically good or bad, and why do we even think about this stuff?

  • 19 February 2018
  • Author: Scott Cherry
  • Number of views: 194
by Scott Cherry

It seems to be part of human nature to ask, What is human nature? It is a question that has been common to every people of every age, and has been a preoccupation of religion and philosophy alike.
  For the Chinese it has been predominantly viewed through the lenses of Confucianism. But, although a dominant Confucian lens emerged, there have been more than just one. The predominant lens was that of the philosopher Mengzi (Mencius) of the fourth century B.C.  He was not the founder of Confucianism; that was Kongzi (551-479 B.C.), more popularly known as Confucius in the West. But Mengzi was a self-avowed follower of Kongzi and what he called “The Way”.  Perhaps he could be called the “Augustine of Confucianism” in terms of status. As we shall see, however, the two figures had diametrically opposed views on human nature.

The Case for Libertarian Christianity

Should Conservative Christians Expect Government Regulation of Morality?

  • 31 January 2018
  • Author: Guest Blogger
  • Number of views: 314
by Christian J. Ledford
a Political Science student at UM Dearborn and contributing writer for the University's Michigan Journal

In thinking of Christianity and its requirements as a belief system, what immediately come to mind as overall principles? Faith? Love? Purity? In addition to these simplified concepts, I would add one that perhaps supersedes the others: 
choice. Although Christianity is predicated, of course, on repentance from sin and a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, the fact that underlies all Christian dogma is choice.  

Sidestepping slightly into the realm of politics, what is the political ideology of choice? What political ideology emphasizes freedom and human liberty above all else? Libertarianism. Simply put, libertarianism is the ideology of liberty, the rightwing belief that the government should be minimized to its smallest possible size and scope, only large enough to protect its citizens’ natural rights of life, liberty, and property.

The Skrbina Hoax, or Nietzsche's Delusion

Did the Apostle Paul invent Christianity? No. A Refutation of Dr. Skrbina's Argument

  • 27 November 2017
  • Author: Scott Cherry
  • Number of views: 801

Part 1: Introducing Prof. David Skrbina, his Argument, and the Counter-arguments.

Summary: This article intends to refute Prof. Skrbina's claim that the four gospels of the Bible are fictionalized accounts of Jesus perpetrated by the Apostle Paul, based on the apparent sparsity of extra-biblical references to Jesus and other claims that paint Paul as the 'mastermind' of what he calls the "Jesus Hoax". You may wish to view this video first: Jesus Myth, Self-Refuted.

How did Christianity emerge? Many believe it is owing to the information in the four gospels in the Bible’s New Testament, that there could be no Christianity without them. But how did we get them? This has been an ongoing question over the past two millennia, especially in the last 200 years with the rise of skepticism and the literary science of textual criticism. The Christian answer to this question is the claim offered by the New Testament writers themselves—that the four gospels are the true accounts of a most extraordinary man named Jesus who actually said and did the things that are reported of him by their writers. The result was the birth of the ancient Christian community fueled by Jesus Christ himself with the well-known teachings and miracles that the gospel writers attribute to him. But there are other more skeptical theories which Prof. Skrbina calls the "Jesus Hoax".

Steve and Scott Discuss 'Guided Common Descent'

Is 'guided gradualistic common descent' reasonable, scientifically?

  • 6 November 2017
  • Author: Scott Cherry
  • Number of views: 369

"There is little question that all species on earth descended from a common ancestor. Overwhelming anatomical, genetic, and fossil evidence exists for that claim."  -Dr. Michael Behe, The Edge of Evolution


"There is no evidence from developmental genetics that the kind of variations required by neo-Darwinism—namely, favorable body plan mutations—ever occur."  -Dr. Stephen C. Meyer, Darwin's Nemesis

This is a post that originated as a facebook discussion in a group called Plymouth-Canton Bible and Beer. Our subject has been 'evolution' for lack of a simpler term (forgive me, Steve). It might better be called guided evolution (small 'e', not Neo/Darwinian), or naturalistic creation, or gradualism, or guided gradualistic common descent, or even something else I made up: guided macro natural selection. Steve and I have had trouble nailing down the preferred term so I have come to call it < >.  That's the one Steve espouses. The alternative that I espouse is what I have decided to call "Immediate Vocal Creation" or 'special creation' which I hope needs no further explanation, except to say it is the opposite of gradualism. But presently our discussion is not about the Bible or theology, nor about the age of the earth. The question before us is, "Is the Christian version of 'guided gradualistic common descent' reasonable, scientifically?" Steve's position is 'yes' and mine is 'no'.  If you want to review the discussion you can do that by starting with Steve's original post on 10/19 or by clicking here: 

In Praise of Reason (part 2)

Preface to the Author's New Book, "The Reason of Reason: How Reason, Logic and Intelligibility are Evidence for God"

  • 13 September 2017
  • Author: Scott Cherry
  • Number of views: 820
Why does reason work?

This is a question we will explore in my new book, The Reason of Reason. I think there are only three possible answers: The universe, God (some kind of intelligent omni-being), or ‘unknown’.  If we dismiss ‘unknown’ as not a real answer at all then of course there are only two.  This is philosophy, of the sort that a college undergrad encounters in, say, Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy or Religion, or even Intro to Philosophy.  But it is also a kind of theology known as Natural Theology.  Today in academia there seems to be a great divide between philosophy and theology, but in centuries past that was not the case.

*There is a 14-point syllogism that captures my whole argument in the Read More section. You can order your copy of The Reason of Reason on Amazon