Monday, February 11, 2019

Formal Logic and Informal Fallacies (Slides)





Thursday, January 31, 2019

Money Lovers (Poem)


How base is that basest of metals
That strives its best to become our base!
Like withering grass and falling petals
Are money-lovers wasting their days.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Intelligence and Short-term Memory Wiring Errors: Epistemic Considerations

Let’s suppose:
1. Oscar wants to go to the airport (x) to meet John, for which he needs to take a bus A11 (a)
2. On way to the bus stop, he changes his mind and informs John that he would meet him at Plus centre (y), and intends now to take bus C98 to go there (b)
3. He gets busy talking chatting with someone else.
4. When he reaches the stop, he sees bus A11 (a) and immediately gets into it with the intention of reaching Plus centre (y) asap.
5. Only after a while does he realize that he has got into the wrong bus.

Observation: While his brain got busy in chatting, items (x) and (b) got dropped from short-term memory. On seeing the bus A11 (a), his brain immediately connected a with y. In fact, it seems the internal meaning of b was taken over by a for a moment.

This is a problem.

At that moment of memory error, belief towards action was tampered by a memory fault.


See Also:
Volitional Memory Error

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Internalism Vs Externalism (Table of Differences)

Table of Differences

View
Access
Basis
Responsibility
Internalism
A person always has access to or can be aware of why (the reasons) he believes in something
One’s internal (mental) states are important justifiers of a belief
An internal sense of conformity to responsibility and duty towards truth is the justification for one’s belief
Externalism
It is not the case that a person always has access to or can be aware of the reasons or justifications for his belief
There are things other than mental states that act as justifiers of belief
Belief is justified, not by any sense of duty, but by the strength of evidential support and objectivity.


References:


Tuesday, December 25, 2018

The Sword of Joshua


And they took it and struck it with the edge of the sword -- its king, all its cities, and all the people who [were] in it; he left none remaining, according to all that he had done to Eglon, but utterly destroyed it and all the people who [were] in it. (Josh 10:37)

References to war and killings in the Bible look extremely offensive to modern pacifists. Nevertheless, the God of the Bible Himself engages in war and killings as a way of executing justice and righteousness. Execution of justice involves employment of violent measures. The first human mass annihilation was through the Great Flood through which only Noah and those with him survived. Following that, human government was instituted so that "Whoever sheds man's blood, by man his blood shall be shed" (Gen.9:6), and a promise was given that the world will never be again destroyed by a global flood. However, the present world is reserved for judgment by fire (2Pet.3:7). Meanwhile, divine justice is locally executed by at least three different means: sword (war), plague (disease outbreaks), and famine (2 Sam. 24:13; 2Ch. 20:9; Jer. 11:22; 14:12,13; 15:2; 21:9; 24:10; 27:8,13; 29:17,18; 32:36; 34:17; 38:2; 42:17,22; 44:13; Eze. 6:11,12; 12:16). Ezekiel 5:17 adds also "wild beasts" to these.

The sword of Joshua against the Canaanites was judgment by means of sword. Jeremiah and Ezekiel prophesied that Israel itself (who was once used by God to bring justice by sword) would be punished by the sword, plague, and famine.

Jeremiah 24:10 - I will send the sword, famine and plague against them until they are destroyed from the land I gave to them and their ancestors.

The sword is symbolic of political authority instituted by God.

Romans 13:3-4 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.

Zeno, Kant, and the Mystery of God

Zeno and Kant fall in a tradition of philosophers who  recognize the conflict between reason and experience and its bearing on concepts of reality. Zeno's paradoxes and the Kantian antinomies highlight the same. The failure of most acclaimed solutions to these is due to a failure to recognize this fundamental dichotomy which is a problem that connects the topic of perception in both philosophy and psychology. The psychological experience of space and time, for instance, seems to conflict with the conclusions of reason. Those who employ mathematics or variant non-common-sense-hypotheses as solutions end up in asserting either reason or experience as one in favor against the other. Also, while there have been critics who claim to have rebutted Kant's arguments in favor of his antinomies, these rebuttals seem to only have addressed a strawman: the real issue remains untouched. In cases of those who choose one part of the antinomy against the other, the resultant concept of the universe and of God is highly redacted. Especially among hard rationalists and scienti-ists, the tenet of the mystery of God is highly compromised.

See More:
Epistemics of Divine Reality
Epistemology of God

Monday, December 3, 2018

New Book Release: KARMIC AND ABRAHAMIC FAITHS

Check it out at Google books. PDF
Epub

Also available on Smashwords and Amazon.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Superiority of Christ's Priesthood

Christ's priesthood preceded that of the Levites. Even Levi gave tithes to Melchizedek through Abraham (Heb.7:9-10)

He being God incarnated as Man is the only perfect Mediator (1Tim.2:5, Heb.2:9,10,14)

The levites could not be permanent because they died, but Jesus lives for ever and has a permanent priesthood (Heb. 7:23-24)

The levites had to offer sacrifices for their own sins, but Christ is the sinless and perfect High Priest of God (Heb.7:26-27)

The levites served in a man made tabernacle, but He entered into the heavenly one, not made with human hands (Heb.8:5; 9:11)

Sacrifices were necessary to purify the copies of heavenly things on earth (tabernacle and instruments), but the heavenly things could only be purified with a better sacrifice, i.e. of Jesus (Heb.9:23)

The OT ceremonies were only temporary, till Jesus came (Heb.9:10)

The OT ceremonies were only external, but Christ works within us (Heb.9:10)

The levites offered blood of animals; but Jesus offered Himself (Heb.9:11-14)

The levites had to sacrifice many times, but Jesus offered Himself once for all (Heb.7:27)

Jesus is the Mediator of a superior and new covenant that is established on better promises (Heb.8:6, 10-12) (2Cor.3:7-11)

The old covenant is made obsolete by the new covenant (Heb.8:13)

The blood of Jesus cleanses our conscience to serve the living God (Heb.9:9,14)

Thursday, November 29, 2018

God and Mammon

Published in REVIVE, Nov 2018

“You cannot serve God and mammon.” (Matt.6:24)

Life is a bundle of choices. We are confronted daily with choices between good and evil, truth and falsehood, faith and unbelief, the broad way and the narrow way. The choices we make today determine the kind of future we will experience. Among life’s many choices of the day, the one that every believer faces on a more deceptive scale is the choice between serving God or serving mammon. Sadly, many believers do not realize that while they think they are serving God, most of their services are actually being consumed by God’s arch-enemy, mammon.

The word “mammon” refers to the idolization of money and wealth to supplant the place of God. While it may be true that “money answers everything” (Eccl.10:19), in the sense that most of our basic requirements can be bought with money, it is false to assume that money is everything. In fact, the Bible tells us that “the love of money is the root of all evil” (1 Tim.610). God’s word warns us not to “trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy” (1 Tim. 6:17). The Bible warns us: “Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint. Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.” (Prov.23:4,5). In fact, “people who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction” (1Tim.6:9).

Many years ago, a pastor of a growing church sarcastically asked me what the definition of “leader” was. Before I could say anything, he replied, “A leader nowadays is someone who has money.” I think he was right in describing the false mentality of many who, instead of serving God, are actually serving mammon when they easily switch organizations, leaders, and places just for the sake of monetary benefit. One pastor was asked why he had left ministering at a particular village and moved on to somewhere else; his prompt reply was, “There were not many customers over there.” Shocking as it may seem, it is heartbreaking to God when the church Christ died for is treated as a business center and the believers are treated as “customers”. The words of Jesus resound, “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be a house of prayer’; but you have made it ‘a den of robbers.'” (Luke 19:46). Sadly, “they are experts in greed-an accursed brood! They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Beor, who loved the wages of wickedness” (2Pet. 2:14-15). In short, those who serve for money only serve mammon.

The same is true regarding all those who come to church or switch churches not because of Christ but because of social acceptability, luxurious facility, haughty spirit, and the secret love for mammon. It is true regarding everyone who hates giving to the work of the Lord. It is true regarding everyone who is fascinated with material things rather than being zealous after the Spirit of God. Those who pursue Christ for things that perish will be eternally destitute of God. But, they who pursue Christ because for them “to live is Christ and to die gain” will love His appearing and will be where He is. Jesus said, “”Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him” (John 6:27).

The Problem is with the Heart
Jesus said, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt.6:21). The Bible talks about a rich young man who came to Jesus to enquire how he may get eternal life. When Jesus talked about keeping the laws related to fellow humans (do not steal, do not kill, etc), he replied that he never violated them. Then, Jesus told him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” (Matt.19:21). The Gospel tells us that when the young man heard this, he left with sadness, because he had a lot of wealth. Obviously, it was difficult for this rich young man to part with his wealth now, though it is a common fact that when a man dies he can take none of his savings along with him beyond the grave. Jesus exposed it that this rich young man loved his perishing wealth more than eternal life. He valued pursuing mammon more than pursuing Christ. Instead of regarding wealth as a thing to use for the good of all, he loved and hoarded it for no lasting gain. The problem was with his heart.

Jesus commanded His disciples, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal” (Matt.6:19-20).

The Wise Invest for Eternity
Jesus told the parable of a disloyal property manager (steward) who squandered the wealth of his boss (Luke 16:1-15). His boss called him to fire him and instructed him to give an account of his management before he was removed from the position. The disloyal manager began to think, ‘What shall I do now? My master is taking away my job. I’m not strong enough to dig, and I’m ashamed to beg–I know what I’ll do so that, when I lose my job here, people will welcome me into their houses.’ So, in accordance to his own cunningness, he called each of the debtors who owed to his boss and helped them each get a reduction on their debts. Obviously, he was trying to secure a better future once he realized that his present job position was not secure anymore. He was unlike the rich young man who, even though he knew that his wealth could not buy him eternity, persisted in pursuing his perishing wealth. This disloyal manager gave up all desire for mere wealth; rather, he used his present position to make more lasting friendships, in his own earthly way. The boss appreciated his wisdom. Even worldly people know that it is foolish to just live for the present moment or just for money, that it is foolish to not make plans for the future. When it comes to the matter of eternity, Jesus teaches us to not love, squander, or worship mammon, but use it wisely in order to have a place in eternity. In fact, bad management (wastage) of money is as wrong as hoarding up of money for covetous reasons (rendering it useless).

“He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. Therefore, if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?” (Luke 16:10-11).

This begins with understanding that all wealth belongs to God and we are only stewards (wealth managers) of whatever is entrusted to us here on earth. Those who acknowledge God in all things and live a life free of covetousness and worldly worries will have a more fruitful life of discipleship. Their heart is free of “the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things” (Mark 4:19). They do not idolize the world but use it properly- “those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away.” (1Cor.7:31). They focus on doing good, and are rich in good deeds. They are generous and willing to share. In this way they “lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life” (1 Tim.6:18-19).

Monday, November 26, 2018

Volitional Memory Error

We may define volitional memory as the memory of a will or decisive encoding to do an action.

Let's suppose:
1. At time x, Oscar has the goal A and decides to reach it by act B
2. At time y, Oscar decides to change the plan and reach A by act C
OR,
At time y, Oscar decides to change the plan and reach D by act C
3. However, at time z, Oscar only remembers #1 and goes about reaching goal A by act B.

Only later does he realize that there was a memory error.

This may happen when at time z, Oscar may have another engagement that perhaps eats up the memory space of the most recent time y, and the brain is forced to retrieve elements of time x in order to facilitate action.

This is just an hypothesis, though this form of memory loss is a reality.

Similarly,
1. At time x, Oscar knows a set of decision things A.
2. At time y, Oscar knows a set of decision things B in addition to set A.
3. At time z, Oscar only remembers A.

Any ideas?

The Order of Melchizedek: Priesthood of Christ (English - Cantonese)