3QuarksDaily has an essay arguing that only philosophers go to hell. From the article,
Notice that in order to deserve the full measure of that punishment in Hell, a sinner who rejects God must know exactly what she’s doing. If, say, the person who rejects God does so because she did not understand Him properly or because she did not know what she was rejecting Him, then she cannot deserve full punishment of Hell. She has made an error, but it was not related to her character, but consists in her failure to grasp the divine. She didn’t fully understand her actions. Only those who understand exactly what they are doing deserve proportionate retribution.
It seems clear that only someone with appropriate philosophical acumen could have that kind of understanding. Being familiar with a textual tradition is clearly insufficient, as the art of interpreting those texts is what’s required to take them appropriately. (No one takes Solomonic wisdom to consist in the threatening to chop up anything in contention.) Philosophy is what constitutes those interpretive moves. So, on the retributive theory of Hell, only a philosopher could justly go there.
On the other hand,
All this seems excellent news for non-philosophers. Socrates may have been right that the unexamined life is not worth living, but at least it keeps you out of Hell. But there’s some bad news, too. By way of the same kind of arguments presented above, we should hold that Heaven is reserved only for philosophers. If Heaven is our loving communion with God, it must be something we’ve knowingly chosen. God could not want us to enter into an eternity of loving communion with Him without our knowing what we are doing. And, again, only philosophers could understand what that choice amounts to. Only philosophers can go to Hell. And only philosophers can go to Heaven. Maybe that’s not such good news for non-philosophers. But perhaps there’s some comfort in the thought that non-philosophers might be able to avoid going anywhere for eternity.
The NY Times Stone series has an entry by Gary Gutting (Notre Dame) providing a note of caution to policy makers who uncritically accept the generously dubbed 'results' of the social sciences. From the essay,
Even if social science were able to greatly increase their use of randomized controlled experiments, Manzi’s judgment is that “it will not be able to adjudicate most policy debates.” Because of the many interrelated causes at work in social systems, many questions are simply “impervious to experimentation.” But even when we can get reliable experimental results, the causal complexity restricts us to “extremely conditional, statistical statements,” which severely limit the range of cases to which the results apply.
My conclusion is not that our policy discussions should simply ignore social scientific research. We should, as Manzi himself proposes, find ways of injecting more experimental data into government decisions. But above all, we need to develop a much better sense of the severely limited reliability of social scientific results. Media reports of research should pay far more attention to these limitations, and scientists reporting the results need to emphasize what they don’t show as much as what they do.
Satire of philosophy is not uncommon, but rarely are there so many inside jokes as can be found on fauxphilnews. Of special note are the articles,
...here’s my translation: “The truth will set you free. But first, it will piss you off.”
Coined by the celebrated feminist Gloria Steinem, it means that prior to feeling any mental elation, we experience an almost reflexive resistance upon first hearing dangerous truths. That is, many ideas are labeled dangerous, not because they’re false but because they might be true. For exposing dangerous ideas to young folks like yourselves, Socrates was sentenced to death and chose suicide. Galileo was charged with heresy by the church and sentence to house arrest. Others have suffered exile, jail and much worse.
Just for the pure joy of it,