Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Coherence and Creationism (12 Feb 2013; Darwin Day)

“Evolutionary biology not only allows theology to enlarge its sense of God’s creativity by extending it over measureless eons of time; it also gives comparable magnitude to our sense of the divine participation in life’s long and often tormented journey.”
- John Haught  God After Darwin (2007)

As every student of philosophy is taught at some point, truth may be distinguished and categorized in a number of ways, but on certain broad grounds there are ‘two kinds’ of truth: the truth of coherence and the truth of correspondence.  Something that has the truth of coherence ‘hangs together;’ it makes sense and has no internal logical flaws or conundrums.  Something that has the truth of correspondence ‘relates to’ or ‘mirrors’ what we understand to be the external world.  It ‘corresponds’ – perhaps ‘point by point’ – with how the world actually is.  The more it corresponds, the more ‘true’ it is.  There is much more that could be said, and a great deal of nuancing needs done to more fully elucidate these two ‘types,’ but this is the basic distinction.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Musings on Fictional and Historical Spirituality (2 February 2013)

This morning at breakfast, a friend and I got into an interesting discussion about spirituality.  After reading the Corey Olsen book (Exploring J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, 2012), I found myself thinking once again about the distinction between fictional and historical spirituality, and reflecting on whether or not it is a valuable distinction to make.
The idea of a fictional spirituality is that you can base practices and even beliefs in a fictional source; such as LOR or Star Wars or Star Trek—and that this does not de facto prevent you from living a valuable and production life.  Some people would say that to live your life ‘based on a fiction’ is inherently inauthentic; but I disagree with the generalization.  I have thought of my own book, The Fires of Yule, for the last year or so as an exercise in fictional spirituality, as it is ‘set’ in Ross County and is now – in the new edition coming out this year – narrated by a fictional character – Cornelius Whitsel.
But what constitutes a ‘fictional spirituality?’  What defines it; especially as in distinction from an ‘historical spirituality’—and what defines that?