Faith, Sight, And Plato’s Cave

"Life" Issues, Abrahamic Traditions, awareness, bible, Buddhism, Christianity, conflict, critical judgment, culture, Discernment, epistemology, Ethics, faith, God, monotheism, Plato, postmodernism, Religion, Secularity, Trump
Like any other ideology-based group or community, Christian communities – churches and even entire denominations – have their own hortatory idioms, their own shibboleths, often drawn from the biblical text itself. One of the biggies for me, growing up as a fundamentalist Baptist, was “Saved by grace through faith,” right out of Ephesians 2:8-9. As a Catholic, I remember being admonished to “Follow your [i.e., my] vocation [or sometimes ‘calling’]”.  As a non-fundamentalist but still conservative evangelical Christian, I well remember assurances that “God has a wonderful plan for your [my] life” (usually those exact words). Now, just so there is no misunderstanding, most of the time, these exhortations are just harmless rhetoric. (Usually … there are exceptions, e.g., the “Follow
Rivals To “Arrival”

Rivals To “Arrival”

Astronomy, birth, Cosmology, Creation, Creator, curiosity, epistemology, extraterrestrial intelligences, Imagination, monotheism, Mystery, Neo-Platonism, paradox, Philosophy, Plato, postmodernism, quantum physics, Randomness, Rationality, Science, SETI, Statistics, The Divine, Theology, Uncategorized, Universe
If you have not yet seen the science-fiction movie Arrival, stop reading right now, and run – don’t walk – to the nearest theater where it is being shown. SPOILER ALERT:  if you intend to see Arrival, read no farther than this first paragraph. Be assured that the movie is far more provocative than the following comments, which do not profess to do it justice. Specifically, Arrival (1) harks back almost 1500 years to a text, The Consolation of Philosophy, by the early-Christian philosopher Boethius; and (2) at the same time leverages some of the implications of the quantum “measurement problem”:  the relationship between (what we once were pleased to call) “objective” reality and the consciousness of the observer. A lot has been written about both the latter, but Arrival’s twist is to r