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Philosophy in My Sweet Roll

Is Lebron James actually a Laker?

Let’s talk about Epistemology.

According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Epistemology is the study of “knowledge and justified belief.” How can you know that you know something? What things (if any) must be true to give you confidence that when CNN/Fox/MSNBC reports something, it’s actually true. It helps answer questions such as…

Is Lebron James actually a Laker? Perhaps he’s not. Follow my logic with me.

  1. I sat down on the couch, ESPN was on, the headline read something like “Lebron to the Lakers”
    1. I did not question that he was in fact now a Laker, but rather I thought about what I felt about him being a Laker
  2. I believe to know that Lebron is a Laker because ESPN said so
  3. I trust ESPN for 2 reasons:
    1. I personally and don’t know anyone else that ESPN has lied to
    2. ESPN has a lot of reasons to not lie mostly because their success (financially and reputation which is tied very closely to their financial) depends on people believing that their content is true to what really happened

***NOTE: at this point, all that we can feel certain about is that ESPN has not let me or anyone else that I know of down. Like UVA being the 1st #1 seed to fall this past March, could this be the 1st time that I’m aware of in which ESPN has lied/deceived its consumers?

So, because I trust ESPN due to their track record of truthfulness and the fact that a major reason why they’ve made a ton of $ and made a huge impact on society today is due to the good business “principle” which is that most successful companies since creation adhered however intentionally or not to the idea that part of what keeps people coming back to your product/service is that your content describes/conforms to reality; therefore, I do believe that Lebron is in fact a Laker…but why does this principle seem to be true? Just like if you don’t like the rise of strikeouts and homeruns in MLB, don’t buy a ticket. I think it all comes back to people value truth. So, my question in later content is…why?? Why does it seem that forever people have significantly valued truthfulness whether it’s a businesses or your friend’s, it matters to us.

But, in conclusion…

I believe Lebron to be a Laker because I’ve never known ESPN to lie and this weird but seemingly true cultural value which likes content that conforms to reality.

It’s just so interesting thinking about why we believe “unquestionable” things like whether or not what ESPN puts out can be trusted. Another “rule” simply based on observation seems to be that it takes almost no time to lose a reputation (however big). All of these sexual misconduct scandals come to mind. It’s unfortunate in a way because of the “rule” that for those that do truly desire and change their ways/clean up their act, there will be time in which they’ve “changed,” but it takes more time than is in fact accurate to rebuild their reputation to match their actions, so people’s perception of them is not true. Where might this “lag time” be adversely affecting how you see the world?

additional note:

  1. I’m assuming that how I defined Epistemology is true/correct. This rests on the fact that I trust Stanford as a source. I’m above-average confident that Stanford can be trusted because of their reputation. This! would be a fascinating conversation. I’m confident in Stanford’s reputation because I worked in Admissions at Wake Forest University and those people, people closer to sources such as US News & World Report college rankings, ascribe a similar, in terms of degree, reputation to Stanford. The fascinating conversation would be: how do you contain an institution’s reputation? Like, how in the world can you describe in as full a way as possible something that’s so inanimate? Email me ( if you’d like to discuss this very question on my podcast.


sick business idea #907.98

I’ve got a dream to build a business that employs homeless people.

This idea came to me a week or so ago after meeting David, a homeless guy here in Nashville. I’ve made it a point to, at the very least, acknowledge with a nod or hopefully just talk to people asking for help on the sides of roads, instead of looking at my phone pretending like they don’t exist. I’m so guilty of that, but I truly do believe that they have just as much worth as I do because they were created in the image of God. All that to say, I didn’t have any money to give David, so I just asked him, “what’s your situation?” He said he’s got some mental problems, has a daughter who’s living with some church friends, and is looking for work. I told him that I’d pray for him as the light turned green, then went on my merry way.

Some friends of mine and I read through Practicing the King’s Economy: Honoring Jesus in How We Work, Earn, Spend, Save, and Give. One thing that it encourages is instead of giving someone money, giving someone who needs the extra money work, basically outsourcing something that you normally do yourself, but could pay someone to do like mowing the lawn. I thought that was so cool. The point of doing so was for 2 reasons: 1) to provide for someone’s need 2) to dignify them by creating good work for them to do. I immediately thought: “Wow. That’s pretty pitiful, having to create a job simply to make someone feel good about themselves.” This is truly pitiful unless Ecclesiastes 2:24 (ESV) which says, “There is nothing better for a man than to eat and drink and tell himself that his labor is good…” is true. Then creating work serves those same 2 purposes: 1) to make them money to provide for their needs 2) to give them the opportunity to tell themselves that their labor is good. Another translation (NLV) says, “find satisfaction in their work.”

So, here’s my sick business idea #907.98: I’m thinking about starting an email list serve in which the only requirements for being on it are: you agree to donate $1 towards the idea that I’m about to explain, and that you must share this post on facebook or retweet it until 10,000 people have signed up. Part of it’s a social experiment to see if by barely inconveniencing people (I’d bet most people are willing to give $1 towards something super cool and hopefully really helpful and share/retweet), we can do a lot of good. The other part, which is really the only part, is to put all of the $10,000 towards helping one homeless person. I’d also want anyone that has ideas as to how best to spend the money/people they recommend I talk to, etc. to be able to share those with everyone. Why not enlist as many people’s help as possible to help one homeless person? Think about the good that could come from that!

So, if you’re interested in this, email me for now at saying that you’re interested and sharing any thoughts/advice/connections you have to help one homeless person here in Nashville. I feel very ill-equipped in terms of knowing how best to help one homeless person, but I know that with your help we can figure it out. Consider yourself on a start-up with a bunch of people where everyone contributes something super simple/small. I think this has some potential, y’all. I’m thinking as people start signing up, I’m going to reach out to the author of When Helping Hurts, Brian Fikkert to get his thoughts. We’ll also need to identify the homeless person we’d like to put this money towards. Y’all, let’s do whatever, after pulling all of our collective tools together, it takes to help this person. If that means giving it to them in cash, great! If it means buying them some things, giving them the rest. If it means we invest in something on their behalf, cool. Whatever it is, I’m a big believer in Bill Veeck’s marketing philosophy: you’ll get more people’s attention giving 30,000 ice cream sandwiches to 1 person, than giving 30,000 people 1 ice cream sandwich. In other words, we could give 100 homeless people $100 each, but let’s try investing $10,000 in 1 homeless person. Next time, we’ll try another way!


check out @sickbusinessid2 for me sick business ideas that I hope you’ll do.

p.s. just for funzies, every sick business idea # corresponds to the most significant # from my day. Today, Grace and I put $907.98 towards my student loan debt. That much closer to being debt free, baby!!

what you missed from the 2nd half of Dan & I’s chat

*the recording of the 2nd half of Dan & I’s conversation didn’t work, so here are some highlights of what we talked about:

-more talk about archaeological evidence for the Bible. What? you say…there’s real, like the kind of evidence that I’d use to argue gravity is real, evidence for Biblical events happening, people in the Bible existing? Yes. I’m telling you guys, I just show and tell you what I see with my own 2 eyes. He was telling me all about this dig site in Israel? (I’ll ask Dan then correct this) in which all kinds of household items were discovered that helped to validate/legitimize the Bible’s descriptions of this person (once again I’m blanking on who this oh-so-important-Biblical-figure-is-that-I-just-can’t-remember, but Dan will set us straight!). The point being: I just dropped a truth bomb on us. Validate or invalidate that claim. What is true? Obviously, if all of what I’m telling you is in fact true that doesn’t automatically mean God & Jesus are real and that you should give your life to Jesus AND I hope, for those that think the Bible’s a bunch of hogwash, this makes you consider maybe it’s not.

See! That’s not a huge step. Think about it. If you’re not convinced to even consider that your understanding of Jesus & the Bible might not be as accurate as you think, that’s ok…much more interesting facts, thoughts, and feelings to follow!

-this is simply a “gravesite” filling up the space that both the lost audio and now even my memory of what Dan & I talked about in the 2nd half of our conversation would have inhabited. It was so good that it must not be forgotten! So…be sure to listen to the 1st & only half of our conversation…does that make it a whole??