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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Logical Arguments for the Existence of God - Basics of Philosophy

"You see, science is supposed to be based on discovery. Discovery comes from questioning. Right now the scientific community has turned from scientists to musk oxen, joined together surrounding their pet hypothesis of naturalistic materialism and their horns are all turned directly at those who question. In other words, so-called scientists of the ruling paradigm have abandoned the first precept of science, which is to QUESTION what is not proven and only accept what is absolutely certain." - Radar


credit - Darwinists, like Musk Oxen, must protect their weak hypothesis from investigation

You cannot separate science and philosophy.  You cannot separate worldview from your thought life.  You begin with presuppositions when you view the world and think about it.   The wise man does not simply view the world and consider what he should both think and do, he also reviews his worldview to be sure it makes the most sense.  Before you begin a trip you do need to have both a destination and the route that will take you there.  But anyone with any common sense makes sure that the vehicle is ready for the trip.
  
I keep my vehicles in good shape.   I keep them tuned up and do preventative maintenance.  Since I have been injured I now have a mechanic do most of the work for me but I have virtually every tool a mechanic needs and have been an accomplished "shade tree mechanic" so I know very well what to check on before a trip aside from having a basic system of automotive maintenance like changing timing belts every 80,000 miles and changing oil somewhere between 3,000-5,000 miles (an auto that is driven long distances and mainly highway miles at steady speeds allows you to change at 5,000 miles, but an auto that is driven short distances and has much stop-and-go driving you should change at closer to 3,000 miles.  You are welcome).

Before a trip I still inspect my well-maintained vehicle to be sure the tires are aired up properly and do not show too much wear.  I check the various vehicular fluids to be sure they are topped up to standards and thus, if something is unusually low I may have to investigate to see if there is a leak or problem that will make me decide to take a different car on this trip and have that car checked further.  I make sure all lights and signals are working.   Only then do I confidently set out on the trip.   A good automobile in good shape and well-maintained can last for many years. 

As far as my life vehicle, I used to continually change my worldview like I used to change my go-to-work vehicle.   I used to like to buy older cars from junk yards or private citizens, fix them up on the cheap and drive them until they were ready to be cannibalized for parts.  Like those beaters, my worldview was always changing until I became a Christian and, for the first time, I had a worldview worth keeping and maintaining.   Christianity is the Rolls-Royce of worldviews.   Those cars used to be made to last and never have to be replaced.   I'm keeping my worldview now because I know it is the best available.   But it took awhile for me to find it, a long journey stretched behind.  

In order to follow up the last post, which focused on the common definitions of that person who tends to identify himself as an Atheist/unbeliever, we now look to logical arguments for the existence of God from philosophical perspectives.  Since there is a great website (linked on my blog) which takes this issue on, it makes sense to use one of the site's posts and point the reader towards that site.   The Existence of God website is designed to take people through all these basic arguments and the post below is kind of a starting point for you.

Arguments for God's Existence

Arguments for the existence of God come in many different forms; some draw on history, some on science, some on personal experience, and some on philosophy. The primary focus of this site is the philosophical arguments—the ontological argument, the first cause argument, the argument from design, and the moral argument.

Each of these arguments, if successful, supports a certain conception of God: the ontological argument, for instance, is an argument for the existence of a perfect being; the first cause argument is an argument for the existence of an eternal Creator; the argument from design is an argument for the existence of Creator with a special interest in humanity; the moral argument is an argument for a moral authority.

Each of the arguments, if successful, then, so supports a specific religion to the extent that its conception of God matches that supported by the argument.

The Ontological Argument

The first purported proof of the existence of God is the ontological argument. The ontological argument seeks to prove the existence of God from the laws of logic alone. It dates back to St Anselm, an eleventh century philosopher-theologian and archbishop of Canterbury, but was also used by the French philosopher René Descartes. It argues that once we mentally grasp the concept of God we can see that God’s non-existence is impossible. This argument, if it is successful, demonstrates the existence of a perfect being that could not possibly fail to exist.

The First Cause Argument

The second purported proof of the existence of God is the first cause argument, also called “the cosmological argument”. The first cause argument seeks to prove the existence of God from the fact that the universe exists. The universe came into existence at a point in the distant past. Nothing can come into existence, though, unless there is something to bring it into existence; nothing comes from nothing. There must therefore be some being outside of the universe that caused the universe to exist. This argument, if it is successful, demonstrates the existence of a Creator that transcends time, that has neither beginning nor end.

The Argument from Design

The third purported proof of the existence of God is the argument from design, also called “the teleological argument”. The argument from design seeks to prove the existence of God from the fact that the universe is ordered.

The universe could have been different from the way that it is in many ways. It could have had different laws of physics; it could have had a different arrangement of planets and stars; it could have begun with a more powerful or a weaker big bang.

The vast majority of these possible universes would not have allowed for the existence of life, so we are very fortunate indeed to have a universe that does. On an atheistic world-view, there is no way to explain this good fortune; the atheist must put this down to chance. On the view that God exists, though, we can explain why the universe is the way that it is; it is because God created the universe with beings like us in mind. This argument, if it is successful, strongly suggests the existence of a Creator that takes an interest in humanity.

The Moral Argument

The fourth purported proof of the existence of God is the moral argument. The moral argument seeks to prove the existence of God from the fact that there are moral laws.

Moral laws have the form of commands; they tell us what to do. Commands can’t exist without a commander though, so who is it that commands us to behave morally?

To answer this, we only need to look at the authoritative nature of morality. Commands are only as authoritative as is the one that commands them; a command of a ruler carries more authority than a command of a citizen. Moral commands, though, have ultimate authority; they are to be obeyed under all circumstances. Their authority transcends all human authority, and they must therefore have been commanded by a being whose authority transcends all human authority. 
The existence of moral laws, the argument concludes, thus demonstrates the existence of a being that is greater than any of us and that rules over all creation.

Summary

Together, then, these arguments claim to prove the existence of a perfect, necessary, transcendent being that created the universe, has authority over it, and takes an interest in humanity. This, if it could be accomplished, would be more than enough to show that the Christian conception of God, and those conceptions of God related to it, are close to the truth.

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Darwinism was founded and fueled by the failed hypothesis of Charles Darwin, which he culled from several sources.   Those who preferred to deny God found refuge in this materialist explanation for life, which was then applied to all aspects of origins, from the start of the Universe (once the steady state hypothesis was debunked) to all organisms on Earth.  Darwin borrowed ideas from Lyell, Blythe, Wallace, Hutton, his own grandfather (Erasmus) and myths from the early Greek philosophers to try to explain life as he saw it.  He did not attempt at first to also pretend to have an answer for the beginning of life but that became part of the myth.   With great effort, those who wanted to eliminate God from society worked hard to make Darwinism popular and accepted and finally in the early 20th Century they began to succeed.

Unforunately every foundational portion of Darwinism has been falsified.  Life doesn't generate spontaneously from non-life, nor can scientists cause it to begin with the best 21st Century scientific tools at their disposal.  Variation within kind aka speciation can happen rapidly but the organisms are designed to do this from the beginning.   There really is no continuum of evolving creatures in the fossil record, the sedimentary rocks are catastrophic in nature, created by a worldwide flood that wiped out the ecosystem that existed beforehand.   Darwinists date rock layers by fossils found within, they hide or ignore the organisms found "out of place" and attempt to cover up evidence that falsifies their cherished worldview.   Despite the fact that we now find preserved flesh rather than fossils of even dinosaurs, have numerous proofs that dinosaurs lived with men and have completely blown the uniformitarian hypothesis from the field of play, the Darwinist myth continues to be taught by the indoctrinated to the unwitting.  

However, the groundswell of support for Intelligent Design is being driven by science, not philosophy.   Scientists are discovering that the evidence for evolution of both the Universe and organisms is lacking.  Design is becoming more obvious the more we learn about the world around us.   The scientific community has come to a crossroads.  One way is the way of further research and discovery, the other road is labeled "back and fill" and it is a road of story-telling, a series of desperately more and more impossible explanations for scenarios that easily fit the Creation model.   Which way will you go?  

This blog is aimed at critical thinkers.   Trolls inhabit the comments threads making the standard responses of mockery and badly-applied claims of logical fallacies.   They hold up examples of supposed proofs of evolution that do not hold water.  But I do not moderate the comments threads (if Blogger decides your comment is spam, it doesn't get published) other than to delete bad language.  As long as even the trolls can control their language I let them sound off.   Sometimes they decide to attack my character.  Often they make long lists of largely irrelevant questions based on bad suppositions.  A few people who agree with me pipe up now and again but usually people who agree with you do not make comments.   In fact the majority of readers do not comment at all.  But be aware that there is a comments thread and that people who vehemently disagree with me will be found there.   I do not fear the readers going there and reading what they say.  In fact consider yourselves encouraged to compare what I say to what they say. 

That is okay with me!  I love the First Amendment to the Constitution, which first gives us freedom of religion (not FROM religion) guaranteeing me the right to be a Christian and proclaim the faith as I see fit because the second part of that amendment gives me freedom of speech.   I can assert my beliefs and I do.  I can present evidence to support those beliefs and I do.  I can present interesting articles and findings and I even invite discussion from readers at times.  I can and do present both the science and the philosophy behind what I believe and I boldly proclaim that science supports Creation by the Creator God.  Propagandized trolls will automatically disagree.  But you?  Be a critical thinker and think for yourself.   I invite you to think on the things I present and consider the arguments from the other side.   Be willing to question the ruling paradigm, because questioning the status quo is key to scientific discovery and also a key to being a mature human being.    The 21st Century is going to be interesting.  I may make it close to halfway through it and I hope to see Darwinism thrown into the same trashcan that holds Geocentricism, Flat Earthism, Axiomatic Science, Philosopher's Stone, Elixer of Life and so on.   Steady State Eternal Universe?  I has been tossed into the dustbin.  Uniformitatrianism?   It is in mid-air on the way in with a few adherents desperately trying to hold onto it.  

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You see, science is supposed to be based on discovery.  Discovery comes from questioning.   Right now the scientific community has turned from scientists to musk oxen, joined together surrounding their pet hypothesis of naturalistic materialism and their horns are all turned directly at those who question.  In other words, so-called scientists of the ruling paradigm have abandoned the first precept of science, which is to QUESTION what is not proven and only accept what is absolutely certain.   Darwinism is backwards in that they abandon what is absolutely certain (Laws of Thermodynamics and Biogenesis) and defend what is apparently folly with every weapon in their possession.   They have the money and they have the people in government and the people in charge of secular scientific organizations.  Naturalistic Materialists defend their cherished myths like musk oxen defend their young.  But, just as young musk oxen are no match for wolves or polar bears, Darwinism doesn't stand up to scientific scrutiny.   Eventually the truth wins.   Remember that.  Eventually the truth wins.  I believe I will live to see the day that Darwnism goes into the same dustbin that holds the Steady State Universe and the Philosopher's Stone and Geocentricism and other such myths.  Those three concepts once ruled science.   They are considered foolish and often we wonder at how they were ever believed.  Darwinism?  Your day is coming!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Logical arguments for the existence of God begin with understanding those who deny Him...

"Critical thinking and questioning of accepted but not proven assumptions used to be a driving force in science. Now it tends to get you thrown to the curb! Where would we be if Newtonians had driven Einstein away and any others who dared to suggest something like Relativity could dare threaten the hallowed Newtonian Laws? How about Quantum Mechanics? Imagine a world of Newtonians firing and denying tenure to all who question any Newtonian Laws? Imagine a world where news media and the government and academics unite to ban Relativity proponents and cast out any who dare mention Quantum Mechanics? Imagine that, apply it to origins and BOOM, you have today's reality." - Radar

Atheists are not the biggest threat to society physically, that would be Islamic extremists and unbalanced Communist dictators with nuclear armaments.  

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However, I consider the four forms of philosophy we tend to lump together into Atheism is the biggest philosophical threat to society and certainly the biggest drag on scientific research we observe.  Allow me to present evidence of this:

A recent and new commenter is Daniel Gracely and he has a website I am perusing at the moment that discusses Calvinism = CALVINISM: A Closer Look By Daniel Gracely. I would be very interested in any feedback by my Christian (heck, any) readers.   There are some Christians that labor with the concept of God being both sovereign and yet allowing man to have free will.   Does predestination come about because of foreknowledge of God or the assertion of God's will or...?   I have my own ideas on the subject in that I see that the Bible teaches us that man makes a choice to accept or reject Christ and that our own sin natures draw us away from God.   So we need to both have the desire to find a meaning to life and a willingness to appreciate the concept of a moral standard and we will eventually be drawn to, led to, found by the Creator God.   My last post included comments from Daniel G. that I thought were intelligent and pertinent to the extent that I made a post in large part to present them.

May I say that I consider Theistic Evolution to be a poorly-considered position.   When I imagine a God who would start a very primitive world and then sit back watching millions of years of pain and suffering and in fact USES the process to build that world, He is akin to one of those kids who likes to pull wings off of flies and watch them stumble and die.   It requires a tremendous stretch to convert six days into six billion years or whatever time you assign to the process.   A God who made everything Good is a God who fits the definition.  A God who gives mankind free will even knowing that man will fall challenges many to explain, but I ask you, what else would you do?   I admit it is a bit snarky to remind folks that there is no "Building Universes for Dummies" in publication, neither is there a "How to give free will to men with no downside" textbook to be found.   

Computers are built on a binary code which basically means every choice is either yes or no, off or on, up or down, as you would like to understand it.  Mankind had one choice, obey or not obey and it only applied to one situation - the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.   Having failed at that one choice, we now have to make value judgments every day, sometimes minute-by-minute!   We did it to ourselves.  Yes, there was that Satan character involved in the process.   But God did make things perfect at the start and we caused things to begin to fall apart.   I think that being willing to come to Earth as a man and limit Himself to a body and be limited to a material existence for 33-some years before being tortured and mocked and subjected to the unthinkable combination of ALL SINS while being separated from His constant Companions of the Godhead was proof that God is no sideline spectator.   Jesus Christ is now risen to rule from Heaven while living within His people having given the Spirit of God to all who will repent, believe and receive Salvation from the Lord by the will of the Father and the presence of the Holy Spirit. 

Daniel Gracely's online book has a segment from Samuel J. Andrews that I would like to quote concerning Atheism, Agnosticism and Pantheism.  The reason I think this is pertinent is that the vast majority of Darwinists are likely to label themselves Agnostic or Atheist when they are in fact often either Atheopaths or Pantheists.  In fact I have seen that it is worldview that drives folks to Darwinism as a refuge from God rather than because of the science, since the science points one towards a First Cause with Intent, a Designer, since we see that we inhabit a finite Universe that was caused that is populated by both things and beings that logically could not have simply materialized.   I would assert that Darwinism is itself a religion that accepts those who fall into one of the one of the four non-Theistic categories. 

Allow me to first give you a good definition of an Atheopath.   Then the excerpt from the Gracely site.

Atheopathy:  Atheopaths are those who either hate God or hate the very concept of God.   This is a bridge too far for many unbelievers.  The late Christopher Hitchens, for instance, is famed for carrying on a dialogue with a Christian pastor, Douglas Wilson, and having a DVD made of their debates in public forums, casual settings and in private away from others.   Collision is a very interesting ongoing dialogue between a genuine unbeliever who did not prefer Christianity but was not a hater, either AND a pastor from what some folks call "Flyover Country", one Douglas Wilson.   The DVD is not beloved by Darwinists as they may have hoped that the "Public Intellectual" would bulldoze the Moscow, Idaho-based pastor and author  (Wilson has a blog, by the way).   Instead, it is a genuine exchange of ideas without the rancor and mocking that Darwinists usually use to their advantage in intimidating opponents.   Right now Darwinists are getting people fired and denied tenure or unemployed simply for being believers in ID or Creationism and thereby violating the First Amendment to the Constitution.  Not to mention being prejudiced ideologues who use force to prevent debate on either a philosophical or scientific basis.


With regret I cannot offer up a page representing the current thoughts of Hitchens, who has just recently passed on to the next life.   I hope he reconsidered his view of God before he took his last breaths although I cannot possibly know that. 

To understand an Atheopath,  I can mention a couple of them who are very well known.   Richard Dawkins is quite famous, since he is a prolific author and PZ Myers is well known as a Darwinist blogger.   Both men have made statements that indicate their utter distaste for God or even the concept of God.   Allow me to quote Richard Dawkins:

“The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”
Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion

Gee, Richard, try not to hold anything back now!   Rather than quote the oft-nasty Myers, I will simply include a link to one of his posts.  I would not let any kids go see it!  Personally, I think a guy like Myers is afraid to debate an accomplished Creation scientist such as Jonathan Sarfati or one of the ID guys like David Berlinski or Stephen C. Meyer.   I am acquainted with Dr. Sarfati and I am confident he would readily agree to a public debate with Myers and probably quite eagerly at that!   You will find that "prominent" Darwinists dodge people like Sarfati and it isn't because Jonathan has bad breath!  

Another Atheopath you have possibly heard of would be Ian Plimer.   His bad behavior on stage in a debate with Duane Gish caused a fellow Darwinist to write a treatise How Not To Argue With Creationists!


Plimer accused Gish of mismanaging funds (when actually the organization was victimized by a criminal act of people who took advantage of them), getting rich at the expense of common folks (ridiculous), censorship (totally unfounded) and pedophilia (a nasty lying smear) among other things!   I have watched the entire debate on video and I frankly began to wonder if Plimer was entirely sane, honestly.

Jonathan Sarfati wrote concerning another prominent Atheopath, Stephen Hawking and his anti-God philosophy as the driving force behind his "scientific" assertions.  An excerpt from Hawking atheopathy (Famous physicist goes beyond the evidence):


Atheistic faith masquerading as science

As usual with atheistic scientists, Hawking’s atheopathy long predated his science. His influential mother Isabel was a Communist, and in his teen years he admired the strongly anti-Christian mathematical philosopher Bertrand Russell.

As with Dawkins, his arguments for atheism are puerile, e.g.
We are such insignificant creatures on a minor planet of a very average star in the outer suburb of one of a hundred billion galaxies. So it is difficult to believe in a God that would care about us or even notice our existence.
Yet King David was equally aware of our tininess compared with the universe’s vastness, and came to a different conclusion in Psalm 8:3–5:
3 When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
4 what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?
5 Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.
Similarly, as C.S. Lewis pointed out, the medieval theologians were well aware that compared to the vastness of heavens, the earth was but a point in space. But somehow modern antitheists think this is news, regard it as a profound disproof of God, as if God needed a small universe to exist. And if the universe were small, then these same atheopaths would probably whine, “If God is so great, then why didn’t He create anything else?”6
 

Imagine the ambivalence of Edwin Hubble, Darwinist to the core, when he discovered the red-shift of starlight from every direction?  While Earth is a small planet compared to the Universe, our Solar System not the biggest and us located in one of the "arms" of the galaxy itself, we seem to be in the middle of the whole shebang! Not only that, the farther away objects are, the faster they seem to be moving AWAY from us.  The Bible asserts that God not only stretched the Universe but that He stretches it.   If objects in space are accelerating rather than decelerating the mind logically concludes they were not flung by a Big Bang but instead are being powered or tugged away.  Think on THAT!

I would consider Darwinists to be comprised in large part by cowards (not Dawkins, he will engage people now and again, thus his dialogue with Ben Stein in Expelled) who are using censorship, intimidation and mockery to stave off arguments they know they will lose.  If this is not a cowardly method of preserving your worldview, what would you call it?  Upon consideration, it is probably not cowardice so much as it is just being smart.  Why would a Darwinist expose the paucity of the foundations of his beliefs to the world when they are working so hard to cover that very fact up?

 
I would most happily walk right into any local high school and debate any of the science teachers on the matter of origins and design and supposed descent at the drop of a hat!   But public schools fear that scenario.   Most science teachers are not prepared to deal with the science behind Darwinism because the Darwinist propaganda is all they know and all they have been taught in most cases.   This is, in part, due to the trend in education to prepare people for a career but not teach them how to think!
Critical thinking and questioning of accepted but not proven assumptions used to be a driving force in science.  Now it tends to get you thrown to the curb!  Where would we be if Newtonians had driven Einstein away and any others who dared to suggest something like Relativity could dare threaten the hallowed Newtonian Laws?   How about Quantum Mechanics?  Imagine a world of Newtonians firing and denying tenure to all who question any Newtonian Laws?   Imagine a world where news media and the government and academics unite to ban Relativity proponents and cast out any who dare mention Quantum Mechanics?   Imagine that, apply it to origins and BOOM, you have today's reality.

to summarize, a large number of Darwinists are actually God-haters.   Were they not, they would not bother with the subject.  I mean, I just ignore so-called "Truthers" who try to pass me videos and documents about 9/11.  I don't care.  Rosie O'Donnell said it all when she said:



Gosh, Rosie, didn't you know how Steel was made?  Did you know that light from the Sun can melt ice?   Where you aware that people have learned to make pearls form in oysters and can create diamonds?   But whatever, I am certainly not going to waste a series of articles falsifying the conspiracy theory of 9/11 because I do not see that it has any relevance.   If Darwinists actually did not fear Creationism,  the firings and lawsuits and scandals would end and the NCSE could pack up 95% of their staff and let them go back to teaching or writing or whatever. 


(I am NOT bluing quotes in this excerpt but keeping it consistent with the author's own style)

Atheism: The term Atheist is often applied to those who deny any supreme Being with intelligence and will, the Creator of the world, and distinct from it. It is often also applied to those who say that, if such a Being exists, we can have no knowledge of Him. But this is to confound Atheism with Pantheism, on the one side, and with Agnosticism, on the other. We can, strictly speaking, call only those atheists who deny any design or order in the universe, any first principle or cause, personal or impersonal.. These may be classed as idealistic and materialistic atheists; the idealistic, who affirm God to be an idealistic fiction, an idea of their own minds; the materialistic, who affirm that all that exists is matter and motion, “atoms and empty space”; and that we need only atoms and their properties to explain the universe.


***Atheism has never had any great number of advocates, for it is repugnant to the laws of our intellectual nature, and to all noble moral aspirations. Yet, in recent times, a good many scientific men have professed themselves materialists, finding support for their belief in the newly-discovered properties of atoms, and the supposed fact of the conservation of energy. Tyndall defines matter as “that mysterious thing which accomplishes all the phenomena of the universe,” and in which is “the potency of all life.” Huxley says, though his utterances are often inconsistent that “the physiology of the future will gradually enlarge the realm of matter and law until it is coexistent with knowledge, with feeling, and with action.” The materialistic school in Germany has been, of late years, especially aggressive, and has largely affected the popular mind, Probably the number of those who affirm matter to be self-existent, and find in it the substance of all being, is now considerable, The atoms are their God, and for a Creator and moral Ruler they have no need.

***Atheism thus sets aside, not only the Christian religion, but all religion. As it has no ultimate spiritual principle, nothing but physical forces, there is nothing to worship. And, as there is no future life, as much as possible must be made of the present. According as it prevails among the people there must be seen increased devotion to material interests, with growing disregard of the intellectual and spiritual. Science, because it craves absolute and unchangeable law, is favorable inclined to materialism. It dislikes any Divine interposition; its aim is physical, not moral.

***Agnosticism: This term, claimed by Professor Huxley as a word of his coinage, is used to express man’s necessary ignorance of God. In itself it is a negative rather than positive term. Agnostics do not, like atheists, deny absolutely that there is a God, but say, we cannot know whether He exists or not; and, if He exists, we do not know that we have any true knowledge of Him, The central principle of Agnosticism is thus the unknowability of God arising from the limitations of our minds. As this is a mode of thought already quite general, and bears directly upon the main point of our enquiry, we must briefly consider it; first, in its philosophical principle, secondly, in its religious applications.

***Going no further back than to Hume (d. 1776), who has been called the father of modern Agnosticism, we find him denying that we have any true knowledge of the attributes of God, whose existence, however, he did not deny. But all our ideas of Him are, and must be, anthropomorphic. “The whole is a riddle, an enigma, an inexplicable mystery.”

***This Agnosticism was the logical result of the philosophical principle then generally accepted, that all knowledge is based upon experience.

***It was reserved to Kant (d. 1804) to make Agnosticism an integral part of his philosophy. He affirmed that all we can know of things external to us is their phenomena; of what is back of these phenomena, and underlying them, we are, and must be, ignorant. Of the three great objects of knowledge, God, Nature, and Man, we can affirm nothing certain, Kant gives three antinomies-contradictory propositions-which, he affirms, can neither be proved not disproved.
  • 1.”There exists, either as a part of the world or as the cause of it, an absolutely necessary Being; Contra, An absolutely necessary Being does not exist.” 
  • 2.”The cosmos had a beginning, and is limited in space; Contra, The cosmos had no beginning, and is not limited but infinite.” 
  • 3.”The soul is an indissoluble and indestructible unity; Contra, The soul is dissoluble and transitory.” (critique of Pure Reason. Meiklejohn’s Trans.)

***Thus, according to the Kantian philosophy, reason is unable to attain any certainty as to these vital points; “it is hemmed in by a press of opposite and contradictory conclusions.” It is true that Kant attempted in another way to prove the existence of a God, but only as a postulate or pre-supposition, made necessary in order that man may keep the moral law, which is imperative. God exists because a necessary means to enable man to gain the victory over evil. It is generally admitted that this attempt is unsuccessful, and that any positive affirmation of God’s existence is inconsistent with the leading idea of his philosophical system. Dorner says of this system that “it leaves to the Divine, as compared with the Human, merely the semblance of existence.” Professor Seth (”Scottish Philosophy”) remarks: “Kant is the fons et origo of the most cultured agnosticism of the day.” Religion with Kant is simply morality, and Christ’s significance is only that of a moral Ideal; and, therefore, our faith in Him is moral, not historical. “A rational theology must be founded upon the laws of morality.” Humanity is the true Son of God. Whether the Scriptures are historically true or not, is a matter of no real importance, since the ideal of reason alone has validity.

***Thus Kant, by denying that we can have any true knowledge of God, of the world, or of man, laid the foundation of an universal skepticism. As the mind can think only under its limitations, our conception of God must be anthropomorphic, and, therefore, both unreal and unworthy. Nevertheless, “the notion of a Supreme Being is in many respects a highly useful idea.”

***As bearing upon this point of Agnosticism, two later writers should be mentioned, Hamilton and Mansel. The purpose of Hamilton, in opposition to the German pantheists, was to show that the Infinite and the Absolute are beyond the limits of our knowledge. He affirms that “All we immediately know, or can know, is the conditioned, the relative, the phenomenal, the finite.” “We cannot know the Infinite through a finite notion, or have a finite knowledge of an Infinite object of knowledge.” Hamilton thus placed himself in direct opposition to all who think that they can define and understand the nature of God. In this sense he was an agnostic; but he also affirmed that,”through faith we apprehend what is be- yond our knowledge.” “When I deny that the Infinite can by us be known, I am far from denying that it must, and ought to be believed.”
***
    Mansel (”Limits of Religious Thought”) takes in substance the same ground. “The conception of the Absolute and the Infinite, from whatever side we view it, appears encompassed with contradictions.” “To speak of an absolute or infinite Person, is simply to use language to which, however true it may be in a superhuman sense, no mode of human thought can possibly attach itself.” Yet Mansel believed in such an absolute and infinite Person. “We are compelled by the constitution of our minds to believe in the existence of an absolute and infinite Being.” And this being is personal. “The highest existence is still the highest personality; and the source of all being reveals Himself by His name, ‘I am.’” Thus Mansel agrees with Hamilton that “Belief cannot be solely determined by reason.” The seeming contradictions between reason and belief may exist only in our minds, and prove simply the limitations of thought.

***But, however good in themselves the motives of these philosophers, it cannot be denied that their affirmations of the necessary ignorance of men in regard to God have given a strong impulse to Agnosticism.1 The inference is that, as we can know so little of Him because of our mental limitations, it is useless to carry on the search. And, it is also objected, that to affirm faith without knowledge is credulity. Let us, then, they say, resign ourselves to ignorance. Some of those who thus speak are, doubt- less, willing to be ignorant, and glad to find some philosophic grounds on which to stand; but there are others, in their hearts seekers after God, who are burdened and perplexed by the intellectual difficulties which all questions connected with the Infinite and Eternal must present.2

***Pantheism: As to know rightly this form of error is of the highest importance in our enquiry, it is necessary to state as clearly as possible its leading principle and to illustrate it; this will be best done by a brief outline of its modem historical development

***The essential element of Pantheism, as stated by Saisset (”Pantheism”),”is the unity of God and nature, of the Infinite and the finite, in one single substance.” The Infinite is not swallowed up in the finite, nor the finite in the Infinite, but both co-exist; and this co-existence is necessary and eternal. Thus we have the One and the many, the Absolute, the All. It will have no dualism, it will unify nature, man, and God. Let us trace the development of this principle, and for this purpose it is necessary to speak of Spinoza.

***Descartes (d. 1 650), the founder of modem philosophy, who distinguished God from nature as its Creator, divided nature into the two created substances, extension and thought. But these have nothing in common, and thus arose a dualism that he was not able to reconcile. Spinoza (d. 1677) attempted to set this dualism aside by affirming one Substance, embracing both thought and extension, both God and nature. This Substance, infinite and absolute, has an infinity of attributes; but of these we know only the two, thought and extension, each of which has an infinity of finite modes. This Substance, the permanent reality under all transient phenomena, is ever changing; all finite things are only passing modes of its being, transient manifestations of its essence, coming out of it and again absorbed into it Spinoza called this substance God. Man, as to his body, is simply a mode of the Divine extension; as to his soul, of the Divine thought. Both are individualizations of the Infinite.

***If this Substance be God, embracing in Himself all existence-the Absolute, the All in all-we ask, Has He consciousness, intelligence, will? No, says Spinoza. These are elements of personality, and He is impersonal We cannot ascribe to Him purpose or design; He is with out feeling; He cannot love or pity, reward or punish; of His own will He creates nothing; all things eternally exist, and are in a perpetual flow. He is the universal and impersonal principle of the universe, which has neither beginning nor end.

***Thus there is one Substance in which co-exists the Infinite and finite. But here the problem meets us: How does the Infinite become the finite; the Absolute, the relative; the One, the many? How does the one impersonal Substance become personal in man? The dualism of Descartes is not set aside; God and nature, extension and thought, soul and body, remain distinct as before.

***This pantheistic philosophy of Spinoza was for a time little understood, and generally regarded as atheism. That it wholly denies the Christian belief respecting God, need not be said. Man is not a creature of God made in His image, but a part of Him, a finite manifestation of His infinite essence; he has no free will, and cannot be morally responsible. No finite thing has any reality, all reality is in God.

***So well satisfied was Spinoza with his philosophy that he could say:” I have explained the nature of God;” and modem German philosophers have called him,” The god-intoxicated man.”

***The attention of philosophers following Spinoza was chiefly given to other questions, such as the origin of our knowledge, and the nature of our mental powers. Of Kant and his teaching notice has already been taken so far as is necessary for our purpose. He left the dualism between thought and being, subject and object, phenomenon and noumenon unsolved. Indeed, his distinction between the pure and the practical Reason made it more conspicuous.

***Fichte (d. 1814) took up the problem, affirming that all things must be derived from a single principle, and solved it by making the subject or the Ego supreme; it creates the object. Everything external to itself exists only in the consciousness of the Ego, a form of its productive activity. Nature is reduced to a non-entity. “The conception of a particular substance is impossible and contradictory” The universe, and even God Himself, are of the mind’s creation, so that Fichte could say to his class: “Gentlemen, now we will create God.” The supreme Being in his system is no more than the Moral Order of the world: “We need no other, and can comprehend no other.” This moral order is what Mr. Arnold calls “the Power that makes for righteousness.”

***This idealism of Fichte was in its principle rather atheistic than pantheistic, but became pantheistic in its later development. For our purpose it is important to note how it tends to the exaltation of man, on the one side, and to the annihilation of God, on the other. Of his philosophy Bomer says: “Each man per se is immediately, not through the mediation of Christ, but by nature, God. . . God is the only reality in any one.” Christ has, indeed, an unique place as the first born Son of God, but “all men are equal to Him in that which constitutes their proper reality.” It is said by Morell (Hist, of Phil.),”With Fichte the idea of nature and the idea of God absolutely vanished; self became the sole existence in the universe, and from its own power and activity everything human was constructed”; and to the same effect Prof. Seth: “Self, as the eternal sustaining subject of the Universe, formed the beginning, middle, and end of the system.”

There is more at that site if this piques your interest.  Again,  Daniel Gracely's online book is at the site and some added materials as well.    

The unsupported hypothesis of Darwinist evolution as applied to any scientific discipline is the one of the worst wastes of money and other resources I can imagine (Killing babies and pouring taxpayer money into businesses owned by politician's cronies rank up there)!   Untold billions of dollars are spent trying to prove the unprovable and deny the obvious.   The Universe was created and organisms are designed so quit trying to bop your collective heads on that brick wall and do some real research, please?  Cure cancer, end diabetes, work on slowing down the accumulating mutations in the human genome, just about anything positive instead of all this useless effort trying to prove what is logically impossible!  Same goes for "Climate Change" as man has little power to do much about the weather.  We still cannot forecast accurately a week in advance for a specific location and it is quite certain that fudged records and forged information was the basis for Climate Alarmism in the first place.  It was all about a bunch of Al Gores getting richer and the green loonies looking for support for their lunatic agendas.  Real science now, please!!!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Pi and the Sea of Solomon's Temple revisited...Featuring Daniel Gracely and friends

Back in April I devoted a post that largely concentrated on debunking the claims of Atheists about the "Sea" in Solomon's Temple.

It isn't hard to do.   More often than not Atheists are pretty ignorant of the Bible and make very simplistic claims.  Kind of like not knowing much about money and being given the choice between a nickel and a dime and choosing the nickel because it is bigger?   There are many explanations for the measurements given in the Bible.   Here is an excerpt:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"When I worked in the automotive industry, we had differing requirements for various parts depending upon their purpose.   Some measurements were critical and some were not.  We had variations built in to the requirements for padding and sound deadening parts that allowed for a good bit of variation, as they were not critical parts of the automobile.   But some parts had to be made exactly right, enough so that they would fit precisely on a "buck" and their dimensions and the spacing of punched holes or added pieces of metal all hit the exact mark.   The same was true in the steel industry.   There were many items that had to be measured by a caliper to fit within a very narrow band of acceptable readings.   In all of these scenarios, I was part of the production team and was following specific instructions.


In I Kings, however, the Temple is being described.   Therefore I can assert that no matter how they described the measurements of the sea, it does not tell us precisely how, where, and with what requirements such measurement were made.   Since it is descriptive of a building and features, precision would hardly be expected.   The scribes would not write that the sea was 9.82 cubits across, for instance.   In fact, in descriptive mode it would be highly unlikely that a general description of such an object would be particularly precise.   So those who claim that the Bible is wrong here are over-reaching terribly.   Now, if God had instructed someone to make a precise sea of thirty whatevers around and ten whatevers across and demanded precision, then the builders would have had a problem.  But this is not a blueprint, it is a kind of feature story of the unveiling of the new temple.

Nevertheless, there is an article, below, which gives us a logical explanation for the measurements.   I agree with the author in that it was an Oriental/Middle Eastern culture that first came up with the Pythagorean Theory, it was that culture that adopted the modern numerical system that is far superior to the awkward Greco-Roman system, it was the Jewish peoples who first had a system of writing (actually no doubt carried on from the pre-Flood culture) found by archaeologists.   If you know the Bible you have to know that writing and using numbers predates anything we have recovered from the past.

I suggest that you go to the site and read the article there to get the links and other information but I am presenting it in plain text here.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Also, as part of the article I posted information from:

Worth reading!   After I made this post,  a commenter called Aleksandr Sigalov gave us a link I thought was interesting, with very good graphics on The Desert Tabernacle 



The Moderator made some comments and shared a page on Bible Lands and Cities.   I have not gone all through it yet, but go see...





So now a reader, Daniel Gracely, has posted information that I found very interesting and it is applicable so I am posting his comments as a "guest post" below:



Daniel Gracely said...

About 30 years ago my brother, David, discovered an interesting connection between the length of the sacred cubit and the biblical bath. Following the work of Piazzi Smyth, John Taylor, Albright, David Davidson, and Isaac Newton (who wrote an entire monograph on the subject of the length of the biblical cubit), David assumed the sacred cubit was around 25”. Specifically, he believes it to be 25.0265” or 1/ 10,000,000th polar radius of the earth.

Out of curiosity David plugged this number into the measurements of Solomon’s Sea to calculate the volumetric capacity for the biblical bath. He assumed the 2,000 baths and 3,000 baths mentioned in I Kings and II Chronicles were the water-fill mark and the Sea’s fullest theoretical capacity, respectively. He also accepted Josephus’ description that the Sea was hemispherical (this is the only historical description we have, biblical or extra-biblical). The resulting calculation was 22.4149 liters. This was a remarkable result, for being a math/science type guy, David realized this number was also the volumetric capacity of a molar volume of gas (i.e., the standard unit of measure for gas, being the volumetric space of one mole of gas at an ideal temperature and pressure). Furthermore, since the book of Ezekiel states that one ephah (standard unit of dry measure) equals one bath (standard unit of liquid measure), the conclusion is that Solomon’s Sea demonstrates the same volumetric space for liquid, dry, and gaseous measures, i.e., the three forms of matter.

Consequently, one must either mark all of these calculations down to freakish mathematical coincidences, or else consider that a Common Designer used the same basic unit of measurement for liquid, dry, and gaseous measures. The latter means taking the Bible seriously when it tells us that God gave Solomon’s father the divine pattern for the construction of all artifacts pertaining to the First Temple.

However, when I discussed my brother’s findings with him this past summer, I felt there was one problem. My brother had assumed the 30-cubit line which compassed the bowl was a line below the rim, and that the 10 cubit diameter implied pi and thus a circumference at the brim of 31.4159+ cubits. But then what was the 30-cubit line? I asked him if it might be the fill mark. He said, no, that that was 30.6. He admitted this problem had baffled him for 30 years. This nettled me, for I wished to share his findings online with some atheists, but I knew they would claim my brother was assuming pi for the brim’s circumference because of his agenda of wanting a sacred cubit length of 25”. Thus they would argue the measurements for Solomon’s Sea were merely rounded off (9.65 for the diameter, yielding a 30.30 circumference). Finally, after talking to my brother further about this problem, I suggested he see if the 30-cubit line might have something to do with the golden mean (a.k.a., golden ratio). I had once been a graduate student in art history and knew the importance of the golden mean especially in Classical and Renaissance art, but suggesting the golden mean was a guess on my part. Nevertheless, the next morning, David called excitedly and told me that, yes, the 30-cubit line did represent the golden mean, when placed outside upon the bowl. The margin of error was only 1 in 3400, well within an acceptable margin of error. We concluded this line divided the two rows of carved gourds, one above it, and one below it. This written description of the golden mean predates Pythagoras by 300+ years, and is the earliest written description of the golden mean we know of.

Unfortunately, when, about 10 years ago, my brother shared his initial findings with John Morris (whom you quote in your article), Morris’ reply, while cordial, showed he was unimpressed with my brother’s findings. Instead, Morris apparently followed the shorter-cubit assumptions of men like Ritmeyer et al (i.e., Bahat, Sagiv, Kaufman) based on their assumptions that the Second Temple was located on the Dome of the Rock, despite the Bible stating that the Temple was located at the Gihon Springs, which is about 1,000 yards south and outside the current city walls.

Frankly, the demonstration of the golden mean in conjunction with the Sea’s demonstration of a unified field of measures ought to convince anyone, at least any Christian, of the real facts about the measurements of Solomon’s Sea, and what they mean. No longer do we need to rely on flimsy explanations like rounded off numbers or a ‘flared-brim’ design. But, you know, my own experience is that a Christian layperson who makes a discovery often receives no more encouragement from Christian academicians than he presumably would from their secular counterparts. And thus if we solve one problem, we nevertheless raise another of why that should be?

Incidentally, since the Sea was a handbreadth thick, and since a handbreadth is 1/7th of a cubit, it does not matter what length the cubit is in terms of the golden mean, since all measurements are relative to the cubit."

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Controversy over Creation Astronomy? Did the Universe Evolve?

As often mentioned before on this blog, Darwinists have no explanation for anything at all.   They have no explanation for existence coming into existence, they have no explanation for life coming from non-life and they have no explanation for the massive amounts of information needed to build a simple cell.   They do not have any foundational answers and they never will.

God created.   It is the logical reason for the Universe and does not require massive amounts of fudge factors, you simply need to accept that a Creator/Designer God Who transcends time and space invented time and space.   Where did God come from?  There WAS no THERE until God invented it!   When did God come into existence?   Well, Jesus is God come to Earth in the flesh so somewhere near 3 BC the Son of God limited Himself to existence.   But God is not actually confined by time or space, they were constructed by Him and He can put an end to it all when He decides the time has come.  

Darwinists play a shell game with the concept of evolution.   No one doubts that change happens over time (in fact change is an integral part of time passage) but it is the direction of change where disagreement occurs. While the Laws of Thermodynamics tell us that the Universe had a finite start and is heading to an ending while going "downhill" from energy to entropy or order to disorder, Darwinism asserts that everything actually goes in the opposite direction.   Organisms come from inorganic materials and become incredibly complex and the entire Universe came from nothing and exploded into everything.   There, I have summarized Darwinism neatly.   They will expand this exponentially by burying you with BS in order to avoid the underlying truths that there is no way for either the Universe or organisms to happen by chance.   You do not think Darwinists believe evolution applies to the Universe?   We'll let Spike Psarris provide some proof:


Controversy over Creation Astronomy

As creationists have revealed the bankruptcy of the secular origin models, a growing number of atheists are trying to fight back.

Some are attacking me specifically, especially for applying the word “evolution” to astronomy. I frequently get messages like this one (actual quote):
“Umm, dude… EVOLUTION has NOTHING to do with COSMOLOGY! Quit lying for Jeebus!”
For obvious reasons, I don't bother replying to people like that.
But I did reply when a prominent astronomer said basically the same thing.
See for yourself if somebody is lying -- and if so, who it is.

(Radar - I post that link below as the second part of the argument from Spike)

Other accusations

Other critics accuse me of distorting the truth about astronomy. As time permits, I'll be adding articles to this site to refute them.

Meanwhile, if you come across any of their accusations, look at it with a discerning eye.

Notice how much of it is merely name-calling. This is a tactic that goes back to the ancient Greeks. When you've lost an argument, you try to discredit your opponent by attacking him personally.

Also notice that some of the critics (the honest ones, anyway) will admit that their models have serious problems. But then they'll appeal to future discoveries -- they believe that the problems will be solved in the future.

Of course, appealing to something that hasn't happened is not a scientific statement. It's a statement of faith.

A few of the lesser-informed critics say that I'm wrong, because the secular models work just fine, thank you very much. But they shouldn't be criticizing me -- they should attack all the secular scientists who work on the models. Those are the people I'm quoting to show that the models don't work.

Next, some of the critics claim I'm wrong, because I talk about some problem that the secular model has now solved.

Actually, I'm not surprised that one or two problems have (supposedly) been solved recently. (As I write this, it's possible that the core-accretion model for Jupiter might be modified to accomodate its apparent lack of a core. I spent about 30 seconds or so on this issue in the video.)

After all, the secular model is a lot of story-telling with only a little science mixed in. And stories can be changed on a whim.

So if my DVD discussed a problem that has been 'solved' since the DVD came out, does that mean I'm a liar? No. It just means the secular model changed... again.

(It's not my fault if the evolutionists keep changing their minds about their "truth".)

Also, if I list dozens of fatal problems with the secular model, and they solve one or two, does that mean the secular model is viable now?

Obviously not.

Lastly, what the atheists aren't telling you is that some of the so-called 'solutions' are worse than the original problems.

For example, some student in the UK made a video that claimed I'm wrong about Mercury causing problems for the secular model. He appealed to a new model that showed how Mercury formed from primordial planetesimals (asteroids) and then something else happened, blah blah blah.

What he did not mention is that the secular model says that planetesimals couldn't form into planets… including Mercury. So Mercury shouldn't exist.

Hmm. Why do you suppose he left that part out?

As another example, in my DVD I show how the secular model predicts that Uranus and Neptune can't exist. Obviously, they do.

Well, a recent 'solution' to this problem was announced in New Scientist. Supposedly, all the giant planets originally formed elsewhere -- not where they are today.

Then after about 700 million years of stability, Jupiter and Saturn suddenly started "playing pinball with Uranus", batting it back and forth several times before throwing it out to its current orbit. Then Jupiter and Saturn moved too.

In other words, the Solar System as we see it today contradicts the secular model.

To rescue the model, scientists are making up stories about how things used to be different, and then planets started playing pinball with each other.

Is this science? No, it's storytelling. Not even good storytelling, at that.

Sadly, this is what is being taught as 'truth' today.
 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


“Evolution Has Nothing To Do With Astronomy”

Am I a liar for applying the word “evolution” to astronomy?

Phil Plait, the “Bad Astronomer” who blogs for Discover magazine, says so in a recent post about my Solar System video.

Quoting Phil:
“I watched the Jupiter video until all I could hear was a loud buzzing
sound punctuated by the word “evolution”. Last I recall, evolution was
the change in allele frequency over time… Jupiter has chromosomes?
Are creationists that confused?
“Well, certainly many are, but why ascribe to ignorance what can be
ascribed to misdirection? The creator of the video obviously uses the
word evolution over and over again because it’s a buzzword likely to
sway people predisposed against science to agree with the bizarre
version of reality he espouses, even though he must know that evolution
has nothing to do with astronomy.
“Hmmm. Bear false witness much?”
Phil is calling me a false witness — a liar — for applying the word “evolution” to astronomy.
But as an astronomer, surely Phil knows that the word “evolution” is used constantly in astronomy — not to describe biological change, but to describe the naturalistic formation and development of celestial objects.
Surely Phil knows that countless astrophysics books present models for the “evolution” of stars:
Evolution of Stars
and Stellar Populations
(by Maurizio Salaris
and Santi Cassisi)
Physics, Formation
and Evolution
of Rotating Stars

(by André Maeder)
Stellar Structure
and Evolution

(by Rudolf Kippenhahn
and Alfred Weigert)
And galaxies:
The Structure and
Evolution of Galaxies

(by Steven Phillipps)
The Chemical Evolution
of the Galaxy

(by F. Matteucci )
Nucleosynthesis and
Chemical Evolution
of Galaxies

(by Bernard E. J. Pagel)
And planets:
Planets and Their Atmos-
pheres, Volume 33:
Origins and Evolution

(by John S. Lewis
and Ronald G. Prinn)
A Comparison of the
Dynamical Evolution of
Planetary Systems

(by R. Dvorak and
S. Ferraz-Mello, Eds.)
Solar System Evolution:
A New Perspective

 

(by Stuart Ross Taylor)
In addition, Phil no doubt keeps up with the scientific literature that is full of this usage too. As I write this (June 2009), the current issue of the Astronomical Journal alone has 3 papers using “evolution” or “evolved” in their titles.

In the astronomical literature, the word “evolution” is everywhere.

So, why does Phil say “evolution has nothing to do with astronomy”?

Well, when your gun is out of bullets, you have to shoot blanks.

There’s a debating tactic that’s as old as the ancient Greeks. When your opponent is correct and you can’t refute his arguments, you use an ad hominem attack instead.

You smear his character. Mock and ridicule him personally. Call him a liar, even when you know he’s correct. Anything to cover up the fact that he’s right.

In my video, I document the failure of the standard evolutionary model for our Solar System. Among other things, this model predicts that Jupiter can’t exist (but it does), Saturn can’t exist either (ditto), Uranus and Neptune shouldn’t have formed at all (but there they are), Mercury and Ganymede shouldn’t have magnetic fields (even though they do), Titan should have a global ocean of methane and ethane if it were really billions of years old (but it doesn’t)… the list goes on and on.

But Phil doesn’t address any of that. Instead, the person who once wrote that “Stellar evolution [is] the process by which a star is born, lives out its life, and dies,” calls me a liar by insisting that “Evolution has nothing to do with astronomy… Bear false witness much?”

Reader, you can decide for yourself if there’s a false witness here — and if so, who it is.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Indeed, reader, you can spend a small amount of money in order to get a great deal of information culled from several decades of space ventures from the beginning of the space program to very recent images from Hubble.   If you do not fear truth and want to know?   Keep in mind that the US Space program was started and headed up by an avowed creationist, Werner Von Braun and many creationists have worked or do work in the program.   Spike Psarris was in the space program and he knows his stuff!!

I get multiple technical journals, magazines and newsletters concerning Creation Science and Intelligent Design.  I monitor multiple websites.  I purchase lots of books and have also grabbed lots of videos from various sources.  Spike's DVDs are not only very clear and well-documented, they are presentations of beauty and also incorporate a bit of humor.   I recommend them highly!

Right now Spike has two videos out and more on the way.   Logically you would want to view the Solar System video first and then the Stars and Galaxies video.   I purchased them and my main message to Spike has been "We can't wait for the next one!"   So Spike?  If you read this, hurry up because WE WANT MORE!!!

How to get them?   Just go to this website and it will look just like this, below:  



What You Aren't Being Told About Astronomy, Volume II
Our Created Stars and Galaxies
NTSC Widescreen DVD (with optional English subtitles for the hearing-impaired). Playing time: 63 minutes.
Price: $15  
 





What You Aren't Being Told About Astronomy, Volume I
Our Created Solar System
NTSC Widescreen DVD (with optional English subtitles for the hearing-impaired). Playing time: 105 minutes.
Price: $15  
 


Monday, December 26, 2011

Oh Holy Night turns into crawl on your knees!!!

Christmas in 2011

God works miracles in lives every single day.   Christians find out that God is not simply "fire insurance", He is a loving friend and source of wisdom and leadership and He has power to heal and do mighty things within hearts that you just can't see with your eyes.  The Love of God is working in lives all over the world.   He is not a God of party tricks, rather, He is a God of long-term relationships and is always there for you no matter what is happening in your life.   Yes, there are those who use God as an excuse for bad behavior.   But the real God always brings love into the situation. 

Yesterday most of our family got to meet and have Christmas dinner at my daughter Sara's house.   The weekend before we had gone to visit Debbie's Mom and Aunt Joyce.   Next weekend we will visit my Mom and my spiritual father and my cousin Jan.   We also have to figure out when we can spend time with Dan and Amanda in there somewhere.   So much family but all within two hours driving time of us so we can visit them as long as I am not having health issues and thankfully most of that is receding in my rear view mirror.

Only God can explain what has happened in my family.  My first wife (to whom I was married for twenty years) is the mother of my four biological children. We were divorced and I wound up with custody of the four children and she wound up eventually remarrying the man she married first when she was very young  and for many years there was nothing but strife between us.   But there were reasons this happened (among them being a false teacher telling her being married again was adultery and she could only be married to her first husband)!

Her name is Sue and the guy she married is Joe.  In her defense, when she became born again she became a great wife and caused me to consider God seriously.  So there were good years in that marriage after God entered in.  I am also sure both she and Joe thought that false teaching was true and were conflicted about it all after hearing such teaching over the years from unbiblical teachers.


God's Timing is always Perfect

About three years back one of my "Godkids" (kids who spent a large part of their time over at my house, hanging out with me and my kids and coming to church with us and so on) was getting married and Debbie and I wound up being seated with Joe and Sue at the wedding reception.   We actually found ourselves being able to be civil to each other and we all realized forgiveness had happened all around.

Now Joe and Sue are family to us, so last night we were all sitting together with them and the children who could be there ( two had to work) and my two grandsons.   We had Thanksgiving dinner over at Joe and Sue's house!   My daughter Michelle now lives with them and my granddaughter Angie spends part of her time there and part with her fraternal Grandpa (Angie's father has passed away).   So God has miraculously taken people who you would think would avoid each other like the plague and made them close family.  I just cannot tell you how awesome this is for all of us, and how great it is for the kids and grandkids!   For grandchildren, the more grandparents in your life the better!   When you don't need to have separate celebrations for different parts of the family because of hurt feelings and held grudges then birthdays and holidays are all good!!!

Back to our movie - so last night we all are having a great time together and I was fixing Sue's computer (expired anti-virus and an infection, both of which I managed to fix despite some internet issues) after dessert and present-opening and lots of shared memories and jokes and fun.   Sara of course wanted to sing some Christmas songs, so we began singing a bunch of them from memory since much of the family band was there.   We began to sing "O Holy Night" with me singing lead and Sara and Rob doing harmonies and the others bringing backing vocals, spontaneously beginning to sing it and no one having the words in front of them.   This song is my favorite Christmas song and I know it is Sara's, too.  We've both sung this in church before with backing choirs.   We sang it together in the family band in a certain way, but when Sara and I did it as soloists we did the last verse differently, so....

All was going just right until we were doing the final refrain when Sara and I began with different endings.   I began to sing "Christ is the Lord" at the same time Sara started "Fall on your knees" and as a long-time singer with live bands I immediately adjusted to her and changed to her decision to begin the chorus that way but what Rob heard was "crawl on your knees" and, while still singing he dropped to the ground and began crawling on the floor!   I lost it!  Everybody who "got it" right away began laughing!  It was perfect comedic timing and I laughed for half a measure before I could get back to singing and we all finished it off half-singing and half-laughing!   I wish I could just bottle that and send it to everybody!   A merry heart does good like a medicine!!!

"O Holy Night" is a wonderful, serious song and a great song for someone with a great vocal range and timing because it starts quietly and seriously and builds in power and volume and at the end, if you have the range, you take the already-high ending notes up an octave and boom out the word "divine" and then taper off the outro with less power and with a respectful reverence.   It can be truly inspiring if you have an operatic voice and Sara and Rob and I (Dave can, too, but he had to work at the pharmacy on Christmas, darn it) were blessed with such abilities so we can sing it with all the reverence and range and power it deserves.   Last night it began with joy and sincerity and ended with everyone laughing so hard we could barely finish it at all. 

Crawl on your knees?!  You know, a lot of times living the Christian life is exactly that.  There are times you can't run the race, you can't even walk and those are times you crawl.   When you can't crawl you just kneel and pray and hang on to whatever the end of whatever rope it happens to be and call on God.   I've ridden on the awesome wave of God's blessing and I have clung desperately to the end of ropes waiting for God to come to the rescue.   Mountaintops, valleys, oases, deserts without a canteen, banquets of great joy - God is always there.   He healed our family, made it bigger, made it strong and I will serve Him with all my heart for the rest of my days.   This song expresses my heart and my determination to follow Him forever:

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas, The Stairway to Heaven and the one kind of evolution I believe in!

Christmas and why I am a Christian

In the United States:  Retailers of all kinds make all sorts of commercials proclaiming how they have the best prices and assert that Christmas is about buying presents and Santa Claus, or even out-doing Santa Claus.  Not in my family though, we get presents for the children but it is all about family and celebrating the birth of Christ.  Yes, even if it is unlikely that Jesus was actually born on the 25th of December.

Virtually every person will have a holiday of some length, if even only one or two days...and so many of them with pay, at that.   We call it Christmas.  Atheists all around the nation gladly take the time off and the money.  I believe in Canada and Great Britain and Australia and New Zealand they celebrate Boxing Day on the first or second day after Christmas.  Also Jews celebrate Chanukah at this time of year.   So Atheists all over are getting a holiday and probably with pay because a God they do not believe in was born.   I do not begrudge them at all.   Whether they "get it" or not, the fact that they get a holiday is EXACTLY the point!   No one earns salvation, it is a gift given freely to all.   It is a matter of whether or not you take it.   Now you are pretty sure to take the holiday and the money.   Will you take the Reason for the Season?  His love and grace is free for the taking. 

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6 NIV

I have never met Robert Plant and it is unlikely that I ever will.  I cannot ask him if the "stairway" is an allusion to Jacob's Ladder from the Bible?   But I will tell you the steps that led me to Jesus, the real Ladder or Stairway to Heaven.

Genesis 28:12
And he dreamed, and behold, there was a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven. And behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it!
 
Led Zeppelin's iconic song -

There's a lady who's sure all that glitters is gold
And she's buying a stairway to heaven

When she gets there she knows, if the stores are all closed

With a word she can get what she came for

Ooh, ooh, and she's buying a stairway to heaven


There's a sign on the wall but she wants to be sure

'Cause you know sometimes words have two meanings

In a tree by the brook, there's a songbird who sings

Sometimes all of our thoughts are misgiven

Ooh, it makes me wonder

Ooh, it makes me wonder


There's a feeling I get when I look to the west

And my spirit is crying for leaving

In my thoughts I have seen rings of smoke through the trees

And the voices of those who stand looking

and it makes me wonder

really makes me wonder


And it's whispered that soon if we all call the tune

Then the piper will lead us to reason

And a new day will dawn for those who stand long

And the forest will echo with laughter


If there's a bustle in your hedgerow, don't be alarmed now,

It's just a spring clean from the May Queen

Yes, there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run

There's still time to change the road you're on

Ooh, it makes me wonder

Ooh, Ooh, it makes me wonder


Your head is humming and it won't go, in case you don't know

The piper's calling you to join him

Dear lady, can't you hear the wind blow, and did you know

Your stairway lies on the whispering wind


And as we wind on down the road

Our shadows taller than our soul

There walks a lady we all know

Who shines white light and wants to show

How everything still turns to gold

And if you listen very hard

The tune will come to you at last

When all is one and one is all, yeah

To be a rock and not to roll.


And she's buying the stairway to heaven


The song means many things to many people.  It is supposedly the most requested AOR song of all time, contains arguably the greatest guitar solo of all time and was to the band both their finest song and the one they truly became weariest of in time.  I'm not even presenting a YouTube version of the song, because you have surely heard it and more than once.  There were some Christian preachers who claimed that the song was a back-masked song to Satan!   Argh!!!   Some of the most ungodly people in the world are television preachers and showy so-called miracle workers like Robert Tilton, blackguards whose real goal in life is to use God to coerce people into sending their money to them.   I detest fakers like Benny Hinn who put on circus acts to fool innocent folks into giving him a life of luxury and to give him a sense of worldly power on stage as a so-called man of God.   Some of the worst people on the planet are fake men and women of God!

Back to Stairway.  It was a song that the band worked hard to get right, a very difficult song to put together and yet their story was that part of it was absolutely inspired.  Robert Plant begins the song with a thought which is counter-intuitive.  No one buys a stairway to Heaven.  But as the song builds the meanings change as Plant and his bandmates sought to say something spiritual.  They were reaching for the eternal with words and music.  Many artists and writers and singers - pretty much all creative people - will tell you that sometimes they are simply inspired and things just FLOW.   As a musician I admire the song greatly for its fantastic composition and the way it builds perfectly to a crescendo of words and music and then ends in a hushed echo of its start, it is a fantastic song and beautifully performed and is perhaps the most perfect of classic rock songs ever composed and performed.

Jesus is truly the Stairway to Heaven.   But in my life there was a stairway to the stairway and I can tell you how and why I did come to know Jesus despite the odds against me.   Most college-educated adults who have not become Christians do not ever do so...So I was saved against the odds.   How I came to come to know Jesus against the odds was something of a stairway with the steps all made of different "materials"


Oft times I have presented the Gospel in this blog.  To simplify it all today, we are sinners and God is a God of perfection.  He is Light and He is Love and because of that love, He made a way for us to spend eternity in His presence.  Jesus Christ had to come to Earth to live a perfect life as a man and die as the Sacrifice for our sins - not simply to be beaten and tortured and killed shamefully on a cross, but also to bear all the sins of mankind and suffer separation from His Father.   The Son, the Spirit and the Father had always been together, even when Jesus was born as a man He was in continual harmony and contact with the other Persons of the Godhead.   Jesus was the Son, the Word of God and according to the first verses of John it was the Son Who did the actual creating of the world in harmony with Father and Spirit. 

Now is not the time to discuss the Trinity (saving that for another post) but try to imagine that you are God and have only known perfection and now you voluntarily come to the very existence you created and confine yourself within it.  You detest sin, unlike all other men, and only desire to do good.   You are in constant communication with God with His Spirit within you and the Father guiding you at every second.  You are a man on a mission.  At the crucial point in that mission you are in prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane and you are asking to not have to take the "cup."   That cup was the totality of all sins of all of mankind for all time, past, present and future.   Also, in becoming sin Jesus would be separated from God.  He would be alone as He entered into death.  This is what He detested and what caused Him to be so upset that He literally sweated blood!  As a man I am sure Jesus didn't want to be beaten and spat upon and scourged and tortured and killed but the cup...that was the part He despised.   But His love for mankind exceeded His hatred for sin and his grief at being apart from God.  So to the cross He went purposefully.

There is a mystery to it all, which is this:  God knows who will call on Him and be part of His family and knows who will not.  We read the Bible and discover that all men have free will and that God would prefer that all would come to Him and be saved.   Yet we also read that God is sovereign and has made some of us for Himself and some for destruction.  God transcends time, so has He indeed made some of us who will tend to seek God and some to prefer a selfish trust in themselves?  Or is it all entirely up to us and do we hold our own fate entirely within our own hands? 

Now as a Christian since 1978 I cannot really remember what it is like to be alone.  I am so used to being in God's presence and His presence being within me that I can only remember what the old me was like theoretically.   It is like watching a movie with someone else playing the part of me.   But let me tell you the steps:
  • There was the Sunday School I attended with a kindergarten friend in which we made a Noah's Ark over the course of two Sundays.   I had to come back to finish my own Ark.  They gave us cookies and we had fun.   I never went to church but for two weeks I went and probably absorbed something?
  • My Dad used to like to sing, "Tell Me Why" on nights when the skies were clear and we could see the stars and he would teach me the various constellations.  He never told me about Jesus but he did assert to me a belief in God.
  • Grandpa Wesner used to always preach to us about Jesus.  Marc and I even prayed the "Sinner's Prayer" with him once so he would quit doing it, but then that just caused him to bug us to go to church with him so we just couldn't win!   We didn't really mean it because we didn't understand it but I knew that he absolutely believed, because he would talk about Jesus to the point his wife and children would roll their eyes.   Some people are just evangelists!  He gave me a leather-bound Bible and I did try to read it but got bogged down in the story partway through Genesis and put it down to gather dust.
  • A grade school friend got me to come to church with him and I thought the Sunday School was okay, but in the main service the preacher was scolding people for not giving enough money and that turned me off of church after that.
  • I was good buddies with lots of Greeks in high school and I was declared an honorary Son of Pericles by some of them.  I dated a Greek girl, had three great friends who were all Greek and so I went to a Greek Orthodox service with them once.   There was incense being burned and lots of ceremony.  It wasn't unpleasant, it was just a bit confusing.
  • The first girl I ever actually loved was a Catholic and I went to church with her once.   There was a lot of standing up and sitting down and kneeling and none of it meant anything to me at all.  It seemed like a lot of ceremony and not much else.   Greek Orthodox part two?
  • Once when I was hitchhiking in California, I was picked up by a couple of guys who wanted to pray before they broke out their marijuana to share with me.  So we got out of the car and prayed out loud and then we started driving again and passed the doobies around.   That was kind of strange, admittedly.
  • In the Army, I was for a time working in the Pentagon (hated the place) and there was an Air Force guy who targeted me for salvation.   There was also an Army Major who was pretty sure I was possessed by the Devil (I was pretty wild back then) and took me to see some priest to determine whether I should be a candidate for exorcism.  No, I am not kidding!   The Major meant well.  The priest gave me a few verses from the Bible I should read and think on but they didn't mean anything to me and I kept on being a party animal in my private life.   
  • One of my old Greek buddies continued to try to tell me that God was real after I got out of the Army and came back "home."   I dismissed him with the various arguments against God and the Bible I had learned from my college classes. 
  • My wife had gone to a church and had "gotten saved" as she told me.   Frankly I was planning on abandoning her and only the fact that we had a daughter together had kept me around.   It was only a matter of time in my mind because she had changed a LOT after having our daughter, becoming a complaining and whining pain in the butt who I was getting sick of and fast!   Suddenly she was being sweet instead of sour and I found myself wondering if it was real or a temporary aberration?
  • Then the pastor of that church came to talk to me and somehow the Spirit of God spoke to me during our conversation and in an instant of time I had belief in this Jesus Christ as real, the actual Savior of mankind and I immediately wanted to know this God I had rejected my entire life!   Pastor Wood prayed with me but frankly I know I was born again the very second I believed.   The transformation was immediate and dramatic.   It took just a few weeks to turn me from a wild party animal with a reputation that actually caused that pastor to fear me (found this out years later) into a guy who was going to church and reading the Bible incessantly and wanting to do God's will no matter what!
Looking back now,  I realize what began the change in me and it was even before my wife became "unshrewed" and the pastor shared the Bible with me.    It was a moment that I will never forget.  You see, my daughter Sara was born prematurely and had to be put in a specially sealed crib in the intensive care unit of the hospital.  There was a little door in the side and the nurses let me get on a gown and a mask and scrubbed up and then I was able to reach in and touch my little daughter.   She was so tiny but I stuck my little finger in her hand and her tiny hand grasped that finger.   She had not yet opened her eyes (they said) but when she grasped my finger she opened her eyes and the first thing she saw in her life (poor thing) was her very furry father.  I saw those eyes open and look up at me and I was hopelessly hooked on being Dad.  Maybe I saw eternity in the eyes of my newborn baby?  Maybe that was the catalyst that caused me to allow thoughts of a real God to enter in? 

To everyone who told me about Jesus when I didn't want to hear it, to all who invited me to church, to all who called themselves "Christian" who actually seemed different from other people...even the "church ladies" who used to come to my door and invite me to church and the couple across the hall (almost forgot this) who tried witnessing to me and my wife without success.   To all of you who tried to plant a seed and water it, well, guess what, it worked!  This seed became a tree with six kids and three grandkids and I am expecting that my children and grandchildren will not only be believers, but they will spread the word.   My wife and every single one of my children have been or are involved in ministry in churches - singing, acting, teaching, helping others, going to nursing homes, all sorts of things.  We are children of God now (Well, my little granddaughter may not quite yet understand the Jesus she talks about) and we are all out there bringing our crosses with us when we go!     I guess there is one kind of evolution I DO believe in...