Dale Tuggy

Dale Tuggy is Professor of Philosophy at the State University of New York at Fredonia, where he teaches courses in analytic theology, philosophy of religion, religious studies, and the history of philosophy.


  1. Helez
    January 20, 2011 @ 4:15 am

    My post wasn’t a charge against philosophy/philosophers in general, I presumed that was clear. It was a remark about the seemingly arrogant attitude of some philosophers, as a response to the part quoted. And the Scriptures were cited to urge Christian philosophers to modesty and caution.

    Your philosophy professor today probably bears little resemblance to those Paul is worried about.

    I’m not so sure about that, considering the general nature of your remark.

    you have to understand that as a group, philosophy professors are a smart bunch, and smart people are temped to pride.

    Yes, being intelligent is not necessarily related to being wise.

    (Pr 29:23) “The very haughtiness of earthling man will humble him, but he that is humble in spirit will take hold of glory.”

    Maybe just a reminder for all of us….


  2. Paul
    January 19, 2011 @ 10:35 pm

    Helez, I’d add that Paul quoted philosophers and so was familiar with them. Also, Col 2:8 has a qualifier (after the tradition of men) and so can’t be used to rule out studying philosophy per se. Moreover, studying philosophy is one of the best ways to beware of bad philosopher. As C.S. Lewis once said: “Good philosophy must exist, if for no other reason, because bad philosophy needs to be answered.”


  3. Dale
    January 19, 2011 @ 11:12 am


    Oh boy… as someone who’s been involved with philosophy for 20 years, I don’t know where to start. But here are some points to consider:

    Your philosophy professor today probably bears little resemblance to those Paul is worried about. I’d think the latter would be some sort of proto-gnostic.

    Are philosophers arrogant? That’s the stereotype… I’ve met a few, but you have to understand that as a group, philosophy professors are a smart bunch, and smart people are temped to pride. You’d find the same among professional physicists or doctors. But really, how is this relevant, if we’re concerned about truth? If someone is arrogant, it may still be that they know a lot, and can teach us a lot.

    As far as “philosophers” originating wrongheaded Christian doctrines – it is true that there was a degree of influence from Middle Platonism and other ancient schools. but the people who crafted the ancient creeds were catholic bishops, and with a few exceptions (Augustine, Origen) not philosophers.

    It may be that you’re using “philosopher” for any intellectual… and it may be that your problem is with any theological theorizing. Hard to be consistent about that.


  4. Helez
    January 19, 2011 @ 6:33 am

    Historical theology ends at a point. As I said above, the historian tells it like it is. He doesn’t tell it like it should be. He doesn’t tell us what is normatively correct. But what he reports on is often the speciality of philosophers. The arguments and the philosophical presuppositions involved in almost any theological debate or development of doctrine is properly assessed by logicians and philosophers. This is especially the case when questions regarding the logical validity of said arguments needs assessing, or when various conceptual tools need to be employed to inspect the truth of certain abstract premises. A historian may tell us what a particular argument was, a philosopher will tell us whether it was a good argument. A historian may tell us what philosophical viewpoints past theologians held, philosophers will best evaluate them.

    The haughtily arrogance of some philosophers is stunning.

    We don’t need to be a philosopher to examine Scripture and understand what it really says and teaches. History demonstrated that many, so called “Christian”, philosophers have come up with the most distorted unbiblical views and teachings that subsequently have been adopted into apostate Christianity. Teachings that are adhered to until today. (Take the doctrine of the Trinity for example.)

    The Bible warns:

    (Col 2:8) “Look out: perhaps there may be someone who will carry YOU off as his prey through the philosophy and empty deception according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary things of the world and not according to Christ”

    (1Co 2:13) “These things we also speak, not with words taught by human wisdom, but with those taught by the spirit, as we combine spiritual matters with spiritual words.”

    (Pr 3:5-7) “Trust in Jehovah with all your heart and do not lean upon your own understanding. 6 In all your ways take notice of him, and he himself will make your paths straight. 7 Do not become wise in your own eyes.”


  5. Paul
    January 17, 2011 @ 12:36 pm

    Hi Dale, thanks for linking to my blog. Not because you appreciated my post; but because I hadn’t checked your blog for a while and when I was notified that Trinities linked to me I moused over and was pleased to find some new posts for me to read! So, thank you. 🙂


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