Journal Entry on Smith and Postmodernism & Religion

Journal Entry on “James K.A. Smith on Postmodernism and Religion.”

            “Postmodernism is defined by its critique of modernities’ ideas” (~04:50 Smith goes on to state some of postmodernism’s proposals. One of these proposals is to go to the heart of the modernity project and critique it wholly. A second proposal of postmodernism is calling into question the idea of pure reason which is invoked through marginalized religions. Smith’s third proposal of postmodernism is that it is to point out the impossibility of neutrality and pure reason. I appreciated how Smith went into some detail, explaining and giving examples of how and where postmodernism critiques and fills the holes of modernity. Smith’s arguments seemed to be targeted towards showing that postmodernism actually paves the way for Christianity to exist in modernity. “A more persistent postmodernist will clear the space for God” (~46:00


Journal Entry on Sophie’s World: Garden Party – Big Bang.

Sophie’s World; Garden Party – Big Bang.

Sophie’s World ended in a strange way; but, considering the content of Sophie’s World, it was not such a strange ending. Alberto and Sophie end up sneaking out of the major’s book. They end up as spirits in the real world. Alberto explains to Sophie their new status; “Spirit can pass through steel doors. No tanks or bombers can crush anything that is of spirit” (p. 494-495 Sophie’s World). They proceed to go to the major’s house and there they listen in on the final lesson in the philosophy course, the Big Bang. It was a different concept for me to read that some people think that due to the time it takes light to travel, looking at stars that are thousands of light-years away equals looking at those same stars as they were thousands of years ago. “When we gaze at a star in the Milky Way which is 50,000 light-years away from our sun, we are looking back 50,000 years in time” (p. 505 Sophie’s World). I do not believe that the world and the universe are that old. I believe in a young earth, around 6000 – 8000 years old. When God created everything, I believe, He created them as mature creations. He did not make Adam and Eve as babies who had to grow up and then have their own kids. God made Adam and Eve as adults, capable of taking care of themselves, and ready to have a family. I think that God also created the universe as a mature creation, not as a baby that has to form. Certainly, God has created all things to grow and change, He did not mean for us to stay at one level of growth all our lives. The Big Bang theory just goes too far, in saying that things just exploded and came into being; in my opinion.  


Journal Entry on Human, All Too Human (Nietzsche Documentary)

Human, All Too Human (Nietzsche Documentary)

Nietzsche said “God is dead. God remains dead because we have killed Him” (02:17-22  The documentary stated that Nietzsche’s father was a pastor, and that for some time, Nietzsche himself studied theology. Somewhere along the lines, Nietzsche must have rejected the reality of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. I find it very interesting and sad that Nietzsche only looks at one part of the death of Jesus. We (humans) did indeed kill Jesus, but God the Father most certainly raised Jesus from the dead! I guess that Nietzsche’s need for an answer helped him to come to his conclusion. Driven by all the bad things that happened to him, Nietzsche rejected Christianity and sought his refuge in philosophy. In the documentary on Nietzsche it was said, “He [Nietzsche] needed his own philosophy to cope with his life; to cope with his problems” (21:28-31 However, his philosophy did not treat him so swell either. Nietzsche ended up going mad, clinically insane, as a result of all the philosophical questions and responsibilities he had imposed on himself.


Journal Entry on Roderick #7.

Roderick Journal Entry #7

Freud’s great discovery was the discovery of unconsciousness. The goal used to be that the id/it became the ego/I; meaning, the things that were unknown were sought after and reflected upon until it was understood. Then everything changed. Roderick says, “The account I am giving of this mass telecommunication culture – the postmodern culture – is that it’s goal is the opposite; that the “I” become “it”” (2/4 01:12-01:23 When the “I” becomes “it,” the reflected and understood things/thoughts get tossed out and become forgotten. People no longer seek to know and understand things. In talking about Freud, Roderick says, “So the duplicity that Freud located in consciousness recurs in culture in an even more savage way. Because even in the most private parts of the “I”, where we think we are clearest, in principle we can’t be sure that they are not already invaded, inculturated, stamped, coded, filed, indexed” (2/4 07:07-07:31 Thus, even the parts of our consciousness that we are sure are correct and thinking clearly; we really have no idea if that really is true or not. For all we know, our conscious minds could have been messed with, tweaked, and/or preprogrammed. We would never know it, thinking that we were thinking our own thoughts clearly.


Journal Entry on Roderick #6.

Roderick Journal Entry #6.

Having read about Kierkegaard in Sophie’s World, I was expecting to hear a little bit more about faith and Christianity, rather than despair and horror movies. To sum up part of what Kierkegaard says, “Human beings are spirit. Spirit is self. Self is the relation relating itself to itself. Human beings are a synthesis of infinite and finite. Human beings are still not a self.” (paraphrase of 05:30 – 06:15 2/5 From here Roderick goes on to talk about despair. The despair of not knowing you are in despair, and the despair of not being conscious of having a self. Kierkegaard points out that the answer is found in Christ. Roderick, however, goes to great length to describe and explain the despair that comes when the only hope one has is to die. It is really very depressing. Roderick would feel more hopeful, and realize the truth of hope, if only he believed in Jesus as his Savior.


Journal Entry on Roderick #5.

Roderick Journal Entry #5.

Roderick starts off by saying, “Nietzsche is supposed to hold the scandalous view that knowledge is a form of power. Now that is scandalous because knowledge is knowledge” (08:11-08:32 1/5 Roderick clears up the supposition when he states, “So, an important part of Nietzsche’s investigation is in the interconnection between forms of knowledge and power” (01:58-02:00 2/5 Nietzsche was called the master of suspicion. He was suspicious about everything. For many of his arguments, he refers back to the Greeks view of virtue. Virtue was excellence being well rounded. Roderick sums this up when he says, “In other words his account is not a moral theory, but it is a theory about how we have come to have the moral theories we do have…” (01:07-01:14 3/5 The underlying theme I found in this lecture on Nietzsche is that he believed that if you want to do something, and you know you will enjoy doing it; then by all means, do it. Nietzsche was suspicious and wary of the Christian view of sin and guilt. 


Journal Entry on Philosophy and the Matrix

Philosophy and the Matrix – Return to the Source.

I was surprised at how many different parallels between the matrix and philosophy this documentary pointed out.  “The matrix is a web of illusion in which people are meshed or trapped …ignorance is the problem in the matrix and in Buddhism, the solution is awakening, which is knowledge” (12:12,-12:20 Seeking knowledge was something all the philosophers did in one way or another. They sought to prove the existence of knowledge.

“Berkeley wanted to feel there was a divine presence in the world” (20:45 Berkeley was bothered by the idea that all we need in the world is equations, and equations are the answer and reason for everything. The matrix is like all those equations that make up the world.

“A question of philosophy is the nature of freewill, we all think we have freewill, but as we seek to answer the question of what freewill is, it seems like we do not have freewill after all” (paraphrase of 28:38 – 28:50 What the people in the matrix do not realize or accept, is that God does exist and that there is a balance between His will and man’s freewill. God is indeed omniscient, but He also gives us the freewill to choose. Just because God already knows what will happen, does not mean that He just makes us do it. He gives us the choice to do His perfect will, or His permissive will.