Philosophy

Care for the Poor in the Weekly Worship of the Early Christians—Justin Martyr (c. 114 – c. 165)

Justin Martyr was a pagan philosopher who converted to Christianity. Once a prominent thinker who taught in many of the great urban centers of the Roman Empire, he was eventually executed because of his faith. In his “First Apology,” Justin defends Christian truth and practice in a letter to the Emperor Antoninus Pius. In this …

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An Atheist Who Loses Faith in His Morals

Joel Marks, professor emeritus of philosophy at the University of New Haven and a scholar at the Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics at Yale University, recounts his loss of faith in a recent New York Times article. Don’t misunderstand, he’s always been an atheist, but now he’s lost his faith in morality. I had thought I …

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The Perils of Gyges’ Ring

Maybe the IMF’s Dominique Strauss-Kahn thought he was wearing the Ring of Gyges, a mythical piece of jewelry which allows the wearer to become invisible. It shows up in Plato’s Republic, where Socrates posed the question whether the owner could behave himself. His interlocutor, Glaucon, suggested that, once invisible, few could resist stealing things, taking …

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Watch Out for Philosophy!

As a philosopher, I find it a little embarrassing that the only two direct Bible references to my discipline are sort of negative. First, there’s Colossians 2:8: “Be careful that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit based on human tradition, based on the elemental forces of the world, and not based …

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