The Agora

I came across this Blog a while back and a very interesting comment by a very interesting Dr Leong, maybe Nick or some of his friends can tell us if they have heard about The Agoroa because it is apparently Singapore based… This is my reply to teh Comment by Dr Leong, which youc an read here

I’m very impressed by Dr Leong’s very excelent argument for the existence of God, but as in my philosophical readings, I find the same problem with his argument as I find with many others, God appears to be a leap of faith.

Whilst I find the philosophical cosmological argument most convincing, there is certainly nothing in any of the arguments (Paley, Anselm, Acquinas, Descarte, Pascal etc) or the good Doctors own discussion above give any credence to a Christian God or any particular type of God for that matter.

Sorry to make this a matter for the existence of God, I was actually more interested in the use of post-modernity and modernity in your religous discussions and wondered if the Dr Leong has considered Nietzsche’s Genealogy of morals in its full extent? I’m sure you probably have, but at no stage do discuss the ramifications of arguably the father of post-modernism’s clear disgust with the christian morality and its hypocrisy.

I guess the reasons for this are similar to Hume’s disregard for the fact that he considers that we essentialy do not exist! As the Doctor said: “postmodernism is practically unlivable”… why not bring God into the argument – because all God represents then is an excuse, God becomes by definition really ‘that which we cannot explain.’

This to me is an equally unlivable and untenable philospohy to live life by, so please excuse me while I go join Hume and play cards and enjoy my life in what you may label a very unchristian, unreligous, and selfish ‘post-modern’ way.

Whislt you suggest that I cannot live life how I wish and may discuss Foucault and consider whether the way i wish to live is really the way I wish to live or if it is just societies way of wanting me to live, the argument applies equally well to religion; are you living your life how your religion wishes you to live it, or jsut how society wishes you to think your religion wants you to live… Confusing hey. Foucault has to be at least slightly mad, but he has a point, and he would defintely argue that mad is not necessarily a bad or unintelligible thing.

Thanks for reading! No offense intended.

4 thoughts on “The Agora

  1. Interesting blog entry, very profound for what is usually such a silly medium. Philosophy rocks and so does Foucault. Check out his stuff on the Panopticon if you haven’t already, tis an intersting concept. There is no real way to prove that we exist without leaving some element of doubt, but then again, would we really be happy if we had the answers to everything?

  2. Hi Nomad, glad to hear comments from you. Just a slight correction; that The Agora is not based in Singapore, rather it is in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Singapore has its own The Agora.Perhaps, if I understand Dr. Leong’s argument correctly, he wasn’t really arguing for the existence of God but rather, providing an alternative view that explains reality more exactly than both the modern and postmodern paradigms; namely the Christian worldview. And in any case, if you gauge that ‘leap of faith’ implies negative inferences, then I think that is not an appropriate response to Dr. Leong ‘s statement. If you read him correctly, he did explain what he meant by having ‘faith’. “Also, without faith we cannot live. Though you would not walk into a building you have reasons to believe is unsafe, when you do walk into one you do so by faith as you cannot be sure that it will not collapse. The same goes for the food you eat everyday, and so on…. “Just as you are breathing now, how sure are you that you really exist and reading this? Hume may have left an infinite gap between truth and justified belief yet that can be only held up in abstract discussion and not in reality or practical living. We do not USSUALLY investigate the identities of our parents before we acknowledge them as our parents. Since young, we took a ‘leap of faith’ in acknowledging our parents as our parents. This ‘leap of faith’ is justified (at least until when we grown up and found information that contrast our belief). Personally, I think we can’t read Hume without reading Thomas Reid, his fellow countryman. I used to find the cosmological argument as most convincing too but as existentialism and postmodernism surfacing in my thinking, I have to shift from reading those ‘out-dated’ (Paley, Anselm, Aquinas, Descates, Pascal, Leibniz, Augustine, etc) arguments to contemporary minds such as Alvin Plantinga and Nicolas Wolterstroff in epistemology; William Dembski, J.P Moreland, and William L. Craig in teleology and cosmology, Gary Habermas in historiography and Fraincis Shaeffer in meta-philosophy. And I seriously think that if you want to pick someone to rub shoulder with, why not pick these contemporaries instead of those of the antiquity. It would be more intellectually sensible to seek 21st century’s opinions to respond to 21st century problems, rather than putting new wine into old wineskin, which compelling the wineskin to burst.Yes, you do have the right to live your life according to your worldview, just as any others; religious folks or ‘non-religious’ folks alike (if there is any). But that’s barely the point. The point is that whether are we living as we ought to. In fact, what does it mean by ‘living’ in any strict sense of the word? We can’t say just because I am breathing and typing this, I am ‘alive’. What does it really mean to be ‘alive’? Shall we expect an answer about life from Nietzsche who murdered his own life? Or shall we expect a truthful answer from Foucault who suspects that truth is nothing more than some kind of power agendas? Just to live according to any reasons other than the Truth, we are not living in any strict sense of the word. Thanks for reading , no offenses intended too.

  3. Thanks, man, for dropping by our humble blog! We are just a bunch of Malaysian Christians, with some friends in South East Asia and beyond 🙂To be fair, I think Dr Leong cant possibly, in the space of a blog ‘comment’ (for goodness sake!), to unpack a philosophical case for Trinitarian God that encompasses a discussion on Hume, Nietszche and Foucault! hehehe…If i recall aright, his ‘original intent’ was discussing how to share the gospel (employing insights from pomo to ‘dismantle’ the enlightenment project)… Then, his critique on pomo was tat its’ unliveable… before pointing towards the Christian alternative. I think u got a point if wat ur saying is, just because pomo is unliveable doesnt by default lead us to the Trinitarian God. But I dun think this is necessarily wat he’s saying… perhaps he’s employing ‘existential satisfaction’ or ‘liveability’ as one of the criteria for a plausible worldview. (which seems fair)In this light, he’s probably saying Pomo fails at this test of truth, while Christianity passes. Of course that would take more arguing… but at least it avoids the ‘god of the philosophical gaps’ approach that u seem to think he falls under 🙂THanks for the interaction and feel free to drop by again

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