Where Does One Begin? Where Are You?
What Questions Do You Have? Where Are You Hurting? What Occupies Your
“I have fallen, and I can’t get up!
“Felt-needs.” What are yours?
As a Christian, have you ever wondered, “Why is everyone else so
joyful, while I am not. Maybe even you lead a life of “quiet
Can this thing called “Christianity” be real? Does God really exist?
Does He really care for ME?”
Where is the “abundant life” that Jesus promised?
I go to church. I read my Bible. I pray. Nothing changes
Philosophy will help--I guarantee it! “But,” you say, “I don’t have
time to study. Philosophy sounds hard and complicated. And, I am
OK, OK! You will have to allow me more than a micro-second for some
answers. Besides that, each person reading this page may have a
different problem. So, I will have to give several answers. But, let’s
Philosophy can tell you that God is real. It can tell you that faith
in God and His promises are the most certain things that you can know in
this life on planet earth. It can tell you that the Bible is what every
serious philosopher has sought their entire lives.
Philosophy make not make it easy for you, but it will give answers to
your deepest “felt-needs” or questions about God and this life on Planet
All right, Answer Number One. If you have read this page to this
point and understood it, you have just out-thought some of the greatest
philosophers of the late 20th Century. Smile! you have
already achieved more than these philosophers!
“Huh!” You say. “All I did was read a few lines.”
Yes, you did! And, to get to this point, you understood them. These
“great” philosophers have said that words are so imprecise that they
cannot be a means of communication. But, have you not understood
everything that I have said so far. Words communicate. Answer
Number One completed!
“Hey,” wait a minute,” you challenge. “That’s too easy. Philosophy
cannot be this easy. And, how can something so simple answer all my
concerns and deepest needs listed above?”
Whoa! Hold on. Give me a chance. We have only done a page or so. Stay
with me a little longer.
Simple or not, Ludwig Wittgenstein and others indeed tried to
postulate that language cannot communicate. For a while, many
philosophers and others trembled at their notion that even if we knew
something (truth, for instance), it could not be communicated because of
the inadequacies of language. Yet, you and I have proven them wrong,
since you have continued with me so far. And, they contradicted their
own reasoning because they used words to communicate their ideas which
were understood by those reading them.
Relative to your Christian faith, you now know that the Bible can be
read and understood. Now, I am not saying how much you can
understand at this point, but that you can understand it. After all, as
I said, we have just begun. You can know that David was king of Israel.
At this point, you cannot know whether it is true, but you know what the
sentence says. And, you know that Jesus talked to Peter. And, you know
that Paul was imprisoned in Rome. Again, we have not covered truth, only
that you can read sentences in the Bible and elsewhere and understand
So, you see, philosophy can be made hard or easy. I am going to try
to make it easy, but sometimes it may stretch you a little bit. But,
stretching is good for you--for example, when you wake up in the
morning! Maybe these little philosophy lessons will do the same for you.
Answer Number Two: You Exist in the Universe
René Descartes said, “I think,
therefore I am.” I have shown that you can read. If you can read, you
also think. Therefore, you are.
“Hey, you can’t slip that by me! How do I know that I am not dreaming
and will suddenly wake up!”
Let’s see, now. How old are you? Fifteen? Twenty? Thirty? Forty?
Ancient, like me? Don’t you think that if you were going to wake up, it
would have happened by now!
And, the universe. Have you not been looking at the same sun, moon,
and stars since you were able to understand what they are?
Therefore, you and the universe are. You and it exist. Welcome to
a life on Planet Earth in the Milky Way Galaxy.
(Actually, there is more that we need to say about thinking being
real, but we will get there. What I have said here is true within the
system that we will construct.)
Answer Number Three: Those Pesky Emotions Are Not
What to you fell right now? Happy, sad, perplexed, a little anxious?
Why are you reading this page? Are you on the verge of despair? Were you
curious about a philosophy book that is simple?
What about the last few days or weeks? Are you OK? Are you depressed?
Have you just broken up with your boyfriend or girlfriend? Are you so
mad that you could yell? Are you happy because something great just
happened in your life?
Do you think of yourself as a simple or complex person? Well,
sub-answer number three: everyone is complex!
I am going to assume that you are single, but you can add all the
multiples of spouse and children and all their “things,” if that applies
to you. You either have a job or go to school. You have a family with at
least a mother, father, brother, and sister. You have friends. You have
acquaintances. You own things, maybe have a hobby, a cell phone, or a
Gameboy. Maybe you have a pet: dog, cat, or goldfish. You write email
and letters. You have teachers or co-workers. Seasons of Spring, Summer,
Winter, and Fall occur every year. The weather is rain or sleet or snow
or sunshine--or maybe a tornado. Are you getting the picture? On the
Planet Earth you have a complex existence.
“How did we get here?,” you might be thinking. “I thought that this
answer was on emotions.” It is.
But, before I got to emotions, I had to place them in context--the
context of a complicated life. Let’s assume that you just got some
really bad news: you failed an important exam; you broke up with your
boyfriend or girlfriend; someone close to you died; your parents are so
unfair; your children are so unruly.
So, whatever happened, that person or thing is not your whole life.
While it may be important to you, it is not your whole life. Your whole
life is much more. So, why should that one event destroy the rest of
your relationships? Does it seem reasonable to
let one happening to color your whole life?
But, we all do it! Yes, we do. I do it. But, that is not the
question. Do we destroy everything else in our lives over one event?
I am not asking you suddenly to become a Spartan, taking everything
in stride or getting up off the mat instantly to go again. All that I am
asking at this point is to consider that the strong emotions from one
event is only one event. There is much more to your life than that one
The reason that I bring emotions up is that one or more of them is
almost always the reason that we question life or question God. You
lose a parent, “Why, God?” But, there is much else in your life that is
right and good. The emotions challenge everything else. You become
crippled, “Why God?” There is still much in your life that is right and
good. We have trials at work which make us angry, “Why God?” But, we
have all the rest of our lives that is right and good.
Emotions color. Emotions interfere. Emotions destroy. But, they do so
only because we let one area of our lives affect all others. It is that
But, being simple, that does not mean it is not hard. I can ask you
to roll a 25-pound ball up a long, steep hill. It is a simple task, but
All I ask for now is simple to begin to think how strong emotions
triggered in one area of our lives affects all others. It is likely the
reason that you are seriously questioning everything else!
Challenge your “safe” environment (church, family beliefs). “Examine”
your life - Socrates.
Use good reason (logic)
The Bible has all the answers that you need.
Philosophy, apologetics has all the answers that you need outside the
“There are no absolutes” = at least one absolute
The law of non-contradiction