The Life Foundations Nexus
DANGEROUS KNOWLEDGE – THE PHILOSOPHICAL DEAD END
By Dr. Michael J. Bisconti
In our time, in civilized countries, it is an almost universal belief that “all knowledge is safe” and, on the surface, the idea of “dangerous knowledge” does seem absurd. How can knowledge be dangerous? Well, there is a huge amount of knowledge that is very interesting to many people and, more important, that many people seek to obtain in hopes of meeting certain important needs in their life. This knowledge is called PHILOSOPHY.
Well, how does philosophy hurt anyone? Also, does it hurt everyone?
How does philosophy hurt anyone? It hurts people because, for most people, it is an absolute waste of time. Philosophy provides no answers to any of the great questions of life. People who spend time studying philosophy could have, instead, been engaged in useful and rewarding activities. They could have worked an extra hour and made a little more money. They could have spent an extra hour with their children in order to form a closer bond with them and in order to create happier, childhood memories for their children. They could have given their spouses more of their time.
Does philosophy hurt everyone? No. The reason is that God has appointed certain people, including ministers, to study philosophy. God’s purpose is that they learn that philosophy is, indeed, a waste of time and that they teach others to not spend their time studying it.
Is there anything good about philosophy? Yes. For highly educated people and lovers of abstract thought, the study of philosophy is very entertaining. It is the intellectual equivalent of watching a football game, except that instead of “teams” and “plays” you have “positions” and “concepts.” But, again, other than its entertainment value, philosophy is an absolute waste of time.
Is it a sin to study philosophy? No. If it were, it would be a sin to watch a football game.
Now, there are certain needs that people have that drive them to study philosophy. The proper way to meet these needs is through a study of the Bible. However, there are a few people that, like a medical doctor who needs to study books on the human anatomy, need something more. You wouldn’t allow a medical doctor to perform surgery on you if the only thing he had learned were the truths of the Bible (as wonderful as that would be). On the contrary, you would demand that he had studied a thousand books on surgery. Likewise, there are a few people who have certain God-given responsibilities that require that they engage in an extensive study of philosophy.
Those whom God has called to study philosophy must first learn the antiphilosophical sciences, especially empirical epistemology, which deals with the nature of knowledge on purely scientific grounds. This will shield them from the otherwise inevitable confusion and bewilderment of the contradictory theories, notions, concepts, abstractions, categories, insights, and principles of philosophy.