ABOUT THE MAKER OF NLPC
My name is Kyle Huitt. I am a senior at Hillsdale College where I am double majoring in philosophy and history.
I'm that obnoxious kind of person who wants to doubt everything because I always want to make sure I'm right. I'm not happy with dogma or blind faith. I want to know why I believe what I believe and how I can defend it
Even though I was raised in the church, I was one of the many students who walked away from the faith. I simply saw too many objections to God and Christianity for Christian belief to be rationally justified. When I tried to raise these questions to the Christian leaders around me I was met with dogmatic responses that I just needed more faith, or I found shallow unsatisfying pop-culture apologetics.
During the time in which I walked away from Christianity I suffered from the worst depression of my life, and I even seriously contemplated suicide on many occasions. Without any kind of divine purpose imparted to humanity, I found the struggle of everyday life to be far more trouble than any sense of purpose or pleasure I could gain was worth. During this time I realized just how devoid of purpose or happiness Plato's cave can truly be.
It wasn't until a friend and mentor to whom I am much indebted took my objections to Christianity seriously and showed me that Christian theistic belief can be rationally justified that I really began to pull out of my depression and existential hopelessness. Much like the prisoner set free in Plato's cave, reason brought me up from the cave where I once again found God and the sense of purpose and satisfaction that can only come from Him.
Now Leaving Plato's Cave is my attempt to push back against the blind dogmatism and shallow answers which were all I, and far too many others, found on both sides of the debate as I asked hard questions about Christianity. People are walking away from the truth everyday because there are far too few who are equipped to lead them to it.
That's why my goal is to find the best arguments and evidence for what I believe which I hope will benefit the reader and those around them. I believe ideas have consequences because ideas shape what we believe, and what we believe shapes what we do, and what we do shapes our entire lives. Ideas have consequences, so I take finding the true ones seriously.
WHAT IS PLATO'S CAVE?
Now Leaving Plato's Cave is inspired by Plato's narrative in Book VII of the Republic which symbolizes the ability of reason and knowledge to show us reality.
In this story, there was a group of men chained in a cave with their heads fixed towards a wall on which shadows of different things would pass in front of them. These shadows were the only world of which these men knew. To them, a shadow of a horse was a horse itself, or a shadow of a man an actual man.
One day, one of these men was set free, and he escaped to the surface of the cave, walked outside, and for the first time he saw the world as it really is. He looked up and saw the sun, and saw how it illuminated the world around him. He recognized that the shadows were just glimpses into the real world. The real world was difficult for this man to take in. After spending his entire life in the cave, the sun nearly blinded him, and what he could see was almost too much for him to handle. Yet, what he saw was so beautiful that he continued looking. He went back to the cave and told the men inside what he had witnessed, but the men simply scoffed at him and were quite content with their shadows.
To Plato, the observable world around us is merely a shadow of reality, much like the shadows which the men saw on the cave wall. But through reason, we can leave the cave and see the world as it really is. Just as the outside world was difficult to take in for the man who escaped the cave, the world according to reason is not an easy one to comprehend either. However, through the light of reason we may see reality in all of its true beauty just as the escapee from the cave saw the real world in its beauty.
The purpose of this blog is to help the author and the readers leave Plato's cave by applying their sense of reason, and through this reason endeavor to pursue that which is good, true, and beautiful. The world of reason outside of the cave is a marvelously difficult one to comprehend, but I invite you to join me in taking the first couple steps out of Plato's cave.