Category: Philosophy

The 3 Transcendentals: Truth, Goodness, & Beauty

What is real? What is right? What is lovely? Human beings ask these kinds of questions because we long for at least three things: truth, goodness, and beauty. Prominent philosophers through the centuries have called these three cosmic values transcendentals. A transcendental refers to something that exists beyond the time-space-matter world. It is a universal reality that extends beyond our everyday sensory experiences and is…

An Author Read by Popes, Rock Stars, and Atheists

One Christian author in history owns the distinction of having been read by popes, rock stars, and leading atheists. He lived almost 1,600 years ago and was from North Africa. He is the single most prolific author of the ancient world and has influenced countless Protestants and Catholics. Named after two Roman emperors, he is known to us as St. Augustine of…

Does Everyone Have Three Lives?

I’ve enjoyed watching police dramas since childhood. Some of my favorites from the distant past include Streets of San Francisco, Kojak, and Starsky and Hutch. Currently, my favorite television program is CBS’s Blue Bloods. It stars Tom Selleck as New York City police commissioner Frank Reagan. A wise patriarch, Reagan often dispenses provocative quotes at the family dinner table,1 including this line from Colombian novelist and Nobel laureate Gabriel García Márquez (1927-2014): “Everyone has three lives:…

4 Philosophical Nuggets You Can Use

Can we learn much from brief philosophical statements? Regular readers of my blog know that I occasionally feature the segment Friday Philosophy, where I provide quotes from profound philosophical thinkers both past and present. A contemporary philosopher that I appreciate is professor David Naugle. Naugle’s book Reordered Love, Reordered Lives: Learning the Deep Meaning of Happiness has been very helpful to me in…

God as the Best Explanation of Beauty

Some of Western civilization’s greatest works of art are housed in the Vatican Museums. Museum benefactors say that part of their mission is to promote “evangelism through beauty.”1 Thus, they are expressing an aesthetic argument that can be made for God’s existence. One way to frame this argument is to reason that God’s existence provides the best explanation for the world’s beauty. Let’s briefly explore the…

What Kind of World Is Needed for Science to Work?

Advancements in science, technology, and medicine over the last century or so have benefitted virtually all people. Scientific progress has lengthened human life spans and improved quality of life. These great strides prompt a provocative question: Why does science work? That is, why is the scientific enterprise so effective in delivering critical, reliable information about the natural world that can inform…

The Crowd Roared: Christian Reflections on Fame

Recently, I went to a Lakers game with family and friends, and I came away with a philosophical reflection. I noticed that every time Lakers star Kobe Bryant touched the ball, scored a basket, or even appeared on the big screen, the crowd at Staples Center visibly changed. Lakers fans became loud, energetic, and collectively erupted into a roar. There…

Catching the Spirit of Philosophy

Philosophy is unlike any discipline I ever studied in school. The word philosophy (from Greek: phileo, meaning “love,” and sophia, meaning “wisdom”) means the love of wisdom. My first philosophy teachers in college introduced me to the ancient Greek philosophers Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. From these three great founders of Western intellectual thought I caught what I call the spirit…

Our Philosophical Options According to Albert Camus

Some of the stories from classical Greek philosophy and mythology leave me with a lingering sense of philosophical angst. In an earlier article, I wrote about how Plato’s allegory of the cave always makes me self-conscious of whether I have adequately tested my beliefs and overall world-and-life view. It’s difficult to shake the image of sitting in a dark cave…