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12 April 2012

Atheist Pope Refuted

Excellently presented arguments and facts against the Pope of Atheism, Richard Dawkins. I would charge all rational thinking people to closely examine these declarations against Richard Dawkins' fallacious arguments.

http://doubtingdawkins.com/index.html

14 March 2012

What about all the killing in the Old Testament?

An excellent refutation of a consistently used atheistic/skeptic/agnostic argument against the Old Testament judgments of God.

What about all the killing in the Old Testament?

Street Apologetics

These guys are spectacular. I have never seen arguments fleshed out like this, and Chad Williams is a SEAL too. That's pretty stinkin' awesome in my book. To be honest, I didn't know SEAL training transferred over into argumentation.

"Anonymous" Attack on Religion


"Greetings fellow pirates,
Let us be clear from the start: any kind of religion is a sickness to this world. A sickness that creates hate and intolerance, a sickness that brings people to wage war on their fellow people, a sickness that has come to this world long time ago, when mankind wasn’t educated, a sickness that brought false hope and suppression to those who believed and often even more terror and suppression to those who dared not to believe.
Religions are authoritarian hierarchies, designed to dominate your free will. Religions are mind control.They’re power structures that aim to convince you to give away your power for the benefit of those who enjoy dominating people. When you subscribe to a religion, you enroll in a mindless minion training program. Religions don’t market themselves as such, but this is essentially how they operate. In case you ever wondered why religious teachings are invariably mysterious, confusing, and incongruent (sic)? This is no accident — it’s intentional.
We see religion pretty much the same way as we see many governments. Fear mongering and making lots of money,so a small group of ppl (sic) will become insanely rich, while the believing masses can eat dirt...
So people of the world, don’t let religion control your life. Don’t fight against each other for contrary beliefs.This world and our life can be a wonderful adventure, where you have the unique chance to help mankind and your fellow citizens. Where we can all work together to make this earth a better place for ourselves,our children and all those generations who will come after us. ^(;,;)^"
-Examiner.com (emphasis added)

This comment was used during an attack on three separate church websites by the cyber-terrorists "Anonymous," and I would like to address some of the issues that have been highlighted above. Furthermore, accompanying this video was Richard Dawkins "An Atheist Call to Arms" speech.

1) Is it not intolerant and hateful to attack and shutdown three church websites because you disagree with their beliefs? This is certainly a contradiction in ethical principles. The propositions would go like this:
           a)You are a Christian Church
           b)Therefore, you are intolerant and hateful
           c)We do not believe as you do
           d)Therefore, we will attack you and shut down your right to free speech imposing upon your medium of said free speech, our view

2)Education means that one will deny Christianity, is the assumption here, and that all Christians (I am using Christians because it was Christian websites that were attacked; once again supporting the fact that atheists tend to equate all religion immediately with Christianity) are uneducated and mistakenly hold on to these outdated and antiquated ideas via their Christian worldview. That's interesting considering the following list:
            Dr. A.E. Wilder Smith
            Dr. William Lane Craig
            Lee Strobel
Which list is simply the first three names that came to mind; there are many scientists, philosophers, and educated men and women who still believe in these "lesson[s] [of] Bronze Age ethics," according to the most recent militant atheist attack.

3)Religions are "domination of your free will...[and] mind control;" At what point does Christianity dominate or brainwash anyone? In fact, some of the same ethics and morals that Christians are taught are the very same that secular humanists (see atheists attempting to justify morality) laud and praise. Biblical, orthodox Christianity teaches freedom (Colossians 2:16ff) and that no man can place restrictions on the Christian because of their freedom in Christ (Colossinas 2:20; 1 Corinthians 10:31).

4)Making a lot of money? Have you ever met a Christian pastor that meets the Biblical requirements for what he is to teach (1 Timothy, 2 Timothy)? Pastors that are not wolves (a wolf would be the likes of Joel Osteen or Robert Schuller who do NOT preach the gospel or the faith once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3)) do not make substantial amounts of money unless their congregations and ministries are enormous. Even then, the money is used for ministry and the spread of the gospel (John Piper is an excellent example; none of his books sales go to him but into Desiring God Ministries).

5)"Don't fight against each other for contrary beliefs..." Is that not what you are doing? Do Christians shut down atheist websites and post violent, militant videos promoting radical Christianity and calling for all out war against atheists?

As can be seen this message is fraught with contradiction and misinformation leveled at all Christians, not to win their minds, but to continue the self-declared war against them. These attacks reflect the inherently violent nature of militant atheism that demands capitualtion or the "consequences" will be meted out. All Christians should stand united, defending the faith with gentleness and respect as 1 Peter 3:15 commands. Put your armour on, Christians, we are in a war (Ephesians 6:1ff).

           


13 March 2012

Religious Liberty

The battle for religious liberty (i.e. Christian liberty as other religions are usually not at risk and better protected) in America is just beginning, but we can see where it is going by looking at our neighbours across the pond.

23 February 2012

Moral Ambiguity


This was a paper I wrote some time ago, and I thought I would post it; I apologize for the spacing.

Recently, an article about a very candid interview of the investor Bernard Madoff was published by New York magazine. This article was intended to give a portrait Mr. Madoff from his own perspective after spending roughly the last two years of a 150 year sentence in federal prison. Mr. Madoff was sentenced thus for a $65 billion Ponzi scheme that had repercussions over five continents and affected thousands of investors (Fishman, 2011). However, according to his own words, he feels “misunderstood,” and that he is “…a good person,” (Ibid). On the opening page of the aforementioned article, Mr. Fishman writes:
  
  “And so, sitting with his therapist, in prison khakis he irons himself, he seeks assurance. ‘Everybody        on the outside kept claiming I was a sociopath,’ Madoff told her one day. ‘I asked her [the therapist], “Am I a sociopath?”’ He waited expectantly, his eyelids squeezing open and shut, that famous tic. ‘She said, “You’re absolutely not a sociopath. You have morals. You have remorse.” Madoff paused as he related this. His voice settled. He said to me, “I am a good person.”” (Ibid)

These statements by Mr. Madoff and his therapist are charged with the slipshod, relativist morality of contemporary thought and will be the main focus of this discourse heretofore.

How does one define goodness, morality, or ethics? These terms come with a surfeit of philosophical and pseudo-intellectual baggage, but is there a way of knowing, beyond a doubt what these expressions truly mean? Contemporarily many have embraced the philosophy of moral relativism wholesale; that is, one’s ethical system and morality is dictated and judged by them, and is ultimately true for them and is not affected by any transcendent reality or standard because, according to this philosophy, there is no such thing. Logic, however, would disagree; for Plato, a master logician and philosopher, taught that the material or human concepts which would be called “good, right, just, et al.,” are merely imperfect examples of a perfect exemplar who is the very source of such qualities (Nash, 1999). To wit, one cannot conceive of something as good without having a canon, a measure, by which to compare that which is called “good.” For example, if I call a man “good” I must therefore have something by which to measure that standard of “goodness” because the definition of a “good” meal and a “good” man are, to be sure, not one and the same. How then would one who, by their own worldview, is the final judge upon any issue of “goodness” define such a thing? Is one who has never seen a horse able to define that animal? Is “horse-ness” relative to the observer? Absolutely not, a horse is a tangible thing, an animal that is defined by a clearly perceived reality.

Furthermore, Mr. Madoff said that he was a “good man,” but Mr. Madoff has made his assertion on biased and false information, as will be shown below. If he is “good,” then by whose standard is he so: the psychiatrist, the prison warden or his fellow inmates? Clearly, none of these are the perfect canon by which Mr. Madoff can compare himself, yet in the quote above, Mr. Madoff clearly believes that the counterfeit absolution he received from the prison psychiatrist based upon the grounds of his alleged “morality” and “remorse,” makes him a “good” man. Mr. Madoff has shown some of the qualities of contrition, but this does not make him a good man, and the absurdity of such an assertion of “goodness” therefore begs the question, what then is goodness and how does one define it?

As stated above, there must be a canon of a virtue to define what that virtue truly is and then measure a subject based upon that canon. In nature, there is not one specific thing that can be pointed to that perfectly embodies a virtue. There are men who do “good” (in some sense) but all men have their faults; animals surely do not embody any virtue for they have not the capacity to understand or act in a moral fashion. However, there is a way of seeing the perfect by viewing the imperfect.

From time immemorial, man has known at the very core of his being that there is something greater than himself. One need only stand upon the majestic peaks of a mountain or view the splendor of a night sky to know that man in all his glory is an insignificant feature in a vast, nearly immeasurable cosmos. Therefore man has, via the institution of religion, worshiped a transcendent being who is often modeled after the created order that they perceive (cf. animism, the Greek and Roman Pantheon, et al.). In Paul’s letter to the Roman church, he clearly speaks of this very reality by stating:

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them [mankind], because God has shown it to them. For His invisible attributes, namely, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.” (Romans 1:18-20, parentheses added)

Also:
“Claiming to be wise, they [mankind] became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.” (Romans 1:22-23, parentheses added)

And finally:
“The LORD looks down from heaven on the children of man, to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one. (Psalm 14:2-3; emphasis added)

These verses of sacred Scripture drive right to the heart of the issue that Mr. Madoff and a host of others patently deny and suppress; namely, that man is by his very nature evil and corrupt and wants nothing whatsoever to do with God or His Law. Man, rather than acknowledge the revealed God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, would rather fashion his own god to serve his own desires and therefore “suppresses the truth.”

Therefore, man by his very nature is not good, and by virtue of the fact that Mr. Madoff is indeed a man, neither is he. It is this transcendent reality that is fundamental to any reasonable understanding of man’s true nature. Why then does man display what would be considered good and virtuous behavior? Because man is made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26) and conceives of all things by that very image. All virtues, all knowledge (Colossians 2:3) issue from the fount of wisdom that is God Himself, and man, even in his sin and corrupt nature, reflects the image of his Creator, albeit in a drastically distorted manner. Therefore, the perfect Exemplar for goodness is God Himself and man would know nothing of what goodness looked like without God’s revelation to him. God, then, is the perfect embodiment of Goodness (Psalm 119:68), Truth (John 17:17, 18:37), and Love (1 John 4:7, 8). This clearly shows that when Mr. Madoff made the statement “I am a good person,” he immensely exaggerates, and indeed deceives, himself of his true nature. To be “good” Mr. Madoff must know from whence true, perfect Goodness derives, namely God, and as is the case for most who are not delusional narcissists or schizophrenics, few mere men would dare say that they are God.

Mr. Madoff accepted the empty platitudes of a psychiatrist as confirmation of his “goodness” but has no true understanding of what goodness actually is. This is the essence of understanding ethics and morality: there must be a canon. If one is to derive their morality or ethical system based upon their own perceptions, fabrications, and inconsistent understanding then one has no valid ethical system. Just as “horse-ness” cannot be defined without knowing what constitutes a horse, so ethics and morality cannot be defined without knowing their ultimate origins. This is the fundamental flaw in the modern mind that is so apparent in Mr. Madoff’s statement about himself. Simply having what could be perceived as an ethical system or remorse for some perceived wrong does not, in point of fact, show that a person understands what is required to be good because that person must measure themselves against the perfect Good.

To conclude, when one honestly examines themselves before God and His revealed Law, that person cannot help but to know that they are not good, but God being rich in mercy has provided a means of justification (i.e. being declared not guilty) by faith in the person and work of His only Son, Jesus Christ, His shed blood on the cross for sin, and His resurrection from the dead. This is not religion or the fabrication of a deaf and dumb idol but recorded history of a God who provides a means of redemption from the total inadequacies of our “goodness,” for:

“And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with Him (Christ Jesus), having forgiven us all our trespasses by
canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This He set aside nailing it to the cross.” (Colossians 2:13-14; parentheses added)

To wit, one cannot construct their ethical or moral standards based on their own perception because that perception is flawed and corrupt, and neither for that matter can Mr. Madoff. Instead of looking for pardon or confirmation from a prison psychiatrist or the institution of man, Mr. Madoff and indeed all men should be looking to the Son of God who has done all that God requires to become well and truly good through faith in Him for the forgiveness of sins.