Thursday, June 22, 2006

My Philosophical Empiricism

In my first self-descriptive statement in the blogger profile I identify myself as a philosophical empiricist. For those of you who do not know the term, it refers to the idea that knowledge is based on experience. The category of experience may include all contents of consciousness or it may be restricted to the data of the senses only (Keeton, 1962). - Wikipedia
For more on empiricism as a philosophical position, follow this link.
The reason I'm bringing this up now is that I was involved last night in a spirited discussion over at Len Hart's blog, The Existentialist Cowboy. Len's on my blogroll now, so you can link through that, or go directly to the comment thread here. Many of the posts on this blog started out as a comment I felt required expansion, but felt it impolite to leave an overly long comment on someone else's blog. In this case, my comments on Len's blog greatly expanded on the blogger profile you see on your right. In defending one's position, that position becomes better defined.
Stephen Neitzke's criticism of what he thought my position to be illustrates that last point. Although I have studied gnosticism, I do not consider myself to be a gnostic. Further to that, I do not define the word gnostic in the same way as most people who do identify themselves as gnostic. Similarly, though I have studied the Bible, I do not feel I would be accepted by most Christians as being one of them, as I reject the writings of St. Paul. A lot of people think that the pollution of a pure primeval Christianity began with Constantine the Great (great big fat bastard in my opinion.) My studies indicate it began with St. Paul who infiltrated the early Christian community and took it over using the laughable cachet given him by his unsubstantiated claim of conversion on the road to Damascus. But I digress.
When I began this blog, I intended to have another one devoted exclusively to the opinions I formed in a study I conducted on early Christian history. I abandoned that idea when I realized that my output was too low to justify more than one blog, let alone two. If I thought that interest was high, I might at least begin to post regularly on the subject. What do you think about that idea?
By the way, I have never completed a college level course in philosophy, though I did audit some classes back in 1972 for a couple of months. My only post-secondary education was a couple of years of trade school studying electronics and computer technology. I think I held my own pretty well regardless. Thanks to all the participants over at Existentialist Cowboy, especially Stephen, who made me sharpen my thinking skills in a way that I haven't in much too long.

"Honest disagreement is often a good sign of progress." -- Mohandas Gandhi

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