Tuesday, March 30, 2010

On Jean-Paul Sartre And Sartre's Phenomenology

"In general, Sartre's outlook is something of a hodge-podge of different ideas hammered somewhat idiosyncratically into a system, which never received the refinements to which an academic career would have exposed his thought."

"Sartre took courses in philosophy and psychology, and was known as a voracious reader, a prankster, and a composer of bawdy lyrics, and as something of a boxer. He was small and ugly but exceptionally strong."

"Sometime in 1932, on one of his breaks from Le Havre, Sartre had his famous conversation with Raymond Aron and Simone de Beauvoir in a Paris cafe about phenomenology. Aron was on holiday from Berlin where he was studying Husserlian phenomenology at the French Institute. Sartre had been talking about his study on contingency when Aron mentioned Husserlian phenomenology as a way of getting to concrete things themselves. According to de Beauvoir's recollections, Aron explained to Sartre that, as a phenomenologist, one could talk about the very glass on the table. According to de Beauvoir, Sartre almost turned pale with emotion. Sartre was so excited, he dragged de Beauvoir around the Paris bookshops to find something on Husserl and found Levina's study which he devoured, and from which he discovered that Husserl knew of contingency, the concept Sartre himself was exploring."

- Dermot Moran, Jean-Paul Sartre, in Introduction to Phenomenology (New York: Routledge Press, 2007).

Thursday, March 25, 2010

On Jesus Christ: The Bread Of Life And Sovereign Holy One Of God

65 And He was saying, “For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.” 66 As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore. 67 So Jesus said to the twelve, “You do not want to go away also, do you?” 68 Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life. 69 “We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God.” 70 Jesus answered them, “Did I Myself not choose you, the twelve, and yet one of you is a devil?"

- John 6:65-69

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

On Anselm: Remembering, Thinking, And Loving

I know Anselm takes some flack for the ontological argument. But it is really only from a partial reading from Chapter 2 of the Proslogion. However, if you reads the intro to the Proslogion you might agree: Anselm would have been appalled at the use of his work in "proving" God. Follow the argument from the prologue and perhaps you might see a different voice from Anselm. Chapters 16-26 are amazing. It's a short work; give it a go and let me know what you think. Anyways, the point is this: Anselm truly loved God, and I sometimes find myself reiterating his thoughts. Consider this excerpts from Chapter 1; they read like a prayer:

"Let me seek you in loving you; let me love you in finding you. Let me find you in loving you; let me love you in finding you. "I acknowledge, Lord, and I thank you, that you have created in me this image of you so that I may remember you, think of you, and love you. Yet this image is so eroded by my vices, so clouded by the smoke of my sins, that it cannot do what i twas created to do unless you renew and refashion it."

- St. Anselm, Proslogion, trans. Thomas Williams (Indianapolis: Hacket Publishing Co.1995).

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

On Society, Individuality, Freedom, And The Perversion Of Rights

There is an even more profound aspect which needs to be emphasized: freedom negates and destroys itself, and becomes a factor leading to the destruction of others, when it no longer recognizes and respects its essential link with the truth. When freedom, out of a desire to emancipate itself from all forms of tradition and authority, shuts out even the most obvious evidence of an objective and universal truth, which is the foundation of personal and social life, then the person ends up by no longer taking as the sole and indisputable point of reference for his own choices the truth about good and evil, but only his subjective and changeable opinion or, indeed, his selfish interest and whim.

This view of freedom leads to a serious distortion of life in society. If the promotion of the self is understood in terms of absolute autonomy, people inevitably reach the point of rejecting one another. Everyone else is considered an enemy from whom one has to defend oneself. Thus society becomes a mass of individuals placed side by side, but without any mutual bonds. Each one wishes to assert himself independently of the other and in fact intends to make his own interests prevail. Still, in the face of other people's analogous interests, some kind of compromise must be found, if one wants a society in which the maximum possible freedom is guaranteed to each individual. In this way, any reference to common values and to a truth absolutely binding on everyone is lost, and social life ventures on to the shifting sands of complete relativism. At that point, everything is negotiable, everything is open to bargaining: even the first of the fundamental rights, the right to life.

- Pope John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae, March 1995, §19d-20

Thursday, March 18, 2010

On Social Justice

Then Samuel said, "Bring me Agag, the king of the Amalekites." And Agag came to him cheerfully. And Agag said, "Surely the bitterness of death is past." But Samuel said, "As your sword has mde women childless, so shall your mother be childless among women." And Samuel hewed Agag to pieces before the LORD at Gilgal.
- 1Samuel 15:32f

Friday, March 12, 2010

On The Accessibility Of Husserl's Cartesian Meditations

"That Husserl's Cartesian Meditations is his most widely read work is not surprising. It is short, available in paperback, and its subtle - 'An Introduction to Phenomenology' -promises accessibility. As such an introduction, however, the work must be judged a dismal failure."
- A. D. Smith, Routledge Philosophy GuideBook to: Husserl and the Cartesian Meditations (London: Routledge, 2003).

Thursday, March 11, 2010

On The Angelic Salutation And Faith

The Angelic Salutation:

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee;

Blessed art thou among women,

And blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners,

Now and at the hour of our death.


Ave Maria gratia plena Dominus tecum

Benedicta tu in mulieribus

Et benedictus Fructus uentris tui Iesus

Sancta Maria mater Dei ora pro nobis peccatoribus

Nunc et in hora mortis


C.f. Luke 11:28f

While Jesus was saying these things, one of the women in the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, “Blessed is the womb that bore You and the breasts at which You nursed.” But He said, “On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.”

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

On Teleology And Society

"We live in a culture that has cut us off from our ultimate destination. The mantra of the humanist and of the naturalist is this: We have come from nothing, and we are bound for nothing. We are told that as human beings, we are the result of the chance collision of atoms, that we have emerged gratuitously from the slime. We are at best cosmic accidents. Our origin is insignificant, and our destiny is equally insignificant. We've come from the dust, and we will return to the dust, and human life is a tiny blip between those two points of origin and destination.

The folly of the humanist is that he says our origin is meaningless and our destiny is meaningless, but in between these two poles, life is meaningful, and humans have dignity. If ever there was a philosophy built upon wish projection, this is the one. If indeed our origin is meaningless and our destiny is meaningless, it would be impossible t have any significant meaning in between.

The purpose of the act of creation is not ultimate ruin, but rather what God creates, He works to redeem. The destination of the Christian is not the abyss of meaninglessness. The destination of the Christian is heaven. In so far as our final destiny is heaven, our final destiny is also glorious. We start as dust, we end in glory."
- R.C. Sproul, Foreword, in Bound for Glory: A Practical Handbook for Raising a Victorious Family, by R.C. Sproul Jr. (White Hall, WV: Tolle Lege Press, 2008), 9f.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

On The Glory of Christ

1 Praise Him! praise Him! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer!

Sing, O Earth, His wonderful love proclaim!

Hail Him! hail Him! highest archangels in glory;

Strength and honor give to His holy Name!

Like a shepherd, Jesus will guard His children,

In His arms He carries them all day long: 


Praise Him! Praise Him! Tell of His excellent greatness.

Praise Him! Praise Him! Ever in joyful song! 

2 Praise Him! Praise Him! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer!

For our sins He suffered, and bled, and died.

He our Rock, our hope of eternal salvation,

Hail Him! hail Him! Jesus the Crucified.

Sound His praises! Jesus who bore our sorrows,

Love unbounded, wonderful, deep and strong. 

3 Praise Him! Praise Him! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer!

Heavenly portals loud with hosannas ring!

Jesus, Savior, reigneth forever and ever.

Crown Him! Crown Him! Prophet, and Priest, and King!

Christ is coming! over the world victorious,

Power and glory unto the Lord belong.

- Fanny J. Crosby 1869, comp. Chester G. Allen, "Praise Him!"

Monday, March 8, 2010

On Joy

1. God's faithfulness and fruit
2. Delayed flights
3. Lacoste
4. Applebees
5. Answered Prayers
6. Halo 3
7. Hugs

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

On February

February Statistics:
Points: 1,584
Segments: 8
Miles: 3,168

Total Points: 4,158
Total Segments: 18
Total Miles: 7,128