Monday, January 26, 2015

16 Reasons Why I Believe In God: (12) Love

Aristotle said genuine friendship is only possible between people who love each other for what they are in themselves, not for what they get out of each other.[1] In other words, true love is altruistic and selfless. For Aristotle, relationships that are ultimately driven by selfish goals are not altruistic and therefore not real love.

A little honest self-reflection reveals that altruism is the kind of love that our hearts long for, as well as our highest standard of virtue. Not only do we long to be loved simply for who we are (as opposed to what people get from us), we also long to be the kind of person who loves others that way. Our collective admiration for people like Mother Teresa and suffering heroes is evidence of this very human fact. We long for altruistic, self-sacrificial love -- both to receive it and to give it. If materialism is true, however, then altruism is merely an illusion of our evolutionary programming. To put it another way, if God does not exist, then there is no such thing as love.

Friday, January 9, 2015

The Singularity Is Not As Near As You Think

One of the world's leading neuroscientists, Christof Koch, has some fascinating theories about consciousness and computers. He believes it is possible, in principle, for a computer to become truly conscious, but only in a very specific way. Transhumanists the world over will applaud. But not so fast. If Koch's views are correct, it also means that the ultimate hope of many transhumanists - that is, to eventually upload their mind and live forever inside a computer - is never going to happen.

Monday, November 17, 2014

3 Unique Christmas Gift Ideas for Your Creative and Inquisitive Loved Ones

As Christmas draws near, you may be brainstorming about what gifts you'd like to give your loved ones. For those of you with creative and inquisitive friends or relatives, finding the right gift for them can feel daunting. If you want a special, unique, or creative gift to show your loved ones how much you care, consider a class or membership instead of a sweater! These are the types of experiences that people don't always want to buy for themselves, and can be a thoughtful way to give them something they might not otherwise try. I have several current and upcoming options that would make excellent and unique gifts this Christmas. You cannot get these anywhere else.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Support PhiloLogos: Become a Patron and Get Cool Rewards!

I launched PhiloLogos in 2010 with the goal of creating a place to share my writing and music. It has grown more than I expected, and the response from you, the readers, has been extremely supportive. Many of you have expressed a desire to read and hear more. So that's what I want to do - create and share more. There is now a new way that you can help me do that, called Patreon.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Superstition Has Not Made Kansas City Great; Love Has [CAPC]

My hometown of Kansas City, Missouri is hot right now, mainly because the Royals are hot right now. One of the reasons why the Royals currently have such massive appeal is because they were so awful and despised for so long; America loves a comeback story. But the Royals’ recent success is not merely an isolated matter of luck and timing. Their success is taking place in the context of a much bigger story of what has been happening in Kansas City over the last couple of decades — and it goes much deeper than baseball or even sports. As a lifetime KC resident, I can tell you that when President Obama recently remarked, “Something is going on in Kansas City,” he was right. And this “something” is more interesting and mysterious than people realize.

Read the rest of my article over at Christ and Pop Culture.

Image via Ian Munroe (license).

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A Cure for Beauty: How a Quest for Beautiful Music Turned Into Something Greater [CAPC]

Ever since high school, the beauty of music has been the primary thing to transport me and give me a deep sense of meaning and wonder. So much so, that I immersed myself into music, started a rock band, and took a shot at being a career musician. I wanted my life to be musical—I wanted it to be like the perfect song... It wouldn’t be until years later that I would realize it was not music I was chasing all that time, it was beauty.

Read the rest of my story over at Christ and Pop Culture.

*If you like this article, please consider supporting my writing by becoming a patron, and get cool rewards in return.

Illustration courtesy of Seth T. Hahne. Check out his graphic novel and comic review site, Good Ok Bad.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

16 Reasons Why I Believe In God: (11) Beauty

Have you ever experienced something so beautiful that you felt as though it deserved your adoration? Perhaps it was a work of art, a song, a sunset, or the smile of a loved one. I've experienced that many times.

The feeling that such experiences evoke in us is not merely one of subjective, individual taste. Rather, it is a strong conviction that the thing (or person) we are beholding is objectively beautiful, and therefore worthy of praise and appreciation. In the moment that we are transfixed by beauty, we no longer believe the cliche, "beauty is in the eye of the beholder." Nor do we believe that beauty is merely a cultural construction instilled in us by society. Rather, in that moment, we are firmly convinced that beauty is "out there." If materialism is true, however, beauty is not out there - it is all in our head (or our DNA). In other words, if God does not exist, then beauty is merely an illusion.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Want Help With Songwriting?

I've been writing songs for about 20 years. It's exhilarating! There's really nothing like the joy of creating an original work of music and lyrics.

Over the years, I've personally coached others, and sometimes teach songwriting classes. I'm now making these services available to anyone online.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A Sermon On Beauty

A few weeks ago I had the privilege of speaking at Bridgeport Community Church, where my wife and I call home. I spoke on "The Source of All Beauty." Those of you that are following my "16 Reasons..." blog series might find the sermon interesting - it's a little preview of what's to come in the next few posts of the series. I hope you find it helpful and encouraging.

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Image - Wiki Commons: Krzysztof Mizera

Sunday, April 27, 2014

"God's Not Dead" and the Angry Atheist Professor: That Was Not My Experience [CAPC]

In several ways, my life is similar to Josh Wheaton, the main character and hero of the recent movie God’s Not Dead. I grew up in a conservative evangelical home (the son of a preacher). I considered myself a devout Christian throughout high school and later when I enrolled at a very progressive state university and chose to major in philosophy. I quickly learned that all of my philosophy professors were either atheists or agnostics (to my knowledge), and that several of them are rock stars in their respective fields. One professor, Clancy Martin, is even considered an expert on Nietzsche, whose famous statement “God is dead” is where the film derived its title. So, from just about every angle, one could easily have expected that my college experience would equal or exceed the combative anti-Christian environment of Josh Wheaton’s philosophy class depicted in the film.

But it didn’t. It was the complete opposite.

Read about the rest of my experience over at Christ and Pop Culture.

*If you like this article, please consider supporting my writing by becoming a patron, and get cool rewards in return.