Daniel Romeyn Davis

Joined: Feb. 23, 2012


I am a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio where I majored in History and Philosophy and was a member of the University’s Honors Program in the Great Books of Western Civilization. My primary interests are in the philosophy of religion, the history of philosophy, philosophical theology, existentialism, and ethics.  

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Philosophy and Faith

Aug. 22 at 1:00pm | Comments: 1 | Most recent comment: Dec. 12 at 8:51am

I begin this post with a question that has been continually recurring in my life, which is: What does it mean to be both a Christian and a philosopher (a lover of wisdom)? [I add the parenthesis to soften claims of intellectual arrogance - as it can be seen as presumptuous, if not pretentious, for an undergraduate student to assume the title: "philosopher." Although, in another way, anyone who participates in self-reflection, inspired by the Platonic call to "Know...

Angst and the Christian Life

Apr. 22 at 3:00am | Comments: 4 | Most recent comment: Apr. 25 at 11:26pm

The Gospels give us the consistent message that the Christian life will not be easy to live.  Indeed, the very heart of our Christian faith emphasizes that the highest expression of love is that love which is self-sacrificial.  We must be willing to die to ourselves in order to validate our love for the other.  Jesus makes this message even clearer when he affirms that the other for whom we are dying is our neighbor.  Our...

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Re: A New Wrinkle in the Modesty Debate

Jun. 27 at 9:58am | see this comment in context

I fear that if we continue down this path all religiously minded Americans will return to and promote a sense of Puritan dress and all of our art museums will have to have "Graphic Content" warnings upon entrance. Maybe it is too late. We seem to be already going down this path.

I just feel like we need to challenge the idea that everything is sexual or motivated by sexuality. It is like the quote by Oscar Wilde (as reiterated in House of Cards): "Everything in the world is about sex, except sex, which is about power." Might I return with a resounding: No! Interesting to remember as well the more "conservative" culture and times in which Oscar Wilde lived. 

Re: A New Wrinkle in the Modesty Debate

Jun. 27 at 9:52am | see this comment in context

Devra, thank you for this article. I agree wholeheartedly that we cannot judge the morality of clothing qua clothing nor make moral statements about another by the manner of their dress. 

Katie, the issue that we are facing in contemporary society is a fascinating with porn and an over-sexualization of the human body (as previously commented). I think that it can only lead to confusion when men are thrown into a marital situation and have children when previously the nude form was purely associated with sexuality. I know of many men who are uncomfortable with mothers breastfeeding in their presence.

Largely, I believe this is from the false equalizing of the nude human form to sexual action. In particular, female breasts have been totally sexualized (in America). There is no denying the beauty of the human form - hence the frequent display of the nude form in art.

There must be a way then (in agreement with the young lady you mentioned above), to expose boys and men to the female form in a healthy and non-sexual environment (scandinavian saunas, beaches, etc). The porn epidemic is not dying down on its own. We need to desexualize the nude human body.

Re: Thoughts on modesty abroad, in three vignettes

Jun. 12 at 5:47pm | see this comment in context

Katie, thank you for writing this article. 

Briefly I would like to add that the whole idea that women must dress ultra-modestly in order to avoid leading men into temptation is hogwash. I can elaborate if necessary.

Secondly, although it is good to emphasize that boys/men should be exposed to the nude female form within non-sexual settings, such as topless sunbathing on the beach (or if in Germany: in a public park); I do not beleve that the philosophical undercurrents to that approach are correct: insofar as the general assumption is that the naked body (male or female) is purely a sexual thing.

The body itself is not sexual - even sexual organs outside of the context of sexual intercourse are not overtly sexual. The sexual function is not the primary function of the human body, nude or not. We should encourage a reorientation of our approach to the person to recognize the beauty of the human body in the nude form without sexualizing it. This has become more difficult for generations of men due to the porn epidemic. Being comfortable with the human body (especially in the nude) is important to overall human development.

Re: Contra Fr. Barron on modern philosophy

Sep. 22 at 5:29pm | see this comment in context

4) "Dualism" is not an unmixed evil.  It's not wrong to distinguish between body and soul.  They are different things, after all.



I agree wholly that it is not wrong to distinguish betwixt the two, of body and soul; however, it is very difficult to, in a meaningful way, talk about a uniquely soul experience as the two are so totally united in our lived human experience. They may be "different things," although in our experiences, I would assert that it is almost impossible to distinguish in our lives between purely sensual vs purely soul experience - all experience involves the whole of our person, which is a "mixture" of body and soul.

Let me clarify that I am not particularly fond of my own usage of the term mixture, however, it is a difficult thing to conceptualize as the two are mentally distinct, but wholly one, at least in my own lived experience - obviously one cannot validate a soul via empirical processes. I am not sure if this adds to any discussion about the comments made by Fr. Barron, I felt as if the importance of how we approach body-soul dualism must not be overlooked. 

Re: How should a Catholic university treat gay alumni?

Sep. 12 at 9:53am | see this comment in context

I was initially outraged at FUS when I heard about this class description. Even if you strictly adhere to Catholic moral teaching, that does not warrant the labeling of homosexuality as a devency on the level of those other things listed. However, the real problem here, as has been explained to me by a Social Work student who is the professor who teaches the course's assistant, is that deviancy is any going against the general norm and order of things; and does not imply and qualitative judgement on those actions. He explained how Franciscan students are largely "deviant" according to general standards as we have such low rates of pre-marital sex, drug use, etc...

So although it was idiotic for the course description to include homosexuality in that list of percieved social deviancies, it is time to move past this issue as the problem stems from an inherent misuse of the technical words used by memebers of the field. 

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