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Concluding Thoughts on R. L. Dabney: The Sensualistic Philosophy

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.…

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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.

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Ayn Rand: The Failure of Mind as God

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.…

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The Pontiff of Humanity

from my blog Board Housewife & The Cat

“The Pontiff of Humanity”

Advisory: Scary content.

The Cat enjoys scaring his friend Zack. He has urged me, therefore, to write about Positivism’s arch scion, Auguste Comte, about whom we were just reading in Dabney. Comte had the modest aspiration of becoming “Pontiff of Humanity.”

Ideas that reject sources of knowledge can get very weird, and Comte quite possibly attained the zenith of weirdness. If we owe our ideas to no sources of knowledge outside of our own experience of phenomena, we tend to become a bit obsessed with ourselves. Thus, atheism is the predictable logical consequence of positivism.

Positivism denies the supernatural, even in light of the evidence of supernatural facts. Thus, the documented miracles that Christ performed on earth before thousands of witnesses would be denied or explained naturally–an impossibility untroubling to a positivist mind.…

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Thomas Hobbes, R. L. Dabney, and the Sensualist Cat

I posted this to my blog, Board Housewife & The Cat this morning.

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. Pr 3:5

As I begin to read about the history of ideas, two things happen: First, the more I am called to repent my condonation of bad philosophy by reason of willful ignorance; and, second, the more I learn about the way the Cat thinks.

I am reading The Sensualistic Philosophy by Robert L. Dabney, a 19th-century conservative Southern Presbyterian theologian and philosopher, in an attempt to fill the philosophy gap I left open in my education. I avoided philosophy as much as I could in college, taking only a survey course.

After a two-decade gap, I began law school and was made to choke down something called “logical positivism” in a jurisprudence course.…

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