On the accusation of being a gnostic

Twice now in recent days I have been accused by idealistic men of "education" and some standing in their religious communities of being a"gnostic". Both are fathers. Both are professors. Both are serious to some degree. Both seemed to be reacting to something that I will continue to press on the kind of which they …

The righteous (virtuous) pagan

A category used to identify those who were never evangelized while they lived but who however lived lives that seemed unworthy of condemnation and damnation. Examples? Heraclitus, Parmenides, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Trajan, Virgil. More recently Karl Rhaner has coined the virtuous pagan as an anonymous Christian. Have you heard the gospel? This begs questions …

Feeling as information versus feeling as direction

The Stoics were right. Apatheia, or freedom from passion, is an accurate negative characterization of the ideal state. But that freedom from can be interpreted in different ways and so lead to different efforts on behalf of the student of virtue. The problematic interpretation is to understand the Stoic to be recommending no feeling. In …

On Enduring Feeling

One can see, even from an imperfect vision, that either there is only movement according to the sensible in us such as inclination or desire or there is movement according to something independent of the sensible. One can acknowledge that one is only confronted with appearance, sensation and feeling, even when searching out the one …

The analogy between indulgences and climate change government spending.

In both there is the unverifiable catastrophe in the distant (but not too distant) future. In the Catholic church there is the final judgment where ones behavior now is going to result in some pain and suffering later. In the climate change church there is no end to the catastrophes: increased natural disaster, starvation, violence...Either …

A Phenomenology of Effort Through Time

There is beginning, middle and end to anything and everything on this old clod. And we might as well mediate on that for a moment. A moment? It has beginning, middle and end. Plato says that this realm is the realm of "coming to be" and "passing away". Do not let it escape you. It …

“Ask and You Shall Receive”, an interpretation

There are at least three components repeated in the Gospels. First, there is the straightforward claim that asking, seeking and knocking will be received, found and opened. Second, there is the "in my name" condition. Third, there is the "really mean it and don't doubt" condition. First, that we will always and unavoidably get what …

Helping Others

Help, as an intended act, is complex, and difficult. First, help requires clarity of sight in the helper. Clarity of sight is a combination of good character and prudence (practical wisdom). The good character (temperance, fortitude, justice, magnanimity) of the helper and the practical wisdom necessary are correlated. Development in the one is not possible …