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Author Archive: Bob Drury

Bob Drury is retired. He has been fascinated with the reasonableness of the Faith since his junior year in high school in the mid-20th century for which the religion text was entitled, "Faith and Reason". That fascination has continued throughout his education in philosophy, math and science. In his essays he hopes to share that fascination with others. Read more at his website, They Have No Wine.

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The Catholic and Gnostic Views of Materiality Yield Hope and Despair

May 20, AD2018 0 Comments
The Catholic and Gnostic Views of Materiality Yield Hope and Despair

Simply, the Catholic and Gnostic views of materiality are, respectively, Good and Evil, which engender hope and despair. It is paradoxical that the modern adoration of materiality in the form of technology should be concurrent and compatible with the Gnostic regard of materiality as evil. If we take the material and its pleasures as a […]

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Stagnaro Nails Probability, Ending the Fine Tuning Argument

April 22, AD2018 3 Comments
Stagnaro Nails Probability, Ending the Fine Tuning Argument

In an essay in the National Catholic Register, Angelo Stagnaro, in explaining probability, hit the nail on the head. In doing so, he nailed shut the coffin of the Fine Tuning argument for the existence of God, thereby ending it. He demonstrated that valid values of probability are based on a purely logical focus, not […]

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On the Integration of Substantial Change, Creation, and Evolution

March 11, AD2018 5 Comments
On the Integration of Substantial Change, Creation, and Evolution

Substantial change, creation, and evolution are commonly acknowledged to be topics in philosophy, theology, and science, respectively. The integration of theology with philosophy within human knowledge is clearly manifest in Catholic seminary education, which places the study of philosophy prior to the study of theology. In contrast to philosophy and theology, which are primarily concerned […]

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The Innovative Philosophy of the New Atheism

January 22, AD2018 2 Comments
The Innovative Philosophy of the New Atheism

I propose to give the New Atheists, and specifically Richard Dawkins, a fair shake by elucidating the innovative philosophy implicit in the New Atheism and specifically in Richard Dawkins’ writings. Typical Assessment of the New Atheism According to its critics, the New Atheism fails to present any philosophical innovation. That explains why Edward Feser in […]

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God Had a Plan: He Asked Mary’s Permission

December 31, AD2017 7 Comments
God Had a Plan: He Asked Mary’s Permission

God had a plan to save us, billions of people, from our alienation from him due to Adam’s sin and due to our personal sins. He asked Mary’s permission. She said yes. Hail Mary, Cause of our Joy! When Adam sinned, it seemed that he and all his offspring were doomed to lives of futility, […]

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Life and Intelligibility vs. Death and Inanity: Scientism and Meaning

November 16, AD2017 7 Comments
Life and Intelligibility vs. Death and Inanity: Scientism and Meaning

Moses set before the people Life and Death; from another aspect, Intelligibility and Inanity. He urged them to choose life (Deuteronomy 30:19). The Transcendentals Life and Intelligibility in this context refer to a single identity. They differ as logical, not real, distinctions. With Purpose, they form the triad of transcendentals. Each transcendental name refers fundamentally […]

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Excommunication, Controversy, and the Development of Doctrine

September 25, AD2017 4 Comments
Excommunication, Controversy, and the Development of Doctrine

Historically, theological controversy has led to the development of doctrine. This is quite apparent in the record of the ecumenical councils of the Catholic Church, but it also occurs with less celebrated questions and in modern times. Both St. Augustine and St. Anselm are quoted for their individual phrasing that belief in revelation leads to […]

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Living in the Mutable: Of Time and Eternity

August 14, AD2017 3 Comments
Living in the Mutable: Of Time and Eternity

Pope St. John Paul II begins the encyclical Fides et Ratio with the admonition “Know Yourself”. Most apparently, we are material creatures and as such are mutable. We change. Change is time. In contrast, God is immutable, eternally so. He does not change. This essay is a meditation on time, on our nature as material […]

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Plato, Miracles, and the Reality of Matter

July 17, AD2017 0 Comments
Plato, Miracles, and the Reality of Matter

Plato realized that the intelligible is immaterial by identifying a fundamental difference between the intelligible and the material. The intelligible is universal, while the material is particular. The concept of dog is universal: it applies to all dogs, whatever might be the medley of particular properties possessed by each material dog. Plato proposed that there […]

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Continuing the Reconciliation of Evolution with Revelation

June 14, AD2017 4 Comments
Continuing the Reconciliation of Evolution with Revelation

The purpose of revelation is not to confirm what man can know of material and immaterial things through his own natural capacity. The purpose is to inform man of the supernatural plan of God: “His will that men should have access to the Father, through Christ, the Word made flesh, in the Holy Spirit and […]

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Athens Comes to Greet Jerusalem: Substantial Change and Material Creation

May 15, AD2017 0 Comments
Athens Comes to Greet Jerusalem: Substantial Change and Material Creation

As Catholics, we believe that God revealed himself gradually to his chosen people, the Jews, and completed this Divine revelation in the Jewish Messiah, the Christ our Lord. We believe that Jesus Christ established the Catholic Church to transmit that revelation to all people through all generations. The revelation was not only knowledge but also […]

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When We Revile Others We Are, Ironically, Also Reviling God

April 11, AD2017 2 Comments
When We Revile Others We Are, Ironically, Also Reviling God

Reviling someone, whether it is mocking, taunting, or ridiculing, is almost always a sinful act, yet one which many tend to easily forget or overlook when going to confession. People often revile, ridicule, mock, or taunt those whom they judge to be inferior due to nature or due to some advantage they think they hold […]

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Turning to God, the Creator, or Acting Out a Parable

March 12, AD2017 0 Comments
Turning to God, the Creator, or Acting Out a Parable

In the encyclical, FIDES ET RATIO (Faith and Reason) Pope St. John Paul II explains how faith and reason are the foundation for human wisdom. He begins by referencing the Greek philosophical dictum, ‘Know thyself’ and then goes on to explain how revelation builds upon and completes human wisdom. In the New Testament, Jesus Christ […]

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Working Around the Impasse in the God Debate

February 12, AD2017 4 Comments
Working Around the Impasse in the God Debate

  Almost 70 years ago a famous but now somewhat forgotten debate took place on BBC radio between Bertrand Russell and Rev. C. J. Copleston, S.J. The topic of the debate was whether or not God existed. Russell, a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, writer, social critic, political activist, and self-described atheist, argued against God’s […]

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Bayes’ Theorem and the Historical Truth of Christianity

January 10, AD2017 1 Comment
Bayes’ Theorem and the Historical Truth of Christianity

  In his book, Proving History, Bayes’ Theorem and the Quest for the Historical Jesus, atheist activist Richard Carrier contends that reports in Christian scripture can be determined to be false by the application of Bayes’ theorem. He claims that by this method, it can be demonstrated that Jesus of Nazareth is not an historical person […]

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Probability and the Death of Herod Agrippa

December 6, AD2016 4 Comments
Probability and the Death of Herod Agrippa

In the sight of my foes. You anoint my head with oil. My cup overflows. Psalm 23:5 The Faith Advantage Nothing else compares with Sanctifying Grace, a share in the life of the Trinity. In spite of its heavenly orientation, the Grace of the Faith overflows into all human endeavor. This is most notable in […]

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Critique of a Bayesian Case Study of Herod’s Death by an Angel

November 6, AD2016 2 Comments
Critique of a Bayesian Case Study of Herod’s Death by an Angel

Raphael Lataster is a teaching fellow in the studies of religion at the University of Sydney. Lataster and Trent Horn, a Catholic apologist, debated one another on the topic Does God Exist? in May, 2016 at the University. At the 45th minute of the debate, Lataster chides Horn for failing to formulate probabilistic arguments in […]

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The Consolation of Truth

September 11, AD2016 0 Comments
The Consolation of Truth

On the day I began this essay, in the Kyrie at the beginning of Mass, the priest prayed, “In the consolation of truth, Lord have mercy”. What is the consolation of truth? Just what truth is consoling? Is it scientific truth, which consoles us through its technological implementation? The first principle of science, which I […]

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Is God Hidden?

August 11, AD2016 1 Comment
Is God Hidden?

To support his atheism, Bertrand Russell proposed the analogy of a celestial teapot. He noted that the burden of proof is not on the skeptic of the claim that there is a teapot orbiting the sun between Earth and Mars. The burden of proof is on the proponent who claims that the teapot is there, […]

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Agnosticism Wins the Debate: ‘Does God Exist?’

July 12, AD2016 6 Comments
Agnosticism Wins the Debate: ‘Does God Exist?’

It has been the consistent teaching of the Church that the existence of God can be known through nature apart from revelation. “Ever since the creation of the world, his invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity have been able to be understood and perceived in what he has made”, Rom 1:20. It would seem […]

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Can Arithmetic Set an Atheist Free?

June 14, AD2016 24 Comments
Can Arithmetic Set an Atheist Free?

We may be wary of the truth. Rather than setting us free, we may fear it will impose an obligation. We may be reluctant to reach a conclusion as true, simply because we view its implications as onerous. Take the formation of a new individual of the species by means of biological sex as an […]

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To Acknowledge the Existence of Sin is to Claim We Understand

May 16, AD2016 4 Comments
To Acknowledge the Existence of Sin is to Claim We Understand

If an adult were to make a general examination of conscience based on a list of virtues or vices, I believe he would find himself guilty of failing in each virtue and committing each vice. Thus, the motive with which he has acted or failed to act in some instance, however minor, is the same […]

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Mutability Implies an Immutable Goal

April 20, AD2016 1 Comment
Mutability Implies an Immutable Goal

The Book of Genesis outlines material creation focused on the earth. Material creation is in stages with the final stage, the creation of man. A seventh stage, the Sabbath, is not creational. The Sabbath emphasizes the fact that material creation has ceased. The era of the Sabbath is post-creational, except for the continued spiritual creation […]

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Religious Freedom When Government Determines Conscience

March 23, AD2016 6 Comments
Religious Freedom When Government Determines Conscience

The Freedom of Moral Law Many years ago in a local branch of the Chicago Public Library, I came across Cautionary Tales for Children by Hillaire Belloc in which evil doers are punished in this life. The introduction asks and then answers, And is it true? It is not true And if it were it […]

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