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Hope College, Holland, Michigan


Ever hear of the Great Spaghetti Monster and the Pastafarian Cult devoted to its worship? It might make you wonder: what does it take to make a belief to be rational or solid instead of stupid or kooky (like Pastafarian belief)? This talk will address such questions, which belong to a formal study of epistemology, or the theory of knowledge.

How could a person of faith respond to the accusation: “Christian belief is as kooky as Pastafarian belief”? The talk will raise a couple ways that the theory of knowledge matters to thoughtful “real” people like you, who probably won’t have much idea what goes on in philosophy departments. You’ll see examples from the fiction of C.S. Lewis and other sources you might recognize. One aim of the talk is to illuminate issues of faith for reflective people of faith, but the underlying issues are more general (like the issue of what it is to be rational). So the talk will be interesting apart from any connection to faith. If you’ve got a curious mind, you’ve probably thought some about philosophical matters even if you’ve never taken a philosophy class. Come to this talk to see how neat it can be to make contact with other good minds interested in things you’ll find you’ve wondered about, things that matter to you.


Presentation given at the Hope College Martha Miller Center for Global Communication on January 27, 2015.

laporte talk.pdf (215 kB)
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