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Daniel Romeyn Davis

Joined: Feb. 23, 2012

Bio:

I am a student at Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio. I am a History and Philosophy dual-major and 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, and the ethics.  


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Philosophy and Faith

Aug. 22 at 1:00pm | Comments: 1 | Most recent comment: Dec. 12 at 9:51am

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: 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.

------

Katie,

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. 

Re: Toward a Personalist Approach to Homosexual Attraction

Jun. 18 at 8:44pm | see this comment in context

I would agree that comparing homosexual acts to those of heterosexual coition are very different. However, to look at the homosexual act from a purely philosophical approach, I fail to see how the act is inherently degrading and or of "use and abuse." I believe that the argument can be made that the assumption, from a non-theologically based approach, that homosexual acts are inherently deficient (for lack of a better word) is implicitly inferring one's religious moral beliefs into the philosophical argument. I can see how one can make the argument that homosexual acts are different than those between an heterosexual couple - however, difference of nature does not necessarily imply a qualitative difference - but rather, a difference of use (as in utility - the use of the sexual function of the human person). From a philosophical approach, I see that homosexual actions employ the sexual functions of the human person in a different way than those of coition - and yes, it is true that new life is not issued forth from homosexual relations. However, I am out of space for now. In the spirit of open dialogue, I look forward to your response. 

Re: Toward a Personalist Approach to Homosexual Attraction

Jun. 16 at 2:56pm | see this comment in context

Katie, 

Even in such a ethical situation as abortion, I do not believe that one can properly divorce the act from the human actors. As I understand it, any ethical or moral determination is dependent upon three main factors, the act itself, the conscience of the actors (their intentionality), and the knowledge of the actors (therefore: act, intention, and knowledge). Hence, to make a moral judgement on a divorced act, without an actor, is not actually considering the the authentic ethical situation and necessitates that the ethical determination be undecided. Such arguments can at best say that: it can generally be said that the act of abortion is morally wrong, although, it necessitates the qualifier that: although, the actual morality of an individual abortion cannot be considered without a complete understanding of the human actors involved, their conscience and knowledge. Thus, this talk of abortion, removed from the person, seems practically useless as it is divorced from the distinct personal nature of human action. To talk about the morality of the universal abortion over specific instances of abortion seems to attack our very personhood, as it almost nullifies personal responsibility.

Re: Toward a Personalist Approach to Homosexual Attraction

Jun. 16 at 2:35pm | see this comment in context

I would just like to present another opinion for consideration. I understand that from an orthodox Christian standpoint that it is easy to make the analysis that "homosexual acts are acts of use and abuse," however, I am failing to see how this is supported philosophically. As I understand personalism, it seems necessary to reevaluate everyday life in order to better understand what makes our individual personhood unique, what makes you - you, on a deeply personal level. (Throwback to Plato: The unexamined life is not worth living.) To a degree then, I believe that it is dangerous to attribute objective morality to the human experience and to individual personhood. I think that the assertion that any act, by itself, removed from the actors (those doing the act) and their intentionality, is of "use and abuse" is unsubstantiated. Such a statement, as I understand it, cannot be properly made. As to the article by Dr. Healy, my main criticism would lay with the, not so subtle, opening assertion that homosexuality is a distortion. Again, I understand how theologically this argument can be made, however, I am failing to see the argument philosophically.  

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