Last week I was discussing some thoughts on the metaphysics of nominalism with a fellow student in the same program as me. The idea stems from my paper on the Modified Irenaean Theodicy in which I proposed a model by which to account for evil without falling into the trap of Augustinian variant, the Irenaean limits, and the strange view of Process theology. It seems really that while a multitude of philosophers think that nominalism is a reasonable take on reality, I think that the underlying assumption of such a view is ultimately anchored in realism for reasons which I should be fleshing out in my paper on metaphysics. Moreover, if the paper is able to show this, I think that the corollary would be that our epistemic assumptions really assumes God. In other words, our denial of His existence is actually an argument of Him existing. Sustaining such a view deserves a book of its own, but I hope to lay the groundwork by which I can later build upon in my later years. These two papers I hope to write will serve as the foundation for my theodicy. Of course, there’s a lot left to be accounted for. I have yet to argue on the nature of our apprehension of evil. Moreover, I have much to learn in this seemingly endless stream of growth and learning as one progress through life.

Around that time, my professor who happened to walk by shared with me a very interesting insight. He said that people who disagree with others by using emotional blackmails is not a reflection of your brokenness. It is a reflection of theirs. I thought he phrased it very profoundly. One which I think reflects the reality that humans of this world are a collection of souls in desperation. While the academic world is, to the extent that we know it, in pursuit of greater knowledge to better account for reality, those who dismiss this pursuit with a sleight of hand do miss the point of this quest. The danger, as one puts it, in this quest for reality is that one may fall too far off the “Christian” camp and into an unwelcome territory. The counterargument of course is that should this be the case, it is in all hopes that such a drift is not a result of a lack of one’s pursuit for the truth but rather a lack of Christianity to sustain her claims.

The only time I ever feared this is the rave reviews Zakir Naik had in my early years as a Christian. It is a fear quickly dispelled when I actually engaged with his arguments. I have, so far in my nearly ten years as a Christian, never ran into any argument at all that shows that Christianity is unsustainable as a worldview. If any, what I discovered helped me refine my view of divinity and reality while at the same time take a cautious yet reasonable stand on matters of faith, reason, and practice.

I realized along the way that epistemic humility plays a significant role in one’s quest for reality, even godliness. It allows one to simply work with data that have a very high probability of being true. This is of course in opposition to many who claim certainty on many matters, to the point of epistemic arrogance. Debbie Licona once wrote that her husband’s best time for worship is in his books. Michael Licona, to me, was one of the finest scholars I have ever read in my life. His book on the Resurrection of Jesus was a result of what seems to me a cautious and responsible scholarship. It is the only book that I have read so far (and probably among the very few) that has no trace of broad brushing.

In any case, this short rambling has reminded me of what is it like to live the life of the mind. The joys and hurdles are many, but overall rewarding. The epistemic humility in research and discovery is food for the soul, despite the natural slowness of progressing from information to confession. It seems best for a Christian to remain in such posture.

 

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