Monthly Archives: October 2019

Does Science Destroy Mystery? Reply to Van de Cruys

Clerks studying astronomy and geometry (France, early 15th century).

In the previous post, Dr. Sander Van de Cruys argued,

I want to take seriously the feeling or complaint of people in the arts that science disenchants the world, or more broadly takes ‘something’ away from it … It seems totally possible to be enchanted by the ‘quest’, the hunt for making things comprehensible or predictable, while at the same time be thoroughly displeased or even depressed by the resulting worldview.

The first thing I’d say in reply is that, Continue reading Does Science Destroy Mystery? Reply to Van de Cruys

Does Science Destroy Mystery?

Wrisberg epitaph in Hildesheim Cathedral, showing the distribution of the divine graces by means of the church and the sacraments, or mysteries. By Johannes Hopffe 1585.

© Sander Van de Cruys, Ph.D.– (Reprinted with Permission)

(Some of my colleagues have been discussing the appeal of mystery—especially why people resent that science tries to solve mysteries, often preferring pseudo-scientific, religious, or other supernatural explanations. One explanation offered for this is that knowledge excludes, for example, miraculous cures while mystery does not. In such cases it is easy to see why believing in mystery would be appealing—we often want miracles. In reply, Dr. Sander Van de Cruys penned the following.) Continue reading Does Science Destroy Mystery?

Support Dr John Messerly on Patreon

Patreon wordmark.svg

Beginning today I will be giving readers the option to support my work on Patreon.

Why Am I Doing This?

The fact is that my wife and I now live exclusively on our social security income in a high cost city and hosting and maintaining the site costs money. Also, researching, writing, editing, monitoring comments, replying to emails, etc. has become increasingly taxing as readership has grown and it would be nice to at least break even. (This month I will again exceed 100,000 page views and I receive hundreds of comments a month including many nasty ones!) So if you value my work and are able to support it, I encourage you to do so. Together we can help future generations survive, flourish, and find meaning in life.

How Can I Help?

You can show appreciation for my work by becoming a regular patron and supporting me at Patreon. Just a few dollars a month will help me to continue to produce quality material. In return patrons will receive a number of perks including: access to patron-only posts; having their comments automatically posted; being able to email directly with me with questions, and, at the premier patron level, free, signed copies of my 3 most recent books after six months of patronage. Thanks for your consideration.

Summary: The Philosophy of Protagoras

Image result for PROTAGORASBust of Protagoras

© Darrell Arnold Ph.D.– (Reprinted with Permission)

Protagoras, who in antiquity was often thought to be an atheist, is often considered the most important of the sophists. The argument passed down from him on our inability to know of the existence or the nature of the gods is brief but powerful: Continue reading Summary: The Philosophy of Protagoras

What’s the Point of it All? Reply to Stiller

In a previous post, Austin Stiller responded to a video in which an aging philosopher discussed the question “what the point of it all?” In this post, a reader replies to Stiller. Here is that reply.

Stiller’s reaction to Fingarette’s video and my comments in this blog’s previous post have cleared up something of a mystery for me about Thoreau that has troubled me for the longest time. Continue reading What’s the Point of it All? Reply to Stiller