Wednesday, November 4

On Morality

To show that the existence of God is necessary for ethics, I have heard a Christian say, "if God does not exist, then I have no reason to live morally - I might as well lie, murder, rape, and pillage."

In response I have heard the atheist say, "I am sorry that you are so weak of mind that you require a belief in God to act rightly."

Notice, however, an important distinction. The Christian is saying that if God does not exist there is no morality, i.e., since there is morality (it is apparent to all) then God exists. He is not saying that his belief in God makes him moral, but that the existence of God defines morality in the world as we experience it.

Tuesday, October 20

Learning for Learning's Sake

Who desires to learn for the sake of learning?
Such a person grasps after the wind.

There is an infinite of wisdom and facts, while only a finite time and mind. Those who seek an infinite as an end are blind and lost. Those who seek the Infinite as an end with learning, money, etc. as means see clearly.

Friday, August 21


Who lives a better life, one committed to study, or one who lives for experience?
The one who experiences since he fulfills the act of living, and the first only observes it.

So, the one who studies continually, fails to live life?
He does.

So, it can be said that living is "knowing that" and not "knowing how"?
It seems so to me.

But, does not the one who neglects thinking rush quickly into folly?
He does.

And, it can be said that a foolish life is inferior to a life lived in wisdom?
It can.

So, the fool does not really experience life.
Not in its full potential.

So, who lives a better life?

Thursday, July 16


Alone two set off,
Much distance to cover each.

Come, united in love and joy,
Until they reach the Heavenly beach.

Sunday, July 12

Some Explication From Medieval Phil.

Chapters two and three of the Proslogium contain Anselm’s famous proof. In chapter two Anselm gives three premises and a conclusion. They are numbered in this paper as follows: 1) God “art a being than which nothing greater can be conceived,” 2) “it is one thing for an object to be in the understanding, and another to understand that the object exists,” 3) “that, than which nothing greater can be conceived, cannot exist in the understanding alone,” and therefore 4) “there exists a being, than which nothing greater can be conceived, and it exists both in the understanding and in reality” (Anselm 39).

God by definition is a being in which nothing greater can be conceived; thus premise 1) is true by definition. Premise 2) is more controversial, depending upon how it is interpreted. Existence can either be a property of an object or it can be defined as existing in W possible worlds; in either case it is making the claim that existence is different from and better than nonexistence. Premise 3) is making an inference from premise 1) and 2); if God is the greatest conceivable being and existence is better than nonexistence, then the greatest conceivable being has the property of existence or exists in all possible worlds W. Conclusion 4) follows directly from premise 3), viz. God exists.

In chapter three Anselm gives a slightly different formulation of the argument. In chapter three Anselm has two premises and one conclusion; they are numbered in this paper as follows: 5) God “cannot be conceived not to exist,” 6) “there is […] a being than which nothing greater can be conceived to exist, that it cannot even be conceived not to exist,” and therefore 7) God necessarily exists (Anselm 39). The justification for premise 5) is, “it is possible to conceive of a being which cannot be conceive not to exist; and this is greater than one which can be conceived not to exist” (Anselm 39). This is saying that a necessary being is greater than a contingent being. Since, God cannot be conceived not to exist, and there is not a being conceivable that is greater than God, God exists necessarily.

Both of these arguments work together to form Anselm’s proof. The argument in chapter two shows that the greatest possible being that can be conceived actually exists. The argument in chapter three shows that this being is a necessary being. The argument also claims that God is the only necessary being.

An objection to this argument that Gaunilon raises is, it is possible to think of an island that is the greatest possible island, but that does not mean the island actually exists. Anselm replies that Gaunilon is correct in thinking about the island because it is a contingent object: it is possible to conceive of the island not existing. God, however, is not a contingent being since it is not possible to conceive of God’s non-existence - this is demonstrated in chapter two.

Even if it is objected that existence is not a property that can be had by an object, Anselm could respond that the being than which nothing greater can be conceived that exists in all possible worlds is God (Look). This formulation is also helpful in understanding how this being is also necessary, viz. in every possible world it is not possible to conceive of the non-existence of God.

Anselm’s argument is valid and sound in proving that God exists. It should be noted that this proof does not say anything about the nature of God; if one wanted to know about God, they would have to look for empirical evidence or provide different proofs for God’s attributes. This proof, however, clearly demonstrates that God exists and could not be otherwise.

Quotations taken from:
St. Anselm. Proslogium. Readings in Medieval Philosophy. Ed. and introd. Andrew B. Schoedinger. New York: Oxford Press, 1996. 36-40.

Look, Brandon C. “Anselm, Aquinas, and Pascal.” U of Kentucky Philosophy Department. 5 March, 2009.

Monday, June 22


Why educate the masses?
So they can live a fuller life, and be more useful and productive to society.

Why not make them slaves?
Since they are humans, they have the right to achieve their full potential.

Why do they make slaves of themselves to their ignorance and passions?

Wednesday, June 17


Tanya Cordova and I are now engaged. I proposed to her last Saturday night. After eating dinner with her family (it was her mom's birthday), I took her out to see "The Importance of Being Ernest" performed at Knock 'Em Dead Dinner Theatre. Afterward we searched frantically for an open ice cream shop to no avail, I drove to the top of Table Rock, that overlooks Boise. We talked for sometime before I read Shakespeare's Sonnets 18 and 130. I then read the following poem that I wrote earlier that week,

My fair lady, my fair love:
Soft as a whisper, light as a dove.
Many come from afar to see your grace,
Among whom, none are worthy to receive your embrace.

Eyes like diamond, and roses for your cheek:
Skin of bronze, and a body of a Greek.
Though, Shakespeare’s woman be not divine,
Thou, art a goddess, whose possession is mine.

A gentle spirit, and a soul that is fair:
Lacking no sympathy, and abounding in care.
I dare not put thee to the test,
For injustice towards the helpless will release a tempest.

What great a treasure, what great a pearl:
How did I come by thee, so great a girl?
Surely, Divine Providence has had its way.
Now quickly, tell me what you say,
For, I ask for your hand this day!

Since we agreed to not proclaim our love of one another while dating, she was quite confused as to what I was doing (we did not speak of any plans of an engagement before this date, so she was completely unsuspecting). I reached behind my seat and present this ring, and asked her if she would marry me. Stunned in disbelief, she said yes, and wept a little.

We are planning on being married on September 12, 2009 at Capital City Christian Church by Tom Velasco.

Wednesday, April 29

Midnight Ramblings

Everyday my mind is pressed to the grinding wheel.

Lectures, papers, exams, discussions, readings, etc.

I can discern ever more accurately;
I can see ever more clearly...

But, how dull and blind I still am!!!

My ideas are sifted through the great sieve of tradition;
Only the purest remain.

But wait! What is this?!
A hole: a gaping hole.

Has nobody noticed?
Who shall repair it?
It is far beyond the fix of any patch.