I am very proud to announce that I co-wrote a paper with Tim Hsiao on the Contingency Argument for God’s existence that just got accepted into The Heythrop Journal (forthcoming). This paper is aimed toward the thoughtful layman, and presents a novel critique of existential inertia. You can read it here.
On January 6th Trump told his supporters, “I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.” Then he said, “We’re going walk down to the Capitol, and we’re going to cheer on our brave senators, and congressmen and women. We’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them because you’ll never take back our country with weakness.”
These are the most violent-inciting words in America’s history. He clearly called for an attack on the Capitol that is quite reminiscent of Osama Bin Laden, 9/11, and Hitler combined. Trump is now the leader of up to a million domestic terrorists, insurrectionists, and treasonous Americans. As one very “wise” man put it, this is to date the biggest “military threat” to America.Continue reading “No, Trump Did Not Incite Violence”
Is it inconsistent and hypocritical to oppose the Black Lives Matters riots while turning a blind eye to the storming of Capitol Hill? Many high-profile conservative pundits seem to think so.
Even if you think both of these actions were wrong, they are wrong for different reasons. It is perfectly consistent to oppose the riots perpetrated by the Black Lives Matters movement while sympathizing with the actions of the protestors who stormed Capitol Hill. This isn’t to say that the latter was right, only that holding one view doesn’t commit someone to the other view. There is no double standard.
Why is that? Answer: the BLM riots were wrong because they targeted the livelihoods of innocent business owners who had nothing to do with the perceived injustices highlighted by the BLM movement. By contrast, the actions of the Capitol Hill protesters were aimed directly against a government that was perceived as directly morally complicit in the failure to uphold justice, the rule of law, and election integrity. Therein lies the difference: the BLM riots targeted innocents, whereas the Capitol Hill protesters targeted a government directly responsible for denying election justice.Continue reading “There Are No Double Standards”
[Updated Nov 25th at 2:55 PM MST]
Has anyone ever told you that “You can’t do it” and “You’re crazy” over and over? Perhaps they’ve told you this so many times, you’ve started to believe it yourself. This is what’s happening in our election today. The media is telling us “There is no evidence. You can’t prove it” and “You are just a crazy conspiracy theorist” over and over again. They’re gaslighting, ridiculing, and dismissing. But we all know something is up. 70% of Republicans suspect foul play; far higher than it has ever been in the history of U.S. elections. Something doesn’t smell right, even if we can’t quite put our finger on it. Can we do better than that though? Can we provide evidence? I will argue that we most certainly can. If you suspect fraud or you are open to the possibility, this article is for you.
First, it is important we begin with a clear and precise thesis:
We will be using BBC’s criteria to make the minimal claim that we have good reason to suspect that there is targeted fraud in some key battleground states (PA, WI, MI, GA, and AZ). Their results do not pass the “sniff” test. We are not claiming there is decisive evidence of targeted fraud (yet), that there is nation-wide voter fraud in every state, that every Democrat and news outlet is conspiring together, or that there is massive fraud in the millions. Rather, we are making the more limited and the far more modest claim that we tentatively have good reason to suspect that targeted fraud exists in some of the key states, that several powerful figures are behind this, and that this fraud is significant enough to flip the election in Trump’s favor even if that is by a small margin.
Graham Oppy recently published a paper in Religious Studies entitled, “On stage one of Feser’s ‘Aristotelian proof” (see here) which seeks to refute Feser’s defense of the First Way. Now I do not presume to have the intellectual expertise of either of them, but I would nevertheless like to write my initial thoughts and compare notes with Feser’s future response. What follows is my brief defense of the First Way.
Oppy’s central claim is this:
Potentials to remain unchanged do not require distinct actualizers; all they require is the absence of any preventers of the actualization of those potentials. In particular, things that have the potential to go on existing go on existing unless there are preventers – internal or external – that cause those things to cease to exist.
He uses the analogy that a chair that is red at t1 has the potential to continue to exist and be red at t2. This potential does not need to be actualized by something else; it just continues being actual as it was before. This idea is not new. It’s called existential inertia, which holds that once something is in existence, it naturally continues to exist without any cause. Let’s suppose that Oppy is right here. This is not change in the strict sense that Feser is talking about. The common person would never claim something that stays the same has changed. Change is when a red chair becomes a green chair. Or in more Aristotelian language, it’s when the red chair’s potential to be green is actualized. The First Way never says unchanged things need distinct actualizers, only that changed things need distinct actualizers. So it seems to me that Oppy’s objection is irrelevant.
I’m excited to announce Thomistic Thinker! The goal of this blog is to develop my deeper, philosophical reflections as it pertains to various metaphysical, ethical, and political issues from a Thomistic perspective. I’m a very strong believer in common sense – which in my view entails classical conservatism – not just as a philosophical approach but as a way of life. The sheer simplicity, beauty, and self-evident nature of common sense puts many of our modern philosophical ideas to shame. I will be explicating and defending common sense as Aristotle, Aquinas, Reid, Moore, Adler, Feser, Oderberg, and many others have done.
Allow me to briefly introduce myself: My name is Gil Sanders and I’m 29 years old. I’m a philosopher by night, an IT nerd by morning, and a Christian through it all. I studied under Edward Feser at Pasadena City College and got my bachelors in philosophy at Cal State Los Angeles. I am currently working on my Master’s in Philosophy at SES. What I am most known for is my paper entitled, “An Aristotelian Approach to Quantum Mechanics.” When I’m not being a bore, I enjoy playing the guitar, doing photography, editing video, and debating people on social media.
I welcome you to explore the wondrous world of Thomistic thought with me. Sometimes I’ll be wrong; sometimes I’ll be right. But one thing is for certain: seeking truth, wherever it leads, is necessary to leading a good life.
Here’s to Making Common Sense Great Again!