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The Critical Role of Philosophy in Advancing Science.

Question: What do the following natural philosophers have in common:

  • Copernicus – Father of modern astronomy
  • Galileo – Father of modern physics & science
  • Kepler – Laws of planetary motion
  • Pascal – Inventor of the mechanical calculator
  • Descartes – Cartesian coordinate system
  • Newton – Theory of universal gravitation
  • Linnaeus – Father of Modern Taxonomy
  • Mendel – Father of Inheritance
  • Maxwell – Discovered Electromagnetism
  • Lemaitre – Introduced the Big Bang Theory
  • Locke – Impericist and most influential of Enlightenment thinkers

Answer: They were all Christians.

People should never be afraid of open discussions about new discoveries in science or any other area. New knowledge itself, especially in the area of science and nature, does not change the authority of God or scripture, it merely helps to refine our interpretation of it. The danger in modern science is to reject God or compartmentalize scripture (or even ignore it altogether). Philosophy and science are correlated fields of study, and the meaning of existence is as relevant as existence itself.

 
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Posted by on March 11, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

How Many Atoms Does it Take to Create a Light Bulb?

As a Christian who has developed a deep love for science and in particular quantum physics, I have been waging this internal war for about 25 years now and it pertains to the scientific method (along the thoughts of Aristotle) and how reality is somehow exclusively tied to the physical realm. This is where evolutionists and atheists alike have attempted to securely plant themselves. This paradigm of thought has been very unsuccessfully challenged and the result is that we live in a world where Darwinian thought has been allowed to rule the scientific community for nearly 150 years.

It is just recently that I am waking up to understanding the important point they are missing. It seems obvious that the scientific world has failed to properly connect the reality of "consciousness" into their equation. It is widely accepted in this paradigm that everything (including conscious thought) is somehow reduced down to matter. They have missed altogether that causation is not simply about deconstructing physical reality into atoms and then explaining how everything is constructed from them, as in building a skyscraper one floor at a time, hence upward causation. The error is that this idea dismisses the existence of consciousness entirely. The failure is in refusing to acknowledge the vital role that consciousness plays in the conception of the purpose of the skyscraper to begin with. Failing to consider the possibility of downward causation is the great flaw in atheistic logic. The ability to look at both sides of causation also directly addresses one of the major problems that exist for many quantum physicists today, the problem of dualism. It’s no wonder they miss it, everyone they know is prejudiced to upward causation based on the prevailing thought of the past 150 years..

Every free thinker should allow themselves a moment to consider the possibility that it is our consciousness that forms the foundation for ultimate reality, even being able to understand our own existence is dependent upon our own consciousness. By exclusively allowing the physical world to define reality, atheists willfully choose to ignore both the consciousness in the world that we all share, and the private thoughts that exists in their own conscious.

As people (especially theoretical quantum physicists) we must allow ourselves to consider the possibility that physical matter is more a “representation” derived from consciousness. For example, the light bulb is more than strategically arranged atoms. Properly viewed it is, first and foremost, an idea with an ultimate purpose; originating in Thomas Edison’s consciousness, and after some experimentation, manifesting into the physical reality of the light bulb, and thus satisfying its intended purpose. If we are able to apply downward causation in this way, then we see that the cosmos, our universe, even our world is a result of an idea spawned by a consciousness.

This way of thinking stretches the mind and challenges the scientific paradigm of today, but also represents progressive thought in an otherwise close-minded scientific community. What if we are looking at things wrong? Copernicus suggested the earth was not the center of the universe, he was ridiculed by many, including the church, but he was also right. We need to be open minded and honest in science to correct our ways of thinking when we are wrong, even if it leads to the possibility that there is, in reality, a divine creator that may have made everything for his divine purpose.

 
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Posted by on February 22, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Why is Unity More Important than Uniformity?

I recently had a conversation with a good friend who also serves as senior pastor at a large church in our city. As we discussed some of life’s problems our conversation drifted toward a philosophical approach to building a community. In a very short amount of time our discussion centered on the role of unity and uniformity. In some ways these may seem like they have competing interests, but they are both essential to building community. However, the difference between the two are worth understanding. Unity is placing value on all parts, even if they are different, and pulling them together to create oneness. Making sure that no one is left out, and that all are included. This is an important part of building community.

Uniformity has a role to play in this process as well. It is what helps us to create structure, order, and boundaries for the community. However if uniformity is allowed to rule the day then the eventual outcome will be a community that is unwilling to bend or compromise. It also promotes one way of doing everything which greatly limits our creativity and adaptability.

At the end of the day unity is able to do things that uniformity cannot. Specifically, it places value on diversity and does not run away from the things that make us different. It allows room for acceptance of imperfections instead of insisting on strict uniformity. As we look for ways to add value in our communities, we should consider how we apply these two approaches to the world we live in. If we overemphasize uniformity we may lose the ability to obtain unity. Ultimately the goal of a community is not that we agree on everything, it is about us agreeing above all else to be united, so that we have a foundation upon which we are able to agree and disagree.

 
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Posted by on November 11, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Believing What Others Tell Us

Daily, we place faith in what others tell us, we believe their accounts about people and events that occur, this approach is both reasonable and rational. We trust what scientific journals tell us even though we have not experienced it ourselves. Ultimately we all place our faith and trust in someone’s account of the past. I urge everyone who is open minded and scientific to use the power of reason to consider the phenomenon of the accounts found in the historical writings of the new testament, specifically Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Consider reading with the same degree of academic inquiry of other credible historians, as these writings are amongst the most valid source documents in existence. I believe you will find their accounts of the man they knew as Jesus, both remarkable and thought provoking. I would also challenge you to contemplate the content of the actual words spoken by Jesus in these texts and consider the implications if they were to be applied in your life. We place our faith in what others tell us every day because it is reasonable and rational. What would happen if we placed our faith in the the words of Jesus and the words of the men who shared their accounts of his life?

 
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Posted by on October 4, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

The Leadership Dilema: Public Consensus vs. Personal Conviction

Lately, as I have been reflecting on a great year full of leadership challenges and personal growth. I have found myself confronting philosophical struggles when it comes to decision making as a leader. What I have learned is that there are basically only two types of leadership decisions. Decisions made either by (1) public consensus or by (2) personal conviction. I think there are times when leaders need to make decisions by consensus, especially tactical decisions where the people affected are the ones who will be doing the work. It makes sense to involve front line people to make the decisions that impact their daily duties. However, leadership decisions that involve vision and strategy requires personal conviction. If the vision and strategy fall into a pluralistic group that is more concerned about building consensus and political correctness, they will surely compromise the mission and the group will suffer.

So the issue isn’t always about which leadership style is right, in most cases it has to do with understanding the situation. I remember my Air Force commander contrasting the strategic 10,000 foot view with the tactical ground level view. My job was to recognize "front line" issues and take the initiative to clear the path so we would not be delayed. I learned to expect to hear two questions "Why did you make that decision?" and "What is the impact?". My Colonel wanted more from me than just an intelligent response, he was really looking for my understanding of the situation and demanded personal conviction.

Great leaders have the ability to make intelligent decisions while being governed by their heart. If you have to choose between public consensus and personal conviction then go with personal conviction. I am reminded in Matthew 16 when Jesus asked his disciples a question of public consensus "Who do men say I am?" and then followed with the question "Who do you say I am?". There is little doubt that the answer he cared more about was the one that required personal conviction, and as a leader, you can’t cast vision without it.

 
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Posted by on May 31, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Pray for Your Enemies

Have you ever had someone attack you on a very personal level? Of course you have, who hasn’t. I know that we have all heard the words of Jesus who said "pray for your enemies". That sounds easy, but have you ever done it? I have recently experienced complete transformation in my heart about a person who unloaded on me and may still not care very much for me, but I can tell you my heart has been changed through prayer. It started with concern for their anger towards me, then moved to praying for their family and then it came back around to me that I need to find a way to love them. Some people do not want you to love them. Some people want to hate you. But they do not have the power to cause you to hate back, that power is in your hands (or heart as it may be). When you find a way to pray through this kind of hurt and genuinely start caring for those who hurt you, don’t be surprised if the Holy Spirit gets in between you and that person and changes everything. God’s ways are more powerful than we will ever know.

"43 You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect."

Matthew 5:43-48

 
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Posted by on April 20, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Pain: The Main Difference Between Perseverance and Endurance

Okay so some days are better than others, but no matter what we face each day perseverance is required if we are to win the race and overcome life’s challenges. However, I recently became "painfully" aware that there is a significant difference between persevering and enduring. The difference is "pain". As challenging as perseverance is, it is more about commitment and less about withstanding pain. Endurance on the other hand is all about persevering in the face of pain, sometimes excruciating pain. As much as I prefer persevering over endurance I am thankful to know the difference and have a much greater appreciation for those who endure pain daily and refuse to let it get the best of them.

"8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body."

2 Corinthians 4:8-11

 
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Posted by on April 4, 2011 in Uncategorized

 
 
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