from my blog
The philosophy of the nineteenth-century sensualists and positivists–particularly Comte, Hobbes, and Mill–assaulted God and science with the same club. Thus, in deconstructing the premises of this philosophical strain, Robert L. Dabney upheld the causes both of God and science.
Evolution theory is not simply unprovable and wrong. The theory attacked the foundations of Christianity: God creating Man in his own image, placing him at the head of an ordered Creation, with a foreknown Fall and Redemption, all for his glory.
Evolution theory turned man into a soulless beast. Its proponents claimed solid, observable facts which were neither. The theory offered nothing to account for man’s God-directed spirit; and so, it attempted to gainsay the existence of both man’s spirit and God.…Read More
Further Reading in Dabney and Some Thoughts on Creation, Its Laws, and the Irrationality of Evolution
From my blog
Once more, quotations are taken from Robert L. Dabney: The Sensualistic Philosophy, Naphtali Press, 2003.
Robert L. Dabney’s philosophical observations of science are not stale; on the contrary, his observations are still crisp and refreshingly prescient after more than 125 years.
The permeation of scientific thought with Sensualistic philosophy displaced religion with Materialism; creation with force, motion, and chance; God with unknowable, impersonal forces; the soul with nerve bundles; and consciousness with organically advantageous neural impulses. As Dabney notes, we are compelled to look beyond science and philosophy to Biblical revelation “to learn that a man goeth upward and a beast downward” (p. 125).
“That a fortuitous conjunction of atoms should account for all the marvels of design in the universe, and that material mass should be endowed with consciousness, reason, and conscience, are difficulties common to this and all the other phases of this philosophy” (p.
From my blog
Ayn Rand (1905-1982) was the great white hope of atheists determined to commandeer rationality. Her philosophy, “Objectivism,” was unique in its separation from the sensualists and its rejection of relativism. She did, nevertheless, hold man’s “own happiness as the moral purpose of his life,” and thus hearkens to John Stuart Mill.
Rand was influenced by Aristotle, Aquinas, and Nietzsche; from Aristotle she took the rational premise, “A is A.” She vehemently attacked every type of gnosticism and every form of empiricism, refuting the notion of what she called “the primacy of consciousness.” The primacy of consciousness is the cornerstone of postmodern thought: the notion that man’s conscious perception defines reality. Thus in this arena, Rand and Dabney were allies.…Read More
From my blog
I am unsure why the idea of beauty embarrasses me, as though my thoughts are too defective to confess. Often it seems to me that my beauty receptors process input in blunt chunks.
Objects–dwellings, clothing, the stuff of life–engage me with their utility, and beauty somehow is optional. The miraculous intricacies of creation–animal, botanical, and mineral, of the earth, sea, and visible heavens–captivate me; nevertheless, I fear my appreciation is terribly analytical.
But that isn’t what distresses me. The huge and terrible question is: Do I find beauty in Christ? This is where diffidence grips and I fear I am casehardened.
Certainly I find beauty in his Word. But, “He is altogether lovely“ (SS 5:16) refers to a Person, not to a Word.…Read More
From my blog
Thou art good, and doest good…Ps 119:68
Colors converge toward copper here, passing red, not quite gold. Our chickens are deep golden-buff and scarlet-combed. Crimson-leaved blueberries and cayenne-orange mountain ash berries, saturated in mid-autumn sun, hang on, closer to life than dormancy.
Even in my pleasant garden, I am never unaware of perturbation. Intermittent sirens and helicopters herald the presence of sin and pain and need.
This week a small Amish community in Pennsylvania buried five schoolgirls, murdered despite the girls’ likely compliance with their killer’s demand that they pray for him to protect him from carrying out his horrific crime.
Today, as are all days, is a good day to be a Calvinist.
Only a Calvinist sees events like this in a light that comports with God’s own testimony: the absolute sovereignty of his perfect will.…Read More
From my blog
Mid-nineteenth-century evolution theory was a fission bomb forever sundering two ways of understanding life: Either we are related through Adam and unrelated to cantaloupe; or, we are related through protoplasm to both.
Dabney’s chapter, “Evolution Theory” is the Cat’s favorite thus far. He resents any implication that he is descended from inferior wild cats. If left to the wild habitats of his so-called ancestors, the Cat would most probably make his way to the nearest doorstep and yowl for cat food. Notwithstanding the Cat’s defective (though sensorially impeccable) epistemology, he understands that he is a discrete creation made to be a companion to man. This places the Cat far ahead of evolutionary theorists.
Dabney was a contemporary of Charles Darwin (1809″“1882), and thus the beneficiary of the same classical intellectual heritage from which Darwin drew.…Read More
This is from my blog, Board Housewife & The Cat
I am still reading Dabney to the Cat. He takes it in through his senses. James and son John Stuart Mill would posit that I, if I formulate any ideas about their work, am experiencing “copies of single sensations.”
The Cat, whose ideation begins and ends with his own sensory learning, disbelieves Mill. The Cat learns everything in one take and finds insulting the idea of copies of his own uniquely perfect sensations.
The Cat does not think that I am as capable a learner as he. According to Mill, the Cat would be right. But the Cat would still be a lower animal in Mill’s scheme, because he cannot name his sensations, and I can.…Read More