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Evolution and Intelligent Design Forum

Evolution and Intelligent Design Forum


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Name: L Kerman
Date: //2005-09-24 11:08:42 :
Link to this Comment: 16277

What if the issue were not intelligent design vs evolution, but intelligent design vs global warming, and the reluctance to acknowledge evidence of global warming wasn’t coming from business interests but from religious/Christian (let’s be honest about what religion means in this context) adherents. Would that make it any easier to disentangle the relative usefulness – and indeed the potential harm – of the different stories? Why give religious/Christian convictions a special status?

I still think what is important here is not whether it “matters” to the universe whether we disagree or whether disagreement is intrinsic to “story-telling” (if you tell one story, you are obviously not telling another), but rather how to make real distinctions between stories. The philosophical and theoretical implications are less critical to me than the practical ones: people tell different stories, and they can be generative or they can be destructive; some can “fit” and explain our experience of reality, others can distort and mislead; some can destroy the world as we know it (albeit not the universe), others can protect our environment. What people do with their stories on a personal level is their own business, but when they play out on the public level -- locally, nationally or internationally -- then it matters to all of us.

I like Tim’s idea of a “middle ground” – not just within educational institutions, but in the culture. There are indeed some places where different stories can easily and even usefully coexist (journalism, media, art) and others where it is essential to make some practical distinctions (government, technology, medicine). Whether or not there is “truth” or “reality,” there are some calculations that will result in building a stable bridge, and others that will cause the bridge to collapse. And overusing antibiotics will make a difference, whether ID adherents like it or not. Surely we care about that.

It strikes me as interesting that what seems to bother Paul most is not the relative usefulness of stories but the fact that people are arguing at all. Yes, it is an expression of our personal freedom that we think for ourselves and, in that sense, see the world differently. There is a lot to celebrate there. And it is important for people to realize that they can disagree without having to fight about it. That’s very much the lesson we need to learn as we look at racial, ethnic, class, and political conflict around the world and in this country. Yet, at least with some disagreements, I think we have to go further: for some stories – perhaps these are special and can be defined -- their relative “truth” (thanks, Tim, for not being afraid of the word) is relevant.


one dimension
Name: Anne Dalke
Date: //2005-09-28 16:21:40 :
Link to this Comment: 16348

Reducing the multidimensional to one....?

Y'day's (9/27/05) New York Times piece, "Agreeing Only to Disagree on God's Place in Science"...describes the refusal of the Templeton foundation to do "flat science," to acknowledge that science and religion are "alien categories" of knowledge (in Gould's famous formulation, "noma," or "nonoverlapping magisteria"). That would be building a firewall, one that assures the safety of the whole by not allowing the contamination of a part to s-p-r-e-a-d...

For more on this, see closing the system, retrospectively, and related/linked explorations....


Greetings ...
Name: Paul Grobstein
Date: //2005-09-04 09:59:09 :
Link to this Comment: 15974

Welcome to the on line forum for discussion of matters arising from and related to Intelligent Design and the Story of Evolution: No Need for Drawing Lines in the Sand. Like all Serendip forums, this is a place for informal conversation, for leaving thoughts of your own that you think might be helpful to other people and for finding thoughts of other people that might be helpful to your own thinking. Its not a place for final answers but rather a place for thoughts in progress, for letting ideas interact with one another to see what new perspectives and understandings might emerge. So join in, and let's see what sense we can make of the continuing contrast between evolutionary and intelligent design perspectives. Individually, and collectively?


the inevitability of line-drawing in the sand
Name: Anne Dalke
Date: //2005-09-05 22:38:52 :
Link to this Comment: 16008

The exploratory seeking that Quakers call "continuing revelation," the process of constantly "testing" in a social context, against what others know, what one knows oneself, against new experience and new information . . . are activities that, ideally, can be practiced in both the religious and the intellectual realms (from Science and Spirit; see also Religion as Testing: Another Sort of Story Revising).

I write as one of those "people involved with religion" who "see what they're doing as being pretty much the same thing as what" scientists like Paul are doing: "trying to make the best sense" I can of "a world not fully understood." It's so clear to me that religion and science are comparable and compatible projects that I've pretty much lost interest in the increasingly insistent attempts to oppose them (as seen, most recently, in the 8/23/05 front page story in The New York Times, "Scientists Speak Up on Mix of God and Science": "'Can you be a good scientist and believe in God?'....'No!' Belief in...God is not only incompatible with good science, 'this kind of belief is damaging to the well-being of the human race.'")

The more interesting question that Paul's essay raises for me is WHY--given what I see and experience as a clear congruity between religious and scientific seeking and storytelling--so many of us keep on drawing "lines in the sand" between them. What's our psychological motivation for doing so? Are we being so assertive--belligerent, even--because we're so uncertain about what we know? Or--what seems to me the more intriguing possibility--is the activity of line-drawing an inevitable by-product of storytelling itself?

When one tells a story, one draws a line of some sort (of connection between events: of cause and effect, of give and take...). What's not "on the line" is "disconnected," left out. If one says, "I'm going to take this person as my partner, in order to begin telling a story of our shared life"; or "I'm going to take this job, to begin to write the story of a shared project"; or even "I'm going to end this affiliation, to conclude a story of an association whose usefulness has expired"... one is drawing a line in the sand: saying "yes" to new possibilities, while saying "no" to other intimate relationships, other work commitments....

There are at least three possible origin stories of the phrase "drawing a line in the sand" which illustrate this nicely. It could have first been used @ the Alamo; in a very similar Egyptian/ Macedonian stand-off; or even (this is a very different tale, and to me, the most intriguing possibility) in the Biblical book of John. According to William Safire , the most recent possible origin for the phrase was "during the siege of the Alamo in 1836, when William Barret Travis drew a line in the sand with his sword and urged those willing to stay and defend the fort to step across it." A second possible origin story is that of a Roman senator, who confronted a king leading a Macedonian army in an invasion of Egypt: he "drew a circle in the sand around the king and demanded that the king agree to withdraw his army before he stepped out of the circle." (Note that this version actually involves a circle, rather than a line, and so evokes, in a back-handed sort of way, the old proverb that goes, "I drew a circle that shut him out, and he in love had the wit to win; he drew a circle that took me in.")

But most intriguing--and perhaps most generative, because most mysterious, because the writing is so undecisive--is a third possible story of origin, a parable taken from John 8:

1 Jesus went unto the mount of Olives.
2 And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them.
3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst,
4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.
5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?
6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.
7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.
8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.
9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one...

One web commentator observes, the phrase is "inadvertently appropriate," as "no one takes the slightest notice of all these lines in the sand public figures are forever drawing." I'd say, rather, that we take this notice of our insistent line-drawing: a recognition that the telling of a story is itself quite appropriately (and wonderfully appropriate as) the drawing of a line in the sand. It is a temporary account, one that will be revised whether we will it or not. To tell either a scientific or a religious story is to record a trace, and to take a stand there, in the knowledge that both the trace and the place at which one stands will soon be erased, by weather, by the waves, by time and change.

And by other stories told by others, using the same materials, drawing different figures in the sand nearby.


Many non-contradictory stories
Name: Ann Dixon
Date: //2005-09-06 18:28:42 :
Link to this Comment: 16014

In the heat of the discussions about evolution and intelligent design, I've never understood there to be any inherent contradiction in the two world views expressed. If one wanted to believe in intelligent design, there is no reason that one would then be compelled to reject evolutionary theory. I see it as a sort of logic chart:

Stories About How the World Developed
Intelligent Design
No Designer
Evolution An intelligent designer created the world and also created a process of random variation and natural selection to constantly change and re-create the world. The world began with the Big Bang, and random variation and natural selection work to constantly change and re-create the world.
No Evolution An intelligent designer created the world and actively changes and re-creates the world. The world began with the Big Bang, and changes occur from a process we don't understand.

Of course, there could be all SORTS of other creation stories and maybe as many stories about how the world developed subsequently, too. But I just don't see that there's a contradiction in the stories that could cause lines in the sand to be drawn.

Ann


politically incorrect
Name: Lucy Kerma
Date: //2005-09-07 11:35:43 :
Link to this Comment: 16018

I would feel more comfortable if Paul had called his essay “The stories of intelligent design and evolution,” rather than “Intelligent design and the story of evolution.” I certainly agree that there is no necessary contradiction or incapability between science and religion, or even theories of evolution and intelligent design (in the sense that yes, the “designer” could have set up random selection). But that is not to say that they are the same thing, or equally useful in all circumstances. Yes, both science and religion seek to make sense of the world. As do lots of other things that humans do (art comes to mind). But just because the goals and some of the questions are similar, doesn’t mean that the processes -- or the outcomes – are comparable, or can be used interchangeably. What goes on in the lab and in houses of workshops is different: there are both practical and policy distinctions to be made.

I agree there is no absolute “truth,” either about science or religion (or anything else). People go through their lives creating and recreating narratives -- “stories” -- making best use of the evidence around them. Everything we do takes the form of a narrative of some sort. That insight doesn’t get me very far.

As Paul notes, evolution is a “VERY good story.” And that seems to me more the point. Not all stories are the same, they are more or less useful, differently for different people at different times. Isn’t the point of education to help people recognize the nature of stories and learn to make distinctions between them? Isn’t that where the real work is to be done?

Is intelligent design a good story? Is it useful? Does it open the way to other understandings and observations? Paul suggests it should be “mentioned” along with evolution -- not because it is “useful,” but because it has been around for so long. So, in a 14 week course, how much time gets devoted to this story? One hour? One week? Six weeks? Don’t we evaluate the usefulness of stories all the time, and isn’t THAT the point?

In this politically polarized and in many ways disturbing time, we are justifiably sensitive to “demonizing” and name calling, and we want to be able to converse productively with people who think differently. At the same time, I think we have to acknowledge that people disagree, and that while disagreements can be productive, they also at times need to be adjudicated, at least in the public realm.

I don’t think the issue around evolution and intelligent design is about whether two people can sit and politely disagree while accepting the value of the other, without “drawing a line in the sand.” It has to do with the responsibility of the government to regulate, to varying degrees, the education of children, and how – and by whom – decisions about things like curricula are made. We don’t need to set science and religion against each other, but we do need to make some decisions. What gets taught in a 14 week college course in biology? In middle school general science? How many weeks does intelligent design get taught, what are the experiments and textbooks we use, how much time is spent discussing observations about random selection? Who decides and what control does government have over what gets taught in an individual teacher’s classroom, whether in Ohio or at Bryn Mawr College?

The editorials and op-eds on the effects of Katrina this past week have been refreshingly smart, open and invigorating, from all political perspectives. I was struck by George Will, who saw in the aftermath in New Orleans a reminder of Hobbes’ theory of government. I’ve always been a passionate Lockean in my optimism about the social contract, but I thought he had a point. We need to find ways in our polarized and uncivil society to reach some social decisions -- without demonizing, but also without simply deciding that all stories are of equal usefulness.


correction
Name: LK
Date: //2005-09-07 11:44:15 :
Link to this Comment: 16019

Apologies for my "houses of workshops" instead of "houses of worship." My own 'religious" orientation is probably obvious (thanks, Dr. Freud), but no offense was intended.



Name: Anne Dalke
Date: //2005-09-08 20:34:36 :
Link to this Comment:
16062

Hobbes turns out to be an awfully useful exemplum in this context, though not at all, I think, in the way that George Will uses him.

In the Study Group of the Graduate Idea Forum this week, we're discussing Carl Zimmer's Soul Made Flesh, which is less about what the subtitle says it's about--"The Discovery of the Brain--and How it Changed the World"--than it is a slice of 17th c. English political and intellectual history.

In which Hobbes shows up a lot.

Three of those appearances seem to me directly applicable to this discussion. The first is the usual thing Hobbes is known for (what George Will gestures toward/grabs for in his claim that the first business of government, on which everything depends, is security): Hobbes' belief that, given the nature of men--their fear of death, their hunger for life, their struggle for power...only one kind of government would do: an absolute ruler to whom the people surrendered their natural liberty (128).

Zimmer's second mention of Hobbes explains the rationale for the certitude which underlies the first: his belief (a la Descartes) that the philosophy of human nature should seek the same certainty provided by mathematics. Hobbes wrote in his notebook that the universe...was made only of matter. Our bodies were no exception, nor were our thoughts....With confidence born out of his knowledge of the absolutes of geometry, Hobbes declared that in order to preserve a happy nation, its ruler must dicate its religion (128).

But by far the most striking anecdote, in this present context, is the third one, which makes it clear not only that Hobbes hoped to apply the reliability of closed-system mathematics to the insistently open system that is the social world, but that he did so by explicitly denying the relevance of observations of the latter: When Boyle published his experiments with his air pump, Hobbes attacked him. Experiments proved nothing, he argued...a philosopher should rely on pure deduction from first principles. Hobbes' own reasoning had led him to conclude that there could be no such thing as a vacuum, and he refused to believe any evidence to the contrary (232).

Hobbes' sort of reasoning seems to me, in the context of this discussion about the business of exploring and sharing useful stories about those explorations, to function remarkably as an exemplum of the kind of story-telling that can assure a "final answer" by creating a closed system which doesn't question its own terms, as opposed (yep: another line drawn) to those stories which, in acknowledging their unfinishedness, create new questions.


I'm not sure what to do...
Name: Doug Blank
Date: //2005-09-20 00:25:17 :
Link to this Comment: 16225

I've started to comment here more than once, but I'm not really sure what I believe. Actually, I know exactly what I believe about ID and evolution, but I'm not sure what to do with that. I'm not sure where this is going to go, but here it does...

I was raised a Christian, but the stories were too simplistic for me, even as a child. I liked the social aspects (singing, eating, etc.) though.

I was a card-carrying skeptic in college. But that didn't seem productive. It is inherently a negative position. I didn't like debunking pseudoscience all that much. Like the time I went out to a farm to take soil samples around an alleged "alien landing site." The farmer was so distressed about all of the media, he soon confessed that it was a little joke that got out of control.

Now, I am a scientist. Last week, a young boy asked me to define science. I didn't have a stock answer, but quickly came back with "it's a philosophy of life." I take joy in this philosophy. I love it when a theory makes a very unexpected prediction, and it is confirmed with evidence. This world is truly a wonderful, mysterious place!

I don't think that science as a life philosophy has "boundaries" and religion has (different, overlapping, or the same) "boundaries." They both seem to permeate all aspects of one's life. Both are more than just stories---they have implications, a worldview, a perspective. And they both are sets of stories that get revised.

Now what?


Call to truth
Name: Timothy Bu
Date: //2005-09-20 09:26:10 :
Link to this Comment: 16227

There are a lot of answers about how we know when we've got a small grasp of one corner of the truth.

One of them has to do with what Hacking called "intervening", or the predictive quality of our knowledge. If what we know allows us to make a concrete claim about what is likely to happen next, or what the consequences of a specific action will be, then that is a meaningful indicator that we have a grasp on some whisper of truth. I think evolution has this character. It not only explains or represents the world, but predicts it, and allows us to conceive of interventions, of making things happen which would otherwise have not happened. This sort of truth puts causality, however poorly, in our fragile hands. (Which, by the by, may be one of the deeper unspoken drivers of the entire opposition between ID and evolutionary theory: a feeling or intuition from some that causality is God's to master, not ours, that intervention is what we are meant to abjure in fulfilling God's design for humanity.)

There are escape hatches that lets someone out of recognizing this particular sense of truth and our knowledge of it. One of them would be the kind of advanced neurobiological solipsism that Paul sometimes pushes out on the table as conjecture, that we don't know anything "real" about the world, just what we perceive to be real. I think if you take that argument very seriously, there is no point to having any of these discussions. It's kind of like the "strong" version of memetics that Susan Blackmore peddles: if what she says is true, then memes are just another meme, and the "truth" of the meme guaranteed only by the cognitive mechanisms that allow memes to propagate. (It's almost a version of the old "All Cretans are liars" paradox). In this context, the answer to your question about what lets us care about one another in that instance is "nothing", because we would have to reject in principle that others exist except as constructs in our own minds. There's a latent sociopathic quality to really serious solipsism: no distinctions could exist between torturing another person and loving them, in that perspective, except as we experience or represent that difference in the prison of our own consciousness.

Intervention and prediction is a sense of truth, though, that favors science, of course, and so has its limits. It's not likely to help us much to adjudicate ethical or moral problems. At that point, I'm as much in the dark as anyone else. I intuit that there is a difference between a liberal democratic society and an authoritarian one in terms of the suffering they inflict on their members and the freedoms they encourage or deny. I've got little to anchor that on that is even remotely as solid as a predictive or intervening relation between knowledge and reality. A few comparative claims I can make about human history, but it's pretty thin gruel in empirical terms.

I certainly have no way to argue with anything approaching certainty that humility is a supreme value for the storyteller, that we all owe it to one another to recognize the boundary conditions of our stories. The best I can do is a kind of potted utilitarianism, that a narrative ecosystem is healthiest when it is most diverse, most generative of future insight and possibility when all the stories within it have limit conditions. But I actually think this is where complexity theory helps to provide potentially persuasive metaphors, a description of how human possibility spaces get mapped, explored, filled out. Stories are seeds, full of potential, but they can only grow into mighty trees in the right soil, with the right light, with the right nutrients. When they grow, the conditions around them may make them tall, or short, gnarled or straight, healthy or weak. They can only be one kind of tree, not all the trees in the world. The story of the designer, it seems to me, is one kind of tree. The story of speciation over time in nature is another.


Intelligent Design and the Story of Evolution
Name:
Date: //2005-09-12 14:42:42 :
Link to this Comment: 16106

Paul,
Thank you again for your typically generous, yet penetrating discussion. It got me wondering whether the "design" throughout the universe that we find so "intelligent" might itself be the product of an evolutionay process.
Tom.


The Division of Story Labor
Name: Timothy Bu
Date: //2005-09-15 12:34:51 :
Link to this Comment: 16165

The consistent problem or concern I have with Paul's attachment to the concept of "stories" as he sees it, despite the fact that I'm almost equally attached to a very similar way of thinking about a great many things, is that it's difficult to make his judgement that some stories are more useful in some fashion. There's only two ways to make that work without avoiding some of the kinds of truth-claims that Paul very clearly wants to avoid: one, that some stories are more generative of other stories, more productive, and that this is a good thing; or two, a blandly sociological statement that when many people deem a particular story valuable, tell the story a lot, circulate it, it is by definition useful because many people find it useful.

The second argument is easy to bypass: it's tautological in the extreme, and leaves us unable to account for the origin and dissemination of new stories and morally indifferent to the consequences of the circulation of or uses of stories: the narratives offered by European fascist movements in the 1930s would be "useful" in this sense.

The first is more (dare I say it?) useful, or at least interesting. A story is useful if something about its structure or intrinsic character is generative of other stories; if it is a story which asks questions, highlights its own gaps and contradictions, creates processes of investigation. You could certainly identify forms of the "story" of evolution in biological science that actively seek to generate more stories, and some that attempt to pare down or eliminate lines of new investigation or uncertainty; religious narratives of creation or intelligent design have the same dualism, some opening up questions, others actively seeking to foreclose questions and new stories.

But it's not clear at this elemental level why more is better, why generation is more prized than pruning or reduction, why a story's usefulness lies in its unfinished character. Unless we think of stories as a sort of strange full-employment program, that we're using stories to generate more and more things for human beings to do and think and investigate so that we can keep them off the streets and out of trouble.

So I think at some point you have to (at least I have to) come back to the proposition that "useful" means "usefully explanatory of something about the universe around us", which means (to me), "has some truth to it that goes beyond whether the story aesthetically satisfies the person hearing it". Some capacity to explain the world in a way that can be collectively validated or tested, that is predictively powerful, that can be reconciled with other stories possessing similar qualities of "usefulness".

I still like the concept of story here, because I think human beings often think intuitively in narrative terms (and that tendency is much reinforced by contemporary expressive culture). I've often observed that very few people calculate risk in the abstract: they do it by imagining narrative scenarios of their own experience of catastrophe or harm, of trying to envision future emotional and physical conditions through story-telling and imagination. I think this is also the case with something like "evolution" or "life": we understand it by narrativizing it, by making it meaningful, by identifying patterns.

Pattern-identification is one of the things that humans do which is generating a good deal of the social friction on this whole subject in the first place. A human being can see a pattern in anything: it's what our story-telling facility is so smoothly capable of. If we don't insist that "useful stories" have some explanatory power, then all observations of patterns are true inasmuch as all human beings are capable of perceiving patterns where they do not exist, even in sequences of random numbers. What comes along with pattern-finding is a fairly deep inclination to think that any pattern is a mark of an intention or design, that patterns cannot happen by accident, that there are no coincidences in the universe and all events communicate information from some hidden or invisible source.

The most hostile defenders of science-as-truth invariably make such characterizations in a negative way: that this inclination to see design and intention everywhere is human weakness in the face of harder truth. I don't: I think what makes human existence meaningful is our capacity to make meaning. I think the truths of evolution would be impossible for us to observe or describe without the ability to make meaning in this manner, and this is no mere concession of the necessity of language and the loss of information that communication involves. It's a positive assertion about the precondition of truth: that without the desire for truth and the ability to make stories about it, it doesn't exist. That tree makes no sound in an empty forest.

Nevertheless, it also means that we have to beware ourselves, since we can see patterns in anything, and since we are inclined always to assume a pattern had a maker or designer. I think we can demonstrate in plain sight that patterns can form with no design or intent or blueprint. If we can demonstrate that, it means that our deep inclinations can deceive us. Once we know that, then I think we have to studiously practice a kind of humility in our stories about patterns and designs. We have to consciously try hard to make the universe strange, to de-anthropize it, to resist the first or easiest story that comes to mind in the presence of organization, structure, pattern.

What I think this ought to mean is a division of labor in the making of stories, that stories are usefully explanatory as long as they're self-aware of their own limitations, humble at their boundaries. There's no necessary conflict between a story about God or the divine as the uncaused cause of the universe we see around us: you can introduce cosmological theory after cosmological theory, pile M-brane theory on top of Big Bangs and still not ever get to a story that tells you what all the things you can describe are when they are not. You can tell a story about the benevolent (or malevolent) intent that lies pervasively behind the world we see and imagine, about the purpose of existence, and have it do nothing to evolution.

But that's not intelligent design in most of its forms, and not creationism in its contemporary American form. Those versions of those stories are not willing to accept a division of labor. They have no humility about the ability of human intelligence to perceive patterns and intent, no constraint. That makes them not explanatory, and maybe even in the sense of useful that means "generative", not useful. And I do really think, Richard Dawkins notwithstanding, that evolution is vastly more sinned against in this respect than sinning, that the practice of evolutionary theory and research in science is rarely aggressively exclusionary of the stories that lie outside of its own explanatory domain, and that the practice of evolutionary theory is explanatory inside that domain because it recognizes, unlike creationism or ID, the fact that patterns frequently come to exist without design or intent, without conscious will, without a guiding intelligence. Any version of religion which denies as a matter of course that any specific pattern can be in the world without a specific conscious process of design, fails to be explanatory because it fails to recognize and respect a demonstrable truth about the universe.


rhizomes revenge
Name: Anne Dalke
Date: //2005-09-16 10:02:06 :
Link to this Comment: 16174

So, Tim, in all that...

two things stand out to me.

I've got an observation about one of your questions,
a question about one of your observations.

The observation--
You say that it's not clear at this elemental level why more is better, why generation is more prized than pruning or reduction, why a story's usefulness lies in its unfinished character. That seems to me acute, a reminder of emergent group discussions of two years ago regarding the importance of pruning in a rhizomic, ever-proliferating landscape; without shaping/selecting/cutting-back, the irises become root-bound, the garden runs to weeds.

The query--
is about your even-more-acute (and certainly related) observation re: the need for a division of labor in the making of stories, that stories are usefully explanatory as long as they're self-aware of their own limitations, humble at their boundaries. So: what's the logic that demands a division of labor?

It occurs to me that a division of labor only takes place if agents in a system are either aware of their "partness," of their contribution to a larger whole ("I'll have the babies, you bring home the bacon") or--in the case of an anthill--if the contributions of the parts, while unaware, nonetheless are contributing to some system larger than themselves ("I'll forage for food, you bury the dead"). Scientists who insist that evolution is an adequate explanation for the world-as-we-have-it accept no division of labor (that their story doesn't give us all the meaning we want-and-need); creationists who insist that God is an adequate explanation likewise accept no division, no (in your word) "boundaries" for their story.

I guess that pushes the question back one step, doesn't it: why should we accept our need for one another? What might convince us that we need one another's stories? That others' stories are useful additions--rather than threats--to our own? What might help us see the limits-and-unfinishedness of our own? Must it be grounded on the assumption that we simply cannot know everything/the final answers?



Name: Timothy Bu
Date: //2005-09-16 10:56:47 :
Link to this Comment: 16175

It comes to my insistence that the value of stories is partially related to their explanatory power, and that their explanatory power is non-arbitrary, that it has something to do with their ability to truthfully represent the world and meaningfully intervene in the world, to borrow Ian Hacking's framework. I'm going to cling to the whisper of ontology like a rheseus monkey clinging to a soft towel in this case.

So the division of labor is not a command decision made from above by a human with a god's eye view. It's a distributed responsibility that we all as story-tellers have to one another but also to the truth. That we accept that as our stories travel to grounds in which other stories flourish with greater explanatory fertility, our stories ought to retreat, or at least commit to pacific co-existence, to a principled division of labor.

So, for example, let's suppose that you actually like the idea of "teaching the conflict" between intelligent design and creationism on one hand and biological evolutionary theory on the other. That conflict can't be abolished; it wouldn't be fair to tell the person who finds truth in creationism to just bugger off and go hide in their church somewhere. But where's the right place to "teach the conflict"? Not in a biology class, which is precisely what is being demanded by school boards, Presidents, and cultural conservatives. Any more than it would be right for an evolutionary psychologist to demand equal time in my classroom to talk about how silly my interest in hermeneutics and agency are, that meaning is just an epiphenomenon of cognitive modules and agency an illusion.

So teach and talk on the conflict, but leave biology its space. Not just as a mannerly, polite gesture, but because in the space that biology marks off, evolutionary theory has legitimately greater explanatory power, is more true as a representation of what the world is and as a guide in how to intervene in and predict what the world will be. Anyone who wants to know why there is something rather than nothing, what the meaning of life is, who aspires to know the mind of God, should have the humility to recognize that those inquiries do not sweep the field, and that God does not require that they should.

Where do we teach the conflict, then? Surely there are middle grounds in our organization of education. Philosophy, for one. Sociology and anthropology, for another. (E.g., who believes what, and how do they understand their beliefs: emic and etic inquiry). History: from where do both kinds of stories come? Maybe we can create middle grounds as well, not just in education but in our culture at large. I actually think a significant amount of popular alienation from science is reasonable, or stems from actual experience, and that spills over into this discussion and these issues. Maybe that's where all kinds of science, not just evolutionary theory, need to be put into contexts where the explanatory limits of their stories become evident or at least contested, where they arrive at boundaries as well. Humility is a general commandment to story-tellers, not a specific restraint on the religious.


need vs desire
Name: Student Contributor
Date: //2005-09-16 13:55:03 :
Link to this Comment: 16176

Thank you, Anne, for inviting me to the forum. In an attempt to answer the question that you posed: why should we accept our need for one another? – I have come up with yet another question. I wonder if a distinction should be made between a primal need for one another and a desire for some connectivity. Do we really “need” one another’s stories or do we desire them in order to arrive at a sense of being part of the whole? Should the question be, then, why should we accept the desire to be part of this whole? And semi-echoing your question, Anne, do we need to be part of this whole? It seems to me if we do not desire other’s stories, if we do not make an effort to contribute to our own story’s evolution, we run the risk of not expanding, of either contracting into extinction or falling into a static state of being. Perhaps this desire to understand one another stems from the realization that we cannot hope to achieve a more culturally nourishing existence without branching out and taking our chances. Perhaps we have evolved into a species that needs stories and their meanings only become apparent when they are compared to other stories…why else should we seek to understand one another’s stories if not to shed some light on our own?


clinging...vs. expanding?
Name: Anne Dalke
Date: //2005-09-18 22:18:23 :
Link to this Comment: 16203

...there was a piece in today's New York Times Magazine (September 18, 2005) by Mark Lilla called "Getting Religion." It ends w/ this passage:

Doubt, like faith, has to be learned. It is a skill. But the curious thing about skepticism is that its adherents, ancient and modern, have so often been proselytizers. In reading them, I've often wanted to ask, "Why do you care?" Their skepticism offers no good answer to that question...something quickens within me. The Greeks spoke of eros, the Christians of agape and caritas. I don't know what to call it, I just know it is there. It is a kind of care...directed toward others....

I like the way you find a motivation for that "care," Aia, in our need to expand, to nourish ourselves. That works for me better than the rheseus monkey, clinging ontology, to our "responsibility...to the truth." Seems tautological to me: what's out there, do you think, Tim, that you're clinging to? And how will you know when you've got a-holt of it, have been "faithful" to it? I have my doubts (sic)....


Once upon a time ....
Name: Paul Grobstein
Date: //2005-09-22 09:05:40 :
Link to this Comment: 16266

Wonderful stories, thanks all. Let me try one, very much in the spirit that "humility is a supreme value for the storyteller" (humility = "profound skepticism"?) and "a narrative ecosystem is healthiest when it is most diverse, most generative of future insight and possibility".

Once upon a time, not so very long ago, there was .... [a universe in an ongoing process of continual change and novelty generation with no one around to intend anything for it or even observe it, no organized assembly that had the internal architecture required to be able to tell stories about the universe, themselves, or anything else, and hence nothing to create either purpose or meaning]. The brackets are to acknowledge that there is no way to describe this condition without the description being reflective to one degree or another of properties of an observer; the effort has been to make the description as free of observer dependent characteristics as I can manage. In any case, this something-that-was-there in the absence of a story telling observer had been around for a VERY long time (MUCH longer than the not -so-very-long ago where this story starts) and had through its ongoing processes of change/novelty generation brought into existence large numbers of different, interacting, improbable assemblies (the "active inanimate"), including some ("model builders") for whom entropy contributed to maintaining their assemblies, and which contained information from past interactions that contributed to further stabilizing such assemblies. These assemblies had as well both semi-homeostatic and semi-autonomous properties which contributed to continuing information acquisition.

As things in this universe bounced around, for no reason and with no intentions other than the randomness with which the universe began and the inertial and semi-homeostatic properties of the improbable assemblies it contained, there evolved still more improbable assemblies with a bipartite architecture that gave them the capability to represent themselves as things distinct from their surroundings, to develop stories to try and account for themselves, their surroundings, and the relations between and among those things. With the appearance of these "story tellers" came into existence concepts like "reality" and "meaning" and "purpose" that proved sometimes to further enhance both the maintenance of such assemblies and the exploration of new forms of them ... and sometimes to inhibit one or both processes.

Intrigued and excited by the successes of stories employing such concepts, the story tellers began to try and use them in broader and broader contexts, to the point where they developed the idea that the universe used the same strategies and rules that they themselves used (at least sometimes), that "reality" and "meaning" and "purpose" were not just human story telling elements but properties of the universe itself. This led in some interesting directions, and had some useful outcomes but it also created, for humans, some terrible problems when it turned out that different story tellers and groups of story tellers had different conceptions of "reality" and "meaning" and "purpose". Confused about the relation between their stories and the universe people became so dependent on their stories that they largely forgot the universe and spent their time fighting each other about whose conception of it was correct. The universe, of course, didn't care and, for the most part, went on changing without being much affected by humans or their squabbles.

Will humans come to understand that "reality" and "meaning" and "purpose" (to say nothing of truth, science, religion, "faithfulness", and "need for one another" (or its absence)) are matters of great interest to themselves but of little or no significance to the universe? Will they learn that story tellers, for clear architectural reasons, are not and cannot be in touch with "reality" (that "solipsism" is not an intellectual posture but an unavoidable feature of the human condition)? Will they come to accept (perhaps even to value) the usefulness of stories as well as their inevitable (even desirable) multiplicity? Can humans become comfortable with both the wonders and the limitations of their story telling capabilities, accepting that stories are paths to the future but never a guarantee of it? Yep, it is sometimes (though not always) difficult to make a judgement that some stories are more useful, but maybe that's a fair price to pay for our freedom and agency? There is no reason to think the answers to any of these questions matter to the universe, but they may well be the grounds on which the universe's exploration of the viability of humanity as a relatively long-lasting form of improbable assembly proves (or fails to prove) continually generative.

Will humanity live happily ever after? Tune in again for the next exciting episode of Once Upon a Time is Now.


if a tree falls...
Name: Anne Dalke
Date: //2005-09-22 09:18:23 :
Link to this Comment: 16267

Okay, so the forest of stories is made up of all sorts of trees
(which are cut down to make paper to write stories on...)
and in the forest are all sorts of storyeaters, each w/ different dietary needs and tastes....

So now I'm thinking about niche displacement: short antelopes eating the lower branches and tall antelopes eating the middle branches and giraffes eating the tallest branches...all these species living together yet not competing each other out of existence, because differences in diet allow them to coexist. I started this posting w/ the notion that, in the intelligent design/evolution debate, there's a marked refusal to niche displace, and insistance, from both sides, on one diet fitting all. I'm exploring now a different idea/angle: that each side of the debate keeps the other insistently in play, in a process of unremitting niche displacement--and unremitting balance.
Tell a story of design--> provoke a counter-story of random exploration.
Tell a tale of indeterminacy--> evoke a counter-story of deliberate intention.

So when you speak, Tim, of a potted utilitarianism, a narrative ecosystem healthiest when it is most diverse, when all the stories within it have limit conditions...they can only grow into mighty trees in the right soil, with the right light, with the right nutrients. When they grow, the conditions around them may make them tall, or short, gnarled or straight, healthy or weak.

...I think that the trees around them--the other stories--are part of that environment, as are the foragers--the other storyeaters. Their growth may be stunted by the growth of a large tree, or facilitated by the disappearance of a certain bush nearby

So: maybe the problem w/ humility as a supreme value for the storyteller is its "humble" failure to acknowledge how pronounced an effect--as part of a complex eco-system--we actually do have on each other, how much our stories can stunt (or nurture) one another's stories, shut out (or illumine) one another's sun, eat up (or contribute to) one another's nutrients....hm. Better quit. Starting to evoke the latent sociopathic quality of advanced neurobiological solipsism...



Name: http://web
Date: //2005-09-22 16:16:23 :
Link to this Comment: 16272

It doesn't matter that much to me that our stories matter to us but not to the universe: we are us, and not the universe, so that's fine. The scale of our intervention doesn't determine whether or not we're able to represent the world in such a way that we're able to predictably intervene within it. And I stick to my guns: a reliable capacity to repeat certain interventions is a suggestion that our stories sometimes really tell us something about what is real.

That, I suppose, is the problem with my ecosystem/tree metaphor: it's value-neutral about the organisms within it, just positive that diversity is an important goal. (Which, by the way, I'm not even sure can be said about "real" ecosystems.) I'm not value-neutral. There are bad and good stories, and true and untrue ones (these are not necessarily the same: it's an XY grid, maybe). One of the limit conditions of stories in that ecosystem ought to be that they know what they are, and for whom they are sustenance--but part of that is knowing whether and what kind of truth they contain. The boundaries between journalism and fiction are often blurry, for example, but when someone actively purports to be offering one and knowingly is crafting the other, many legitimate problems arise. In some ways, this is why I object more rather than less to the Discovery Institute's version of intelligent design: it has the feel of parasitism about it, a deliberate attempt to pose as the kind of story it is not. It may be that other kinds of creation-evolution stories run into an incommensurability that leads them into an inevitable fight to the death, but at least that's a bit cleaner when the two stories are honest to themselves, know what kind of story they are.


Emergence as hypothesis-finder (story-maker?)
Name: Timothy Bu
Date: //2005-09-22 16:28:43 :
Link to this Comment: 16273

Kind of another twist on all this. I mentioned above that part of being "humble" about our stories involves knowing that one of the fundamental preconditions of our intelligence is the capacity to identify and describe patterns, to make the world have meaning.

I keep thinking that what we sometimes deeply desire is an alienating device, a black box, a thing or automaton, that will take our initial perceptions of patterns and meaning, perform a transformation upon them in some space veiled to us, and give them back to us. A kind of story-telling alchemy. Our disciplinary methods function that way sometimes; our institutions function that way sometimes. Because we mistrust our ability to make the universe conform to our capacity to make it meaningful, our need to interpret, we want a check-and-balance, or if you're more cynical, the ability to plausibly deny that the truth we arrive at is the truth we were looking for all along.

Well, the single most interesting thing I've seen said about "emergence" and similar issues in the literature on "artificial society modeling" is that emergent simulations of societies aren't something which shows us a "true picture" of human society, or allows us to experimentally test our models. It's that such simulations are a hypothesis-making machine, a black box that can churn out a map of the possibility space of explanation (of stories!) about a given social situation. That we can use that to find the explanations or hypotheses that readily come to our minds, but maybe also some that never occur to us. Naturally we run into a problem if those explanations take a form that we simply don't understand, so it has to sty within our bounds: the simulation is still a trick, a peekaboo that we play with ourselves. Useful all the same. I'm not sure this directly applies to ID/evolution, but it might.


the problem with
Name: Anne Dalke
Date: //2005-09-25 12:14:32 :
Link to this Comment:
16283

we have to go further: for some stories...relative "truth"...is relevant

Can we go even further? "Relative 'truth'" is to me a really confused and confusing, miguided and misguiding concept.

The BMC Philosophy Department is sponsoring a series of visits by Anthony Appiah, and (in connection w/ his seminars) the Graduate Idea Forum is beginning to read his new book, The Ethics of Identity, which uses John Stuart Mill as a traveling companion to think--very deliberatively and carefully--through the relationship between individual liberty and identity politics. Curled up with that book this weekend, I found myself digging my way back into Tim's useful metaphor of the ecosystem :

"Human nature is...a tree, which requires to grow...according to the tendency of the inward forces which make it a living thing"....Mill's...metaphor makes the constraints apparent: a tree, whatever the circumstances, does not become a legume, a vine, or a cow.

But this is only half the story. The rest is that,

for it to make sense, it must be an identity constructed in response to facts outside oneself, things that are beyond one's own choices...To create a life is to create a life out of the materials that history has given you....our self-construction is...a creative response to our capacities and our circumstances......we are collectively created...

What seems really important to me here is both the refusal to oppose the individual to the collective (the insistence that we are made relationally, out of our interactions with others), AND the insistence that we not confuse/conflate the first- and third-person standpoints (Appiah actually takes this move from Kant, who quite famously distinguished between the first, in which we conceive ourselves as causes, and the third, in which we contemplate our actions as effects). What's helpful here is recognizing that each of these distinct purposes is just a point of view, neither more "real" or "true" than the other: the logic of structure (which yields causes for action) and the logic of agency (which yields reasons for action) belong to two distinct standpoints; when we conceive ourselves as practical we are simply selecting the latter. But to call this "truth"--even "'relative' truth"--is to hide the action of choice and badly confuse the two standpoints. For instance...

the charming fairy tale of "once upon a time," that the universe...didn't care and... went on changing without being much affected by humans or their squabbles is of course not "true." We know, from what we have seen of the result of our misguided attempts to 'control' nature in New Orleans, to take only the most recent and awful example, that our squabbling stories and our stubborns actions are affecting the universe (or @ least the shape of one of its fragile coasts...)


Theory of a mutidimentional living conscious unive
Name: Peter Brod
Date: //2005-09-26 23:40:10 :
Link to this Comment: 16326

FROM: Peter W. Broderson, Peterbroderson@hotmail.com,
3865 Imaginary Rd. Tallahassee, Fl. 32309 (850-877-5737)

Subject: We all recognize how thought can manipulate matter and energy yet this force is not taken into account as one of the forces at work in our physical universe.


First Hypothesis:
Negative Entropy and implications for a living-conscious Universe

Any Force that challenges the theory of increasing Entropy
Needs to be seriously considered by modern science.

Current physics theory is based on the concept of entropy, a measure of disorder. Positive-entropy is an acceleration of disorder and is seen as the inevitable fate of energy and matter, leading to chaos. Present physics has not yet accepted, or recognized negative-entropy, any force that seems to increase order.

The field of physics recognizes gravity as a natural force, yet gravity cannot be seen or measured except by how other physical bodies react in its presence.

There is at least one other natural force that as yet cannot be seen or measured; one we might call “ life-consciousness.” This force creates infinite new possibilities for both matter and energy. In physics, as positive-entropy is a measure of disorder, life-consciousness or negative-entropy, is a measure of order.

Ever since modern science separated physics from biology, the field of physic has not recognized biology or life-consciousness as a force in understanding our physical Universe. Still, the unacknowledged force in the theory {E=MC2} must be life-consciousness which can conceive and apply this equation to our physical world.

By understanding and accepting negative entropy in physics, we see life-consciousness, biology, creating new and ever more complex order. It has changed the physical condition of our planet with plants and animals. Earth was not originally an oxygen-based atmosphere, but earlier forms of life created the oxygen. So the force of biology, life-consciousness, is not dependent on oxygen or carbon to exist. The term 'organism' refers to organized matter; hence the name denotes the power of biology, life-consciousness, to create order.



Evolution as a theory suggests a conscious force affecting matter and energy. DNA and gene research shows this power to increase the complexity and adaptability of life forms over time and conditions as needed. Humans first conceive, and then create, roads, fields, mines, cities, arts and music. The ability of Mankind to create such a complex social order as modern civilization proves that there is negative entropy at work creating order.

The existence of biology, life, and consciousness, or negative-entropy, challenges the dominance of positive-entropy and challenges current theories in the field of physics about the Universe and how it works.

Modern Physics indicates that about 90% of the Universe cannot be observed. They are calling it dark energy or dark matter. If this is a living universe, negative entropy or the force of life and consciousness may well turn out to be the missing 90%. A complete theory of physics must explore the possibility of the universe filled with negative entropy, this life-consciousness force, and the role it could be playing in an evolving living-conscious universe.




FROM: Peter W. Broderson, Peterbroderson@hotmail.com,
3865 Imaginary Rd. Tallahassee, Fl. 32309 (850-877-5737)

Second Hypothesis: The Living Universe

Accepting the force life-consciousness as negative entropy


Modern physics has put forth the concept of a ten dimensional string theory. This string theory may actually represent one living-conscious Universe, containing multiple levels of life-consciousness.

The Jewish, Christian, and Moslem religions, all refer to God as omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient, or all and everything, therefore God is both the creation and the creator. In accepting a living-conscious universe, there is no separation.

Modern science is based on the principle that the laws of physics are the same on earth as they are throughout the Universe. The microcosm is the representation of the macrocosm; or as in the Christian prayer,
“On Earth as it is in Heaven.”

From our position as humans, the view to the tenth power larger and to the tenth power smaller is indeed looking far into the known universe in either direction. Each of these powers or dimensions might constitutes
Individual life-consciousness: the clusters of galaxies, the individual galaxies, the star clusters and nebulae, individual stars and planets, down to life forms on earth including cells, molecules, down to particles and waves.
Each level consists of an individual consciousness, living one within the other, within the One, in a great Chain of Being.

Modern medicine has recognized that our choice in the consumption of food and the quality of air we breathe affects our health. It has also recognized that the power of thoughts in situations of stress or happiness can affect the well being of internal organs. We literally have the ability to affect the micro-lives within us.

The ability to focus consciousness or concentration helps create our conditions in life. The more our attention is focused on problems or goals, the better chance the desired results will manifest. Focusing concentration acts like a magnet, attracting conditions, people, and physical events. Our attitude even seems to affect time: when we are happy time goes fast, while sad, lonely, or bored, time seems to pass slowly.

The existence of life-consciousness or negative-entropy challenges the dominance of positive-entropy, and challenges the current theories in the field of physics about the Universe and how it works.

Modern Physics indicates that about 90% of the Universe cannot be observed. They are calling it dark energy or dark matter. If this is a living universe, negative entropy or the force of life-consciousness may well turn out to be the missing 90%. A complete theory of physics must explore the possibility of the universe filled with negative entropy, this life-consciousness force, and the role it could be playing in an evolving living-conscious universe.



















intelligent design
Name: ken kendal
Date: //2005-09-30 12:40:22 :
Link to this Comment: 16392

Does anyone reading this section truly believe that something intelligent would design a life form this complicated.


the complications of intelligence (and identity--a
Name: Anne Dalke
Date: //2005-10-01 10:50:12 :
Link to this Comment: 16404

Funny. Actually? Seems to me that intelligence=complexification.

For instance, Anthony Appiah describes The Ethics of Identity as being constructed in response to facts outside oneself, things that are beyond one's own choice....To create a life is to create a life out of the materials that history has given you. Our self-construction is a creative response to our capacities and our circumstances.

In that context: a very striking intersection took place this week (question is: is it an irreconcilable opposition?) between claims being made in two different sites on Serendip: the proposal, in a discussion about The Emergence of Emergency, that a useful response to Katrina might have been building a firewall, one that assures the safety of the whole by not allowing the contamination of a part to s-p-r-e-a-d...

...and the (directly counter?) suggestion, in the forum for Stories of Teaching and Learning, that what we really need to do is not put on armor, but take off armor, and to open ourselves to others, which brings with it the possibility of being hurt (and changed) (and overwhelmed).

My own angle on this--which is really a question about the defensiveness of both of these postures--is informed by my current reading about Buddhism and psychoanalysis, Thoughts without a Thinker, in which Mark Epstein opposes "a clinging to what comes to be a unhealthy confluence and a pulling back from, or estrangement from, healthy confluence." The first gesture doesn't allow others their "otherness," but the second is its shadow-side, engaged in protecting the self (falsely imagined as autonomous).

Ethics, indeed.


What kind of line?
Name: Ken Whang
Date: //2005-10-05 08:01:36 :
Link to this Comment: 16449

I can't join this morning's live discussion, but I thought writing in might be the next best thing to being there (was that an advertising slogan or something?)

To follow from Anne's comments a few weeks ago on the origins of "line in the sand," I'm interested in exploring the issue of what kinds of lines we're comfortable with and what kinds of lines we need.

In the discussion thus far, at least 2 types of lines have come up, lines of demarcation and lines of discourse, aka boundaries and paths. On the "boundaries" side, consider Rush Holt's piece invoking Pauli's "it's not even wrong" to describe theories that are fundamentally untestable. On the "paths" side, is there a way to introduce concepts like evolution and falsifiability in ways that are less belittling, and that build on people's naive notions?


response and update
Name: Paul Grobstein
Date: //2005-10-05 15:16:27 :
Link to this Comment: 16453

Yep, I think there are ways to handle both falsifiability and evolution in ways that encourage rather than discourage engagement. See, eg, Evolution (and revolution?).

See also notes for a talk in which I reflect on the original essay and responses to it here. Its mostly aimed at developing methodologies for evaluating things in the absence of terms like "truth" or "reality", but the motivation is very much to avoid "belittling" and the motivation/methodological forms lead directly into thoughts of how to teach differently. Thanks to all who have contributed to my continuing thinking about these matters.


enlarging the local
Name: Anne dalke
Date: //2005-10-05 15:56:25 :
Link to this Comment: 16455

what i'm interested in understanding better/knowing more about
(based on what i heard this morning)?


Only one designer??
Name:
Date: //2005-10-10 22:21:49 :
Link to this Comment: 16505

As a practising Hindu and Biology professor I will personally enjoy toying with these unintelligent nuts who push ID by claiming that there is not one god...er designer, but many designers. After all if this science, then my theory would have to be disproved. But the odds are in my favor for many designers are better than one.


Spoof website
Name:
Date: //2005-10-11 13:00:03 :
Link to this Comment: 16508

The following may be of interest :

http://www.mr-shouty-trousers.com/Less-Intelligent-Design


a new voice
Name: Paul Grobstein
Date: //2005-10-13 09:47:38 :
Link to this Comment: 16509

A useful new commentary providing some relevant historical context by Jim Wright, an archeologist. "We need to remember that the theory of evolution did not come about because anyone was trying to disprove the existence of God, but rather because everyone was trying to reconcile the creation account in the Bible with the evidence before their eyes" See Evolution and Human Antiquity.


If this is science . . .
Name: Bearcat
Date: //2005-10-16 21:26:16 :
Link to this Comment: 16516

I think it is more correct to contend that if this is science your theory would have to be proven.


drawing the line @ tautology
Name: Anne Dalke
Date: //2005-10-19 18:47:49 :
Link to this Comment: 16551

Karen, you said this morning that you didn't understand what it meant to say "to call this 'truth' -- even 'relative' truth' -- is to hide the action of choice". Since that was me speaking (and since you didn't get an answer to your question), I'll presume to answer it here. What I meant was that we make choices to value certain stories, based on our core values, and to call a story the "truth," or even "relatively truthful," is to cover up the choice and the valuation. (This accords, of course, w/ the argument Paul was making today, that all stories express an authorial point of view.)

I found that argument quite convincing, along with its correlary, that science stories are useful because generative, and to be judged on the basis of their generativity. But I also found that argument--in this context--a particularly striking drawing of a line in the sand (more, actually: building of a wall...), a line which (I think) makes the argument tautological: if we value science because it creates the most generative stories, then we value the most generative stories. But on the other side of that line, outside that fort, there are other contexts, other worlds.

This summer, I heard a talk that juxtaposed three world views and their core values (a core value being "that which needs no further explanation"):

There are trade-offs in each view (in the modern world, for example, where science reigns, there exist difficulties in dealing with the nonquantifiable: "if it is not sense data, or derivable from that," then it is "non-sense," not real).

A concrete example:
Among a group of students returning from a semester abroad,

  • a "premodernist" might say, Now I understand how good we have it here, how right we are
  • a "modernist" might say, Since we have to compete in a world economy, it's useful to understand how others live
  • a "postmodernist" might say, In order for all of us to survive--even to flourish--we need to understand how all the others (in the global network of interdependence in which we are all enmeshed) think and feel.
So science, as Paul presents it, is expressive of one particular, particularly modern, particularly "useful" set of values--in a context that elevates precisely that "usefulness" above other values. Isn't that tautological, if it (he?) doesn't feel the need to justify that value, with reference to survival, or any other value ?


Motives
Name: Keith Rex
Date: //2005-10-21 02:30:45 :
Link to this Comment: 16574

Those behind the Intelligent Design movement have declared that they see this as a wedge to split up the forces of secualism. so the question of evolution and intelligent design is being compatible is not valid. One has to choose as Richard Dawkins says. You cannot have both intelligent design and evolution. They are in mjutual contradiction. Keith



Name:
Date: //2005-10-21 11:18:34 :
Link to this Comment: 16578

Re: http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/bb/neuro/neuro01/week7.html

The inverted retina that causes the blind spot happens in all vertibrates. Evolu tionists claim this as proof of evolution, since a \'designer\' or \'creator\' w ouldn\'t have made such a \'mistake\'. In fact, our eyes being inverted like tha t allow for tons of other features - like cooling for the heat made from focused light, and like protection, and nutrition from some of the pigments that cover the retina.

The point is - it\'s really not a good idea to listen to evolutionists about any thing. They often have interesting and true facts, but that ALWAYS have an agenda as well.

For example, they defent their \'theory\' by saying gravity is also a theory. Ac tually, it isn\'t. It\'s Newton\'s LAW of gravity. It IS NOT, however, Darwin\'s LAW of evolution, but his theory.

Sorry to be off topic, but this blind spot business is often held up as \'proof\ ' of evolution. It\'s interesting how the eye works, but it really has nothing t o do with evolution at all, and I wanted to point that out.


GenghisKhan
Name:
Date: //2005-10-27 06:21:05 :
Link to this Comment: 16653

The late-great sci-fi writer Douglas Adams wrote that all religions probably started from a sense of wonder about the world, a bit like a newly-conscious puddle of water thinking, "Hey, this hole in the ground fits me so perfectly, it must have been created especially for me." Intelligent Design only a step away from this. Suppose that over time our puddle learns some more about his environment, but he still cannot explain the weather and different phases of matter. So he says, "Ah, but all that science stuff still can't explain why water falls from the sky. And those snowflake thingys look much too complicated to occur naturally. Logically, my hole and I must have been created by an intelligent entity." Theology? Sure. Religious conjecture? No problem. But this is hardly science!


GhengisKhan
Name:
Date: //2005-10-27 06:24:57 :
Link to this Comment: 16654

To reply to (), the blind spot IS an interesting part of the debate, since it both helps to explain how the eye developed as well as highlighting an imperfection in the human body that, were it "designed", should not have been included.


Automobile Evolution
Name: Ed N.
Date: //2005-11-03 08:23:06 :
Link to this Comment: 16790

In a future society where advanced automobiles are the dominant 'life form', the theory of evolution has taken a path similar to ours.

http://home.earthlink.net/~autoevolution


An amazing lack of...
Name: Barbarian
Date: //2005-11-07 19:21:39 :
Link to this Comment: 16866

...cited evidence.

In any question about the physical universe, evidence is what counts. Otherwise, it's just a contest as to who is the most imaginative storyteller.

Which isn't a bad thing, mind you. It's just not science.



Some kids
Name: Dannielle
Date: //2005-11-14 17:42:50 :
Link to this Comment: 16984

hello we are some kids in year 5/6 and we would like some more info on what this is all about. could you send some to Loftus st Yarralumla A.C.T 2600 5/6 adress it to Dannielle and Nadine

Thank you very much,
Dannielle Kevill and Nadine Pretorius


IDio - The GOD of Intelligent Design
Name: Head IDiot
Date: //2005-11-15 01:20:03 :
Link to this Comment: 16991

OPEN EPISTLE TO KANSAS SCHOOL BOARD
November 8th, 2005
I write with joy and thanks in my heart for your bold decision to teach Kansas schoolchildren of The Intelligent Design GOD IDio. Finally, The Church of The Intelligent Designer needs no longer cower behind a façade of science.

Now that your establishment of IDio has rendered the Constitution's first amendment inoperative, we can proudly proclaim in every Kansas classroom, "There is but one Intelligent Designer and His Name is IDio!" Thanks be to the taxpayers of Kansas for donating their money to proselytize for His church. May IDio mutate you all intelligently.

Finally, we see an end to the dark decades of awkward debates, of tedious aping of scientific method, of endless self-publication to mesmerize the faithful. No more need we pay our devout 'scientists' to appear in court, only to be insulted by the IDioless forces of logic. Never again must we shrug uneasily and mumble, "Umdon'tknowbutit'snotagod," when Darwinists ask the identity of the Intelligent Designer.

Spread the Word of IDio: http://www.godinabox.com


What if man had nothing to do with apes?
Name: Simone Nen
Date: //2005-11-17 10:53:19 :
Link to this Comment: 17044

Brain is the most difficult thing to change over evolution. According to science, in less than 2 millions years man's brain has not only doubled its size, but it has also made a quality change by mainly increasing its cortex, isn't that hard to believe? Scientists tried to explain this miracolous change by theories based on special diets, language, social interactings and behaviors, recently they even gave account for it to a new discovered growth gene. They also keep on saying that human brain's growth cannot be compared to that of any other ape or mamal, why do they always forget the cetacea? And why they say the chimpanze are our closest relatives? What if mankind were closer to dolphin and killerwhales? Their brains are more similar to humans then apes. External changes, even moving one's nose on its back as marine mamals did over the ages, it's far more easier than changing its brain. As Desmond Morris says in his book "The naked ape", the hair on man's back doesn't grow upwards, as for apes, but in a hydrodynamic way. I think that mankind comes from the same family of marine mamals, 50 or 60 millions years ago we all lived on earth, then dolphins and whales went to the sea and we stayed on the shores. That would also explain why dolphins and even killerwhales never harm man, often help people drowing or attacked by sharks and have that very special relationship with mankind. It would even explain the legends about giants and titans... I'm not a scientist, but I find it incredible that no scientist has never taken this hypothesis under consideration, always preferring apes as our closest evolution relatives, just because they look more similar to us. Please let me know if someone else has thought of it.


Re: What if man had nothing to do with apes?
Name: Adam, Ph.D
Date: //2005-11-28 19:41:49 :
Link to this Comment: 17204

Scientists base the statement that Pongidae (Great Apes) which include the Genus Pan (chimpanzees and banobos) are our closest relatives on genetic evidence. There are significantly fewer differences in the DNA of modern humans and that of chimps and other apes than between humans and any other group (including any member of the Order Cetacea which includes whales, dolphins, and porpoises. The taxonomic (what things look like) and fossil evidence support the idea that we are closely related to the apes, but they are not the basis of the claim. There is also a lot of fossil, and taxonomic evidence that Cetacea are derived from quadruped (four-legged) land mammals, and that humans are derived from bipedal (2-legged ape-like) animals. There is no genetic, taxonomic, or fossil evidence to support your theory Simone, so it is not incredible that no reputible scientist has thought of it. Oh, and they are rare, but there have been Orca (Killer Whale) attacks on humans. Pilot Wales (in the same Order) also attack humans:
http://www.oceanfootage.com/stockfootage/Attack_People///?DVfSESSCKIE=3f11290d1ebd069c943c2e36f0d3f948eea73cd7 for footage.


dolphins attacks
Name: adam, Ph.D
Date: //2005-11-28 19:59:14 :
Link to this Comment: 17205

oh, dolphin attacks on humans (though extreemly rare!) HAVE also occured. There is even a scientist at Duke who studies them. And humans, who are more closely related to each other than they are to any other animal, attack each other all the time. Other animals attack their own and closely related species all the time too. So attack frequencies are not a good argument for what is related to what.

http://www.fishingnj.org/artdolphagress.htm


Feedback on Article...
Name: Wayne Ferg
Date: //2005-12-15 17:31:03 :
Link to this Comment: 17410

This article has recently been posted to The Four Precepts Web Portal... Feedback appreciated!

Intelligent Design While it seems rather obvious that the objections raised by conservative Christian groups against the theory of evolution have less to do with scientific evidence than with what they perceive to be its moral and theological implications, their belief in intelligent design is not at all unreasonable. [More]


Breathtaking Inanity Spot On! ^_^
Name: Poster102
Date: //2005-12-21 08:48:15 :
Link to this Comment: 17456

Intelligent Design is like Scientology...flimsy on the outside and flimsy on the inside...and flimsy is putting it nicely..


Science
Name: Dr. Whitin
Date: //2005-12-21 13:34:31 :
Link to this Comment: 17458

I define evolution as unintelligent design. If evolution and intelligent design are antithetical, then evolution and unintelligent design appear to fit together nicely. I say this as, although I love science, I know that science cannot prove everything. For example, how does one scientifically test the hypothesis "There is an omnipresent God that created everything"? Where's the scientific control? How does science test the hypothesis "Science can prove everything" without resorting to an obvious paradox? I would find it conducive to the educational and learning process if more scientists would admit that science is a subset of research, not necessarily the other way round. For example, qualitative research is, at times, non-scientific, yet much worthwhile information can be gleaned from such research. And yes, I believe in separation of Church and State. But I don't believe that anyone has proven that evolution is true. Since when in statistical hypothesis testing does one assert that the null or alternate hypotheses are or are not true? There is only evidence that TENDS to support the null hypothesis, or there isn't. One may surmise that a null hypothesis is true, but actually proving it is true using sampling (whether sampling fossils or whatnot), no way.



Name: LILA KASHI
Date: //2006-01-04 17:15:06 :
Link to this Comment: 17542

DOES ANYBODY THINK THAT EVOLUTION AND INTELLIGENT DESIGN SHOULD NOT BE GIVEN EQUAL TIME IN A SCIENCE CLASSROOM? PLEASE EXPLAIN WHY OR WHY NOT. I AM DOING THIS FOR AN ENGLISH PAPER AND I AM VERY CONFUSED!


ID and evolution in a science classroom
Name: LILA KASHI
Date: //2006-01-04 17:17:10 :
Link to this Comment: 17544

DOES ANYBODY THINK THAT EVOLUTION AND INTELLIGENT DESIGN SHOULD NOT BE GIVEN EQUAL TIME IN A SCIENCE CLASSROOM? PLEASE EXPLAIN WHY OR WHY NOT. I AM DOING THIS FOR AN ENGLISH PAPER AND I AM VERY CONFUSED!


lila k
Name:
Date: //2006-01-09 17:16:30 :
Link to this Comment: 17577

do your own homework lila. that sound's like you just cut and pasted the question right out of your assignment.


what makes a world?
Name:
Date: //2006-01-11 13:49:52 :
Link to this Comment: 17594

I understand that science believes that the universe consists of matter and energy, which are, in a sense, interchangeable.

I'm also told that the universe contains spirit.

I've never ubnderstood whether spirit is a form or matter, of energy, of both, or neither.

Is spirit a third component of the universe?


ID
Name: lika k
Date: //2006-01-11 13:52:31 :
Link to this Comment: 17595

Where did you get the idea that intelligent design is "science"?


Intelligent Design
Name: Bill
Date: //2006-01-24 12:39:20 :
Link to this Comment: 17770

Regarding "intelligent design", what is it we really know about our own reality? Not much! Some thoughts:

1. Look out at the universe. Notice any other habitat which can support humans? The earth seems to be unique within our range of perception. Sure, we can estimate the infinite possibilities of other earths located precisely at certain distances from other suns, but those are only estimations.

2. If you were creating a habitat for fish, you would create a lake, river or acquarium habitats which have water; if you were to create a habitat for humans, you would create an "earth", a biosphere, with air. See any "planets" around with "air"?

3. From this thought alone, we could argue that the existence of earth & humans, in this "airless" universe all around us suggests intelligent design.

4. With regard to our reality, imagine having no eyes, no sight! How would we know, sitting in a room, that there were twenty people around us staring at us? The only way we could detect them is through our four other canonical senses (taste, touch, smell and hearing).

5. Consider that we can only detect that portion of the world around us which our five canonical senses can detect. Whatever other reality is around us we cannot detect. There may be ghosts, angels, etc. all around us which our five senses cannot detect.

6. ESP i.e. estra sensory perception, includes clairvoyance, clairaudience, clairsentience precognition, retrocognition, second sight, aura reading, telepathy, medium hood, seancing, spirit walking and astral projection.

7. Psychic's claim that evidence of ESP exists when you hear a telephone ring and know who is is, when you know what someone is about to say something and it turns out to be correct, when you get a sudden urge to go somewhere or do something and when you do that thing, it turns out to be the right thing that you should have done, you can understand someone's true inner feelings, that you feel there is a presence behind the scene helping you, when something in your life either good or bad instills in you a higher purpose, etc.

8. Mainstream scientists argue that a reproducible ESP phenomenon has never been discovered, so any arguments relying on ESP are unreliable, but that doesn't prove the lack of ESP phenomenon or the presence of a reality all around us which we cannot detect through our five senses.

9. Evolution appear to us to be the process by which everything on the earth has evolved over time. It does not answer the question of how did it all start? It does not rule out that everything we think we know and sense is an illusion?

10. What we think we know, is that throughout history, men and women have believed they knew something about the world & later it turned out to be false. Why is this time period any different?

11. Evolution is kinda like a study in how to build a house. We could say, how would one create a human. Build a habitat, put something to create life in the habitat, let it evolve into millions of life forms, the strongest of which will survive. Ok, so that happened. But that avoids the questions of how everything got started and what kind of reality do we now exist in.

12. We are told that our universe arose from a singularity....something like an acorn that exploded 14 billion years ago and spread out creating galaxies, solar systems i.e. everything we can sense plus 95% of something else we cannot sense, called hidden matter. So, where is this hidden matter? Why can't we detect it? If we can't detect 95% of the world around us, how can we ever say we can figure out our own reality. Also, who created the acorn, or what created the acorn? How do we answer the question, which came first, the chicken or the egg, the singularity or our universe?

13. Ever considered what existed before the 14 billion years ago, when the acorn exploded? Imagine that the last 14 billion years is a mere 1 second in time itself?

14. Imagine that our universe is contained within a bubble floating somewhere and there are billions of other universes all around us. Imagine that our bubble's size is about the size of an electron flying around a nucleus of an atom. How do we know anything?

15. Imagine we are the product of a computer program? If so, our ability to understand the reality around us is determined by our program. How do we escape the program and extend our knowledge beyond?

16. Actually, the fact that we appear to be so limited in our ability to perceive our own reality suggests that there may be intelligent design i.e. a greater intelligent.

16. What seems silly to me is for any of us to treat "evolution" as the final answer. It expands our knowledge. But it doesn't answer the important questions about our reality.

Enought for now.


Thinking about intelligent design(what Quran says?
Name: Emre
Date: //2006-08-03 20:24:11 :
Link to this Comment: 20119

Examples from Quran ...........

2. The Heifer (Al-Baqarah)

164-164. Behold! in the creation of the heavens and the earth; in the alternation of the night and the day; in the sailing of the ships through the ocean for the profit of mankind; in the rain which Allah Sends down from the skies, and the life which He gives therewith to an earth that is dead; in the beasts of all kinds that He scatters through the earth; in the change of the winds, and the clouds which they trail like their slaves between the sky and the earth;- (Here) indeed are Signs for a people that are wise.
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3. The Family Of Ìmrán (Al-Ìmrán)

190. Behold! In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the alternation of night and day,- there are indeed Signs for men of understanding,-

191. Men who celebrate the praises of Allah, standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides, and contemplate the (wonders of) creation in the heavens and the earth, (with the thought): "Our Lord! Not for naught Hast Thou created (all) this! Glory to Thee! Give us salvation from the Chastisement of the Fire."
**********************************


45. Bowing the Knee (Al-Játhiya)

4. And in the creation of yourselves and the fact that animals are scattered (through the earth), are Signs for those of assured Faith.
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88. The Overwhelming Event (Al-Gáshiya)

17. Do they not look at the Camels, how they are made?-

18. And at the Sky, how it is raised high?-

19. And at the Mountains, how they are fixed firm?-

20. And at the Earth, how it is spread out?


******************************************

67. The Dominion (Al-Mulk)

3. He Who created the seven heavens one above another: no want of proportion wilt thou see in the Creation of the Most Gracious. So turn thy vision again: seest thou any flaw?

4. Again turn thy vision a second time: (thy) vision will come back to thee dull and discomfited, in a state worn out.

*********************

7. The Heights (Al-Aráf)

185. Do they see nothing in the kingdom of the heavens and the earth and all that Allah hath created? (Do they not see) that it may well be that their terms is nigh drawing to an end? In what message after this will they then believe?

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25. The Criterion (Al-Furqán)

49. That with it We may give life to a dead land, and slake the thirst of things We have created,- cattle and men in great numbers.

**********************************************

27. The Ants (An-Naml)

86. See they not that We have made the Night for them to rest in and the Day to give them light? Verily in this are Signs for any people that believe!

*******************************************************

54. The Moon (Al-Qamar)

49. Verily, all things have We created in proportion and measure.

***********************************************

56. The Inevitable Event (Al-Wáqiá)

57. It is We Who have created you: why will ye not witness the Truth?

**************************************************

95. The Fig (At-Tín)

4. We have indeed created man in the best of moulds,

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78. The (Great) News (An-Nabaa)

7. And the mountains as pegs?

8. And created you in pairs,

9. And made your sleep for rest,

10. And made the night as a covering,

11. And made the day as a means of subsistence?

12. And (have We not) built over you the seven firmaments,

13. And placed (therein) a blazing lamp?

14. And do We not send down from the clouds water in abundance,

15. That We may produce therewith corn and vegetables,

16. And gardens of luxurious growth?

***************************

29. The Spider (Al-Ànkabüt)

19. See they not how Allah originates creation, then repeats it: truly that is easy for Allah.

20. Say: "Travel through the earth and see how Allah did originate creation; so will Allah produce a later creation: for Allah has power over all things.

************************************************

21. The Prophets (Al-Anbiyáa)

30. Do not the Unbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were joined together (as one unit of creation), before we clove them asunder? We made from water every living thing. Will they not then believe?

*************************************************

62. And ye certainly know already the first form of creation: why then do ye not take heed?

63. See ye the seed that ye sow in the ground?

64. Is it ye that cause it to grow, or are We the Cause?

65. Were it Our Will, We could make it broken orts, and ye would be left in wonderment,

66. (Saying), "We are indeed left with debts (for nothing):

67. "Indeed we are deprived"

68. See ye the water which ye drink?

69. Do ye bring it down (in rain) from the cloud or do We?

70. Were it Our Will, We could make it saltish (and unpalatable): then why do ye not give thanks?

71. See ye the Fire which ye kindle?

72. Is it ye who grow the tree which feeds the fire, or do We grow it?

73. We have made it a reminder and an article of comfort and convenience for the denizens of deserts.

74. Then glorify the name of thy Lord, the Supreme!

75. Furthermore I swear by the setting of the Stars,-

76. And that is indeed a mighty adjuration if ye but knew,-

******************************************************

30. The Romans (Ar-Rüm)

22. And among His Signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the variations in your languages and your colors: verily in that are Signs for those who know.

*****************************

39. The Groups (Az-Zumar)

6. He created you (all) from a single person: then created, of like nature, his mate; and He sent down for you eight head of cattle in pairs: He creates you, in the wombs of your mothers, in stages, one after another, in three veils of darkness. Such is Allah, your Lord and Cherisher: to Him belongs (all) dominion. There is no god but He: then how are ye turned away (from your true Lord)?

******************************

40. The Believer (Al-Mümin)

57. Assuredly the creation of the heavens and the earth is a greater (matter) than the creation of men: Yet most men know not.

****************************************

52. The Mount (At-Tür)

35. Were they created of nothing, or were they themselves the creators?

**************************************

22. The Pilgrimage (Al-Hajj)

5. O mankind! if ye have a doubt about the Resurrection, (consider) that We created you out of dust, then out of sperm, then out of a leech-like clot, then out of a morsel of flesh, partly formed and partly unformed, in order that We may manifest (Our power) to you; and We cause whom We will to rest in the wombs for an appointed term, then do We bring you out as babes, then (foster you) that ye may reach your age of full strength; and some of you are called to die, and some are sent back to the feeblest old age, so that they know nothing after having known (much), and (further), thou seest the earth barren and lifeless, but when We pour down rain on it, it is stirred (to life), it swells, and it puts forth every kind of beautiful growth (in pairs).

***********************************************

10. Jonah (Yünus)

6. Verily, in the alternation of the night and the day, and in all that Allah hath created, in the heavens and the earth, are Signs for those who fear Him.
************************************************

51. The Winds that Scatter (Az-Záriyát)

49. And of every thing We have created pairs: that ye may reflect.

*****************************************

36. Yá-Sín

38. And the Sun runs unto a resting place: that is the decree of (Him), the Exalted in Might, the All-Knowing.

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29. The Spider (Al-Ànkabüt)

43. And such are the Parables We set forth for mankind, but only those understand them who have knowledge.

**********************************************

77. Those Sent Forth (Al-Mursalát)

8. Then when the stars become dim; (dies of stars-like black holes)

***************************************************

24. Light (An-Nür)

43. Seest thou not that Allah makes the clouds move gently, then joins them together, then makes them into a heap? - then wilt thou see rain issue forth from their midst. And He sends down from the sky mountain masses (of clouds) wherein is hail: He strikes therewith whom He pleases and He turns it away from whom He pleases, the vivid flash of its lightning well-nigh blinds the sight.

************************************************

Yasin

77. Doth not man see that it is We Who created him from sperm? Yet behold! he (stands forth) as an open adversary!

78. And he makes comparisons for Us, and forgets his own (origin and) Creation: he says, "Who can give life to (dry) bones and decomposed ones (at that)?"

79. Say, "He will give them life Who created them for the first time! For He fully knows all!-

80. "The same Who produces for you fire out of the green tree, when behold! ye kindle therewith (your own fires)!

81. "Is not He Who created the heavens and the earth able to create the like thereof?" - Yea, indeed! for He is the Creator Supreme, of skill and knowledge (infinite)!


*******************************************


ID / Evolution
Name: B.T
Date: //2006-08-08 12:45:01 :
Link to this Comment: 20144

Unintelligent Design = a claim, a proposition based on religious beliefs.

Unintelligent Design is not a scientific theory, a scientific theory is based on experimental, testable data. ID is more like a trojan horse, a way or an ability for creationists to get religion into the public school forum. So one may argue, Ok show me the scientific data for evolution for darwin's grand theory, Charles hypothesis. Of course we can not experiment with the fossil record, but rather observe the fossils and their ages based on Carbon dating. More intriguing (current) scientific data has been experimentally shown through the "conserved" genetic sequences across species lines, along with studies in stickleback fish and of course the beloved Darwin's finches of the Galapagos and Daphne major. Peter and Rosemary Grant's experimental work and montoring of the Galapagos islands have provided solid, scientific data of evolution occuring at the present.

A concerned scientist


Evolution and the after-life
Name: Marie
Date: //2006-08-13 18:14:18 :
Link to this Comment: 20158

There is one element that I deem crucial to any discussion on the topic, but have never received an intelligible response from either side. Let me pose it as a question therefore and would welcome replies. How does evolution affect the afterlife? Is this question even relevant? I believe it is, for those of us who credit a future where our moral decisions affect a final outcome. You may be atheist or pagan and believe in an afterlife, so my question is aimed at all. I am interested in viewpoints first before I reveal my aim, but as I see it, this issue could be a stumbling block in church/state cases, and it may be discriminatory to teach only ONE viewpoint.



Name: GKG
Date: //2006-01-31 21:15:31 :
Link to this Comment: 17905

THIS IS MY FIRST VISIT TO SERENDIP. I HAVE NO IDEA HOW I GOT HERE. BUT I BELIEVE THAT EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON. MANY OF THE DISCUSSIONS AND THOUGHTS I'VE SEEN HERE ARE THINGS I FREQUENTLY DWELL ON WHEN I AM ALONE. WELL REALLY EVEN WHEN I'M NOT ALONE, BUT I CAN PONDER DEEPER WHEN NOT AROUND OTHER PEOPLE. I CONSIDER MYSELF A VERY OPEN-MINDED PERSON AND INTELLIGENT IN MY OWN WAY, BUT I DON'T KNOW IF I UNDERSTAND HOW THE 'INTELLIGENT DESIGN' AND THE 'SCIENCE' COMPARISION IS WORTH IT. TO ME ALL OF THESE MIND-BODY QUESTIONS ON EVOLUTION, SPIRITS, INTUITION, PASSION FOR YOUR BELIEF'S...I FEEL THESE ARE ALL THINGS NOT TO BE COMPARED OR ARGUED OR DEBATED, BUT MERELY RECOGNIZED AS POSSIBILITIES, FOR IT IS MY REALITY. I NORMALLY WRITE MY THOUGHTS DAILY BUT I'VE NEVER SHARED IN A FORUM, SO IT'S HARD FOR ME TO SAY WHAT I REALLY MEAN. I KNOW WHAT I MEAN TO MYSELF, BUT I'M UNDERSTOOD BY FEW IN PHILOSOPHICAL CONVERSATION IN MY SURROUNDING ENVIRONMENT. I GUESS I JUST WANT TO SAY THAT I AGREE WITH MANY OF THE PREVIOUSLY LISTED THOUGHTS BY BILL ON THE LAST POSTED COMMENT. I FEEL THAT PEOPLE THAT DO NOT BELIEVE IN FURTHER EXPLORATION, ESP, PARANORMAL ACTIVITY, THE EXISTENCE OF MENTAL DISORDERS, THE BELIEF IN AN OVERLAPPING OF SCIENCE AND WHAT IS (SEEN AND UNSEEN), AND OTHER PHENOMENA ARE NOT NECESSARILY IGNORANT, BUT MAYBE THEY JUST AREN'T ABLE TO USE THE SAME AREAS OF THE BRAIN. OR MAYBE THEIR BELIEF'S WERE INSTILLED AT A YOUNG AGE AND FEAR KEEPS THEM FROM EVEN GOING TO THAT PLACE OF THOUGHT THAT I LIVE IN. MAYBE IT'S IN THE STARS FOR THESE PEOPLE TO NOT EXPERIENCE THE SAME THINGS, OR HAVE INTUITION OR HAVE A CONSCIOUS, OR HAVE FAITH, OR TO EVEN CARE TO KNOW IF THERE IS MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE. NE-WHO, I'M JUST HAPPY TO SHARE MY TWO CENTS.


Evolution should be taught
Name:
Date: //2006-02-05 21:59:56 :
Link to this Comment: 17979

I am a stauch believer that evolution should be taught in science class. It is a long accepted theory with tangible proof and solid evidence, unlike ID which is based on guesswork and faith. I am not against the belief of ID because I feel that people should have the freedom to choose there courses and values. Everyone should be allowed to believe in what they select. However, teaching the idea is ID should not be allowed in school. In the Bill of Rights, we have the right to freely practice whatever religion we choose and we also have the separation of church and state. ID violates both of these rights. ID clearly based from a religion standpoint that should be not allowed to be publically taught from our taxes. However, evolution can must be taught for it is the accepted truth among scientists. We have been free for more than 200 hundred years and spent over 10000000 lives guarding our sacred freedom. We cannot let a idea destroy our basis of our country; the Bill of Rights. It is time we stop teaching ID!


ID
Name:
Date: //2006-02-13 13:55:14 :
Link to this Comment: 18099

"Actually, the fact that we appear to be so limited in our ability to perceive our own reality suggests that there may be intelligent design i.e. a greater intelligent."

1) This statement seems to me an illogical leap. Our own limitations do not prove that there is any entity with fewer limitations.

2. What is "design"? It seems to me that the idea of pattern is inherent in the idea of design. We look at our anthropomorphic world and see that patterns are often, if not always, the outcome of what we produce or what is produced by other living creatures, e.g. bees and beavers. Thus, we reason that ALL patterns MUST have been produced. However, it is also possible that some patterns are random, not produced by "living" creatures.

The fact that there is design (or pattern) doesn not prove that there has been as designer. Rather, it identifies a perception of pattern. Period.


The proper time and place
Name: Kimberley
Date: //2006-02-14 13:34:58 :
Link to this Comment: 18115

My father once worked with a man who not only believed in creationism, but also believed that Adam and Eve were the first human beings and that the bones of dinosaurs were actually planted in the ground by Satan to test one's faith in God. Both he and my father worked in a government lab and both produced and published interesting new research in their respective fields. My father however is a firm believer in evolution and that all the creatures on this planet are the product of natural selection.

Both men have done solid research, both have gone through the rigors of Ph.D. programs and both have at some time in their lives come into contact with the ideas presented in creationism, intelligent design, and evolution. Yet neither came up with the same conclusion about the origins of life.

The concept of choice and making conclusions for myself is something that I hold sacred. I believe that everyone should have the option to choose his or her own beliefs. Yet the question remains where should one learn these beliefs? The fact is that the education system in this country is strained for recourses. The scarcest resource of all is time. There simply are not enough hours in the school year to fully cover all the things that ought to be covered so some things must get left out.

As for what to include in science classes, I believe the greater scientific community should dictate what to teach. Though there are some exceptions, my father's coworker being one of them, most scientists believe evolution via natural selection is the best explanation for why living things are the way they are. But students should be informed that alternative explanations exist and they should be informed where to find information on those explanations (i.e. the library). Students should only be tested on evolution in the science class. They are free to believe or not believe in evolution but they should know the principles behind it so that they may be well versed in how the general scientific community explains our origins.


Not necessarily Science vs. Religion
Name: Joanna Sco
Date: //2006-02-14 14:48:17 :
Link to this Comment: 18116

I agree with a lot in Kimberly's post above, and with the comment made in class that religion and science need not be mutually exclusive. I think that part of what makes the debate so volatile is the sense that a person's religious beliefs are somehow reflective of 'intelligence'. I have heard people say, "no one in their right mind could argue against evolution" and that people who believe in intelligent design are "wacko". These types of comments are counterproductive. We need to recognize that that many successful and well-educated people believe in a higher power. It also seems that among people who subscribe to an evolutionary story as put forth by science, there is a spectrum of beliefs or acceptance of the traditional story. I personally believe in what is called "Theistic Evolution", or that the biological process of evolution is ultimately guided by a higher power. This is just one example of how a person's understanding of evolution can combine both the spiritual and the scientific.

The question remains, of course, what should teachers and school administration do? Moreover, what do states do in terms of regulating what is taught and how? I think it would be dangerous to allow parents to dictate what is taught in school, but they counter this argument by saying it's their child and most likely their tax money involved. I almost see some parallels between the debate as to whether or not to teach sex education in public schools; it becomes an argument about 'morality' and again, the role of schools in a child's overall development.

I think ultimately, and this echoes a bit of what Kimberly said, that we should be teaching the science of evolution but allowing individual choice--give students the information and allow them to decide how that fits with their set of observations.



Name: Elena
Date: //2006-02-14 19:01:56 :
Link to this Comment: 18119

I agree with much that has been said so far so I will try and state some other thoughts. Intelligent Design is an interesting idea in comparison to evolution. We spoke about looking at the scientific process in the manner of a summary of observations. Evolution is supported by a tremendous summary of observations, but one can also say, "I see many patterns, I see that organisms and the ecosystems around us function with harmony, with precise mehcanisms that allow them to do so. I recognize the chance of life at all coming about to begin with is by a very slim chance". While many probably won't claim that they see or have the experience of knowing directly that God or any other higher power created the world, this summary of observations is not invalid either. So in that sense the two views are equally valid, although evolution appears to have more variety and volume of observations supporting it. I suppose though that I am still attached to the classical way of evaluating the world, through scientific experimentation and the fact that if one cannot produce a falsifiable hypothesis, it is not scientifically valid. In this sense ID is simply not science. It's possible one could try to produce such hypotheses, but the fact that ID proponents don't seem too motivated to do so really just makes it sound like they're just trying to oppose evolution with Abrahamic values. Any way I look at it, it really is just belief. Belief is not what science is based upon. I would support looking at evolution critically; it should not just be accepted either. Look at the concept of Punctuated Equilibrium, which challenged certain aspects of the theory. It would be a great exercise in schools to scrunitnize the paradigms of science, understand why they hold up. ID must be subjected to the same thing. I think more than anything that is what must be preserved in schools: teaching to think critically about any and everything.


Who's Intelligent Design?
Name:
Date: //2006-02-14 22:33:06 :
Link to this Comment: 18121

The biggest problem I have with the current debate is the fact that all the people who want to teach "intelligent design" MEAN that they want to teach creationism, but they don't say it. As far as I can figure, the minute you take the "god" out of intelligent design, those who now are the first to support it will be the first to object to it. There are many "alternative" forms of intelligent design: the world was created by a sentient, living arm so that it could create the perfect host (Arm of Kannon, all life was made possible by a race of beings that travel the galaxy making planets and all life will eventually be destroyed by a being known as Jenova, or bishounen son (Final Fantasy VII), life in the galaxy is all an imperfect representation of an older, extinct race (Star Trek; The Next Generation), we are all the creation of his Noodlieness, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, and I'm sure the list goes on. Now, I ask those who want "intelligent design" taught in schools, "Do you REALLY want to imply to the kids that we were created by some dessicated arm in it's search for a host?"



Name: doug m
Date: //2006-02-15 02:23:14 :
Link to this Comment: 18124

I agree that teaching creationism and intelligent design is incredibly problematic as the basis for Intelligent design is in belief and our society believes many things. In a country like Saudi Arabia, where religion is uniform and deeply integrated into education and governemnt, creationism is more conceivable. I think the motivation for this debate is in many ways much more important and meaninful in terms of understanding future science policy issues, then the resolution of it. We discussed briefly how Authority plays a unique role in science knowledge and teachings as Science is often associated with truth instead of continued learning. I think that Science and religion have always had a very unique relationship in that authority relationships seem to come to a crux. Moral, Familial, Personal and Religious authorities somehow influence a lot of the way people live, and Science is often viewed as an authority which can somehow replace the rest of them. I think a stigma is associated with science, that if it is not controlled it will go rampant and ultimately hurt everyone. We see this idea joked about in movies, but we see it especially evident in the medical community. The idea that someone can beat the odds and outsurvive doctors' predictions (science), is extraordinarily prevalent. Science is assumed by many to be a truth which can only be outweighed and overpowered by the belief in a supernatural which disobeys it Maybe this is where part of the debate stems from as now science is providing answers (evolution) for questions which for forever have only been able to be answered through supernatural.


ID vs. Evolution
Name: kate
Date: //2006-02-15 09:17:18 :
Link to this Comment: 18126



I think that people should have the right to believe in whatever they want to believe. If one wants to believe in evolution, Intelligent Design, or the flying spaghetti monster, one should be able to. However, it is important to understand the difference between beliefs and science. As we discussed in the previous class, science is a commitment to a “summary of observations” and the creation of stories based upon these observations. While Intelligent Design does seem to have the “creation of a story” aspect covered, it seems to be lacking the summary of observations to support these stories. Faith alone in the notion that a higher being controls the fate of the universe is not enough. By no means do I think that evolution is the one and only “Truth” as there are no “Truths” in science. However, there are a large number of observations and stories that support the theory of evolution, which is lacking for the ID theory. So in sum, if proponents of the ID theory are able to make observations about the presence of a higher being controlling the universe, I would certainlly consider it is a valid scientific theory. Until then, I just can't seem to accept it as something that should be studied in science class.



Name:
Date: //2006-02-15 10:37:18 :
Link to this Comment: 18128

One of my problems with Intelligent Design is that it presupposes that everyone is on the same page as far as the supernatural entity goes. I have no qualms with people who believe in God or a variety of gods or spirits or what have you. However, as far as I am aware, Intelligent Design isn't the teaching of the many possible stories of how people and the world came into being. It tends to be the teaching of one creation myth. Because of this, I do not find it appropriate to have Intelligent Design be a large factor in either education or policy. I can understand that Evolution is a relatively new concept compared to how long ID has been taught, but that does not mean that it should be the continuing basis. Further, Intelligent Design is not just an explanation for how life was created. It forces on people an entire philosophy of how they should live, act, or think, based on a belief system that might not be everyone's. I acknowledge everyone's right to believe what they want and indeed it might not be bad to teach a variety of different ideas, but in the end, I do not think that ID should be our final politically established story.



Name: laura
Date: //2006-02-15 10:37:47 :
Link to this Comment: 18129

One of my problems with Intelligent Design is that it presupposes that everyone is on the same page as far as the supernatural entity goes. I have no qualms with people who believe in God or a variety of gods or spirits or what have you. However, as far as I am aware, Intelligent Design isn't the teaching of the many possible stories of how people and the world came into being. It tends to be the teaching of one creation myth. Because of this, I do not find it appropriate to have Intelligent Design be a large factor in either education or policy. I can understand that Evolution is a relatively new concept compared to how long ID has been taught, but that does not mean that it should be the continuing basis. Further, Intelligent Design is not just an explanation for how life was created. It forces on people an entire philosophy of how they should live, act, or think, based on a belief system that might not be everyone's. I acknowledge everyone's right to believe what they want and indeed it might not be bad to teach a variety of different ideas, but in the end, I do not think that ID should be our final politically established story.


Intellectual Authority
Name: Alison Rei
Date: //2006-02-15 10:53:23 :
Link to this Comment: 18130

The policy issue I find most intriguing in the Intelligent Design debate is the purported ability to suggest alternatives to well established lessons in education. All classes must be built on a foundation of agreed upon facts and while there will always be mysteries and gaps, I find it shocking that any person can approach schools and propose that the lessons the state has agreed upon are not valid and demand that schools are obligated to teach alternatives. Evolution is an easy mark because the Bible supplies another alternative easily, however, if school boards allow people create their own lessons, where will it end? Before a social studies teacher presents materials on the Holocaust, should he or she be obligated to read a message saying some have doubted the authenticity of this event and direct students to consider a massacre only one theory of what occured? What's next, people standing up to doubt and "discount" the "theory" of gravity, spanish pluperfect conjugation, and rules of baseball? Just because some people have doubts on a subject does not mean that subject's foundation is inherently flawed and the entire world needs to be made aware of those people's distrust. Some people find variety in education beautiful and beneficial to children, encouraging them to seek their own answers. However, I believe that children should be taught what is overwhelmingly considered fact and encouraged to explore it outside of the classroom. Schools should not have to share their classroom space with religion, conspiracy theories, or overprotective parents.


What's the problem?
Name:
Date: //2006-02-15 11:27:05 :
Link to this Comment: 18131

I think most people arguing that ID be taught in science classrooms don’t fully understand evolution. I have some relatives (I’m not sure how) who subscribe to ID, but couldn’t tell me what a vestigial structure is or what the mechanism for natural selection is. Also, they argue that it’s ludicrous to suppose that humans came from the “slime and muck” of the earth. And while that may or may not be true, evolution does not speak to the origin of life, but just to the origin of species. Why is there such a misunderstanding and ignorance about what the theory of evolution actually is? And how can people argue against something they don’t even fully understand? Believe what you believe, but make informed decisions and have informed opinions. I’m afraid too many people spit back out what they’re spoon fed ideologically.



Name: Amanda
Date: //2006-02-15 11:27:33 :
Link to this Comment: 18132

I think most people arguing that ID be taught in science classrooms don’t fully understand evolution. I have some relatives (I’m not sure how) who subscribe to ID, but couldn’t tell me what a vestigial structure is or what the mechanism for natural selection is. Also, they argue that it’s ludicrous to suppose that humans came from the “slime and muck” of the earth. And while that may or may not be true, evolution does not speak to the origin of life, but just to the origin of species. Why is there such a misunderstanding and ignorance about what the theory of evolution actually is? And how can people argue against something they don’t even fully understand? Believe what you believe, but make informed decisions and have informed opinions. I’m afraid too many people spit back out what they’re spoon fed ideologically.


Intelligent Design vs Evolution
Name: J. McHugh
Date: //2006-02-15 11:38:46 :
Link to this Comment: 18133

The debate between Intelligent Design and Evolution is difficult. Both side argue with convincing evidence. Intelligent Design will note to flaws in the theories of evolution, such as a lack of records of transitional organisms (such as no fossil records for stages in between primates and human beings). Evolution comes up with interesting theories such as natural selection. How then are we supposed to choose what is right, when neither can indisputably disprove the other?
I believe that it takes faith to believe in either Intelligent Design of evolution. Additionally, evolution, or at least the man who it is linked to had flaws from the beginning. Darwin believed that people of different races and ethnicities were of another species. Moreover, he believed that men were naturally more intelligent and stronger than women. We know that these beliefs are false; therefore maybe some of his other theories are false as well.
I would argue that both ID and evolution be taught so that all students have a good idea of what the debate is about. Give students all evidence from both sides. Moreover, I think that those who are adamant about evolution are not necessarily opposed to creation. Rather the may simply be opposed to GOD being mentioned in the classroom.


Accommodating evolution in religion
Name: Hannah Koh
Date: //2006-02-15 11:48:54 :
Link to this Comment: 18134

I looked a few of the articles in the New York Times section on the Evolution Debate (http://nytimes.com/pages/science/sciencespecial2/index.html) and was impressed with what some of them had to say. I especially liked the articles “At Churches Nationwide, Good Words for Evolution” and “In ‘Design’ vs. Darwinism, Darwin Wins a Point in Rome,” because they spoke to the possibility of combining beliefs of science and religion in a simple and flawless way. My personal beliefs fall into the ‘existing life forms are as they are because of an initial creative act by a supernatural being with a plan and intent.’ I do believe that evolution got us to our current state and form, and that it continues to mold organisms through adaptation and natural selection. At the same time, I do believe in God, but have had somewhat of a hard time figuring how they fit together. I have my own ideas, but was never sure how others felt on the subject. I attended a progressive church growing up, enough at least that we studied other religions as a part of Sunday school. We never talked about evolution and how it fit in with God’s plan to my recollection.
The “Good Words for Evolution” article addressed a new event called Evolution Sunday, that was started in response to the Dover, PA attempt to discredit the teaching of evolution in schools. The point is to show that you can accept God as truth while accommodating evolution within that. Rev. Patricia Templeton, who serves at a church North of Atlanta, GA, is quoted saying, “A faith that requires you to close your mind in order to believe is not much of a faith at all.” Part of the doctrine of Evolution Sunday states that the theory of evolution is “a foundational scientific truth” and to reject it “is to deliberately embrace scientific ignorance and transmit such ignorance to our children.” This makes a lot of sense, and signals that these churches are open not only to believing in God, but also to believing in and participating in the world around them. The recognize that science is a part of that world and cannot be ignored. The ‘Darwin Wins a Point in Rome’ article points out that the Vatican newspaper (not official but close), backed up the PA court decision that intelligent design should not be taught in opposition with evolution. The paper recognized that evolution is a scientific theory, and that the church’s teachings are not on the same, scientific level. This also says, essentially, that there is “no need to see a contradiction between Catholic teachings and evolution,” a point brought up by a former Dominican priest and current professor at the University of California at Irvine.
While these articles didn’t completely iron out my difficulties in combining science and religion in my own mind, they served to support my beliefs that God exists and that evolution is an undeniable scientific process that has transformed us throughout history.


Usability and multiplicity
Name: Angad Sing
Date: //2006-02-15 12:02:06 :
Link to this Comment: 18136

Thanks to those who have shared their time and thoughts thus far. I’d like to briefly emphasize a couple points that were mentioned earlier.
First: there exist normative gradations for stories. Stories that feature functionality and usability, preferably some predictability, are better than those that are deficient in these areas. And so broad, vague, and adumbrative stories are of less import. There is little need to be apologetic for this reality, though condescension is also not warranted. The usability of a theory is important.
Second: being entirely inclusive is ineffective. There is a tendency to reconcile two opposing factions, to not draw lines in the sand. But not only does there exist cultural factionalization (manifest in trivial forms such as placid, monotonous orations for the evolution community and religious fervor and crazy gesticulations for the ID community), but there are substantive differences between the two. There exists a multiplicity of perspectives on reality. Attempting to include them all would render the story entirely ineffectual. Pick the perspective that is effectual, that provides a basis for conducting positive research, for pursuing positive questions, and for making a positive difference in the world.


I beliefs in science and God
Name:
Date: //2006-02-15 12:40:53 :
Link to this Comment: 18137

I grew up in a moderately Christian household. My family and I went to church every Sunday, and I was taught the basics of my religion in Sunday school with other willing and innocent children. As I got older, my faith dwindled unconsciously. However, when I went away to boarding school, I reclaimed my religion and my faith for myself (these two aspects of Christianity I consider to be very different from one another). Over the subsequent years, my faith has grown and my belief in God has strengthened. However, despite my love for God and the happiness that he brings to my life, I remain absolutely anti-evangelical. I believe that faith and belief in God can not be taught to a person, nor forced upon anyone unwilling to listen. If people feel pressured to convert, it gives all Christians a bad name. Yes, I do have a strong background in Biology. I believe wholeheartedly in evolution. However, I don’t believe that God and science have to be mutually exclusive. I believe that faith in any religion is a very personal matter, and should not be brought into the public arena. It is something that everyone must discover for themselves in their own time, and not at the set schedule of a school curriculum. Therefore, I think that any discussion of intelligent design should be banned from the science regime in schools.



Name: Paul Grobstein
Date: //2006-02-15 18:25:34 :
Link to this Comment: 18142

Many of the preceding comments were made by students in a class on Biology and Public Policy at Bryn Mawr College. See Intelligent Design and Evolution:
A Significant Issue in Science and Public Policy
and links from there for additional comments, discussion notes, and other resources. Thanks to the students for their contribution to needed public discussion.


ID Disproven
Name: Dish Of Th
Date: //2006-03-04 18:51:30 :
Link to this Comment: 18449

The argument goes something like this: "I refuse to prove that I exist" says God, "For proof denies faith and without faith I am nothing." "BUT," says Man, "Intelligent design is a dead giveaway isn't it? It proves you exist, so therefore you don't. QED." "Oh dear," says God, "I hadn't thought of that." And promptly vanishes in a puff of logic. "Ooh, that was easy." says Man and for an encore goes on to prove that black is white and gets killed on the next zebra crossing.



Science = Religion
Name:
Date: //2006-03-22 13:47:56 :
Link to this Comment: 18645

Modern science begins with a religious proposition, namely that either (1) there is no God or (2) that the existence or non-existence of God is irrelevant to the search for truth and knowledge.

This is when we start to have intolerance for dissenting views (e.g., the view that perhaps God did in fact create or guide the creation of life), and when we begin to use science to make moral choices (e.g., when human life becomes protectable), ignoring the fact that moral choices are almost exclusively religious at their core.

If our teachings were prefaced with "these are our current thoughts, based on what we observe, with no allowance for outside guidance," the whole issue would be moot. However, we want to say "this is absolute truth, and anyone who disagrees is a right-wing bigot."

Personally, a number of my college professors in Mathematics and the Physical Sciences were clear about the fact that their study of the universe had convinced them of the existence of something greater than the physical. Only my Biological Sciences and Social Sciences instructors were unconvinced. As I have gone through life, it has generally held true that those who have explored the physical realm say that an overarching design is clearly seen, even if they do not believe in direct creation. Likewise, those who have explored the squishy sciences, where a + b may not equal (a + b), seem to feel that any sense of outside interference is a mental illness.

It seems to be an intractable problem. The more that scientists claim to have proven neo-Darwinian evolution, the more that they get government to enforce the teaching that this is true and nothing else is, the more that dissenters will try to get equal time. And as we know from our own experiences, there are very rarely any facts that can be 100% certain, even if we have contemporary witnesses' testimonies. How much less certain can we be, even with archeological and forensic evidence, of things that happened millions of years ago?

The solution? TOLERANCE. Stop trying to say that one side has the absolute truth. Invite dissenters to present their ideas. Since the states are paying for our students to be taught this religion, it is only right to invite other viewpoints. If we do this, overnight the opposition to the teaching of evolution will dissolve, and our students will actually be educated.


RE: PG [16509]
Name:
Date: //2006-03-22 14:27:58 :
Link to this Comment: 18646

Paul Grobstein said "We need to remember that the theory of evolution did not come about because anyone was trying to disprove the existence of God, but rather because everyone was trying to reconcile the creation account in the Bible with the evidence before their eyes"

Rather, they were trying to reconcile the teachings of the Church hierarchy with what they observed.  In reality, those teachings contradicted both observable nature (extinctions could not have happened) and the Biblical record (the "begat" literally means "became the ancestor of").  Anyone who has read those books where they have pinned the creation down to an exact day knows what I mean.

The important thing to remember is that until the "creation science" debate a few years ago, there was much dispute about "guided" versus "unguided" evolution.  It was commonly admitted that the existing evidence was far too sparse to adequately support our current scientific doctrines.

Afterward, anyone who notices that the emperor has no clothes is immediately branded a religious extremist and required to avoid public discourse.  I call for a new way of dealing with this profound lack of proof.  Admit that contemporary biological science is a non-theistic religion.  As such, invite other religious views to speak equally on what they interpret the evidence to mean.  Stop fighting and be happy again.


Telling Stories
Name: Lee Warren
Date: //2006-03-28 12:22:20 :
Link to this Comment: 18713


Paul, I wholeheartedly agree with your portrayal of science as storytelling. Yet, I would add that it is uniquely unlike any other form of storytelling. In the telling, the story of science solicits (and perhaps even mandates) a response from the listener to actively challenge the content. But not just any challenge--the rules of science are clear and govern or moderate all content challenges through observation, objective evidence, and repeatability. Thus, the "stories" of science may be objectively re-affirmed by the listener before the listener becomes the next story teller.

In my opinion, this frames the problem created when evolution is applied to the origin of life. Science begins telling stories that are no longer verifiable through direct observation or repeatability. The same is true of computational models of the big bang. Great stories, epic stories! But, no one can directly observe these events or repeat them experimentally for objective re-affirmation. That is why I would argue that these types of stories should be placed outside the scientific "canon", in a separate book of stories.

In light of this, I also wanted to comment on your thoughts on "random variation and natural selection," specifically when you refer to "an unguided, unplanned process of random variation and natural selection." I assert that science would have just as hard of a time demonstrating an "unguided, unplanned" process as intelligent design would have demonstrating a "guided, planned" process. If science were to figure this one out, demonstrating the non-existence of a god ought to be trivial.

Concerning random variation, computer programs most certainly do not fit the bill as they represent fully deterministic processes. Pseudo-random number generation is both guided and planned, in addition to being fully reproducible. Much research has been devoted to quantifying "randomness" so that computer programs can mimic many of the properties of random noise. Yet, no impartial referee shown a sequence of numbers could never demonstrate that they were truly random. The author of the computer program would, however, have no doubt.

Thus, while it is acceptable to ask a question like Could it be that EVERYTHING we wonder about, ourselves and everything we find around ourselves, derives, at least initially, from nothing more (and nothing less) than "an unguided, unplanned process of random variation and natural selection?", no scientific story should ever seek to provide an answer if that answer cannot be objectively verified. This is why people claim that ID is not science. However, this is also why evolution as an explanation of the origin of life is equally unscientific. These are the bastard stories of science that inflame tensions and encourge argument because that is all that remains when the recourse of objective re-affirmation is removed.

My concern is that misapplication of ideas such as randomness, order, and planning hijacks the art of scientific storytelling and transforms it into something else. Peer review works pretty well for revising scientific stores told within the scientific community, but the problem comes when these stories are told outside of that community where the hearers are not instructed in how to properly listen. All scientists who seek to share the stories of science with society, share this burden. Lines will always be drawn, but the power of science storytelling is in daring listeners to cross lines.


Darwin was a Murderer
Name: A. Granvil
Date: //2006-07-06 10:07:52 :
Link to this Comment: 19646

Granted that this forum has been virtually inactive since the course ended, I'll add this - - in hopes of further visitors.

Darwin was a Murderer

Darwin, shocked by his own dawning theory, said "it is like confessing to a murder.” Armed by Newton, Darwin did “commit a murder” — the murder of the great chain of being.

Argument 1. Causality presumes that one thing leads to another.
Argument 2. The “great chain of being” was a postulated top-down causal chain.
Argument 3. Illumined by Newtonian law, ‘intent,’ in Nature, lost its awe.
Argument 4. Random causality does not presuppose any element of purpose and intent.
Argument 5. Sequential causality may superficially suggest purpose and intent.
Argument 6. Consciousness is no demonstration of top-down causation.
Argument 7. Darwin saw that bottom-up random variation succeeding on its merits would explain evolution.

Each argument is explained in detail at
http://pov.wikia.com/wiki/DarwinianMurder

Intelligent Design likewise lacks both a means of causation and an ultimate cause. (What's at the top, above the "designer," and how does it affect material things including us?) It is just another futile top-down (teleological, and mind-over-matter) explanation of evolution. believe what you wish; but the only tenable explanations are bottom-up. But, see more on ID and its ineffectual gyrations at http://brainstorm.eponym.com.

But here is the big problem: This is unlikely to be read by those who might be most affected by it. The fundamentalists, and even the sincere scientists who have not throughly thought through the issue, will never see this forum. They reinforce themselves with the same old medieval top-down thinking, unaware that it really is not tenable. What a sad situation!


nonrandom variation
Name: Ryan
Date: //2006-07-07 14:48:07 :
Link to this Comment: 19651

I take exception to the assertion that variation is all random. Some of it is not. For example, HCV has highly variable and highly conserved regions of DNA.

To selectively conserve some traits while varying others is an intelligent or 'non random' act. Evolution is a non-random process with a random component. It is a process of goal directed adaptive behavior where adaptation is the goal and complexity is a byproduct.


New Book on ID and Evolution
Name: Mike Gene
Date: //2006-06-23 02:13:31 :
Link to this Comment: 19560

Hello everyone.

If you would like a truly fresh and novel perspective on the relationship between Evolution and Intelligent Design, you might be interested in my new book, The Design Matrix: A Consilience of Clues. The book web page and blog can be found here . Let me know what you think. Thanks.


intelligent design
Name:
Date: //2006-06-02 07:25:32 :
Link to this Comment: 19454

his doesn't tell me anything about intelligent design or why we have different races! I'm supposed to be doing a science project and this doesn't tell me anything!


What ID implies about GOD?
Name:
Date: //2006-07-19 03:05:56 :
Link to this Comment: 19901

First of all, I want to state that this is not a religious argument, but it is a logical consequence of the design argument.
In all explanations of ID and irreducible complexity, it is always stated that “ID does not tell anything about the personality of GOD”…
But, is it really so? I have learned a lot by re-thinking about the definition of what can be considered as “designed”…
The very first condition of "design" argument is that, the "thing" we investigate must be composed of more than one part, a system.
If it is a one-piece (or singular) existence, then we can never conclude that it is "designed", in the light of design argument.
So, does not ID really say something to you about the only undesigned thing – GOD.
It tells me some, and I wanted to share it with you incase you can comment on them…
Here it is:
-----------------------------------------------------------------
If GOD is an existence which is composed of more than one "thing" (cooperating like one), then the logical question to ask is "Is his existence reducible or irreducible?".
If his existence is irreducible, then one can easily claim that He is also DESIGNED by someone else (If one can not say this, forgive me but all ID staff is worthless, since we found something which is both an irreducibly complex system and not-designed).
If his existence is reducible, then what? (A GOD whose existence depends on pure-chance or a supernatural Darwinian process)
I also want to state that the "nature" of GOD is not important here (In fact, what ID can not say anything about GOD is his nature), the important thing is the fact that (the logical consequence of the "design" argument) ID implies that He must be ONE-AT-ALL (one-piece, singular).

I wonder what do you think of it? Am I wrong, if so, where is my fault?



Name: Elizabeth
Date: //2006-08-20 21:42:36 :
Link to this Comment: 20187

if all viewpoints are taught as stories, i don't think there is any danger in discriminating against those who believe in an afterlife. i think the risk is claiming on either side that "we know"...i think it's safe to say "we think" and then to build on that thought. those who like to think in binary ways (afterlife/not intelligent design=afterlife evolution=no afterlife) usually have good reason for it which may work for them but can, as a side-effect exclude other points of view. the more that's on the table the better...i think kids (and adults) should be given and accept a table with lots of stuff on it and then choose how they want to play with it and sort it out. clutter can be scary but without it there's just the illusion of clean and tidy. if no one really knows, it's more fun play and generate questions than to use the mind to trick oneself into belief. the only things that i believe in are stories themselves...and the life-engery that enageing with them creates.



Name: Robert
Date: //2006-08-22 01:25:54 :
Link to this Comment: 20196

I think it is interesting to listen to comments like Elizebeths. They appear to be very open minded and welcoming of differring ideas. But, (there's always a 'butt') do you notice that a dogma remains... The dogma that 'nobody knows'. The dogma that 'all beliefs' are 'only stories'. The dogma that they are 'all relative'. If that is true, then relativity is no longer relative, but absolute!

A prime reality, or objective reality is unavoidable. We can all believe what ever we want, but we can't change what is by belief.

We cannot say, while remaining coherent, that we cannot know... Because the immediate question emerges... "How do you 'know' that?"

Don't you see? We cannot have it both ways...

Jesus said that we 'can know' and that we 'will know' the truth, and the truth will set you free! He made many such audacious claims.

Please allow me to expand upon this principle with an excerpt of an article which appeared much earlier in this thread:

----We are manipulating reality in a sense, as the quantum sciences prove, or rather, making real by way of consequences in the material, our decision to observe reality the way we choose. One should not confuse the reality that is perceived within, thereby confined to perception, with the reality that exists before and after the observer exists. Individually, we are not the only observers. Self can only define reality by the self’s DNA and experience. But by the rejection of self and a repositioning into relationship with the divine, one can experience a new birth that transcends DNA and experience. Only the latter allows the self to exist in both states; as an individual ('I'), in relationship with the divine who is also a distinct being. Though some suggest that to call ones self 'I' is an egoist response to the dilemma, it is interesting to note, that that fundamental view is held as a way of avoiding conformity for the sake of the divine, and maintains the egoic self. It is the acknowledgement of the 'I' that reveals the individuals responsibility to the 'other'. This sheds light on the need for individual rehabilitation if one is out of sorts with the objective reality as opposed to reality conforming to our slef centered desires.

Stating fact or arguing with reason is not, by any means, necessarily egoic or fear based in nature. However, the denial of fact, or the inability to accept a reasonable and logical argument is always motivated by ego and fear. Some claims demand serious attention because the implications are so inescapably enormous.

That being said, the most offensive thing anyone could say to the fear and ego driven heart is, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except by me."

That is the ultimate, staggering, and exclusive claim to sovereignty. It is also a completely reasonable statement. Even so, such a statement is either motivated by the purest form of ego, and/or, it intends to manipulate by the most blatant use of fear, or such a statement is the most selfless expression and profound truth that any man will ever hear. It is a claim that only God can make consistently.

I believe that is why C.S. Lewis wrote the following:

“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.’ That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic—on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg—or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”

The monistic worldview is nothing more than an attempt to escape from individual responsibility and the only way to maintain such a position consistently, albeit an obstinate and rebellious posture, is to declare 'one’s self' as God. For most monists, it is far less confrontational to speak without such clarity. They like to avoid the necessity and inevitability of the conflict. The monist prefers to say that we are evolving into the divine. But by implication this is a theology of default divinity be it evolving or not. As in the disagreement over Jesus Christ’s claims, this claim is either the greatest blasphemy, or the greatest truth. The stakes are enormous.


Since much of the quantum’s incredible properties involve light and the difficulty of putting a finger on its true nature, it is exceptionally noteworthy that Jesus said the following: 'I am the light of the world' (John 9; 5) ‘I have come into the world as a light’ (John 12; 46). ‘This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God (John 3; 19).


Monism can explain our unity but not our diversity. Evolution can explain our diversity but not our unity. We seek unity in diversity (University, Quintessence, E Pluribus Unum), and the only way to have unity in diversity in the effect (creation) is to have unity in diversity in the first cause (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). Only Christianity offers that. The Creator, the triune God, is a being that is also an eternal relationship. He is one though making up three distinct forms of Himself. With God’s plan, we are allowed to become sons of God, by denying ourselves as God, and accepting the wisdom of the only God. It is there that we awake and begin to understand the hymnist when he wrote, “I once was lost, but now I’m found, was blind, but now I see”.

According to Christ, there is unity in Him and Him alone. All is not unity, only that which is in Christ. Christ forces us to either accept Him, or reject Him. If we accept, then that begins with careful consideration of his words and their implications. He did not ask us to jump in blindly. Rather He warns us to weigh the issue with intensity and actually seems to attempt to talk us out of following Him by making it so clear. Luke 14: 27-33 And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. "Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, 'This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.' "Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple. "Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out. "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."

If we reject Him, the only alternative is for man to claim himself and all of his conflicting and chaotic ambitions to be his and his life alone. Either Jesus is God, or we are. Matthew 12; 30 " He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me, scatters abroad." A monist cannot say this either because there is no ‘against’, there are only different sides of the same one, and therefore Jesus was not a monist.



Look at the following verse and see how Jesus describes the Spirit that created all things coming to make His home in the heart of a mortal, thereby making known to him the immortal and eternal God. This is the 'real', personal, and daily relationship with divinity (Christ). John 14; 23 "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My words; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him."

He often expands on the depth of the spiritual rebirth and further confirms the differential between powers and perceptions. John 14;17-20 " The Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you." "I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. A little while longer and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. At that day you will know that I Am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you."

The monist proclaims that we cannot 'know' that these things are true lest we risk being controlled by the ego (because all is individually subjective); but, if you did not notice in these verses before, see that Jesus proclaims that ‘you will know, or see’. "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8; 32) It is just the same way as mentioned in the beginning of this article, that we may close our minds to alternatives while remaining objective, since what we have found is the objective reality.

The monist is forced to accept all that is as part of the evolving divine oneness. This allows them to see themselves as divine yet in a state not yet fully realized (and keep their sin without the internal conflict). Genesis 3; 5 Then Satan said, "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God…"

Only God can be God by logical necessity, even if we disagree as to who He is. That is one reason I put my life and faith in Jesus Christ, for He spoke plainly and in truth. Even the monist knows and is forced to say that God is one, they just misunderstand the implications of their philosophy. Many of them do so intentionally, constantly seeking to find a way out of the inevitable trap of logic.

Mark 12: 28-34 One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?" "The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these." "Well said, teacher," the man replied. "You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices." When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God." And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions.

Christ spoke no doubletalk about being all inclusive. We cannot have it both ways. 1+1 cannot = both 2 and 3 and 5 and 8 etc. To attempt such is to eat the fruit of ‘the tree of knowledge of good and evil’. Jesus said, ‘Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division’ (Luke 12:51). A monist cannot say this for their concept of deity only works to unite. The truth always divides and separates reality from subjection, which is why Monism cannot be true.

John 9:16 Some of the Pharisees said, "This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath." But others asked, "How can a sinner do such miraculous signs?" So they were divided.

Acts 23:7 When he said this, a dispute broke out between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided.

Psalm 78:13 He divided the sea and led them through; he made the water stand firm like a wall.

Matthew 25: 31 "When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. 34 "Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.

John 8:43-45 Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me!

In conclusion, I wish to point out that in the Biblical sense, Jesus was most assuredly not a monist. Now, many claim and make an interesting point now and then that Jesus’ words were manipulated and mistranslated. I disagree, for no texts have been protected like the Cannon of scripture. I believe that He did in fact say all of these outrageous and incredible things. It is why He was crucified and tortured more than any man who ever lived. You can believe all you want that He was a monist. You can even believe that he was a form of both. I am not the type who will tell you what you should believe. I think the evidence speaks for itself. I suppose I can agree with any philosopher that Jesus was a dualist, but more importantly, that He is God. He is good, and evil is evil. That is either true, or it isn’t. But we can’t have it both ways because in the very beginning God said, "Let there be light." And there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness (Genesis 1: 3-4)








evolution as a religion
Name: Marie Chri
Date: //2006-08-22 19:58:08 :
Link to this Comment: 20200

( (Continuing the previous thread about evolution and the afterlife.)
The malignant rampaging of evolution -only proponents, and the concern that the atheist community seems to lavish on the issue, has alarmed me.Even non atheists, while not as militant, may succomb to the evolution agenda, being convinced that it is more "scientific".
It is not my idea to propose that ID is anything but religion based, nor will I go over the same old ground about evolution being unproven, just a theory, etc. However, not being able to put the two on an even footing as impartial scientific possibilities does not mean they can not BOTH be viewed as religious beliefs, and therefore BOTH would be prohibited in public schools.
My problem concerns free-will, and the afterlife. Christianity teaches that we are all created equal, with the responsibility to ensure our eternal salvation by following certain rules. It emphasizes the value of a single human soul and the idea that GOD knows each of us intimately from before we are even formed. Actually most of the world's religions are based on the idea that free will exists, that we choose either good or evil as detailed by a set creed, and that the choice determines our everlasting happiness.



Name:
Date: //2006-08-22 20:17:25 :
Link to this Comment: 20201

If we took away that choice from even one person the whole system would be unfair. But what of the apes? If we truly came from apes then there had to be a time when our free will was evolving along with our facial features. Was there one ape who could discern right from wrong first? Or were they all in a half and half stage? Was there even any such thing as right and wrong or did they remain pagan apes until their brains developed enough to invent religion? And of course, if they became so smart that they "invented" religion does that not prove that religion is necessary? I do not see other animals finding this necessity.
And finally, did those first misguided apes go to heaven, or to hell? Was it fair to condemn them if they were so new to morality? Which one was the first to have eternal life? We will never know.
So now you may tell me that this is not a problem if you do not believe in heaven or hell. But a great many people do, so therefore evolution will remain a stumbling block. It would be discriminatory to teach only evolution to those of us who acknowledge a higher power, because it DIRECTLY affects and belittles our core beliefs, and therefore is to be viewed as a religious dogma.



Name: Elizabeth
Date: //2006-08-23 14:53:32 :
Link to this Comment: 20209

What does it mean to belittle a core belief? If belief is strong, I don't think it can be belittled by anything, only tested. I enjoy my beliefs being tested. If they can withstand this (internal/indescribable) test then they remain, for the moment, beliefs. Is it that we don't want our children's beliefs tested? That we want to be in control of that?

It is my current belief that the only persons/beings that can condemn people are other persons/beings.

I wonder if, for people who are strong believers in God/Christ/Equivalent, not believing is somehow scary? I think that a lot of this comes down to fear and also hope...and yes, I very much think the evolution/ID issue "matters" in terms of death and the afterlife. This is a preoccupation which causes a lot of thinking about being or using religion as a lens to think about being. In other cultures this is, perhaps, less of an issue.

And yes, I agree that everytime you write down a thought, you've written down a piece of "dogma" but each other thought helps to undo that "dogma". Wouldn't this forum be boring if there were no people who believed in evolution writing in it or only those who had a singular belief in ID? Dogma (in my mind) can be best combatted by juxtaposition and many thoughts allowed in a single space. Since the Bible seems to be a place where a lot of citing is coming from in this forum, I've noticed that that it contridicts itself quite a bit. It was a collaborative writing attempt by a variety of people, right? (whether or not they were God inspired to me seems irrelevant) and that's part of its richness at the level of story and, I suppose "example for living". I don't know about the word dogma anyway. It's a strong word. All settled/established opinions can be unsettled. Nothing remains settled for long. To me that's not scary, it's fun and meaningful.


dogma
Name:
Date: //2006-08-23 18:45:59 :
Link to this Comment: 20211

True, Elizabeth,the word "belittle" or "dogma" may not have been appropriate and too strong for the topic. My goal,however,is just to start a thought about wether or not evolution can be considered purely a scientific theory. This is primarily important because it seems only a matter of time that those opposing any mention of religion in a school curriculum will succeed in making it illegal to teach ID. The way they will do this is by convincing the majority that evolution is the only SCIENTIFIC theory out there, proven or not. Regardless of my personal beliefs the thought is a frightening one, because as I explained it, evolution DOES affect religion and is NOT purely science. If one person could explain to me the evolution of free will perhaps I will change my mind. And yes, in certain aspects religion is comforting,in others, much more scary than the la-la land that "free"spirits often wander in. Beliefs, also, DO change, when a person becomes more informed or is put under the influence of a certain society. The point is that even if you converted 3 hours ago, your belief is protected by the constitution, and can not be jeopardized or singled out in a non-denominational school.


belief
Name:
Date: //2006-08-23 22:38:54 :
Link to this Comment: 20213

I will just say one thing more.
Belief is not knowledge. If you needed to see GOD in order to believe in HIM you would not be believing any longer, but knowing. GOD does not want us to know for sure that He exists , but to believe it. The leap of faith is the beautiful part of the equation. Therefore when someone like Elizabeth previously states that the only belief they have is in the stories themselves, it is a falsehood. The stories exist in black and white. No leap of faith is necessary so no belief is occurring.



Name: someone li
Date: //2006-08-24 19:32:03 :
Link to this Comment: 20215

i think it takes a leap of faith to believe in a story. and so many stories are not black and white. Evolution idea--not black and white. ID idea--not black and white. in my opinion it's better to leap towards faith without calling anything a falsehood in the process.


Science of ID
Name: Max
Date: //2006-08-30 00:11:47 :
Link to this Comment: 20229

I would like to bring the forum's attention to a passage I have recently read from a popular science book called 'The Ancestor's Tale' by an evolutionary biologist called Richard Dawkins. He is a fellow of the Royal Society and holds the Charles Simonyi Chair of Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University.
On page 217 he begins "The human imagination is cowed by antiquity, and the magnitude of geological time is so far beyond the ken of poets and archaeologists it can be frightening. But geological time is large not only in comparison to the familiar timescales of human life and human history. It is large on the timescale of evolution itself. This would surprise those, from Darwin's own critics on, who have complained of insufficient time for natural selection to wreak the changes the theory requires of it. We now realise that the problem is, if anything opposite. There has been too much time. If we measure evolutionary rates over a short time, and then extrapolate, say, to a million years, the potential amount of evolutionary change turns out to be hugely greater than the actual amount. It is as though evolution must have been marking time for much of this period. Or, if not marking time, wandering around this way and that, with meandering fluctuations drowning out, in the short term, whatever trends there might be in the long. Evidence of various kinds, and theoretical calculations, all point towards this conclusion.
Darwinian selection, if we impose it artificially as hard as we are able, can drive evolutionary change at a rate far faster then we ever see in nature. To see this, we cash in on the lucky fact that our forbears, whether they fully understood what they were doing or not, have for centuries been selectively breeding domestic animals and plants. In all cases these spectacular evolutionary changes have been achieved in no more than a few centuries or, at most, millennia: far faster than even the fastest evolutionary changes that we can measure in the fossil record."
Firstly I'd like to apologise if it appears I have succumbed to Okham's Razor. But he makes some valid points. I believe there is no need to draw a line in the sand as long as we all understand each other's take on the issue. I firmly agree with the passage above but perhaps that is because I'm uneducated on ID as a science. Some may firmly believe in ID but maybe they are uneducated on the scientific evidence available in the academic arena. One thing the world tells us at present is that you can't stop people believing in something they want to believe in. People, especially children, need to be supplied with all available evidence from both sides in order to make an informed, unimpeded decision about their own belief system. In conclusion I will purpose the question: If ID had nothing to do with religion or God, would it be as popular an idea as it seems?



Name: Rob
Date: //2006-08-30 20:46:20 :
Link to this Comment: 20232

---If ID had nothing to do with religion or God, would it be as popular an idea as it seems?---

The answer to this question comes, by asking another question as follows:

If evolution had nothing to do with naturalism and materialist philosophical presupositions, would 'it' be as popular as it is.

Materialism allows us to dispose with the meddlesom doctrine of sin...

So I ask what worldview is that which people 'want' to believe?

As far as Dawkins goes... He also said in one of his books (and I paraphrase) "There is no such thing as right and wrong, we're all just dancing to our DNA."

That is by the way a Biblical doctrine called the natural and sinful man...

In light of Dawkins statement, how much more profound and up to date are Jesus' words, "You must be born again!"



Name: Max
Date: //2006-08-31 20:31:46 :
Link to this Comment: 20237

To answer the question posed as an inadequate answer to my question I think; yes. It would be as popular as it is. If not only for the simple fact that it's arguments are based in reason and most importantly measurable outcomes. The 'worldview' as it was called is none in particular. People will believe things, against all evidence that they want to believe.
Just say ID had strong footing before Darwinian Selection was discovered. I truly believe upon this discovery ID would be abandoned en masse and exposed for what it is. A lazy theory that assumes we know everything without requiring evidence of it. This is not about Religion vs. Science. This is about one scientific theory against another. Another who just so happens to involve a creator and is a new chance to bring God and faith to the scientific table.
And while we're quoting Richard Dawkins: "Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence. Faith is belief in spite of, even perhaps because of, a lack of evidence.



Name: rob
Date: //2006-09-01 01:01:08 :
Link to this Comment: 20238

---People will believe things, against all evidence that they want to believe.---

Yes Max, I have found this to be true as well.

Have you ever tested the Bible with the bibliographical test and compared it to other sources that you find more 'reasoned' and accurate?

To do so would surely not comply with what you seek...

As for evolutions testability... Oh yes!!! It has been tested over and over, and despite failure after failure, the 'believers' have great 'faith' that the RNA world is the established foundation for evolution...

Perhaps one day they will get it right, and a test will confirm all of this... But please do not play the tune as though it is a done-deal. We've had enough pied pipers in this world.


Sincerely, Rob



Name: MarieC
Date: //2006-09-01 18:07:29 :
Link to this Comment: 20240

Robert, your writing is both eloquent and concise upon the subject, at least for me. I know that believers in ID can be stereotyped a bit more easily than the followers of evolution. It is impossible to convince many people when voicing only personal beliefs because this society I think is looking for facts and yes, subconsciously, excuses for sin. But regardless of the creed you choose to follow science should never replace faith. I think faith wants to exist side by side with science, to fill a void we as humans constantly feel, the nagging suspicion that there is something greater than what we see. If evolution were proven 100% do you think we would all be satisfied and no longer desire spirituality of any kind? Nope. More likely we would revert back to nature worship. In the mean while, since it is not proven, let us remain clear that evolution IS a religion. Simply by denying the existance of God and causing inevitable torment for confused souls, evolution leaves the realms of pure science. Pure science should go hand in hand with ANY belief system. The science of evolution should not disturb one's head anymore than the science of photosynthesis. In fact neither science nor spirituality even comes close to presupposing each other nor do they rely upon one another for existance. While I see this as being because they are one and the same,i.e., God is Science, an atheist need just to take God out and science will become GOd. May we please question what we are trying to prove here? Is this whole thing really about origins or about proving there is no GOD? Without doubt there will NEVER come a day when mankind can say THERE IS NO GOD. Any science that tries to do this is not a science. It is brainwashing and confusion.



Name: Z
Date: //2006-09-01 19:41:09 :
Link to this Comment: 20241

Evolution as a religion seems to me to be an openminded statement and one that provokes thought. So, evolution doesn't have a "leader", a God, but it's still a religion? How?

Is golf a religion? Are card games religions? I'd say sure...very cool to construe religion broadly.

Words like NEVER, ANY (etc.) close down communication in my experience. I confess to using this language frequently (no doubt you'll be able to pick it out in what i've written here!) but it's something that I've been working on. It's important to me to do so. I think that as long we're not speaking in absolutes or we are speaking in absolutes with the knowledge and openess that that belief can be changed (using that language as a waiting place for a new language), we can live peacefully with each other in the world. Perhaps this is something more for the fundamentalism/relativism forum but...who really knows anything? I think it's a beautiful aspect of the human condition that we can't know a single thing but we can believe any number of things and that we have a drive to know. This is an argument for both evolution and intelligent design...

While my impulse is to say "yes, exactly" to the quote about religion ignoring that which can be proven...(yikes, i need to go back and look at what it actually said)...I think it's too harsh. The things we "make up" should be just as valued as the things we think we know (which we've also made up) HUMANS ARE HUGE MAKER-UPERS...That is who we are. We make arcs and shapes in what we call "the world".

Both the story of evolution and the story of God are extremely creative and serve good purpose in different ways for different people. I believe that if something is a story it exists as a story. God exists (as a story) because people believe in God. Evolution exists (as a story) because some people believe it. Santa Claus exists (as a story) because people believe in him. Purple boogie monsters exist because people believe in them. YOu won't necessarily find any of them in flesh (unless you THINK you have) but your ideas will have a flesh of their own which are just as valid.

And sometimes stories generate deep emotions...I think that these are particularly wonderful and valid.

At this momnt, in the end, I believe that there is nothing beyond this life but I am in love what this life is...I love every story. I love my ability to make and tell stories. I like that I want to "test evidence". I like that right now in my life I'm pressing my hands firmly against a strong belief in one thing and saying "no, i don't want that". That's what being human is about. Why would anyone want to get fixed in just one place and with the determination to have just one belief for an entire life? Why would anyone blindly keep with one story without reading the others?

As for religion as a story (when you say "religion is truth." what does that mean?) ...it's less pleasing to me now. I don't need a concept of "sin" to think about what is humane/helpful to other humans...I don't need a reward at death for suffering on earth. If I did, I'd find a story for it or find someone who could tell it to me. When my body needed that and my mind wanted that I belived in a single God and I wouldn't let anything else in. God? Maybe. Evolution? Maybe. Thought and the mind...for now, I'm saying "yes".



Name: MarieC
Date: //2006-09-01 20:31:39 :
Link to this Comment: 20242

I guess I mean that evolution is a religion, although not clearly defined, simply because it can deny the existance of a creator and can become something along the lines of atheism or paganism/nature worship. However evolution has still been incorporated into the beliefs of some christians to their minds successfully. For me that does not work because as I said earlier, it does not answer the question of the origin of free-will in humans.



Name: The Barbar
Date: //2006-09-01 23:44:36 :
Link to this Comment: 20243

Amazing. By now, I would have thought no one in the entire world would buy that story about evolution denying a creator. Evolutionary theory can't say anything at all about God, or even whether or not He exists. Science is completely unable to consider the supernatural.

It is quite consistent, and the opinion of most Christians worldwide, that while our bodies are evolved from other organisms, we receive an immortal soul directly from God.

While it is true that free will may have been evolved as we reached the point where our nervous systems were capable of introspection and empathy, Pope Benedict XIV has pointed out that God can even use contingency to serve His purposes.







Name:
Date: //2006-09-01 23:46:32 :
Link to this Comment: 20244

And while we certainly have observed macroevolution, nothing in science is ever "proven." Science is inductive, and does not provide logical certainty. Evolution is, however more firmly established than gravity.



Name: Z
Date: //2006-09-03 01:27:58 :
Link to this Comment: 20250

"Pope Benedict XIV has pointed out that God can even use contingency to serve His purposes."

What does this mean? I mean this at the most basic level. I am not familiar with what "Pope Benedict XIV has pointed out".

Just to point out, for whatever it's worth...that the only thing that makes the above statement more than a story is belief in what Pope Benedict has to say, which seems to me no more valid than what a scientist has to say...or what you have to say.

We have made Pope Benedict XIV as we have made all presidents future and past...We are human. Certain beliefs are good for social order and stability etc...but they are not absolute.

The whole notion of free will is problematic for me. Because it means I can choose one thing or another thing. In making a decision or chosing to not make a decision...there is always one outcome. There seems to be nothing free about it. I don't think we're being controlled and I don't think we're free. I think as humans we have a heck of a lot of trouble transcending order. In this sense we're just like animals...binary, survival of the fittest-fitted, security and food seeking...animals can for example either eat or not, sleep or not...have babies or not. What controls that is inside of them and it may be instinct or whatever but who cares? Our instinct happens in a "usually felt as complicated" way in the brain...theirs "usually felt as less complicated" and originating elsewhere. So, maybe "free will" evolved but lots of comparable things were already evolving in animals. I think we're closer to animals when we're thinking in terms of free will than when we're trying to transcend it.




Name: MarieC
Date: //2006-09-03 14:24:57 :
Link to this Comment: 20253

At this time I feel the Vatican makes many concessions that it should not be making in order to keep Catholics from straying further and further from the fold. Yes it is ok for a christion to believe in evolution if they acknowledge God as the amstermind behind it. I do not think anyone is putting Pope Benedict forward as the ultimate authority on the subject, but they are merely pointing out what the official teaching of the church is at present. I do not wish to get silly about this topic. Of course we can all choose when we want to eat or sleep. That is pure survival and ties us to the animal part of our nature. Free will in the Catholic sense has to do with the spiritual part of our nature and our moral responsibility. For example we are the only animal that can choose NOT to eat or sleep, thereby endangering our bodies and creating a situation where one's moral code is called upon. Our free will allows us all a different opinion in such a situation. Some Eastern religions find transcendance in short term hunger and sleep deprivation. Magicians will attempt to amaze with feats of endurance. Hunger strikes are common, as well as difficult end of life decisions. Free will allows us to view the experiences as religios or entertaining. The catholic church covers the issue with the commandment "thou shalt not kill" which includes all types of bodily abuse and taking life for granted.



Name: Marie
Date: //2006-09-03 14:53:09 :
Link to this Comment: 20254

I know the contributors to this forum are not all christian. But for me and maybe others who believe that our free moral decisions affect our eternal happiness, I can never be content with evolution until it can tell me exactly how big our brains had to be before they received souls.



Name:
Date: //2006-09-03 18:41:55 :
Link to this Comment: 20255

When you say big, what do you mean? Like actual mesurable size? If one believes that the soul is not an actual tangible presence but rather something beyond tangibility than it probably was never "let in"...i'd say that it was probably "thought out" or perhaps more accurately "thought in" So probably just about around the time when humans were able to think about things like whether to eat or sleep or not, they also started desiring something beyond life because if you aren't just living life, but living life and then reliving it via thinking, then things can get pretty tough. I dare say tougher than being gobbled up by a bear...to feel yourself being gobbled up...to be feeling pain and "thinking pain" is pretty tough. This doesn't really relate directly to anything but I just wanted to say that I don't think that there is anything at ALL silly about a desire to believe in ID as well as evolution or even ID over evolution. The duration of belief in things like god or gods (in many many cultures...way before Christianity) shows a pretty general collective consensus that it would be nice if something existed out there to help with what's going on "in there" (that is inside of all of us.

Also, to really get at the heart of matters, I find it good to go to the places that seem "silly" with utmost seriousness of intent. If no one did this there wouldn't be post-it notes, peanutbutter, telephones or sandwitches. Also, for those who believe in him, there would, perhaps be no god.

As another perhaps unrelated note, I really appreciate this conversation and the openmindedness of the people in it. I like that people keep writing. And, Marie, thanks for explaining your thoughts on the Vatican and Pope Benedict.



Name: MarieChris
Date: //2006-09-03 19:11:53 :
Link to this Comment: 20256

Sorry, the reference about being silly only about the eating and sleeping aspect of free will. I am trying to say that free will generally is meant as something deeper than our everyday habits. Free will can be a mindset because we can make choices mentally which guide us. I certainly did not mean that believing in one or both idea was silly, and actually the reason I posted to begin with was to say that I do not believe the time has come to seperate church and state in this issue. Those promoting freedom of religion, or more truly, freedom from religion, tend not to be so polite on their web pages.I feel the need for people to defend ID at the present because it seems only a matter of time when it will be ousted from the classroom.



Name: Rob
Date: //2006-09-04 18:10:17 :
Link to this Comment: 20259

I think I understand where we might be misunderstanding each other...

I fully believe in natural selection... it is indeed a fact!

So Darwin did uncover part of the truth...

But natural selection is [not] evolution.

Natural selection is the [process we observe] within species.

Evolution is the [theory] that one species evolves into another.

Big differnece, and the problem is that neither can explain origins.

It's real simple. No evolutionist has answered the following dilemma because it defys the reasonable mind to believe it could happen by chance.

We all imagined (as opposed to observe) that the earliest life started out very simple and evolved into the more complex. That is what we are told by evolutionists!

But now we find that in order to have natural selection, we must start with the most complex arrangements of information in the known universe; DNA and RNA.

Here's why:

An organism (even the simplest one celled ones) cannot self replicate without the horrendously complex processes of cell division. Processes inwhich there is virtually no margin for error without death of the organism or a failure in reproduction.

It is an intricately vulnerable system.

To accomplish these miraculous feats, organisms are managed by the operating software known as DNA.

So, you can't use natural selection to explain DNA, because in order to have natural selection you need DNA [first].

So unlike what was assumed, that the simple became complex, we find that life needs all of it's components in place at the same time in order to reproduce.

Has anyone seen an autonomous life form that exists only as a string of DNA? One that could function without the aid of other organisms? Nope!

So how would it replicate without the other machinery in living cells?

RNA and DNA are not living things. Ever seen road kill?

All the pieces of the machinery need to be in place for the organism to live.

That's the heart of irreducible complexity.

I really don't care if some of you guys don't get this.

You cannot get it, when it is inconceivable for you to consider the possibility of intelligent origins.

It's called having a bias, and a closed mind!

Many scientists refuse to give up on evolution, but that proves nothing but the pains of revolution.



Name: Elizabeth
Date: //2006-09-05 19:42:38 :
Link to this Comment: 20274

Just wanted to say that I believe that intelligent design is possible as i believe that evolution is possible. But I also wanted to say that not allowing for the possibility of intelligent design NOT being possible could also be considered by some as having a bias and a closed mind. A bias can be useful...it's impossible to get around that or at least that has been my experience. It is, however, possible to have an open mind and still have a bias. And also, at the level of discourse...comments that say one "doesn't care if some don't get it" and saying that some have biases and closed minds doesn't really help to advance discussion. When I read something like that I want to stop talking. When someone says "you will never get it!" do you want to keep talking with them? I don't think it's important to make someone feel the way you feel but I do think as humans (evolved or intelligent designed or whatever) it is important to keep talking to one another, to keep channels open. This happens as much by "how" we speak as what we speak. To me, this seems to be a crucial issue if we want to peacefully coexist in the world together (which in my opinion is a VERY worthy goal). In the end (and this is just my opinion)...how we got here doesn't much matter but how we live here does.



Name: Rob
Date: //2006-09-05 22:14:07 :
Link to this Comment: 20278

Elizebeth, thank you for your comments. I will address them as to a larger audience, so please do not take anything as personal.

You remind me of the sensitivities we are dealing with when it comes to individual worldviews. Particularly the repercussions of the logical outworkings therein. As careless as I tend to be when it comes to sharing the facts as I know them to be; those involved in these discussions also need to set feelings aside somewhat when dealing with something as momentous as this issue.

That being said, I would like to take the opportunity to dialog in regard to some your comments. Your comments will be enclosed in --- ---, with my comments to follow.


--- A bias can be useful...it's impossible to get around that or at least that has been my experience. It is, however, possible to have an open mind and still have a bias. ---

I absolutely agree with you. We are all biased in regard to the fact that we are bound by gravity, and yet I do not suppose that we have closed our minds about it. It is just a fact!

There are numerous other examples, such as 1+1=2...

--- And also, at the level of discourse...comments that say one "doesn't care if some don't get it" and saying that some have biases and closed minds doesn't really help to advance discussion. ---

I understand your meaning Elizebeth, but we must also be clear. Suppose that a persons bias will not allow them to accept the fact that sexual abuse of children is actually abuse (if you've never heard of NAMBLA, look it up).

In that circumstance, I do care that the person is so wrongheaded in their ideas and refuses to accept what is undeniably right. However, I do not care if they refuse to understand.

The ID debate has enormous implications metaphysically. The defiant resistance to clear headed obsevation of the facts is tantamount to undermining the whole of reality. The ID vs. Evolution debate is foundational to all cultures and civilizations...

--- When I read something like that I want to stop talking. When someone says "you will never get it!" ---

Now I didn't say that. My words are very clear. We must be careful when getting our feelings mixed up in these matters.

--- do you want to keep talking with them? ---

Absolutely! But, I for one, will not play games on such an important issue. If they want to talk with me, they are going to have to take this as seriously as it 'really' is. If they are not willing, then I am interested in those who are, and wish not to waste time with the unwilling.

This battle is far weightier than most imagine!

--- I don't think it's important to make someone feel the way you feel but I do think as humans (evolved or intelligent designed or whatever) it is important to keep talking to one another, to keep channels open.---

Agreed! But (an important But!) not at the expense of truth!

I don't think that it is reasonable at all for an entire civilization to endure feelings that 1+1=7, just because it may cause others some temporary existential angst! We are all faced with the pressue of cognitive dissonance on occasion, and often we must relent to reality.

Reality is the only thing that will set us free, so avoiding it only prolongs the sufferring caused by ignoring it in the first place!

This is not about how I feel about ID or Evolution. I am a former evolutionist, turned theistic evolutionist, and am now astounded by the clarity expressed in the ID movement.

We should be ecstatic about such a find. It is incredible! For the life of me I cannot understand the resistance to such an epic discovery.

Feelings?

This is momentous! The shear power of it intellectually... produces feelings in me that 'denial' (for the sake of lowlier lusts) could never have mustered.


--- This happens as much by "how" we speak as what we speak. ---

Point taken...

You are not the first to be taken aback by my almost 'prophetic' tone. I am doing the best I can...

--- To me, this seems to be a crucial issue if we want to peacefully coexist in the world together (which in my opinion is a VERY worthy goal). In the end (and this is just my opinion)...how we got here doesn't much matter but how we live here does. ---

There are so many assumptions in these last comments of yours Elizebeth. How we got here has 'everything' to do with whether we get along or not.

For example... if this is all a cosmic accident, and we then factor in the 2nd law of thermodynamics (which shows us conclusively that this entire universe is coming apart), then how can we even assume that we should get along in the first place?

In such a violent universe with coliding stars and black holes. With the animal world eating each other alive (us included) how can we logically assume such a thing?

Without 'peace' being a 'true' and 'real' purpose in the first place, we are only throwing darts into the dark...

I have often said in other debates as this to make the point, that maybe the problem with mankind is that we don't just be who we 'really are'! And the existentialist of the sixties and his battle cry of 'No Hang Ups Man' proves the concept!

(NAMBLA?)

It is entirely illogical! And to add feeling... scary!

And to the other comment that we should peacefully exist, I agree! But this is a purpose that can only be found in God.

Even Bertrand Russel the famous athiest understood this when he said, 'Unless you assume a creator, the question of life's purpose is meaningless.'

Philosophically, the only way to have peace, is for all of us to be on the same page!

So no matter what our angle, peace requires what is bitterly called 'fundamentalism' by so many today.

The truth is fundamental!

And to say that this is not true, only proves that it is. Because as soon as you say that I am wrong, you end up implying that you are right and that it is indeed only one way.

Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No-one comes to the Father but through me."

The law of non-contradiction cannot be challenged without doing away with 'reason' altogether and just going with what 'feel right' at the moment (existentialism, NAMBLA). Scarry!

We have lost the ability to think critically. And we are being led by ideas that dominate our feelings. We are becoming slaves to things that make no sense!

Two posts ago, I laid it out as plainly as I can... It is abjectly unreasonable to believe that life evolved! And I showed why! The lack of challenge is nothing new... It is inescapable. It is the very argument that changed the mind of one of the world's former leading evolutionary biologists (Dean Kenyon).

I don't intend to walk on feelings, I only intend the truth to jolt you into reality...

Whether or not it does is up to you... Can you set aside your current feelings for an even deeper level of feeling that comes with, 'knowing the truth and the truth setting you free' (also said by Jesus).

If you really want to explore the ID argument and be astounded, order the DVD 'Unlocking the Mystery of Life'. It is simple and effective. Decide for yourself irrespective of what I've said, or it's irrational critics.

Sincerely, Rob Lockett



Name: Marie
Date: //2006-09-09 10:37:25 :
Link to this Comment: 20320

I guess I do want to leave you alone but at the same time feel that I should answer your questions in case you are waiting for a reply. I do also want to clarify that the She I spoke of is a catholic reference to the Church, not God. For some reason a church is referred to as a "she" like a ship is a "she". I was raised catholic but I like to think that I still chose catholicism on my own. I am not the kind of person that can be content with things that do not make sense, so I have had to study and think about all these things in my own way. If something no longer makes sense I would be forced to reconsider but I find that the more I look and the more I live through, the more I do see sense in it. I have a sister who is opposite and her thoughts seem to drive her away from the church. I do feel bad for her because the things that bother her are things that she has simply not been educated in. I support a person making their own decision, just not when it stems from misinformation. I think? you have pockets of misinformation, and I like to set the score straight, but I know you are past needing answers for personal help, and that you are content with where you are. I can not pass any judgement about your afterlife. It would be wrong and maybe even sinful. I certainly have done my deeds. The most I can say is that people like us need to be careful because intelligence can be dangerous. Some catholics believe there is no salvation outside of the church, but I like to think God judges our heart and what we make of the info we have to go on. I imagine it is sometimes an intellectual pursuit as well as spiritual for me, and I imagine I am not too abrasive in person because I have had good friends also from many walks of life. I certainly relish the words of scripture and the teachings of Jesus, but to quote them here seems much more like preaching. While preaching has its place, I think that nowadays it solidifies existing faith more so than opens new eyes. I am more inclined to apologetics and reaching logical conclusions. Of course there are immediate things that are important, but a religion is an all engaging thing, a lifestyle, and it should encompass and touch everything vital in life. Most churches are tremendous in missionary work, helping others (remember the corporal works of mercy?) and the use of prayer as an intermediary when we can not do enough. I do not know how to explain better, but sex is also included as I said before because it has to do with the value of human life and the image of God reflected in your neighbor. If all men saw things this way, there would BE no rape. Finally, I hope, I do of course believe in love. It is the greatest commandment in Jesus' own words. But we need to make distinctions between love and lust. I guess it bothers me to think that a man just loved another man sooo much that he had to have sex with him. It rarely happens that a man chooses a gay lifestyle becuase he fell in love. Well, I hope that covers everything, best wishes.



Name: Rob
Date: //2006-09-09 11:43:23 :
Link to this Comment: 20322

Food for thought...


"For several decades we psychologists looked upon the whole matter of sin and moral accountability as a great incubus and acclaimed our liberation from it as epoch making. But at length we have discovered that to be free in this sense, that is, to have the excuse of being sick rather than sinful, is to court the danger of also becoming lost… In becoming amoral, ethically neutral and free, we have cut the very roots of our being, lost our deepest sense of selfhood and identity, and with neurotics, themselves, we find ourselves asking, "Who am I, what is my deepest destiny, what does living mean?" ( Hobart Mowrer, "Sin, the Lesser of Two Evils," American Psychologist, 15 (1960): 301-304.)


"Satan tempts us at the point of our physical needs, not that we might gratify them to excess, but that we might think of nothing else and gratify them at the expense of our usefulness in this world. Satan tempts us at the point of our ambitions, not that we might engage in positive evil, but simply accept the fact of evil, learn to live with it, come to terms with it, and maintain a discreet silence in the presence of it. Satan tempts us at the point of our religion, not that we might disbelieve in God, but that we might demand certainty — that kind of certainty of God that leaves nothing to faith, nothing to God Himself. These are the moral struggles that have reality for people such as we are. The subtle temptation to renounce our duty in favor of what is attractive. That insidious allurement to a kind of half goodness which is the essence of everything bad, and which is more productive of suffering and hatred, war and misery in this world than all the designs of wicked and greedy people combined."

(Arthur Leonard Griffith in his book “God’s Time and Ours” as quoted by Ravi Zacharias on his radio program Let My People Think in the message entitled: Absolute Truth in Relative Terms pt. 2)





Name: MarieC
Date: //2006-09-06 09:34:49 :
Link to this Comment: 20283

On a surface level I do not think anyone could disagree with the sentiments Elizabeth wished to convey. I do often call to mind that letting the truth speak for itself without human judgement calls is the most successful argument. If you think about it, when something is truth, it SHOULD speak for itself.
However I certainly understand what it is to be frustrated at a wishy-washy society that will not acknowledge reality. While we sit here talking about the beauty of openmindedness, there are 1000's of men and women lobbying fiercely to have THEIR way, and to take from us the right to raise our children as we see fit. And they are certainly not kind about it. See for example the pagan supporters of the ACLU and the clan of the so-called flying spaghetti monster. They are acting with complete intolerence and ridicule of ID. Whatever our private beliefs may be there will be a civil law that we must publically follow. Many people do not want to pay taxes or fund a war, many people do not like the ban on marijuana, but too bad, we comply or pay the price. Laws tell us what we can and can not do in every aspect of life. Seperation of church and state was intended to protect us from law ever governing BELIEF. But unfortunately, freedom of religion is becoming freedom from religion or else. And yes, the ideas of peace and harmony seem ingrained and natural, but in fact fallen man is anything but loving. We are greedy, back stabbing, gossiping, loving to revel in another's misfortunes. not to mention more serious crimes. Humane treatment of others under whatever name is residual effects of a once christian society. The standard we hold up in society is none other than that of Jesus Christ. I see all the time gay, lesbian, and pagan groups fundraising for a worthy cause in an attempt to prove that they are still good people. But the standard for a good person is, once again, that which has been laid down by Jesus. So in a sense it is frustrating to see them sort of spinning their wheels without a destination. Finally, if humanitarianism were natural we would not have to strive for it. Faith without works is meaningless , but what about works without faith? Actually I believe that kindness is the bare minimum that we are asked in this life because so often it leads us to see God in another's eyes and learn that there must be something greater than that which can be tangibly rewarded.



Name: Elizabeth
Date: //2006-09-07 13:02:20 :
Link to this Comment: 20300

Thanks Marie and Rob. There's a lot that I feel compelled to respond to but will only respond a tiny bit here. With regard to people who feel that sexual abuse is okay or that any abuse is okay: yes, i definitely feel that some biases are harmful to society as a whole and people as a whole and it is my feeling not that they are "wrong" but rather that they cause hurt and trauma and xyz. Sometimes it's more productive to think about what things "do" rather than what they "are" because what they "do" is often more specific and, as Rob points out feelings CAN at times get in the way of making change. Right now I don't believe in truth, The Truth etc. but I know what pain is and I know my desire to make meaning out of life. I think that not caring about whether or not someone gets it is okay but keeping dialogue open involves entering fully into other people's stories as horrible as they may seem as harmful as they may seem, as evil as they may seem. This seems, to me, to be the place where change can happen. Rob, you are right to point out places where assumptions are being made. I do this a lot. We all do. Here I am assuming that change is a worthy goal. Change does not happen through not talking to each other. And I feel this about people who do harmful things--that it is only natural to have a visceral reaction, to feel sick but in order to do something about it it's not enough to think I am following "the truth path", "I am following Jesus" (i am not quoting anyone from the forums, here I am using quotes b/c they are not things that i would say...are not in my voice). And it is not enough to say: well then I should try and make people feel the way that I do and then it will be better. Let me keep saying the truth as I see it! But actually (and I haven't figured out how to do this) it might work to listen harder to what others are saying. You don't need to convince someone to hear them or even to understand them. That would be saying that the only people we can understand are ultimately, the ones who are most like we are. It is great for people all to tell their own stories but in telling their own stories, it is sometimes okay to let the language of other stories enter. I would like to do this more. When we don't listen, we act based on the voice inside of us which is so limited because there are so many voices around us. About living here (on earth)...I do think that there was a way that we all got here and that can help us to understand why we might act the way we act but for purposes of "living here"...it is the acting that has the effect on day to day living. kindness and tolerence for example don't depend upon a past and can exist independently of a future. Yes, we very well cannot assume that we get along but if we all believed the same thing, i really don't think anything would work, would it? In an ocean there are lots of fish and each plays a role in the larger body of water. There are not just bushes, there are trees and bushes and waterfalls and dirt and small earthworms and inchworms and...If we all thought the same thing, people's minds would not come together as much. What if our spouses and partners and friends were exactly the same as we are? Wouldn't it be boring? If something is fundamental, it is not open. Is it? Rob, can you tell me how fundamental conforms with our shared belief in "keeping the channel open"? I don't at all mean this as a challenge or an attack or a question which i don't want answered, i'm just curious and I thinnk you have an opinion about it. Gays, lesbians and pegans (it's a bit worrisome to me why all three were grouped (as if to talk about all lesbians, all pegans, all gays) in the first place and then all grouped together...implying that "these are the ones who have denied god"? i'm really asking...i want to know where you're coming from) First, some gays and lesbians are religiously affilated and do believe in Jesus...it's the institution of the church (the catholic church...there are a lot of people in other religions where sexuality is not an issue as it is in the catholic church) So it is the church which has rejected them, not the other way around. And even if "Jesus' way" is the "right" way...why are some judging or how do we think we can really know the "jesus way."? You can "believe" the Jesus way...but if you talk to 10 different people, they may tell you 10 different Jesus ways. I really don't know about the fundraiser example but assuming that that is true in even just one case, the need for legitimization only happens when there is a lack of acceptance, so it's not the desire for legitimization which needs to be examined but rather the lack of acceptance. Furthermore, not going the "Jesus" way does not in my experience mean spinning wheels at all. I've found life to be happy because I live how I am and how I want to be and in a way that I feel does not hurt others. I try not to supress feelings...sexual, emotional, physical. Exclusion as an idea...hurts people emotionally and also can hurt them physically. Hurt can have spiraling repurcussions. If there is something fundamental, I'd say that it's that we are all human. Oddly, no one that I can remember was really that concerned with that simple thing when I was in catholic school. I think it may sometimes be good to go back to that part (that we are human) Also, I'd agree that laws DO govern so much of life...but we've made them, so they are not fixed and decided...we're the ones who can change things. I appreciate this discussion very much. Some of Rob's thoughts especially might be provocative in the fundamentalism and relativism forum. Maybe you have posted there? If not, maybe you'd consider it. Many thanks to both. I have to enter more fully in my life off the forum right now (new endeavor) so won't be able to respond, or if I do it will take a while, but I'm still listening. Thanks for having listened to me too.



Name: Marie
Date: //2006-09-07 23:32:37 :
Link to this Comment: 20306

I mention gays, lesbians, and pagans because they were the specific groups that I myself have seen doing the fundraising, not because they inherently belong together. But I must say that the church has not turned her back on them. It is simple logic that if one does not believe in what a church teaches, they are no longer a member by their own choice. Sometimes gays and lesbians get around this by saying that they do not have a choice and they were made the way they are. That is still a mystery to me because I don't quite believe it, but the members of that community that I have been friends with were very "normal" and do not seem to have suffered any emotional trauma or other external, nurture related issues that would influence their sexual preferences. So maybe it is nature and not nurture. I am not prepared with anythng but a stab in the dark that perhaps it is a trick of the devil to give confusion to even good people. It is too touchy ground, but regardless, if you do not believe in what a church teaches, which obviously they do not, you are not in that church.



Name: Elizabeth
Date: //2006-09-08 10:16:55 :
Link to this Comment: 20308

Ooops! Sorry, I don't think I was clear about one thing that I meant. I know I said the "last one" would be the "last one" but here I am again! I did not mean that trauma would effect sexual preference but that there is emotional pain and trauma associated with being rejected because of sexual preference. Here is the point where we do not agree. I think that the church rejects people without the societally percieved "normative" sexuality. You think that the church has rules which come directly from God and the Bible and for not following these laws, people who have different sexualities are rejecting the church or are being confused by the devil. Wanted to put that out there to see if that is what you mean. I actually have no idea what you mean but wanted to take a shot at it. But, Marie, I remember from previous posts that you do not agree with everything that the church says, do you? Weren't you saying that the vatican was being/had been too strict in some cases? And you are still a church member, right or if not a church member a religion member? So have you separated something inherent in your idea of Jesus/God that can let you not believe in some stuff that's going on but believe in other stuff and still not be rejecting "Jesus/Church/God"? But I've made assumptions here. I should ask the question instead. Do you believe in every single thing written in the bible and everything that the church teaches? I honestly don't know why sexuality needs to have anything to do with religion in today's society. That's personal choice. One reason for this that I've heard is that long ago the church needed more followers...so it promoted having a lot of kids--which seemed to happen best with hetero-"normative" practices. Now there is no need for this. But that is just one of a lot of reasons I'm sure... But love is love and sex is something that we need and seek which is also natural no matter who it is with. I believe the story goes that Jesus taught love NOT exclusion...why would "the devil" confuse people into loving one another...why at any level would it matter what your sexual preference was? Anyway, I don't know how we got here but since we did I really really felt like I needed to say what I felt about this, especially since right now there are only three voices here... Okay! Thanks again. I hope I'm off this forum now!



Name: Elizabeth
Date: //2006-09-08 10:24:31 :
Link to this Comment: 20309

Right, so I guess my question is in fact about WHY the church excludes certain people...If someone wants to believe in all other aspects of the church's story, but has her own story with regard to sexuality, what's the point of exclusion? Here this assumes that "counter to all logic" a person wants to believe some and not all. How does this exclusion (whether you believe it comes from within a person or from the outside institution of the church) better the way we share stories with each other? How does it help the world and other people in it? Even if the idea were to convert the "confused" back to "the way" (really really not my thinking and don't think it should be done and don't think there is "confused" OR "the way") but i'm just trying to use alternate language)...how do you do that by excluding people--invalidating who they are and what they want? Okay, anyway...people have been talking about this for a long time and much more eloquently than I and in much more of an informed way than I...



Name: Marie
Date: //2006-09-08 11:37:03 :
Link to this Comment: 20311

Wow, this is a lot for me to take in, and a lot to respond to without trapping you back in the forum. It is not a lot to take in in the sense that it is confusing or particularly eye opening, because I have certainly met my share of people who believe almost what you do and have been answering their questions for years. But it is a lot because I see I need to start from the roots up with you and I know you do not have the time. I will say one thing quickly before I read your words in depth. I repeat that the church does not exclude anybody. The church itself has no authority in that it is not a tangible thing, but a collective body of believers. It is not a club or an orginization with rules and regulations for membership. Sure it has an external orginizational structure, but it would exist with or without that in theory if not in practice. No church can disallow someone from believing in it, but all churches exist on the principal that the members are like-minded worshippers. If you do not believe what that church is teaching, you have put yourself outside of it, but the church has remained the same. It need not change its goals to encompass every other belief because that is compromising to its own integrity. There are certainly new communities being built around alternative translations of the words of Jesus. Hey, if you do not like what they have to offer, there is no reason not to invent one yourself! (not you personally) but you can not expect an established doctrinal entity to bow to any desire we may have in regards to what amounts to alleviating personal guilt. Furthermore, the church in its teaching does not excude anyone. It says we are all sinful and needing to overcome sin. For example a murderer is not excluded but is urged to repent and overcome. The same is true for gays and lesbians. It is taught that this is a weakness just like fornication which must be combatted. St John the Evangelist in Philadelphia has an ongoing ministry to the gay community who wish to preserve their catholic faith by abstinence. They regularly have gay masses and support groups. But if a member has a problem and begins to think that murder or alternative sexuality or whateveris a good thing, then they have excommunicated themselves. It seems harsh, but the word really means "being outside of the community" which community is composed of people who believe in common. The word community means "common" but what is in common is open, it can be the area you live in, the interests you pursue, or your religion. So it is clear that if you move outside of the geographic boundaries of any physical community, it has not excluded you, but you have left.



Name: Marie
Date: //2006-09-08 12:23:41 :
Link to this Comment: 20312

I made my comments about trauma not based on you but out of my own head, so do not worry on that score. About the issue of hetero sex.....first of all ,religion has EVERYTHING to do with sex.That depends somewhat on the religion, but certainly to catholics it is vital. There is no reason to believe in any "populating the church" theory. If that were the case then why would the church also promote priestly celibacy and monastic life? And why now, when the church is losing more and more members, would it not still be applicable? Well the true reason for hetero sex is complex and becomes clearer and clearer to me with the passing of time and technological advance. At the core it is based upon the infinite value of human life and the creation thereof. It is the work of God put into human hands,( back to why where we came from DOES matter) or at least an evolved instinct of self preservation. Since we have also
evolved/been created with freewill and a large brain, what once was pure instinct becomes a sometimes painful choice. Since we as humans do not always make the best choices and are subject to relativity in all matters churches attempt in general to tell us what is right.The Catholic church in particular says that sex ix not an end in itsefl, but a means to an end, namely procreation. The enjoyability of it is simply to make it palatable. Sex is not based on love, nor does love need sexual expression. When choosing a sexual partner love is only significant because of the possible result of offspring and the care they would need. Even marriage is not really based on love, but on like mindedness and care for each other. Thru consistant proof of the care that an individual takes of his family love is often solidified or rather infatuation is replaced by love. Marriage based on love is a relatively new idea. In the past, spousal suitability was given much higher importance , and this may account for the rise in divorce rates. Which leads me to the next point; broken families, instable childhoods, cloning, invetro fertilization, abortion, surrogate motherhood, fertility medication, gender alteration,etc,etc. All our attempts to play God with sexuality, all giving rise to terrible situations with unprecedented emotional crisis. For example, what about a surrogate mother's legal right to a child that she has contracted away? What about hormone injection for fertility resulting in multiple fetuses, early delivery, and death? The church does not make "rules" to serve a purpose such as gaining members. Rather, it is a set of people who believe that God makes rules to keep us from being stupid. I am Catholic, conservative, somewhat of a conspiracy theorist. I believe in all She teaches and I also believe that because of the decline in membership and outward pressure for answers from people such as yourself, some of the leaders of the church make mistakes in trying to please the multitude. I think that the decline in parishoners comes directly from this watering down of doctrine, and the perceived contradictions that are made in the process. I believe it is my duty to portray the original message of the church, not in opposition to the Vatican, but more harshly that it presently has the confidence to do. I am not a sede-vacantist.



Name: Elizabeth
Date: //2006-09-09 01:34:28 :
Link to this Comment: 20317

Thanks, Marie! I'm glad that this conversation happened because I had no idea just what different pages we were on. It's all good and productive (sorry I don't have more time!). I kept saying "the church" "the church" too and I like your distinction about Catholic doctrine. Though I've moved far far away...I still think "the church" which is problematic because there are a zillion churches. I was raised Catholic and then made a choice not to be anymore because I felt that I didn't agree with so much of what was going on there...(were you raised Catholic?) and I felt I owed it to my good friends who have a whole slew of different political beliefs and sexual preferences not to step foot in a place which can say "if you are a woman, you can not be a priest" (so if God is a She...as you say...what about this rule?), if you are gay, you cannot recieve communion/Jesus, a woman can't choose to kill her unborn fetus (i'll use the pro-life rhetoric as a way of allowing pro-life voice in) even if she's been raped, she herself will die, she can't support another life, where most birth control can't be used ( i really have a theory that about 98.9 percent of Cathloics ignore this rule). I think I see where you are coming from...and I really really think you are a very open-minded person who has firmly chosen her belief system not out of any blind process but out of a deep sense of knowing and a deep desire to live as a good person in the world. I commend you for that and truly respect all that you believe in. It's just that for me...I can't do it. What's your belief about me? I mean, if there is an afterlife...I don't get to go there, right? I'd like to say that this doesn't matter to me...i don't really care if there is life after this one but I am curious about what your mind says about me...that's an interaction happening in the present.

It feels like hurting people to me...just belonging to a group which isn't letting people be who they are...is based on guilt. I don't think this will really go anywhere...because you're saying...then don't belong...but it's just that as an institution, as a group of individuals...it seems so much that the chuch thinks they've got it "right." I don't have it right. They don't have it right. We don't have it "right". Nobody has it right. To this you will repond. Jesus, is the way, the truth, he is "right"...you must just believe...

If we are believing all the time, sometimes we are not thinking about the source of things. And to focus everything on one "right"...can ignore some more immediate things that need tending to. War for example, violence, dying people, hungry people, unhappy people...impovrished people, children's education...soooo much I don't have a clue about and need to.

I assure you that I do NOT have a desire for answers from you, the church, anyone or anywhere. If I say nothing else (see...still trying to get off this forum!) it will be that I certainly am not looking for answers...they're only waiting places. I'm looking for new questions and I think it's everyone's responsibility in the world to ask "why" so that they can know "what"...what is what we are believing doing...to others and for others.

And marriage not being about love feels so sad to me. That doesn't make you sad? Can one be in love? Under that belief what does "I love you" mean? I don't know if I feel that sex is an expression of love--if it is i think it's also an animal-like need and that's totally fine. I think that thinking that the pleasure part of sex is only so that it's palatable to make children would wipe the pleasure right out of it! There was a study that took place where a story was formed that the impulse is not at all to make children but to have sex. I think that people should be able to have fun for fun's sake....I also believe in being responsible in a lot of cases...but not repressed. Why is sex if you are not married bad? If one is not careful, there can be physical or emotional consequences (to a relationship that goes wrong etc) but why is it a religious issue? Yes, there's a lot that has gone wrong w/ marriages etc. and a lot of kids are hurting...but there is no perfect family and to sacrifice the idea of love so that one can have the illusion of a safe/happy home seems so silly. Taking your assumption that we were made in God's image...would it then not be our responsibility to "play God" in all aspects of life, including sexuality? Using "god" in here too...and throughout though it's not my belief.

I'd like if family were seen as a greater value in society but I don't think that making more rules is going to do it. How about masturbation? Is that bad/sinful? Someone once described a sin to me as "deliberately turning one's back against god" But why would loving oneself and finding pleasure in life be turning against God? Before I stopped believing in God in any sort of traditional way, I decided that I would see God not as this militant guilt presence but as a loving one who approved of what I did. That was better (for me) and I was a better person in the world because I didn't feel guilty and worthless. It's a question of where to expend energy...i think expending it on love is pretty cool but in trying to stick firmly to "the rules"...not as cool (for me). I mean...I really think that nothing is really bad here because it seems to me that Marie, you're not saying that people who are not like you shouldn't exist, you're just judging them as you think Christ is judging them. True? I want to put some song lyrics here for fun but I need to check to see if it's okay to post them...based on forum rules. I hope I stop posting soon. I honestly don't have time. Please stop saying provocative things! (kidding; thanks.) I also appreciate you going from "the roots". I think sometimes we assume more commonality than exists...we are definitely two very very different trees.



Name: Elizabeth
Date: //2006-09-09 22:07:12 :
Link to this Comment: 20324

Thanks sooo much, Marie and Bob. Really appreciate this sharing! I'm glad that you believe in love, Marie! I like your thoughts. I think I have pockets of misinformation too. I think you do too. And I think Rob does too! I don't know anything for sure and somehow, right now, that's comforting but maybe later I'll want to really feel like I know a lot more...strongly. I'm not sure but I'll look forward to finding out.

It is so hard to "know" but sometimes good to chose something to believe in and to allow oneself the flexibility of continued choice.

No need to respond to this unless you want to (not waiting for a response with this one but thanks for responding to the last post!) It is somehow more plausable for you (Marie) to think that two women can fall in love than two men? This is just speculation because it's hard to know about others but I'd say there have been a lot of men who have slept with each other and been in love. (i honestly don't feel if i can comment on the causal relation between sex and love (causal as in X causes Y)...i'm very undecided in a more general way...not a way that pertains to gender) But, even if there was just ONE instance (i think there's a lot more!) where that was true (man loves man and sleeps with man), wouldn't it be good to say that it was okay? I think the problem as you see it is more about the nature of sex (as procreative in your/the Cathlolic church's opinion)...a lot of heterosexual couples have casual sex and sex not based on love and act based on lust too. And a lot of men sleep with women based on lust...like a lot of women sleep with men because of lust. So...it's not really that clear cut for anybody and seems to depend less on the gender of the people having sex. I really do believe in male to male and female to female sexual love because as much as one can "see" love, I've seen it. This is a weak thing to say I suppose in terms of how exactly to see love but...I think believing in love helps with that. When I look at my friends who have sexual preferences not accepted in the Catholic Church I do not think "oh they must not be in love" It has always felt counterintuitive to me (even when I was VERY Catholic). But I must say that I was also raised to think that love was not dependent on gender...that it was something deeper. This was a belief that I held on to. I also belive in lust and the right that people have to it. I think that lust is okay and that really it's good to pay attention to it but it's so natural that to say that it is inherently bad seems not useful. I think it's okay to put love and lust in the same sentence. I'm aware that's not a Christian thing to think.

I'd love to get to the place where rape doesn't happen but in the meantime...what? i wonder if there could be a more expansive church rule that does not just focus on the "ideal" but the "ideal" though the lens of the real. I think it's good to think the absolute best (but not close one's eyes to all of the grey areas...to what is happening). But again I don't know if I really want the church to change...it's just that there are so many people in it...and in that sense it really DOES hold a lot of authority over other people's alternative stories.

You've both really opened my eyes to directions which I hadn't been looking in in a long time and honestly and truely had begun to hate so I really thank you for that. Hate's not good in any sense! It's easier to hate an idea but when you have two human beings who believe certain things...you come to realize that you were hating in the first place and that you should be looking and listening and thinking instead--to the people (not just the theory). I don't think it's good to shut one's eyes to other beliefs. It's hard to admit but I really needed this forum moment. So, thanks again.



Name: Marie
Date: //2006-09-09 23:58:47 :
Link to this Comment: 20329

I still think I am not being entirely clear about the love/lust thing, probably because I also am stealing moments in which to write. Love is ideally a free emotion, and does not need sexual expression, proximity, or gender. Love comes first and should be in our lives regardless of sexuality or abstinence or any other carnality. We love in many ways, and many different people, even those who are no longer here. Obviously sex has nothing to do with most of the loves in our lives. When at times a person breaks the normal pattern and begins to think sexually about a parent or child for example, it is met with a deep sense of disgust, of perceived destruction and violation of the natural order. So I am sure that you see love does not have to be fulfilled in sex. Sex also exists on its own and needs not love. But what do we need? The missing word here is "commitment". Stubborn, phsyical, life long commitment is maybe the natural conclusion to real love. It is easily granted to unchangeable things like a favorite movie or season or whatever, unfortunately not so easily given to a faulty human being. Thus the institution of marriage. Grueling, stubborn, life long. But why, why, why? Because only in this realm is sex meant to take place, and yes a healthy lust! why again? children! It is not gays and lesbians alone who are different, but all of us who use sex to gratify our own bodies or egos. The ideal is that love flourish within the union, but marriage was brought about as a back-up. Maybe I should say that it requires a very strong love to really be able to make this commitment on our own. With the decline of our commitment personally and as a society to ANY goal, religion, or greater good, the commitment of marriage is becoming more and more unthinkable. Well, glad to have spoken with you. I certainly think that it is common to overlook christianity nowadays, as maybe we already feel we know what it has to offer. It is probably even boring from the outside looking in. A great part of that is the fault of the catholic leaders themselves going easy and watering things down. What once was a well of provocative and profound theology and inspiration has turned to mush. A refresher is always good before the windows are closd forever and hatred grow up around them.



Name: Rob
Date: //2006-09-10 04:47:57 :
Link to this Comment: 20332

THE MADMAN

Have you not heard of that madman who lit a lantern in the bright morning hours, ran into the market place, and cried incessantly: "I seek God! I seek God!"

As many of those who did not believe in God were standing around just then, and he provoked much laughter. 'Has he got lost?' asked one. 'Did he lose his way like a child'? asked another. 'Or is he hiding'? 'Is he afraid of us'? 'Has he gone on a voyage'? 'emigrated'? Thus they yelled and laughed him to scorn.

The madman jumped into their midst and pierced them with his eyes. "Whither is God?" he cried; "I will tell you. We have killed him-you and I. All of us are his murderers."

"But how did we do this? How could we drink up the sea? Who gave us the sponge to wipe away the entire horizon? What were we doing when we unchained this earth from its sun? Whither is it moving now? Whither are we moving? Away from all suns? Are we not plunging continually? Backward, sideward, forward, in all directions? Is there still any up or down? Are we not straying, as through an infinite nothing? Do we not feel the breath of empty space? Has it not become colder? Is not night continually closing in on us? Do we not need to light lanterns in the morning? Do we hear nothing as yet of the noise of the gravediggers who are burying God? Do we smell nothing as yet of the divine decomposition? Gods, too, decompose. God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him."

"How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it? There has never been a greater deed; and whoever is born after us---for the sake of this deed he will belong to a higher history than all history hitherto."

Here the madman fell silent and looked again at his listeners; and they, too were silent and stared at him in astonishment. At last he threw his lantern on the ground, and it broke into pieces and went out. "I have come too early," he said then; "my time is not yet. This tremendous event is still on its way, still wandering; it has not yet reached the ears of men. Lightning and thunder require time; the light of the stars requires time; deeds, though done, require time before they are seen and heard. This deed is still more distant from them than most distant stars and yet they have done it themselves."

It has been related further that on the same day the madman forced his way into several churches and there struck up his requiem aeternam deo. Led out and called to account each time, he is said always to have replied nothing but: "What after all are these churches now if they are not the tombs and sepulchers of God?"

"God is dead, we have killed Him!"

---Source: Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science (1882, 1887) para. 125; Walter Kaufmann ed. (New York: Vintage, 1974), pp.181-82.---

----------

Now that is interesting stuff no?

I think Nietzsche was wrong... God is not dead, but we have become dead to Him in our trespasses and sin.

Jesus said, "Because I live, you also will live". He came to save us because we were dead, and He wishes to raise us to life.

As my favorite evangelist said, 'Jesus did not come to make bad people good. he came to make dead people live.' To make people who are dead to God, alive to God. Dead to the Spirit of truth, alive in the truth.

----------

Consider the following clip from an article... I have provided the link at bottom-

[Yet what if the universe was designed in such a way that one religion actually did give the proper explanation of the way the world is? What if the universe was so structured that certain sexual practices actually went against the way you were made? I would hope that, if this was so, we would not be shouting "intolerance" over disagreements, but rather, doing our best to arrive at the truth. We do not call disagreements in science "intolerant," but we do with morality. Sadly, many people actually think religion and certain moral claims are indifferent to life—and to say "true" or "false" is like saying yellow is better than orange. This is a major problem.

Jesus comes to us as the designer of the universe who is deeply intelligent. If He really knows what he's talking about, then that means we'd better pay attention. Not only did he tell us to "Love your neighbor," but he also firmly held that "love rejoices in truth" (see 1 Corinthian 13:6). You cannot separate the two without losing something of both. http://www.rzim.org/publications/slicetran.php?sliceid=635]

Keep thinking...

Rob



Name: Marie
Date: //2006-09-10 12:46:18 :
Link to this Comment: 20334

There are people who desire that science one day become so certain that it does away with our need for faith to explain the origins of the world, and answer all questions pertaining to HOW we got here. WHY we got here is another matter indeed and still leaves plenty of room for uncertainty and the designs of God himself. Within this grey area is the issue of morality, but should it indeed be so grey? While science exists above and beyond us, and will eternally do so without need for us, the effects of morality are visible in everyday life, in the way we treat others, and in the way we treat ourselves. Good moral decisions bring harmony and order, while bad decisions hurt, slowly, suddenly, internally to destroy our spirit or externally to harm those around us. These effects are self-evident to even the layest observer and it would be assumed that many eons ago we as humankind would have tired of failure and perfected the art of self-preservation. As it is in every generation we have to relearn wrong from right and go through periods of trial and error in our own lives. How much easier would it be if we did all follow in the one true way?! But no, any type of moral accord is far off for us as a society. Relativism is put up on a pedastal above fundementalism, with focus on the difference in opinion in regards to what is "right". But just as darkness is non-existant and is merely the absence of light, the concept of sin and evil exists only as an absence of Good. To create a perfect Godless world, all notions of sin must be abolished along with all certainty of one "right" path. I do believe that this is happening more and more quickly, yet subtly. One by one our sins are going to trial, put before the public eye , and "judged". One by one the verdicts are coming back. NOT GUILTY! You are no longer a sin!!!! We are brain washed, emotionally pulled at, challenged, made to feel guilty, backed into a corner, until we are forced and coaxed into agreement that what once was sin may not be so any longer. Abortion, homosexuality, belief in evolution, divorce, just to name a few. We are guilt tripped into the conclusion that to defend right is equal to intolerence. Let us not be afraid!



Name: Rob
Date: //2006-09-10 17:48:17 :
Link to this Comment: 20340

You're so right Marie...

You said, "Relativism is put up on a pedastal above fundementalism, with focus on the difference in opinion in regards to what is 'right'."

That is itself a fundamental and fanatical 'one way' philosophy...

The reletavists have not escaped the law of non-contradiction, they in fact use it, to disagree with it...

Michael Savage calls liberalism a mental disorder, but he is wrong...

It is a spiritual disorder that we all suffer from. It is called sin, and it is the death of 'reason'.

In it (sin), our light goes out. Thank God He sent His Son, the light of the world, so that we may see once again...

God bless, Rob



Name: Marie
Date: //2006-09-11 13:46:59 :
Link to this Comment: 20349

Thank you, Rob, I regret that there is not more activity on this forum at present, but I feel like we are helping as best we know how. Probably 75% of people I meet, who believe they are "free" are pretty nearly walking clones of each other. The predominate thread is not any variety of fulfilling or useful alternative "story" but almost always a hodge-podge of residual hatred or disillusionment with christianity. It is hard for me to imagine finding meaning in life not based on what I believe but on what I do not believe. It is hard to imagine deriving any strength during difficult moments or instilling meaning into a child's question. So it follows suit that suicide, murder, depression and drugs are becoming more and more the "way out". True freedom happens when your soul no longer suffers the gnawing effects of sin, the time consuming sleepless nights and distracted days. It happens when you experience enough internal peace to allow you the clear sightedness and presence of mind that accomplishes great things. To speak of an internal "light" is rare nowadays. So much emphasis is on charity and outward ministry that I have even found some catholics wondering what prayer was all about, and what good sacrifice was without a cause. Our soul does indeed house a light which needs fuel to stay alive. Perhaps it is like a muscle which grows sronger with use. This light when well lit illumines everything and it seems at times that nothing is impossible. It is the light of faith, of reason, and of hope.

God bless you also,
Marie Christ



Name: Elizabeth
Date: //2006-09-11 21:36:40 :
Link to this Comment: 20354

I believe in light. I used to touch it on the floor of our den when it came in through three evergreen trees in the back yard which I'd decided were represnetative of the trinity. I will remain fundamental in sticking to my relativism but I really agree that there does need to be time for personal reflection, deep looking, both thinking about the world and feeling it. In my opinion we're hardly clones of one another, though...The extent to which that "sameness" exists happens at the superficial level...and i think it's good to see the ways in which we're different (and beautiful in that difference) and the ways that we're the same because we're humans trying to make our way in the world. I agree whole-heartedly that the hatred of other stories...acting in reaction to rather than creating knew ones based on an understanding of them or not taking time to know them is very detrimental. To conclude (in so much as I am able) I'd like to say that light cannot be generated in closed space...it comes through windows and shines on everything. It doesn't judge ANYTHING that it touches. So it can be felt personally and in a way unites everything too. It's good to keep the openings for it...if 'fundamental' at least to be open and accepting, not to give up on the sharing of stories and 'beliefs'.
Good thoughts and much thanks.



Name:
Date: //2006-09-12 00:44:09 :
Link to this Comment: 20356

Elizebeth said: ---'fundamental' at least to be open and accepting, not to give up on the sharing of stories and 'beliefs'.---

Now before I criticize your statement Elizebeth, let me say that I know you mean well. I think most of us mean well, but that does not mean much in terms of result. All the outward pleasantries in the world do not equal fig leaves that can cover the real and nasty nature within.

Results without real intent are simply a cover...

The root of the problem is much deeper.

Now as to your statement, is there any belief that you would not be open to sharing or accepting?

Do we really need to consider the point of view of Nazi's for a clear example, and if not why?

Also, not to be trite, but there was little in your post that was relativistic!

Relativism is a contradictory worldview because it excludes it's opposite... that of fundamental truth! And relativism by definition excludes nothing. It's only true form is chaos...

We can't have it both ways, so don't let them fool you. It sounds nice at first, but it is simply a way for people to have their spiritual cake, and eat their physical desires too.

That is why New Age is so popular... It's sold as the best of both worlds. But good and evil are at uncompromizing odds.

It's all in the extensions of the logic...

Rob



Name:
Date: //2006-09-12 01:55:24 :
Link to this Comment: 20357

Quote from another forum regarding a new view of reality: "a giant step above the good and evil preadolescent themes that redundantly infest the genre."

???

So yours is good, and the other is not good? Preadolescent?

What does above mean? Is it higher? In other words better? (Good?)

What does preadolescent mean? Is it less mature? (Evil?)

Are those judgements?

----------------------------------------


Is this like the movie 'What the bleep do we know'?

Where they promote the idea that we create our own reality. And then they say that we need to get out of 'that' judgemental Christian paradigm, and into this other one that is 'non-judgemental'?

???

How can we judge that the 'old' paradigm is bad, if the new paradigm calls for no judging as a starting point?

And if we create our own reality, what does it matter what the 'paradigm' is? In that case, there is no 'Paradigm'... not even a new one that says there is a new one!

Does anybody know how to think critically anymore, or is this simply about coping by whatever means works for you?

And if that is true, and the old 'paradigm' works for me, how can you judge me as wrong, even if I say it is true for all?

Can I impose my morality on you?

Would it be 'wrong' for me to do so?

Think about it!

If it is, then aren't you imposing your morality on me, by not allowing me to impose my morality on you?


Rob





Name: marie
Date: //2006-09-12 13:01:45 :
Link to this Comment: 20361

Well, Rob, I see you have found one of the not-so-nice comments I keep mentioning coming from the other side. It makes it very hard not to be up in arms when you start to notice that this relativism seems to breed so much hatred and ridicule of any other way. Especially when we know for fact that following our way can not and never will bring any of the harm to the world that their way might. In other words, we are counseled to be free and guiltless, but sin always brings with it ruin, no matter what name you put on it. I asked a priest a long time ago the difference between sin and crime, and he said "nothing". So in all reality relativism may work with color perception, artistic appreciation, how we look at certain events, but if it is merely a New Age term that attempts to camoflauge sin by saying it is relative to each individual, that will never work. Sin has its own offspring, and they will always resemble their parent.



Name: Elizabeth
Date: //2006-09-15 10:07:48 :
Link to this Comment: 20422

I will not believe in a God who hates. If there is a God I do not believe that he does anything but love. I will not believe in a God who hates homosexuality. I will not believe in a God who hates people for making their own reproductive choices. At this time, I do not wish to believe in the God that you both are believing in. You didn't answer your last question, Rob...if it was to show me, by way of all of the previous logic that the answer was No, the Catholic church cannot condone homosexuality! than I am not really struck in any way...if it was to keep it open, then I am interested. I hope the answer to that will someday be Yes! I think it is so sad that anybody (so many bodies) think the answer to this should always be no. To say that is to go beyond our communication and to really judge a story (i suppose yours)...which I don't want to be doing but I can't say it any other way. I feel very very sad that you think homosexuality is wrong. I think that your stories are JUST as valid as mine but the sadness comes when I think of the people that your stories are effecting. I do not see my story as hurting as many people. But then, you do because you think that homosexuality causes familial havoc. So here's a point where...what now? We have listened. I feel sad.

Marie, you didn't respond to what I said about the possibility of God (in your terms) deciding that two people of the same sex can fall in love and therefore by extension deciding that they will not have children and others will. Like I said, I don't think this is in any way inconsistent...that it could fit into your belief system if the "fundamental truth" could be opened up a bit. I usually don't bring back something which isn't responded to but I'm really curious about this.

I don't know how y'all are so sure of what God wants/loves/hates etc. If He is something beyond all of us...I don't know how it can even be expressed in those terms. I don't know how a notion of God could be so reduced to Yes! No! Yes! I think we're the ones doing all the loving, hating, judging and because we're doing all of that, we should also be doing some major re-evaluating not as to what that does to God (he's perfect anyway, right) but what it does to all of us imperfect ones.

That's really all. Marie, I'm glad that you think adoption is okay. I certainly do too. I think it can be as perfect as all of the other situations out there...



Name: Elizabeth
Date: //2006-09-12 19:33:47 :
Link to this Comment: 20373

RE: Rob


Now as to your statement, is there any belief that you would not be open to sharing or accepting?

There is no belief that I would not be open to sharing or having anyone share. There are many beliefs that in any given moment, I do not accept by virtue of believing other ones (yes, yes, I see your point, Rob that by believing one thing one necessarily does not believe another) BUT as a general statement there is no story that I WILL NOT hear and I have made no determinations to not accept any story for any reason at any time. For example, though I do not believe in God now, I have not made the decision to never believe in God. You and Marie believe in God now and have made a decision that this will absolutely, always and forever be the case. There is NOTHING in my life that I am not open to changing.

Do we really need to consider the point of view of Nazi's for a clear example, and if not why?

Yes, I think we ABSOLUTELY have to consider the POV of Nazi's or to take it to more contemporary terms, the POV of terrorists, the POV of everyone who is telling a different story. Shutting the "other" ideas out and not thinking about them isn't going to help anything. You can't change what someone is doing if you don't know where they are coming from. You can't agree with someone if you don't know where they are coming from. Listening does not mean agreeing with. Listening does not mean disagreeing with. You have to know the structure of the thought of the "other"--perhaps to speak with the langauge of one of your beliefs, I feel it is better to take "the devil" in to myself scary as it is...in order to get him out. You've got to know how "he works"...(right now i don't believe in a devil...but that's the closest equivalent to what you believe, I think.) I'm not saying that this is what I do all the time or even what one should do at every minute, but it seems to me that that is the way that change and progress happen. As a somewhat tangential statement, I know that there is a lot of sexual repression as a byproduct of Catholicism (well...i do not know but have experienced) and what I was taught is not to think about sex at all...and so, if you're not thinking about something which is so crucial and key to being human--there will be emotional consequences. One has to be able to feel whatever it is that one is feeling...to see it, to know the structure and logic of our repressed thoughts to. It will not come through ignoring them. So, why, in your opinion, is it not necessary to listen to alternative beliefs? I think that the things that we are most prone to rejecting without listening are those things that we are most scared about confronting within ourselves.

No one can impose morality on another...it's physically impossible. You can impose your body in someone's space, you can impose your words in someone's space, you can communicate disease etc...but morality is intangible...there is no way to impose, only to suggest. The answer to "you must believe this" is either "yes", "no" or "perhaps." As long as all three of these exist there can be no imposition. Even physical force, while it can change the appearance of what someone believes and influence it, can't change it.

I don't know what the top part re: adolescence/genre/judgement is about. ???? Could you link it to the forum that it came from or write the forum's name?

Rob, I appreciate that you said that you said I meant well first. I think you do too. I see the logical aspect of this but would like to know more about what the logic means in a wider way. I'll agree with what you are saying...in order to say relativism is right you have to say that fundamentalism is wrong (fine!) and I'll agree that if you believe one thing you are excluding another belief (fine!) But where does this get us? Lets say people who believe in relativism accept that they are excluding fundamentalism: all we have proven is that they are excluding fundamentalism. The crucial thing seems to be what it is that they are thinking instead...that judgements, in a general sense are not productive--to say "wait, wait, but THAT'S a judgement" is an interesting thing to say but what does it mean? And so...people who believe in relativism who don't listen to the stories of fundamentalists, probably do not help things too much but those that listen to all stories---and do not stop listening...I do not see harm here. Where is the harm here?

I STILL think we all have to listen more for positive change. And it seems to me that in a general way, the people who are listening more are the people who have not made absolute decisions about belief. Yes, yes, fine BUT RELATIVISM IS AN ABSOLUTE BELIEF...so it is. But it is an absolute belief which lets other stories be heard. Of course...it's not perfect. I don't even know what it really is just as I don't know what fundamentalism really is. I think it varies from person to person also. I think it's difficult for people who believe in a variety of things because they can appear wishy washy but it is as difficult to be in this place as to be in a place of firm and fixed belief. I do not know anything. Tomorrow everything I have said here might be different. I do not mind this.

I'm not entirely sure if I should post this, because I am feeling annoyed. I think I need some sort of calming intervention here--if I could draw a picture and post it I would. But anyway, still thanks and I probably will never leave, though it is becoming problematic. I appreciate the continued thought and the effort to speak in ways that promote listening! (which quite arguably in this particlar post, I have failed at...just so you know i'm aware ;)



Name: Rob
Date: //2006-09-13 01:00:59 :
Link to this Comment: 20383

Elizebeth... wow! You are a very reasonable woman. You have a healthy skepticism, but are not cynical. You can see things that many simply cannot...

I apologize if this is too long a post, but it is as short as I can make it. It is a very ambitious response, so please be thoughtful and consider it. I'm afraid it may frighten you! So keep in mind that I am aware that this is stuf to weigh for the long haul. No band wagon jumping is implied or encouraged. We must think carefully. God says in His word "Let us reason together."

It occurs to me that I am embarking on a mission to point you in what I firmly believe is the right direction... But that is precisely where I have gone wrong in my Christian youth!

It is you who must see for yourself, so I do apologize for the pushiness. I never allowed anyone to push me... I am an infant in terms of sharing a thing as profound as this, if indeed it is true (and I firmly believe so).

No man ever convinced me that Christianity was true! (Christ being the exception as no 'ordinary' man).

As my favorite evangelist and philosopher (Ravi Zacharius) once said to his aunt, about his uncle's conversion, "uncle said no man would ever convince him that Christianity was true. Let's take him at his word auntie... no man did!"


You see, I am 36 yrs old, but have only been a Christian for 4 yrs. Previously, I held many of the beliefs that you now hold.

I cannot conceive of a way to explain some of this, but I will address some of the things you have said. You must simply see for yourself, and you have shown yourself to be quite capable of that.

Jesus said often, "He who has ears, let him hear." "He who has eye's to see, let him see." And in the context of the culture, he was speaking equally to women. No one lifted up the role of women like Jesus, and this fact is burried by many factors. It is clear in the Gospels, but a cultural understanding of the times is necessary. A good pastor makes this helpful. Be willing to go hear one...

You are right that we must keep an open mind. But the purpose for that is finding the truth! Once you have found it, there is no need to think that by becoming biased about it, we have closed our minds. For example, you are not open-minded to the idea that 1+1 = 5. That does not make you closed minded, but rather it makes you reasonable. The root of reasonable is 'reason', as in 'logical', or 'coherent'.

Now let's see if I can keep all of this in context. Please listen carefully as I address some of your points. Please do not be discouraged. Consider it a challenge, but not a rebuke!

---There is NOTHING in my life that I am not open to changing.---

Are you willing to really consider the possiblity that Jesus was God incarnate? I mean really? And make a determined effort to put Him on trial, and see for yourself if He was telling the truth?

He said some outrageous things... And they killed Him as a liar (Blasphemer).

---You can't change what someone is doing if you don't know where they are coming from.---

You can't change someone at all! They have to be willing to change. And to do that, they must believe it is true!

If you know mathematics, you don't have to learn someone elses convoluted version of it to explain the real thing to them. You only need to tell them the truth and explain why it is sensible. If they refuse to listen, there is nothing that you can do.

By definition, some illogical form of mathematics is not understandable. The only terms we have for making sense, or 'Shedding light' on, or making known, is that which is clear and visible.

It is the same with the spoken word in terms of objective reality in general. The book of John starts out with the words, "In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God. And the word 'was' God... And the word became flesh."

Who can shed light on reality?

Jesus said, "I am the light of the world".

He also said, "Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of the light, because their deeds were evil."

---I feel it is better to take "the devil" in to myself scary as it is...in order to get him out. You've got to know how "he works"---

You cannot understand how he works until you know God. Logic is a clue Elizebeth, and the devil distorts it. But he is a master at doing so. He is not understandable, because his logical end is chaos. It is darkness, and he remains hidden.

Logic is not the Spirit of God, so do not misunderstand. But God's Spirit 'is' completely and totally logical. Reason is a quality of God, but it is only one of the means by which He tries to reach us. It is not at all the entirety of God. If it were, God's judgement would have rightly put a stop to this violent and evil world we have made it. But His Mercy is as incredible as His unwavering Justice. His grace and patience unimaginable from a natural human frame.

---So, why, in your opinion, is it not necessary to listen to alternative beliefs? I think that the things that we are most prone to rejecting without listening are those things that we are most scared about confronting within ourselves.---

I think that this is true of all of us before accepting God. We simply must be willing to entertain the possibility if we can find truth. But certainly, I do not have to entertain myself with the idea that a pure NAZI bloodline is the saving grace of the world. It is immediately recognized as being wrong, even if only on an intuitive level. (On that point... In the following post I will copy the first chapter of C.S. Lewis' 'Mere Christianity) He makes the point well. I reccomend purchasing and reading the entire thing.

----I'll agree with what you are saying...in order to say relativism is right you have to say that fundamentalism is wrong (fine!) and I'll agree that if you believe one thing you are excluding another belief (fine!) But where does this get us?----

It simply shows that only 'one way' can ultimately be true. Fundamentalism is logically inescapable. So for me, when I hear fundamentalism being lampooned, I immediately recognize the lie. It's a contradictory statement. I fell for it for years, and just 'assumed' -without understanding- that staying non biased was 'the way', and 'the truth'.

This does not mean that 'anything' fundamentalist is true because everything is inescapably fundamental. Every assertion of truth is fundamental... It just means that reason is fundamental. Somehow we have been fooled into believing that 'being reasonable' means giving up on ultimate truth in the name of peace, when in reality, peace is acheived by living in ultimate truth.

What it means is that Jesus is making a 'very reasonable' statement when He said, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but by me."

Then later in John's Gospel...

John 14:7-10
7 If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him." 8 Philip said, "Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us." 9 Jesus answered: "Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'?

Part of 'the way' is remaining open minded as defined previously. But in terms of Jesus' message, many people are not open minded because to accept Him means to give up sin. And some people refuse to see there sin of choice as 'wrong'.

The difficulty for those of us who are, is that without Him, we do not have the power to be other than who we are. But to ask Him for help means to identify ourselves as sinners and be honest. The truth is we are not good. Jesus said, "there is no-one good but God!"

We trivialize the difference between good and evil...

We must step into the light and see ourselves as we really are. That is truely frightening for all of us. But it is liberating to stop pretending we are all right by the false standards of our societies, and instead, embrace the truth of God's intuitive moral conscious.

The Bible says, "God has given light to every man." So the fact is, we 'know' what is right and wrong, and we know we are corrupt if we are painfully honest.

That is interesting is it not?... that honesty, down to our soul, is painful? It shouldn't be. The truth is the most powerful force in the universe and if we recognize that it is not a concept, but a being, who came as one of us and spoke in terms we can understand. If we accept Him, and give Him spiritual possession of us, He will reveal Himself to us!

That's what it's about Elizebeth... Not a religion. Not blind faith! He came to make us, who are blind, see! We can meet Him personally. You can meet the creator of the universe yourself. You don't have to trust me or any other so called priest. Jesus is the priest. You can meet Him for yourself. That is what He promised, and I have experienced it for myself. He spoke the truth.

Joh 14:23
Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.

(Spiritual posession) I know it is a scary idea, but read the Gospel of John for yourself. The translation is not that important. They all say the same thing in slightly different language, but I find the NIV to be clearest to me.


---I STILL think we all have to listen more for positive change.---

But listen to whom? Who will tell us the truth if all are seeking? Only he who is from God, can reveal Him.

---But anyway, still thanks and I probably will never leave, though it is becoming problematic. I appreciate the continued thought and the effort to speak in ways that promote listening! (which quite arguably in this particlar post, I have failed at...just so you know i'm aware ;)---

I think you are doing fine! Don't give up... It is not so much problamatic as it is frightening and wonderful all at the same time. Seek and you will find. But if you only seek for seeking sake, how can you find?

Rob



Name:
Date: //2006-09-13 01:13:35 :
Link to this Comment: 20384

Book 1 from 'Mere Christianity' by C.S. Lewis

Every one has heard people quarreling. Sometimes it sounds funny and sometimes it sounds merely unpleasant; but however it sounds, I believe we can learn something very important from listening to the kinds of things they say. They say things like this: "How'd you like it if anyone did the same to you?"--"That's my seat, I was there first"--"Leave him alone, he isn't doing you any harm"--"Why should you shove in first?"--"Give me a bit of your orange, I gave you a bit of mine"--"Come on, you promised." People say things like that every day, educated people, as well as uneducated, and children as well as grown-ups.
Now what interests me about all these remarks is that the man who makes them is not merely saying that the other man's behavior does not happen to please him. He is appealing to some kind of standard of behavior which he expects[ the other man to know about. And the other man very seldom replies: "To hell with your standard." Nearly always he tries to make out that what he has been doing does not really go against the standard, or that if it does there is some special excuse. He pretends there is some special reason in this particular case why the person who took the seat first should not keep it, or that things were quite different when he was given the bit of orange, or that something has turned up which lets him off keeping his promise. It looks, in fact, very much as if both parties had in mind some kind of Law or Rule of fair play or decent behavior or morality or whatever you like to call it, about which they really agreed. And they have. If they had not, they might, of course, fight like animals, but it they could not quarrel in the human sense of the word. Quarreling means trying to show that the other man is in the wrong. And there would be no sense in trying to do that unless you and he had some sort of agreement as to what Right and Wrong are; just as there would be no sense in saying that a footballer had committed a foul unless there was some agreement about the rules of football.
Now this Law or Rule about Right and Wrong used to be called the Law of Nature. Nowadays, when we talk of the "laws of nature" we usually mean things like gravitation, or heredity, or the laws of chemistry. But when the older thinkers called the Law of Right and Wrong "the Law of Nature," they really meant the Law of Human Nature. The idea was that, just as all bodies are governed by the law of gravitation and organisms by biological laws, so the creature called man also had his law--with this great difference, that a body could not choose whether it obeyed the law of gravitation or not, but a man could choose either or obey the Law of Human Nature or to disobey it.
We may put this in another way. Each man is at every moment subjected to several sets of law but there is only one of these which he is free to disobey. As a body, he is subjected to gravitation and cannot disobey it; if you leave him unsupported in mid-air, he has no more choice about falling than a stone has. As an organism, he is subjected to various biological laws which he cannot disobey anymore than an animal can. That is, he cannot disobey those laws which he shares with other things; but the law which is peculiar to his human nature, the law he does not share with animals or vegetables or inorganic things, is the one he can disobey if he chooses.
This law was called the Law of Nature because people thought that every one knew it by nature and did not need to be taught it. They did not mean, of course, that you might not find an odd individual here and there who did not know it, just as you find a few people who are colour-blind or have no ear for a tune. But taking the race as a whole, they thought that the human idea of decent behavior was obvious to everyone. And I believe they were right. If they were not, then all the things we said about the war were nonsense. What was the sense in saying the enemy were in the wrong unless Right is a real thing which the Nazis at bottom knew as well as we did and ought to have practiced? If they had no notion of what we mean by right, then, though we might still have had to fight them, we could no more have blamed them for that then for the colour of their hair.
I know that some people say the idea of a Law of Nature or decent behavior known to all men is unsound, because different civilizations and different ages have had quite different moralities.
But this is not true. There have been differences between their moralities, but these have never amounted to anything like a total difference. If anyone will take the trouble to compare the moral teaching of, say, the ancient Egyptians, Babylonians, Hindus, Chinese, Greeks and Romans, what will really strike him will be how very like they are to each other and to our own. Some of the evidence for this I have put together in the appendix of another book called The Abolition of Man; but for our present purpose I need only to ask the reader to think what a totally different morality would mean. Think of a country where people were admired for running away in battle, or where a man felt proud of double-crossing all the people who had been kindest to him. You might just as well try to imagine a country where two and two make five. Men have differed as regards what people you ought to be unselfish to--whether it was only your own family, or your fellow countrymen, or everyone. But they have always agreed that you ought not to put yourself first. Selfishness has never been admired. Men have differed as to whether you should have one wife or four. But they have always agreed that you must not simply have any woman you liked.
But the most remarkable thing is this. Whenever you find a man who says he does not believe in a real Right and Wrong, you will find the same man going back on this in a moment later. He may break his promise to you, but if you try breaking on to him he will be complaining "It's not fair" before you can say Jack Robinson. A nation may say treaties do not matter; but the next minute, they spoil their case by saying that the particular treaty they want to break was an unfair one. But if treaties do not matter, and if there is not such thing as Right and Wrong--in other words, if there is no Law of Nature--what is the difference between a fair treaty and an unfair one? Have they not let the cat out of the bag and shown that, whatever they say, they really know the Law of Nature just like anyone else?
It seems, then, we are forced to believe in a real Right and Wrong. People may be sometimes mistaken about them, just as people sometimes get their sums wrong; but they are not a matter of mere taste and opinion any more than the multiplication table. Now if we are agreed about that, I go on to my next point, which is this. None of us is really keeping the Law of Nature. If there are any exceptions among you, I apologize to them. They had much better read some other work, for nothing I am going to say concerns them. And now, turning to the ordinary human beings who are left:
I hope you will not misunderstand what I am going to say. I am not preaching, and Heaven knows I do not pretend to be better than anyone else. I am only trying to call attention to a fact; the fact that this year, or this month, or, more likely, this very day, we have failed to practice ourselves the kind of behavior we expect from other people. There may be all sorts of excuses for us. That time you were so unfair to the children was when you were very tired. That slightly shady business about the money--the one you have almost forgotten--came when you were very hard up. And what you promised to do for old So-and-so and have never done--well, you never would have promised if you had known how frightfully busy you were going to be. And as for your behavior to your wife (or husband) or sister (or brother) if I knew how irritating they could be, I would not wonder at it--and who the dickens am I, anyway? I am just the same. that is to say, I do not succeed in keeping the Law of Nature very well, and the moment anyone tells me I am not keeping it, there starts up in my mind a string of excuses as long as your arm. The question at the moment is not whether they are good excuses. The point is that they are one more proof of how deeply, whether we like if or not, we believe in the Law of Nature. If we do not believe in decent behavior, why should we be so anxious to make excuses for not having behaved decently? The truth is, we believe in decency so much--we feel the Rule of Law pressing on us so--that we cannot bear to face the fact that we are breaking it, and consequently we try to shift the responsibility. For you notice that it is only for our bad behaviour that we find all these explanations. It is only our bad temper that we put down to being tired or worried or hungry; we put our good temper down to ourselves.
These, then, are the two points I wanted to make. First, that human beings, all over the earth, have this curious idea that they ought to behave in a certain way, and cannot really get rid of it. Secondly, that they do not in fact behave in that way. They know the Law of Nature; they break it. These two facts are the foundation of all clear thinking about ourselves and the universe we live in.

(From C.S Lewis' 'Mere Christianity')



Name: Marie
Date: //2006-09-13 12:47:29 :
Link to this Comment: 20389

Some of what I have been writing is in response to the general feel I got from other forums such as a pagan group in my area, which are riddled with sarcasm, intolerence, ridicule of ID, and quotes from the pope. I apologize if my own high horse has made my thoughts irrelevant or rude. (It really doesn't matter too much because if we bring in C.S.Lewis the subject could not get much clearer with any of my lame words). But I think I see how Elizabeth can feel indignant. Back in the day I was often mistaken for a pagan or atheist based on outward appearence, dress, company I kept, etc. I noticed that many young people assumed that in order to appear artistic, interesting, and individual, it was necessary to nominally change allegiences to a more trendy religion such as wicca or satanism as if it was the criteria and magic potion that would bring social acceptance and freedom of expression. For them identifying with a larger group really had nothing to do with personal conviction, and I think then when someone heard I was christian they were wiiling to listen to me a little more. Now that I look plain and motherly I find the opposite. Often I am sized up and disregarded in one glance. I can FEEL the boredom they have with christianity, and no matter how sure I am about myself, judgement hurts. I think there are several ways to deal with judgement. We may attempt to ignore it, we may retaliate with hatred. We may become part of a societal clique that excludes the existence of any threatening idea. Or we may create a different social buffer, that of openness, of judging not lest you be judged. In comparison with hatred and intolerence, a well-meaning person may indeed adopt this path in an attempt to rise above a need for judgement, and could be very upset to find themselves nonetheless judged, even to find themselves questioned about issues such as Nazism that are the essence of what they were intending to avoid. And Elizabeth, maybe you see us still as a self righteous fringe group trying to impose our belief to the exclusion of anything else in order to preserve our biases and our comfort zone. My problem is that there should BE no problem. The original and best authority on love and tolerence remains Jesus. There really is no need for all this confusion. What I mean is that there is really not such a big choice as it sounds in this term '"open". There is only one truth in this world, and many lies. Even if you can not believe in a devil, simply find one evil, such as Hitler. And who is his perfect opposite? Jesus! and think of terrorism. If we were all christian would this happen? now continue to think of any other evil, and wonder if it is something that could be rectified through christian love. The answer will always be YES! Christianity should be the embodiment of all that is good and all that is ideal that we could ever conceive of either individually or collectively. Christianity is not merely one thought among many, but the direct opposite of evil in all its forms. There are stories that have part of the truth, there are many more stories which are attempting to blur the lines between good and evil. Jesus was simply sent to help us tell the difference. If you do not believe this, consider how many men were convinced by Hitler himself and you will see how needy we are.



Name: Marie
Date: //2006-09-13 15:52:36 :
Link to this Comment: 20395

May I also say that I am inclined to disagree with the idea that those of us who have supposedly stopped listening are not accomplishing as much toward world peace as are the more broad minded. To understand and help people it is certainly important to listen, to some extent experience. But I find that usually only a strong conviction in any area provides the motivation for great accomplishment. Listening to stories, etc, is all very nice, but when it comes to actual results, christianity is unsurpassed in in so many charitable pursuits, most of which are directed at those who are different from us!



Name: Elizabeth
Date: //2006-09-13 21:49:38 :
Link to this Comment: 20400

Marie, yes...I agree so completely that the Catholic church has done a lot of good and that much of that good has come from a strong conviction and firmly held beliefs. Thank you so much for reminding me of that. And Rob, thank you for your kindness...and the long and thoughtful posts. Yes, I am willing to accept God/Jesus as a story and think more in that direction. You are not willing to go back to the direction that you were in 4 years ago. Not saying that you should. Just pointing out the difference. Just one tiny extra thought which pertains to Marie's invoking of "judge not and you will not be judged". In relationship to Rob's idea that there are ONLY fundamentals, this statement doesn't seem to hold up. I must say that this my favorite of all Jesus thoughts but the Church (or the human interpretation of it) seems to be founded on judgement...this is something that Christ would do (that judges the non-Jesus things as bad), this is what we believe (that's a judgement against what you don't believe)...things like this. Right so God's saying don't judge...but we're judging anyway because...? I'm sorry that I don't understand your perspective entirely still. I'm not offended if you say what you've already said again in response to it...It has not sunk in; I am not convinced. (or Rob or anyone--could answer if he/she wanted)

I still find this most profoundly with issues like homosexuality...Marie, in one post you said you would not judge my afterlife but you will judge other people's sexuality and lifestyle choices as wrong and/or not in keeping with Christ's teaching. This seems so contradictory. I used to love this one song in our church called "All Are Welcome"...it went like this: "Let us build a house where love can dwell and all can safely live. A banquet hall on holy ground where peace and justice live"...and then the refrain was: "all are welcome, all are welcome, all are welcome in this place." But then really I don't think that could be sung anymore...because it would have to go "all are welcome, unless you're gay, unless you're a woman and you want to be a priest, unless you use condoms, unless you've not been divorced" You know? It would make for kind of a silly song. I don't know if it's the job of the "faithful" to decide who can and can't come in...This is still where my hangup is. These are all such human things...if everbody's got the goal of transcendence there could be quite a bit of human variability. I guess it's the exclusion thing again...I don't think that a lot of people ARE making the choice to not believe...I think that that they are not being given a choice b/c of what they believe. They are getting physically rejected...(for example, not being offered communion...)

I know we've discussed it before...but, in terms of Catholicism, this is where I'd like to see "not-judging" taken to the next level. I don't even think I'm looking for the church to be more relativistic...(though I thought that that was what I was looking for before the two of you showed me otherwise), what I'm looking for is for people to be allowed to make their own decisions and not be forced out for making different ones because surely there can be different angles to get at "the fundamental" (that's where/how i think that fundamental is always already relative). But, there are other Christian religions that allow for a greater number of people to come in...so that's good. I do think there is a place for everybody and that there is a lot of good coming from a lot of directions in the world. That's lovely...warming. Your last posts really encouraged me not to feel so annoyed. Thanks. If I start to believe in God or something, I'll let y'all know. I do not mean this to be silly...I am being serious. It makes me smile to see how sure you both are--how really? really? really? doesn't seem to shake anything. It's kind of perplexing but also interesting. I'm glad that all of this has gone (and is going) to other place besides evolution and intelligent design because I think something core to all of this is the way that certain beliefs build on one another...so that issues are often larger than the ones stated at hand. It would at first seem silly to say "I don't believe in intelligent design because when I was a kid, being Catholic I had a lot of guilt and learned not to like myself." That sounds completely irrational but honestly, it's one of the big reason why I think/thought/? evolution is a better story...because the creatures before me, that I evolved from, wern't telling me that I was a bad person...weren't telling me to be obedient, didn't have me kneeling for hours in front of the statue of the blessed mother, didn't have me embarrased because the deeds that I did were not as good as other people's. Religion for me was intense is all of the wrong ways. And that's honestly why i was picking one story over another...So...going here was good (for me). I'll say I'm grateful again as I often do in the hopes that this gratitude will allow me to be done in this particular forum...but I doubt it. Anger would make me stop more than being thankful will...but I'm not angry so that won't work. alas.

That's my story for now.



Name: Rob
Date: //2006-09-13 23:24:51 :
Link to this Comment: 20405

I would love to say a whole bunch, but do not have the time right now.

I have been astonished at the difference between the truth of the Bible and what my assumptions about it were.

I am providing a link to a speech that was given to the U.N. in 2002...

It is lengthy, but well worth the read (two or three times). Isn't it interesting that some of the greatest examples of a 'real' Christian, are people we have never heard of... Not seeking limelight, but being used by God behind the scenes to regenerate the hearts of mankind.


http://www.rzim.org/publications/essay_arttext.php?id=13

Enjoy, Rob





Name: Elizabeth
Date: //2006-09-14 21:17:35 :
Link to this Comment: 20417

Well, an alternate model comes when one partner in a lesbian partnership gives birth to her biological child and that child/children is raised by two moms. This seems like a fine plan. There are lots of ways to do this. I think what I object to is your assumption that the problems here are caused BECAUSE of the non-heterosexual relationship....lots of split-ups happen w/ straight couples, there can be surrogate parenting happening for straight couples etc. etc. I agree with you that it would be wonderful if children did not have to suffer from hurt and I don't think it's ineviatable that they need to, I just think that a large part of the suffering can happen because Catholics and others say "hey, you have two moms, your moms are sinners. your moms have made bad choices." I dare say the child suffers then too. A lot of the problems come from the societal prejudice and lack of rights given to people with non-majority sexual preferences. I think kids need to know that although their situations may be painful for whatever reason, there are not people judging the situations. I don't think what goes wrong in relationships has much to do with the same sex partnerships...it has to do with other things. It seems to me that you have a problem with surrogate parenting, perhaps even adoption in general (by your model, it seems that this would not be "fair" to the kid either because it would not be their "real" parents...correct me...) I just think you're linking other things that you have a problem with to the issue of sexuality which you also have a problem with. I just don't think it's related. I think to get to a "perfect world" people are going to be more accepted for choices, there could be more things like marriage counseling before marriage so that people can be thinking about what marriage means beforehand (this would be easier for gay couples if more places actually gave them the RIGHT to be married)...if there were more books written for kids about acceptance, tolerance and the "okay-ness" of various situations, I think that would also help. Little things that say we're all in this together. I agree with you that divorce is emotionally taxing on kids and even "unfair" as you say but it is also unfair for parents who are unhappy together to stay together and live falsely. It is good to believe that no situation cannot be changed. I do not think a perfect world is one where hurtful mistakes do not happen...it's one where we still use those mistakes to grow and we are hyper-conscious of these mistakes and open w/ kids about them. I've been using the word "perfect" here because you used it but I don't want perfect. Isn't it true that to be human is to be "imperfect". There seems to be no use living if everything is perfect.



Name: Marie
Date: //2006-09-14 21:31:02 :
Link to this Comment: 20418

Of course we are not perfect! That is the whole point about why Jesus came! Because we were forgetting then and still are forgetting that we are imperfect! Yhe times change and the lies change and each new generation and each individual is tempted at their own point of vulnerability. As to adoption, I do not mean to get personal, but my husband was adopted. It is what it is in our life. I do not think that it is wrong to care for another human who has no one. My comments are at all times meant to be objective, and if they appear otherwise it is my fault.



Name: Rob
Date: //2006-09-15 00:44:25 :
Link to this Comment: 20420

---Isn't it true that to be human is to be "imperfect".---

Jesus was the first 'real' Human...

As for sin...

Is it wrong to lie?

Does God hate lies? Yes!

Does God hate liars? No!

He forgives...

Does God hate homosexuality? Yes!

Does God hate homosexuals? No!

He forgives...

Can the church welcome liars? Yes!

Can they condone lying? No!

Can they condone Homosexuality?

Rob



Name: Elizabeth
Date: //2006-09-14 13:34:09 :
Link to this Comment: 20410

The "true problem with the church" as I see it, is what it is calling sin. There gay couples who have children and this to me is just as beautiful and good as straight couples having kids. There are gay couples that do not have kids. This is fine too. At the practical level, there is such a problem with overpopulation anyway, that people who don't want kids shouldn't be forced to have them (so that they can put them up for adoption so that other people can have them?). To be denied pleasure and the pleasure of sexual connection if you do not want kids seems so hurtful to me. Frankly, I think it's dehumanizing.

Don't you agree that to believe in a notion of sin, you also have to be a firm believer in judgement? (i.e. what is and is not sin). The issue of sexuality seems to me much like saying to someone...because you have a tatoo, you cannot come to church unless you know in your heart having a tatoo is wrong. Or, because you have freckles, you can't be here unless you know that you have sinned. I don't really care whether sexuality is inherent or chosen (whether you were born with freckles or chose to have a tatoo)--it doesn't hurt anyone or anything...the only difference between straight couples having sex is the ability for there to be procreation that happens immediately. So couldn't God decide that two people who love each other and respect life and want to have kids and like to sleep with someone of their own gender can have kids? And couldn't (via your belief system) God think...these two people will be homosexual, therefore they will not have kids but rather love each other? I don't believe in either of those things but I don't think they'd be inconsistent with your belief system. I think that what hurts life is judgement of people's sexual lifestyles as sinful. I guess it might just be with issues of sexuality where we have different perceptions because I do think, that if someone has the impulse to murder someone, or rape them, that impulse should be thought about and not enacted. I see murder as hurting life, I do not see having sex for a reason other than procreation as hurting life...it can potentially enhance the lives of those having sex. So...I think it may not be a question of general belief but specifics that within each of our moral systems we see as fine and not. I still believe in pleasure and I still believe in love and to me believing in those things is really really believing in life. What does "many are called, few are chosen" mean? Are you saying that I am being called but YOU have been chosen? You have to be chosen to be welcome? I honestly never understood that one at the level of the words. Please explain. This is getting tiring. I'm sure it is for you too! You probably feel like you are just repeating yourself over and over again. Oddly, I don't feel like I am but I probably am too! At least we're talking to each other. But when we stop...then what happens? I apprecaite your gesture to explain God at the level of evil and beauty, that was helpful...and showed how much you were really listening...It is a bit awkward to think that you "love" me but are judging my "sins". I know we're speaking generally but this seems to be what is happening at the specific level. Hmmm



Name: Marie
Date: //2006-09-14 14:37:19 :
Link to this Comment: 20411

Just to hear another viewpoint I read a few sermons dealing with the phrase " many are called, few are chosen ". It comes at the end of a parable in Matthew in which a man is seeking workers for his vineyard. Like most of Jesus' words this parable may be interpreted in many ways depending upon the interpretor. This in itself is an example of what it means for me. If you took 100 people and asked them to read the same words, they would not always come to the same conclusions. If a jury is presented with all the same evidence the individual jurors will not always come to the same verdict. Still, that does not mean there was more than one solution to the crime. That is impossible. It simply means that some jurors, though no less qualified, were a bit less perceptive. It means that amoung 100 people who hear the words of Christ equally, the gift of understanding will not be given equally. That is why I say it is more dangerous sometimes to seek truth and reject it than to never seek it at all. I do not mean that I in particular am chosen, and you in particular are not. I do mean that we have reached a juncture at which we must divide, and remain divided until the chosing takes place, or may we call it the workings of the spirit.



Name: Marie
Date: //2006-09-14 15:10:37 :
Link to this Comment: 20412

Sorry just one thing--- the idyllic picture that can be painted of gay love and adoption is very far from perfect. The child has no choice, the parent or surrogate giving up the child loses their rights, the couple may divorce or split up and the child have no true parent in either of them. The custody battles from this could be horrendous. Is this fair to a child? It is hard enough when dealing with our real parents. I know you will say that these things happen in all families, but I hark back to my original thought, that in which christianity is striving towards perfection in ALL issues. Just because it happens in straight families does not mean that it should happen at all, and if we finally succeeded in making all straight families perfect and humble and functional and god-fearing then the truth of the evil in any other arrangement would be clearly seen. We have unfortunately been conditioned to accept sadness and failure as part of life. But God forbid we go out of our way to achieve it! Women priests by the way has nothing to do with sin. It just will never happen any more than lent coming in December, so I have not dealt with it because it does not fall in the category of right and wrong as we have been discussing



Name: Marie
Date: //2006-09-14 10:26:13 :
Link to this Comment: 20409

I am sure you have heard "love the sinner, hate the sin"? The point of this is that we need not blindly accept everything without standing up for ourselves, but even so at no time should our standards cause us to treat any other human disrespectfully no matter what. Now let me ask, is the true problem with the church that it does not accept the sinner, or that it does not accept the sin? As I have said before homosexuals are absolutely allowed to belong to any church, provided they believe that this behavior is a sin, just like murder, just like robbery, just like rape. It sounds harsh, granted, and I do definitely see where you may feel justified in your belief. You and I both know that the representatives of other sexualities that we have met do not seem to deserve this. But the problem here seems to be that we expect the church in becoming "non-judgemental" is not so much to be more loving, but to change its definition of sin. Is this fair? Is this possible? Would the church even have any integrity anymore, because if they could change this, where would it end? I know you want to say, "but what harm are they doing?". I will try to break it down one more time, but please understand that this explanation of sin does require a leap of faith and somewhat of a belief in the supernatural. Just suppose that there was no God, and then think of all the good things and honest and beautiful things you could, and then give them the name "GOD". Anything going against your picture of God would be therefore evil, and things that cause evil would be sins. We need to stray away from the idea that the church "invented" rules and decided what was sin and not sin, and instead view it as a group of people who believe in the same picture of a perfect world as you do. If sin is something which causes evil, chaos, disorder or makes you forget about the perfect world i.e, God, for most of us murder, rape, theft etc, are easy to recognize as sin. The effects of homesexuality might not seem so evident, but in the perfect world that the catholic church stands for, life and the creation of life happen to be extremely protected and esteemed. While not always producing tangible evil, homosexuality is nonetheless going against the image of perfect life in this particular story, and also condoms since you mentioned it. Let me just say that there are millions of people desperate for kids who can not have them, and millions more causing themselves not to have them. In the catholic ideal, this is considered the will of God alone to decide, and we are no more allowed to refuse or manipulate or deny new life than we are to end old. We are also not allowed to use our reproductive rights and organs in any way not consistant with their purpose. It is our belief that it upsets the natural order and the perfect world. While we may not totally understand we are content to believe that God ultimately does what is best for us and that this is just as harmful to us as murder. I can never make you believe in exactly this way. All the explanations in the end still require faith. So I will end with another quote from Jesus "many are called, few are chosen".



Name: marieChris
Date: //2006-09-15 16:52:49 :
Link to this Comment: 20425

I knew this would happen with the word hate being used. Maybe it will be better to view it this way: GOd LOVES all people and wishes them to be happy. He HATES and is made sad by seeing them sin, because it leads inevitably to their demise. Still, as many ways as we say this, I do not think it is convincing you. Perhaps it is the wrong place to start, and these things would become clear when you knew more and accepted God.
I still do not see there being a model for great gay parenting. As long as there is famine, war, disease and disaster, there will be need for adoption. But this makes it even more important not to purposefully create stressful situations. Where ever there is a lesbian couple with a child there is a male who abandoned the child. There is a child who is maybe male with no role model. There is a man selling sperm. It is all wrong! And do you not think that if this was all so natural we would have "evolved" the correct body parts to make it happen? I think that one of the worst evils on earth is to drag an innocent child into our sin!



Name: Marie
Date: //2006-09-15 17:24:06 :
Link to this Comment: 20427

As to your question, it is hard for me to answer because I do not quite understand, but what I think you mean, I will answer.
God did not create evil, let us say, but rather he created everything and He saw that it was good, which the bible tells us. He created man, and on seeing that man needed company, he created woman. Then in the big event in the garden of Eden, he gave us choice. So evil came to exist which has no real substance like created things but is simply the void which occurs at the absence of goodness. By all this I want it to be clear that I do not ever believe that God could create us and then leave us screwed so to speak. He could not create a man who loves a man but then condemn him. Rather He did create a man to love a woman, and then gave us a choice. Just because a murderer loves killing does it make it right? And yes, he did let us choose even though we might choose not to follow Him. And yes, the idea that people were being lost and so many were chooing evil was sad, so He did send Jesus, that after Him we would know clearly what was right. Was it wrong to give us choice? Should we have been given only a choice between good and good? What kind of choice is that? And what is the incentive for those choosing good if no one is judged in the end? There is a lot of confusion in the world. Our love is not always sacred or appropriate because we are imperfect. Our love is known to be blind, to fade, to come and go, to die. It is not to be trusted. It is good for example for me, married, to love others. But if I love another man sexually, it is bad. If I even love my husband and the other man, it is not only sinful but against the law to engage in marriage with him. Why is it so hard to view homosexuality as this sort of scenerio?



Name: Elizabeth
Date: //2006-09-16 10:16:23 :
Link to this Comment: 20429

Okay, thanks. I just think it's creating a "purposefully stressful" situation if one tries to be something other than what one is. So, you keep bringing up murder and yes, I agree with you...if one loves killing I don't think it's productive in society to act upon it. I also judge that as bad. But when murder is the example that is placed next to why homosexuality is bad, my mind goes ???????????????? I think it's perfectly natural for people to feel what they feel towards others and because we have choice (given by God, just inherent, whatever) I feel that it is our right to choose to be happy. If you were to fall in love with another man and act on that love I think it would be okay. It is everyone's right to change and to feel what they are feeling. I think that marriage in society actually can at times be extremely useful--it feels good to children, it allows for a sense of security, it allows for the deepening of love (as I call it) mutual commonality/respect (as you call it) throughout the years. But I just think if for whatever reason a couple is not willing to work at love or something goes wrong on either end it's better to allow for change than to continue in misery.That is not healthy for anyone. And I feel that that change CAN mean the eventual enacting of love for another.

I watched this program on television about a pair of twin boys (this happened a while back). One boy's penis was accidentally cut off (or somewhat cut off) during circumcision and he was raised a girl because of it. He was very sad as a girl and wasn't allowed to know that he had actually been/WAS a boy. And then one day, he was told he was a boy and suddenly the world became clearer to him and he found love (as a male) and for a while things were very good (the damage from the past was already done though and the whole thing ended tragically) but my point in brining this up is to draw a parallel. This boy was forced to be what he was not and led a completely miserable life which ultimatley caused the loss of two lives (he killed himself and so did his brother). I think this is an example of how very good intentions (like yours...about homosexuality/the parents about the sex of the boy) are hurtful...they promote living falsely. I know the example doesn't have to do with homosexuality in any way and you'll probably say there was tampering with what God had given/decided (in the case of the twin boy) so it's totally different but to me it seems similar in that he was forced into a false life.

It's hard to "get over" how you feel/who you are. And sometimes there are very good reasons to "get over" it...(as, in the case of murder as you keep bringing up) but one ultimatley has to decide what one wants for oneself and it seems really hurtful to have a group of others telling another group that who they are is not okay.

The thing is, all of your beliefs center around one fundamental paradigm...God/Jesus and my fundamental paradigm seems to be "how things actually work in the world as I see them at this given moment" which is a more wobbily base-board because it allows the paradigm to shift. But ultimatley, it feels to me to be more honest logic. Sometimes, for stories, it is useful to say...Once upon a time, long ago in the garden of eden...XYZ and sometimes it is useful to say "yesterday, in my friend's living room..." You won't agree with all that, I'm just putting it out there. I appreciate the conversation still and also appreciate the gentle-ness with which it seems to be going about...I think THAT is one thing which comes from the God/Jesus paradigm which is helping with the conversation a lot. I'm still surprised that we're even talking to each other. It's good, I think though as one who is "changable" I seem not to be inclinded to be changing much right now.



Name: rob
Date: //2006-09-16 14:50:18 :
Link to this Comment: 20430

I heard this story on a radio show recently and did my best to relay it accurately... I do not know it's origin

Rob

--------------------------------------------

The Chief of a certain tribe was a particualarly loving and just man. He loved his people dearly and held them to the highest possible standard. One of the rules in the tribe was that food was never to be taken from the storehouse. All the food was shared among the villiage at the appointed time.

One night someone snuck into the storehouse (there were no locks) and helped themselves to some food. Several children witnessed this silently and were intrigued at the idea of filling themselves on their favorite portions.

When the Chief found out about the crime he was terribly shaken. No one could understand his mourning. No-one but the Chief could see the implications. The sreiousness of the act was lost on them.

He proceded to explain that the transgression is punishable by death and he wept for his tribe and the guilty party. The loss of innocence tormented him. He must act...

On the day of the execution, the offender is tied to the post to be beaten to death. As the executioner pulls back his braids, the Chief emerges from his tent as says, "stop!".

The Chief is an unshakably just man, and wise beyond measure...

He walked to the middle of the spectacle, took off his robes and embraced the offender and wispered to him, 'Do better now my child'.

Then as he shielded the offender at the expense of his own life, the Chief said, "proceed!"

In stunned shock and astonishment, the spectators witness an act of mercy, love, and justice that defied explanation or reason.

After that, the offender was a different person.

The villiage not only got to witness the absolute Justice of their chief. But also how much he loved His people.


It is a mystery... but it is true.

God loves you so much that he died for you!

If that kind of God doesn't make sense, then you're using a different kind of sense than I.

------------

Also... How can people take care of what they cannot comprehend?

It is interesting that we want to be taken care of. Be given the answers. But so often we reject the one place that it is found...

All because we want to find that answer, and that protection, in a form that will allow us to keep our sin.

We labor to find a philosophy (a worldview) that brings the unity and diversity into harmony. It is all found in the Trinity!

But that is not acceptable because in 'our truth' we seek to have our sin as well. We labor to find a philosophy that will allow our base desires to survive and find peace as well. We cannot have peace and harmony, AND sin...

We point fingers at each other. Blame the 'white man', blame the 'black'. Blame the Jews, and blame the Nazi's. Blame the homosexuals, blame the puritans...

The problem is sin... Our problem is not intellectual. Our problem is not material. Our problem is that we are 'dead' to the truth because we have prejudged what kind of 'truth' we will accept.

It is not arguable... The most deadly prejudice is that of truth!

As Malcomb Muggeridge said, "The depravity of man is 'at once' the most emperically verifiable reality, and yet it is the most intellectually resisted fact."

You want a savior?

Don't look to your fellow man to save you. Look within and listen to the voice of God speaking through your conscious.

God has hidden all of reality behind our ability to see that we are depraved. If we cannot, then we choose to deny the most emperically verifiable reality there is.

Mankind is fallen in nature because he rejects God's authority and insists on defing the terms himself.

Believe what you want of course, but that changes nothing.

Sexuality was created to be perfect. The pleasure and bonding it can uleash is meant to be sacred.

It's ultimate pleasure is found in the intended purpose. To misuse it is to lay hold of a distorted pleasure that falls short of the purity and holyness that God intended for it.

As a man who was molested as a small boy by another older boy, I am familliar with the pains of the homosexual community. But no sexual experience of mine was as wonderful and intimate as that between I and the woman I love. For those who have missed out on that bond, I am sorry.

If we turn to God, he will resotre all things. This life is not the end. We have a new heaven and earth to look forward to. A life so good, that we must be careful to judge what is right by our own distorted and shortsided perspectives.

Just think about it all carefully. The implications are emmense!

The world tells us that 'hangups' is the problem and that to be happy we must do what 'feels' right.

All I have to do to know that that is a lie is remember that there are times that it 'feels right' to assualt someone...





Name: rob
Date: //2006-09-16 14:53:10 :
Link to this Comment: 20431

He came to my desk with a quivering lip,
the lesson was done.
"Have you a new sheet for me, dear teacher?
I've spoiled this one."
I took his sheet, all soiled and blotted
and gave him a new one all unspotted.
And into his tired heart I cried,
"Do better now, my child."

I went came to the throne with a trembling heart;
the day was done.
"Have you a new day for me, dear Master?
I've spoiled this one."
He took my day, all soiled and blotted
and gave me a new one all unspotted.
And into my tired heart he cried,
"Do better now, my child."
(Footnote 1: Anonymous, “A New Leaf,” James G. Lawson, compiler, The Best Loved Religious Poems (Grand Rapids: Fleming H. Revell, 1961). Used by permission.)



Name: Rob
Date: //2006-09-16 20:32:14 :
Link to this Comment: 20437

Elizebeth, in case the point was lost on you... consider it this way...

Just as Alcoholism is out of control. Just as greed is out of control. Just as a pathological liar is out of control. Just as a workaholic is out of control. Etc...

So it is with sexual lust...

It is out of control, and though few in this current society equate sexual passion and pleasure with other addictions, it is nonetheless the same.

Sexuality has seduced this whole country. And to a large extent the world.

The worst kind of person is the one who points out the faults of others in order to justify his or her own lack of self control. This is particularly rampant in times and places.

At one time slavery was the norm....

At this time, open sexuality is the norm...

The rationalizations for both are rooted in the convenience for the society in question.

It's not as though any of these things will condemn us. We are condemned already. Heaven will be a perfect place, and will require perfect persons.

We're (as in YOU and I) are not perfect! That is why we need Jesus.

He is!







Name: Marie
Date: //2006-09-16 22:14:32 :
Link to this Comment: 20439

Yes I too saw the TV program you refer to, Elizabeth. Funny because I drew from it completely different significance. The show attempted to prove clearly that nurture could not overwhelm nature, and so conclusively that the doctor saying otherwise could be sued. While you viewed this as proof that a man can not change who he is if he was born gay without damaging consequences, I do not think anyone is born gay but that they are trying to tamper with nature in pretending to have sexual inclinations opposing what gender they were given, especially in the case on transgender individuals. I said before I am not sure exactly what gives the person the idea to "turn" gay, but again, what gives an addict the impetus to use drugs? Or the murderer to kill? Do you think someone is just born an addict and should not want to be judged?
Rob, I greatly admire your thought processes, and not just because they agree with mine,(I am sure we could find many things relating to our different church affiliations that we do not agree on) but I guess you have a more sophisticated way of explaining things, and sometimes I do think that men work with a different part of the brain. But I am sure we are still not on the right track. We keep repeating that homosexuality is a sin but I think she is looking for a better reason WHY and I am at a loss. That does not mean that I am believing it blindly, it is just hard to explain, like describing color to the blind. I know for sure that color exists, but I must say that even with the worst explanation a blind person would not doubt that it exists. I am not sure why this has become the focus of our discussion. It is not something that I think on too often in everyday life. I want to say that the fruits of homosexuality are obvious in the confusion it creates even in the lives of homosexuals, as in the way they dress and act. It is usually not their only sin but often goes along with promiscuity, crudeness, partying etc. Still there is an exception to every rule. I think that some of their brazen or crude acts are blamed on intolerence and the need to "come out". But this too is not convincing as to why it is a sin. On a different note, I was wondering if this was a national forum, or local, and forgive me if it is wrong, but I suppose that I have become curious what part of the country you are both in. And also I have many issues within my religion itself, such as what is happening with the Pope now, and another group which is saying that the formula used to ordain a priest has changed and therefore may not be valid. My family is very controversy minded, but if the priesthood is no longer valid, it will put into question whether or not my own marriage is. Just curious if you had any thoughts.



Name: Elizabeth
Date: //2006-09-16 22:29:49 :
Link to this Comment: 20440

Hi, Rob. Even if it's getting "lost on me" I'm sure there are other people who are reading this and who are finding it extremely meaningful...people whose stories are really intersecting with yours so all of the effort that you are putting in is certainly not wasted, even if it feels like talking to me is like talking to a brick wall; I hope you know that. I think that slavery is the opposite of open sexuality and that open sexuality is okay. There were some Christians, I'm sure who, during the time when blacks and whites (for example) were not allowed to be even in the same spaces, not allowed to ride buses next to one another...were seen as inferior, felt that all of this was a-okay and might have even used God/Jesus to justify that kind of behavior. So too the disapproval of homosexual behavior by certain Christians today. I see it as prejudice.

I am not wanting to advocate "sin" since I do not believe that homosexual behavor is in any way wrong. I am hoping for acceptance of people for who they are so that homosexual people can have the same rights as heterosexual people and not be societally or religiously disapproved of because of their way of life. I've seen such disapproval create hate. It's not even your particular opinions that are causing the most harm. Since you believe in the love the sinner hate the sin approach, you're not deliberately trying to hurt gay people (though i'd say that this kind of believe absolutely has a trickle down effect which does) but there are people who believe that those who sin the most don't have the same rights as people who do not sin. There have been a lot of hateful things done to gay people in history (even very recent history) So, I think, and hope...and feel that as time goes on, homosexuality will not be seen as a bad thing. I completely don't believe in rape or abuse or promiscuity and using sex for bad reasons and your personal example is proof that some pretty terrible things can happen because of the way in which sexuality can be used. (isn't it interesting that all three of us, brought in examples from our lives at this point in our conversation?) Yes, I agree, as a society (if we must speak categorically) we ARE very sex obsessed, often to our own detriment. I'm just saying that bad things that happen don't happen because people are not all heterosexual. There are larger issues than this one and I object to the issue of homosexuality somehow being placed in the center here and seen as the cause of bad things that happen to people. A while back, Marie said there is no good model for homosexual parenting...my feeling is that IF there is trouble there it is because gay parents are not given the same rights as heterosexual parents. They are not being given a chance and they are being judged as wrong...

I think the idea of someone dying for us is an interesting one and a potentially good one and Rob I so admire your deep desire to just make me see. I'm not looking for salvation in my fellow man, I'm looking to get along peacefully here, in this life, the one where I'm typing and you're typing in response. Can you imagine the person you love so dearly being a man? What if you fell in love and found the same type of love that you are experiencing now but the gender of the object of that care and love was not female? I'd say that the feelings would be just as deep and would feel just as natural and I'd say you'd have a harder time with the particular story you're telling right now. I still think that a lot of the prejudice against people who make different sexual choices doesn't have much to do with Jesus or the bible or any of it but fear of difference. But again...I appreciate your efforts and I do believe in the energy with which you are saying what you're saying and the EXTREMELY genuine place all of this is coming from. For that reason, I'd like to be able to just say...hey...it's good, i hear you, i believe all of that too...but I really can't, right now. But Marie can...and others do and maybe others will because of you and maybe that will be good for them. Maybe they will choose to be chosen... in the way you've outlined it...and maybe you guys have the answer to peace. Like I've said a lot, I do not believe my story is better. I think we all want the similar things but our own lives (even more so than our religions or lack of religions) have caused us to be on different paths towards it/them.



Name: Elizabeth
Date: //2006-09-16 22:53:28 :
Link to this Comment: 20441

Hi, Marie. I think we were posting simultaneously. Thank you for being so open minded. Yes, I do not get WHY homosexuality is wrong in your opinions. This would be a simple way of putting it. And also, Marie I think you need to meet and hang out with more gay people! It might be as simple as that. Your friends are probably mostly straight, aren't they? I don't know any homosexual people who are brazen, crude, party types...my friends are lovely, interesting, loving, fun, really cool types that can in no way even fit into types. Maybe you just need to go to a place where you can see that too...I think you're slightly judging by some preconcieved notions or people whom you've met or...something. Maybe? I don't mean this as a criticism at all. It is just a thought. Not only that but I've seen parenting work really really well too (gay parenting)...with the result of happier kids than I even was as a kid.

This forum can be accesed from anywhere that there is internet....so worldwide. I am living in Pennsylvania right now but am originally from New Jersey. You? I haven't been following what the church is saying about the priesthood--can you say more about it and how you are feeling? I'd say that your marriage is as valid as you think it is and it doesn't really matter the way any sort of rules are changing. But you would have probably guessed that I'd say that...so you should talk to Rob for a less deviant opinion. I wouldn't let an institution get in the way of your personal beliefs. You and I both know that you've got pretty strong beliefs!

I think it's funny that we got such different things from that program (and also that we both watched it). I'm new to having television in any sort of regular way so...Anyway, my thoughts about that were in the first paragraph.

Both you and Rob are speaking equally eloquently and each adding something differrent to the conversation.

Would love to hear more about the new church developments that you're speaking of.



Name: Marie
Date: //2006-09-16 22:57:50 :
Link to this Comment: 20442

Maybe it is just that homosexual sex is not really sex at all, since the body is not being used as it was intended, just like drugs, just like gluttony. Addicts and overweight people are still judged and we have turned to looking for a gene to explain these tendencies so that we may excuse these people from personal blame. Do you think that homosexuality may be genetic if it is not a choice? and if so would it then be a disease, like alcoholism? or should it not have stopped at one gene but actually supplied the needed body parts? sorry I ramble as it is late...........



Name: Rob
Date: //2006-09-16 23:22:20 :
Link to this Comment: 20443

God annoints His priests, and Christ is 'the' priest...

We can have direct access to God thorugh Jesus. We do not need a 'priest' as defined by many religions such as the catholic church. And I am a former Alter Boy in the Catholic Church, so it is not as though I am judging from a distance.

The Bible is the authority, not denominations!

Jesus said 'There is only one who is called Father'. That right there tells me that something is ammiss with Catholisism.

As for homosexuality, there is no such thing...

Human beings are heterosexual. Sex refers to a species reproduction. Therfore there is nothing sexual about homosexuality. It is purely passion and pleasure.

Passion and pleasure is often the root of sin.

It is like the boy, who suffering from a severe case of acne, consoles himself with the very chocolate that is causing a good portion of his condition.

Anything in excess is sinful. Homosexuality is really a chronic case of narcicism. It is self love and selfish to a dangerous degree. it may be caused by genetics and environment, but so is all sin...

In fact, Richard Dawkins of Oxford University said in one of his books that, 'there is no such thing as right and wrong, we are all just dancing to our DNA.'

Perhpas he is right, but if so... how much more profound are the words of our Lord Jesus that 'You must be born again.'

Take a breath Elizebeth, I know some of the things I just said must cause problems for you...

Like the laws of Physics, reality is reality...

(here's a chapter from a work of mine):

Chapter 1 THE DOGMATA OF KARMA


Christians are converted from the world by a central question: What is truth? It is a simple question; let’s look at a simple illustration: Truth is perfect. Mathematics is reflective of this. 1+1=2; there is no confusion. Mathematics is true, and perfect in nature. Furthermore, it is conceptual, or spiritual in nature as it exists in our minds.

Let’s examine another simple question: Are the laws of physics?

Yes they are! They are! We could say they are fanatical in nature. The physical laws are just that. They are unchanging and therefore fanatical. You could say these laws are dogma. Do you believe in dogma? If not, then you do not believe in the laws of physics. However, the laws of physics do not care if you believe in them or not. You do not define the laws, the laws define you.

Consider the words of the physicist Stephen Hawking, "... If any one of about forty physical qualities had more than slightly different values, life as we know it could not exist: Either atoms would not be stable, or they wouldn't combine into molecules, or the stars wouldn't form the heavier elements, or the universe would collapse before life could develop..."(Austin American Statesman, October 19, 1997)

We would not be who we are, if the physical laws governing this universe were different. Furthermore we have no power to change them. So in that respect, mankind is locked into his being. Humanity is imposed upon the human being. In my mind, that is the only imposition of our existence. We are free to break the laws, but the consequence is death. Again, the only imposition is our humanity. We cannot be other than human. At least not without the assistance of something that transcends humanity.

The justice of the physical laws is completely blind and thorough! Break the laws, and you will die. The law of gravity has no prejudice for your ignorance. The law does not impose a thing. You are free to flirt with it, and test it for a thrill. But if you blatantly defy it, then it will, break your will. That is the truth! Am I a fanatic to suggest such? Is my mind closed? Who is a man to defy the laws that create him? We are what we are, and we can't change that.



So the laws of physics are part of the very truth that allows us to exist. Man exists in divine appreciation to the laws governing his existence; anything beyond that, is illusory, irrelevant, and an abomination to reality. To rise above his fleshy nature, man must again become what fully defines him. In addition to the physical laws, what defines him is the perfection of the moral laws, as governed by God. He cannot change the physical laws without physical death. In the same sense he cannot break the moral laws without spiritual death.

If man will accept the rest of the laws, he will have the opportunity to become spiritually eternal as intended. He will be whole again, reconciled with God and fully within the laws. Since none of us is within these bounds, and we are powerless to return, the Christian concept of salvation by God himself enters the picture.

Our actions have repercussions on our fellow man that only God himself can fully appreciate. Violent shockwaves flow into the universe because of our evil deeds. Selfishness is an abomination to order, and to reality. Think of the ways things are changed by immoral acts. Sin does not exist in the midst of order on an eternal scale. We are fortunate that things are held together as they are by God’s own hand. He is giving us some time to escape. Can you appreciate that implication? We are separated from God in our sin, but he extends his hand to us, we only have to accept.

The only thing that is absolutely real is the truth. Everything else is fiction. Fiction does not exist by definition. The truth [is], and is always. Truth is timeless. Fiction can exist here, but only for a time, and only in our minds. Don't confuse fiction with possibility. There is much yet undiscovered that is within the laws.

Truth is. That statement is either correct, or it is not. It leaves no room for error. It is one or the other. There is no balance. There is no compromise. Which is it? It is true! To prove it, only requires that you exist, and, you do. And you are (because the laws are). So, there is truth. Truth does exist, and it is perfect. As long as you are within the laws, then you are perfect. It is simple. There is only clarity. We can be certain. These things are so obvious, that many cannot or will not remember them. The simple clarity goes (subconsciously) right under their heads.

Two things repel them:

1. The implication of truth's existence (that it is conscious). Not just conscious on its own, but also living inside you [as in 'your conscious']. Hebrews 8; 10 ..."I will put my laws in their minds, and write them on their hearts." This is the cup of the new covenant, and we are invited to drink from this cup of truth. It spills into us like living waters, if we accept. People become confused when they here of drinking Christ’s blood. Christ is eternal. His blood is physically symbolic of the truth that defines him and runs through his spiritual being. This is the truth. His flesh is also symbolic of the word, which is again truth, in spoken physical vibrations. By accepting these, we are saying that we accept his sacrifice, and are now receiving (consuming) his truth. Truth is nourishment for the spirit. These strange symbolic gestures confuse those who are not earnestly seeking the truth.

2. Truth is painful and frightening to them. The truth condemns, (specifically the Ten Commandments). Psalm 19:7 "the law of the LORD is [perfect] in converting the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making simple the wise". Christ said, "No one can come to me unless my father calls him". One view, is that here, he is referring to the Spirit of truth, specifically the spirit of the law (the Ten Commandments). To understand any of this, one must acknowledge the Law as they recognize the Physical laws. To do so, is to recognize our violations of the natural order and our guilt in an honest manner. We must face and accept that we deserve death because it is true.

The truth hurts! But should we not adopt truth in whatever capacity we are capable? It is obvious, that to know the truth, would leave one in a position to see perfectly clearly. No illusion would fool the crowd, if the crowd 'knew' the truth. Why the resistance? The statement, "The truth will set you free" is simply as self evident as truth itself! It is no coincidence that the creator himself was quoted as such over 2000 years ago. Matthew 8:32 "...Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." That's what the creator would have to say if he were to be truthful, and he is (literally).

The truth hurts only if you are not truthful. A lying, cheating, adulterous, money worshiping, truth denying, wicked man, wants nothing to do with it. He fears that he will see himself for what he really is; evil and alien to it (the truth). That is the problem; we want to feel good about ourselves. To feel good about ourselves means that we must constantly deny reality, because the reality is, we are [living lies]. We are free to choose to ignore reality, so long as there is time. Just don't forget about time. Time is in part, the dimension of death. I believe time was created to contain what is false. You might say [we] forced the creation of time with sin. But I believe it to be consistent with God’s plan within the necessity of choice (the truth). We are fortunate that he is a merciful God, and waits for a few of us to choose to escape by his own hands. The truth is, we are quite evil in and of ourselves. Do you not believe that you are Evil?

There is only one way to end a story, unless the story doesn't exist. For it to exist, it must be true. Anything else is only the imagination of a confounded mind. That is understanding and the clarity of truth. If the truth ever spoke, it would say, "I AM!", and it did! (John 8:58) What scares people is that if they acknowledge it, then they will know. And knowing, means change, and change means doing. Is that too simple? Is there even such a thing as too simple? Can you imagine a teacher telling the class that 1+1=2, and little Johnny saying, "That can't be right, it's too simple!"?


For us, understanding is never complete, and all knowing. If it was, would that not make us Gods? Must we understand all to accept the 'truth' that we are here? No! We 'know' that we are here, but who are we, and where is here? We must not be Gods, because we do not understand all. But many do just that, they decide what truth is for themselves. Declaring themselves worthy of defining what is already defined in spite of them. This is worshiping one's self as God. It is a violation of the first Commandment: Thou shall have no other Gods before me. What else is there to worship? To worship is to seek and live for. What should we live for; acceptance, money, power, sex, entertainment, or truth? Wisdom in truth destroys all desire for foolishness.

So, accepting truth first begins, with understanding and denying ourselves as Gods! Is that too simple? It is only then, that we will see ourselves clearly before the law. Humility breeds open mindedness to the truth. A further step in understanding is through acceptance of the truth of the law. Every sin we commit, sends abhorrent shockwaves into the universe. Affecting and polluting other souls around us and hardening their once trusting and open minds to the truth. Evil spreads like disease. And being evil, we secretly look to spread it for our own convenience. But nothing is secret to God. The truth sees all by the shockwaves in reality, for the truth is reality (God). Our rebellion is akin to a powerless worm, pushing against the unbending eternal tide that is a sea of truth.

Do you believe that every action has an opposite and equal reaction? Is that too simple? It is a scientifically proven (testable) law of physics. It is perfect. Do you believe that the simple Ten Commandments are natural spiritual law? It doesn't matter whether you believe them or not. They are the perfect standard. The truth is we are guilty of much. Once that truth is accepted, and the guilt is accepted, further humility will allow the flood gates to be unlocked, and more understanding will trickle through. Never on our terms, but by the unwavering reality of the truth, for accepting truth is understanding.

There is no compromise. We cannot discover truth; by the way we want truth to be. It is what it is. If truth spoke, it would say, "I AM who I AM", or it would not be true. And it did (Exodus 3:14) so it 'is'. To accept it, we must be prepared to abandon our assumptions. Then we will be closer to the floodgates bursting open and truth overwhelming our illogical (evil) assumptions. Consider what Christ said:

Matthew 10:39 "Whoever finds 'his life' will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake (The TRUTH) will find it.

We are not true, but we must become true once again through Christ.



Name: Marie
Date: //2006-09-16 23:39:28 :
Link to this Comment: 20444

I feel my last post was a bit insensitive, but was a newly formulated thought so I apologize. I am always multi-tasking. Yes I have been out all day and I am trying to catch up, so we are posting simultaneously.
Well, I have had many gay work associates, aquaintances, and two very good friends of many years. Since my marriage, for several different reasons, I have not had much contact with them, so perhaps the friendship was not so true as I thought. But I find this to be the case with my straight friends who are single as well, our paths just changed. I must say I am biased maybe because they were crude about sexual matters and back-stabbing, insecure and selfish. They were also very intelligent, educated, fun, and I miss their company. They knew my views on religion and we often discussed it but not in a way where anyone felt demeaned.
So I guess I can say they were open-minded and nice. I am in Pennsylvania also, curiously enough, and I do want to say that through this conversation I feel that if we ever met our barriers would be down and we would probably get along dispite our differences. So in that way, Elizabeth, you are winning with your message of listening and tolerance.



Name: Marie
Date: //2006-09-16 23:53:14 :
Link to this Comment: 20445

Rob, I am familiar with the teachings of Christian denominations other than Catholicism. Even so, I believe that Christ initiated the priesthood with Peter when He chose him as the first priest and said that he was the rock upon which His church would be founded. I believe that priests are acting in the person of Jesus on earth. I believe that they do not accomplish this based on their own merits, but through the intervention of God Himself, that they are called. When a priest is consecrated their is a formula so to speak which is used. It is new information to me but apparently recently this has changed, and conservatives are afraid that it means subsequent ordinations are not valid. I am more concerned because the priest that married us very shortly afterwards left the priesthood altogether. He was a very young priest and he was confused by the sexual scandal in the church.



Name: Rob
Date: //2006-09-17 00:05:09 :
Link to this Comment: 20446

As for your marriage... I think what matters most is that you and your husband made a vow to each other in the presence of God. Whether or not the 'priest' was truely a Christian or a priest.

BTW, my wife and I were married in a Catholic church here in Eureka, Ca. The priest who married us is now in prison (or was and has since been released) for sexual molestation charges. He was relatively new to the area at the time.

We have been married 14 yrs as of Oct 11, 06. We just had our third child in May.

Our marriage is not perfect (mostly because of me), but it is solid...

We attend a Foursquare church in Eureka and like it very much. It is not Charismatic or 'pentecostal' as I understand pentecostal or Charismatic to mean. It is really very non-denominational as I see it. There are few issues with which I take exception within the church. We enjoy it very much and have been attending regularly for about 4 yrs.





Name: Marie
Date: //2006-09-17 00:59:24 :
Link to this Comment: 20447

Must admit I do not know about Foursquare churches, I do think the similarities are much more to be valued in christian denominations than the differences, except when I am confronted by militant protagonists. I know in my heart that I am fine because we did all that we could with the knowledge and resources at our disposal to accomplish God's will. We had our second child in June. What are we doing awake! Still this turmoil is causing great stress on my mother and grandmother, who now believe that they have 20 some years of sin on their hands because their confessions were not valid, and they are going out of their way to find elderly priests. I will not accept controversy and scandal for the sake of variety, but certainly there are interesting points to be looked at even within a structured religion.



Name: Rob
Date: //2006-09-17 11:28:55 :
Link to this Comment: 20448

---Still this turmoil is causing great stress on my mother and grandmother, who now believe that they have 20 some years of sin on their hands because their confessions were not valid, and they are going out of their way to find elderly priests.---

Oh my! That is the problem with religion...

People trying to get saved and basically go through the motions (with good intentions).

Christianity is not a religion...

That is what I wanted too, but was shocked to find that God actually wanted all of me. He forgave me of all my sins (past present and future), but in return He is calling me to be a different person.

Ours is not a religion of works. Our good works are not done so that we can be saved, but are instead a result of our salvation. He changed me on the inside and has created in me a new desire to do what is right.

I am resistent to share some of my own writings because I think that others have said the same thing much better, but here we go...:

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

THE FANATIC?


You be the judge…



Dear John Doe, I have a couple of things bothering me in regard to our discourse:

The first is that in my haste, the decision to send Joe Blow a copy of my e-mail to you was gleaned from the more... retarded, side of me. I should have realized that it may leave you in an awkward position. I'm not trying to hide anything from anybody, but there was a time, when like you, I was still very uncomfortable sharing my faith. I apologize for the intrusion. At that time, I as well still wrestled with what the reality of this Christ thing (as you put it) was really all about.

So, when questioned by different faiths, I was in one moment over confident, and the next shaky and nervous. When knocked on my rear by simple rejection or persecution, I was confused. I quickly realized that I was too anxious to share something that most people do not want to talk about. I realized also, that weather they did or not, I was really not prepared to handle these situations. To make matters worse, in my excitement I usually pushed into the discussion as though I knew with certainty the arguments and the outcome. Those things make an awkward mixture to say the least. Well, I'll never know how to handle them all, so I'll just have to learn as I go and be willing to fall when I must. I will not be afraid to consider and debate these things.

Around that same time I pushed on and ignored my fears, I was beginning to see something I had not expected. It was great, but terrifying. Jesus was starting to look very different from the assumptions I had about him. I finally concluded that the problem was the way I was trying to confine Him. I was looking for something, but that something was turning out to be much bigger and more wonderful than I had dreamed for myself. In the final analysis, I was trying to make Him my equal or at least, I thought myself equal to Him.

I wanted salvation, but I was just beginning to see the cost of it. I had to see myself as I really am, and deal with the fact that most of my assumptions were illusions. It was a troubling time when I trembled and prayed. And it wasn't just the cost for me that was troubling my distorted ego, but the price He paid to save me from that world. My pride had to go, and as a function of that, I had to let go of the world, which was really my world. I had to give Him my life and trust Him to take it and make it His own.

I wanted to give part of it, he wanted all of it. When the Pharisee asked Jesus about paying taxes, Jesus said to give Cesar what is Cesar’s, and give God what is God’s. What is the implication? Everything is God’s! From the hair on my head, to my wallet, to the planet floating in space under my feet; it is all God’s. So I allowed Him to purchase and posses me.

My second concern is that you are going to conclude that I am a fanatic in regards to my faith. Giving one’s whole life to God (willing spirit possession) is a scary prospect for many. Your decisions are not in my hands but I cannot accept the idea of just keeping something so important to myself. It may mean that I am labeled a fanatic; so be it! I can only tell you what I believe. It makes no sense to do anything less. If my faith is misplaced, then I need to know, and if my faith is secure, then you need to know. Jesus tells me that instead of just keeping the outside clean by the standards of my peers, I must give what is on the inside, so that everything will be clean; first by the renewing of my mind, and by that renewal of the heart, the continuing deliverance from what binds me by nature. Nothing superficial will do as Jesus declared openness and honesty as the means for moving forward into the freedom he promised.

I would like to address something that may give you an insight into the dilemma. Things are not what they seem...

Do you remember the song, "We are the world"?

The lyrics went like this:

We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day so let's start giving
There's a choice we're making
We're saving our own lives
It's true we'll make a better day
Just you and me

Now, just for illustration, what I want you to do is say those words with the kind of fanatical emphasis that Hitler would have used in his speeches. Go ahead and imagine it for yourself for a moment....

Now if you got the idea I'm trying to convey to you, consider this:

The only thing that will save us is the truth. We cannot be the truth. If we are, then we would be God. If we are God, then God is evil indeed. The spirit that so cleverly leads us to that end, appears (in this song) so peaceful and sensitive, but I believe it is the same spirit that motivated Adolf Hitler. It is just a different manifestation. A manifestation disguised as a casual and loving peace movement.

They want to believe in peace, and I do not question their intentions for they desire a noble end. But is their formula for peace precise? Is their algebraic equation lacking some crucial function? Did they misplace a value in one of their variables? Are they at all like the Galactic Empire's claim to promoting peace in the Star Wars series but with a genuine smile instead of a power hungry scowl? The words are very much the same it is only the tone that has changed.

Now, If there is a God (and most believe so), He would be the truth. Or, the truth would be of God; that is, begotten by God; part of God; a dimension of God. The truth would be God. It is very much just the way addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division are a dimension of mathematics; and in fact they are math. They are not the totality of math, but they will lead us to the higher mathematics faithfully.

Continuing along this line, the truth in math (the logic of it) is the same in the lower mathematics, as it is in the higher. There is simply more or less information when comparing the two. They have a different function. Trying to put a value on either is really a rather individual and subjective project that requires a lack of the very essence of logic that opens into objectivity. For objectivity is itself the nature of logic. Logic has an objective. In that sense the lower math is just as pure and wonderful as the higher. I make note of this for obvious reasons; the Son is just as beautiful as the Father.

Together they are God, and as individuals they are God. There is no better than, but only love for each other and their mutual function and purpose. In this way, their Spirit is the very essence of logic and is also God. Jesus spoke of the abundant life; it is eternal and is therefore absolute. It is unlike our life that is a bound and limited life; limited by food, water, air, and death (entropy). Jesus spoke about having food that we new nothing about, living water, the clouds of heaven, and eternal life (the absence of death).

This whole manner of illustrating God by use of mathematic symbolism may provide a look into another mystery. In Mathew, chapter 12; 31, Jesus says that all blasphemy and sin will be forgiven except blasphemy of the spirit. I can’t help but think of the Spirit in the confines of our mathematical example as the essence of God. In our mathematics, the logic itself is to be revered and embraced. However, I think we must be careful with keeping our example too close to our minds, as it does not very well express the wholeness and power of the real thing. Our example is only a concept within the intellect, and the Spirit of God is very much alive and Holy. We should not confuse them.


If it is true that we are lost spiritually (and the agnostic agrees by default) then, THE TRUTH would be THE WAY to Him, and as a result we would also find THE LIFE that is Him.

Jesus said, I am the way, --THE TRUTH--, and the life. No one comes to the father but by me.

Hey John Doe! That is exactly what God would say if He were indeed God. How could it be any simpler?



I suppose we could say that at one time, we knew the higher math. That is to say, He was with us (in Eden). We want all of Him, but now that we have lost Him, we must humble ourselves and follow a different aspect of Him. If we try shortcuts, we will inevitably misplace a variable or a function and stray into oblivion because the higher math of God’s spiritual nature is infinitely higher than the most complex mathematics. He is the Most High God. We must stay in harmony with Him at the level he offers and let Him lead us along His path up to Him. To repeat myself in a different way, I am not limiting God and His Glory to the concept of mathematics, but only giving a simple illustration that I think is understandable.

There is a righteous claim to sovereignty in the ideal of truth. Now, notice that Jesus righteously claimed this sovereignty. That is why they killed him; if He was a liar in that regard then I suppose He would have deserved death, but if He were telling the truth, then God let them crucify Himself to pay they’re own penalty for killing Him. And it was ultimately not just them that crucified Him, but all of us.

Notice also, that the modern social and peace movements claim the same sovereignty, just not overtly. We are the world, we are the saviors, and we are the ones who make a brighter day (light). Stick with me here, because the Bible says that Satan appears as an angel of light. Naturally these good intentioned people want to give that light to others. You may find this difficult, but evil does not always come as a devilish and overtly evil image. Evil has convinced many it doesn't exist. We are taught (programmed by pacifism) to have sympathy for the devil (thank you Mick Jagger).

Evil comes as an imposter of peace. Notice that the lyrics say just you and me? No reference to God other than, in a different verse, the promotion of the idea that we are all in Gods family by default. The Bible warns us about the uniting of humanity in our own spirit and the resulting imposition as gods. Babylon was destroyed the first time, and it will be destroyed again. The spiritual tower to God must be built and limited by God. Any other way is not the way and dooms itself to failure.


Notice the lyrics start with we are the world? Jesus said, ‘My kingdom is not of this world...’ Biblically, the lord of the world is the 'prince of the air' that the Bible talks about; Lucifer! The Bible talks about us becoming Children of God through Christ, and coming out of the world. The Bible says we are aliens in this world if we are children of God (in his family). With this song, these people are boldly claiming to be the children of the world; and by default the children of the lord of this world. Are they children of the beast?

Whoa, let’s go easy here and not condemn to hastily. Read to the end please. The Bible clearly states that Satan is the lord of this world. Christ's kingdom is yet to come in its full glory, and is now only here with us in Spirit. Jesus said, ‘The Kingdom of Heaven is within you.’ He said to those present in that day, that some of them would not see death before witnessing the Kingdom of God coming with great power. On the day of Pentecost they did see (on the inside), and every time a new believer is born of the Spirit, they begin to understand what He said as well.

Jesus’ Spirit or the spirit of men; one of them is Christ (which has the righteous claim to sovereignty). The other is Anti-Christ (an imitation that can take many forms).

Sound crazy? Well, it is crazy; crazy and scary that people refuse to consider it; crazy that they choose not to. Crazy that they cling to a life that they know will be taken from them and crazy to not seek the higher life that always was and will never end; the life of the absolute God.

The new world order is in the making. The modern peace and social movements have a prominent role internationally. Within their thinking, I find some of their variables lacking the proper function. This makes me thankful that President Bush doesn't go along with the program. Let them mock him all they want. They hate him with the same passion as they hate Jesus.

Most of the activists have no clue that their philosophy is incoherent. The others that play the flute for them are approaching the more deliberate evil. That doesn’t mean they look and act like Hollywood’s portrait of evil. And it doesn’t mean that they believe they are evil. They are prideful and arrogant, but are not gods. I must believe that most, without even realizing it, are simply playing God. I pray that they and their counterparts may be saved.

There are those who know what they are doing, but what do you say to that? I suspect that they are the ones of whom Jesus spoke in regard to blasphemy. Like the Pharisees who persecuted Christ and the early church, they are the power crazed; the purely and consciously evil. They reject all honest argument, because their hearts are utterly closed to the logical and reasonable Spirit of God.

To make sure I am clear, what I am not saying, is that everyone who doesn't get it, or everyone who sang we are the world in oblivious cooperation (like I did) is a child of the beast and has taken the much debated mark. This is not a proclamation of condemnation; it is call to contemplation. What I am saying, is that there is a growing intolerance for the pure doctrines of Christianity. At some point, we may not be allowed into the debate at all, unless we are willing to compromise the truth and its implicit claim to sovereignty. There will be no buying, selling, or trading in the arena of ideas for fanatics like me. That is the label and I will be ostracized.

That arena of ideas; the intellectual and spiritual battleground for the church and state is the entryway to making a difference in the physical religious and political marketplace. If your ideas are not allowed, then you are rendered powerless. Laws themselves are not necessarily absolute, but the ideal of law is. Every political statement has at its foundation, a moral and therefore theological foundation in righteous sovereignty that is the ideal of law. So the idea of church and state being separate is as preposterous, as the idea of separating an atom from its nucleus.

If the state is not founded in God, then the state has imposed itself as God. In the same way, if a man is not founded in God, then that man has imposed himself as God over his own life. The Church can fall into this same malaise and all of these have happened at one time or another, and all will continue to happen within their respective times and temples.

Who is the fanatic; the man who creates his own foundation, or the man who humbles himself before his Lord? Maybe neither deserves the label of fanatic. I think the true fanatic is the one who takes matters into his own hands, not the one who argues for reason and respects others beliefs. I only presume to argue in the name of reason and objectivity. There is no arm twisting, as it is up to you. A good friend of mine recently put forward the argument that people do not change. After careful consideration, I must confess that this is partly true. You and I do not have the power to change the sins we have committed. Those sins in turn imprison us to define our image of ourselves by our guilt. That is precisely why a reasonable man will eventually turn to God.

God not only offers forgiveness and promises to give a clean slate, but he also promises to change what it is we want to do. The freedom from the bondage of self is complete. The bible says that anyone who is in Christ is a new creation. It also says that with man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible. If we genuinely confess our sin to God with our lips, and ask him to take residence with us (in our hearts and spirit) he does in fact respond. That is my testimony as I have experienced it for myself.

Many will turn around (repent) and consider some other questions because they have been prayed for, and will notice something is not as it seems as God whispers to them gently from On High. Many will not. You decide who’s who in representing the true ideal of Christ. You are the judge, and as you have judged, so shall you be judged. Who’s who? You will know them by their fruits...


on conversation ...
Name: Paul Grobstein
Date: //2006-09-17 19:39:53 :
Link to this Comment: 20450

I've been reading through the recent postings by Elizabeth, Rob, and Marie. They bring to mind a deep Serendip principle

"All people should be encouraged to think of their ideas/perspectives as "in progress": to make them available as potential contributions to the thinking of others, and to make use of the thoughts of others as of potential significance to their own thinking"

Its hard work but you've all given me increased confidence that it can be done, and is worthwhile.


One suggestion/request? From someone who is notoriously a little prone to wordiness himself? Let's try and keep postings reasonably short and to the point? If longer things are critical, email them to Serendip rather posting them directly and we'll see if we can make them available in some way that can be linked to from the forum.



Name: rob
Date: //2006-09-19 22:49:03 :
Link to this Comment: 20477

Well, thanks for stopping the dialog Paul!

But this 'is' a universe governed by laws. It is necessary for 'being', else all Hell breaks loose. We might end up with people with chicken heads without boundaries. As G.K. Chesterton said, 'before you remove a fence, always be sure why it was put there in the first place!'

I'm not aquainted with the parameters of 'your assumed requirements' for communication, but I get the feeling they result in a total lack of dialog as per the private communication sent to me from user/s of this site.

So much for intentions! If I am mistaken in my 'feeling' about consensus and moderation impied in your nice little note, then forgive my ignorance. Otherwise, you are free to limit the length of the posts as per character limits.

If not, I will use what is offered within the fence...

Sincerely, Robert S. Lockett



Name: Elizabeth
Date: //2006-09-20 19:31:41 :
Link to this Comment: 20490

Hi, Rob. I liked your last posts and I'm sure that Paul didn't mean to limit communication. I think this is a question of formal layout, rather than actual post-length. If longer passages are linked then the theory would be that a larger group of people would be able to better distinguish your thoughts from the thoughts of others and have the option of opening up some of the longer stories in alternate windows. So, it would be a way for a greater number of people to take time with your posts...and to benefit the format of the site.

I really don't think it's a rule so much as a suggestion...I think you'd be perfectly within the appropriate realm if you chose to ignore the suggestion though it might be an interesting experiement to try the suggestion out. Paul can speak for himself on this but I really don't think it was meant as either pressure or obligation, but rather a delight in the openness of communication and a suggestion for how to make it read even more smoothly and be even more open. In any case, I like your thoughts very much and I hope you keep posting...time is what is limiting my activity on the forum as well as an e mail dialogue with Marie off the forum space about some issues which seemed too rooted in autobiography and too personal to continue explicitly here. This does not mean that I will never return but for now, I'm just taking a break from the forum space.


yeah frickin' right
Name:
Date: //2006-10-14 00:37:43 :
Link to this Comment: 20676

If you know anything about DNA, evolution as Biology sees it is anything but a "story." The physical evidence is overwhelming, whereas the physical evidence for intelligent design is anything but. Is it amazing that we are here, considering the mechanism of evolution? Yes, of course. Is it possible that some force outside of simple physics affects the course of evolution? Or that the mechanisms of evolution were themselves "designed" by someone or something outside our realm of physical understanding? Yes, of course. But to refute the immense amount of empirical evidence for Darwinian evolution by calling it a "story" is ridiculous.



Name: Rob
Date: //2006-10-14 18:14:21 :
Link to this Comment: 20679

---If you know anything about DNA---

I know that DNA is the biggest problem for evolution that there is...

Precisely because it is the most complex molecule in the known Universe!

Do you understand that???

There is nothing more complex than DNA.

And before you can have natural selection to begin with, you must have DNA first!

So Darwinism (long before DNA's discovery) considered that perhps life could have evolved from the simple to the more complex. it was worth considering, and makes tremendous sense until we discover that the truth is just the opposite!

You must start with the most complicated molecule in the known universe in order to even get the simplest life form.

That is why Francis Crick. A Nobel Laureate and naturalist (that means he believes in darwinism) concluded that the only answer is that life got here by missile from elsewhere in bacterial form. Not DNA but Bacterial form. Because DNA is not alive, nor will it get you a living cell without the rest of the cells components in place.

Now I'm not even taking the evolutionary argument as a whole. The idea that life evolved from bacteria is one thing, and far easier to swallow (though it has enormous problems) than the idea that a bacteria came into existence with all of it's mind boggling complexity in the first place.

Even an almost 'whole' organism is not enough. We've all seen roadkill.

Life is exceptionally fragile and delicate. All the pieces of the puzzle have to exist simultaneously.

I go long to explain this, because it is so often misunderstood.

So perhaps our designer is an alien from elsewhere in the universe, but then you still have the problem of answering how they came into 'being' by nothing more than the same evolutionary theory.



on "stories" ...
Name: Paul Grobstein
Date: //2006-10-15 12:39:46 :
Link to this Comment: 20682

I don't at all mean "to refute the immense amount of empirical evidence for Darwinian evolution by calling it a story". Very much to the contrary ... Like any scientific story, [evolution] is no more and no less than a way to make sense of observations, and is significant only insofar as it does that well and, in so doing, motivates new observations that in turn lead on to new stories and further new observations.

In these terms, evolution is not only a good scientific story, it is a VERY good one. It accounts for an extraordinary number of observations that are difficult to account for in other ways, and raises a large number of approachable new questions. Moreover, it is a demonstrably useful story in a wide range of contexts.

Intelligent Design and the Story of Evolution
My point in calling evolution a "story" is not to diminish its significance in any way but rather to emphasize that ALL scientific understandings are "stories" (see Science as Story Telling and Story Revising and The Nature of Science) in the sense that they

Rather than saying there is an "immense amount of empirical evidence for Darwinian evolution", I'd be inclined instead to say that the continually evolving story of evolution summarizes a huge number of observations, some available to Darwin but many made since because of the story. And that it continues to pose interesting questions ...

That people are thinking about these questions is not a reason to doubt the story of evolution but rather a testimony to the significance of that story (see Science Matters ... How?). Glad to share that thinking here.


Stories
Name: MarieC
Date: //2006-10-15 16:28:48 :
Link to this Comment: 20683

I think the term "story" has been used to cover all view-points without offending the believers of any one viewpoint. It is inferring choice, that outside of your own personal viewpoint all other viewpoints are "stories". Of course the word story does not always refer to fairy tales only. It has been used on this forum to be polite to other contributers and not vice versa.
But still the thought that any science could be questioned and linked to such ambiguous language means that it is not an evident conclusion, or if it is, that the public is not aware of all the facts. Such a science as photosynthesis or digestion does not require scrutiny or ongoing discussion. The general public has no problem understanding those things which make sense and offer no confliction of interest. I do not believe that any thing which is described as science should contradict or deny the existance of God. If it is truly science it will flow harmoniously into whatever lifestyle we live. If through God or through natural selection all life is tending toward perfection, there should be no turmoil between the pursuit within ourselves and the pursuit of life around us. Of course all we really need to do is open our eyes and look around, see what beauty there is, and how perfect it already is. The past does not help so much as the future, and the future of evolution is bleak. Instead of an improved world we see mankind repeating so many mistakes in every generation and destroying the species around us, not to speak of the destruction we wreck upon our own kind. The only sure hope from this is in believing in God and following the truths of Jesus. A story which rules out this possibilty is ultimately contradictory and self-distructive



Name: Robert Loc
Date: //2006-10-15 20:36:01 :
Link to this Comment: 20685

MarieC said: ...the future of evolution is bleak. Instead of an improved world we see mankind repeating so many mistakes in every generation and destroying the species around us, not to speak of the destruction we wreck upon our own kind.-

Now not only is this true, but in order to even say that it is 'wrong', one must invoke a moral judgement. naturalism doesn't give us that!

With Neo-darwinism, survival of the fittest is the supreme law. And as such, the logical conclusions of nihilism and the destruction of the weaker for the benefit of the stronger is not only not 'wrong', but essential. Hitler explaind in his 'Mein Kampf' that "struggle is the father of all things."

So we must understand that if naturalism is true... then morality has it's place only in the survival of 'this life'.

So to be a naturalist, and insist on morality (or 'values' as the term Neitzche first coined), then one must presuppose or assume to be 'true', that this life is the only life, and there is nothing to the hereafter.

And since a naturalist cannot (as Paul demonstrates with his honesty)bring himself to actually 'know' anything for sure... he is forced to contradict himself whenever he invokes 'reason' to make an argument. Because at such an extreme of philosophy, reason itself must be suspect.

It is for these reasons that on his death bed, John Paul Sarte said, 'I have found my whole philosophy of life to have become incoherent.' (I have it on good authority that Norman Geisler has documentation for that comment).

These same philosophical dead ends is why Anthony Flue
is now in England in his 80's and says he can no longer consider himself an atheist.

If there is no God, then 'reason' itself is meaningless and all of our judgements are puffs of air.

C.S. Lewis said it well: "If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark."

Or as G.K. Chesterton said: "If I did not believe in God, I should still want my doctor, my lawyer and my banker to do so."

And Ravi Zacharius: "We sent all of our students to harvard, to teach them that morality was relative. And then when they go to Wall st. and live as relativists and our pension plans are raided, we want to put them in jail... Coherence is a powerful weapon of reality."

I think that is the reason that John, while being inspired by God's holy Spirit to write the last and closing book of his revelation in scripture, painted for us a picture of Christ's returning with a sword coming out of his mouth.

He created this universe by speaking, and when He returns, he will stop all speculation and irrational conjecture with the humbling power of crushing logical enlightenment.

Reality calls our bluff Paul!




stories bumping against one another ...
Name: Paul Grobstein
Date: //2006-10-16 11:42:10 :
Link to this Comment: 20689

"Story" may indeed have been used by some here "to cover all view-points without offending the believers of any one viewpoint ... to be polite". I'm certainly in favor of politeness, but I don't use the term "story" for that reason, any more than I use it to deny the significance of observations. "Stories" are, for me, much too important to be dismissive of them, out of politeness or any other motivation. "Its in and from the bumping of stories against one another than new ones emerge". Scientific stories, in particular, "are written not be believed but to be understood, made use of as appropriate, and revised", in part by being measured against other stories. there is everything to be gained by having available the widest possible array of not only observations but of candidate stories as well. By so doing, science maximizes not only the breadth of observations but also the repertoire of story telling styles with which new stories can be elaborated. The more people, the more observations, the more stories the better.
Science as Story Telling and Story Revising
Let's try it out? Politely, but equally with a shared commitment to the notion that it is not only other peoples' "view points" that are "stories" but one's own as well, and that "All people [are] encouraged to think of their ideas/perspectives as "in progress": to make them available as potential contributions to the thinking of others, and to make use of the thoughts of others as of potential significance to their own thinking"
Serendip's Evolving Web Principles
I very much share a concern that "we see mankind repeating so many mistakes in every generation and destroying the species around us, not to speak of the destruction we wreck upon our own kind". I'm not inclined though to attribute this problem to either "evolution" or "naturalism". The pattern of repeating human "mistakes", in particular of humans causing human suffering, is a very old one, one that long predates the quite recent development of both "evolution" and "naturalism" as stories, so it is unlikely that either is a principle cause of such patterns.

For the same reason, I'm disinclined to put my confidence in "believing in God and following the truths of Jesus", or to wait around until "He returns" to "stop all speculation and irrational conjecture with the humbling power of crushing logical enlightenment." The story of Jesus is a valuable one but one that has been around for some time and has clearly not fully solved the age-old problems (indeed, it has itself created some versions of those problems, both in the past and in the present). God may or may not exist and appear at some point (its not a question science can resolve for the moment), but its not at all clear to me that "crushing logical enlightement" would fix the problems. Still more importantly, I'm reluctant to sit and wait for something that may or may not occur and may or may not work when there are problems that we could ourselves try and do something about now.

So, what's my "story"? How would I approach the kinds of problems about which we share a common concern? I'm not sure I would call myself a "naturalist" but appreciate the recognition that whatever/whoever I am "cannot (as Paul demonstrates with his honesty) bring himself to actually 'know' anything for sure." Yes, indeed, "reason itself must be suspect." As must also authority, the revealed word, and so forth ....

Maybe at this point in human history we've finished cataloguing all the possible things that one MIGHT have used as a solid starting point for continuing inquiry and we can conclude (for the moment at least?) that NONE of them are in fact a solid starting point, in the sense that none can be taken as a given not subject to further skepticism and exploration. Maybe its time to seriously entertain the possibility that looking for a single solid starting point just isn't the right way to go, that one has to find another, different way to proceed.

Thinking may not be a solid starting point that one need not be skeptical about, but it IS, on the other hand, demonstrably useful at times. So too is being, without thinking. And so too, for that matter, are feeling, and logic, and sense data, and even the stories of other people (which is what "authority" and the "revealed word" are if you recognize their fallibility). Maybe then the starting point one is looking for to support ongoing inquiry is wherever one is at any given time based on all of these.
Writing Descartes
It doesn't all follow from this that "'reason' itself is meaningless and all our judgements are puffs of air". Nor that "morality has it's place only in the survival of 'this life'". What does follow is the story that both meaning and morality exist precisely insofar as we create them by our own thoughts and actions. And that we should be humble about meaning and morality and stories, recognizing that neither we not anyone else has unique and privileged access to enlightenment or perfection or Truth.

What we do have is the ability to notice problems, to share stories about those problems, and to use that sharing to create new and better ways to solve those problems. That may not assure that there is "no turmoil between the pursuit within ourselves and the pursuit of life around us" but it perhaps can help us better appreciate the value of what we have (some degree of "turmoil" included) and encourage us to use it to fix existing problems and so build a future that is, if nothing else, "less wrong" than the present.

Maybe that's not such a bad story?



Name: Rob
Date: //2006-10-16 21:43:27 :
Link to this Comment: 20692

Paul, it is not only nice to hear from you so personally, but what you have provided is certainly rich as a basis for a continuing discussion.

I would very much like to challenge some of your thinking. I give you the option of continuing this discourse in private if you prefer.

I cannot address the issues now, as I have a meeting to attend. But I will get to it in the next several days, and look forward to an honest and engaging discussion.


Doubting Thomas
Name: Marie Chri
Date: //2006-10-16 23:14:15 :
Link to this Comment: 20693

Paul, I think you have put much time and effort into what you consider a worthy pursuit, but, with all due respect, for me it is an unnecessary compoundation of the problem. I agree that skepticism has been the impetus for many a great discovery, that to some extent skepticism is necessary to learning and finding the truth. I do not agree that an all-encompassing skepticism just for its own sake is something to be desired after.

Let us say we are all on one page, that 'story' for us means 'possibility'. In a science classroom, possibilities bouncing off one another and/or rubbing together is indeed a legitimate means of problem solving, coupled with broad, albeit skeptical, observation. For me, although I am ignorant, the word science has always signified the study of those things which have answers, whether yet discovered or unknown. It has little to do with culture, and SHOULD be neutral in nature. Science should be accessible to all religions to the exclusion of none. You must realize that science and theology are seperate studies, or
quite simply that the same stars will shine from the same galaxies on each of us, having nothing to do with how we live our lives, or what our creed. While some religions have incorporated notions of science into their rituals, a true understanding of the workings of nature absolutely to this point has not ruled out the possibility of their beliefs. Even if we were to know every detail of existance, the part of our nature that longs for something greater would still have the aptitude and desire to create a new religion based on this knowledge, maybe similar to the awe-inspired Native American beliefs or other variations of nature worship. The point is that we all are born with an insistant and compelling ideal of a greater good. For me this is not a matter for science, yet we are at a divide in time where scientists are trying, not to explain God, but to explain away God. This problem will not diminish by simply 'rubbing' stories together. For those of us who believe in God, the old saying "seeing is believing" is false. Seeing is having proof; believing is faith in that which will never be proven. We do not wait around for the coming of Jesus, but rather are secure in the idea that salvation depends entirely on faith. Faith is the test by which we are judged, as Jesus says to Thomas "blessed are you because you have seen and believed, more blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe". To think that a man or any group of men will one day explain existance to the degree where we know for sure that there either is or is not a creator, is ludicris. Why? because it is impossible for a just God to exact the test of belief upon only a percentage of mankind. The moment that we know for sure our origins will effectively be the end of the world, for without questions of life and death, life itself is meaningless.

I like the idea of 'stories' if that implies an equal representation of these stories in the classroom, and in mainstream media.
I do not and did not put forth evolution or naturalism as a cause for human abuses, but rather the human tendency toward a destructive mentality is an argument against the ongoing process of natural selection for the improvement of species life. I am aware that this broad opinion could be open to much debate. I am not a preacher or evangelizer, I hold forth the pricipals of Jesus Christ because regardless of personal beliefs, His teachings are entire and effective against all of human ills.

There are some Jewish people nowadays who are afraid to accept Jesus because they feel it will make them "less Jewish". Family survivors of the Holocaust as well as tradition have instilled great loyalty in them. But for a people whose primary basis for perseverence is the belief that they are chosen, i.e., the messiah and savior will come from their tribe, it is foolish to cling to tradition for its own sake. The coming of the Messiah they await, no matter who he is, must mean change. Possibilities are comforting in many ways, we may be afraid to be 'trapped' in marriage, parenting, or career. Most of us have a period in life where we view possibility as a luxury and a noble calling. It comes as a great surprise, when confronted with the reality of stability and trust in marriage or the inexplicable bond with a child, that this is by far the truest freedom. In the end, it is not the amount or scope of the possibilities that matter, but what we ultimately make of them. For those of us who have chosen the freedom of God, it is impossible to integrate all stories. To be aware of them, yes, but to live in the dusk of skepticism?



Name: Elizabeth
Date: //2006-10-17 10:38:18 :
Link to this Comment: 20694

Quick comment from the side...Love Marie's notion of story as possibility and I think it's great to define terms...this is one of the best ways for us to be able to read the pages we're each on. It seems to me that Paul doesn't think that science "should" be disconnected from religious/spiritual just in the one aspect that the story nature (as he sees it) is in fact, the same...made up of the same elements (words, phrases, thoughts, ideas). Paul is this correct? I would agree with this. At the level of waiting around to be saved...hmmm...well, for Marie and Rob it seems that it is faith in the story of Jesus that gets them to believe in the possibility of positive change and a desire for less destruction. The story of Jesus gets them interested in "doing" rather than waiting around. It seems that for Paul, skepticism and a questioning of any one belief...and also a deep belief in relativism (right?) gets him to want to make change in the world in part via thinking and a deep comittment to the stories of others. This is what keeps him thinking and doing. So, this fits so perfectly with Marie's idea of story as possibility. Building from that, I'll call story potential. It's a scientific principle (story?) that "work" is the use of potential energy (can anyone help me go back to 6th grade and say what principle i'm referring to?). So...as long as one is seeking a story to keep them going and keep them going in relation to other people--could there ever be one story that IS "less wrong" than another story? I think if as humans we REALLY believed that all stories were COMPLETELY right though, we would not move forward and create change. I advocate not arguing for correct but I think it's okay to assert something of what one is believing at the moment...because yes...then stories can bump into each other and we can touch each other by giving each other a bit of ourselves and the places where we are. To listen is a step towards motion and bumping laterally...like bumper cars seems better to me than bumping head on...but that is just my judgement at the moment.



Name: Marie
Date: //2006-10-17 13:41:51 :
Link to this Comment: 20695

That is a good explanation, that some stories translate into a philosophy which requires action, at least for some of us, while other stories are more observation based and culture neutral. Those which are action based may require more aspects of our human psyche, such as morality, then those which are data accumulation and observation based. Therefore in the study of origins there should be more categorizing of stories into action-implicit, action-optional, and action-neutral, and within these boundaries the 'rubbing' together of possibilities may be more productive. At this point to place all stories under the heading 'science' or under 'religion', is not plausible. The original focus I had when seeking this forum was to question the constitutional legality of an evolution only classroom. While we few may be able to share and mingle stories, the validity of ID as an action-based story, and our right to hear this story, is being seriously jeopardized. The preservation of our freedoms in relation to this is possibly the best motivator of acton for both sides.


correction / Edit
Name: Rob
Date: //2006-10-19 09:05:41 :
Link to this Comment: 20703

In Case there was any confusion in my last post, I wish to clarify a couple things..

1. Theology is an unavoidable part of the whole of our worldview (philosophy). I don't care if you are a theist, an atheist, or a pantheist... Theism is a necessary component in the discovery of reality, simply because 'the God question' is synonomous with 'reality'. Theology is the foundation of one's philosophy. It is integral.

2. I did not distinguish between Relativism, Pluralism, and Synchronism.

Relativism is popularly reffering to pluralism, but varies.

Pluralism is the idea that there are many competing worldviews and that none is dominant. It is at that point that pluralism becomes the 'dominant worldview', defeating it's own aim. One worldview simply must be correct by necessity.

Synchronism is the idea that all religions are basically the same and lead to God. It can be extended to universalism as well, where people of different faiths are encouraged to continue in that vein.

Typically, relativism (as popularized in the West) does not invoke synchronism, but is speaking with a secular tone.


All have that 'whatever works for you' implication, the result of which is to disconnect people from one another and avoid discussing what is ultimately the most profound and default anchor for our thinking (the theological element of our philosophy).

We need not fear being wrong and making corrections. Such corrections are really necessary if our actions are to change course individually and collectively. It is our philosophy that gives wind to the sails of action.

Truth is the fuel of man, so we must make sure our assumptions are correct.

Hope that clears up any misconceptions...

Rob






Name: Robert S.
Date: //2006-10-18 01:29:35 :
Link to this Comment: 20699

Paul, first I want to thank you for providing this forum. And I appreciate the sensitivity with which you have responded. It is important to be polite and respectful and I do think you demonstrate that well. That is something that I have only recently acquired. I apologize for the length of this post, but ask that you read it in its entirety. I do not suppose to persuade you to my way of thinking, but it is admittedly my aim. I have to the best of my ability shifted gears to attempt a conversation, as opposed to a lecture and preaching session. I hope it is acceptable in light of the gravity of these issues.

I’ve given it some thought, and I accept your use of the term ‘story’.

I think Marie touched on it in the last post. What we’re dealing with here are our philosophies. It is my understanding that philosophy is the attempt to find unity in diversity. That is where the term ‘quintessence’ comes from. The Greeks spoke of the four essences; water, earth wind, and fire, and then they asked what is the ‘fifth’ essence that unites the others?

Now, forgive me for the introductory lesson in philosophy (and logic) and I do not mean to patronize anyone in the process. I offer this as a means of being absolutely sure that we understand each other. I think that we do.

One of my presuppositions in this discussion is that we are all searching for the truth. The answer to our 'problems' (mistakes) or, to put it another way, we could say that we are searching for the story that best reflects reality; or one that does not break down as a system when the attempt is made to produce a coherent framework with which to view life. logical consistency is essential if we are to come to correct theological conclusions.

Now in my mind, that philosophical framework is itself part of the whole. Our philosophy (if correct) is actually one of many dimensions of the available diversity. It is indeed, ‘reality’!

So, if we are in agreement so far, I move on to my next point. And that is that before we can begin to look for ‘the’ philosophy described above, we simply must assume that it exists. If we presuppose that there is no ultimate or absolute truth (which is itself a philosophy) then there is no point in searching for one. Not to mention that it is a logical contradiction.

If one states that ‘truth’ cannot be known, then I must ask how they arrived at that, since it is a conclusion sustained by an ‘assertion of ultimate truth’. The same applies to the statement, “we cannot know”. Neither the agnostic, nor the skeptic escapes the assertion in their own statements.

C.S. Lewis said in Christian Reflections, “Unless thought is valid, we have no reason to believe in the real universe."

"A universe whose only claim to be believed in rests on the validity of inference must not start telling us the inference is invalid..."

------------------------------

The next point that I would like to make is that if there is a ‘real’ philosophy or story that brings the unity in diversity that we desire, it is rightly not something that we can call ‘our’ or ‘my’ story. For if it is ‘the philosophy’, it is only something that I myself am a part of. it precedes me.

Furthermore, it is not simply a philosophy at such a vantage point, but rather, it is reality in total. What we are doing now is confining this ‘Whole’ story to philosophical terms so that we can discuss it. Philosophical understanding is really only one aspect of reality's character.

Back to the point- we certainly cannot claim ownership of such a grand reality, but we would be a part of it. So it must be within somehow. There must be some light in us to guide us if it exists and we are in communion with it.

G.K. Chesterton had a way of putting things. He said regarding the philosophy of relativism: "The modern habit of saying, "Every man has a different philosophy; this is my philosophy and it suits me" (the habit of saying this is mere weak mindedness). A cosmic philosophy is not constructed to fit a man; a cosmic philosophy is constructed to fit a cosmos. A man can no more possess a private religion than he can possess a private sun and moon."

And that moves me to my forth point; that all ‘false’ philosophies are really just ‘religions’. A ‘true’ philosophy is not a religion, but simply ‘reality’ or, the truth!

Now, this is where I can understand the skeptic’s angle, and the next point really makes relativism (pluralism, or synchronism) a force to be reckoned with. Because no one person or worldview, as judged by our experience has proven to us that they posses a ‘whole’ view of reality. They would have to embody that truth, not just preach like all of us do our own views.

If the Christian faith contains such a truth, it must be very confusing to the skeptic to see not only the wide array of interpretations within Christian denominationalism, but all out war and bloodshed between juxtaposed denominations.

The question really boils down to, ‘who can we trust’?

It brings to mind a song written by Ed Ames called ‘Who Will Answer’. I became familiar with it through a message from Ravi Zacharius (as is much of the material I present to you today), as he used it to demonstrate the same point I will attempt to make a little later.



From the canyons of the mind,
We wander on and stumble blindly
Through the often-tangled maze
Of starless nights and sunless days,
While casting for some kind of clue
Or road to lead us to the truth,
But who will answer?

Side by side two people stand,
Together vowing, hand-in-hand
That love's imbedded in their hearts,
But soon an empty feeling starts
To overwhelm their hollow lives,
And when we seek the hows and whys,
Who will answer?

High upon a lonely ledge,
a figure teeters near the edge,
And jeering crowds collect below
To egg him on with, "Go, man, go!"
And who will ask what led him
To his private day of doom,
And who will answer?

On a strange and distant hill,
A young man's lying very still.
His arms will never hold his child,
Because a bullet running wild
Has cut him down. And now we cry,
"Dear God, Oh, why, oh, why?"
And who will answer?


If the soul is darkened by a fear it cannot name,
If the mind is baffled when the rules don't fit the game,
Who will answer? Who will answer? Who will answer?

In the rooms of dark and shades,
The scent of sandalwood pervades.
The colored thoughts in muddled heads
Reclining in rumpled beds
Of unmade dreams that can't come true,
And when we ask what we should do,
Who? Who will answer?

'Neath the spreading mushroom tree,
The world revolves in apathy
As overhead, a row of specks
Roars on, drowned out by discotheques,
And if a secret button's pressed
Because one man has been outguessed,
Who will answer?

Is our hope in walnut shells
Worn 'round the neck with temple bells,
Or deep within some cloistered walls
Where hooded figures pray in halls?
Or crumbled books on dusty shelves,
Or in our stars, or in ourselves,
Who will answer?

-----------------------------------------------------------------

Paul, you said, “I'm not inclined though to attribute this problem to either "evolution" or "naturalism". The pattern of repeating human "mistakes", in particular of humans causing human suffering, is a very old one, one that long predates the quite recent development of both "evolution" and "naturalism" as stories, so it is unlikely that either is a principle cause of such patterns".

I agree with you wholeheartedly Paul. And I am sorry if I gave the wrong impression. The point that I was trying to make is that if ‘naturalism’ is true, and if ‘materialism’ is true, then all of these things we call ‘mistakes’ or ‘sin’ that result in suffering are simply ‘natural’ and therefore ‘just the way it is’. They are not ‘mistakes’, they are but ‘necessities’. They cannot be otherwise with the assumption that ‘empiricism’ and ‘rationalism’ are the only important angles to understanding reality.

If naturalism is true… if materialism is true… we simply cannot make a ‘value’ judgment; a ‘moral’ judgment on them either for better or for worse!

There is another element that is needed in order for us to ‘coherently’ (within our philosophy) bring these judgments in. That element is the ‘heart’ or the ‘conscious’.

Now I am not going here, into a deep defense of the concept. I assume I do not have to. The necessity of the conscious is simply an unavoidable reality of our ‘experience’. The Bible tells us that God has given light to every man.

‘Reason’ (light) is composed of logic, experience, empiricism, and heart (at least that is how I define it).

Even Emanuel Kant, who started this notion that faith is all heart and no mind (in direct contradiction to the apostle Paul and jesus btw) was a theist. He said, “I shall forever hold in wonder, the starry hosts above, and the moral law within.”
But he made a mistake in his philosophy. He tried to remove a fundamental component of diversity, from the unity.

A man cannot appreciate reality by the mind alone! As Ravi Zacharius said (and I love this), “the ‘rationalist’ had an angle at truth, the ‘empiricist’ had an angle at truth. But in taking the single line, they blocked out all the others.” He goes on to say, “we have got to bring all of these realities and combine them into a composite whole. That is what the Christian aught to do best!”

All of this being said, I can appreciate the draw that pluralism (relativism) has to so many people and I believe that it is a correct position to take in some respects. But not in the moral realm. Pluralism is a necessary component to keeping the mind open. One cannot ever presume to have all knowledge. If there is such a being (and I believe so) it is God. However, this does not mean that ‘all things are true’, or even equally true. If that were the case, there would also be no need to keep the mind open.

You see, relativism as it is called today is really saying that truth is not exclusive. But as soon as it says that it is not, it only proves that it is. Because the only way we can say that ‘this’ or ‘that’ is true, is to, by necessity, exclude its opposite.

Aristotle caught on to this a long time ago: “To say of what is, that it is not; or of what is not, that it is, is false. While to say of what is, that it is; and of what is not, that it is not, is true. So that he who says of anything that it is, or that it is not, will either say what is true, or what is false." (Aristotle Metaphysics 1011b25)

If that is simply a tongue twister, then let’s put it this way…
If I say that all truth is relative, does that statement include itself or include itself?

If it includes itself, then it is not ‘always true’ which means the statement is false. If it excludes itself, then it is positing an absolute while denying that absolutes exist. It is plainly a logical contradiction.

The law of non-contradiction cannot be challenged. A logically contradictory statement simply cannot be true. And as soon as you challenge it, you prove it. Because in order to challenge it, you must infer that you are right, and I (or it) am wrong.

Remembers Lewis’ Quotes? , “Unless thought is valid, we have no reason to believe in the real universe."
"A universe whose only claim to be believed in rests on the validity of inference must not start telling us the inference is invalid..."

Now, I am not telling you that Chistianity is valid simply based on the laws of logic even though it is exquisitely logical.

Here I quote Ravi Zacharius: “Experience matters, testability matters, and ‘reason’ matters… Jesus rose again from the dead, as a demonstration to be the Son of God with Power. There was an empirical reality to it. And when Thomas touched him he fell to his knees and said, ‘My Lord, and my God!’”

It was the resurrection that gave the Apostles the courage to die for their faith. And it is a real encounter with the risen Lord that gives me the fortitude to stand before you and proclaim His truth. Not my truth…

And taking another page from Ravi’s angle to the skeptic and the rationalist… If we are seeking unity in diversity, there is only one place that we find it. To have unity in diversity in the effect (creation), we must have unity in diversity in the first cause (whole of reality). And the only place we can find unity in diversity is in the trinity, where there is unity, and diversity, and community in the trinity.

We were made in the image of God; made for relationship. God is an eternal being in relationship. Until we find Him, we are incomplete and do not have the philosophy in which to give us morality and its imperative for life. Simply because that philosophy is Him. The Bible says that 'In Him, all things consist.'


The problem with man is ‘sin’. We are trying to have ‘peace’ and our sin. The two do not cohere. Good and evil are not opposite sides of the same one as the pantheist believes. They are irreconcilable. The horror of it is portrayed on the cross. It’s real, and it is evil.

And we sin, because we do not know the truth, and therefore do not have the power to overcome our natural urges which represent only one part of the ‘whole’. We are broken! We are fragmented in our thinking and feelings. Our souls lost in the quagmire and resisting to call to the one hand that can rescue and lead us; reason Himself, Truth, the deliverer, the messiah (all synonymous terms).

"…If you feel it is imperative to fill all your needs, and if these needs are contradictory or in conflict with those of others, or simply unfillable, then frustration inevitably follows. To Abby, and to Mark as well, self-fulfillment means having a career, and marriage, and children, and sexual freedom, and autonomy, and being liberal, and having money, and choosing non-conformity, and insisting on social justice, and enjoying city life, and country living, and simplicity, and graciousness, and reading, and good friends, and on and on.
The individual is not truly fulfilled by becoming ever more autonomous. Indeed, to move too far in this direction is to risk psychosis, the ultimate form of autonomy. The injunction that to find one’s self, one must lose one’s self, contains a truth any seeker of self-fulfillment needs to grasp."

(April 1981 Daniel Yankelovich / Psychology Today)

Now at the time of that writing (I don’t know about now), Daniel Yankelovich was a secular thinker. But his conclusion is remarkable because Jesus said, “whoever tries to keep his life will loose it. But whoever looses his life for my sake will find it.”

Who did He think He was to say such things Paul?

Who is Jesus?

We’re all looking for the truth, so that we might find the way to real life.

-Who will answer?-

Jesus said plainly, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No-one comes to the father but by me”.

That is a staggering and exclusive claim!

Without ‘reason’ we are lost. But to have it, means we can no longer point fingers and say, ‘if it wasn’t for those Jews, or those Muslims the world could have peace. The problem with the world is not extremism. Because whenever we say ‘what is true’ (no matter what the assertion), we ourselves become the extremist. Mathematitians are extremists. The laws of physics are extreme.

All order is extreme. But so is chaos!...

So the questions really becomes ‘which extreme truth, is ‘the truth’.

We don’t have to be obnoxious simply because we possess truth. I have been at times, but I do not mock or threaten my 5 yr old son because he doesn’t know his arithmetic. I instead, like our heavenly father, encourage him and love him. Teaching and rebuking. No condemnation, but an expectancy that he will respond to ‘reason’.

In a letter to the editor, in response to the question, “What’s wrong with the world?” G.K. Chesterton responded,

“I am!’

Yours truly, G.K. Chesterton


I am a sinner in need of a savior, and in constant need for the drink of truth to sustain my growth. Spiritually we are more like plants than animals. As plants need photosynthesis to grow, so my spirit needs ‘truth synthesis’ to grow. And since I have been given this gift for no other reason than being humble enough to ask, I now give my life to tell you that He will respond If you give Him your life, and admit to him that you are lost and in need of him. This world is perishing. It has gone mad because it has lost its ability to reason.

------------------------------------------

The alien race who created us, came here not in a space ship, but in something far more technologically advanced… a human body containing the infinite Spirit of God. The way we were all created to be. He reasons with us and embodied that truth, living a sinless life.

We crucified Him.

And He rose.

Paul, if the resurrection is true, then you have to admit that life’s paradigm is far different than the assumptions of naturalism, simple empiricism, and materialism.

And to say that we cannot know, is in direct conflict with the words of Jesus; ‘If you keep my words...you will know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.’

Take the time to listen to Him. Put him on trial. He loves a skeptic because God is a reasonable man.

And Paul, in light of the quantum I ask you, "Do you want there to be a God"?

“What do you ‘want’ to believe?”



Name: Marie
Date: //2006-10-18 12:55:57 :
Link to this Comment: 20701

Rob has (although his is post is primarily addressed to Paul) touched two important things here.

" we are searching for a story that best reflects reality, one that does not break down as a system when the attempt is made to produce a coherent framework with which to view life".

This is a much better way of saying what I have been trying, that evolution can not be pure science, for pure science will not break down as a system when juxtaposed to any world view. A man-made philosophy, on the other hand, will hold relevance for only a fragment of the population, and is subject to change with each juxtaposition and rubbing together.
We are all imperfect, any philosophy which men attempt to pruduce or which can be attributed to any man, is in one way or another doomed to failure, or at least to incompletion. It is like attempting to recreate a landscape with a limited palate. Each of us is lacking one pigment or another, so that no matter the elaboration or pains taken, the final result is only an interpretive rendering. Maybe we can even say that just by looking over the shoulder of our neighbor and viewing his or her work, we certainly will get an idea of other possibilities, and certainly the more we look the clearer our picture of the finished product will grow, but yet this looking should give us no cause for arrogance. It may give us the impression that we are 'better' than our neighbor for being so enlightened, but ultimately can not gain for us the missing elements to our own work.

This is in agreement with another one of Rob's points, that we may lay claim to a philosophy, but not to ultimate truth. It further agrees with two major teachings of christian philosophy, one; that we all have talents or gifts to share, and all with purpose, and two; that we can not rest in our own gifts, but must always have recourse to scripture for further understanding. Knowledge is a life-long process, but since we know not how long we have, and have no hope to learn everything even given till eternity, the breath of this very instant is to be cosidered as the apex of our existance. It is this present moment in time which we must view as our last, no matter our education or where we are in the learning process, and it is because of the uncertain hour of death that reason must leave off and faith begin. Knowledge for its own sake, as a personal collection, and the belief that acquisition of philosophical "possessions" is inately to be valued, has failed to bring comfort to the most learned of men upon their deathbeds. It is the cowardly way out of being 'wrong' by adhering to any standard and thus coming under assault for its supposed fallacies. We are all afraid of that. But truly, you shall know a tree by the fruit that it bears, and there is quite a difference between those who are motivated by personal gain, and those who are acting under the inspiration of a Higher Being. We should all like to have concrete proof, to see Jesus come in the flesh and enlighten us, but since we know this will not happen, to me it seems that the highest form of intelligence is to accept that and live thru faith, rather than hold out for an answer that will not come. I have always been taught that God offers salvation to all of us equally, whether it come from great study, or simple humility. But the man who rests in the truth ultimately is wiser than the most educated, and to him much will be revealed. It is the humble of heart that God chooses most often as His messengers, not so that we may doubt them in their ignorance, but so that self-pride will not obstruct His word. As the bible says, "he who has ears, let him listen".


The bad news - and the good!
Name: Rob
Date: //2006-10-21 23:54:12 :
Link to this Comment: 20713

The story of the Bible?
Is it really reasonable?

One of the biggest problems people have with Christianity is the doctrine of sin. It is the bold insistence that man is corrupt and evil; fallen in his nature. The Bible makes this plain, and makes no apologies for this view. The claim is made as simple fact. Man is a beast.

It was Malcomb Muggeridge who said, ‘the depravity of man, is at once, the most empirically verifiable reality, but at the same time, is the most intellectually resisted fact.’

We would much rather believe that we are sick. Hobart Mowrer, who at one time was president of the American Psychological Assosiation said, "For several decades we psychologists looked upon the whole matter of sin and moral accountability as a great incubus and acclaimed our liberation from it as epoch making. But at length we have discovered that to be free in this sense, that is, to have the excuse of being sick rather than sinful, is to court the danger of also becoming lost… In becoming amoral, ethically neutral and free, we have cut the very roots of our being, lost our deepest sense of selfhood and identity, and with neurotics, themselves, we find ourselves asking, "Who am I, what is my deepest destiny, what does living mean?" (Hobart Mowrer, [Sin, the Lesser of Two Evils] American Psychologist 15 (1960): 301-304.)

The biggest problem in most minds (including my own at one time) is that a good God would not condemn people to an eternal hell for sins committed, since it is not our fault that we are born into this fallen state. But the God of the Bible does not condemn people for this reason. The sin that is unforgivable and worthy of such eternal isolation from God is a different animal altogether.

We are not sinners because we do evil things. We do evil things because we are sinners. Our actions are a result of our hearts. And our hearts are desperately wicked.
Jesus spoke plainly on the subject:

Matthew 12:34
You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.
15:18
But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man 'unclean.'
5:19
For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.

Luke 6:45
The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.


It’s like my son. He is 5 years old, and has much to learn. It is not his fault that he is human and born ignorant. He has not learned to master himself. I certainly do not condemn him for his faults. But I do expect him to respond to teaching and rebuke now. And later in life, I expect him to respond to reason.

Now, if he refuses to cooperate. If he ‘consciously refuses’ to respond to reason, using all of the excuses and rationalizing one would expect from a defiant man, then we have a whole different animal. His condemnation is not my will but his. He is his own man, and out of relationship with me by his choice. He will take (forcibly) his own way, motivated by the very pain he is looking to escape.

This is the situation with mankind. We are who we are because of our environment and our DNA. If the world is falling apart as the Bible says, and if the creation is in decay and we along with it, then we half rightly ask, ‘how is it, that I am condemned for being what I have no control to be?’ If the whole universe is collapsing simply because one component (mankind) has failed in his divine duty, how can I change that?

It’s a good question…

But that is not the issue. The issue is that God has reached down from eternity, into our universe of finitude and decay, and offered His own right hand to pull us out, and we refuse!

We refuse!

And we do so because we have made peace with our sin and learned very quickly to enjoy it. We have at some point become allied with evil and enemies of God by choice.
We confidently insist that we have it under control and will find the answer apart from God.

That is the sin that condemns us. And it is ‘we’ who condemn ourselves, not God.

In fact, He, being the one ultimately responsible for creating evil (Isaiah 45:7 I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the Lord, do all these things.) So he took the responsibility upon Himself to provide justice for our sin. He paid the price; a heavy price. He offers peace and mercy in return. All we have to do is accept it, and allow Him into our lives. The buck stopped on the cross, if you’ll pardon the crude analogy.

We are slaves to sin (our fallen world, its environment, and our DNA). He commands us to be ‘born again’ through Him. If we refuse, then we condemn ourselves to what we are now.

He offers all the answers… but we prefer to have our own way. And a good God cannot allow that to be the case for eternity, and has confined us to this half life, so that some might be saved. The only alternatives would be to destroy us instantly without allowing anyone to escape; or, to allow this malaise to go on ‘forever and ever’ (minus the Amen).

Here we are folks, trapped in isolation in a universe so vast, that we really have no excuse to believe that we are in control of anything. Yet we believe the lie we tell ourselves.

The man who imposes ‘his own truth’ upon us… is ourselves. Reality has been there the whole time waiting for us to come to our senses.

John 3;16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

NOTE THIS- 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

AND HERE IS THE SIN 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever 'does not believe stands condemned already' because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.

19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.

Matthew 9:13
But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."


You do not have to be religious or pious to find God. Those are the people who will never find him. The teachers and Pharisees rejected him, because they thought highly of themselves. The idea that they were sinners was luducrous. They are the righteous Christ speaks of (the self-righteous). To them, Jesus is a weak and wretched fool. You only need to see that you are a sinner (which only requires honesty) and then you can hear Him because you hear ‘the truth’ and can do what he said…

John 10:27
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.

All of reality (the kingdom of heaven) hidden only by this hidden little door deep inside our hearts called...

Honesty!


The bad news - and the good!
Name:
Date: //2006-10-21 23:55:18 :
Link to this Comment: 20714

The story of the Bible? Is it really reasonable? One of the biggest problems people have with Christianity is the doctrine of sin. It is the bold insistence that man is corrupt and evil; fallen in his nature. The Bible makes this plain, and makes no apologies for this view. The claim is made as simple fact. Man is a beast. It was Malcomb Muggeridge who said, ‘the depravity of man, is at once, the most empirically verifiable reality, but at the same time, is the most intellectually resisted fact.’ We would much rather believe that we are sick. Hobart Mowrer, who at one time was president of the American Psychological Assosiation said, "For several decades we psychologists looked upon the whole matter of sin and moral accountability as a great incubus and acclaimed our liberation from it as epoch making. But at length we have discovered that to be free in this sense, that is, to have the excuse of being sick rather than sinful, is to court the danger of also becoming lost… In becoming amoral, ethically neutral and free, we have cut the very roots of our being, lost our deepest sense of selfhood and identity, and with neurotics, themselves, we find ourselves asking, "Who am I, what is my deepest


The bad news... and the good!
Name: rob
Date: //2006-10-21 23:56:02 :
Link to this Comment: 20715

The story of the Bible?
Is it really reasonable?

One of the biggest problems people have with Christianity is the doctrine of sin. It is the bold insistence that man is corrupt and evil; fallen in his nature. The Bible makes this plain, and makes no apologies for this view. The claim is made as simple fact. Man is a beast.

It was Malcomb Muggeridge who said, ‘the depravity of man, is at once, the most empirically verifiable reality, but at the same time, is the most intellectually resisted fact.’

We would much rather believe that we are sick. Hobart Mowrer, who at one time was president of the American Psychological Assosiation said, "For several decades we psychologists looked upon the whole matter of sin and moral accountability as a great incubus and acclaimed our liberation from it as epoch making. But at length we have discovered that to be free in this sense, that is, to have the excuse of being sick rather than sinful, is to court the danger of also becoming lost… In becoming amoral, ethically neutral and free, we have cut the very roots of our being, lost our deepest sense of selfhood and identity, and with neurotics, themselves, we find ourselves asking, "Who am I, what is my deepest destiny, what does living mean?" (Hobart Mowrer, [Sin, the Lesser of Two Evils] American Psychologist 15 (1960): 301-304.)

The biggest problem in most minds (including my own at one time) is that a good God would not condemn people to an eternal hell for sins committed, since it is not our fault that we are born into this fallen state. But the God of the Bible does not condemn people for this reason. The sin that is unforgivable and worthy of such eternal isolation from God is a different animal altogether.

We are not sinners because we do evil things. We do evil things because we are sinners. Our actions are a result of our hearts. And our hearts are desperately wicked.
Jesus spoke plainly on the subject:

Matthew 12:34
You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.
15:18
But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man 'unclean.'
5:19
For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.

Luke 6:45
The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.


It’s like my son. He is 5 years old, and has much to learn. It is not his fault that he is human and born ignorant. He has not learned to master himself. I certainly do not condemn him for his faults. But I do expect him to respond to teaching and rebuke now. And later in life, I expect him to respond to reason.

Now, if he refuses to cooperate. If he ‘consciously refuses’ to respond to reason, using all of the excuses and rationalizing one would expect from a defiant man, then we have a whole different animal. His condemnation is not my will but his. He is his own man, and out of relationship with me by his choice. He will take (forcibly) his own way, motivated by the very pain he is looking to escape.

This is the situation with mankind. We are who we are because of our environment and our DNA. If the world is falling apart as the Bible says, and if the creation is in decay and we along with it, then we half rightly ask, ‘how is it, that I am condemned for being what I have no control to be?’ If the whole universe is collapsing simply because one component (mankind) has failed in his divine duty, how can I change that?

It’s a good question…

But that is not the issue. The issue is that God has reached down from eternity, into our universe of finitude and decay, and offered His own right hand to pull us out, and we refuse!

We refuse!

And we do so because we have made peace with our sin and learned very quickly to enjoy it. We have at some point become allied with evil and enemies of God by choice.
We confidently insist that we have it under control and will find the answer apart from God.

That is the sin that condemns us. And it is ‘we’ who condemn ourselves, not God.

In fact, He, being the one ultimately responsible for creating evil (Isaiah 45:7 I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the Lord, do all these things.) So he took the responsibility upon Himself to provide justice for our sin. He paid the price; a heavy price. He offers peace and mercy in return. All we have to do is accept it, and allow Him into our lives. The buck stopped on the cross, if you’ll pardon the crude analogy.

We are slaves to sin (our fallen world, its environment, and our DNA). He commands us to be ‘born again’ through Him. If we refuse, then we condemn ourselves to what we are now.

He offers all the answers… but we prefer to have our own way. And a good God cannot allow that to be the case for eternity, and has confined us to this half life, so that some might be saved. The only alternatives would be to destroy us instantly without allowing anyone to escape; or, to allow this malaise to go on ‘forever and ever’ (minus the Amen).

Here we are folks, trapped in isolation in a universe so vast, that we really have no excuse to believe that we are in control of anything. Yet we believe the lie we tell ourselves.

The man who imposes ‘his own truth’ upon us… is ourselves. Reality has been there the whole time waiting for us to come to our senses.

John 3;16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

NOTE THIS- 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

AND HERE IS THE SIN 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever 'does not believe stands condemned already' because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.

19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.

Matthew 9:13
But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."


You do not have to be religious or pious to find God. Those are the people who will never find him. The teachers and Pharisees rejected him, because they thought highly of themselves. The idea that they were sinners was luducrous. They are the righteous Christ speaks of (the self-righteous). To them, Jesus is a weak and wretched fool. You only need to see that you are a sinner (which only requires honesty) and then you can hear Him because you hear ‘the truth’ and can do what he said…

John 10:27
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.

All of reality (the kingdom of heaven) hidden only by this hidden little door deep inside our hearts called...

Honesty!


Addendum
Name: Rob
Date: //2006-10-22 00:53:16 :
Link to this Comment: 20716

That is the sin that condemns us. And it is ‘we’ who condemn ourselves, not God. He loves us just as we are, and offers to lead us out of Egypt. We do not know the way by default. And to refuse His leadership is to deny the voice of reason; the voice of truth. It is total denial of loves embrace.

It is self imposed isolation; the creature, imposing evil, upon the merciful creator who gives nothing but goodness and righteousness, justice and mercy, which by such a nature, is not an imposition but freedom.

That is the sin that makes a victim of circumstance, into a beast that cannot be recovered.

A result of cvery onsciously choosing to operate our system on a program that runs directly in opposition to our conscious.

Matthew 12:31 And so I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 32 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.

The man who imposes ‘his own truth’ (isolation) upon us… is ourselves. Reality has been there the whole time waiting for us to come to our senses.


Hell
Name: Rob
Date: //2006-10-22 10:23:53 :
Link to this Comment: 20717

"In every guilty man, there is some innocence. This makes every absolute condemnation revolting." Albert Camus

Is Mr. Camus absolutely condemning the concept of 'absolute condemnation'?

He is! And he proves that justice must be absolute by imperitive and displays the irrationality that motivates a crowd to choose ignorance over reason, when given a clear option. Such a choice is the lesser of the two threats to the will of the crowd, who chooses to live their own way, absolutely.

Matthew 27: 21 "Which of the two do you want me to release to you?" asked the governor. "Barabbas," they answered. 22 "What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called Christ?" Pilate asked. They all answered, "Crucify him!" 23 "Why? What crime has he committed?" asked Pilate. But they shouted all the louder, "Crucify him!" 24 When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. "I am innocent of this man's blood," he said. "It is your responsibility!"

Such a scene is absolutism, condemning absolutism...



Name:
Date: //2006-10-22 12:22:34 :
Link to this Comment: 20718

Such a scene is absolutism, condemning absolutism...

It is man, crucifying himself.


Paley's watch
Name: Matt Wilki
Date: //2007-01-09 10:35:25 :
Link to this Comment: 21379

As someone who despairs at the pseudo-scientific theory of intelligent design I would offer this response to Paley's watch analogy: As you may know, Paley suggests the complexity, regularity and purpose displayed by an old-fashioned watch is a fair reflection of the apparent order + purpose in the universe. However, I would suggest the universe appears more to us like a large ant's nest. Although at first the nest appears bafflingly complicated and impressively efficient, we can deduce that the nest has taken many years and countless ants' lives to produce. Although to some the complexity of the universe appears incredibly complicated and implies design, we know that our world has taken many millions of years to develop- it is not like the watch that was made quickly by one being, rather it is like the ants' nest that has taken an incredible amount of time and energy to develop into the form we now see today.


The Design Argument: David Hume vs. Post-Science
Name: Chien Yi L
Date: //2007-01-09 12:01:48 :
Link to this Comment: 21380

One of the oldest and most popular arguments for the existence of God is the design argument – that all the order and 'purpose' in the world bespeaks a divine origin. A modern manifestation of this belief is creationism.

I am quoting from the front page of the Self-Creation.org site of Dr. Hugh Ching, founder of post-science, http://www.self-creation.org and Wikipedia on David Hume http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Hume

Hume: For the design argument to be feasible, it must be true that order and purpose are observed only when they result from design. But order is observed regularly, resulting from presumably mindless processes like snowflake or crystal generation. Design accounts for only a tiny part of our experience with order and 'purpose'.

Post-Science: From the post-science discovery of the solution of completely automated software, post-science expects that in one or two thousand years mankind will start to think about creating itself based on a completely automated software. In the process of self-creation, we have to have a design and must decide the purpose of our creation, as whoever created us must have done. However, the problem of completely automated software involves around five hundred, or virtually an unlimited number of, variables, and is about two orders of magnitude more complex than an average problem in science, which has roughly five variables. Post-science, in its reexamination of the existing creation, finds that the current creation has almost at an optimal design, from which post-science finds little which can be surpassed and, thus, conclude that we most likely are also created. In particular, post-science realizes that evil is created as a survival mechanism for the weak to compete against strong, and pain and suffering are designed as warning devises and a way for mankind to learn lessons on non-violable laws of nature in the absence of its creators.

Hume: Furthermore, the design argument is based on an incomplete analogy: because of our experience with objects, we can recognise human-designed ones, comparing for example a pile of stones and a brick wall. But in order to point to a designed Universe, we would need to have an experience of a range of different universes. As we only experience one, the analogy cannot be applied.

Post-Science: With the permanent creations based on the completely automated software, we will have two types of permanent entities, ours is primitive and the existing seems to be optimal. One example is the solution to touch. Touch is still not even recognized as a problem, but post-science and our creators have it solved. Here, if the solution is correct, is an order of the creation yet undetected, by the people who try to refute creation.

Hume: Even if the design argument is completely successful, it could not (in and of itself) establish a robust theism; one could easily reach the conclusion that the universe's configuration is the result of some morally ambiguous, possibly unintelligent agent or agents whose method bears only a remote similarity to human design.

Post-Science: Post-science believes that the origin of life starts from unintelligent raw materials. To advance from raw materials to anything intelligent takes almost infinite amount of time, which the universe has. This transient stage of the development of intelligence is based on random chance and is very disorderly. And, mankind would be very unfortunate, if we are still in this transient stage. Post-science believes that our living system is currently in a steady state of self-creation. Post-science would welcome any design which can surpass the existing design of life. However, post-science admits that art, particularly, beauty is still lacking in the creation, but, on the other hand, it realizes that love holds a dominant position in the universe and that our creators rather create those they have loved rather than those who are most beautiful.

Hume: If a well-ordered natural world requires a special designer, then God's mind (being so well-ordered) also requires a special designer. And then this designer would likewise need a designer, and so on ad infinitum. We could respond by resting content with an inexplicably self-ordered divine mind; but then why not rest content with an inexplicably self-ordered natural world?

Post-Science: Self-creation needs not worry about prior creators. However, self-creation might go on ad infinitum only forward, but not backward in time. Before self-creation is the transient stage of creation. Maybe the next stage of the progress of development of the living system, or the intelligence of the universe, will be the “inexplicably self-ordered natural world" as well as the "divine mind.”

Hume: Often, what appears to be purpose, where it looks like object X has feature F in order to secure some outcome O, is better explained by a filtering process: that is, object X wouldn't be around did it not possess feature F, and outcome O is only interesting to us as a human projection of goals onto nature. This mechanical explanation of teleology anticipated natural selection. (see also Anthropic principle)

Post-Science: Self-creation’s purpose is for the future, not the past. With only a few thousands of years of recorded history, post-science is starting to speculate on self-creation. This shortness of the recorded history makes leaving any sign of self-creation unnecessary. Self-creation will include evolution as a design specification in anticipation of uncertainty the design.

But, before we get too ambitious with our design plan we should understand the existing situation. Sure, post-science would not rule out the possibility of progress, for example, shortening the period of irrationality and suffering from 10,000 years of recorded history, when mankind is conscious of its own suffering, to, say, 1,000 years and making our natural life span longer to or infinity, but the later is in conflict with the former; imagine what can happen if Stalin and Mao had lived much longer or if Hitler were as intelligent as Kant. We can also include paranormal phenomena into out design, but, if self-creation is correct, sometime in the distant past, pain must have been considered a paranormal phenomena before pain was discovered. The first creator to propose the creation of pain must be one of the most ridiculed being in the universe! Today, if I propose to program a computer so that it can feel pain, my proposal will equally be rejected, but the existence pain is already proven.
### [CYL]


Good and Evil in Self-creation
Name: Chien Yi L
Date: //2007-01-08 21:51:17 :
Link to this Comment: 21378

Post subject: Good and Evil in Self-creation

Post-science, knowledge beyond science http://www.post-science.com, views the world from the standpoint of life science or self-creation http://www.self-vreation.org. Most traditional religions are preoccupied with social science and the struggle between good and evil. If the living system is created, it should all be created for good purposes. While religions try to eradicate evil, self-creationism considers evil an important part of creation. From the point of view of life science, evil is created for the purpose as a survival mechanism for the weak to compete against the strong. Without this survival mechanism, a large part of creatures will perish. Most wars are justified on the principle of the defense of good against evil. The elimination of this justification will greatly enhance peace and will allow the rational method of arbitration to replace armed conflicts. With peace, mankind can start to embark on the path of constructive development of our world.

In general, the belief of self-creation will put life science at center-stage of knowledge. Science uses past phenomena to predict the future and is, therefore, backward looking. Social science is based on value, which depends on future consequences. Social science has to be forward looking. Life science deals with creation and sees the world from the point of view of the creator. Post-science contains the solutions of value, software, and touch, respectively, corresponds to social, life, and physical sciences.

Subject: Pain is a warning system, and suffering, lessons in the absence of our creator—Self-creation

If the living system is created, all its elements are created with good purposes. Pain is a warning system; the very few humans who do not feel pain die before thirty from injury. Suffering is intended as lessons in learning the non-violable laws of nature. The laws of nature restrict human behavior are in social science. Today, we are in the Age of Science, in which only the non-violable laws in physical science are understood. Post-science http://www.post-science.com deals with social and life sciences. Not understanding the quantitative relationship http://www.infinitespreadsheet.com of interest rate, inflation rate, and the rate of return caused the US Savings and Loan Crisis. The solution to completely automated software from post-science set the foundation for the creation of permanent entities, such as life, which is characterized by complete automation. If someday mankind can create itself, it stands to reason that mankind is created. Post-science believes in self-creation of the living system.

[NOTE: Self-creation relates to the current steady-state stage of the development of the living system. The scientific study of the origin of life deals with the transient stage of the development of the living system. Self-creation will become apparent within the next several millennia. The transient stage takes almost infinite time, corresponding to the nearly zero probability for the natural origination of the living system.]

Science is a prerequisite for post-science. When knowledge becomes mature, it becomes a religion http://www.knowledgebook.us. Today, the world is dominated by the “Religion of Science” which is truly understandable to only a small percentage of the human population, but is believed by almost every educated person. Post-science is not against religion and would consider anyone who possesses the knowledge of creating the living system a God or a true life scientist. Thank you. ### [CYL, a student of post-science]

For further interest, please visit
http://www.self-creation.org
_________________
http://www.post-science.com
http://www.infinitespreadsheet.com
http://www.jumpulse.com
http://www.pn123.com
http://www.universalcomputersourcecode.com
http://www.self-creation.org


Intelligent Design
Name: Jim
Date: //2007-02-08 11:08:51 :
Link to this Comment: 21434

What isn't being highlighted in this 'debate' is the fact that the only place on earth where evolutionary theory is being subjected to this kind of energetic, somewhat irrational scrutiny is the US. Fundamentally, this is a political debate, in the sense that it's a power struggle between ideologies.

It's something of an enigma that an otherwise advanced, technologically literate nation such as the US could contain such a strong base of unreason and, frankly, nonsensical belief in a set of archaeological texts. It's as daft as claiming that the Epic of Gilgamesh is literally true.

Scrutinise and challenge evolutionary theory, by all means - challenge is how science makes progress - but to do so with blinkers on defies belief. Join the advanced world, Biblebelt America, and try to kick marginally less shit while you're at it.



Name: Rob
Date: //2007-02-08 20:08:30 :
Link to this Comment: 21438

I wanted to add one thing, but felt it better to leave my faith seperate from my scientific thinking. It is a message from the Apostle Paul to the Romans. And it adresses the issues involved 'right now' in the design / evolution debate. And it exposes the internal motives for believing one or the other... in my opinion. I have block quoted the aeras of particular intrigue to me...

Peace be with you...

Romans 1:16 I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 17 For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith."

18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who [suppress the truth] by their wickedness,

19 [since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.]

21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, [but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.]

22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. 24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator--who is forever praised. Amen. 26

Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. 28 Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done.

29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.



Name: Rob
Date: //2007-02-08 19:57:05 :
Link to this Comment: 21437

Hello Jim, I would like to share some 'unreason' (as you call it) with you. Obviously, I think I am being quite reasonable. Please bear with me, since 'sucker-punches', such as the one you gave above, do not really unmask the heart of the matter in my opinion...

No one questions scientific facts Jim. The question is, 'what is fact and what is faith'?

What is at issue in this debate is the 'theo' on each side of it. One claims to be scientific in it's 'THEO'ry, and the other, scientific in it's 'THEO'logy'.

I don't think either side has done a very good job of being objective as we look bakc through History.

The design inference has been around for centuries. Life just 'appears' to be totally dependant upon other life and sytems within which it sits. Design just leaps out as the default conclusion quite naturally. One has to purposefully seek out an alternative explaination such as evolution or materialism (for their own reasons), because it really goes against the grain of what 'appears' to be self evident to so many.

Both sides of the debate 'see' things that are 'not visible'. Evolution is not visible from the 'facts' of Natural Selection. It is extrapolated from the facts; theorized and imagined only in the mind (seen with faith not evidence or verification). However, 'God's invisible qualities are clearly seen, being understood from what has been made in the same manner.' So to call Christianity 'faith', and Scientific theory 'fact' is a great falsehood.

Facts are facts, theo is theo...

As to the latter point, that is why we see such brilliant geneticists such as Francis Crick making the following remark; "We must constantly keep in mind, that these things were not designed, but evolved". Now I have to ask, "Why Francis? Why 'MUST' we keep that in mind?" I thought we were supposed to be objective...

I would like to offer several quotes from scientists and leaders in the design movement. all but the first quote are taken from the Q&A section of a DVD documentary on the arguments for design ('Unlocking the Mysteries of Life'). It is very informative, and if you have not seen it, you should, regardless of your persuasion. The first quote is taken from the DVD documentary 'The Privilaged Planet', which is the first scientific documentary that ever provoked an emotional response in me. Just astounding! Not attempting to sell DVDs here, just wanted to give the source for these quotes, and my own opinion on them.

We must think deeply and honestly if we truely want to understand what is going on in this attempted scientific revolution.

These are compelling arguments. And are only a small portion of the information available to those who enjoy challenging their own worldview. These arguments are built upon one another, so to only look at one is to take the 'whole' out of context.

Personally, I leave behind 20 some years of evolutionary beliefs in exchange for evidence and honesty. Regardless of your persuasion, enjoy...

Rob


----------------------------




-Paul Davies, theoretical physicist / Australian Centre for Astrobiology:

Davies on the question: ‘Does the monotheistic tradition of an intelligible universe have any impact on modern science?’-


“The worldview of a scientist, even the most atheistic scientist, is that essentially of Monotheism. It is a belief, which is accepted as an article of faith, that the universe is ordered in an intelligible way.

Now, you couldn’t be a scientist if you didn’t believe these two things. If you didn’t think there was an underlying order in nature, you wouldn’t bother to do it, because there is nothing to be found. And if you didn’t believe it was intelligible, you’d give up because there is no point if human beings can’t come to understand it.

But scientists do, as a matter of faith, accept that the universe is ordered and at least partially intelligible to human beings. And that is what underpins the entire scientific enterprise. And that is a theological position. It is absolutely ‘theo’ when you look at history. It comes from a theological worldview.

That doesn’t mean you have to buy into the religion, or buy into the theology, but it is very, very significant in historical terms; that that is where it comes from and that scientists today, unshakably retain that worldview, as an act of faith. You cannot prove it logically has to be the case, that the universe is rational and intelligible. It could easily have been otherwise. It could have been arbitrary, it could have been absurd, it could have been utterly beyond human comprehension. It’s not! And scientists just take this for granted for the most part, and I think it’s a really important point that needs to be made.”



------------------------------



-Phillip Johnson - author ‘Darwin on trial’ / Professor of law (emeritus) University of California at Berkeley-

Johnson on the question: ‘What is Evolution?’-


“With Darwinian evolution, we’re dealing with something that is much more than a scientific theory; it’s a creation story. In fact, it’s the creation myth of our culture. Every culture has a creation myth, which tells the people where they came from, what is ultimately ‘real’, and how they relate to that, and where they should get their knowledge- their information from.

Every culture has a priesthood that has custody of this creation story and that gives that knowledge. In our culture, the priesthood is not the clergy or the ministers in church, it’s the intellectual class, and especially the scientists.

So the Darwinian story says that ultimately all that is ‘real’ is nature. Nature is all there is, and nature is composed of matter; the particles making up matter and energy that physicists study.

So, this is the philosophy called naturalism, or materialism. And since that’s all there is, it follows, that matter must have done all the creating that had to be done; that is to say, matter, unassisted by God, or any other intelligent force. According to materialism, a mind can’t exist until it evolves mindlessly from matter.

And so it follows that we are the products of an unguided, purposeless material force; which specifically is called Darwinian evolution when you get to the history of life.
And so we get our information about it (and really, information about everything) from science.”


----------------------



-Dean Kenyon – coauthor of textbook on theory of biochemical evolution ‘biochemical predestination’ 1969 (abiogenesis, as it is now called)/ professor of biology (emeritus) San Fransisco State university-

Kenyon on ‘describing the complexity of a living cell’.-

“Back in the days of Charles Darwin, relatively little was known about the complexity (the enormous complexity) of the microscopic world –the microscopic aspects of living organisms. There was a view in the latter part of the nineteenth century that a living cell was essentially a featureless bag of enzymes; all, kind of in a true solution. Not much in the way of detailed three dimensional complexity.

But of course in the twentieth century, we’ve made enormous strides in understanding that that’s not the case at all. There is a very great degree of intricacy of architecture down in the cell units. So today, everybody understands about bits and bites, and so perhaps a useful illustration of the complexity of, say the DNA molecule, might be helpful.

You can calculate the number of bits contained in tightly packed DNA material that would fill one cubic millimeter of space as equaling 1.9 times 10 to the 18th power, bits ( or, 1,900,000,000,000,000,000). Now that number, is by many orders of magnitude, vastly greater than the storage capacity of the best supercomputing machines. Their storage capacity is far less, than the storage capacity in the DNA Molecule.

Now moreover, the DNA itself as it functions in a living cell has about one hundred different proteins involved with just its own functioning. And then you have these tens of thousands of other proteins in the living cell also involved. So we have now a picture of immense sub-microscopic complexity. And so no longer is it a reasonable proposition to think that simple chemical events could have any chance at all, to generate the kind of complexity we see in the very simplest living organisms.

So, we have not the slightest chance of a chemical evolutionary origin for even the simplest of cells, with the new knowledge that’s accumulated in this century.”



-----------------------------



-Dr. Stephen C. Meyer earned his Ph.D. in the History and Philosophy of science from Cambridge University for a dissertation on the history of origin-of-life biology and the methodology of the historical sciences. Previously, Meyer worked as a geophysicist with the Atlantic Richfield Company, after earning his undergraduate degrees in Physics and Geology. He has recently co-written or edited two books ‘Darwinsim, Design and Public Education’ (2003 Michigan State University Press) and ‘Science and Evidence for design in the Universe’.

Meyer on the question – ‘Why can’t biological information originate through a materialistic process’?-

“One of the things I do in my classes, to get this idea across to students, is I hold up two computer disks. One is loaded with software, and the other one is blank. And I ask them, ‘what is the difference in mass between these two computer disks, as a result of the difference in the information content that they posses’?

And of course the answer is, ‘Zero! None! There is no difference as a result of the information. And that’s because information is a mass-less quantity. Now, if information is not a material entity, then how can any materialistic explanation account for its origin? How can any material cause explain it’s origin?

And this is the real and fundamental problem that the presence of information in biology has posed. It creates a fundamental challenge to the materialistic, evolutionary scenarios because information is a different kind of entity that matter and energy cannot produce.
In the nineteenth century we thought that there were two fundamental entities in science; matter, and energy. At the beginning of the twenty first century, we now recognize that there’s a third fundamental entity; and its ‘information’. It’s not reducible to matter. It’s not reducible to energy. But it’s still a very important thing that is real; we buy it, we sell it, we send it down wires.

Now, what do we make of the fact, that information is present at the very root of all biological function? In biology, we have matter, we have energy, but we also have this third, very important entity; information. I think the biology of the information age, poses a fundamental challenge to any materialistic approach to the origin of life.”



---------------------



-Phillip Johnson on the question: ‘What is information?’-

“Information at the simplest level is just meaningful text. You can say it’s like the plays of Shakespear or the Bible if you want to pick something noble. It’s like the Los Angeles telephone directory if you want to pick something much more mundane. Perhaps an instruction book, let’s say a cookbook with all of the recipes would be a better example; or a computer program; the operating system of a PC.

Now, in order to have a computer operating system, you have to have lots and lots of that text and instructions. So it’s extremely complex. That’s feature number one, it’s a lot of letters (or digits) in a specific order. And the order is specified, that’s point number two; which is to say that only one complex arrangement will do to operate the computer. If you got another one, you’ve got something that won’t work at all.

So it’s specified complexity. And a third feature is called aperiodic, or non-repeating. And that means it’s not the result of physical or chemical laws, because those laws always produce simple repetitive patterns. For example, you can imagine a book tha’s written this way: you put a macro on your computer processor that says reapeat the letters ABC until the printer runs out of paper. And you’d get a book like that, and it wouldn’t be a very interesting book. And it would never get more interesting because the same laws that give you that pattern, ensure that you’ll never get a different pattern, or a more meaningful one.

So the information in the computers operating system, like the information that has to be present to operate all of the cells machinery, is complex, specified, non-repeating (meaningful) text.

And without exception, in all of our experience, you never get anything like that unless you have an author. To get computer software, you have to have a software engineer. To have an encyclopedia you actually need a lot of different authors and editors. To get the plays of Shakespear, you need Shakespear.”


-------------------


-Scott A. Minnich Ph.D., Associate Professor of Microbiology at the University of Idaho. He was an assistant professor at Tulane University, and did postdoctoral research with Austin Newton at Princeton University and Arthur Aronson at Purdue University.

Minnich’s research interests are temperature regulation of Y. enterocolita gene expression and coordinate reciprocal expression of flagellar and virulence genes. He is widely published in technical journals, including the ‘Journal of Bacteriology’, ‘Molecular Microbiology’, ‘Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences’, and the ‘Journal of Microbiological Methods’.

Minnich on the question: ‘What is the most remarkable aspect of the bacterial flagellum?’-

“The most amazing aspect of the bacterial flagellum to me is… (actually I can’t limit it to one aspect). You have the motor itself, very sophisticated; Howard Berg at Harvard (I’ve heard him speak several times) has labeled it ‘the most efficient machine in the universe’; the fact that it runs (normally in E. Coli) at 17,000 rmp. Two gears, forward and reverse, water cooled, proton motive force, it’s hardwired to a signal transduction system and has short term memory… That’s fascinating!

But then when you step back and look at the genetics in terms of the program, the blueprint to build this system, you find another layer of complexity. In the genes it’s not enough to have the fifty genes required; we find that they are also fired (or expressed) in a given sequence. And that there are checks and balances, so if there is a problem in assembly; that information feeds back at the genetic level and shuts down expression. There are gate keepers. There is communication molecularly at a distance (and a significant distance). So you build a scaffold on the end of this thing that is protruding from the cell, and it’s feeding back and saying, ‘ok, we have enough of that sub-unit, now send the next sub-unit.’

We don’t understand how this works yet. But it’s fascinating! It’s something that I could spend the rest of my life studying it’s so intriguing in terms of how this system works.”


---------------------------


-William Dembski, Mathematician, Baylor University- has earned Ph.D. degrees in mathematics (University of Chicago) and Philosophy (University of Illinois, Chicago) and a M. Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary. He has also received two NSF fellowships and has conducted postdoctoral work at M.I.T., the University of Chicago and Princeton.

Dembski has published articles in journals of mathematics, philosophy, and theology. He has also written and edited several books including; ‘The Design Inference’, ‘Intelligent Design: The Bridge between Science and Theology’, ‘Signs of Intelligence’, and ‘No Free Lunch: Why Specified Complexity Cannot Be Purchased Without Intelligence’.

Dembski on the question: ‘What is the probability that a cell could have formed by chance alone’?-

“My intuitions are that it’s incredibly small. The complexities are just immense! I mean, you know, I was describing earlier a bacterial flagellum ok… Now if that thing is highly improbable, then the system within which it sits is even more improbable because you’ve got even more stuff to account for. So, you know, I mean, uh, it’s, it’s just improbabilities that just get worse and worse as you go up.

Just an individual protein… a functioning protein, I mean it has 100, 200, or 300 amino acids. And something like that, your talking improbabilities of something on the order of 10 to the minus 100 to get these things. And that’s just an individual protein. That’s just a building block. That’s like a brick in a house that you’re trying to build up. So just getting those bricks is highly improbable. And then you have to build the whole thing up. Just how complex is it? I think early indications are, that this is way beyond anything that we’re going to be able to reasonably attribute to chance.”


-------------------------


-Jonathan Wells has received Ph.D. degrees in Molecular and Cell Biology (University of California at Berkeley) and religious studies (Yale University) He has worked as a postdoctoral research biologist at the University of California at Berkeley and has taught biology at the University of California at Hayward. Wells has published articles in Development, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, BioSystems, The Scientist and The American biology Teacher. He has also authored two books, ‘Charles Hodge’s Critique of Darwinism’, and ‘Icons of Evolution: Why Much of What We Teach About Evolution Is Wrong’.

Wells on the question: ‘What potential benefits does Intelligent Design Theory hold for science’?-

“Before Darwinsim took over in the late nineteenth century, virtually every Western Biologist believed in intelligent design. The founders of all the modern biological disciplines; Mendel, who founded genetics, Leneaus, who founded Taxonomy where we name organisms; the early Embyologists, the early Paleontologists… All of these people believed in design, and they founded modern biology.

Darwinism came along and said, ‘no… design is an illusion’, but yet it kept all these disciplines… of course that’s what we now work in. And I see the current revolution as a return to our roots; our scientific roots, which were design roots. And so I see science once again returning to a design paradigm.

Now, the Darwinists claim that this will restrict scientific inquiry. I see it just the opposite… What I see now, is that the Darwinists cannot allow any hint of design in living things. They have to exclude every possible aspect of design. And this narrows the range of explanations tremendously. And it forces them to cram the data into these boxes that end up distorting the truth.

In a design paradigm however, the whole range of explanations is wide open! It doesn’t mean everything is designed… So some things can still be a product of random variations and natural selection as Darwin said they were. But it greatly expands the range of explanations that we have, and liberates science to follow the evidence wherever it leads.

So I see a tremendous invigoration… a reinvigoration of scientific research opening up areas that are now closed.”







RandomSample
Name:
Date: //2007-02-09 07:33:36 :
Link to this Comment: 21439

Short description of our knowledge:
Inteligent design-kindergarten level
Evolution-teenagers level
Randomness-master level


Self-Creation: Post-Science vs. Science
Name: Chien Yi L
Date: //2007-02-09 11:57:31 :
Link to this Comment: 21440

Dear Prof. Robert Lockett (and all the other thoughtful viewers and generous contributors of the 'Serendip Evolution and Intelligent Design Forum'),

Thank you for your post and list of ID authorities, to which I might want to add some of the pioneers of post-science. The problem with post-science¡Xknowledge beyond science¡Xis that it is difficult to understand and needs to be explained or promoted in terms of those who are understandable to the society. Previously, I have posted a comparison between post-science and David Hume, and this time I would like to introduce post-science in relation to the late Dr. Milton Friedman and his Free Market, which is now a ¡§fact.¡¨

The founder of post-science, Dr. Hugh Ching, after reading my long commentary on post-science.com web site on his friend/adversary Dr. Friedman comments that ¡§Free Market is better than Regulation By Man-Made Laws, but not as good as Regulation By Non-Violable Laws Of Nature In Social Science.¡¨ Religion is similar to Regulation By Man-Made Laws, in that: Can anyone name a non-violable law of nature, such as gravitation, in religion? Laws of nature in science are discovered, not man-made; the number of man-made laws in science is exactly zero.

Post-science deals with non-violable laws of nature in social science, such as the Infinite Spreadsheet and approximate time-invariance of the rate of return on investment or of the velocity of circulation of broad money supply. In practice, not observing the Infinite Spreadsheet US economy was punished by the US Saving and Loan Crisis, which the Infinite Spreadsheet predicted publicly as early as 1984. Science is not aware of these non-violable social laws of nature. Having bridged the gap between science and post-science, Dr. Friedman should be considered the greatest thinker of the twentieth century, according, at least, to Dr. Ching. Can you or anyone name any person greater than Dr. Friedman?

Post-science approaches Intelligent Design from the point of view of life science or creation technology. The foundation of ID should be complete automation, which characterizes life and, most likely, embraces evolution designs. John von Neuman, the co-inventor of the modern computer, posed the problem of complete automation. But, has the problem been solved outside of post-science? I discover Universal Computer Source Code (UNCOSOCO), which requires that all source codes should be in the form of integers, as one of the three innovations in the completely automated software of Dr. Ching, but up to now only my teacher Prof. C. V. Ramamoorthy and the patent examiner of the completely automated software, Mr. Richard Ellis can fully grasp our solutions. I appreciate personally your references to Prof. Dean Kenyon, Dr. Stephen C. Meyer, and Prof. Phillip Johnson with their excellent intuitions on ID. If you want me to refute any of their arguments, I would add that if we can prove, through advancement in creation technology, self-creation is possible in the future, we might not need to offer evidence of creation from the past or the present.

The Age of Life Science is very far away from the current Age of Science or even the coming Age of Social Science. However, believing the post-science concept of self-creation has many benefits, many of which have been stated by traditional religions. Unfortunately, traditional religions, being the culmination of normality and mysticism, are preoccupied with social science, in particular, good and evil. Life science has a different viewpoint on good and evil. For example, self-creation believes that evil is created for a good purpose, namely, as a survival mechanism for the weak to compete against the strong, and that pain and suffering are warning devices or lessons in the absence of the creators. Taking away evil as an excuse for war will give the world a new perspective on peace.

Science views life from a materialistic point of view of life growing out of non-living materials, which is valid in the transient state of creation, but post-science views the living system as in a steady-state of self-creation, where the living system repeatedly creates itself. I hope that believers of ID can be generous enough to extend Creation to include self-creation so that the wisdom of traditional religions can bridge the gap between science and creation. ### [CYL]


The Philosophical Foundations in conflict
Name: Rob
Date: //2007-02-09 12:58:07 :
Link to this Comment: 21441

Dr. Chien, my apologies for any confusion over my own credentials as I am not a professor or Ph.D. I am a truck driver with a high school education. Even so, you have marvelously encapsulated the major distinctions in thought (as I see them )in your response to the design arguments offered. But you have not refuted the arguments at all. You have rejected instead ‘the foundation’ for the arguments. That is fine, and we can discuss those things easily enough.

I would like to address, what I think, were the most pivotal points in your reply. Please bear with me in the name of open dialog…



-Chien writes: “Can you or anyone name any person greater than Dr. Friedman?”-

Well for me that is easy… Jesus Christ! But I am not suggesting at all that that is an answer that I expect anyone to accept simply on shock value alone. But it is significant in terms of His claims to precede creation and claim that He is in fact the creator God. And I do not mean the same creator context as in the pantheist stripe from which your arguments find their own philosophical foundation.

It is clear to me, that our differences lie specifically in the foundations of our repective philosophies.

-Chein writes: “The foundation of ID should be complete automation, which characterizes life and, most likely, embraces evolution designs. John von Neuman, the co-inventor of the modern computer, posed the problem of complete automation. But, has the problem been solved outside of post-science?”-

This is the most fascinating thing to me, and you appear to acknowledge that in the first sentence of your quote. But when you try to apply it to evolutionary theory, I cannot help but notice you say, ‘most likely’.

Life is already automated. Our bodies are not only the most sophisticated machines in the known universe (in material terms), but are also self replicating, and capable of adapting to changing environments to some degree.

Perhaps a useful illustration is this… A man once told me that he was waiting for ‘the aliens’ (whoever they are) to show up and save us from ourselves. I told him that it had already occurred. And that they came in a more sophisticated vessel (or temple) than we envision in our relatively ‘sub-technological’ science fiction stories.

I went on to explain that these visitors were so foreign to us, that the powers that be could not even relate to the language being spoken and that they crucified Him to alleviate the threat to their own power.
For His words were not words of peace in the way we typically use them, but of division. He said as much.

Matthew 10:34 "Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.

He asked us unapologetically to give up control of our treasured beliefs and philosophies and embrace instead the reality of our own depravity and His provision to save us. He came to divide fact from fiction. And that is the only peace that is real.

The fact is, we don’t want to be saved. We instead continue to build Towers of Babel (a story of man made philosophical collapse). We seek to find a way to keep our ‘individual sins’, and rid ourselves of the sins of others. We point fingers and throw stones, rather than face our own delusions.

-Chien writes: “Life science has a different viewpoint on good and evil. For example, self-creation believes that evil is created for a good purpose, namely, as a survival mechanism for the weak to compete against the strong, and that pain and suffering are warning devices or lessons in the absence of the creators. Taking away evil as an excuse for war will give the world a new perspective on peace.”-

How do you take away evil? First you must convince people that it is ‘evil’ to believe otherwise.

In order for this new philosophy to be lead to peace, then it must be ‘The way, the truth and the life’ that Jesus claimed to be exclusively.

Let me use another illustration:

Michael Savage’s ‘Wheel of Religion’

Exclusivity, Choice, and logic.


For those of you familiar with the conservative radio talk show host Michael Savage, you are likely aware of his controversial style. He makes no apologies for his views, and calls things as he sees them. I am personally a fan of Mr. Savages show, and have read one of his books and found it very informative and accurate. In my opinion, he is generally a very clear thinker, who is very logically demanding. But on at least this one issue, he seems to be suffering from what he calls ‘a mental disorder’ (liberalism), and the illogical thinking that flows from it.

Recently, Mr. Savage has spoken quite openly and plainly of his inability to accept religions that claim to be exclusively true. He finds such exclusivity unacceptable, and to a point I agree, as extremism is not in and of itself, a virtue. As a substitute for these offensive and narrow philosophies, he has offered a simple analogy, and he calls it, ‘The Wheel of Religion’.

He asks his audience to imagine a wheel. And the spokes of that wheel represent the religions of the world and the hub represents God. The premise is simple; all spokes lead to God. And in this way, it is implied, that we should be tolerant of other religious methodologies so as not to claim exclusivity over something that is so deeply personal and treasured in a persons life and culture.

What I want to do here is make three main points:

1. Truth (by definition) is exclusive.
2. The wheel of Life is exclusive.
3. How we choose a coherent worldview.


1. Truth by definition is exclusive. Probably the simplest illustration of this is mathematics. There are an infinite number of numbers available to us conceptually. The largest figure I have heard of is called a ‘Google’. But the point is that out of all of those possible numbers, only one of them is the correct solution to the problem 1+1+1=y. And the solution to that problem is the number 3. They way we arrive there is with logic.

The main function of the exclusivity of truth is to exclude the incorrect answer or answers. Often the alternative answer is the polar opposite of the solution. When we do so accurately we can, with clear understanding, see the answer and make practical application of the knowledge.

2.’ The Wheel of life’, as with all philosophy, excludes alternative solutions to the metaphysical problem that faces all men. If the wheel of life is ‘the way, and the truth’, then the claim of Jesus Christ, ‘I am the way, the truth and the life, No man comes to the Father but by me’ must be false. And the reason is clear. Jesus said that we can only come to God by Him, and the Wheel of life excludes that solution by saying that we can come to God by any religion we choose.

So, all philosophy is exclusive by definition. There may be overlap and agreement on certain truths within them, but ultimately they divide and become opposed to one another.

3. When choosing a worldview, one must look for coherence. If it is contradictory, then it must be assumed to be false. It is illogical. So when we are offered such a worldview; one that is created with the sole intention of freeing us from exclusivity, then we can immediately recognize the problem. It defeats itself, because it must then claim itself to be ‘the way, the truth and the life.’ That is the nature and inescapable implication of philosophy and truth by definition.

Now this presents an interesting opportunity when deciding what to believe in terms of truth claims. How can we choose at all without excluding something else? So I ask you, ‘what is wiser to choose’? A worldview which is peddled by men who are unaware of their own claim to exclusivity? Or a worldview that is offered by a man who is fully aware of Himself and makes no apology for the clarity and sufficiency of His providence?

If you make a choice… you will exclude the opposites! If you choose not to choose, then you exclude the possibility of knowing the truth to begin with. And that begs the question, "then how do you know that is true'?

That’s what choice is all about. We have a lot of things available to us in this world, but we certainly would not be wise to choose some of them, or all.





-Chien writes: “I hope that believers of ID can be generous enough to extend Creation to include self-creation so that the wisdom of traditional religions can bridge the gap between science and creation.”-

Energy can neither be created nor destroyed. That’s the first law of thermodynamics. It is a fact. And in the same way, ‘the truth’ can be neither created nor destroyed because we do not create it… He created us.

I hope the believers of self creation will be generous enough to include the opposite called Christianity, so that the wisdom of Christ can be seen by everyone to be truely extraordinary and alien in it's suffiency and providence.

He is reality... calling our bluffs.

Respectfully and thoughtfully, Rob


The Logical extensions of Extremism and Moderation
Name: Rob
Date: //2007-02-10 11:37:22 :
Link to this Comment: 21442

'Death to Extremists'

In my travels I get to meet some pretty interesting people. Early this week I was delivering a deck package to a home in Eureka Ca, and one of the guys working on the project has a bumper sticker on the back of his pick-up that says, ‘DEATH TO EXTREMISTS’.

I immediately chuckled to myself and after exiting my truck, I spoke to him and told him how much I enjoyed it. He just chuckled himself somewhat anxiously, not sure exactly what I meant.

I said, “It’s a little extreme though…isn’t it?” To which he replied with nervous laughter and said, “Yeah, there’s some irony there.”

He then went on to explain that some of his family were born again Christians and that they were driving him crazy at one time, so being a ‘moderate’, his wife had the sticker custom made for him. I agree that it is certainly one-of-a-kind.

I asked him, “So you are ‘extremely’ moderate?”

Again he laughed and said, “No… I am only ‘moderately’ moderate.”

That was about the extent of our conversation. A bit more was said about the modern philosophical assumptions of post-modernism, but without discord. I did tell him that I too was born of the Spirit of Christ like his family members, but found the sticker far more honest an admission of the logical extensions of any denunciation of a worldview.

I might have said to him in response to his last statement (“No… I am only’ moderately’ moderate”), “That would explain your ‘extreme displeasure’ with extremism”, but I did not think of it so quickly.

I could tell that he had come to understand the dilemma (and not in terms of irony, but contradiction), and that his acidic cynicism had waned over some period of time. He wanted to speak more with me, I could tell. And I also would have loved to sit down and discuss these things in detail. He was seeking answers (cautiously), but we both were in a rush to get back to our responsibilities with work.

Anyway, there’s no sense in pushing people who are beginning to see the light (of reason). Once they understand that their beliefs are violent contradictions, it’s only a matter of time…

Ps. It reminds me… ‘Do you know what the ‘fundamental’ problem with this world is?’

Fundamentalism!

:)


Isaiah 1:18 "COME NOW, LET US REASON TOGETHER," says the Lord. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.


The Contradictions and Logical extensions of Extre
Name: Rob
Date: //2007-02-10 11:59:39 :
Link to this Comment: 21443


In my travels I get to meet some pretty interesting people. Early this week I was delivering a deck package to a home in Eureka Ca, and one of the guys working on the project has a bumper sticker on the back of his pick-up that says, ‘DEATH TO EXTREMISTS’.

I immediately chuckled to myself and after exiting my truck I spoke to him and explained how much I enjoyed his bumper sticker. He just chuckled himself, somewhat anxiously, not sure exactly what I had meant.

I said, “It’s a little ‘extreme’ though…isn’t it?” To which he replied with nervous laughter and said, “Yeah, there’s some irony there.”

He then went on to explain that some of his family were born again Christians and that they were driving him crazy at one time, so being a ‘moderate’, his wife had the sticker custom made for him. I agree that it is certainly one-of-a-kind.

I asked him, “So you are ‘extremely’ moderate?”

Again he laughed and said, “No… I am only ‘moderately’ moderate.”

That was about the extent of our conversation. A bit more was said about the philosophical assumptions of post-modernism, but without discord. I did tell him that I too was born of the Spirit of Christ like his family members, but found the sticker far more honest an admission of the logical extensions of any denunciation of a worldview.

I might have said to him in response to his last statement (“No… I am only’ moderately’ moderate”), “That would explain your ‘extreme displeasure’ with extremism”, but I did not think of it so quickly.

I could tell that he had come to understand the dilemma (and not in terms of irony, but contradiction), and that his acidic cynicism had waned over some period of time. He wanted to speak more with me, I could tell. And I also would have loved to sit down and discuss these things in detail. He was seeking answers (cautiously), but we both were in a rush to get back to our responsibilities with work.

Anyway, there’s no sense in pushing people who are beginning to see the light (of reason). Once they understand that their beliefs are violent contradictions, it’s only a matter of time…

Ps. It reminds me… ‘Do you know what the ‘fundamental’ problem with this world is?’

Fundamentalism!

:)

Isaiah 1:18 "Come now, let us reason together," says the Lord. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.




Standards of Rigor
Name: Chien Yi L
Date: //2007-02-10 13:39:36 :
Link to this Comment: 21445

Dear Rob (and all the other viewers and contributors of the 'Serendip Evolution and Intelligent Design Forum'),

Thank you for your prompt reply. The fundamental difficulty in this Forum is the different standards of rigor to which the contributors and references subscribe. For example, the standard of rigor of the Bible is pre-science, and evolution is based on the scientific method of empirical verification. In addition to David Hume and Milton Friedman in my previous posts, I would like to introduce the late Prof. Paul Feyerabend, a philosopher of science, who could be one of the culturally most advanced person in the world, living or not.

The standard of rigor for knowledge for post-science is described in the newly published book ¡§Knowledge¡¨ (ISBN 978-0-6151-3658-5). The two books of Prof. Feyerabend¡¦s books related to standards of rigor are ¡§Against Method: Outline of an Anarchistic Theory of Knowledge¡¨ (1975), ISBN 0-391-00381-X, ISBN 0-86091-222-1, ISBN 0-86091-481-X, ISBN 0-86091-646-4, ISBN 0-86091-934-X, ISBN 0-902308-91-2 and ¡§Farewell to Reason¡¨ (1987), ISBN 0-86091-184-5, ISBN 0-86091-896-3.
He believes, as does post-science, knowledge discoveries should not be restricted to any particular method. He is particularly against the scientific method of (empirical) falsification.

Milton Friedman (who is considered by Dr. Hugh Ching, the founder of post-science, as the greatest thinker of the twentieth century and, thus, is not compatible with Jesus, who might be greater, but not as advanced), following the scientific method, extended science into social science, but was short of reaching post-science, which contains solutions in social and life sciences. Value, which is defined as the sum total of all the benefits and losses to infinity in time, is not empirically verifiable because infinity, by definition, never arrives. Thus, the foundation of social science cannot subscribe to the scientific rigor of empirical verification. In practical terms, if one buys an ounce of gold for $600.00, one can never tell if one has paid the right price because the price of gold will fluctuate to infinity in time. In life science, which deals with permanent designed for permanent existence, empirical verification is generally not possible. For example, drug test on people, whose DNA propagates to infinity, cannot be empirically verified.

So, if we cannot use empirical verification, what are the standards of rigor for social and life sciences in post-science. The solution of value of Dr. Hugh Ching ¡§Quantitative Supply And Demand Model Based On Infinite Spreadsheet¡¨ (Pat. No. 6,078,901) (infinitespreadsheet.com) satisfies mathematical rigor, and the completely automated software (completeautomationlab.com) satisfies the rigor of logic, where the computer, or DNA, is basically a logic machine. In the spirit of Prof. Feyerabend, post-science also believes that whatever method which helps with a discovery is a good method, and that all human faculties, such as analysis, perception, creativity, and faith, should be applied in the advancement of knowledge. Confining ones rigor to that of science cause Dr. Friedman to miss the opportunity to advance into post-science.

Before leaving this post, I would address two technical points you (Rob) mentioned: (1) ¡§Life is already automated¡¨ and (2) ¡§How do you take away evil?¡¨ Post-science has patented the solution of complete automated software in the patent by Dr. Hugh Ching ¡§Completely Automated And Self-generating Software System¡¨ (Pat. No. 5,485,601). The patent solves the problem of complete automation posed by John von Neumann. Yes, life is completely automated, but outside of post-science only our creators know how to achieve complete automation. Also, post-science is trying to address the reason for the existence of evil. If we are created, why is evil created? Post-science believes that evil is created for a good purpose: as a survival mechanism for the weak to compete against the strong. In the Bible, and almost all the other traditional religions, evil is considered absolutely bad, and people who believe in the Bible by pure faith would have a difficult time in thinking about the usefulness of evil. Post-science differs from the traditional religions in that it takes the view point of creation or life science, while the traditional religions are preoccupied with social science, which tries to separate good from evil.

In conclusion, we consider the following questions. What percentage of the human population can understand the Bible? Answer: Almost all people can understand the Bible. What percentage believes in the Bible? About 40%. What % understands science? A very tiny %. What % believes in science. Almost 100% of the educated population. Bible and science, which is more accepted based on faith? I thank you for reading over my long post. ### [CYL]


The Missing Integer
Name: Rob
Date: //2007-02-10 19:14:06 :
Link to this Comment: 21446

-Dr. Chien Writes: “Paul Feyerabend, a philosopher of science, who could be one of the culturally most advanced person in the world, living or not.

The standard of rigor for knowledge for post-science is described in the newly published book ¡§Knowledge¡¨ (ISBN 978-0-6151-3658-5). The two books of Prof. Feyerabend¡¦s books related to standards of rigor are ¡§Against Method: Outline of an Anarchistic Theory of Knowledge¡¨ (1975), ISBN 0-391-00381-X, ISBN 0-86091-222-1, ISBN 0-86091-481-X, ISBN 0-86091-646-4, ISBN 0-86091-934-X, ISBN 0-902308-91-2 and ¡§Farewell to Reason¡¨ (1987), ISBN 0-86091-184-5, ISBN 0-86091-896-3.

He believes, as does post-science, knowledge discoveries should not be restricted to any particular method. He is particularly against the scientific method of (empirical) falsification.”-

Dr. Chien, if you look closely at the last two sentences above, I think you will have little difficulty in seeing that Dr. Feyerabend’s philosophy, ‘is itself’, a method with which to interpret information. I wonder if he would include the ‘moral reality’ as an ‘integral’ (integer) part of the ‘whole’ which must be recognized so as to discover ‘complete’ (whole or ‘Holy’) Knowledge.

In my opinion, Dr. Feyerabend is correct, but I am assuming that my qualification of such is adopted as stated in Spirit.

-Dr. Chien writes: “Also, post-science is trying to address the reason for the existence of evil. If we are created, why is evil created?”-

Evil is created so as to give human beings a legitimate choice. Without choice, we are not ‘sentient and alive’; we are instead, only robots in some simulation albeit partially physical in nature.

-Dr. chien writes: “In the Bible, and almost all the other traditional religions, evil is considered absolutely bad, and people who believe in the Bible by pure faith would have a difficult time in thinking about the usefulness of evil.”-

In Christian terms, it is not so much our ‘evil’ that is the problem with the world. Evil is really only knowledge ‘used improperly’ or at the ‘incorrect time’. But its affects are truly devastating, and our desire for power and glory that fuels it is utterly prideful. So sin becomes utterly sinful.

Condemnation is the fact that we deny our own sin and instead seek a way to keep it. God can forgive our sins, but if we will not be forgiven… then we have put ‘ourselves’ in a terrible position. If we only acknowledge the sins of others, or only cast stones at those who call evil, ‘evil’, then we are calling those who do so, ‘sinners’ by implication, all the while placing ourselves above the fray.

-Dr, Chien writes: “Bible and science, which is more accepted based on faith?”-

I would have to say science! For some reason, people prefer ‘theo’ry over ‘theo’logy. It seems that the ‘moral’ method as the key integer (as Jesus Christ claimed it is) is rejected even by those who seek to deny no method by their intellectual sophistry. We resist to a great degree.

Malcomb Muggeridge said, “The most ‘emperically’ verifiable reality is the depravity of man. Yet at the same time, it is the most intellectually resisted fact.”

I wonder why?

Who was it that said, “Absolute power corrupts. And power corrupts absolutely”.

That's what happens when we play creator...

As the Dragon (that serpent of old called satan) said to Eve regarding the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, 'For God knows that on the day you eat of it, your eye will be opened, and 'YOU SHALL BECOME AS GOD'.

The 'integer' you seek (but have rejected) is 'the moral law'.

Or as Jesus said, "Have you never read in the Scriptures: "'The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes'. (Matthew 21:42)

And He fulfilled that law (integer) so that we who have not might be saved.

John 3:19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.

The problems of the world are not created by our enemies Dr. Chien. They are created by you and me. The creator 'is' the solution. That is why he is called, 'Messiah'.






Name:
Date: //2007-02-10 19:46:15 :
Link to this Comment: 21447

Dear Chien Yi Lee,

You wrote;
- Also, post-science is trying to address the reason for the existence of evil. If we are created, why is evil created? Post-science believes that evil is created for a good purpose: as a survival mechanism for the weak to compete against the strong. In the Bible, and almost all the other traditional religions, evil is considered absolutely bad, and people who believe in the Bible by pure faith would have a difficult time in thinking about the usefulness of evil. Post-science differs from the traditional religions in that it takes the view point of creation or life science, while the traditional religions are preoccupied with social science, which tries to separate good from evil. -

As you have mentioned before, post-science has only two names for Evil thus far; pain and suffering.

Pain and suffering have usefulness in creation, Pain is to the body, Suffering is to the soul.

Neither of these are evils per se. You, as a human being, can already see the 'good' in them.

If Pain is a useful'evil' all other evils would be useful. Yet our conscience opposes other 'evils' because they ARE NOT useful. Our conscience does not oppose Pain.

I can supply to you an idea that is lacking in your thoughts; Evil IS NOT a creation. There is no need to replicate or provide for it in an automaton.

Provide a fully automated entity with CHOICE, allow it the ability to go against its 'program' and self-destruct. In doing so, you will accidentally 'create' Evil. Evil is the choice to go against design, or nature.

Then, give it the intelligence and the conscience to reprogram itself. Allow this creation to find its own way back to the 'program' for which it is designed. Allow it many millenia to work out this problem of how it was designed. You will find that history will repeat itself to absurdity, that perhaps, without any intervention on the part of the designer, the 'creation' will NEVER discover its design.

The other alternative is to create a being without choice, and obviously, not human.


Mystery Post
Name: Rob
Date: //2007-02-11 13:04:26 :
Link to this Comment: 21453

The last post makes an excellent point.

That evil is the result of a choice to reject design, and the fences implied by the moral law. But gravity is also a fence. It keeps us anchored securely to the ground lest we drift off into the abyss.

We are the 'Androids' of science fiction fame. And thatnks in large part to I.D. we can see that we are mechanically far more sophisitcated than our petty engineering feats proclaim. And being complicated as we are, we reject the 'integer' that is the moral law.

We are triune like our creator. Body soul and Spirit. And those members are in conflict with each other in each of us. To become 'whole' we must accept the integer. That is the fabric of truth which unites mind, body, and soul.

Evil is a result of our 'rejecting that program'. We were created to live in peace and harmony. And there is only one way to achieve that.

If we decide to play the creator, to succeed, we will only end up building a Tower that is identical to Christ. And in so doing proclaim ourselves to be the savior that we reject. It is madness...

Any other Tower will collapse, since under God's sovereignty, he has made sure that a Hitler or a Stalin will never have their way [[[at the expense]]] of God's own plan.

Being the patient gentleman that He is, I am afraid that He will give them their own way for eternity if they insist upon it to the bitter end... but such atrocities will 'not be' in 'His heaven'. If we turn to Him, He will only give us 'Everything', and will not settle for anything less that utterly sacred bliss for His children.

John 8:51 "I tell you the truth, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death." 52 At this the Jews exclaimed, "Now we know that you are demon-possessed! Abraham died and so did the prophets, yet you say that if anyone keeps your word, he will never taste death. 53 Are you greater than our father Abraham? He died, and so did the prophets. Who do you think you are?" 54 Jesus replied, "If I glorify myself, my glory means nothing. My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies me. 55 Though you do not know him, I know him. If I said I did not, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and keep his word. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad." 57 "You are not yet fifty years old," the Jews said to him, "and you have seen Abraham!" 58 "I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I am!"






Bible and Post-Science
Name: Chien Yi L
Date: //2007-02-11 14:12:30 :
Link to this Comment: 21454

Bible, especially, taken as a whole, sounds like the mathematical Infinite Spreadsheet presented in a verbal format. The suggestion of post-science is that as knowledge advances, we should try to update, not refute, the Bible (lulu.com/ching). Science and the Bible cover different areas of knowledge and should have very little conflict. Also, post-science does not find much wrong with science, in itself. A final word for Rob, my friend: You are very creative. Most creative people are generous in there views and toward others¡¦ views, but will be criticized or found unsatisfactory in their rigor by analytic people, such as most scientists. A great discovery in knowledge is judged less by how many times it has succeeded, but how many times it has failed, such as the invention of pain, which already exits in humans but not machines. I enjoyed your lessons on the Bible and your great imagination. [CYL]



Name: Rob
Date: //2007-02-11 16:55:22 :
Link to this Comment: 21455

-Chien writes: "A final word for Rob, my friend: You are very creative. Most creative people are generous in there views and toward others¡¦ views, but will be criticized or found unsatisfactory in their rigor by analytic people, such as most scientists. A great discovery in knowledge is judged less by how many times it has succeeded, but how many times it has failed, such as the invention of pain, which already exits in humans but not machines. I enjoyed your lessons on the Bible and your great imagination. [CYL]"-


Dr. Chien, you are very kind (I do hope not patronizing)...

Science has not exactly provided the answers that it is claimed to provide either. Those elusive answers are 'scientifically' found only in 'Theory'.

As for 'Humean arguments', I agree with you, that they are inqdequate... One of my favorite illustrations is given by Dr. Ravi Zacharius (Someone who's philosophy you may want to study in the future). It goes something as follows:

"When we run over libraries, persuaded of these principles, what havoc must we make? If we take in our hand any volume of divinity or school metaphysics, for instance, let us ask, Does it contain any abstract reasoning concerning quantity or number? No. Does it contain any experimental reasoning concerning matter of fact and existence? No. Commit it then to the flames, for it can contain nothing but sophistry and illusion." (David Hume An Inquiry Concerning Human Understanding)

This argument is fatally flawed because 'that statement' does not contain any abstract reasoning concerning quantity or number. Nor does it contain any experimental reasoning concerning matter of fact and existence.

How do we make a meaningful statement that is 'metaphysically stated', in order to tell us that 'metaphysics is meaningless'?

It seems to me, that it takes a Spirit, to deny a Spirit..... Very interesting... when you stop to ponder it.

And it goes to the heart of creativity...

C.S. Lewis said something like, 'There is no such thing as an original thought. We are all just plagiarists of one form or another." And I think Lewis is right, if we seek to claim wisdom for our own glory.

He also said in 'Mere Christianity', that 'originality comes quite easily once you have found it's source' (or something like that... forgive me for these two, weak paraphrases). I don't have time at the moment for proper source info. But I highly recommend you read that volume, 'Mere Chritianity'. It is absolutely 'divine'.

When allowed to flow through the uniqueness of each man and woman, 'reason itself' creates through those individual lenses, new insights into the same glorious reality. But without 'reason' (sound logic), then spells of confusion cloud our vision. Serpents slither around in our minds. I do my best to take them up and drink their poison, so as to spit it out.

I was blind but now I see. But not because of any genius on my part.

I assure you Dr. chien, that my creativity is limited only by my ability to lay down my 'own life and truth', and embrace crystal clear thinking on these matters regardless of the threat to my own desires.

It is not 'my truth'... Nor is it 'my interpretation' of the Biblical message of Christ. It is God's Word that became flesh, and dwelt among us.

Creating is left to the creator. We can only follow instructions, or not. I do hope you'll think upon these matters deeply. Ideas are powerful. And the consequences do not remain only in the ethos of our minds. They manifest themselves into the physical reality which we share with others, for better or for worse.

I'm just a typical husband, truck driver, and father. And I am off to Walnut Creek at the end of this message. I'll be near you at 7:00 AM Tomorrow, picking up 'Glulam Beams in Napa'. I'll be praying and thinking about you.

2 Corinthians 4:7 But we have this treasure in 'jars of clay' to show that this all-surpassing power is from God... and not from us.

God bless, Rob






Re; Mystery Post
Name: Marie Chri
Date: //2007-02-11 17:56:36 :
Link to this Comment: 21456

Apologies, Mr Lockett, for the 'mystery' surrounding my identity.



Name:
Date: //2007-02-11 18:04:37 :
Link to this Comment: 21457

Chien writes; Bible, especially, taken as a whole, sounds like the mathematical Infinite Spreadsheet presented in a verbal format. The suggestion of post-science is that as knowledge advances, we should try to update, not refute, the Bible (lulu.com/ching). Science and the Bible cover different areas of knowledge and should have very little conflict.

Does the Infinite Spreadsheet need to be up-dated? Would you like to refute God, or to up-date Him?



Name: Chien Yi L
Date: //2007-02-11 22:02:42 :
Link to this Comment: 21458

From 21457: Does the Infinite Spreadsheet need to be up-dated? Would you like to refute God, or to up-date Him?

Thank you for your questions. Yes. The Infinite Spreadsheet (infinitespreadsheet.com), being analytic in nature, will be continuously updated, e.g. in the last few years from the determination of the price in real estates to the determination of the rate of return in stocks, where the price is given.

All knowledge should be updated, including those about God (maybe not God, Himself), if there is something new or better to be added. To post-science, any being or person who can create the living system is the creator or God (a true life scientist). The intelligent of such a being is beyond the comprehension of the current scientific culture. Even the Bible can only be updated, not necessarily refuted, in the coming Age of social science. That is my speculation. Thank you for putting the questions so directly. [CYL]


Isolating the Integer...
Name: rob
Date: //2007-02-13 01:00:27 :
Link to this Comment: 21461

Dear Dr. Chien, once again I want to make a comparison. Please do accept the directness as you so boldly accepted above.

I also, do not wish to patronize or humiliate...

On 'operating systems'...

Our computers use a binary system of 0's and 1's. And I am no expert on the subject and cannot even comment on the possible complexities, current complexities, or the possible future combinations of the binary languages.

However, one need not have more than a basic understanding of mathematical priciples to comprehend the difference between the potential complexity of these man-made 'binary systems of 2 characters', as compared to a 'living bio-system with 4 characters' with which to make combinations of information.

Exponential factors being what they are, the magnitude in difference of complexity is enormous. And I say that relative to our 'High-tech' hardware and software today.

The A's C's T's and G's of the DNA molecule have an ability on a submicroscopic scale, to efficiently relay information in a manner that rather humbles our human attempts to "copy" such a system.

As King Solomon said, "It is mere chasing after the wind."

'Discovery' is not 'creation'!

We have created nothing. We are only copying the same patterns that preceded us. We just like to hold it over the heads of the ignorant, who actually believe all of the lies otherwise (even ourselves).

Some god's we are...

If we are intelligent for figuring out what little we 'actually' do know by shear discovery, then how much more intelligent must the true 'author of the language' of life be, who actually was the 'original thinker'?

I know what it is you seek Dr. Chien... It is the same thing we all seek.

But to really isolate the supreme nature of the integer as expressed in the moral realm, and as expressed in all ordered systems is...

'The Law of Non-Contradiction.'

And I don't just mean basic mathematical expression as manifested by our computer languages.

The essence of love also, is lack of violation of this law. I do hate to put it in such cerebral terms as it can be expressed so exquisitely at the unimaginable level of harmony and sanctity of love...

Matthew 12:25 Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, "Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.

As with some of the other laws of the universe, Einstein was right again perhpas without his knowing... 'I have supreme faith, that the laws governing the universe, will be both elegant, and simple' (paraphrase).

Rob




Interesting Integers and imposition
Name: Rob
Date: //2007-02-14 21:52:45 :
Link to this Comment: 21464

Dr. Chien, this discussion is very interesting, but it is clear we are not exactly on the same page. You see, the point I have been trying to make, is not that Christ is a precursor to this new idea of yours, but is the complete expression of it. It not only proceeds, but supercedes. You may have invented a way for human beings to speak to computers using logic. but I am trying to tell you that God himself speaks to us already on a much more sophisticated level far beyond any computer capacity. But the simmilarities might provide an opportunity to bridge our concepts so you can see exactly what it is I wish to share.

I am going to let it all hang out! Not many can accept it, but I think you can, if you really examine it for yourself.

The best computer in the known universe apart from God's own mind is the 'human mind' (and I mean in combination with the conscious and the soul). We tend to think our minds are slower than a computer, and yes this is true if we look only at one aspect of the whole, but a computer is not processing the 'real' complexities of a living creature.

If we give our lives to God for his purposes, and lay down all of our selfish ambition (while admitting that is what it is), then we can have direct communion with Him.

You seem to be suggesting some future cyborg relationship of man and his invention (the computer) as the salvation of humanity. I am trying to tell you 'very matter of factly', that we are the invention, and that God has made it possible for us to have a Spiritual relationship with Him by sending his son.

It's not about belief, it is real. Forget religion. It is reality! And the only reason I know, is because I have communion with Him as He promised I could.

How did Jesus know that His metaphor, 'calling Himself the light of the world' was accurate scientifically with discoveries not made until the 20th Century?

The unity between truth (logic) and light are 'perfect'! Both are defined by the observer, and once defined, the other potentials are excluded. With light, there is no discernable consequence in defining by experiment whether it is a particle or wave. But defining truth (as you must do implicitly with your 'theo'ry) has enormous consequences, as it excludes other theologies and philosophies as being true. And by implication, that which is false is evil.

We can test whether Christ's claims are true. We admit our own ignorance and depravity to Him and trade it for His revelation. That is the only reason I am able to engage in this discourse, because He has revealed that which He saw fit to give me, so as to communicate to you. You're underestimating by many degrees, the lack of wisdom mankind needs to be interacting with to solve his problems.

If the test fails, then you can always revert to your present course. But if the test suceeds, then you will as Jesus said, 'Know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.'

There are no magic words. You don't need a priest other than someone like me to point you to Him. But I am your brother, not your teacher. He is both priest and teacher. You need not even speak. He knows your thoughts and more importantly your heart (soul/Spirit). All humanity needs to find God is honesty. Truth is the solution. The integer of love and honesty is truth. Something we find cruel and threatening to our personal kingdom. But is it not our quest to supplant our kingdoms that is the problem with man?



-Chien writes: There are two parties in human-computer interaction.-

As are there with God-human interaction. I assure you that God's logic far outways our own understanding. His weakness is stronger than our strength. His foolishness is wiser than our genius. He speaks to us very plainly:

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;

He has told how to find Him. Believe and call on His name; Jesus. It is foolish to us, but really only because it is humbling to realize we are not the creators, but the creature. He loves us and will give us everyting we desire existentially, but cannot understand logically. We need only trust and obey (believe and call on his name). Then He reveals Himself as He promised. See for yourself...

15 "If you love me, you will obey what I command. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever-- 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.

John 14:18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him." 22 Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, "But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?" 23 Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24 He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.


-Chien writes: The ultimate goal of Knowledge is to impose the condition of permanence, achieved through complete automation, on our Society, especially, on the computer community.-

Truth (God) is never imposed on man Chien, other than by men. Man is not a tool to be manipulated. He is a tool that must willingly submit and cooperate. God (reality) does not impose. That would violate His loving nature. In men, truth is either 'accepted and obeyed', or 'rejected and fought'. If you try to impose something on man, he will discover it soon enough, and give his life to destroy it and you. He was created that way, so that he has no excuse to deny the moral reality of his dignity.

I hope that was helpful. I mean every word with my entire being. I simply must share the incredible news. And I do hope you can accept it and believe. Reality is much bigger than we thought...


Integer is the native language of the computer
Name: Chien Yi L
Date: //2007-02-14 10:55:27 :
Link to this Comment: 21463

Subject: Integer is the native language of the computer

Thank you Rob for your support of integers. I am the inventor of Universal Computer Source Code, which is all integers, but am not as advanced as my teachers in understand other than analytic solutions. I have asked Dr. Hugh Ching to explain to me your perceptive and creative ideas (the integer part I can understand and even approve to be pretty accurate). He suggested that you should make one of your long-term goals the comparison of the Bible and post-science, which is explained in non-technical terms in the book Knowledge (http://www.lulu.com/ching). The following is my explanation of integers.

There are two parties in human-computer interaction. Humans prefer English or their other native languages, and computers or machines operate on logic, whose general form is represented by integers. Can anyone think of another form of a universal and permanent representation for the unlimited searchable items? Keywords? No. Keywords in English can be converted to integers, but Chinese is hard to have a universal and permanent standard for conversion to integers. Even English is very disorganized, from the viewpoint of the machine. For completely automated handling of information, we need to use the native language of the machine in the automated part.

The ultimate goal of Knowledge is to impose the condition of permanence, achieved through complete automation, on our Society, especially, on the computer community. Today, there is no discipline of its own in computer science; the condition of complete automation would be one, possibly the only, discipline. Without this discipline, we all need to upgrade our operating system every couple of years (this time 6 years). ### [CYL]


Additional Technical Comment to
Name: Chien Yi L
Date: //2007-02-15 10:56:22 :
Link to this Comment: 21465

Subject: Additional Technical Comment to ¡§Integer is the native language of the computer¡¨

The above comment is relevant to the Evolution and ID Debate; it is related to the creation technology, which is needed in our self-creation. The two initial steps into the Age of Life Science or Creation are (1) Naming permanent entities, such as knowledge, with integer permanent numbers, namely, Universal Permanent Numbers, and (2) Representing computer, or DNA, source codes with integer temporary numbers, namely, Universal Computer Source Codes. They are described in technical detail in the patent of Dr. Hugh Ching ¡§Completely Automated And Self-generating Software System¡¨ ¡V Patent (Pat. No. 5,485,601) and in the newly published book Knowledge (http://knowledgebook.us). The initial goal is to achieve complete automation, which characterizes life. [CYL]


The Number of Man
Name: rob
Date: //2007-02-15 19:00:49 :
Link to this Comment: 21466

Dr. Chien, I have a question, as to self creation.

How do we create ourselves when we are already created?

Our self is found by forgetting 'self', and finding God (which in the Greek is 'theos' and synonymous with reality).

Can create reality when we are already only a 'part' in it?

Wouldn't we be a 'part' trying to reshape the whole so as to suit us?

Is not our problem that we do not shape ourselves to fit the whole?

A creation must conform to reality, not the other way round. Is that not sensible and logical?

Jesus said it plainly in different ways, with the same difference...

Matthew 10:39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

Matthew 16:25 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.

It seems clear to me, that you are pursuing the same thing. And those of us who wish to participate with humanity, will have to give up Christ so as to find our created self.

Either way... we're dealing with something very black and white here...

Somebody has the answer, and the other is a manifestation of the anti-answer.

Perhaps we should at least allow this to give us pause.

I can only imagine what some Christian colleagues of mine might ask in terms of the numbers that would be assigned to this new paradigm and man's place in it... 666?

I personally find the significance of such numbers in scripture to be more applicable by other methods. But nonetheless, such a seal as is given and marks the man in Christ (in a spiritual sense), is the antithesis of the number of man when sealed by some human counterfeit of the truth (again, a spiritual symbol).

Respectfully, yet openly, Rob





Creation Technology
Name: Chien Yi L
Date: //2007-02-16 01:14:44 :
Link to this Comment: 21468

Subject: Creation Technology

Post-science sort of agrees with you on your basic premise on Jesus, God, and Creation, BUT the problem is how to do or know what they know? How do we rediscover what our creators have known about creating the living system. For example, humans can touch, but robots cannot. How to enable robot in touch? Scientists today think that touch is a material and sensing problem, but post-science believes that touch is a physics problem, unsolved by Isaac Newton. Recently, a sensing material is invented; post-science hopes that it would be the last excuse from scientists on the inability of robots in touch. And. DNA is permanent, current software standards are temporary. How to make software permanent? We need to deal with the current situation, not the past or the future, both of which are superior to us at one time. Thank you for keeping me interested. ### [CYL]


Self-Creation
Name: Chien Yi L
Date: //2007-02-16 10:17:22 :
Link to this Comment: 21469

Subject: Self-Creation

Thank you Rob for inquiring into the most central question of human existence: How do we create ourselves when we are already created?

Self-creation is a term used by Dr. Hugh Ching of Post-Science Institute to represent the continuing self-creation of the living system. He speculates that the current living system is designed and created by its creators, who in turn are created by their creators, and so on and so forth, all the way back to the end of a transient stage, which evolves from random chance. Now is our turn to create the next living system, so that the intelligence of the universe, stored in DNA, can be preserved permanently. Thus, self-creation is the purpose of our existence. Furthermore, in the process of self-creation, we will be able to discover from our own design specification for creating ourselves, the meaning of our lives and the purpose of our existence. Self-creation is also the goal of our existence, for what we create will be able to do anything we can do. Self-creation is, indeed, the wisdom of the universe. [Edited by Chien Yi Lee]



Name: rob
Date: //2007-02-16 10:19:41 :
Link to this Comment: 21470

Chien writes: "Post-science sort of agrees with you on your basic premise on Jesus, God, and Creation, BUT the problem is how to do or know what they know?"

That is a very difficult question. I think the difficulty lies in the distinction between time and eternity.

When talking about God (reality) we must remember that we are discussing an infinite being.

So the only way this could be done, is by us also becoming infinite (in knowledge and being).

Since you and I are infinite only in the sense that we existed (to some degree) in the mind of God (eons before our actual being), then the only way to become infinite is to stay 'in' the source.

So when you here Christians talking about finding our meaning, purpose, and destiny 'in Christ' that is the context they are invoking. But at the same time we also find our past and origins 'in Christ'.

Your question assumes that 'we cannot take that leap of faith until'... we are infinite in knowledge already and assured of it's sucess. But that is not possible with any philosophy. We instead experiment. And history is repleat with failed experiments in testing the coherence of an 'idea' (religion or philosophy) against our existential struggles for meaning.

The Christian ideal is assumed to have failed by many, because of the Crusades and the lack of utopia we are seeking.

But Christianity is not promising a utopia in 'time', but 'eternity', where the answer must be to begin with. Dead human beings cannot live eternally so as to learn eternal and infinite knowledge. And currently all of us will die. And Biblically, death is a protection from ourselves and the result of sin, since no good God would allow a Hitler or Stalin to impose their kingdoms forever. But we must not think that you or I would do any better job, if given all eternity to muster the kind of ambition that these men were so confident in.

It only takes one deviation from the path, for the consequeces to begin to pile up. There are many angles at which you can fall, but only one angle at which you can stand.

Jesus put it this way, (Matthew 7:13) "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it."

(John 10:7) Therefore Jesus said again, "I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep."

Billy Graham was speaking with Konrad Adenauer (the first West German Chancellor) after World War II. The chancelor ask Billy if he believed in the ressurection. Billy said, "Mr. Chancellor, if I di not belive in the resuurection, I would have no Godsel to preach."

It is related that the chancellor made the following comment, while surveying the destruction of the city from his window, "Mr. Graham, apart from the ressurection, I see no hope for mankind."

I tell you the truth Chien. If we will not turn to the infinite being who is 'the way', to show us 'the way', then like lost children with no parent of guide, we will be forced to learn the hard way.

Such is history...

You can know Him. You can meet Him. He will open your eyes if you call upon Him. It is a new birth into the arms of the infinite.

You must decide for yourself.

John 3:1 Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2 He came to Jesus at night and said, "Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him." 3 In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again."

4 "How can a man be born when he is old?" Nicodemus asked. "Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be born!" 5 Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again.' 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit."

9 "How can this be?" Nicodemus asked. 10 "You are Israel's teacher," said Jesus, "and do you not understand these things? 11 I tell you the truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. 12 I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? 13 No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven--the Son of Man. 14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.

16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.

19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God."

God does not condemn us for our sins Chien. We condemn ourselves if we will not admit them to Him and ourselves. And from that position, we cannot recover. We can meet Him if we accept the terms of His language. And the language is the integer, and it is honesty and openness. No hidden agendas, and no secrets. The language of love and trust.

You need not confess to me or anyone, just to Him. It is your personal relationship with God. Intimate and divine.











Name:
Date: //2007-02-16 20:56:17 :
Link to this Comment: 21471

Chien Yi Lee...Self-creation is a term used by Dr. Hugh Ching of Post-Science Institute to represent the continuing self-creation of the living system. He speculates that the current living system is designed and created by its creators, who in turn are created by their creators, and so on and so forth, all the way back to the end of a transient stage, which evolves from random chance. Now is our turn to create the next living system, so that the intelligence of the universe, stored in DNA, can be preserved permanently. Thus, self-creation is the purpose of our existence. Furthermore, in the process of self-creation, we will be able to discover from our own design specification for creating ourselves, the meaning of our lives and the purpose of our existence. Self-creation is also the goal of our existence, for what we create will be able to do anything we can do. Self-creation is, indeed, the wisdom of the universe. [Edited by Chien Yi Lee]


And what exactly is the problem with the procreative method we already utilize/


Chaotic Order
Name: Rob
Date: //2007-02-16 21:16:29 :
Link to this Comment: 21472

Chien writes: "Self-creation is a term used by Dr. Hugh Ching of Post-Science Institute to represent the continuing self-creation of the living system. He speculates that the current living system is designed and created by its creators, who in turn are created by their creators, and so on and so forth, all the way back to the end of a transient stage, which evolves from random chance. Now is our turn to create the next living system, so that the intelligence of the universe, stored in DNA, can be preserved permanently. Thus, self-creation is the purpose of our existence. Furthermore, in the process of self-creation, we will be able to discover from our own design specification for creating ourselves, the meaning of our lives and the purpose of our existence. Self-creation is also the goal of our existence, for what we create will be able to do anything we can do. Self-creation is, indeed, the wisdom of the universe. [Edited by Chien Yi Lee]"

Chien, I somehow missed this response from you and have not addressed it.

Dr. Hugh Ching is speculating much. How does he know that our origins are from random chance?

I believe just the opposite. That God is the eternal uncaused order from which we were created. We have fallen from grace. We are not 'evolving' but 'de-volving'.

The universe is coming undone, not the other way around. We live in a dying world. Which means that it began by living. Things that are coming apart first must start whole (or Holy).

In other words, Chaos cannot exist unless order is first present, so as to become chaotic.

If order is to be made from chaos, then intelligence must be present to put the pieces together. But how do you get intelligence from a chaotic origin when there is no intelligence to assemble the pieces?

You must first start with intelligence, then after breakdown, put things back into their original place. The purpose is the origin and the destiny. If chance be the father of flesh, then chance and confusion will be our destiny.

I wish to share two dramatic illustrations. The first is from the English journalist Steve Turner. the last lines are particularly remarkable and telling:

We believe in Marxfreudanddarwin
We believe everything is OK
as long as you don't hurt anyone
to the best of your definition of hurt,
and to the best of your knowledge.

We believe in sex before, during, and
after marriage.
We believe in the therapy of sin.
We believe that adultery is fun.
We believe that sodomy’s OK.
We believe that taboos are taboo.

We believe that everything's getting better
despite evidence to the contrary.
The evidence must be investigated
And you can prove anything with evidence.

We believe there's something in horoscopes
UFO's and bent spoons.
Jesus was a good man just like Buddha,
Mohammed, and ourselves.
He was a good moral teacher though we think
His good morals were bad.

We believe that all religions are basically the same-
at least the one that we read was.
They all believe in love and goodness.
They only differ on matters of creation,
sin, heaven, hell, God, and salvation.

We believe that after death comes the Nothing
Because when you ask the dead what happens
they say nothing.
If death is not the end, if the dead have lied, then its
compulsory heaven for all
excepting perhaps
Hitler, Stalin, and Genghis Kahn

We believe in Masters and Johnson
What's selected is average.
What's average is normal.
What's normal is good.

We believe in total disarmament.
We believe there are direct links between warfare and
bloodshed.
Americans should beat their guns into tractors .
And the Russians would be sure to follow.

We believe that man is essentially good.
It's only his behavior that lets him down.
This is the fault of society.
Society is the fault of conditions.
Conditions are the fault of society.

We believe that each man must find the truth that
is right for him.
Reality will adapt accordingly.
The universe will readjust.
History will alter.

We believe that there is no absolute truth
excepting the truth
that there is no absolute truth.

We believe in the rejection of creeds,
And the flowering of individual thought.

If chance be
the Father of all flesh,
disaster is his rainbow in the sky
and when you hear
State of Emergency!
Sniper Kills Ten!
Troops on Rampage!
Whites go Looting!
Bomb Blasts School!
It is but the sound of man worshipping his maker.

(Steve Turner, "Creed" /From Ravi Zacharias’ book, 'Can Man live Without God?')

This second one is from the rock group King Crimson:

21st Century Schizoid Man

Cat's foot iron claw
Neuro-surgeons scream for more
At paranoia's poison door
Twenty first century schizoid man.

Blood rack barbed wire
Polititians' funeral pyre
Innocents raped with napalm fire
Twenty first century schizoid man.

Death seed blind man's greed
Poets' starving children bleed
Nothing he's got he really needs
Twenty first century schizoid man.

Epitaph
The wall on which the prophets wrote
Is cracking at the seams.
Upon the instruments if death
The sunlight brightly gleams.
When every man is torn apart
With nightmares and with dreams,
Will no one lay the laurel wreath
As silence drowns the screams.

Between the iron gates of fate,
The seeds of time were sown,
And watered by the deeds of those
Who know and who are known;
Knowledge is a deadly friend
When no one sets the rules.
The fate of all mankind I see
Is in the hands of fools.

Confusion will be my epitaph.
As I crawl a cracked and broken path
If we make it we can all sit back
and laugh.
But I fear tomorrow I'll be crying,
Yes I fear tomorrow I'll be crying.











From the propagation of DNA to the propagation of
Name: Chien Yi L
Date: //2007-02-16 22:30:16 :
Link to this Comment: 21473

Subject: From the propagation of DNA to the propagation of the entire living system to infinity

Comment on Self-Creation: And what exactly is the problem with the procreative method we already utilize/

Response: If your question is social, my answer would be that I have no problem with the procreative method we already utilize; there is no intention to replace the procreation method. If your question is technical (how to duplicate the procreation method, technically), my answer would be that the problem is unsolved and even hardly understood.

My best guess is that you don¡¦t think the technical problem needs to be solved. With that post-science completely disagrees. Most people today think problems in terms of their own lifetime. Post-science believes that we are all part of the interactive universe or the living system. Someday our universe will come to an end. We exist for a purpose, which post-science believes, from its discovery of completely automated software resembling DNA, is to propagate this living system permanently, as we would like to propagate our offspring or DNA to infinity in time.

The creation technology, once achieved, would teach us all the wisdom of the universe. This wisdom will show us how to behave rationally, what is the meaning of life, how to achieve maximum value in life, etc. Today, we still live in what Buddhism calls a bitter ocean without boundary. The current Age of Science knows only what governs material objects and has no idea what constraints our behavior. Our continuing suffering is an indication that we still have many lessons to learn about how to behave properly. The creation technology must include valuation systems which can determined the values of permanent entities created. Post-science believes that even greater values are stored in the knowledge in Life Science. I appreciate your question. [Chien Yi Lee]



Name: Rob
Date: //2007-02-16 22:53:48 :
Link to this Comment: 21474

Chien: "The creation technology, once achieved, would teach us all the wisdom of the universe."

By definition, the creation technology you seek already created us. We rejected Him, and must return.

He asks us to confess our sin. That is the only hurdle. All of reality hidden behind our ability to be honest. It is almost laughable!

You're suggesting (or Dr. Hugh is) that we create machines that will help us calculate that which is beyond us.

But creations are never smarter than their creator. They are less competent not more. Perhaps better in terms of 'one strand' of the whole (such as speed), but that is not an increase in capacity, but rather reductionist. Balanced capacity is the key.

The truth is, and the message of Christ is... that we were created by a God who needs no help from us. He is everything unto Himself. As the creation (His computers) we are offered the right to become the sons of God. The right to become like Him.

It would be like us creating computers not to show 'us the way', but so as to give the computers an opportunity to live and not just be programmed machines.

Let me put it this way because Dr. Zacharius used this illustration and I think it is brilliant and makes the point clearly.

Richard Dawkins of Oxford university has said in one of his books, that "there is no such thing as right and wrong. We're all just dancing to our DNA".

Dr. Zacharius said, "Ok, I'll accept that... How much more profound then, are the words of Christ 2000 years ago, 'that we must be born again'"?








Name: rob
Date: //2007-02-17 19:04:50 :
Link to this Comment: 21476

Dr. Chien writes: "My best guess is that you don¡¦t think the technical problem needs to be solved. With that post-science completely disagrees. Most people today think problems in terms of their own lifetime. Post-science believes that we are all part of the interactive universe or the living system. Someday our universe will come to an end. We exist for a purpose, which post-science believes, from its discovery of completely automated software resembling DNA, is to propagate this living system permanently, as we would like to propagate our offspring or DNA to infinity in time."

Dr. Chien, I do think the technical problems need to be solved. But we cannot look to ourselves for that solution. The solution has already been offered. What puzzles me, is our reluctance to take it. if you really believe in these concepts, then you would do well to examine this position carefully.

God does reveal Himself. It does not seem possible until you have seen Him for yourself. That is the offer...

What is very striking about the Bible, is that it can predict these things. In Isaiah's case, we're talking hundreds of years BC he talked about the universes inevitable end. And again in 2 Peter, and again in Revelation at best 100 AD.

How could these 'prophets of God' accurately describe realitites that science would not confirm until recently?

God promises a new heaven and earth to all who turn to Him. VEry interesting...

Isaiah 34:4 All the stars of the heavens will be dissolved and the sky rolled up like a scroll; all the starry host will fall like withered leaves from the vine, like shriveled figs from the fig tree.

Revelation 6:14 The sky receded like a scroll, rolling up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.

2 Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.

2 Peter 3:12 ...as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat.

Revelation 3:12 Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name.

Revelation 21:1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. (note here, that 'the sea' is a Biblical symbol of mankind and his storms).

Revelation 21:2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.

Revelation 1:17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: "Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. 18 I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.

The ressurection was debated among the Jews before Christ. But since the ressurection of Christ, it is no longer speculation, but history. We have no excuse to not investigate for ourselves. You would be astonished as I was to find that it is all true.

Ezekiel 37:1-14
1 The hand of the Lord was upon me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2 He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. 3 He asked me, "Son of man, can these bones live?" I said, "O Sovereign Lord, you alone know." 4 Then he said to me, "Prophesy to these bones and say to them, 'Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! 5 This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. 6 I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.'" 7 So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. 8 I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them. 9 Then he said to me, "Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, 'This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe into these slain, that they may live.'" 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet--a vast army. 11 Then he said to me: "Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, 'Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.' 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them: 'This is what the Sovereign Lord says: O my people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. 13 Then you, my people, will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. 14 I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the Lord have spoken, and I have done it, declares the Lord.'"

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
13 Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. 14 We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage each other with these words.

The technology you seek Chien, can be found in Christ. Please call upon Him and be saved. At least put Him on trial and seek Him for your own curiosity.

We are the machines. Slaves to sin, who are invited to become living in the Spirit of Christ.







Updating the Bible with equations and DNA software
Name: Chien Yi L
Date: //2007-02-20 12:49:33 :
Link to this Comment: 21480

Rob, I agree that the solution has been offered, but not documented, as babies are born without documentation, as you have stated below:

“Dr. Chien, I do think the technical problems need to be solved. But we cannot look to ourselves for that solution. The solution has already been offered. What puzzles me, is our reluctance to take it. if you really believe in these concepts, then you would do well to examine this position carefully.”

For example, where are the equations necessary to quantify the solutions in the Bible? The creation of life is technically a process of programming DNA, which is a permanent software? Is DNA or permanent software explained technically in the Bible? What we should do is to update the Bible with quantification and the creation technology. The video you email me is a close qualitative description of post-science speculation on self-creation. Thanks. [CYL]


Believing in Jesus: A social scientist is a Son O
Name: Chien Yi L
Date: //2007-02-20 17:31:39 :
Link to this Comment: 21482

Subject: Believing in Jesus: A social scientist is a Son Of God, and a life scientist, a God.

Post-science would accept with the standard of rigor of the Bible that a perceptive social scientists, who can see the correct way of behavior without analysis, is a Son Of God (or a Messenger Of God), in terms of self-creation. Also, a life scientist, who can program DNA into a living human being, is a God. About quantum effect, being a student of fully trained scientists, I think that mixing quantum with creation or the Bible is the creation of the overly active imagination of science or science fiction writers.

The basic question is whether the assumption of self-creation is correct. Can mankind someday advance its technical know-how to a stage that its life scientists can program DNA to create the living system and can calculate the stability of cosmic systems to recreate a physical universe? Holding the discovery of completely automated software, of which DNA is a prime example, post-science believes that it is possible within the age of the earth, as planned by God, our creators. [CYL]


Documentation and explaination
Name: Rob
Date: //2007-02-23 20:46:15 :
Link to this Comment: 21492

There is a lot that is not technically explained in the Bible. Even our scientists and physicists can only speculate as to the mathematical expression of gravity and other forces. But the Bible does document much. And it is very curious that none of it can be proven false though many attempts are made.

And it answers the most important questions. Not the one's we think are important in our human wisdom.

If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent us an educator.

If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist.

If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist.

If our greatest need had been pleasure, God would have sent us an entertainer.

But our greatest need was forgiveness, so God sent us a Savior!




Post-Science Medicine: Trust Our Creators
Name: Chien Yi L
Date: //2007-02-26 10:03:18 :
Link to this Comment: 21496

Subject: Post-Science Medicine: Trust Our Creators

If Jesus is not a liar, he is the Son of God. If Jesus is a son of God, man and God become one and the same, supporting the post-science concept of self-creation. Both goodness and evil are created for a purpose, from the point of view of self-creation. At a time when mankind needs good to balance the excessive evil, saviors are planned to preach goodness to prevent any possibility of mankind~{!/~}s self-destruction.

Another one of the most practical derivatives of self-creation is the concept of Post-Science Medicine. If we believe we are created and our foods are created for us, we should also believe our medicines are created along with our foods. Newly invented medicines cannot be empirically verified because DNA propagates to infinity in time and infinity never arrives. Medicine must be based on faith not empirical verification. Western Medicine is based on the faith in science. Eastern Medicine is based on natural medicine before the invention of the refrigerator. Post-Science Medicine is just natural medicine and is based on the faith in creation or self-creation.

Each type of Medicines has its advantages and disadvantages. For example, Post-Science Medicine, after the testimonies of members of post-science, believes elderberry juice is the cure for the common cold, for which Western Medicine still does not have a remedy. ### [Chien Yi Lee]


Food and Sons of God
Name: Rob
Date: //2007-02-26 19:26:29 :
Link to this Comment: 21499


Chien, I have a couple of things for your consideration in response to your last post. One is that we are not sons of God as we stand now, but sons and daughters of the earth. We can become sons of God by His Spirit, but we are subject to death. DNA, nor any other material entity is able to sustain itself. The 2nd law of thermodynamics does not lie. Entropy and disorder are increasing. You can call it 'heat death', or 'matter becoming nuetral' (or stable), but the fact remains that we are coming undone. The moon is slowly leaving it's orbit, the sun is slowly burning up it's fuel, black holes consume entire stars at the center of each galaxy, and the earth suffers at the hands of men who continue to reject God's Law and live by their own creative imaginative solutions to the problem. Food will sustain and heal us only for awhile.

This is going to be a little preachy in some minds, but I am going to address your questions and assertions. Christ claimed to be the answer, so I wish to represent Him as best as I can to explain what He said on these issues.


On sons of God...

Romans 5:14 Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the one to come.. (the one to come being Christ)

1 Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive... (the ressurection and restoration of all things new)

1Co 15:45 So it is written: "The first man Adam became a living being"; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit... (the first subject to death, the second incorruptable)


Food for medicine. Lasting medicine. Medicine that transcends time and decay.

John 6:32 Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world." 34 "Sir," they said, "from now on give us this bread." 35 Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. 36 But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. 38 For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. 40 For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day." 41 At this the Jews began to grumble about him because he said, "I am the bread that came down from heaven." 42 They said, "Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, 'I came down from heaven'?" 43 "Stop grumbling among yourselves," Jesus answered. 44 "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day. 45 It is written in the Prophets: 'They will all be taught by God.' Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me. 46 No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father. 47 I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your forefathers ate the manna in the desert, yet they died. 50 But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world." 52 Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" 53 Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. 57 Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread will live forever." 59 He said this while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.

60 On hearing it, many of his disciples said, "This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?" 61 Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, "Does this offend you? 62 What if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before! 63 The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.


Jesus is the only begotton Son of God. He did not need to come first 'in time' since He is first in eternity. The world was made by and for Him. (if you want to think more on this, read C.S. Lewis 'Mere Christianity' Chapter titles/ 'time and beyond time', and 'the three personal God')


Colossians 1:15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Chien, we must understand that in the eternal scheme of things, it is already finished. It has all been solved before we were created. God knows the way, and He is the way. He knows the truth and is the truth. He is both reality and creator. Reality is not an imersonla infinite, but a eternal relationship of Father, Son and Spirit. They invaded time and space to reveal themselves and call us to repent. If we cannot accept our position, then we cannot hear them. If we think we are God's, then we will not humble ourselves to be led by God.

Matthew 9:13 But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."

Only a sinner can come to Christ...

How bout you Chien... have you ever told a lie? Or Stolen anything? Looked with lust? Used God's name as a curse word? Dishonored you father or mother with disrespect? Created an idol to worship instead of God?

You seem to worship an image of the future that is partially based in the desire God has placed in your heart for eternity and peace and harmony, etc... Do you know the way? Do your colleagues? Do you have the truth? Many throughout history have thought so. All of them secuced according to Jesus, by the same spirit that succesfully tempted Eve to eat the fruit of the 'Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil'.

The fact is... there is not one of those laws that any of us have kept. We are lying, thieving, adulterers at heart. Compared to evil such as Hitler we are holy. But compared to Christ we are vile and wicked. Which do you think represents the 'true' standard?

What is reality so that we know how to determine our position in the cosmos?

The Bible says our hearts are desperately wicked. And there is no truer statement in my opinion. We are desperate to hold on to our lusts and delusions. We want to have both 'Good and Evil' (the forbidden fruit). It is a violation of the law of non-contradiction. There is no balnce with which to reach. That's why I knew Chirst was who He calimed to be. He told the truth without condemnation. He just asked me to lay it down and follow Him.

He does not comdemn us even though we are deserving. All of our good finds it source in Him. He is goodness. He only asks us to see our need for Him and call on His name. He asks us to give up our evil... When we see that and can accept that, we call on Him and offer Him our lives and make our commitment. We need His help to do that. He runs to our aid and opens our spiritually blind eyes.

It's all true! It was always true... He is Lord and is the leader we have been looking for to guide us into our destiny. He is infinitely powerful and Just, yet infinitely merciful and kind. Willing to arrive in a stable, and die on a cross without honor, so as to prove that He is willing to take responsibility for this whole creation including our sin.

He offers heaven though none of us deserves it. But we were created for it. We only have to seek it from it's true source. He has saved all of mankind in principal, but we must accept His gift. Please consider taking that chance... we have nothing to lose and everything to gain. We are going to lose it all for sure if we seek our own way. We were born poor and will die poor.

I can tell you for myself that it is true, and you can find thousands of examples of charlatans to dismiss my testimony. It is up to each of us individually. Christ's words corrospond to reality. They resonate with our soul and Spirit. He offers freely to all who will humble themselves and receive.

It's not automatic, you must commit yourself to Him by His terms. And that is what we should expect since it is our terms which keep getting in the way of humanity finding Him. The universe was not created on our terms, but on God's. His ways are higher than ours, and he is willing to show them to us if we let Him. He opens eyes, He does not shut them.

Dale fincher addressed this last point very well I think. I close my response with his simple explanation:

"If I put out one hundred dollars for all my friends to have a piece of, and if only three of them come and split it among themselves, ...that doesn't mean that I didn't give the money FOR all my friends. Rather, it needed to be taken. The Bible says in Ephesians that Christ's righteousness is a gift but gifts must be received with the free choices of humans. I hope that helps clarify the distinction between availability and application".
http://www.rzim.org/resources/essay_arttext.php?id=19#1


Evil
Name: Chien Yi L
Date: //2007-02-26 21:00:28 :
Link to this Comment: 21501

Subject: Evil

Hi Rob,

I enjoy reading your comparison of the Bible and post-science. My comments are:

Rob wrote:
“Chien, we must understand that in the eternal scheme of things, it is already finished. It has all been solved before we were created. God knows the way, and He is the way. He knows the truth and is the truth. He is both reality and creator. Reality is not an imersonla infinite, but a eternal relationship of Father, Son and Spirit. They invaded time and space to reveal themselves and call us to repent. If we cannot accept our position, then we cannot hear them. If we think we are God's, then we will not humble ourselves to be led by God.”

I generally agree with your understanding and well-written conclusion. Pascal said about the same thing. I would like to change one word to distinguish post-science position: “repent” to “understanding.”

Rob wrote:
“The fact is... there is not one of those laws that any of us have kept. We are lying, thieving, adulterers at heart. Compared to evil such as Hitler we are holy. But compared to Christ we are vile and wicked. Which do you think represents the 'true' standard?

What is reality so that we know how to determine our position in the cosmos?

The Bible says our hearts are desperately wicked. And there is no truer statement in my opinion. We are desperate to hold on to our lusts and delusions. We want to have both 'Good and Evil' (the forbidden fruit). It is a violation of the law of non-contradiction. There is no balnce with which to reach. That's why I knew Chirst was who He calimed to be. He told the truth without condemnation. He just asked me to lay it down and follow Him.”

Here is the distinction between Knowledge (a book by the founders of post-science Ta-You Wu, T. L. Kunii, C. V. Ramamoorthy, and Hugh Ching) http://lulu.com/ching) and the Bible. From the post-science concept of self-creation, which you implied in the above paragraph, evil and good are both created with useful purpose. My question to you is “If you was the creator of human beings, would you have given him/her the ability to commit evil?” I hope we can concentrate our discussion on this one point. Thanks. ### [Chien Yi Lee]


Good questions...
Name: Rob
Date: //2007-02-27 00:08:41 :
Link to this Comment: 21502

Chien, I welcome the opportunity to have this frank discussion. I respect the fact that you are willing to ask questions that seem genuine for the purpose of understanding. You're asking important and relevant questions. They are deep theological issues that will require some lengthy explanation if I am to defend the Christian worldview adequately. It is not so much complicated as carefully examined.

There are two questions you asked that I will limit this response to. You asked if I would focus on the purpose of ‘Evil’. I wish first to answer your other question.

-Chien writes: What is reality so that we know how to determine our position in the cosmos?-

That is the heart of the issue isn't it? How can we see ourselves from a transcendent vantage point? How do we stand outside of ourselves with which to see who we ‘really are’? How do we know who is telling the truth when they claim to have 'The Answer TM" to our existential and intellectual struggles? Where do those struggles come from?

And where does any person providing the so-called answers come from? One thing is certain... if they are mere mortals like us, they cannot have such answers with any degree of certainty beyond the conjecture of you or I. If they are merely interpreting the data through their own DNA and experience, then what makes their ‘bias’ more accurate than my own?

We should expect that any ‘Savior’ or ‘Real Answer’ would come from outside of our scope of understanding. Not from outside reality (since anything beyond reality does not exist by definition), but from a vantage point that makes them able to see ‘The Whole’ picture. Such a being would need to know what is ‘Absolute and Eternally’ true and real, not just what is true within the limited scope of a mortal life. After all, evil is real in time, but is the very thing we all seek to be rid of.

I think the only perfect mirror we have with which to see ourselves as we ‘Truly Are’ (beyond any personal bias) is the Law handed down to the Israelites from God to Moses. It is a Holy and impossible standard in purely human terms. It points to a standard of behavior that is utterly Godly. That is the first revelation, that brings knowledge of sin.

There is your reality. That is how far from reality we are. If we were living in God’s eternal will and heaven, we would follow that standard without deviation. It is a glimpse into the perfect and unchanging Law that is never divided or in conflict. Ironically, it is these fences that would lead to freedom. But such fences cannot be imposed. They must be chosen, and therein lies the stairway to your main question… Choice!

Before I get to it… you mentioned that one difference between my belief system and Post-Science is that what I call repentance, you would call knowledge…

I think that without repentance, there can be no complete knowledge. If a creature is unwilling to give up his ‘Bad’ programming, then how can he ever be expected to humble himself to learn a new system? If there are no ‘Real’ consequences, why should he not simply continue to do whatever it is he wants? The philosophies of Materialism and Pantheism provide an escape for the unthinking and careless individual. There is no responsibility to behave, since they are ultimately slaves and products of their environment. Any appearance of goodness is only a benefit to themselves. It is not selflessness, but selfish goodness.

Repentance is sacrificial goodness and is ‘loving’ in nature. It is embracing reality at the expense of our self for the sake of another. It is a willingness to admit not just a mistake, but also a selfish motive for the mistake.

Repentance is beyond a rational or intellectual acceptance that one is mistaken. There is an element of ‘Shame’ or ‘Guilt’ that is real and powerful. It is an internal honesty that does not deny a ‘soulish’ or ‘spiritual’ component to life and its emotions. It acknowledges genuine hurt to the other party and a willingness to admit remorse on a palpable level.

C. S. Lewis made the point in one of his books that shame is like a hot drink. We cannot handle it other than the way it is intended to be consumed without being scalded. But if we drink it carefully it will nourish us as intended.

For many today, it appears that shame is an evil unto itself; an imposition to be freed from. But so is gravity… are we really aware of the consequences of living without it?

G.K. Chesterton said, ‘Before you remove any fence…always make sure you know why it was put there in the first place.”

It is another sin of humanity, to abuse and manipulate this ‘real’ sense of shame that leads us to deny it and disobey its instructions. If a man is not careful, he can harden himself into an unrecoverable state as we witness in History with the likes of Hitler and Stalin et al. Evil begets evil. We must not let it harden our hearts and opt for the short sided vision and the power that it promises. There is no power or material possession that can save us from death. Prosperity now does little to comfort our being stripped of all dignity by the grave.

God speaks to our heart as well as our intellect. Without both being in harmony we are not thinking to our full capacity. The problem with the call of Christ, is that we know that if we accept Him, we will have to give up vast systems of ideas that we rely upon to prop us up in our own personal little kingdoms. He didn’t make it easy… He did not intend to. We have to actually trust Him. We must be broken and poor and naked to even get there. And I mean spiritually… He said, 'blessed are the poor in spirit, for they shall see God'.

Today’s world asks us to do the opposite if we want respect and admiration. We are supposed to be strong and spirited. I think it is safe to say that Saddam Hussein was very spirited. No-one could break him. It is the same with all the dictators. Course and resistant to the end it appears. He was ‘Innocent’… in his own mind.

We should not be so eager to judge those horrid figures, lest we forget we are not much different. We like to point at Hitler and the like as examples of the extreme, but we must never do it to prop up ourselves. That is the equivalent of making ‘Evil’ the standard with which to see ourselves in the light of reality. That is the power of darkness to rule on earth temporarily. And if I might be so bold…. Evil is NOT reality.

Christ is reality. Utter selflesness and purity. Strong and gentle. Everything that is good. The world was created for Him. You were created for Him, and only in him will you find your self.

And now to your main question… (I hope this is not utterly too lengthy)

-Chien writes: My question to you is “If you was the creator of human beings, would you have given him/her the ability to commit evil?” I hope we can concentrate our discussion on this one point. Thanks. ### [Chien Yi Lee]-

I think the question is… what would life be like if I didn’t?

Had God not given us the ability to choose something other than His Will, would we be alive in the proper sense? I think C.S. Lewis is correct… we would be nothing but automatons.

Certainly the rocks and water and other elements do not have a choice. If they did, they might not allow us to manipulate them by our will. But if they were, could they trust us to manipulate them for their own betterment?

Which of us can lead? Who knows the ways, and the whys?

I think that to have conscious and sentient beings, it is not possible to create a choice-less existence. And with choice comes responsibility. That is what we don't want to face.

It is not that God fools us. He is in fact the only one who tells us the truth. But we, having ideas of our own as to what our lives should be, reject Him. He came in human form as prophesied by scripture in the most incredible way; born of a virgin as prophesied, filled with wisdom, grace and truth as prophesied, and we crucified Him as prophesied even though crucifixion had not yet been invented. And then He rose from the dead as prophesied and was given the title of Lord of Heaven and Earth, not because He used His power to glorify Himself (as we woudld), but because He gave Himself as a sacrifice to pay the penalty of sin for you and me.

It amazes me how much we respect our heroes and leaders for the arrows and hardship they endure for their vision, and yet we so easily mistake the Cross of Christ as nonsensical. Sacrifice contains everything noble provided it is not simply to appear sacrificial as some certainly do.

There is a lot going on at the Cross. God’s perfect judgment is poured out not on you and I who are deserving of His wrath for our secret sins and ambitions, but on Himself. He showed His mercy and holiness in one brilliant scene. He showed the utter evil of sin and it’s brutality when fully matured hatred and rejection is forced to the surface of our hollow and self-righteous veneer.

He showed how far he was willing to go to prove who He was and how much He loves us. And still so many do not recognize Him. And He showed who we really were and the consequences of not standing for Him.


He revealed not only His passion for us, but our desperation to deny Him. He passed the test and asked His Father to forgive us as we drove the nails into his body. The only charge against Him, was his claim to ‘actually be’ the Messiah.

He stands tall in history. He has no peer. We all still have a choice to make about Him. You must do what you think is right. I know where my allegiance lies, and I encourage you to think these things through to the bottom. Are you being honest with your true self to whom God speaks gently by His Spirit and calls you to Himself?

Jesus said, ‘no-one can come to me unless my Father calls him’. If you hear Him calling, then follow Him. There’s no faking it. It’s a spiritual reality, or it's pure fantasy.

The reality is, that reality is more fantastic than we imagine in our shallow imaginations. If you are privately curious, please read the Gospel of John. It was the most astonishing thing to me when I first felt the call.

It is not I who am going to ever make a believer of you or anyone else. No preacher ever convinced me either. Only God Himself does that!

Sorry if I covered too much ground. You are more than welcome to only address what is relevant to your questions…

Wishing you God's blessing, Rob


oops!
Name: Rob
Date: //2007-02-27 00:59:23 :
Link to this Comment: 21503

Chien, my apologies...

Upon re-reading the last few posts I realized that the first answer in the above response was not your question but my own. I feel rather foolish about that. You may disregard the answer to my own question...

:)


What is evil?
Name: Rob
Date: //2007-02-27 09:41:03 :
Link to this Comment: 21504

Chien, in further adressing your question: 'Would I allow man the possibility of evil if I were God?'

One thing I notice about the question is that it assumes that some things are evil. And I think that is undeniable. But to judge something as evil or twisted, we must assume also, a standard which is good and straight.

If we do not assume a straight standard, then all of our talk about finding answers and solving problems of evil is just nonesense. Good and evil are either real things or they are only irrelevant bias.

There is a straight standard and I believe we all know that. The Bible says God has written His Law on our hearts. He sprinkles the conscious as a means of reaching us.

I would like to defer to Lewis. I think he unravels some of the key components better than I. It is a question that is answered in a round about way by examining the assumptions within the question of whether morality is even a reality by which we can measure that which is bent.


Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
Chapter One
The Law of Human Nature

"We may put this in another way. Each man is at every moment subjected to several different sets of law but there is only one of these which he is free to disobey. As a body, he is subjected to gravitation and cannot disobey it; if you leave him unsupported in mid-air, he has no more choice about falling than a stone has. As an organism, he is subjected to various biological laws which he cannot disobey any more than an animal can. That is, he cannot disobey those laws which he shares with other things; but the law which is peculiar to his human nature, the law he does not share with animals or vegetables or inorganic things, is the one he can disobey if he chooses.

This law was called the Law of Nature because people thought that every one knew it by nature and did not need to be taught it. They did not mean, of course, that you might not find an odd individual here and there who did not know it, just as you find a few people who are colour-blind or have no ear for a tune. But taking the race as a whole, they thought that the human idea of decent behaviour was obvious to every one. And I believe they were right. If they were not, then all the things we said about the war were nonsense. What was the sense in saying the enemy were in the wrong unless Right is a real thing which the Nazis at bottom knew as well as we did and ought to have practised? If they had had no notion of what we mean by right, then, though we might still have had to fight them, we could no more have blamed them for that than for the colour of their hair.

I know that some people say the idea of a Law of Nature or decent behaviour known to all men is unsound, because different civilisations and different ages have had quite different moralities.

But this is not true. There have been differences between their moralities, but these have never amounted to anything like a total difference. If anyone will take the trouble to compare the moral teaching of, say, the ancient Egyptians, Babylonians, Hindus, Chinese, Greeks and Romans, what will really strike him will be how very like they are to each other and to our own. Some of the evidence for this I have put together in the appendix of another book called The Abolition of Man; but for our present purpose I need only ask the reader to think what a totally different morality would mean. Think of a country where people were admired for running away in battle, or where a man felt proud of double-crossing all the people who had been kindest to him. You might just as well try to imagine a country where two and two made five. Men have differed as regards what people you ought to be unselfish to -- whether it was only your own family, or your fellow countrymen, or every one. But they have always agreed that you ought not to put yourself first. Selfishness has never been admired. Men have differed as to whether you should have one wife or four. But they have always agreed that you must not simply have any woman you liked..."


Quantification of evil with the solution of value
Name: Chien Yi L
Date: //2007-02-27 21:06:56 :
Link to this Comment: 21507

Subject: Quantification of evil with the solution of value

Hi Rob,

Many non-religious scientists, for example, those at Caltech, where there is no church, would be turned off by the mere mention of the Bible; to them, the Bible is unscientific. Most pure scientists would also consider the current social science unscientific. These scientists would dismiss the Bible and your discussion, but not post-scientists. You and the Bible might be unscientific, but not un-post-scientific (but not the current social science), because from post-science point of view, the Bible surpasses science. The Bible gives the conclusions of wisest people, who are beyond the analysis of science and the full understanding of the average people, except through faith, and is based on the almost four thousand years of the history of the Jewish people. It could still be considered the most advanced book in social science, which pure science cannot touch. With this post-science position, let’s get back to our main question about evil.

Rob writes:
“We should expect that any ‘Savior’ or ‘Real Answer’ would come from outside of our scope of understanding. Not from outside reality (since anything beyond reality does not exist by definition), but from a vantage point that makes them able to see ‘The Whole’ picture. Such a being would need to know what is ‘Absolute and Eternally’ true and real, not just what is true within the limited scope of a mortal life. After all, evil is real in time, but is the very thing we all seek to be rid of.”

Post-science takes issue with your conclusion “After all, evil is real in time, but is the very thing we all seek to be rid of.” Here you are supporting the view that if you were the creator, you would have eradicated evil from the human nature. Post-science believes, from a self-creational point of view, evil is a survival mechanism for the weak to compete against the strong.

To understand evil from another purely monetary point of view, evil is like paying for something with a credit card, and good is like putting money into one’s saving account. Borrowing money is equivalent to practicing evil and saving, to practicing good. Would you eradiate borrowing or the credit card?

Quantitatively, evil can be quantified with post-science solution of value, which is defined as the sum total of all the benefits and losses to infinity in time. On a short-term basis, evil, by definition, is always negative, but it could result in long-term benefits. For example, would you be willing to steal some bread to keep your family fed? Stealing is evil, but saving your family is most likely more value than the negative value caused by your stealing. Generally, most people have to and are willing to compromise their principles to make a living. Here are examples of the “usefulness” of evil. From a point of view of short-term value determination or of social science, evil is bad, but from the point of view of infinity or of life science or creation, evil has its purpose. What everyone would agree is that applying evil with the result of decreasing value is wrong. The Bible, in the opinion of post-science, has its emphasis on social science, which is mostly needed at the time of the Bible or numerous periods in human history, which has the tendency to “over-borrowing.” Traditional religions provide the balance for evil by pointing out the desirability of “saving.” Also, the idealism of pure goodness, such as utopia, does not work either. Survival, above good and evil, will always be the most important criterion of self-creation because it allows the created to exist permanently. Thank you for your very thoughtful survey on evil, which has help enlighten me and confirm post-science. We might not be able to change each other much, but I am sure our discussion will give the young generation or people with young minds a new alternative in thinking (the understanding of evil). ### [Chien Yi Lee]


Godd and evil not in balance, but at war..
Name: Rob
Date: //2007-03-01 15:29:45 :
Link to this Comment: 21528

Professor Chien, I would like to address one of your other points. You said, "Throughout history there are people who try to balance good and evil, such as Christ, Darwin, Marx, Friedman, Russell, Buddha, Mohammed, Adam Smith. Nietzche is relatively neutral, but leaning toward the tolerance of evil. The reason that evil is prevalent is that good and evil is a communistic system where the credit card used is charged to the society, and so is the saving going to the society. Most people naturally have the tendency to charge rather than to save".

I don't think it is accurate at all to say that Jesus Christ tried to balance good and evil. His words were the most direct and confrontational of any religious figure. His claims are so dramatic and distinct (and with actions that back up His words), that we cannot put Him into the same catagory with these others as you have done. No one lived like Him. He not only preached but practiced. And that is the thing we all fail to do. How did He accomplish this?

It is interesting that you recognize the fruit brought to bear with patience and grace (your example of 'saving' is excellent). The maturity manifested is most certainly a worthy goal, and reflects reality better in human terms (our existential and intellectual needs). But this is a result of individuals giving up their own lives in many all situations, not just in the ultimate sense of 'the soldier', or in monatary terms of economics.

Matthew 10:39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

That is a tremendous claim. Not so much the reality of it, but that if we find that reality which is revealed through selfless service, then we have found Christ. He claims to be that reality incarnate as with so many of His other claims.

These principle's are the very heart of Christ's teaching. So when another comes along after (or even before in terms of relative time) and touts these same principles, they are not just speaking truth that is ultimate and absolute (eternal and not relative only in time), but are proving that Jesus spoke the truth. And if Jesus was telling the truth, then we cannot claim that we have thought of anything new. It's just the same reality, becoming clear to new people.

Jesus did not compromise with evil or balance it... He defeated it! He exists in a place where it is not allowed. And he invites us to follow Him there. Though He was flogged until His skin hung like ribbons, and hung up on a cross to suffer and die He said / Lu 23:34 Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." His faith in the reality of absolute justice was inhuman. How could He be that sure? Well if He really was God, then he would have that advantage. It would all be worth it, if we could see that He really lived what He preached like no other. He could prove to us His strength and conviction 'without the compromise that you imply is a neccesary evil. Not according to Christ.

Hebrews 12:2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

He was so in touch with reality (since He is reality), that death could not hold Him. He defeated the grave.

Matthew 27:63 "Sir," they said, "we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, 'After three days I will rise again.'

Mark 14:58 "We heard him say, 'I will destroy this man-made temple and in three days will build another, not made by man.'"

John 2:19 Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days."

So, what strikes me is this... You acknowledge a desire to see life live infinitely. You acknowledge the 'goodness' of mature and moral conduct. So you must believe these things are possible, or to put in other words... A Reality to be discovered. Yet you find it neccessary to deny that that reality is the most natural thing in the cosmos.

It is not just the most natural thing. It is even more natural and real that the pain and death we experience here in time. It is not un-natural, it is super-natural. I think most peopple think that something supernatural means it is not rational, but pure fantasy. Well even gravity is supernatrual to us, since we do not understand how it works. but it does!

God's ways are higher than ours. They are not irrational, but super-rational. many of the great theologians have far more to say on reality than modern science. Sience only concerns itself with that which is comprhensible to us. Does mean we can't believe in gravity?

We are demanding to be God, before we will accept God. And even though that is the most conceited position, and the root of all sin and evil (pride), God forgives us. And He does so because he is more concerned with us knowing Him, than His own dignity. So He died on the cross for you and me, to not only provide a way for His perfect Justice to be served. but also to show us His perfect mercy.

His dignity was and will always be preserved because He does not change. He is reality. And we cannot change Him, we can only accept or reject Him. If we reject Him, he will not condemn us. We will have condemned ourselves. he is trying to open our eyes and save us. Why do we continue to reject Him? Why did it take me 33 years to realize reality is more precious than my credentials in a vanashing society bent on destruction?

There is no compromise. The truth is extreme as evidenced by our cosmos. The heavens declare His glory.

Be broken upon Him. Fall on Him as your anchor.

Romans 12:2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Matthew 21:42 Jesus said to them, "Have you never read in the Scriptures: "'The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes'? 43 "Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit. 44 He who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, but he on whom it falls will be crushed." 45 When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard Jesus' parables, they knew he was talking about them. 46 They looked for a way to arrest him, but they were afraid of the crowd because the people held that he was a prophet.

The hardest thing to submit to is the truth. We do not like to be confronted with it. It is a threat to our own desire for power and praise (pride and sin). Why do you think it never occurs to so many of us that Jesus was simply telling the truth? Are the miracles not enough for us? Is intelligent design not enough for us? Is the utter beyondness of it offensive to what we want (and want now)?

Matthew 28:18 Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

It is our hearts that need mending. Not just our enemies. Our good works betray what is on the inside. God sees the real us, not just the us that we project to our neighbors.

Matthew 15:10 Jesus called the crowd to him and said, "Listen and understand. 11 What goes into a man's mouth does not make him 'unclean,' but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him 'unclean.'" 12 Then the disciples came to him and asked, "Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?" 13 He replied, "Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. 14 Leave them; they are blind guides. If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit." 15 Peter said, "Explain the parable to us." 16 "Are you still so dull?" Jesus asked them. 17 "Don't you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? 18 But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man 'unclean.' 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. 20 These are what make a man 'unclean'; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him 'unclean.'"


Nothing new...
Name: Rob
Date: //2007-02-28 23:49:34 :
Link to this Comment: 21524

Yeah... ok...

Sounds like your post-science is another attempt at Nietzche's Existential Imperative Phenomenology to me.

Good luck with that!

I'll get back to you...

Rob


Survival is not new...
Name: Rob
Date: //2007-03-01 01:46:45 :
Link to this Comment: 21525

Proff Chien writes: Post-science believes, from a self-creational point of view, evil is a survival mechanism for the weak to compete against the strong.

To understand evil from another purely monetary point of view, evil is like paying for something with a credit card, and good is like putting money into one’s saving account. Borrowing money is equivalent to practicing evil and saving, to practicing good. Would you eradiate borrowing or the credit card?

Rob writes: Actually, I don't wish to eradicate anything except evil in my own life as I am enabled by God's forgiveness, grace, and teaching. I don't have the power to eradicate realities that others intend to maintain. I can advise them, but they are not bound to listen to, or obey me, or God, or whoever they choose not to. I can only live my life for Christ and point to Him as our redeemer and Lord.

All I said is that evil is the thing we all wish to be rid of (in whatever terms we define what is evil). You are making an appeal to survival. In Nazi Germany's case, evil is defined as the 'Strong' eliminating the threat of the 'Weak' upon the ultimate survival of the species. Unless I am misunderstanding your comments, your philosophy is as old as mankind. It is in part, pure utilitarianism being reinvented through a new 'Technique' ie. 'Technology'.

Proff Chien writes: Quantitatively, evil can be quantified with post-science solution of value, which is defined as the sum total of all the benefits and losses to infinity in time. On a short-term basis, evil, by definition, is always negative, but it could result in long-term benefits. For example, would you be willing to steal some bread to keep your family fed? Stealing is evil, but saving your family is most likely more value than the negative value caused by your stealing. Generally, most people have to and are willing to compromise their principles to make a living.

Here are examples of the “usefulness” of evil. From a point of view of short-term value determination or of social science, evil is bad, but from the point of view of infinity or of life science or creation, evil has its purpose. What everyone would agree is that applying evil with the result of decreasing value is wrong.

Rob writes: Well I agree that there are circumstances in which we are powerfully tempted to place our own immediate need above that of society as a whole. Does that mean we sell our soul to save our skin?

I suppose few of us would give our lives for another, but isn't it interesting that Jesus said: John 15:13 "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends".

Who is going to lay down their lives for you Prof Chien, so that this new technological imperitive can finally be realized?

I don't know if you are aware, but this notion is nothing but social Darwinism at the philosophical foundation. It is nothing new.

Please don't misunderstand as I have no intention of comparing you to Hitler. I only want you to know that Adolf tried to bring about another manifestation of the same idea. And he based it philosophically on the thinking of Nietzche.

Now Nietzche's philosophy is generally regarded as desparate. Nihilism, as I see it, is only a part of your philosophy as I intepret it. You are also invoking the optimism of Kant. Both of these men still haunt modern thinking. Our ideas are not our own. I would like to share what Iris Murdoch had to say about Emanuel Kant's vision of the rational man. Because his incarnation of ideas was nothing new either. It is simply the same robust confidence and optimism in humanities power and essential godhood (again, at a philosophical-or religious level).

"How recognizable, how familiar to us, is the man so beautifully portrayed in the Grundlegung, who confronted even with Christ, turns away to consider the judgement of his own conscience and to hear the voice of his own reason. Stripped of the exiguous metaphysical background which Kant was prepared to allow him, this man is with us still, free, independent, lonely, powerful, rational, responsible, brave, the hero of many novels and books in moral philosophy. The raison d'être of this attractive but misleading creature is not far to seek. He is the offspring of the age of science, confidently rational and yet increasingly aware of his alienation from the material universe which his discoveries reveal ... In fact, Kant's man had already received a glorious incarnation nearly a century earlier in the work of Milton: his proper name is Lucifer". (Murdoch / 1970 / The Sovereignty of Good)

The language used by you and your associates is somewhat able to cloud and cover what you are ultimately saying. We all get a little confused at times. But don't allow yourself to be fooled by your own ambitions.

As Shakespear said (and in the noble sense, not the utilitarian), "To thine own self be true"

Even Jesus said that the kingdom of heaven is within you. And that just means that if you lie to your deepest self, you are crucifying the truth in it's most personal manifestation.

Your optimism is not the problem. Your heart confirms something better than this present life indeed. You were created for eternity. You were created for God. Until you find Him, the God sized hole will never be filled. We're not home yet and we don't have to force it on anyone. We only have to accept the means inwhich He offers to get us there. We need not be upset that there is not many ways to get there. We really only need thank Him for giving us one.

Just as a judge would not be impressed with out good marriage and PTA membership when facing a traffic fine, our good intentions and works will not impress the God of heaven and Earth when we are judged for every secret sin we thought was hidden.

He offers to wipe the slate clean. He's already writen the check to pay your fine. You only have to lay down your pride and take it. Otherwise you will have to pay your own way. And you don't know how to get there...

If it is any consolation... neither do I.

That's why He came.


The Balance of good and evil vs. Beyond Good and E
Name: Chien Yi L
Date: //2007-03-01 10:56:28 :
Link to this Comment: 21526

Subject: The Balance of good and evil vs. Beyond Good and Evil

Throughout history there are people who try to balance good and evil, such as Christ, Darwin, Marx, Friedman, Russell, Buddha, Mohammed, Adam Smith. Nietzche is relatively neutral, but leaning toward the tolerance of evil. The reason that evil is prevalent is that good and evil is a communistic system where the credit card used is charged to the society, and so is the saving going to the society. Most people naturally have the tendency to charge rather than to save.

Analytic people can settle their differences by analysis, which is a common language for all analytic people. Different people have different perception. Thus, perceptive people often have difficulty seeing the same way. Creative people are hard to agree. People who rely on faith, which admittedly is an efficient, but still a short-cut, to knowledge will never agree when they have different faiths.

Rob, you are advising people to save. That is fine. What we still need to do is to answer the simple question on evil: “If you was the creator of human beings, would you have given them the ability to commit evil?” I hope we can concentrate our discussion on this one point. ### [Chien Yi Lee]


No Choice = No Humanity
Name: Rob
Date: //2007-03-01 11:12:15 :
Link to this Comment: 21527

Chien writes: Rob, you are advising people to save. That is fine. What we still need to do is to answer the simple question on evil: “If you was the creator of human beings, would you have given them the ability to commit evil?” I hope we can concentrate our discussion on this one point. ### [Chien Yi Lee]


Rob writes:To do otherwise would be to create automatons, not human beings. The question is, "What will they choose"?


So many try to have it both ways, and we live in the resulting reality. Ideas precede material manifestation. The Spiritual precedes the physical reality.


It is not our actions that are evil. It is our depraved minds and hearts that deny their own power to affect the creation. And our actions follow.


It is our hearts that neeed transforming. The Spiritual rebirth must precede the good works.


Treating the symptoms will not cure the disease. We must acknowledge the root of the problem and accept the physician who can heal.


Christ is a promoter of good
Name: Chien Yi L
Date: //2007-03-01 21:39:47 :
Link to this Comment: 21529

Subject: Christ is a promoter of good

Hi Rob,

There could be a misunderstanding in the meaning of the balance of good and evil. As a student of post-science, not an originator, I am not familiar with most past thinkers (about whom I have to discuss with my teachers Prof. Ram (C. V, Ramamoorthy) or Dr. Hugh Ching), except the pioneers of post-science, such as Kant, Marx, and Friedman. I don’t want to call people names, as on the side of good or evil. The concept of the balance of good and evil refers to the fact that throughout history many have promoted good, such as Christ (Yes, he stands out as the greatest advocator of good) and you, so far in your life, and others, evil, such as Darwin (I don’t want to call names on others, good or evil). Very few actually intentionally try to balance good and evil, which are against each other, as you have pointed out.

The reason I keep asking you the same question is to prove that you believe that Christ with the Bible is a promoter of good, if your answer is no (eradication of evil). If your answer is yes, you are in conflict with God, who has created evil with good. We can then continue our discussion from that point onward; otherwise, we’ll be going around in circles. Post-science is founded on the hard science and technology; the discussion of the Bible is really unfamiliar to us. Dr. Ta-You Wu is the Father of Chinese Physics; Prof. Ram is the founder of software engineering; Dr. T. L. Kunii founded the Computer Graphics Society with headquarters in Geneva; and Dr. Hugh Ching is the original founder of post-science with the solutions of value, software, and touch. We are good critics of science, but have a great deal to learn from pre-science, of which you are one of our most patient teachers. Thank you for your understanding. ### [Chien Yi Lee]



Name:
Date: //2007-03-02 21:48:11 :
Link to this Comment: 21530

Chien Yi Lee writes; If your answer is yes, you are in conflict with God, who has created evil with good.

Prove it, sir. How do you know which God is real, and which God or philosophy teaches that God created evil? There are SO many conflicting views upon this, that you can not possibly claim that one person is in conflict with God.



Name:
Date: //2007-03-02 21:55:40 :
Link to this Comment: 21531

Chien writes...If you was the creator of human beings, would you have given them the ability to commit evil?”

Well, you tell us. Will you or would you give your automatons the ability to oppose their program?

And please, you can not give them pre-programmed choices. They must have entire free-will to make their own choices, to whatever extent that is possible.

Now, if I were God, yes, I think I would give people the ability to choose. This does NOT mean that I would give them two programmed options. It means, since there are so many animals which survive by instinct alone, and since we have evolved to have enough intelligence to survive above and beyond instinct, the only option is that the creator would limit the intelligence of the creation to that of instinct, and instinct is not about choice. Our level of intelligence gives us choice, programming the choices between good and evil does not.



Name:
Date: //2007-03-02 22:02:05 :
Link to this Comment: 21532

Chien writes...What we still need to do is to answer the simple question on evil: “If you was the creator of human beings, would you have given them the ability to commit evil?” I hope we can concentrate our discussion on this one point...

Why, are you confused?

Are you not sure about how to answer the question of evil? Tricky, eh?


You are attemoting to be a creator, why not create as you see fit?


The Creation of Evil
Name: Rob
Date: //2007-03-03 00:49:01 :
Link to this Comment: 21533

In response to the last three posts...


I invite you to relax. And encourage you to post without anonimity.


Isaiah 45:7 I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the Lord, do all these things. (New International version)


Isaiah 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. (King James version)


Although I generally agree with the line of questioning in the last three posts, the God of the Bible admits to creating all things. It is really not a difficult theological issue. It is resolved by the fact that we have chosen evil over good (right from the beginning). But since God created us (and any seducing spirits of ours -fallen angels) then he must ultimately be held to account for it all.


What is remarkable is the specificity of the words in Isaiah (not just in this one verse but consistently throughout). God forms the light (as in... is the light). Darkness on the other hand... is created.


And... He seperated the light from the darkness.


Genesis 1:3 And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.


All physical realities have spiritual couterparts. So, the 1st Law of Thermodynamics says that 'Energy can neither be created nor destroyed'. So it is with truth in the metaphysical realm... It cannot be created nor destroyed... it is absolute.


Time may be relative, but eternity is not. We live in a shadow of what is truely real.


Prof Chien is a woman (just so you know), and although she has avoided some issues, they are very difficult issues to say the least. I have found her to be quite reasonable even though I am personally terrified by some of her appearent beliefs. She holds her colleagues in far too much regard in my opinion. We must be extraordinarily careful who we worship...


But that is only so, because I believe that I understand the foundational philosophy of these issues better than she. It is of no use to ask questions in the tone used in the last three posts. Trust me... I've tried that route with others. All parties must keep their grip while simultaneously remaining brutally honest when attemtping to discuss things such as these (which have profound consequences on mankind).


So God created evil... What do we make of that?


Is it not fascinating then, that He sent His Son to take away the sins of the world? In effect, taking the burden of evil upon Himself on the cross?


So it is God's fault... So what? What more would you ask of Him? What more could be done without interfering with our free will?


He took the responsibility for us, because we are the most important thing to Him. Not because He needs us, but because we need Him in order to see who we really are!


We wonder what is evil and what is good???


We are evil! We just go through incredibly sophisticated philosophical mind games to deny the fact.


We want Emperical Evidence!


Malcomb Muggeridge said, "The most emperically verifiable reality is the depravity of man. Yet, at the same time, it is the most intellectually resisted fact!"


We ignore evidence. Mountains and mountains of evidence! Because we are too busy trying to save ourselves to ask for help from the one who knows the way.


We don't need to find a way to save ourselves. We only need accept the savior God has given.


Jesus was once being patronized by a man, and His answer was astounding!


Mark 10:17 As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. "Good teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?" 18 "Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good--except God alone.


The only context that fits with Jesus' other claims is that he was in effect asking the man, "Do you really know who I am?"


Read this below to see what I mean...


John 14:4 You know the way to the place where I am going." 5 Thomas said to him, "Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?" 6 Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him." 8 Philip said, "Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us." 9 Jesus answered: "Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'? 10 Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves.


People like Chien only have to believe. And I don't mean all of it. They only have to do what all of us who know him did. And that open our minds to the possibility and listen to Him. Jesus said in Mt 17:20 ... "Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."


The beliefs systems of the world are mountains for those of us programmed by them. One cannot just completely change their mind blindly. Jesus opens eyes when we ask Him. And asking is a choice that comes only after we actully believe it might be possible.


So many claim to have an open mind int hes dark days, but they have long since shut the door on the possibility of a real and personal relationship with the Eternal and Living God.


The whole reason for this site is to debate new discoveries in science. The complexities of modern molecular biology along with Quantum sciences and new discoveries of the fine tuning of the universe have gone along way toward making Jesus Christ more believable than ever! His w2ords corrospond to reality. Some of those realities not discovered by science until very recently.


Our problem is not intellectual, but moral. We like our sin more than truth! We want to be in control. We freed ourselves from the authority of our parents, and we don't want to give up the respect for ourselves that belongs to our Heavenly Father. In most cases, we simply don't want there to be a God.


Consider the words of Huxley, the humanist:


"I had motive for not wanting the world to have a meaning; consequently assumed that it had none, and was able without any difficulty to find satisfying reasons for this assumption. The philosopher who finds no meaning in the world is not concerned exclusively with a problem in pure metaphysics, he is also concerned to prove that there is no valid reason why he personally should not do as he wants to do, or why his friends should not seize political power and govern in the way that they find most advantageous to themselves. … For myself, the philosophy of meaninglessness was essentially an instrument of liberation, sexual and political." (Aldous Huxley / 'Ends and Means')


Even with all that evil (even honest evil), God still offers to take it from us.


If we let Him!


What do you want to believe? And why do you want to believe that?


When I answered those two questions for myself... I realized how biased against God I really was. And Jesus not only confirmed those revelations, but did not condemn me for it. He only asked me to get up, and learn from Him. He is a wonderful, magnificant, powerful, merciful, just, and forgiving God. I cannot believe I waited so long to think it through for myself.


Rob



Name: Rob
Date: //2007-03-03 01:26:24 :
Link to this Comment: 21534

Prof Chien writes: The reason I keep asking you the same question is to prove that you believe that Christ with the Bible is a promoter of good, if your answer is no (eradication of evil). If your answer is yes, you are in conflict with God, who has created evil with good.


Look at the prosperity (good) created by the U.S.


And the result is a lot of lazy, spoiled, and thoughtless little gods roaming around who think the world owes them respect.


Jesus was not a promoter of good. He was good incarnate. The word 'good' has it's root in the word 'God' (divine conspiracy).


Jesus came to prove who He was to those interested in good. Goodness cannot be fully realized until the entire system is good. Perfection cannot be achieved by components in an imperfect system.


Our world is dying! The only reason to be good is entirely selfless. It points to home not here! Our goodness will not save us. Christ's good ness already has. We need only individually make the transaction with Him. he takes our sin and imputes His righteousness for sake of the next life. We cannot force our neighbor to do the same. But we can love them, and represent Christ as best as we let Him enable us.


It is not so much that God gave us a choice. It is that we took it! And He could not have prevented that while also making us in His image (love).
Love is a choice, it is not commanded other than because it is right. Your computer cannot love you. You can program it to say I love you every morning, but that is not love. If it is sophisticated enough to actuall be alive and think for itself as we are, then you can only hope to love it in return for it's rejection of you, in hopes that it will see the light and choose to return. Otherwise it is lost forever. it will mire in it's own hell.


Love is choice + truth + justice + mercy.


All of those realities converged on the Cross.


It's not like He just died. Forget any lame attempts to say his grave has been found. He rose from the dead, and hundreds of witnesses saw Him. It was an emperical reality than gave the early church it's start. There was no longer any doubt.


And if you give Him the chance, you can meet Him too. That is why I believe. Not because I am gullible (I was a very hard skeptic. An evolutionist and atheist at one time)... But because I now know Him.


When you are born again, his Spirit lives in you. It is quite litterally like finding the integer you were looking for all along. Only as it turns out... He finds you.


The Creation of Evil
Name: Marie Chri
Date: //2007-03-03 14:50:37 :
Link to this Comment: 21537

Hi Rob,

I apologize for my 'tone' and my anonymity, just pressed for time, and forgetful that my data is not automatically presented with my post...

Oh, and apologies also for mistaking Prof. Chien for a man. It wasn't pure pressumption; I had seen a photo of Hugh Ching posed with two colleagues. I had thought that one of those was Chien, my mistake.

So, I am still not of the same opinion you are on the creation of evil. We have certainly used your passages before in this discussion, and I do not forget or ignore, I simply read them in an entirely different way.

I do not believe that Evil exists as a hard opposite to Good. I do not believe there is an incarnation of Evil as there is with Good (Jesus).

I believe that there is one reality, which is entirely good, and all evil is relative to how far we have departed from that reality. Thus, there is no true Evil opposite possible which has any existance of its own.

God only created Good, but by so doing, He gave its opposite reality. Darkness was not anything until light showed it to be darkness. Evil is only a concept which exists and has application to creatures of free-will. All actions of lesser animals have no connotation of evil. If we look to them, God did not create evil. If we look to the plants, the seas, the stars and all of the universe, we do not see evil. We are the only creation which has the intelligence to deviate from the program which was designed for our eternal and temporal survival, aside from the angels.

It is so simple to see it this way, and removes the need for jumping through hoops in order to understand God having to save us from His own creation. I know you are very intangled in your personal interpretations, but consider that when God says; I form the Light, and create Darkness...this does not mean He IS the Light in any thing more than a metaphor, as He clearly created light elsewhere. But consider that two different words are used, form, and create. I think that create does not mean here what it does elsewhere in the ex nihilo sense we imagine it. It means, because I form Light, darkness is exposed. Because I create Good, Evil, its opposite, must come into being...if there is free-will, of course.


God is the light! And Hell is real.
Name: Rob
Date: //2007-03-03 15:59:11 :
Link to this Comment: 21538

Oh, Hi Marie! Now that I know it's you, I might have missinterpreted more angst into your comments than I should have. Prof Chien does not appear to be one prone to being offended. She is quite brave for a non-believer. And that is why I think she has a strong conscious and seems to grasp some things that those who think only in 'Intellectual terms' miss. The mind which thinks only with the flesh cannot discern the Spiritual. God speaks to the whole person; the mind and the heart.


You said: I form the Light, and create Darkness...this does not mean He IS the Light in any thing more than a metaphor, as He clearly created light elsewhere.


Evil is a real thing- even absolute- in light of the fact that we insist upon it. Hell will be an eternal place for those who reject God's Will and Plan for Being. So to say there is only One Reality is not correct other than in the context that all is subject to the sovereignty of God. But in the context I think you meant, I quite disagree and so did our Lord. He talked more about Hell than we would like Him to have.


Luke 16:19 "There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man's table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 "The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24 So he called to him, 'Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.' 25 "But Abraham replied, 'Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.' 27 "He answered, 'Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my father's house, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.' 29 "Abraham replied, 'They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.' 30 "'No, father Abraham,' he said, 'but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.' 31 "He said to him, 'If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.'"


Isn't that interesting? Even if someone rises from the dead, they will not believe... If a man chooses not to believe, there is nothing that can cure Him. He will not accept the healer which is the truth. The truthhe knows deep down he denies to his own demise.


As for light, Jesus is literally 'The Light' in His reality. But in this world, He is the light only in the Spiritual sense (He speaks the truth about reality). Even so, an argument can be made (and has been) that all of creation is a manifestation of Him. He holds all things together as it says in 1 Corinthians (in Him all things consist).


Revelation 22:5 There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.


In heaven, He is the light. There is no other way to interpret it Marie unless you do not believe the scriptures. They are super-rationally consistent wiuth all of the others!


John 8:12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."


John 9:5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world."


What startle me, is the relationship between physical light and truth! It is mind-numbing. The Quantum realm is God's ultimate 'Boo!' to the scientific community. That is why John Polkinghorne the professor of Quantum Physics at Cambridge became a Christian, and sees the miracles of Jesus as not only possible, but the most natural thing in the world (more often known to us as 'supernatural'). And he is certainly not the only one who acknowledges the Spiritual foundation of the physical universe. There are many others in light of modern science. What astounds me is the wisdom and faith of men who understood it simply because of Christ's revelation to them personally. And that is what happened to me. I only found the evidence after my eyes were opened.


Hebrews 11:3 By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.


Romans 1:20 For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.


God spoke... and it was so!


As you said Marie, it is we (mankind) who reject the program. We seek glory for ourselves instead of giving it to the one who can handle the responsibility without getting prideful.


For most of us (as I suspect with Prof Chien), there is a struggle because Satan promises us power, wealth, and Honor for our achievements. She is engaged in a culture that is setting some very ambitious goals. And they pat each other on the back (which all of us desire dangerously)The temptation for recognition among peers is our most potent enemy. It blinds us to the point we will kill the light of Christ in our conscious rather than think through the conflict in our own souls.


At least that is what happens when a dictator is born. And we are all little dictators when you think about it. We desparately need our savior!


When we are starving Spiritually is when the tempter comes. Look how Jesus handled the threat:


Matthew 4:1 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him and said, "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread." 4 Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'" 5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6 "If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down. For it is written: "'He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.'" 7 Jesus answered him, "It is also written: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'" 8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 "All this I will give you," he said, "if you will bow down and worship me." 10 Jesus said to him, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'" 11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.


Satan tempts us to take control of it all; the timing, the means, and the ends. He encourages us to not think it through, but give in to our baser fleshly desires. But we can escape our selves through Christ. We need individually only give control back to it's rightful owner. We must receive the program from the author of life and concede our own plans to Him. It only requires honesty. That's it! Just honesty...


John 3:1 Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2 He came to Jesus at night and said, "Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him." 3 In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again." 4 "How can a man be born when he is old?" Nicodemus asked. "Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be born!" 5 Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again.' 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit." 9 "How can this be?" Nicodemus asked. 10 "You are Israel's teacher," said Jesus, "and do you not understand these things? 11 I tell you the truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. 12 I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? 13 No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven--the Son of Man. 14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. 16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God."


He offers us the abilty to Know what reality is by being born of His Spirit. And his Spirit Is reality. The reality we desire anyway...


Far too many will unnecessarily live in another reality for eternity. All because they refused to be honest about how sick they really are. They opted for a religion, instead of Him. To pretend in ignorance and fantasy and settle for the immediate gratification and pleasure, rather than to be free and suffer some now, so as to build their strength to conquer themselves through Christ forever and become real Son's of God.


It is humiliating. We must start as a child of God, before we can become mature. (and you Marie, have seen elsewhere firsthand, how immature and impatient I can be also).


God bless!




Name: M. Christ
Date: //2007-03-03 22:36:12 :
Link to this Comment: 21540

I was quite sure that you knew already this was me!

But I think, Rob, that you have misunderstood me a bit.

I do not doubt that Hell is real, nor do I doubt that Jesus is Light, both of Himself and for the world. If I am unclear, I will try to take this slower and more point by point.



Name: Marie Chri
Date: //2007-03-03 22:49:36 :
Link to this Comment: 21541

I said: I form the Light, and create Darkness...this does not mean He IS the Light in any thing more than a metaphor, as He clearly created light elsewhere.

I see here for example that I was not clear. I certainly would not deny or contradict the scriptures about this, and it makes sense as well.

What I meant to say was in regards to only this passage.

You have read it as 'I form the light' and I believe you mean here that God Himself makes up what is light by His substance. I do agree with this, but I also think that in THIS passage, God was speaking literally about the creation of light. I do not suppose that you think God is the literal light from the sun? So, it must be a type of metaphor...and in this case I would read it is a literal creation of light.

Going from there, I form the light (or even if you use your interpretation) AND CREATE darkness...there are two seperae words used to describe what is being 'made'. But one is being made, and the other is coming into being by default.

Simply, I do not believe in any real force of evil as in a dualism between Satan and Jesus, etc.

I do not believe that God created anything which had any evil, or that evil was somehow 'good' because God made it.

I do not believe that God has any evil about Him to be able to create evil, or to embody both good and evil. All that He embodies in Jesus is good, and there is NO OTHER entity which has an opposite 'real' evil force.

Evil is only the result of free-will, and the choice to deviate from the program. It is not PART of the program. I say this, because if post-science would like to overcome the problem of evil as they see it, there is no need whatsoever to pre-program a being with choices. If the being has intelligence similar to humans, it has the ability to 'create' its own evil. It can over-ride the plan of its maker, and lead itself to its own demise.



Name: Rob
Date: //2007-03-03 23:33:23 :
Link to this Comment: 21542

Well Marie, certainly God did not create evil beings. As you said, those beings chose something other than the program. Yet God takes the responsibility through His prophet Isaiah. He says, "I... create evil!"


I don't think we need to challenge Him on that!


And now that the world has been handed over to Satan by Adam, then you and I are born children of the world, not God.


I agree with your assesment of post science entirely. But to do so, you do not have to deny an opposite force against Christ known as evil.


Jesus Himself acknowledges the duality you claim to deny. That the father of the world is Satan, and that we must be reborn of our heavenly Father to inherit eternal life. We must be saved because we stand condemned already.

Jesus said:

John 8:43 "Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. 44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me!"


John 3:18 "Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son".


If there is no duality, then there is no hell.

If there is no hell, then we do not need a savior to save us from it.





Human being is the most advanced computer
Name: Chien Yi L
Date: //2007-03-04 15:55:23 :
Link to this Comment: 21543

Subject: Human being is the most advanced computer

Greetings Prof. Christ and Prof. Lockett,

Four comments I would like to add to your discussion:
(1) I am just a spokes person for post-science, not a main contributor, except being the inventor of Universal Computer Source Code, thanks to my teacher Prof. Ram (C. V. Ramamoorthy, the founder of software engineering). There is no way I can compare to the founders of post-science.
(2) Human being is the most advanced computer.
(3) Insects and animals commit evil far more frequently than humans as part of their nature. For example, Jesus is almost pure good (as Rob has pointed out).
(4) Reality shows both good and evil, both of which have their useful purposes. I am for accepting reality, regardless how it is described.

I think we should debate on # 2 above. Would appreciate you views. ### [Chien Yi Lee]



Name: M. Christ
Date: //2007-03-04 16:28:14 :
Link to this Comment: 21544

3) Insects and animals commit evil far more frequently than humans as part of their nature. For example, Jesus is almost pure good (as Rob has pointed out).
(4) Reality shows both good and evil, both of which have their useful purposes. I am for accepting reality, regardless how it is described.


Dear Chien, it is not so simple. Insects and animals do not commit evil...they are perfectly designed to do as they do, and doing other-wise in most every case would mean their extinction.

What we see as 'evil' in animals is only as far as we are concerned. It is not evil for the animals, and is not even a choice.

What we see as Good in Jesus is arbitrary to the extent that we have told ourselves that what He did was Good. It is not 'real' in the sense that what Jesus did was not considered Good by those of His time.

This is not to say that I don't believe that Jesus was good to the utmost degree, but that we as humans do not KNOW what is good automatically and have only come to believe in the good that Jesus has shown us.

Reality is not so simple as you would wish. It does indeed show both good and evil, but there is a difference in the usefullness that murder has for animals, and has for humans. One must because of programming murder to survive, literally, because it has not the intelligence to find another food source, nor the constitution of an omnivore. One must at times murder competitors, because it has not the intelligence to cooperate and produce more resources. We have this intelligence, and murder is not a neccesary or viable option for us in terms of survival.



Name: M.C.
Date: //2007-03-04 16:46:52 :
Link to this Comment: 21545

**Well Marie, certainly God did not create evil beings. As you said, those beings chose something other than the program. Yet God takes the responsibility through His prophet Isaiah. He says, "I... create evil!"**

God did not create 'evil' beings, but beings which were good AND had free-will. Lucifer was the best of the good beings that God created, there is no doubt that he was created extremely good, and therefore fell extremely hard.

**I don't think we need to challenge Him on that!**

I don't challenge God or the Bible. I challenge YOU to think critically and not literally, about what this passage means. Would you have a God who contradicts Himself, who in Genesis sees that all of His creation is Good?

**And now that the world has been handed over to Satan by Adam, then you and I are born children of the world, not God. **

Yes.


**I agree with your assesment of post science entirely. But to do so, you do not have to deny an opposite force against Christ known as evil.**

If you want to recreate life, you have to have an assessment of evil that makes sense. The creator of life, intelligent and free life, does not need to pre-program or address the issue of evil. Give the being choice, and it will create its own evil.


**Jesus Himself acknowledges the duality you claim to deny. That the father of the world is Satan, and that we must be reborn of our heavenly Father to inherit eternal life. We must be saved because we stand condemned already.**

But who is the Father of Satan? Satan is not the creator of evil, only the practitioner...he does all that he can to oppose the program, and to trick us into it as well, but evil is still just a trick, and not real. So, while we as humasn sense a duality, the side of 'evil' does not truly have any existance in eternity. It is not real, but created.

Jesus said:

John 8:43 "Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. 44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me!"

See, there is one truth, not one truth which contains both good and evil. The truth of God does not contain or create evil.


**If there is no duality, then there is no hell.**

No, no. Hell is very real, and prepared for those who oppose the program.

**If there is no hell, then we do not need a savior to save us from it.**

There is a Hell, don't be afraid that I will oppose the gospels. But Hell can be at once a metaphor for the state of existance in opposition to good, and the real place prepared for those who choose to persist in opposition.


Ok!
Name: Rob
Date: //2007-03-04 17:10:05 :
Link to this Comment: 21546

Ok then Marie... Hell is real (in a roundabout way)!

So, there are two realities (currently merged and soon to be seperated like wheat from chaff). One is absolute in it's truth. And the other is absolute in it's falsehood and cannot survive without some partial truth to support it.

There is life... and there is death. Life is absolute. And death is relative only to life.

One is ever increasing wonder of order. The other is oblivion and chaos!

Even death will be thrown into the fire as per the Revelation of Christ. It will no longer exist other than unto itself. It will be powerless without life to feed on.

Very strange and difficult to conceptualize.

That's enough for me. I wonder what Professor Chien thinks of all of this?


Yes, we are very complex...
Name: Rob
Date: //2007-03-04 17:26:33 :
Link to this Comment: 21547

Chien writes: (2) Human being is the most advanced computer.


Yes,though we are not only machines. We have a living and God given soul. We are Spirits, manifested in physical bodies. That is why we call it a body. You are not your body, your body is only a part of you. You are triune like your creator. You are created in the image of God. He is Father, Son, and Spirit (in one). You are body, soul, and Spirit (in one). We are very complex indeed!


Chien writes:


Ist, Jesus is not almost pure good... He is 100% pure good (God). That is the only way for a being to be perfect in an imperfect system. He is not of this world. And that is why death could not hold Him.


While He was here physically, He was like an alien in an evil world even though the world had been made by, and, for Him.


John 1:5 The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. 6 There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. 8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. 9 The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God-- 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God. 14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.


The eternal God, invaded time and space to reveal Himself to those who seek Him. It is the most fantastic and simple thing at the same time. I can't believe so many miss it!






Good explanations of evil and creation
Name: Chien Yi L
Date: //2007-03-05 10:31:57 :
Link to this Comment: 21549

Subject: Good explanations of evil and creation

Marie writes: “Dear Chien, it is not so simple. Insects and animals do not commit evil...they are perfectly designed to do as they do, and doing other-wise in most every case would mean their extinction.

What we see as 'evil' in animals is only as far as we are concerned. It is not evil for the animals, and is not even a choice.”

Thank you Marie for your statements on evil. It is more detailed and clearer than my statement: “Evil is a survival mechanism…”


Marie writes: “If you want to recreate life, you have to have an assessment of evil that makes sense. The creator of life, intelligent and free life, does not need to pre-program or address the issue of evil. Give the being choice, and it will create its own evil.”

Yes. I agree. If I can create life, I shall follow the existing system, creating “choice.”

Rob writes: “Yes,though we are not only machines. We have a living and God given soul. We are Spirits, manifested in physical bodies. That is why we call it a body. You are not your body, your body is only a part of you. You are triune like your creator. You are created in the image of God. He is Father, Son, and Spirit (in one). You are body, soul, and Spirit (in one). We are very complex indeed!”

I appreciate your description of human design specification, Rob. Post-science proposes to introduces this design specification into a machine with DNA programming. [Chien Yi Lee]


Not exactly...
Name: Rob
Date: //2007-03-05 18:37:21 :
Link to this Comment: 21550

Marie writes: “Dear Chien, it is not so simple. Insects and animals do not commit evil...they are perfectly designed to do as they do, and doing other-wise in most every case would mean their extinction.


Chien writes: What we see as 'evil' in animals is only as far as we are concerned. It is not evil for the animals, and is not even a choice.”


Thank you Marie for your statements on evil. It is more detailed and clearer than my statement: “Evil is a survival mechanism…”


I wish to explain why I disagree with the above consencus...


In the world as it stands now, life consumes life in the mad dash for survival and power of the fittest. Natural selection is hard at work. It is indisputable. Is that all there is to the equation? Is that the truest truth? Is that the integer (absolute) we seek?


I do not believe so, lest humanity have a view of itself as nothing more than an animal. We have a serious philosophical and moral dilemma if man is nothing more than a over-achieving mind machine!


Oz Guinness once said in reply to a question: '...you know the argument: "After Auschwitz there can be no God." But as Viktor Frankel points out, the person who wrote that declaration had never been to Auschwitz. In fact, more people deepened or discovered faith while in Auschwitz than lost it.' ( http://www.rzim.org/resources/jttran.php?seqid=78 )


And Jill Carattini really captures the point by quoting Frankle: In his book The Doctor and the Soul, holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl writes, "If we present man with a concept of man which is not true, we may well corrupt him. When we present man as an automaton of reflexes, as a mind-machine, as a bundle of instincts, as a pawn of drives and reactions, as a mere product of instinct, heredity, and environment, we feed the nihilism to which man is, in any case, prone."( http://www.rzim.org/slice/slicetran.php?sliceid=962 )


David Hicks further captures the assesment of Viktor Frankle: 'Victor Frankl writes in Man’s Search for Meaning that the foundation for our search is in the power of words, creative thoughts, ideas, and concepts that change lives. Words have the power for good or evil, and a prevailing view of reality takes root in the mind through words.

Observing the horrors of the Nazi concentration camps, Frankl illustrated this and added a profound revelation: "I am absolutely convinced that the gas chambers of Auschwitz, Treblinka, and Maidanek were ultimately prepared not in some (Governmental) ministry or other in Berlin, but rather at the desks and in the lecture halls of nihilistic scientists and philosophers." ( http://www.faithencounter.org/powerwords.htm )


Man cannot embrace a philosophy that says he is essentially an animal, and that morality is only utilitarian in it's application as a means of escaping the unpleasantries of moral angst. If he does, he is declaring goodness to be the only evil.


"Democracy, the deceitful theory that the Jew would insinuate - namely, that theory that all men are created equal."
(Adolf Hitler -Mein Kampf)


Consider the experience of King Nebukanezer: Daniel 4:28 All this happened to King Nebuchadnezzar. 29 Twelve months later, as the king was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, 30 he said, "Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?" 31 The words were still on his lips when a voice came from heaven, "This is what is decreed for you, King Nebuchadnezzar: Your royal authority has been taken from you. 32 You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like cattle. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes." 33 Immediately what had been said about Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled. He was driven away from people and ate grass like cattle. His body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair grew like the feathers of an eagle and his nails like the claws of a bird.


34 At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored. Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever. 35 All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: "What have you done?" 36 At the same time that my sanity was restored, my honor and splendor were returned to me for the glory of my kingdom. My advisers and nobles sought me out, and I was restored to my throne and became even greater than before. 37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble.


And Blaise Pascal wrote: "...If the philosophers have given God to us as an object, it is to make us think we are like Him and resemble Him in our nature. This is the first abyss, to think that we are God. Those who have grapsed the vanity of such pretensions have cast us down into the other abyss by leading us to seek our good in lust alone, which is the lot of animals, and makes us no different than animals."(Pascal / 'Pensees')


We live in a fallen creation. One that has been reduced to what is now seen. The only inextiguishable light to point us to a the original and higher reality is the Moral Law. As Emanuel Kant said even in conflict with his own skepticism, "Two things forever grip me in awe... The starry host above, and the Moral law within!"


Marie is right... animals do not sin when they act like animals. But that is only because we do not expect them to act human.


Humanity is not like the animals. We are the only one's who do not do as we should. We are out of sync with our surroundings. And that is because we were created in God's image and are expected to be Godly. We are not animals, nor are we descendants of animals. And in this place of death and decay, we are lost until we find Him. Because we were not made for this world, but for the world He gave us undefiled, and that we destroyed by worshiping another god. A flase god who promised us things that never existed and never will other than in our lustful hearts.


God made it clear in His Word that if we worship the creation rather than the creator, we will misinterpret the evidence. We are looking in the wrong place. The creation cannot show us what reality is in the scientific way we study it currently. It can only show us the shadow that is left. The picture is complete in Christ.


If we look for a shadow to shed light, we have not been tricked so much as fooled.


Evil is real and active. It is the dishonesty that drives men to desire being only an animal when Christ offers Him Real Life!


If you want to know what it means to be Human, just study the life of Jesus. He is the first and the last. Now that I know Him, I don't mind being last. I'm just so happy He's there with me to lead the way home.








Name: Marie Chri
Date: //2007-03-05 21:51:35 :
Link to this Comment: 21551

Marie is right... animals do not sin when they act like animals. But that is only because we do not expect them to act human.




If you follow my conversations elsewhere, I am very opposed to the view of man merely as an animal.

That we are animals is undoubted, but where does the 'merely' come in?

Mainly, in the area of 'instinct' versus 'intelligence'.

Instinct is the natural of animal part of us, indeed made by God and driven by an underlying good purpose.

Intelligence is likewise natural and God-given, but it over-rides instinctual behaviour by allowing choice.

Our intelligence, whether evolved, or infused all at once in the creation of Adam, is the gift which puts us in Eden on a par with God, in His image and likeness.

Our conscience is that ultimate gift which allows us to use our intelligence for 'good'.

So, at the point where we gain intelligence to such a degree as to abandon instinct as we see fit, we become no longer 'mere' animals.

There becomes a duality, between what is natural and instinctual, and what we 'know' via conscience to be the correct timing and application for instinctual behaviours.

We can point blamk claim that rape is natural, as in a sense it is. We must intelligently over-ride 'nature' to behave in the way that we were ultimately designed for.

The scenerio of pure survival or survival of the fittest does not coincide with our current moral structure. If you take survival to its natural conclusion, you do indeed end up with a holocaust type picture. Those who do not see this are dismayed by the claim, but they fail to recognize the conscience that is active in all men despite where their philosophies would lead.

A natural explanation for any behaviour is useful only to a point, the point at which our intelligent ability to choose comes in.

*****Rob*****Evil is real and active. It is the dishonesty that drives men to desire being only an animal when Christ offers Him Real Life!

Evil is real in the sense that it is one natural part of man...the sin of Adam passed on. It is a condition which is inherant and inseperable from the very state of being human. Being human is essentially, being an animal. Those things which we look to justify by observing the animal kingdom, are precisely those which we ourselves call evil; selfishness, promiscuity, murder of rivals, rape...they are 100% natural. We must look to what is truly super-natural...what are we ultimately going to make of our intelligence? Mere survival, which can be accomplished by any of these natural and evil means, and by any of the animals? Our intelligence is geared elsewhere, it is not content with survival.





Name: M. Christ
Date: //2007-03-05 21:56:40 :
Link to this Comment: 21552

Dear Chien, the issue of 'soul' is perhaps not so complex.

If we have a being it will have body.

It will have life, if you can re-produce DNA codes to this extent.

Soul is the part of the being which is connected to the program, if you will, and eternal in the sense that the Designer/God is Eternal...I am not sure how to factor in a soul where the designer is a temporal creature.

But, essentially, the 'soul' of a being is in its creator, and eternal in the creator's mind...it is the part which will go on after the demise of the body.


The Soul
Name: Chien Yi L
Date: //2007-03-06 10:48:27 :
Link to this Comment: 21555

Subject: The Soul

As far as post-science can see, our universe consists of two parts: (1) The physical universe and (2) Intelligence stored in DNA. Similarly, the human being can be considered to be composed of two parts: (1) The body and (2) The spirit, or the soul, if you wish. Every evening when one goes to sleep, the spirit dies in one’s body, and every morning when one wakes up, the spirit is reborn in the body. The soul could the sum total of one’s memory, including, most importantly, one’s identity or just the spirit. If one is killed (mercifully) during one’s sleep, and one’s one-and-only perfect clone wakes up next morning, nothing would have changed in the world. From this logical argument, how long is a life span? 16 hours during one’s continuous consciousness? Buddhist principle of reincarnation follows the same logic, except what is reborn could be an insect or an animal. There is something about being a vegetarian, or we could be eating our dead parents J.

From the above description of the soul by one of the founders of post-science, we can see the power of the spirit or the soul. During our discussions here our spirits enter each other’s body. If post-science is of any value, it will live on as spirits in many people’s bodies. Jesus lives in more people’s bodies than any other spirit, thanks also to Rob and Marie. Thus, the body lives on for from 16 hours to 100 years and the spirit, up to infinity. Also, some spirit, such as that of Jesus, lives in heaven and others, such as that of Hitler, in hell. Yes, Marie, once we can program DNA, the soul would be easy to explain. Thanks for bringing up the topic. ### [Chien]


On Evil
Name: Rob
Date: //2007-03-07 00:19:21 :
Link to this Comment: 21557

Sorry ladies... I have been very busy with work for a few days. I don't even have time currently to respond in kind to the last two posts. I did however think of this bit by Lewis on 'Human Wickedness' that fit's in with my last post. It's very powerful to me in light of present worldviews. I hope it is at least half as meaningful to you, as it is to me... "When the Apostles preached, they could assume even in their Pagan hearers a real consciousness of deserving the Divine anger. The Pagan mysteries existed to allay this consciousness, and the Epicurean philosophy claimed to deliver men from the fear of eternal punishment. It was against this background that the Gospel appeared as good news. It brought news of possible healing to men who knew that they were mortally ill. But all this has changed. Christianity now has to preach the diagnosis- in itself very bad news- before it can win a hearing for the cure.

There are two principle causes. One is the fact that for about a hundred years we have so concentrated on one of the virtues- 'kindness' or mercy- that most of us do not feel anything except kindness to be really good or anything but cruelty to be really bad. Such lopsided ethical developments are not uncommon, and other ages too have had their pet virtues and curious insensibilities. And if one vertue must be cultivated at the expense of all the rest, none has a higher claim than mercy- for every Christian must reject with detestation that covert propaganda for cruelty which tries to drive mercy out of the world by calling it names such as 'Humanitarianism' and 'Sentimentality'. The real trouble is that ‘kindness’ is a quality fatally easy to attribute to ourselves on quite inadequate grounds. Everyone feels benevolent if nothing happens to be annoying him at the moment. Thus a man easily comes to console himself for all his other vices by a conviction that ‘his heart’s in the right place’ and ‘he wouldn’t hurt a fly’, though in fact he has never made the slightest sacrifice for a fellow creature. We think we are kind when we are only happy: it is not so easy, on the same grounds, to imagine oneself temperate, chaste, or humble.

The second cause is the effect of Psychoanalysis on the public mind, and, in particular, the doctrine of repressions and inhibitions. Whatever these doctrines really mean, the impression they have actually left on most people is that the sense of Shame is a dangerous and mischievous thing. We have laboured to overcome that sense of shrinking, that desire to conceal, which either Nature herself of the tradition of almost all mankind has attached to cowardice, unchastity, falsehood, and envy. We are told to 'get things out into the open', not for the sake of self-humiliation, but on the grounds that these 'things' are very natural and we need not be ashamed of them. But unless Christianity is wholly flase, the perception of ourselves which we have in moments of shame must be the only true one; and even Pagan society has usually recognised 'shamelessness' as the nadir of the soul. In trying to extirpate shame we have broken down one of the ramparts of the human spirit, madly exulting in the work as the Trojans exulted when they broke their walls and pulled the Horse into Troy. I do not know that there is anything to be done but to set about the rebuilding as soon as we can. It is mad work to remove hypocrisy by removing the temptation to hypocrisy: the 'frankness' of people sunk below shame is a very cheap frankness." (C.S. Lewis ' The Problem of Pain / Chapter 4 Human Wickedness / pgs 48-50)


Disturbing Concepts or Absolute and Mutually Exclu
Name: Rob
Date: //2007-03-10 10:44:43 :
Link to this Comment: 21563

Some of the stuff in the last posts is out of court. Marie, as a Christian, how can you possibly believe that being requires body. If that is the case then there are no Angels or Demons; and no Holy Spirit for that matter... Please do not respond. I just wanted to mention it, I really don't want the discussion to be about that. My point is that even gravity exists without body. But it's influence is profound. The same with magnetism. The soul the essence of being. It is not dependant upon the physical.

Chien writes: Yes, Marie, once we can program DNA...

In an earlier post, you made the comment that you are not going to judge what is goood and what is bad (or something to that effect).

So Chien, taking that into consideration, and acknowledging that we actually have the ability to reprogram ourselves genetically, how do you know what to program DNA with, and what not to program it with?

How can we make an improvement to the status quo, unless we have an asumption about how things really ought to be? To do so means to make a moral judgement...

Hitler wanted to create a superior race too! All based on the imeritive of survival inferred by naturalism, and the social Darwinism that logically follows.

Is that the way, the truth, and the life? Can humanity go into it's desired eternal destiny by that means?

Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No Man comes to the Father but by me. Because I live, you also shall live"(John 14: 6, 19)


Random thoughts...
Name:
Date: //2007-03-12 20:29:52 :
Link to this Comment: 21565

I get so confused by evolutionists...sorry guys, but you say "there is overwhelming evidence for such and such" but then point me to an artists rendition of the evidence. Being an artist myself, I know that those drawings may come straight from the imagination, or be bits and pieces strung together from all over the world, not actual fact. It is amazing to me that so many highly educated people can believe that life arose from matter and then declare that the miracles recorded in the Bible could never have happened. I find it much easier to believe that there is a God that created the world then that the world is a product of chance.


Wikipedia
Name:
Date: //2007-03-20 20:31:11 :
Link to this Comment: 21569

Can someone who understands Intelligent Design please correct and augment the "article" about Intelligent Design on Wikipedia?


right...
Name: hi I'm a k
Date: //2007-05-10 09:37:59 :
Link to this Comment: 21723

I agree, though i don't know how to. Wikipedia is too random.
I think that those "rationalists" (it was so-and-so) are narrow-minded. I think both might have happened, and maybe both did happen at the same time -- who knows? What about accepting we'll never know? That would occasionally be nice.


Darwinism isn't science
Name:
Date: //2007-05-28 00:04:23 :
Link to this Comment: 21739

The problem with darwinism is that it isn't science. Good science allows scrutiny and it seems darwinists are afraid of it. If public schools want to teach darwinism at the expense of taxpayers (and truth) they should just as well teach what critics think about darwinism and they should also teach opposing views as well. Teaching one side of the issue and no others is unscientific and only demonstrates that, without tax dollars or if they introduced a little scrutiny, darwinism would fall completely apart. If darwinism wants to be scientific it has to allow scrutiny and opposing views to be exposed to students as well. If darwinism can't be scrutinized in public schools or if opposing views can't be exposed to students then there is no reason for us to take such nonsense seriously. So basically, when darwinists allow their views to be scrutinized and they allow opposing views to be exposed to students in public schools, then perhaps it is reasonable for someone to consider Darwinism scientific. Until then, I see no reason to consider a view that can't stand up to scrutiny as a scientific one.



Name:
Date: //2007-05-31 15:55:03 :
Link to this Comment: 21744

[quote]The problem with darwinism is that it isn't science.[/quote]

Perhaps you don't know what science is. Evolutionary theory is science because it's based on evidence. Would you like to learn about the evidence?

[quote]Good science allows scrutiny and it seems darwinists are afraid of it.[/quote]

If so, why are there numerous journals by scientists working on problems in evolutionary theory?

[quote]If public schools want to teach darwinism at the expense of taxpayers (and truth) they should just as well teach what critics think about darwinism[/quote]

They do. They just can't teach religious explainations. Freedom of religion prevents you from using public schools to indoctrinate children.

[quote]Teaching one side of the issue and no others is unscientific[/quote]

So it would be scientific to teach that the world is flat? I don't think so.

[quote]If darwinism wants to be scientific it has to allow scrutiny and opposing views to be exposed to students as well.[/quote]

As I said, you can have that, only religion can't be taught. If this bothers you, there are many other countries that don't have freedom of religion.

Meantime, it might be useful for you to learn what evoutionary theory is really about. Many people who think that they hate science, find that it's very reasonable when they learn more about it.


bio to tech evolution via computers
Name:
Date: //2007-06-07 12:27:53 :
Link to this Comment: 21752

- The perspective we can imagine is the only limitation to creation. Creation of innovation breeds evolution of human living conditions over time.
Leaders have higher IQ’s than followers (Ivancevich pp. 495). But extreme differences make problems in leadership as leaders may not understand why followers do not understand the problems. If there is an actual intelligent creation, then it’s possible with our current IQ that being led by it’s ways is currently difficult. The question is what type of intelligence is required to get closer to the levels of understanding the higher level? Is it spiritual, is it technological? Is it something else?
- There is so much information in the world now that understanding that from a broad sense cannot be performed by a human. It will take a more intelligent being such as a machine to compute the understanding and conclusions. EG. the war in Iraq was in hindsight not a good decision. The decision was made but the US government and is subject to biases and limitations of humans. The use of computers for processing back end data is increasing, the evolution must be towards higher level processing and most probably becoming closer to human intelligences and then surpassing human intelligences. However, humans currently have superior thinking (more humane thinking) and hence command these computers. Perhaps these computers will reach a stage when our commands are less intelligent than leaving the computers for autonomous thinking. Could we as humans know that decisions made by us are second rate to what could be made by computers and accept that? Or would be pass control over to the computer to better ourselves? Perhaps the option is for developing the human brain through genetics and cyborg adaptions to stay ahead of the computers. Then we calculate our existence and identify no longer needs the biological parts of our physique. We evolve from biological organisms to computers. The question is whether prompted by the decisions to improve technology over time for the benefits of living conditions, whether we would at that stage of evolution choose continue the potential improvement it could give to our lives. We may in fact choose to evolve into technology for the greater living conditions willingly.
- Continued, perhaps with such technological evolution we could finally understand the intelligent design of the universe. The question is at what point in this evolution do we recognize technological advancement can take us closer to such understanding. The other question is at what stage do we finalize such a journey towards intelligent design, and what is beyond that stage?


Scratching my head...
Name: Rob
Date: //2007-06-07 22:38:11 :
Link to this Comment: 21753

aussiecarter writes: 'The perspective we can imagine is the only limitation to creation.'

What's wrong with 'any' perspective?

Can you 'imagine' that God will simply reveal the truth to us if we humble ourself and submit that we are not God and surrender to Him?

Can you imagine a perspective where we prayfully give up all predisposition as to ultimate truth, and ask that He simply reveal Himself to us?

It seems humans are capable of 'imagining' so much... but to open one's mind to Jesus' claim to be the gateway to reality is somehow out of court.

Why?

Why do we so often (and popularly) limit our perspective, so as to allow reality only to include what suits our individual moral demands?

Why do we have the right to impose our moral indulgences upon reality?




Intelligent Design and Evolution can both be right
Name: Wirvel
Date: //2007-06-11 06:13:40 :
Link to this Comment: 21757

The main argument against the existence of a divine creator is that it creates an even greater problem than it solves, namely: 'who created the creator?'. Evolution elegantly solves this problem, and shows how very simple structures can evolve into extremely complex beings by natural selection. There is no doubt that evolution by natural selection lies behind the existence of complex life on earth, as not only logic and reason tells us, but which have been proven by tons of evidence since Darwin first published his theory. But does it really disprove God? It might be argued that a divine creator is extremely unlikely to exist, because it gives rise to an even bigger question, 'Who created God?'. In nature complex beings evolve from less complex beings. Complexity is the end product of something rather than the start. This seems like a quite convincing argument in favour of the non-existence of God, but is it really?

Isn't the existence of time and matter unlikely in itself? Why should a divine creator be any more unlikely? Isn't the 'Who created God' argument convincing just because we are living in a world where that kind of logic applies? Isn't God supposed to have existed before our world, beyond it and at the same time everywhere for eternity? Whereas we are living in a universe where that kind of logic may seem perfectly true to us, the opposite may be true in another. Imagine a world where 1+1 does not equals 2, or a world where time as we know it doesn't exist, perhaps a world without beginning and end. What we may find extremely unlikely and totally weird, may, for a being or intelligence living in such a world, be the exact opposite. Complex structures may come first and evolve into simpler, or not evolve at all, but rather exist for eternity.

An example, taken from Einsteins Theory of Relativity, is the fact that when you travel in a spaceship at a speed of 2/3 the speed of light and measure the speed of light, you will get the exact same result as if you measured it home on earth. Why? Because you and the lightbeams are a part of the system itself(the moving spaceship), for which reason you will experience and measure things as if everything was completely normal. If the spaceship launched a rocket at 2/3 the speed of light it will be seen as moving at 12/13 the speed of light from an observer home on earth, which may seem strange considering that the passengers of the spaceship measured it to 2/3 the speed of light. The two realities are quite different relative to each other, but if you are a part of the system yourself(in this case aboard the spaceship), everything will feel like normal, and the speed of light will stay the same.

In ancient times it was self-evident that things always fall downwards. The force of gravity was taken for granted, and it was hard for people to imagine a world where this law didn't apply. People often argued and reasoned that if the earth was round, why didn't people fall of when they reached the other side? And if you looked at it, it was obviously flat and not round. We now know that we just have to move away from the earth(i.e away from our system) to realize that we simply were stuck in that particular system and didn’t see the world as it really was. Our own closed reality created a certain way of thinking making it hard to imagine a system where up and down doesn’t exist and where you float freely(as in space).

Now think of the above mentioned parables and apply the same idea to the whole universe and its very laws. What may seem weird and illogical(for example, that complex beings evolve first, or not at all) to us appears that way because we are stuck on our own small plane of existence and think according to its laws. You could say that our thoughts are bound to God's creation. We can't reach beyond it. Our own logic and reason reflect the mind of God, and we can use it to explore his creation, but unlike the earth parable, we will most likely be stuck on this plane of existence for eternity and never be able to prove that another, higher reality, exists on the outside, or hidden everywhere around us if you will. Two dimensional characters seen on the TV screen can’t just step out and walk around in our three-dimensional world, even if they were intelligent. Our own world is seen from our perspective, whereas other worlds might appear very strange from that same point of view.

Our universe, in a higher reality, may be seen as a map or painting where not only our three dimensions of space are shown but, but even time itself. If you see it from that perspective, you can easily imagine a sort of creator painting our universe(both space and time). God may simply be(and shouldn't he?) beyond and above our own plane of existence. Belief in God shouldn't contradict scientific fact such as the theory of Evolution, and what I just have shown is that it doesn't. If God is painting a four-dimensional universe(including time itself), and we are stuck on this four-dimensional plane of existence, both the theory of Evolution and the Intelligent Design theory will be correct. God can simply see our future and past all at the same time, and perhaps change things whenever he likes.

From his perspective it may even have taken seven days, as stated in the Bible. God simply doesn’t measure time as we do. If you are painting a beautiful forest teeming with nesting sites for birds you will not just paint the roots, the leafs and the birds. You want things to be interconnected so as to make the painting complete, meaningful and truly beautiful, so you paint complete trees with roots, trunks, branches, bird nests etc. In the exact same way God may have created the whole universe and all its parts and connected each part through time to make the picture complete. This ofcourse includes Evolution, and for this very reason Evolution and Intelligent Design can coexist. Evolution is merely how God has chosen to link all his beautiful living creations.

Seen in this way, Intelligent Design does not contradict Evolution. Isn't God supposed to have existed before and beyond our universe rather than be a part of it? If so, the 'Who Created God' argument, as I have demonstrated, shouldn't be convincing. It isn't possible for us to calculate any probability for God's existence. It's not a matter of 50% chance either. It's simply not possible for us to make calculations due to the fact that we are stuck on our own plane of reality. It’s a matter of belief, and it may be sound, because it gives people hope and purpose, but it can on the other hand also lead to acts of evil as strongly argued by Richard Dawkins in his book 'The God Delusion'. God has given us a great tool to understand his creation, namely logic and reason. Shouldn’t we use it?

My whole point is that ‘Religion’ shouldn’t contradict ‘Science’, and in the case of a divine creator, it certainly doesn’t. If an atheist want to disprove God, he can’t turn to Evolution or the “Who Created God’ argument. He can, however, by scientific investigation, estimate the likelihood of a God directly intervening in human affairs, answering prayers etc, or can he? Isn’t prayer a way to thank God for what you have if you are happy, or a way to ask for a better life in case you live in misery. I will now get back to the painting parable mentioned earlier. Paintings aren’t always perfect. Painters sometimes paint things they aren’t completely satisfied with. They look at the painting, and suddenly a tiny detail makes them realize that they aren’t entirely satisfied. They decide to change it in order to improve the picture. The painting in a way communicates with the painter. He gets inspired and changes his mind. Now, can’t prayer be seen as a last resort for a person in misery to get God’s attention to such a tiny detail or a prayer of admiration and thankfulness to make him realize that this particular part of his creation is fine and doesn’t have to be changed?

Shouldn’t belief in God be seen as a kind of hope? What if he existed? And even if he doesn't exist, what do we have to lose in believing? Shouldn’t it be worth praying in case it may get his attention? We can’t disprove his existence and we can't say that he is unlikely to exist either, so why should it be so unreasonable to believe in him as long as it doesn't lead to ignorance and acts of evil? It might be worth it if it turns out that he actually does exist. It gives some people hope and purpose. Let’s say you live a life of misery and day after day ask God for a better life. Suddenly you meet someone and your life becomes rich and meaningful, isn’t it likely that you will think that God answered your prayers? A rationalist might say that it was certain predetermined circumstances or pure luck that you met that person, and he might even be able to prove it, but if our world is seen as a four dimensional painting with God as the painter, he might actually have heard you, and the rationalist will still be right, since he has chosen to explain things according to the laws of his own system, whereas you have gone beyond that and explained things by a higher cause. But you have to remember that what he says is fact, whereas your belief is exactly that 'belief', although a belief which, if somehow proven to be true, doesn't contradict his claims. From a religious perspective, what the rationalist actually has proven is in what way(i.e the whole chain of causes) God decided to help her, even though it might seem as if he has argued in favour of the non-existence of such a deity.

Science doesn’t necessarily contradict the existence of God at all. So what I want to say to all those who advocate Intelligent Design: science doesn’t necessarily contradict your belief. Stop teaching that Evolution is wrong, because the evidence is overwhelming. To deny it is like to claim that the earth is flat. God has given us logic and reason for a purpose, so why shouldn't we use it?

Didn't the Bible state that the difference between humans and animals was that humans were created in Gods own image? This can only mean one thing, we are, unlike animals, able to think like God, to understand his creation, and how do we do it? Ofcourse, by exploration using logic and reason, the very thing which makes us different from animals. We can then quite easily conclude that to deny scientific facts(for example Evolution), which we have discovered using logic and reason, is not to act according Gods purpose, why would he otherwise have given us this precious tool?



Name: Rob
Date: //2007-06-15 23:11:42 :
Link to this Comment: 21765

Evolution is wrong. Natural selection is not. We all need to see the difference and see where it works and where it doesn't.

Things were intelligently designed. And now they are deteriorating and adapting to their environment. That is the distinction offered by intelligent design. It works...

Natural selection is not evolution. That is the part where the naturalists are wrong. But natural selection is real. That is the part where many theists went wrong.


Towards the greatest Being
Name: Ron C. de
Date: //2007-06-29 23:40:32 :
Link to this Comment: 21785

I see no problem believing in both. The universe is believed to be 15 billion years old and our part of it only 5. Therefore, evolution towards greater Beings or Being than ourselves, humans, might very well have taken place somewhere in that immense space towards the current end of that immense period of time. That greater Being may or may not involve us, just like greater structures on earth involve us to be functional. It only seems natural that the greatest Being that ever evolved, includes every bit of even our innermost existence. And when we pass on, our place is taken by another 'cell', so that the whole (mechanism, organism or humanism - Shotter 1975) keeps on living, or which ever way that Being transcends all that we can and cannot yet understand.



Name:
Date: //2007-06-30 19:14:37 :
Link to this Comment: 21787

Perhaps you're right about all that...

Do you want to know the truth?

Do you want to know what the reality of the situation 'actually is'?


How do we know?
Name: Rob
Date: //2007-06-30 19:16:19 :
Link to this Comment: 21788

Continued from last post...

Ron, do you think it is possible to actually know the truth so that we don't have to speculate?


we don't know what we don't know
Name: Ron C. de
Date: //2007-07-01 04:16:35 :
Link to this Comment: 21789

Rob, "Ron, do you think it is possible to actually know the truth so that we don't have to speculate?"



Rob, yes I do think that that is possible and that we can and do, even more than we know, or as Kant put it: explore the synthetic apriori. Things we didn't know we knew, like mathematics. However, on the same token, there (probably) is even more than that, things or beings, that/who we still don't know and can always be sure to never know! And I don't mind a bit of mystery for the more romantic souls among us.



Name: Rob
Date: //2007-07-01 11:56:26 :
Link to this Comment: 21790

Well Ron, it's hard to argue with a response like that... you've covered all the bases. So... I cannot help but agree! :)

Assuming an infinite and eternal existence, there is always more to learn... so, we 'can know', but never 'know all' (as you said). And that is why I agree.

Furthermore, I think it is rational as well as emperical to believe in eternality and the infinite. This is so because we have not found an end to either our universe, be it inward or outward. And the question of 'something' coming from nothing is nonsense rationally.

One major factor that I think many overlook, is that we habitually demand more knowledge than we can attain before being willing to believe. If we cannot ever fully understand God's omnipotence without being omnipotent ourselves, then logically, we are demanding to 'be God' before we will believe in God. And that is nonsense...

Put another way, since we do not have 'all knowledge' we decide to 'not believe' in an omnipotent God. Imagine a child insisting that the calculus professor explain himself before the child first learned arithmatic... 'Makes no sense to me', says the child. "I think I'll go play with my toys. Please don't waste my time'.

Unthinkable! Not to mention that such insolence is not innocent, but intentional. That is why we rarely see children saying such things. Rather it is the so-called 'adults' who make such statements. And that is because they think they know far more than they do.


Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." (Mark 10:15)

"I gave in, and admitted that God was God". (C.S. Lewis)



As for solving the riddle between adaptation and intelligent design, it has already been done to my satisfaction.

It begins with a complete (or whole) creation, and then a disruption occurs (sin). And in the new paradigm, inwhich entropy (2nd Law of thermodynamics) is increased, the once stable order is now in the process of breaking down. As a result, life-forms have lost the genetic diversity they once had as a result of adapting to the corrupting environment.

So, natural selection is real, but it is 'not' evolution. It is the world of organisms slowly dying out as a result of imbalance. And this is what we observe emperically (there has never been a mutation shown to increase genetic information. There is always a loss) it makes sense rationally (chaos is on the increase be it in cosmology or society), and it answers our existential desire to understand what is happening.

One of my favorite thinkers made the point that it is very interesting that Thomas refused to believe that Jesus had rose from the dead. I think you and I can relate to his skepticism to a high degree. Perhaps Thomas was ahead of his time...

What is intriguing, is that when he encountered the risen Lord, he fell to his knees and said, 'My Lord and my God"!

Jesus' ressurection satisfied all of the elements we seek. Experience matters, testability matters, and rationality matters. Jesus rose from the dead, as a demonstration to be the Son of God with power.

Our problem is not intellectual but moral. We want to be respected (glorified) by our peers. And when we glorify God by reminding our peers that we are sinners in need of a savior, we fear crucifiction figuratively (and in some cases literally).

Acts 4:12
Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."


So it is not that the biblical model isn't true... It is that we don't want it to be true. We want to have understanding, but without God. But god 'is' understanding. He is the truth. And you cannot find 'the answer' apart from truth.

We are the creation. We are far more sophisticated machines than we can conceive of building. We are alien technology in flesh. And we have rejected the program. We don't want God to be God. 'We' want to be God.

It started in the garden when all was well...

Genesis 3:5
"For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."

And the temptation to play God goes on...

What do you think Ron?






Faith & Reason
Name: Ron C. de
Date: //2007-07-01 19:55:40 :
Link to this Comment: 21791

Rob, "We want to have understanding, but without God. But god 'is' understanding." I agree, but don't take it too literally. There is nothing wrong in being very skeptical about things or Beings we cannot prove exist even if we believe they exist. That is how faith will always play an important role next to reason. Serendipity cannot do without this interaction! Faith and Reason



Name: Rob
Date: //2007-07-01 20:45:51 :
Link to this Comment: 21792

But what do you do with people (like me) who prayed to this God, confessed our sin, offered Him our lives, and then proceeded to meet Him?

At that point, we are not talking faith, but relationship! It moves from faith to reality.

And though many think it is delusion or made up nonsense, it is real. In fact, it is more real than you and I.

What do you do with that?

And what do we (those who know Him) do with those who cannot see the forest for the trees?

All we can do is tell you the truth...


Skepticism is necessary
Name: Ron C. de
Date: //2007-07-02 05:19:22 :
Link to this Comment: 21793

Rob, I think no man can lead a normal life without confessing to himself that he is fooling himself and his God, when he does, if he does. Straightening out what he should do, can make things 100% more real and true for him and us. Isn't that exactly how the man thought and acted, who run into Glasgow airport day before yesterday to blow it and himself up with his car, screaming the name of his creator (as he sees it) at the top of his voice for everybody to hear it, even when the police arrested him. It makes you understand why skepticism is necessary!


That's what I thought...
Name: Rob
Date: //2007-07-02 10:31:24 :
Link to this Comment: 21794

If 'any' fundamental belief, is equal to the man in Glaskow, then that includes the 'fundamentally skeptical'. Because you end up yelling just as loud.

The man in Glaskow is wrong because he blames the worlds problems on infidels, rather than examine 'himself'. It is so easy to point fingers and take a swing.

So what do we make of the man who points fingers at the 'religious', and blames the worlds problems on them? After all, he is only selling a philsophy (religion / worldview)...

After the political pressure builds, the logical outworkings will follow. Philosophy preceeds action. It was the Nihilist philosophers who conceived the gas chambers (so said gas chamber resident Viktor Frankl).

It's the same pattern. We simply have an responsibility to expunge, that which is evil. I believe Kant called it a 'catagorical imperitive'. Richard Dawkins just calls it 'common sense'!

You want to know what's wrong with the world Ron?

G.K. Chesterton said, "I am!"

And He also said this:

"But the new rebel is a Skeptic, and will not entirely trust anything. He has no loyalty; therefore he can never be a real revolutionist. And the fact that he doubts everything, really gets in his way when he wants to denounce anything. For all denunciation implies a moral doctrine of some kind, and the modern revolutionist doubts not only the institution he denounces, but also the doctrine by which he denounces it.
Thus he writes one book complaining that imperial oppression insults the purity of women, and then he writes another book (about the sex problem) in which he insults it himself. He curses the Sultan because Christian girls lose their virginity and then curses Mrs. Grundy when they keep it. As a politician, he will cry out that war is a waste of life, and then, as a philosopher, that all life is a waste of time. A man denounces marriage as a lie, and then denounces aristocratic profligates for treating it as a lie. He calls a flag a bauble, and then blames the oppressors of Poland and Ireland because they take away that bauble.

The man of this school goes first to a political meeting, where he complains that savages are treated as if they were beasts; then he takes his hat and umbrella and goes on to a scientific meeting, where he proves that they practically are beasts. In short, the modern revolutionist, being an infinite skeptic, is always engaged in undermining his own mines. In his book on politics he attacks men for trampling on morality; in his book on ethics he attacks morality for trampling on men. Therefore the modern man in revolt has become practically useless for all purposes of revolt. By rebelling against everything he has lost his right to rebel against anything." (Orthodoxy, Chapter title - The Suicide of Thought / 1908)


What is truth Ron?

Whatever it is, it is exclusive, fundamental, and sacred... And it does not contradict itself...


Jesus says interestingly enough to Thomas (the skeptical man), "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6)

Casn we 'fundamentally' oppose 'fundamentalism' wihtout becoming the same?

No!

That's what I tell people. I don't threaten them, or accuse them of being anything other than lost like me.

I am very skeptical myself, but I continue to believe 1+1=2. Because I have tested it...

The same with Christ...







Name: Ron C. de
Date: //2007-07-02 17:00:59 :
Link to this Comment: 21795

Rob, "I am very skeptical myself, but I continue to believe 1+1=2. Because I have tested it..."

You have tested it, finding out about reliability and validity, from immediate experience. You applied your beliefs and found the evidence for the truth that is in the Bible and the reality of it changing and directing your life. Am I right? Now compare science. Remember that we agreed that faith and reason go perfectly together and that they are not antagonists. Science applies methodology, testing facts and ideas that were found inside or outside the lab, and indexing their reliabilities and validities in uniform manners, so that can be found out what is most reliable and most valid. And that is all we can say about exactly those facts, that hopefully are crucial for whatever we hope to achieve. It is not normative, let alone fundamentalistic in the sense that islam or christianity can be fundamentalistic. Yet the systematic doubt or skepticism is fundamental and rigorously keeping us humble with our test results. Do therefore not equate science and religion, faith and reason, but consider them complementary for any one or any community.


alot to tackle...
Name: Rob
Date: //2007-07-03 01:11:23 :
Link to this Comment: 21796

ron writes: "Science applies methodology, testing facts and ideas that were found inside or outside the lab, and indexing their reliabilities and validities in uniform manners, so that can be found out what is most reliable and most valid. And that is all we can say about exactly those facts, that hopefully are crucial for whatever we hope to achieve. It is not normative, let alone fundamentalistic in the sense that islam or christianity can be fundamentalistic. Yet the systematic doubt or skepticism is fundamental and rigorously keeping us humble with our test results. Do therefore not equate science and religion, faith and reason, but consider them complementary for any one or any community."

You and I have different views of science... You believe in methodological naturalism and the consensus; that the current scientific method is valid and objective... am I right?

If so, I agree that it may be in theory, but not in practice.

Consider the words of Francis Crick... 'Biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved.'

I ask (as well as many others)... 'Why Francis? Why 'must we keep that in mind?'

Now that is just one example Ron...

And if you ask me, it is very fundamental of evolutionists to gaurd their territory with such 'zeal'.

And the reason is... that Scientific fact, has been displaced by 'theo'ry. And I assume that you already know that the word 'theo' comes from the Greek meaning 'God'.

So, follow me here... the difference between theory and theology is in essence = None!

Both are an extrapolation of the 'facts', so as to attempt a protrait of reality. And both move beyond fact into the realm of 'reason' and faith'.

As for skepticism, it is healthy, and it is why I no longer take the word of scientists as gospel truth. But skepticism is not only to breed humility (in the mistaken), but also as a means of finding the truth.

It is not enough to have an emperical case... One must combine it with the other disciplines to create a portrait of reality that is consistent. If naturalism is true as Nietzche, Darwin, and Hitler believed, then the Third Riech was a very logical and consistent outworking.

But the system left out other components of the human mystery, such as the existential desire for love and peace. And what reason and logic it contained, collapsed under the weight of it's inability to incorporate the moral dimension. It was therefore false, if not for intuitive moral failure, then for utter incoherence other than in spite of a whole dimension of reality.

All of these are or were attempts to complete a picture of reality...

So Romans 1 is true. Paul captures the diagnosis with specificity and excruciating detail. It is in regard to seeing what is physically invisible (be it God or evolution / theory or theology) by what is actually 'fact'.

Romans 1:19-32
19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools

The religion of evolution wasn't even invented in earnest, until the late 1800's...

Men for centuries before were able to 'see' God (design) in the Universe.

If you don't mind me being flippent...the argument that it is only 'appearent design', is appearently only a design of an argument; but not an actual one.

So though we disagree as to what science actually is (in practice), I agree that 'true science' is wholly compatible with 'true religion'.

In such a case, we no longer have religion per se, but simply reality.

I have no intention of forcing this view on you... but you are a long way from showing where it is false.

God bless...









Name: Ron C. de
Date: //2007-07-03 09:19:52 :
Link to this Comment: 21797

Rob, "You and I have different views of science... You believe in methodological naturalism and the consensus; that the current scientific method is valid and objective... am I right?"

Yep.

"If so, I agree that it may be in theory, but not in practice."

Reliable and valid in theory but not in practice? If not in practice then not in theory. There is nothing as practical as a good theory (K. Lewin).

"Scientific fact, has been displaced by 'theo'ry"

A theory is just an alternative hypothesis, H1, that may or may not prove able to replace the normal hypothesis H0, depending on reliability and validity.

"Both are an extrapolation of the 'facts', so as to attempt a portrait of reality. And both move beyond fact into the realm of 'reason' and faith'."

Sure, however we cannot call christianity an hypothesis, but what is a hypothesis by definition, we can. Christianity is externally normative (Sanders & Van Rappard, 1982) and starts with faith; science is internally normative and always allows its precepts to be questioned.

Compare science and religion to a football match: they each have their half of the field. The one moves to the other in the opposite direction. Quite like Serendip's logo, coming to think of it (mine aims for the same BTW).

Faith is analytic and once in the history of mankind took the cultural and ethical highground to change people's minds for ever, through Jesus through his Father. The Bible had outlined good and evil, after the discovery of writing (scripture), after the discovery of speech. Prophets had self fulfilled what the good in opposite of the bad had to boil down to. Jesus finished the incredibly marvellous job. Thanks to this work many could die in peace.

Science is synthetic and has moved from the externally normative ('normative') to the internally normative ('pure') and from the field to the systematic.

Two thousand years ago, religion and science had not separated yet. That does not imply that the most brilliant people did not know what it was all about intuitively yet exactly!



Name: Rob
Date: //2007-07-04 01:08:33 :
Link to this Comment: 21798

Ron writes: "science is internally normative and always allows its precepts to be questioned.



Science is synthetic and has moved from the externally normative ('normative') to the internally normative ('pure') and from the field to the systematic."

Ron, I am going to defer to a non-Christian to dispute your findings...

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Paul Davies, theoretical physicist / Australian Centre for Astrobiology:
Davies on the question; -Does the monotheistic tradition of an intelligible universe have any impact on modern science?


“The worldview of a scientist, even the most atheistic scientist, is that essentially of Monotheism. It is a belief, which is accepted as an article of faith, that the universe is ordered in an intelligible way.

Now, you couldn’t be a scientist if you didn’t believe these two things. If you didn’t think there was an underlying order in nature, you wouldn’t bother to do it, because there is nothing to be found. And if you didn’t believe it was intelligible, you’d give up because there is no point if human beings can’t come to understand it.

But scientists do, as a matter of faith, accept that the universe is ordered and at least partially intelligible to human beings. And that is what underpins the entire scientific enterprise. And that is a theological position. It is absolutely ‘theo’ when you look at history. It comes from a theological worldview.

That doesn’t mean you have to buy into the religion, or buy into the theology, but it is very, very significant in historical terms; that that is where it comes from and that scientists today, unshakably retain that worldview, as an act of faith. You cannot prove it logically has to be the case, that the universe is rational and intelligible. It could easily have been otherwise. It could have been arbitrary, it could have been absurd, it could have been utterly beyond human comprehension. It’s not! And scientists just take this for granted for the most part, and I think it’s a really important point that needs to be made.” (source / 'The Privilaged Planet' / DVD Documentary)

In terms of philosophical materialism (the 'normative consensus' of methodological naturalism) look at it this way Ron...

What is 'matter'?

Who are you?

Where is here?

And... what is the purpose of science?






multiplicity
Name: Ron C. de
Date: //2007-07-04 07:55:21 :
Link to this Comment: 21799

Rob, "It could easily have been otherwise."

It is supposed to be otherwise in other universes that we cannot reach but must be there. It is what Einstein called multiplicity
: they each have their own set of physics, whichever way they turned out to work the first time after every Big Bang.

"What is 'matter'?
Who are you?
Where is here?
And... what is the purpose of science?"

The purpose of science is to understand our world and universe. To test this, we use hypotheses. These never are final, as religion is, on the contrary!



Name: Rob
Date: //2007-07-04 11:50:07 :
Link to this Comment: 21800

Ron writes: "The purpose of science is to understand our world and universe. To test this, we use hypotheses. These never are final, as religion is, on the contrary!"

How convenient that no 'final understanding' is reached...

Understanding is always final. If not, then it is not understanding but delusion. And in this sense, we are often our own worst enemy...

A comedian named Richard Wright said, 'A conclusion is what you reach when you stop thinking'... and that is funny... because it is itself, 'quite' a conclusion.

C.S Lewis said: ""To be ignorant and simple now - not to be able to meet the enemies on their own ground - would be to throw down our weapons, and to betray our uneducated brethren who have, under God, no defense but us against the intellectual attacks of the heathen. Good philosophy must exist, if for no other reason, because bad philosophy needs to be answered. The cool intellect must work not only against cool intellect on the other side, but against the muddy heathen mysticisms which deny intellect altogether." (Lewis / Learning in War-Time 1949, pg51)

Philosophically, to 'never reach finality' (as you said), is an absolute conclusion. And it startles me to see how common it is, for otherwise intelligent persons, to tepidly embrace such illogical mysticisms.

We all do it from time to time (myself included), so do not think I am trying to elevate myself. I am your brother. Struggling with the same human tendancies, and trying not to allow myself, to decieve myself, for hidden motives.

Wasn't it Shakespear who said, 'To thine own self be true'.

And that is what makes the motive clear to those more honest with themselves. Consider the words of Huxley. He meay have been unrepentant, but at least he was honest with himself...

"I had motives for not wanting the world to have a meaning; and consequently assumed that it had none, and was able without any difficulty to find satisfying reasons for this assumption. The philosopher who finds no meaning in the world is not concerned exclusively with a problem in pure metaphysics. He is also concerned to prove that there is no valid reason why he personally should not do as he wants to do. For myself, as no doubt for most of my friends, the philosophy of meaninglessness was essentially an instrument of liberation from a certain system of morality. We objected to the morality because it interfered with our sexual freedom. The supporters of this system claimed that it embodied the meaning - the Christian meaning, they insisted - of the world. There was one admirably simple method of confuting these people and justifying ourselves in our erotic revolt: we would deny that the world had any meaning whatever." (Aldous Huxley / Ends and Means 1937)

Ron the whole point is, that 'understanding' is predicated upon the assumption that logic is valid. And if question that, then what are we saying if words and logic itself is 'meaningless'?

If logic (truth) is King, and it is an intregal part of God's being, then the Words of Christ stand as the greatest light in humanity's search for itself. And the reason we don't believe or understand Him, is because we are not honest and logical ourselves.

John 18:37 "You are a king, then!" said Pilate. Jesus answered, "You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me."

John 8:42 Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me. 43 Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. 44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me!

----------------------------------------------------------------

Now, as for testablity... the Christian faith is not blind. It is testable...

Jesus did not tell us 'through a prophet'... to simply concede to some 'utterly transcendant' Allah, and blindly obey in fear of death.

He promised to open our eyes, and to heal our wounds. And our deepest wounds remain hidden to ourselves. We covered them long ago with so many fig leaves that we forgot about it ourselves. And we actually believe in the invisible cloth we had tailored for ourselves, and strut around in the street so that others can admire the 'Emperor's new clothes'.

Revelation 3:17 You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.

Perhaps He is not talking there to you Ron... but He is talking to me. And I believe He is talking to every man and woman.


Furthermore, 'it is testable' since we can see Him for ourselves, after taking a leap of faith with the hypothosis He gave to us...

John 14:18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.

John 14:21 Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him."

John 16:13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.

Now Ron, the following is a tired passage of the Bible, but please take the time to read it with the 'hypothesis' in mind, that it is true. It only takes a mustard seed of faith to believe. Without accepting that possiblity, how could the Word of God possibly begin to work it's power?

John 3:3 In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again." 4 "How can a man be born when he is old?" Nicodemus asked. "Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be born!" 5 Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again.' 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit." 9 "How can this be?" Nicodemus asked. 10 "You are Israel's teacher," said Jesus, "and do you not understand these things? 11 I tell you the truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. 12 I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? 13 No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven--the Son of Man. 14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. 16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God."













Correction
Name: Rob
Date: //2007-07-04 13:27:56 :
Link to this Comment: 21801

Correction... the comedians name is Steven, not Richard.


The problem with so-called 'science'...
Name: rob
Date: //2007-07-04 15:04:19 :
Link to this Comment: 21802


Here is the problem I have with 'science' Ron...

The following are excerpts from an article written by Susan Kruglinski for Discover Magazine.
http://discovermagazine.com/2005/dec/intelligent-design/?searchterm=bacterial%20flagellum

WHY ID IS NOT SCIENCE

Definition of science

"...After a searching review of the record and applicable caselaw, we find that while ID arguments may be true, a proposition on which the Court takes no position, ID is not science. We find that ID fails on three different levels, any one of which is sufficient to preclude a determination that ID is science. They are: (1) ID violates the centuries-old ground rules of science by invoking and permitting supernatural causation...;"

"Expert testimony reveals that since the scientific revolution of the 16th and 17th centuries, science has been limited to the search for natural causes to explain natural phenomena. This revolution entailed the rejection of the appeal to authority, and by extension, revelation, in favor of empirical evidence. Since that time period, science has been a discipline in which testability, rather than any ecclesiastical authority or philosophical coherence, has been the measure of a scientific idea's worth. In deliberately omitting theological or "ultimate" explanations for the existence or characteristics of the natural world, science does not consider issues of "meaning" and "purpose" in the world. While supernatural explanations may be important and have merit, they are not part of science. This self-imposed convention of science, which limits inquiry to testable, natural explanations about the natural world, is referred to by philosophers as "methodological naturalism" and is sometimes known as the scientific method. Methodological naturalism is a "ground rule" of science today which requires scientists to seek explanations in the world around us based upon what we can observe, test, replicate, and verify..."

Now this is exactly the point that Steven Meyer of the Discovery institute makes as a means of establishing the legitimacy of Design. Because 'methodological naturalism' is not 'unbiased' and 'objective' in it's analysis...

So a definition of 'science' (a convention) excludes without appearent cause, entire alternative explanations for a hypothesis that may 'more coherently explain in total' the mysteries surrounding life and existence itself.

And Dr. Jonathan Wells concurs, and explains very well, why design is a more comprhensive paradigm which 'liberates science' to explore areas which are now closed.

-Jonathan Wells has received Ph.D. degrees in Molecular and Cell Biology (University of California at Berkeley) and religious studies (Yale University) He has worked as a postdoctoral research biologist at the University of California at Berkeley and has taught biology at the University of California at Hayward. Wells has published articles in Development, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, BioSystems, The Scientist and The American biology Teacher. He has also authored two books, ‘Charles Hodge’s Critique of Darwinism’, and ‘Icons of Evolution: Why Much of What We Teach About Evolution Is Wrong’.-

Wells on the question: ‘What potential benefits does Intelligent Design Theory hold for science’?

“Before Darwinsim took over in the late nineteenth century, virtually every Western Biologist believed in intelligent design. The founders of all the modern biological disciplines; Mendel, who founded genetics, Leneaus, who founded Taxonomy where we name organisms; the early Embyologists, the early Paleontologists… All of these people believed in design, and they founded modern biology.

Darwinism came along and said, ‘no… design is an illusion’, but yet it kept all these disciplines… of course that’s what we now work in. And I see the current revolution as a return to our roots; our scientific roots, which were design roots. And so I see science once again returning to a design paradigm.

Now, the Darwinists claim that this will restrict scientific inquiry. I see it just the opposite… What I see now, is that the Darwinists cannot allow any hint of design in living things. They have to exclude every possible aspect of design. And this narrows the range of explanations tremendously. And it forces them to cram the data into these boxes that end up distorting the truth.

In a design paradigm however, the whole range of explanations is wide open! It doesn’t mean everything is designed… So some things can still be a product of random variations and natural selection as Darwin said they were. But it greatly expands the range of explanations that we have, and liberates science to follow the evidence wherever it leads.

So I see a tremendous invigoration… a reinvigoration of scientific research opening up areas that are now closed.”

Ron... what astounds me is that Susan Kruglinski admits (or rather, regurgitates the 'expert' confession) that 'methodological naturalism' is not interested in philosophical coherence.

It is my contention that any 'real science' or any other supposed explanation, culture, or worldview, 'must' be coherent.

And when My favorite philsopher (Dr. Ravi Zacharius) shared a definition of culture as being '...the effort to provide a coherent set of answers to the existential questions', a student at one university stood up and asked, 'Who ever told you that culture needed to be coherent? Is that not another one of these Western ideas that we try to push upon the rest of the world... that 'everything needs to be coherent'?

Dr. Ravi calmly responded, 'would you like my answer to your question to be coherent'?

If that is what 'methodological naturalism' is Ron... then it is 'not' what we are being told that it is, at the casual consumer level.

The average Joe on the street is assuming (rightly and coherently) that 'science' is the facts, wrapped in a philosophically logical framework.

That is not the case as is admitted and sustained in this post...

It may be 'science', but science... is not truth, and is therefore not of God.

----------------------------------------------------

Ron, I'd like to wrap up with one more illustration. It is also taken from the analysis of Dr. Zacharius (who's Holy Spirit derived insight is personally more prescious to me than gold). I have put his agument into my own words....

Please follow very carefully...

David Hume is largely responsible for this modern reliance upon empiricism. but interestingly enough, Hume was a philosopher. So, what is the foundation for empericism and methodological naturalism if not philosophy?

Consider the words of David Hume:

"When we run over libraries, persuaded of these principles, what havoc must we make? If we take in our hand any volume of divinity or school metaphysics, for instance, let us ask, Does it contain any abstract reasoning concerning quantity or number? No. Does it contain any experimental reasoning concerning matter of fact and existence? No. Commit it then to the flames, for it can contain nothing but sophistry and illusion." (David Hume An Inquiry Concerning Human Understanding)

Hume's 'absolute conclusion' is fatally flawed because his statement does not contain any abstract reasoning concerning quantity or number. Nor does it contain any experimental reasoning concerning matter of fact and existence.

How do we make a meaningful statement that is metaphysically stated, in order to tell us that metaphysics is meaningless?

The only sophistry here... is in the mind of Hume, his contemporaries, and the conventional scientific method.





The philosophical solution minus a mechanism
Name: Rob
Date: //2007-07-04 21:32:58 :
Link to this Comment: 21803

Ron, I do hope you are digesting all of these ideas. I want now to provide the philosophical framework that really pins the problem with 'materialsm' (limiting our scientific scope within the cage of 'methodological naturalism') beyond the simple observation that we simply cannot asssume that 'everything has a material cause and mechanism'.

I would like to provide three quotes. They begin with a detailed description of materialism (and it's evolutionary story), then a definition of 'information', and then an explanation of why materialism is insufficient.

-------------------------------------------

Phillip Johnson - author ‘Darwin on trial’ / Professor of law (emeritus) University of California at Berkeley-

Johnson on the question: ‘What is Evolution?’


“With Darwinian evolution, we’re dealing with something that is much more than a scientific theory; it’s a creation story. In fact, it’s the creation myth of our culture. Every culture has a creation myth, which tells the people where they came from, what is ultimately ‘real’, and how they relate to that, and where they should get their knowledge- their information from.

Every culture has a priesthood that has custody of this creation story and that gives that knowledge. In our culture, the priesthood is not the clergy or the ministers in church, it’s the intellectual class, and especially the scientists.

So the Darwinian story says that ultimately all that is ‘real’ is nature. Nature is all there is, and nature is composed of matter; the particles making up matter and energy that physicists study.

So, this is the philosophy called naturalism, or materialism. And since that’s all there is, it follows, that matter must have done all the creating that had to be done; that is to say, matter, unassisted by God, or any other intelligent force. According to materialism, a mind can’t exist until it evolves mindlessly from matter.

---------------------------------------------

Phillip Johnson on the question: ‘What is information?’

“Information at the simplest level is just meaningful text. You can say it’s like the plays of Shakespear or the Bible if you want to pick something noble. It’s like the Los Angeles telephone directory if you want to pick something much more mundane. Perhaps an instruction book, let’s say a cookbook with all of the recipes would be a better example; or a computer program; the operating system of a PC.

Now, in order to have a computer operating system, you have to have lots and lots of that text and instructions. So it’s extremely complex. That’s feature number one, it’s a lot of letters (or digits) in a specific order. And the order is specified, that’s point number two; which is to say that only one complex arrangement will do to operate the computer. If you got another one, you’ve got something that won’t work at all.

So it’s specified complexity. And a third feature is called aperiodic, or non-repeating. And that means it’s not the result of physical or chemical laws, because those laws always produce simple repetitive patterns. For example, you can imagine a book tha’s written this way: you put a macro on your computer processor that says reapeat the letters ABC until the printer runs out of paper. And you’d get a book like that, and it wouldn’t be a very interesting book. And it would never get more interesting because the same laws that give you that pattern, ensure that you’ll never get a different pattern, or a more meaningful one.

So the information in the computers operating system, like the information that has to be present to operate all of the cells machinery, is complex, specified, non-repeating (meaningful) text.

And without exception, in all of our experience, you never get anything like that unless you have an author. To get computer software, you have to have a software engineer. To have an encyclopedia you actually need a lot of different authors and editors. To get the plays of Shakespear, you need Shakespear.”

----------------------------------------------------

Dr. Stephen C. Meyer earned his Ph.D. in the History and Philosophy of science from Cambridge University for a dissertation on the history of origin-of-life biology and the methodology of the historical sciences. Previously, Meyer worked as a geophysicist with the Atlantic Richfield Company, after earning his undergraduate degrees in Physics and Geology. He has recently co-written or edited two books ‘Darwinsim, Design and Public Education’ (2003 Michigan State University Press) and ‘Science and Evidence for design in the Universe’.

Meyer on the question – ‘Why can’t biological information originate through a materialistic process’?

“One of the things I do in my classes, to get this idea across to students, is I hold up two computer disks. One is loaded with software, and the other one is blank. And I ask them, ‘what is the difference in mass between these two computer disks, as a result of the difference in the information content that they posses’?

And of course the answer is, ‘Zero! None! There is no difference as a result of the information. And that’s because information is a mass-less quantity. Now, if information is not a material entity, then how can any materialistic explanation account for its origin? How can any material cause explain it’s origin?

And this is the real and fundamental problem that the presence of information in biology has posed. It creates a fundamental challenge to the materialistic, evolutionary scenarios because information is a different kind of entity that matter and energy cannot produce.
In the nineteenth century we thought that there were two fundamental entities in science; matter, and energy. At the beginning of the twenty first century, we now recognize that there’s a third fundamental entity; and its ‘information’. It’s not reducible to matter. It’s not reducible to energy. But it’s still a very important thing that is real; we buy it, we sell it, we send it down wires.

Now, what do we make of the fact, that information is present at the very root of all biological function? In biology, we have matter, we have energy, but we also have this third, very important entity; information. I think the biology of the information age, poses a fundamental challenge to any materialistic approach to the origin of life.”

(all quotes transcribed from the Q&A portion of the DVD Documentary 'Unlocking the Mystery of Life')

---------------------------------------------

Our current convention of science is trying to say that the material mechanism must be proven in order to 'know' what is valid. And it assumes that only material mechanisms are valid. But as we have seen for the last century, the material world itself may very well be 'non material' in the quantum dimension.

As for the origin of information, the simple sentances of John capture more wisdom than volumes of philosopher's word games.

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of men.

10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God-- 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God. 14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

What is the light? In purely philosophical terms which John expresses sso beautifully, it is 'logic'.

And as Dr. Zacharius said, 'The more logical secular man is, the closer he moves to the sustaining what God has already said'.

What was the mechanism for creation?

God spoke! And if we really want to understand this literally, we must remember that all words, spoken or written, begin with 'thought'. The first cause is the 'ideational' (or spiritual). The physical world is only the fabric upon which we see the manifestation of the effect.

Is there anyone who can understand what I am pouring out my life to say?











I am a Bergsonian
Name: Ron C. de
Date: //2007-07-05 02:30:20 :
Link to this Comment: 21804

Rob,


"Ron writes: "The purpose of science is to understand our world and universe. To test this, we use hypotheses. These never are final, as religion is, on the contrary!"

How convenient that no 'final understanding' is reached..."

- Final understanding, when reached in religion, is a lot more convenient than having to live with 'normal' science that will always go through revolutionary changes of the paradigm and knowing it (Kuhn). Having to have your sources questioned to facilitate that change, to get closer to the 'objective' truth, can also be fascinating and inspiring though. It is like life itself.

"Understanding is always final. If not, then it is not understanding but delusion. And in this sense, we are often our own worst enemy..."

- That is why we always need to test and evaluate our thoughts.

"A comedian named [Steven] Wright said, 'A conclusion is what you reach when you stop thinking'... and that is funny... because it is itself, 'quite' a conclusion.

C.S Lewis said: "To be ignorant and simple now - not to be able to meet the enemies on their own ground - would be to throw down our weapons, and to betray our uneducated brethren who have, under God, no defense but us against the intellectual attacks of the heathen. Good philosophy must exist, if for no other reason, because bad philosophy needs to be answered. The cool intellect must work not only against cool intellect on the other side, but against the muddy heathen mysticisms which deny intellect altogether." (Lewis / Learning in War-Time 1949, pg51)"

- All conclusions should be provisional, for turning off our brain would be denial of intellect.

Nothing wrong with romanticism or mysticism. Just admitting that we believe that there is more out there than we know and that we intend to find out more about. That is not being untrue to oneself or others, rather it is móre true and móre honest!

"There was one admirably simple method of confuting these people and justifying ourselves in our erotic revolt: we would deny that the world had any meaning whatever. (Aldous Huxley)"

- When a paradigm changes, that does not necessarily mean that the old paradigm has become meaningless. Understanding can be lifted to a higher level, encompassing lower levels, like what happened when Einstein reinterpreted Newtons findings.

And when the old paradigm loses its purpose of giving meaning to a (scientific) community, that does not invalidate communication when it still had this meaning.

As for biblical meaning, that will always be valid, because it is the expression of meaning, what is good and what is bad, of mankind to mankind. Science will always (have to) honour 'humankindness' because it is itself human.

"Now, as for testablity... the Christian faith is not blind. It is testable..."

- I never said that! On the contrary!

"It may be 'science', but science... is not truth, and is therefore not of God."

- Scientific results are not final and therefore are not from God. Sure.

"Hume's 'absolute conclusion' is fatally flawed because his statement does not contain any abstract reasoning concerning quantity or number. Nor does it contain any experimental reasoning concerning matter of fact and existence."

- Any scientist can make a statement, which other scientists can test and evaluate. With Hume on the one hand and Hegel on the other, Kant stated the synthetic apriori. Bergson developed this into an understanding of metaphysics. Modern methodology brings both sides together, 'labeling' (economy, psychonomy etc) and facts.

Who says metaphysics are meaningless? I am a Bergsonian.


still missing something...
Name: Rob
Date: //2007-07-05 10:35:45 :
Link to this Comment: 21807

Ron Writes: 'Final understanding, when reached in religion, is a lot more convenient than having to live with 'normal' science that will always go through revolutionary changes of the paradigm and knowing it (Kuhn). Having to have your sources questioned to facilitate that change, to get closer to the 'objective' truth, can also be fascinating and inspiring though. It is like life itself'.

Tell that to the methodological naturalists who insist that we can excluding philosophical coherence from the scientific method (and they do so for philosophical reasons, by the way). You cannot seperate philosophy and science. It is like trying to understand how the earth works, without regard for it's sun. You simply must have the sun in order to understand certain processes taking place on earth.

As a man interested in complete pictures of reality, you must already understand that. We live in a relational universe, created by a relational being where there is 'unity in diversity' (the Trinity). The best way to understand our world, is to understand God. That is theology...

But that is just dry and academic unless you have made contact with Him. That is the new birth.

We agree on some things Ron... but it seems you're still missing one very important point. And that point, is that in many of your statements, you use words like 'is', 'never', and 'always'. Those are words that make your statement 'absolute' and final... such is the nature of philosophy. It implicitely affirms certainty.


I wrote, -Understanding is always final. If not, then it is not understanding but delusion. And in this sense, we are often our own worst enemy...-

Ron wrote, 'That is why we always need to test and evaluate our thoughts'.

Are you maikng that as a 'final' statement?

Yes you are... and since you are, you are making a philosophical (ie. religious) declaration. The same statement is found in the Bible:

2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you--unless, of course, you fail the test?

Is 'the truth' (who is Christ) in you Ron?

It certainly isn't in the 'methodological naturalists' of which you claim to be...

We can't have it both ways...




Subjectively the objective and objectively the sub
Name: Ron C. de
Date: //2007-07-06 02:28:12 :
Link to this Comment: 21809

Rob, we can subjectively believe in the objectively God-given. We can also study the subjective objectively. There is coherence in both causal scientific theories ànd in teleological religious Truth. There even is coherence in their combination. For they are both needed as sources of religion and morality (H.Bergson, The Two Sources of Religion and Morality, 1944).


Coherence possible only by capitulation...
Name: rob
Date: //2007-07-06 10:01:44 :
Link to this Comment: 21810

In the case of 'Evolution', there is coherence in combination with Biblical teleological truth, when one or the other is willing to bend.

Let me explain...

The Bible (the presumed Word of God) says that man is created in the image of God. That means every person is equal under God in light of the 'perfect' moral standard that we were created for. It also means that each person is of 'essential worth' having a distinct and priceless combination of traits and talents.

Naturalism does not give us that imperitive. The only teleological truth in the 'assumptions' of naturalism is survival. And that means the 'fittest' must survive if 'good' is to prevail. Order is fought for, since the implicit 'sovereign reality' (or 'father') is chance / chaos.

And since 'teleological' implies purpose and design, please do not tell me that naturalism is not teleological. Because the 'purpose' and design of materialistic worldviews is 'intentional', and an attempt to escape 'inescapable' moral realities by implying 'some other' ultimate good.

Adolf Hitler with the help of nihilist philosophers like Nietzche, tried to make this 'elusive moral connection' with social Darwinism, and concluded that 'the final solution' (moral imperitive) was the obliteration of the weaker.

In 'Descent of Man', Charles Darwin himself decried the implications for morality if his theory were true. And Nietzche declared that as a result, 'the twentieth century would become the bloddiest century' (he was right). These men undertood the logical outworkings.

Nietzche even eppears to have suffered angst much as a result. Listen to his parable, 'The Mad Man':

THE MADMAN----Have you not heard of that madman who lit a lantern in the bright morning hours, ran to the market place, and cried incessantly: "I seek God! I seek God!"---As many of those who did not believe in God were standing around just then, he provoked much laughter. Has he got lost? asked one. Did he lose his way like a child? asked another. Or is he hiding? Is he afraid of us? Has he gone on a voyage? emigrated?---Thus they yelled and laughed.

The madman jumped into their midst and pierced them with his eyes. "Whither is God?" he cried; "I will tell you. We have killed him---you and I. All of us are his murderers. But how did we do this? How could we drink up the sea? Who gave us the sponge to wipe away the entire horizon? What were we doing when we unchained this earth from its sun? Whither is it moving now? Whither are we moving? Away from all suns? Are we not plunging continually? Backward, sideward, forward, in all directions? Is there still any up or down? Are we not straying, as through an infinite nothing? Do we not feel the breath of empty space? Has it not become colder? Is not night continually closing in on us? Do we not need to light lanterns in the morning? Do we hear nothing as yet of the noise of the gravediggers who are burying God? Do we smell nothing as yet of the divine decomposition? Gods, too, decompose. God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him.

"How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it? There has never been a greater deed; and whoever is born after us---for the sake of this deed he will belong to a higher history than all history hitherto."

Here the madman fell silent and looked again at his listeners; and they, too, were silent and stared at him in astonishment. At last he threw his lantern on the ground, and it broke into pieces and went out. "I have come too early," he said then; "my time is not yet. This tremendous event is still on its way, still wandering; it has not yet reached the ears of men. Lightning and thunder require time; the light of the stars requires time; deeds, though done, still require time to be seen and heard. This deed is still more distant from them than most distant stars---and yet they have done it themselves.

It has been related further that on the same day the madman forced his way into several churches and there struck up his requiem aeternam deo. Led out and called to account, he is said always to have replied nothing but: "What after all are these churches now if they are not the tombs and sepulchers of God?"

Source: Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science (1882, 1887) para. 125; Walter Kaufmann ed. (New York: Vintage, 1974), pp.181-82.]

--------------------

One of us is wrong Ron...

We can't have it both ways...

If you disagree, then you concede that you are right and I am wrong, thereby affirming that one of us is right and the other wrong .

Which means you have said nothing...

Forgive me for being so adamant... but unless I have lost sight of the course of our conversation (which is possible for me at this level of discourse) then I simply must defy and reject your analysis.

If science and religion are to be coherently woven into a complete worldview, then something has to give. Someone must capitulate...
The father of all flesh cannot be both chaos, 'and' order. One must have risen from the other.

And it is 'antiscientific' in a universe governed by the 2nd Law (LAW, not theory) of Thermodynamics, to have faith in some 'as yet unknown process' that allows for the reversal of entropy that is as testable, proven, and factual as any Law of nature.

We live in a dying world; a deteriorating world that has moved from order to disorder. And it is dying as a result of sin and God's unwillingness as the 'sovereign and ultimate', to allow such a state to exist in His kingdom eternally.

He will not impose Himself. He'll let us have our way and our autonomy (we don't know what we ask) for eternity... that's hell.

But likewise, He will not allow us to impose our sad notions of reality onto 'His heaven', that He offers to undeserving demigods like you and I.





Do not capitulate, neither shall I
Name: Ron C. de
Date: //2007-07-06 16:53:07 :
Link to this Comment: 21812

Rob, faith and reason in whichever outfit, as stated, do really give us that imperative. I thought you agreed, saying here "it's hard to argue with a response like that... you've covered all the bases. So... I cannot help but agree!".

Do not capitulate, neither shall I.


Very well...
Name: Rob
Date: //2007-07-06 20:13:21 :
Link to this Comment: 21813

Ron, I also quoted Lewis and inferred my own agreement with Him: "I gave in, and admitted that God was God". (C.S. Lewis)

One can always capitulate to God (even in his last breath), but one can never, having truely known Him, deny Him. Especially since He gives even the weak (like me), open eyes to see the lies...

What would I capitulate to? The truth?

John 6:67 "You do not want to leave too, do you?" Jesus asked the Twelve. 68 Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.

As you said, I shall not capitulate, and appearently neither shall you. We are both free men, free to believe what we want, and free to suffer the consequences temporally or eternally.

Hence the divide between us.

That was my only point all along... the divide that Hegel, Marx and the others (of which you include yourself) attempt to rationalize away. The divide cannot be reconciled.

And Kant said we cannot know because God exists in that realm of which we cannot cross. But Kant forgot that he would have to have crossed in order to know 'even that'! So Kant's is a false peace like the others creating a false dichotomy.

I am trying to express the 'real dichotomy', between good and evil of which there can be no reconciliation but by God's provision.

Consider the divide created and preached by Christ.

‘Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division’ (Luke 12:51)

Matthew 7:13 "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.

John 14: 6 'I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the father except through me.'

The truth always divides and separates reality from subjection.

John 9:16 Some of the Pharisees said, "This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath." But others asked, "How can a sinner do such miraculous signs?" So they were divided.

Acts 23:7 When he said this, a dispute broke out between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided.

Psalm 78:13 He divided the sea and led them through; he made the water stand firm like a wall.

Matthew 25: 31 "When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. 34 "Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.

John 8:43-45 Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me!

“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.’ That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic—on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg—or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.” (CS Lewis, Mere Christianity)

As for capitulation in the ultimate sense, Romans 14:11 It is written: "'As surely as I live,' says the Lord, 'every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.'"

Isaiah 45:23 By myself I have sworn, my mouth has uttered in all integrity a word that will not be revoked: Before me every knee will bow; by me every tongue will swear.

Ezekiel 7:17 Every hand will go limp, and every knee will become as weak as water.

Ezekiel 21:7 ... Every heart will melt and every hand go limp; every spirit will become faint and every knee become as weak as water.' It is coming! It will surely take place, declares the Sovereign Lord."

I enjoyed our discussion Ron. Keep thinking...



My apologies...
Name: Rob
Date: //2007-07-07 01:25:44 :
Link to this Comment: 21814

Ron writes: I thought you agreed, saying "it's hard to argue with a response like that... you've covered all the bases. So... I cannot help but agree!".

I suppose I did give you a mistaken impression... I assure you it was unintentional. But that's what happens when we try to be too nice, too soon. Of course we must be gracious (and I applaud you for your civility) but we must also be 'real' when discussing such deadly/life-giving matters.

You're comment inwhich I agreed was, "Rob, yes I do think that that is possible and that we can and do, even more than we know, or as Kant put it: explore the synthetic apriori. Things we didn't know we knew, like mathematics. However, on the same token, there (probably) is even more than that, things or beings, that/who we still don't know and can always be sure to never know! And I don't mind a bit of mystery for the more romantic souls among us".

What I missed in my haste (and believe I adequately covered in the last post in regard to Kant) was your third sentance: "Things we didn't know we knew, like mathematics. However, on the same token, there (probably) is even more than that, things or beings, that/who we still don't know and can always be sure to never know!"

Do you see the problem Ron? How can we 'always' be sure to never know? It is self defeating. It is incoherent. It is a contradiction and therefore false. The reason, is that your comment presupposes to look from the ultimate vantage point, so as to tell us that it is not possible to 'see' from that vantage point.

I could tell that this was your angle from very early in our discussion, but I apologize for not being able to keep all of it in perspective. We covered a lot of unecessary ground. So goes the battle...

You did throw the word, 'probably' (in parenthesis), into that sentance. but since it is logically imposible, then it is not probable at all!

Some of these little serpents (Mark 16:18) that worm there way into our minds are very difficult to discern. They linger beneath the surface of the sea of conscious thought. They are very clever at remaining hidden. Whenever my own pride gets in the way, they take immediate advantage of me and their poison starts to work itself into my system.

Though I am unharmed, and have cleared the stream for myself in hindsight, I fear it has been of no benifit to you. You are the only one who has the power to decide whether or not that is the case from here on out. We are ultimately only held responsible for ourselves. And part of our responsibility is to tell others the truth in love.

Anyway, that's how I see it. And since it is logically infallible, then it is not I who thought it up. I am not the creator of logic. Logic is the creator of me. And I don't know about you Ron, but He has much work to do in me still.

As for the 'mystery' for romantic souls, there is nothing more romantic and myserious than 'knowing God personally', and knowing that His wisdom and understanding is inexhaustable and infinite.

Like mathematics, we can 'know' with certainty that it accurately reflects the orderly nature of our existence, while also remaining so exquisitely deep, as to leave more than enough mystery for a mere mortal mind.

Keep in mind that the transcendant realm is not 'seperate' but 'transcendant'. We do not exist only in the phenomenal realm; rather, there is overlap, just as we do not exist seperate from space but exist in space. Fortunately we have a planet to stand upon and much else to anchor 'being' in the physical sense. Our philosophical foundation is equally as critical if not more so. Houses built upon sand are very unstable. Towers of Babel come down when logic divides our language into truth and falsehood. Let us not make bricks, but use 'real' stone.

As I said early on, one need not be omniscient in order to know the one who is. It is simply the teacher/ student relationship. It is the respect of authority, and the trust generated by love.

Now if you can't tell, I have a hard time wrapping up... gotta go. I just couldn't leave this unattended. I still hope and pray you might wash at the pool and have your sight restored. But for proud and intelligent men like you and I, admitting blindness is the hardest part. And admitting that that descision is not in my control is very hard for me. It's between you and God.

Peace...




Abiogenesis
Name: Rob
Date: //2007-07-07 01:36:41 :
Link to this Comment: 21815

Back to the intelligent design and evolution debate...

Here is a great link to the subject of abiogenesis. Near the bottom is a 'YouTube' bit from the DVD documentary 'Unlocking the Mystery of Life'. After clicking on the play button, you can then click the menu button, and the whole documentary is available in 7 sections. I highly reccomend the entire documentary. It brilliantly captures the philosophical incoherence of naturalism in my opinion.

Since I have not taken the time to learn how to post a link, you'll have to copy and paste.

http://www.detectingdesign.com/abiogenesis.html


Non foundationalism
Name: Ron C. de
Date: //2007-07-07 05:00:47 :
Link to this Comment: 21816

Rob, I am glad there still are christians that are as compatibly passionate as the muslims here in Amsterdam where I live, as long as, and a stonesthrow away from where, the murderer of Theo van Gogh was raised. I do believe in non-relativistic non-foundationalism but not in multi-culturalism! Thanks for the conversation.


Nice...
Name: Rob
Date: //2007-07-07 12:31:05 :
Link to this Comment: 21817

Ron writes: 'I do believe in non-relativistic non-foundationalism...'

Believe all you want... Just don't accuse me of being the one making a leap of faith.

And thank you for comparing me to the islamic fundamentalists. That was a nice touch to illustrate your sophisticated tolerance in practice.

Reality forces us to either bend our knee, or crucify Him. We all have to land on one side or the other...

No both ways nonsense, and I appriciate your reluctant cooperation in making the point.







Name:
Date: //2007-07-08 19:54:09 :
Link to this Comment: 21821


Russell Baker
Name:
Date: //2007-07-13 11:48:34 :
Link to this Comment: 21823

I am sitting here 93 million miles from the sun on a rounded rock which is spinning at the rate of 1000 miles an hour... and my head pointing down into space with nothing between me and infinity but something called gravity which I can't even understand, and which you can't even buy any place so as to have some stored away for a gravityless day...

--
Tino
The16Art.com
JustSearch


Evolution or Intelligent Design? Its Both
Name:
Date: //2007-08-06 01:09:59 :
Link to this Comment: 21844

Here is a great site that will explane EXACTLY what the Quran says about Evolution and Intelligent Design. http://www.TruEvolution.net


same
Name: John Harri
Date: //2007-08-08 11:03:33 :
Link to this Comment: 21847

Dr. Chien writes: "My best guess is that you don¡¦t think the technical problem needs to be solved. With that post-science completely disagrees. Most people today think problems in terms of their own lifetime. Post-science believes that we are all part of the interactive universe or the living system. Someday our universe will come to an end. We exist for a purpose, which post-science believes, from its discovery of completely automated software resembling DNA, is to propagate this living system permanently, as we would like to propagate our offspring or DNA to infinity in time." Dr. Chien, I do think the technical problems need to be solved. But we cannot look to ourselves for that solution. The solution has already been offered. What puzzles me, is our reluctance to take it. if you really believe in these concepts, then you would do well to examine this position carefully. God does reveal Himself. It does not seem possible until you have seen Him for yourself. That is the offer... What is very striking about the Bible, is that it can predict these things. In Isaiah's case, we're talking hundreds of years BC he talked about the universes inevitable end. And again in 2 Peter, and again in Revelation at best 100 AD. How could these 'prophets of God' accurately describe realitites that science would not confirm until recently? God promises a new heaven and earth to all who turn to Him. VEry interesting... Isaiah 34:4 All the stars of the heavens will be dissolved and the sky rolled up like a scroll; all the starry host will fall like withered leaves from the vine, like shriveled figs from the fig tree. Revelation 6:14 The sky receded like a scroll, rolling up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. 2 Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. 2 Peter 3:12 ...as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. Revelation 3:12 Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name. Revelation 21:1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. (note here, that 'the sea' is a Biblical symbol of mankind and his storms). Revelation 21:2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. Revelation 1:17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: "Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. 18 I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades. The ressurection was debated among the Jews before Christ. But since the ressurection of Christ, it is no longer speculation, but history. We have no excuse to not investigate for ourselves. You would be astonished as I was to find that it is all true. Ezekiel 37:1-14 1 The hand of the Lord was upon me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2 He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. 3 He asked me, "Son of man, can these bones live?" I said, "O Sovereign Lord, you alone know." 4 Then he said to me, "Prophesy to these bones and say to them, 'Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! 5 This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. 6 I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.'" 7 So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. 8 I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them. 9 Then he said to me, "Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, 'This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe into these slain, that they may live.'" 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to proactive life and stood up on their feet--a vast army. 11 Then he said to me: "Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, 'Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.' 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them: 'This is what the Sovereign Lord says: O my people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. 13 Then you, my people, will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. 14 I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the Lord have spoken, and I have done it, declares the Lord.'" 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 13 Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. 14 We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage each other with these words. The technology you seek Chien, can be found in Christ. Please call upon Him and be saved. At least put Him on trial and seek Him for your own curiosity. We are the machines. Slaves to sin, who are invited to become living in the Spirit of Christ.



Name:
Date: //2007-08-09 18:49:42 :
Link to this Comment: 21854

There are some interested threads in that forum, way to go.

-Martin
News


Intelligent design
Name: hotmail_bi
Date: //2007-09-05 20:27:01 :
Link to this Comment: 21891


The only intelligent thing about this, has been the way it has been lobbyed and sold.

I specially liked that "chart" posted before that distinguished the TWO ALTERNATIVES... ONE there is a deigner TWO the world began with the Big Bang.

That is such a simplistic and obtuse view that it almost makes me cry... there are so many wrongs here... it's been so hard to debunk because it is so ABSURD and DUMB that one can't even find where to begin.

It's the same with people that try to find ANSWERS for everything in religious text... if that's your personal criteria, FINE!, follow that path.

But to MAKE it "official"... teach it to children, make a museum?!?!

As a teacher (pro bono), SON of a teacher, and GRANDson of a teacher I find this so wrong and shameful... when is the boundary going to come?... when will people wake up to REAL decency again?... this whole thing is just indecent.

It's the real weapon of mass distruction, another one NO ONE can find, and it's called IGNORANCE.


Human Evolution in the Quran
Name:
Date: //2007-09-10 00:59:23 :
Link to this Comment: 21897

Take a look at our website: http://www.TruEvolution.net


bipolar
Name: philippe m
Date: //2007-09-12 21:54:23 :
Link to this Comment: 21899

Goodevening,I am philippe martin 33 years old, also bipolar type 1.I will permit my self to talk whith Alot experience,Alot of Life hurting and stimulating my addiction of everything.As I look at the sky,my attachent of Life sing at me my FUNERAL.It was one of the most intence day of my LIfe.At this moment it was cretical for me,but NOW as I writh it was EXPERIENCE.EXPERIENCE mean feeling,life,color,ocean..........it is a painful gift.For all the people like me take all your pill's.Philippe martin Goodnigth and study your self....


bipolar
Name: philippe m
Date: //2007-09-12 21:56:50 :
Link to this Comment: 21900

Dream of you

second part

in ENGLISH

The profile

The profile shaping your soul

the profile you give me

The pale orgasm,translucide feromone



fresh and already have been used

stupid odisey

introduction............

of this fraction of LOVE



unique obsesion as a....

Violent effort

an unique favor ,from YOUR hart,

layout of word's establishing some,

formative principle,of Your nature.....



powerful emotional felt....

just between two LOVER

my passion of love for you....

beyond our capacity,our limit....,,,,




time that as gone buy

dividend insolube,fear and wounder http://www.byhudson.com/women.html

physical reaction showing deep feeling

specific degree of importance

contaning and covering



along the river

it is more transparent

buy a WAVE motion

the proper TIME share^^^



this unique image of your opact body.......

elluminate seductive and oblique capacity of sheltering my sex instinc,

question,considaration,and question?!?

execute the penalty,ethical LAW of love

narrow furios,and HURT................

terrestrial comitment varied,and complicated...........

chronological position....harmonic single composition of LOVE, of YOU'



relative and vertical exclusion of SHADOW,

separate some section of my complex interface

tension of Love,of YOU..........

dissaprouval of something DONE,

giving detail of a disaster,

state ceremony of ART,

incorporate an informal treaty of Love,

of protest beyound love.......

transmition of knowlege,performance of computation,sorrow

I tend to react,alternating my current of love for,YOU.........



to arrest this reaction

if and when there is a Danger

of it is going out of my control.

after damage in those injury

to fail,to follow suit through my inability to do so.

to repeat an experience,

the cause of my love....

tending,repeting this permanent MARK on my skin...........

the cause to feel in fear

with difficulty

the relative flat surface of my Love.I was dreaming at you Michelle.I always do,Philippe.




Name: philippe m
Date: //2007-09-12 21:58:13 :
Link to this Comment: 21901

too Simple To Be Criminal



A winner sees an answer for every problem.
A loser sees a problem for every answer.



Nature never fears or loves. Nature never thinks, nature does not know strategy or analogy. Nature follows the laws of nature. Genuine justice gives us the right to survive. The right to abuse for our own evolution. The right to be above those universal principles.

If by natural law, I create a boundary. A small boundary which gets the characteristic property of a plastic membrane. This virtual boundary will trick an atom, any atom will make a small virtual matter in the virtual universe. While a simple atom will occupy 99.99% of this virtual universe. I will use natural law to make the atom believe that none exists. The atom will believe this false law as a natural fraud. Then it will create a virtual singularity. Then it will create a virtual big bang. Then it will stop this expansion at one second. The boundary controls this virtual big bang, also it controls the time. Using natural law against the universe, time, none, and singularity.

The size of this virtual universe, will also control a fluctuation in a space curvature, but without time. I will prove on a philosophic state of mind, that the virtual universe obeys that universal law. Now, I believe instead to react at the universe’s expansion, it is possible to domesticate the time, matter, energy and all those universal principles.

With all the passion and respect I have and will have for our universe, now domesticating our universe will be possible, if we do not respect those polite and gentle theories regarding cosmology. It is the time to start being the first criminals of time, the first fraud against those natural laws of the universe.

However, it will be exponential for any type of imagination, example in the boundary the hydrogen will burn into helium. The energy released will generate a pressure that will be unable the mass to resist the attraction of it’s own gravity, which is trying to make it smaller. I will suggest imagining a boundary able to expand and be stopped without retracting at this moment. The time will be zero which time exist with a expansion or a retraction. At this point, near pass, near future and now will exist into zero time
philippe martin


bipolar
Name: philippe m
Date: //2007-09-12 22:01:42 :
Link to this Comment: 21902

They ask me to write down my race

And I think

And think and consider


And have my answer read



I have a fleure de lyse circulating in my vein

Sluggish and controversy

Always, a frontier, shadow

Linguistic stumble, bipolar culture

Inside this body


I have left the ocean, Urizen

So long, my tears are dry

Far, meloncoly, vision

I cure my self, My daughter own your name

Madeleine , for our bleu’s memory

Inside this body


I have feel your nature, so good, perception

Fresh air,oxygen, I get high, sensation

On the peek of your mountain, exaltation

Some time, I believe, I understand,connection

Madeleine

Inside this body


I have a fresh rainbow trout, fighting

La Cote Nord,1984,Mulroney

Each day, I will observed your forest

I will remember you, nature

Inside this body


I have loved St. Jean

French, love, caress

I saw my shade at the bistro

Beautiful sadness, hurt me

Inside this body


They ask me to write down my race

And I think

And think and consider

And have my answer read

Writing down the truth

And have my answer read


I have left my culture

Painful as funeral memories

Slowly tint my suffering, soul

Beautiful sadness, on the Harbor Front

Inside this body



I have a strong Bourgogne in my glass

Tranquil, smooth, on Queen St.

I am waiting for you

Dark and elegant, Love

Inside this body


I have my love shadow, arrived

As ink, romantically, deeply, tattoo my heart

Skin colors as a present, of diversity

A gift, colorful,hallucinations, Mango

Inside this body



I have hope for us

Dark like you, must shade my soul in the summer time

I will show you desire, Honey Brown

I will share with you, in the wintertime

Inside this body


I have the same blood, Honey brown

You are my moonlight sonata

Melody of culture, silently, Honey

Smoothly we will understand,our Karma

Inside this body



They ask me to write down my race

And I think

And think

Very seriously

And I consider writing down the truth

And have my answer read



I have pathetic in my head

Some time I believe

Ludwig, compose, You sur les Plaines

He must, or I dream mélodie

Inside this body





I have your interest, Quebec

Historical,Architectural, attraction

I have your taste, French kiss

Petit- Mont–Briac, Porto, le Petit Champlain

Inside this body



I have une bagette under my arm

And I feel good, relax, without controversy

Quebec your so simple,sometime

And sometime, I can’t stand you

Understand

Inside your body


Les musée, Le Vieux Port

Avec ses légende, avec ses contours

Massage my anger, So far, my brothers

L’espoir n’est plus, it is not my place, Anymore

Inside this body


They ask me to write down my race

And I think

And think

Very seriously

And I consider writing down the truth

And have my answer read


I have bitter memory

My old friend see me as a traitor

Cultural, Illness, Paranoid

Quebec you should take some pills

You will feel better

Inside this body


J’ai, solitude souvenir

Le Bistro a jojo St. Denis

Carl et son harmonica

Chasse-galerie, memoire

Inside this body





I have traveled

I finally found my place

Toronto as a shelter for lost souls

Recomfort me and understand us

Inside this body



I have Toronto as my heart beat

I have Toronto who believes in me

Toronto as a colorful painting

Toronto, membrane of my soul

Inside this body



Philippe


bipolar
Name: philippe m
Date: //2007-09-12 22:16:37 :
Link to this Comment: 21903

If one single afternoon,I will.........

Be kiss by Love of life...

I will remember,How I used to be challenge...by you

emotional paradox,and a rare fear about losing...your imperfection

I need to be honest with myself.I have to compromise,but not all the time.I prefer to be a fool and be honest to my beliefs than to compromise my belief for the profit of generality.



WHY is being different so hard to accept,if your beliefs are so powerful?


bipolar
Name: philippe m
Date: //2007-09-12 22:41:22 :
Link to this Comment: 21907

When LOVE never swich to HATE…and GOD save the world…it will be the END…and the START some where!

Powerfull .................

as a weapon,agains my perception,natural as inocence..and those people who I RESPECT and thrully feel their ART unconnected,their LIFE without a single PURPOSES just material and social apperance are their VERTU.No question about who they are and why…….and NEVER I say to those what I believe.ALL those people piss on me all the time,space and time as my manipulation.Manipulate LIFE as a structural project,LIFE and NATURE are my pay check$RESPECTING people and their lack of perception is are responsability,are JUSTICE.LIFE as a birth…a birth of a date….a date,of your DEATH…an all will fusion with UNIVERSE…shooting star as my,compation…as I know INSPIRATION…as I deeply feel the PAIN…never I will JUGE my peers…but I will know silently.I am the GOd of my brain it is OK to annalyse with respect.when your fear ,become a balance…the load of your JUSTICE,dilema…the mass of your JUSTICE,decision…all this just for simply,understand….the PAIN of Human Being.BE a GENIUS it is the PAINFULL way to live a life.no one whant to be in my BRAIN.but I know so much it stimulate me and feed my knowlege.without pretention as also bipolar1 I will NEVER exchange my BRAIN for an empty one.PHIL who face his FEAR.taking the time to look arround.............courage and perception are INVINCIBLE characteristic.......


Science and religion
Name: SlackAlice
Date: //2007-10-04 06:34:13 :
Link to this Comment: 21988

Conflicts between science and religion will not end any time soon. In the future, legal conflicts between science and religion can be expected over theories such as "The Big Bang," which also undermines Fundamentalist beliefs about creation. SlackAlice.

 


I second that...
Name: Rob
Date: //2007-09-25 21:17:34 :
Link to this Comment: 21924

Demonic!



Name:
Date: //2007-09-29 14:24:16 :
Link to this Comment: 21963

Great Job Paul! -Phil Payday Loans



Name:
Date: //2007-09-26 17:30:23 :
Link to this Comment: 21927

There is so much quality stuff here. It ill take weeks to read through all of this great posts. Does anyone here know something about hypnosis and self hypnosis. If yes, it would be great to share some thoughts


Very Bizarre!
Name:
Date: //2007-09-26 18:25:39 :
Link to this Comment: 21934

The clockmaker has wound the clock and set it in motion. You can't change the laws of nature, and neither can I.


Holiday Cards


Very Interesting
Name:
Date: //2007-09-27 15:51:31 :
Link to this Comment: 21938

Wow. This is definitely interesting stuff... Drug Alcohol Rehab



Name:
Date: //2007-09-28 17:35:58 :
Link to this Comment: 21942

"There is so much quality stuff here. It ill take weeks to read through all of this great posts. Does anyone here know something about hypnosis and self hypnosis. If yes, it would be great to share some thoughts"

Hey, those are great links, thanks for sharing.

Laptop Notebook Reviews


Rants
Name:
Date: //2007-09-28 18:04:53 :
Link to this Comment: 21943

What is with all of these rants? At the end of the day, how does this truly impact your life?


Holiday Cards
Christmas Cards


What was that?
Name:
Date: //2007-09-25 16:29:11 :
Link to this Comment: 21921

It seems like that was a lot of rambling to me. Anyone else?
-Drew
Long Term Care



Name: annette
Date: //2007-10-02 03:56:21 :
Link to this Comment: 21967

annette.


At the end of the day can we not all just get along and realise that noone is more superior than the other - despite on worshiping the moon and the other an auto car.

In scotland we say " we are all Jock Thompsons Bairns "

Translated it means " we are all Jack Thompsons Children "
All form the one mould


science
Name: site funda
Date: //2007-10-12 12:12:57 :
Link to this Comment: 22004

as science is developing, if religion fails to prove the truth, then science will sure over take it. site funda


great info
Name:
Date: //2007-10-12 13:20:47 :
Link to this Comment: 22007

pretty nice information such as on Games Forum and Webmaster Blog


I can't believe some of the comments I see here...
Name: Rob
Date: //2007-10-13 18:07:22 :
Link to this Comment: 22016

I can't believe some of the comments I see here...

One person said, "I believe there is no such thing as absolute truth".

Well, if there is no such thing as absolute truth, then that would be absolutely true. Believe what you want, but do try to understand the value of consistent philosophical statements. Logical contradictions such as that are so easy to miss. It's amazing what people are willing to believe.

A person once told me, "I don't really believe in anything". I then asked him, "And you actuallly believe that"? The look on his face after hearing that question told the truth, regardless of what was coming out of his mouth.

An old friend told me, "Don't become a victim of your beliefs". Now what exactly does that mean? How strongly does he believe that? Will he argue it in the face of muslimm extremism, or would he convert so as not to become a victim?

Someone else here said, that science is an afront to religious fundamentalists. Well it works both ways... Intelligent design is an afront to religious fundamentalists as well. The only difference, is that one religious philsophy is called monotheism, and the other is called materialism.

You will not find any religion defended as fundamentally as the relgion of materialistic naturalism. And that is what science is currently. It is not defined by emperical observation or experiment. It is constructed philosophically, and then assumed to be absolutely true.

Don't forget where science came from: Paul Davies, theoretical physicist / Australian Centre for Astrobiology:

Davies on the question: ‘Does the monotheistic tradition of an intelligible universe have any impact on modern science?’


“The worldview of a scientist, even the most atheistic scientist, is that essentially of Monotheism. It is a belief, which is accepted as an article of faith, that the universe is ordered in an intelligible way.

Now, you couldn’t be a scientist if you didn’t believe these two things. If you didn’t think there was an underlying order in nature, you wouldn’t bother to do it, because there is nothing to be found. And if you didn’t believe it was intelligible, you’d give up because there is no point if human beings can’t come to understand it.

But scientists do, as a matter of faith, accept that the universe is ordered and at least partially intelligible to human beings. And that is what underpins the entire scientific enterprise. And that is a theological position. It is absolutely ‘theo’ when you look at history. It comes from a theological worldview.

That doesn’t mean you have to buy into the religion, or buy into the theology, but it is very, very significant in historical terms; that that is where it comes from and that scientists today, unshakably retain that worldview, as an act of faith. You cannot prove it logically has to be the case, that the universe is rational and intelligible. It could easily have been otherwise. It could have been arbitrary, it could have been absurd, it could have been utterly beyond human comprehension. It’s not! And scientists just take this for granted for the most part, and I think it’s a really important point that needs to be made.” (source / DVD documentary / 'The Privilaged Planet' / Q&A )

The science of evolution (particularly in the arena of 'Origins of Life') does not operate upon any evidence what so ever as science is supposed to according to it's own material definition. Instead it relies upon an inference to material explanations that cannot be observed, and exists purely in the realm of theory. It is a 'belief system'; a definition of science (ie. a philosophical worldview... ie. a religion). It is a metaphysical construct. It is faith based.

Don't believe me? Then believe one of the worlds prominent evolutionists. He is brutally honest: Richard Lewontin (b. 1929) PhD Zoology Alexander Agassiz Research Professor at Harvard University Web Amazon AV

"Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection in particular is hopelessly metaphysical, according to the rules of etiquette laid down in the Logic of Scientific Inquiry and widely believed in by practicing scientists who bother to think about the problem. The first rule for any scientific hypothesis ought to be that it is at least possible to conceive of an observation that would contradict the theory. For what good is a theory that is guaranteed by its internal logical structure to agree with all conceivable observations, irrespective of the real structure of the world? If scientists are going to use logically unbeatable theories about the world, they might as well give up natural science and take up religion. Yet is that not exactly the situation with regard to Darwinism? The theory of evolution by natural selection states that changes in the inherited characters of species occur, giving rise to differentiation in space and time, because different genetical types leave different numbers of offspring in different environments... Such a theory can never be falsified, for it asserts that some environmental difference created the conditions for natural selection of a new character. It is existentially quantified so that the failure to find the environmental factor proves nothing, except that one has not looked hard enough. Can one really imagine observations about nature that would disprove natural selection as a cause of the difference in bill size? The theory of natural selection is then revealed as metaphysical rather than scientific. Natural selection explains nothing because it explains everything. (“Testing the Theory of Natural Selection” Nature March 24, 1972 p.181)

Lewontin says elsewhere: "We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is an absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door." (Billions and Billions of Demons)

It's all about materialism folks... materialism verses sprituality as the primary foundation of reality.

And we all know who is winning. The materialists have become the dominant religion in terms of power and control. They are the modern day priests who tell us what to think and how to live if we are to be 'good and productive members of society'.

Phillip Johnson - author ‘Darwin on trial’ / Professor of law (emeritus) University of California at Berkeley-

Johnson on the question: ‘What is Evolution?’


“With Darwinian evolution, we’re dealing with something that is much more than a scientific theory; it’s a creation story. In fact, it’s the creation myth of our culture. Every culture has a creation myth, which tells the people where they came from, what is ultimately ‘real’, and how they relate to that, and where they should get their knowledge- their information from.

Every culture has a priesthood that has custody of this creation story and that gives that knowledge. In our culture, the priesthood is not the clergy or the ministers in church, it’s the intellectual class, and especially the scientists.

So the Darwinian story says that ultimately all that is ‘real’ is nature. Nature is all there is, and nature is composed of matter; the particles making up matter and energy that physicists study.

So, this is the philosophy called naturalism, or materialism. And since that’s all there is, it follows, that matter must have done all the creating that had to be done; that is to say, matter, unassisted by God, or any other intelligent force. According to materialism, a mind can’t exist until it evolves mindlessly from matter.

And so it follows that we are the products of an unguided, purposeless material force; which specifically is called Darwinian evolution when you get to the history of life.
And so we get our information about it (and really, information about everything) from science.”






Science and religion
Name:
Date: //2007-10-04 06:32:39 :
Link to this Comment: 21987

Conflicts between science and religion will not end any time soon. In the future, legal conflicts between science and religion can be expected over theories such as "The Big Bang," which also undermines Fundamentalist beliefs about creation. SlackAlice.



Name:
Date: //2007-10-02 11:42:15 :
Link to this Comment: 21974

I agree there is no absolute “truth,” either about science or religion (or anything else). People go through their live creating and recreating narratives -- “stories” -- making best use of the evidence around them. Everything we do takes the form of a narrative of some sort. That insight doesn’t get me very far.
As Paul notes, evolution is a “VERY good story.” And that seems to me more the point. Not all stories are the same, they are more or less useful, differently for different people at differents times. Isn’t the point of education to help people recognize the nature of stories and learn to make distinctions between them? Isn’t that where the real work is to be done?
Is intelligent design a good story? Is it useful? Does it open the way to other understandings and observations? Paul suggests it should be “mentioned” along with evolution -- not because it is “useful,” but because it has been around for so long. So, in a 14 week course, how much time gets devoted to this story? One hour? One week? Six weeks? Don’t we evaluate the usefulness of stories all the time, and isn’t THAT the point?
Dream your life or live your dreams? Viviane ramen lover


Natural selection
Name:
Date: //2007-10-03 20:29:59 :
Link to this Comment: 21983

I strongly believe that natural selection plays a major role in how generations evolve I carry out research on teeth and cosmetic dentists and I have found that generally people with perfectly straight teeth and "good looks" tends to run in the family and a persons smile says a lot about them. If someone has an attractive smile they are more likely to partner up with someone else with a perfect smile and produce offspring with a perfect smile.


photosynthesis
Name:
Date: //2007-10-09 07:06:38 :
Link to this Comment: 21996


photosynthesis
Name:
Date: //2007-10-09 07:06:39 :
Link to this Comment: 21997


photosynthesis
Name:
Date: //2007-10-09 07:06:40 :
Link to this Comment: 21998


Interesting Debate
Name:
Date: //2007-10-12 17:46:08 :
Link to this Comment: 22013

I'm not entirely surprised to see a debate like this considering some of the literature we've been seeing from Hitchens, Harris, Dawkins, et al. Lively debate is always good for the soul and keeps everyone honest. Personal Finance Journal


Never
Name: Rolando
Date: //2007-10-14 11:16:24 :
Link to this Comment: 22021

It is quite consistent, and the opinion of most Christians worldwide, that while our bodies are evolved from other organisms, we receive an immortal soul directly from God.

Rolando

Thanks


Anime!!!
Name:
Date: //2007-10-14 12:07:00 :
Link to this Comment: 22025

Anime Watch Anime You can watch anime online for free using the above links or go to http://www.animethat.com ! They have over 260+ Full series, and 5500+ Episodes. No downloads, registration, or popups! Enjoy!



Name: Rob
Date: //2007-10-14 12:11:24 :
Link to this Comment: 22027

With all due respect, internal consistency is nice, but external consistency is nice too!

When our internal theories match the external evidence, then we have something far more appealing and 'wholly' consistent.

Most Christians believed the world was flat at one time. Reality is not created by concensus. It exists in spite of any concensus at odds with it.

If you want to really engage the difficulties inherent in evolutionary theory, you're going to have to take a closer look at the problem. Conceding to the majority opinion by default (the Ad Populum logical fallacy) will not necessarily take us to the truth. It often leaves us in the unenviable position of a Lemming.

Try the 6 minute video link at the site below. Click on the link and then scroll down to the man writing on the chaulkboard. He is a former biology professor at San Fransisco State, and understands the problem of abiogenesis and chemical origins very well.

http://www.detectingdesign.com/abiogenesis.html

You may also find the discovery of sophisticated electric motors (45 nanometers in diameter) made from proteins in certain species of bacteria a real mind bender. These are not man-made structures. Information and computer animation about these motors (called 'bacterial flagella') can be seen here: http://www.detectingdesign.com/flagellum.html

Unfortunately, both of the links above are only useable to those of you with high speed internet service.


Bad links...
Name:
Date: //2007-10-14 13:02:51 :
Link to this Comment: 22028

Sorry about the links. Try copying and pasting this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Je1GdGpsxI&mode=related&search=


Forum Archived
Name: Webmaster
Date: //2007-10-18 12:52:49 :
Link to this Comment: 22064

This forum has now been archived and is closed to new postings. Please come join us in continuing conversation on evolution and intelligent design in Serendip's Exchange.