Nietszche Goes to Hollywood

by  Jonas  E.  Alexis

 

“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing them into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” – 2 Corinthians 10:4-5

 

Friedrich Nietzsche

If you were to borrow a microphone at a movie theater or a rock and roll concert before the show and ask people if they have ever heard of Friedrich Nietzsche, Jean Paul- Sartre, Aleister Crowley, or even Alan Moore, many will probably say no.

Why should they care? To paraphrase a cultural aphorism, who frankly gives a rip?

After all, we already have enough problems in the world and we don’t want to multiply our problems by thinking about ideas which on the surface do not seem to correspond to our world. We are living in a material world where the hustle and bustle of everyday life seem to get the best of us.

Yet whether we like it or not, ideas, as the late Richard M. Weaver pointed out, do have consequences and affect our lives tremendously. Ideas, August Comte tells us, “govern the world or throw it into chaos.” If ideas can throw the world into chaos, then the people who created those ideas can hardly be ignored. If that is the case, what are we to do?

Ravi Zacharias accurately argues that our way of life comes to us on basically three levels (to make it short, only two will be mentioned here). The first level deals with theoretical ideas, and it is where we engage in metaphysical questions and where writers and thinkers have focused their attention since the time of Plato and Aristotle. But let’s get real here.

Most people go about living their lives without caring or even being aware that people like Plato or Aristotle ever existed or that their ideas largely constitute the fabric of Western Civilization. So this level does not appeal to many people and has attracted mostly intellectuals.

The second level is the art. It is where ideas are morphed into images (including music) and images in turn shape perhaps half of our lives, whether we are aware of it or not.

Tom Hanks admitted, “I think that when the film industry can capture an idea and make it glamorous and gorgeous, so that the audience isn’t even aware that they’re embracing something they never would have embraced before, then, yes, the film as a social motor can inaugurate some kind of change.” Lenin also learned that very quickly. “One quick way to destroy a society,” he said, “is through its music.”

In other words, a person can learn about Nietzsche through the arts without being aware that there was such a person named Nietzsche, and a person can inject a Weltanschuung in his art without even telling his viewers.

This was one reason why Aristotle declared that music ought to be regulated, for he knew that it could be used as a powerful weapon in bringing about cultural changes. Plato himself declared in his famous work Laws,

“Through foolishness they [the people] deceived themselves into thinking that there was no right or wrong way in music, that it was to be judged good or bad by the pleasure it gave… [As it was,] the criterion was not music, but a reputation for promiscuous cleverness and a spirit of law-breaking.”

David Cronenberg

Fast forward thousands of years later, the most revolutionary individual in Hollywood who has harnessed the revolutionary power of the “art” in order to implicitly attack Western Culture is arguably Jewish director David Cronenberg.

He is revolutionary in the sense that he uses pornography in nearly all his films to get his point across. For Cronenberg, what is up is really down, and what is down is actually up.

Evil is good, and good is evil. “The minute you say evil,” Cronenberg told one Rolling Stone interviewer some years ago, “I think Christianity. I don’t throw [the word evil] around, and it may not be something I even believe in.” If Cronenberg does not believe in evil, then destroying lives through pornography is a good thing.

Then Cronenberg dropped the atomic bomb, a bomb which seems to be the quintessential philosophy that makes up all of Cronenberg’s films—including his recent film Cosmopolis, starring Robert Pattinson of the Twilight saga. He said:

I’m positing art as a means of coming to terms with death. Yes. I´m putting art in opposition to religion [Christianity, of course]—or as a replacement of religion, in the sense that if religion is used to allow you to come to terms with death, and also to guide you how to live your life, then I think that art can do the same thing. But in a much less schematic way, in a much less rigid and absolute way.”

Where did Cronenberg get those ideas? Well, as E. Michael Jones would have said, the metaphysical and categorical source of those ideas came from the rejection of Logos (Jesus Christ), who is the source for order, harmony, good art, logic, and reason.

Once Logos has been pushed aside, pornography is no longer an abstract principle as in Freud’s psychoanalysis, but is a psychological weapon aimed at the heart of Christianity and Western Culture. We will come back to Cronenberg in a specific article, but Cronenberg was a follower of William S. Burroughs and Sigmund Freud and got most of his ideas from them.

The point is that an abstract idea can attract only a few people, but images can do a better job. As Zacharias puts it,

“Existentialist philosophers such as Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus did not waste their time establishing syllogisms. They harnessed their passion of an empty world within the human psyche and fused it with their own ethos, effecting the mood and feeling of an educated heard… Through technology the whole world has now become the media’s parish, talk-show hosts the prophets, actors and musicians the priests, and any script will do for the Scriptures as long as moral constraints are removed.”

Nietzsche, being a secular prophet, postulated that the modern revival would have to be on level two, since this is where almost everyone can get on board. Nietzsche proclaimed the death of God and placed man in His place, and even put a curse on Christianity in his book The Anti-Christ.

E. Michael Jones argues quite convincingly in Dionysos Rising: The Birth of Cultural Revolution out of the Spirit of Music that Nietzsche deliberately infected himself with syphilis in a form of demonic pact. By taking this route, Nietzsche became a revolutionary in the literal sense of the word.

At the end of his life, Nietzsche became a deserted intellectual and died in a state of madness. He was arguably the loneliest thinker of the nineteenth century—more miserable than Arthur Schopenhaur, who also got syphilis probably because of his misogynistic ideas toward his own mother.

But there was some honesty in Nietzsche. Unlike Richard Dawkins or Sam Harris or (the late) Christopher Hitchens who keep postulating that moral values can exist without God, Nietzsche made it clear that if God is dead, anything is permitted.

If God is dead, you can slash your mother in law with a kitchen knife, you can rape and torture little children for fun, you can destroy people’s lives with fabrications, and that would be all right. In some sense, Richard Dawkins indirectly ends up saying the same thing in River out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life.

Richard Dawkins

Dawkins declares, “In a universe of blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice.

The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference…DNA neither knows nor cares. DNA just is. And we dance to its music.”

According to the logic of this principle, Stalin or Hitler or Mao didn’t do anything wrong; it was good that they had to execute millions of people. They were just dancing to their DNA.

But in The God Delusion, the book that made the Oxford don a celebrity, Dawkins violates his own principles by postulating that “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.”

Unpleasant? Petty? Unjust? Ethnic cleanser? How did those moral judgments subtly slip into the equation? Why is Dawkins so judgmental? I thought there were no good and no evil? Could it be that the God of the Old Testament was just dancing to His DNA?

Why is Dawkins so jealous in not letting the God of the Old Testament have His way? Moreover, if He doesn’t exist, why would a person of Dawkins’ caliber be mad about someone who doesn’t even exist? Could it be that Dawkins was implicitly appealing to a transcendent moral law that is independent of what he and others like?

This indirectly was the kind of problem that H. G. Wells could not explain to us in any rational fashion. He wrote,

“Never had I hated God so intensely…I have a sort of love for most living things, but cannot recall anytime in my life when I had the faintest shadow of an intimation or love for any one of the persons in the Holy Trinity…But God, you are not much of a man. Leave me alone at any rate. Else I will canvass against you. I will make your position unbearable. I will jeer and make a mock of you.”

With all respect to Wells, one needn’t be an intellectual to see that this idea is patently nonsense. In order to hate a person, that person by definition must exist. But Wells was an atheist!

H. G. Wells

Let’s conclude this with an illustration. Suppose you walk the streets of Manhattan and come across a person who is constantly talking to himself although nobody is around.

So you approach him and ask, “What’s going on, dude? Why are you talking to yourself?” He answers, “I am angry with my wife.” Further into the conversation, however, you realize that the man never had a wife.

You then ask, “How can you be angry with an imaginary wife?” Suppose that the man says, “Life doesn’t seem fair.” Would you be satisfied with such an answer? You would immediately think that the guy is at least out of touch with reality, if not “mentally challenged.”

Neither Dawkins nor Wells lacked the mental sophistication to see the contradictions that exist in their own system, but their ideological hermeneutic did not allow them to take a reasonable step. Wells is dead, but Dawkins has to take his pick: either there are good and evil or there aren’t. If there is a third alternative, he should let us know. So far he hasn’t, and we are still waiting.

The only difference between Dawkins and Nietzsche is that Nietzsche got guts, and Nietzsche should be applauded for that. But to return to our point, if God is dead, it is all right to lie to your friend, even though that big or small lie might lead the person to his or her own her death. As Nietzsche put it,

“To be truthful means using the customary metaphor—in moral terms: the obligation to lie according to a fixed convention, to lie herd-like in a style obligatory for all.”

From this principle, it follows that morality is an illusion, truth a myth; and a lie is perhaps the best “truth” that will liberate mankind from the shackles of morality, most specifically the morality that stems from Christianity. This madness was a call to overthrow all values, wherever values are found—whether they be tribal or universal. To paraphrase Nietzsche, it is the transvaluation of all values.

Nietzsche declared in The Birth of Tragedy:

“Yes, my friends, believe with me in the Dionysian life and in the rebirth of tragedy. The age of the Socratic man is over; crown yourselves with ivy, take the thyrsus stalk in your hand…You are to lead the Dionysian celebratory procession from India to Greece! Arm yourselves for a hard battle, but have faith in the miracles of your god!”

Who, then, was Dionysus?

It was the Greek god of wine and revelry, and Apollo was the god of the art. And Nietzsche’s choice of Dionysus and Apollo as figurehead to his new religion was a specific one—as god of drama, music, poetry, theater, etc., Nietzsche knew all too well that this would bring about the transvaluation of all values. He later declared that “the fight against Christianity is merely a special case.”

Nietzsche longed to see the cultural revolution, but he died in despair. He died in 1900 at the age of 55. If only he could have held on for another sixty or seventy years, he would have seen flashes of the cultural revolution in America and Europe during the hippie movement.

Nietzsche’s problem with the Christian morality was not that he considered it to be inconsistent. Quite the contrary, he unequivocally declared that,

“Christianity is a system, a consistently thought out and complete view of things. If one breaks out of it a fundamental idea, the belief in God, one thereby breaks the whole thing to pieces: one has nothing of any consequence left in one’s hands.”

In Thus Spake Zarathustra, he tries to overthrow the Christian worldview by declaring that mankind only needs to listen to the oracles of Zarathustra to survive. Zarathustra, now replacing God, adjures all men to “remain true to the earth, and believe not those [Christians] who speak unto you of superearthly hope! Poisoners are they, whether they know it or not. Despisers of life are they, decaying ones and poisoned ones themselves, of whom the earth is weary, so away with them!”

Lastly, Nietzsche declared in The Anti-Christ:

“This eternal accusation against Christianity I shall write upon all walls, wherever walls are to be found…I call Christianity the one great curse, the one great intrinsic depravity, the one great instinct of revenge, for which no means are venomous enough, or secret, subterranean and small enough—I call it the one immortal blemish upon the human race.”

The Wachowskis

Of course, saying things like that is not going to attract many people. Generally the average man is not going to pick up a book by Nietzsche and starts reciting the oracles of Zarathustra.

In order to turn those statements into sweet and delicious orange juice, it has to be disguised; it has to be crafty; and it has to be in the form of the art or films.

Who can actually do that for us? Who is able to answer Nietzsche’s call? The Wachowski brothers—or, shall we say more accurately, Andy and Lana Wachowski.

Screenwriter Brian Godawa pointed out that the Wachowskis themselves admit that the ideas for The Matrix trilogy largely came from Nietzsche’s writings.

The Wachowskis declared, “It’s all there in Nietzsche, man. We dwell in the dominion of truth and are marshalling our armies of metonyms and anthropomorphisms into our future work.” Marshalling our armies? Are we in a war? Well, for the Wachowskis, we are.

At the end of the Matrix Revolution, the third movie, Agent Smith declares that truth and love are “vagaries of perception. Temporary constructs of feeble human intellect trying desperately to justify an existence that is without meaning and purpose. And all of them as artificial as the Matrix itself. Although it’s only a human mind that invents something as insipid as love.” This is Nietzsche in a new garb.

Don’t forget the principle here, if God is dead, then man is in charge. What do we see at the end of The Matrix? Neo, the inversion of Christ, died to save “Zion.” And The Architect said when Neo died, “It is done.” This was Christ’s last words when He died on the cross.  The Matrix is littered with biblical languages, but as Joe Schimmel pointed out, at their eventual root those languages are Gnostic inversions of Christianity.

But this is not just happening in The Matrix. For example, in V for Vendetta, when the main character V is introducing himself to Evey, he says, “The only verdict is vengeance; a vendetta held as a votive, not in vain, for the value and veracity of such shall one day vindicate the vigilant and the virtuous.” Sounds poetic.

But who wrote the comic book upon which the movie was based? The legendary Alan Moore, a devout follower of Aleister Crowley. Moore declared that “the actual religion Christianity is obviously something that is completely soul-destroying.” And who were the screenwriters and producers for V for Vendetta? The Wachowskis. And once again in the movie V keeps telling Evey that “lies can be used to tell the truth.”

Indeed, truth has been outnumbered in the culture war. But falsehood or lies cannot and will not thrive forever. In the end, truth will triumph. And for Christians in particular this is good news. The Apostle Paul declares that “I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecution, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10).

Alexander Solzhenitsyn in the Gulag

E. Michael Jones rightly pointed out that if weakness means strength for Paul, then strength is a bad sign for the enemy of truth. In other words, when the enemy is strong, that is when he is the most vulnerable.

C. S. Lewis declared that Christians are living in an “Enemy-occupied territory” and Christianity is calling everyone “to take part in a great campaign of sabotage.” That campaign of sabotage includes denouncing bad art for what it is and praising good art for what it is. The Hobbit that just came out last December is a glance of what good art should represent.

What are we to do? In the cultural and spiritual war, stay away from complete falsehood. As Alexander Solzhenitsyn poignantly put it, “Our way must be: never knowingly support lies! Having understood where the lies begin—step back from that gangrenous edge!

Let us not glue back the flaking scale of the Ideology, not gather back its crumbling bones, nor patch together its decomposing garb, and we will be amazed how swiftly and helplessly the lies will fall away, and that which is destined to be naked will be exposed as such to the world.”

With that note, our next article will be “Escape from the Zionist Matrix.”

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39 Responses to "Nietszche Goes to Hollywood"

  1. Mike Kay  February 4, 2013 at 8:10 pm

    Mr. Alexis,
    I for one am looking forward to your next piece.
    I had to laugh at some of the comments regarding Christianity. If the critics ever could understand that true Christianity does not live in a creaking power structure, but in the very soul of the devotee, their misplaced ire would disappear. Alas, this is a spiritual truth, one difficult for the jaded sensibilities of the post Frankfort School age.

    • OrdinarySerf  February 5, 2013 at 10:40 am

      I too am looking forward to Jonas’ next piece; as I have stated on another of his articles, he writes beautifully and is clearly an extremely pleasant gentleman who also takes the time to engage with readers in the commentary section. I do understand all the angles here Mike and as you may have noted from my comments on other VT articles, I frequently refer to the subversive Frankfurt School myself.

  2. jimbo_jones  February 3, 2013 at 1:11 am

    Some questions:
    – By “sky-god worshipers,” do you mean Christians? Because mainstream Christianity has very rigid doctrines and its worshipers are quite unfree to attribute to their deity whatever they wish. And if “sky-god worshipers” is not a reference to Christians, then it means whatever you want it to mean, rendering an argument impossible.
    – What if the serial killer instead proclaims “My genes made me do it!” Or “I am a product of my environment!” By the way, if he says “God made me do it!” then he is not Christian, no matter what he thinks he is.
    – Could “Zarathustra” be unfathomable because it is the ravings of a perverted lunatic, rather than because it is a grand work of art?
    – Since you mention science, what science is there about Freud’s work? His writings are a series of non sequiturs utterly divorced from the “scientific method.” Freudean Psychotherapy has fallen out of grace in the last 30-odd years, and is now considered more or less totally discredited. On what basis should we believe that people “naturally” want to rape their mothers and murder their fathers?
    – Have you read Ray Monk’s biography of Bertrand Russell? It’s an extraordinary work. If you read it, you’ll find out that over his century-long life, Russell contradicted practically every dictum he ever made, caused unimaginable horrors to his family, and – for all his pious protestations – often descended into hellish depths of misanthropy.

    The questions are a bit pointed, sorry… Some years ago I would have wholeheartedly agreed with your post. But then I started asking myself questions like the ones above…

    • Jonas E. Alexis  February 8, 2013 at 11:51 pm

      Thanks for the comment. You are attributing to me statements that I have never said. When did I say that Freud was “scientifically illiterate”? And why don’t we have a rational discussion on things that I have clearly stated? Building a straw man and deconstructing it is very easy to do. But responding to specific points is another issue altogether. Please be specific about the accusations. Thanks again

    • OrdinarySerf  February 9, 2013 at 7:42 pm

      I was going to point that out Jonas, but Stewart got there first ! Anyway, thank you for putting up the previous links…….I have now had the opportunity to watch the full two hour Craig / Hitchens debate on YT. The key here for me is always to look for the use of language and Craig was very selective in this respect when he wanted / needed to be, basically saying that an atheist’s viewpoint (among other things) would be that there is nothing wrong with rape (totally outrageous for him to say that in my opinion)……More generalisation with statements like “Historians have reached something of a consensus”…….(etc.) Which historians ? (Total baloney)……Here he goes again – “……Three established FACTS (my emphasis) recognised by the majority of New Testament historians today, which I BELIEVE (my emphasis again Jonas) are best explained by the resurrection of Jesus……” (etc.) He then lists them as FACT no. 1 (2 / 3 etc.) On no. 3, again he used the word ‘believe’ as in “Disciples came to believe”. He does not provide explanation for these ‘facts’ because they are not ‘facts’………they are beliefs. Don’t know why Dawkins wouldn’t debate this guy actually because, with respect, I think Craig is bog standard conditioned (and conditioning) fodder.

      Moving on to Daniel Came, I do not accept his position in response to the ‘Who designed the designer ?’ problem where he states “This argument is as old as the hills and as any reasonably competent first-year undergraduate could point out is patently invalid. For an explanation to be successful we do not need an explanation of the explanation”. (ABSOLUTE COP OUT !) On the other hand, he immediately goes on to make a valid counter argument regarding the atheist position thus….”One might as well say that evolution by natural selection explains nothing because it does nothing to explain why there were living organisms on earth in the first place; or that the big bang fails to explain the cosmic background radiation because the big bang is itself inexplicable”.

      Hitchens at times borders on the agnostic in his own arguments, merely claiming that the agnostic position is weak and Agnostics should not sit on the fence, so to speak. But he doesn’t come up with a totally convincing case that there is no God either. My conclusion is that my present agnostic position is (as explained before) the most sensible one based on the limits of human intelligence and understanding at the present time. However, I do find atheists more interesting that ‘believers’ in as much as (in my experience) most ‘believers’ are conditioned / indoctrinated from a very early age, whereas I have found that most agnostics and / or atheists have thought for themselves independently and escaped the conditioning. Craig looks to me like a totally conditioned soul who makes a good living in academia by indoctrinating (preferably young) people when he can.

      Anyway, it was interesting, so many thanks.

  3. Bartered  February 2, 2013 at 5:32 pm

    Very deep article, wow. If the human brain is a sponge for information, and the emotions associated with it, would it be smart to expose it to movies, shows, and books that intentionally display horror as entertainment? All it does is desensitize an otherwise moral conscious.

  4. Terry McKibbin  February 2, 2013 at 8:56 am

    Dear Jonas,

    Your mental process is conflationary, a human trait common to our self-interest for simplifying a multiplicity of complex ideas opposed to our own. That characteristic also explains your lack of footnotes along with your quest to “save me time and effort” in order to maintain “more freedom to write more articles”. Perhaps your ambition will deny you a reception of scholarly aplomb from your readership. If, however, you are only writing to an audience of like-minded individuals, perhaps appeal to your work from “outsiders” is not of concern to your ambition.

    You have some worthwhile observations. Yet, without the honest treatment of the viewpoints of others (some are articulated by “Ordinary Serf”) your thesis is destroyed by the same egotistical “vendetta” which you are attacking.

    Finally, your equation – Jesus = Logos – is introduced more as an assumption than an argument. Perhaps you should consider a scholarly article to justify this mathematical assertion.

    • Jonas E. Alexis  February 2, 2013 at 9:11 pm

      Hey Terry,
      Thanks for the comment. With respect to my lack of footnotes, I have already submitted an article to the journal, but from now on everything will be documented at the end of the page. As previously said, I did this precisely to save time. Moreover, all the quotations mentioned in any of the previous articles could be easily found. For example, I mentioned in “Dr. Strangelove” that “In the summer of 2012, Netanyahu declared in the Jerusalem Post that Iran ‘must cease all uranium enrichment in the country, that it transfer all enriched uranium out of the country, and that it disassemble its underground nuclear facilities.’” Using the quotation as a backup, the article could easily be found online by any serious researcher. I also try to implicitly cite other sources by mentioning the book’s name or the writers, so that reader could easily check them out. If you need any reference to any of the previous articles, I will be more than happy to send them to you. But as of now, every citation will be included (except the one I’ve already submitted which should be out Monday). This means that I will only be able to post one article every week or every other week.
      With respect to Logos, I have expanded on this in first volume. Let me quickly make a couple of points here. The assertion is based on inferential evidence from first principles. We know that everything that begins to exist must have a cause. Twentieth-century scientific evidence has shown us that the universe began to exist. Therefore the universe has a cause (many scientists and mathematicians, including Bertrand Russell, did not want this to be true because it has too many implications). Well, religious people have been saying for thousands of years that the universe did begin to exist, and the cause of that was God. Regardless of what one may say about the book of Genesis, it does state something that seems to correspond to the scientific reality of things: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). Space, time, and matter have to exist simultaneously, and that statement makes it clear that they all came into being at once. Moving on to the first gospel of John, we read that in the beginning there was Logos, and that Logos became flesh. If the statement happens to be true, then we have something on the table here. If it happens to be false, then Christianity is a sham. Once again, I have discussed this in much more detail in the work.
      There are also signposts of Logos that we can detect in nature. For example, if you walk on a beach and see the following message: “Terry made a point about Logos.” That small piece of information is enough for any reasonable person to say that “hey, somebody wrote that sentence.” Chance and necessity here are mathematically impossible. Listen to the words of Richard Dawkins in The Blind Watchmaker: “Each nucleus” of every cell “contains a digitally coded database larger, in information content, than all 30 volumes of the Encyclopaedia Britannica put together.” But Dawkins goes on to argue that it all happened by Darwinian evolution. If Dawkins wants to abandon reason in order to embrace atheism, then I’ll leave him up to it.

      In order words, the universe is actually crying out for a Creator. And I think the evidence points toward that direction. That has been the views by former atheists such as Sir Fred Hoyle and others. This Creator has also said to have revealed himself in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. This is in general what I mean by Logos. The truth or falsity of that claim has enormous consequences, and atheists such as Thomas Nagel did not want to ponder upon that too much (Nagel has slightly changed his views last year, with the publication of his book Mind and Cosmos).

    • OrdinarySerf  February 3, 2013 at 8:30 am

      So who created God then Jonas ?

      Could it be that man created God to try to explain something that is at the present time beyond the comprehension of mankind and that Darwin provided an equally (or possibly more) worthy hypothesis that happens to be totally unpalatable to those who have been subject to Hollywood style ‘God conditioning’ since birth ?

    • Jonas E. Alexis  February 3, 2013 at 2:37 pm

      A very good question, but an old one. It can be answered on many different levels. Think of the universe as a book—say, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. What Christianity is saying is that The Chronicles of Narnia does not and cannot explain itself. It is perfectly within the realm of logic and reason to ask questions such as “why did Edmond betray his family” or “why did Aslan die for Edmond”? These questions are fine and can be explained using logic and causation in the book itself. Then suppose we use causation in the book to ask: “Who created C.S. Lewis”? That is a different question and cannot be explained using the story in the novel! In a nutshell, the origin of the novel does not apply to the origin of C.S. Lewis. For a person to use the novel or causations within the novel to explain the origin or beginning of C.S. Lewis is a terrible non sequitur. The guy who created the computer cannot be inside the computer running around.
      Now, can we use the causations within the universe to explain the origin of the Creator? You tell me. “In the beginning [time] God created the heaven [space] and the earth [matter].” The guy who created time must be outside of time! In other words, once upon a time, there was a time when there was no time. If God created time, then by definition He must be outside of time. This has been implicitly discussed by Plato, Aristotle, Chinese philosophers, and it certainly corresponds to Christianity.

    • OrdinarySerf  February 3, 2013 at 2:57 pm

      Jonas, who created C S Lewis does not need to be explained within the story of the novel because we know that C S Lewis was created by Bert and Florence Lewis.

      So outside of the story of the novel which is the Bible ( ! ), who created God before God created the heaven and the earth.

      If you can’t explain that then you are in the same territory as Rousseau and Russell on ‘morality without God’.

    • Jonas E. Alexis  February 4, 2013 at 1:28 am

      “Ordinary Serf,”

      That again begs the question. You have to go outside the Chronicle of Narnia in order to explain the origin of C. S. Lewis. I never said that outside the story is the Bible. I said the book of Genesis posits something that is compatible with modern science. The world began to exist, and Genesis attributes this to a Creator outside the world. Secondly, if the Creator is outside of time, then by definition he must be timeless. Have you ever heard of the ontological argument? If not, it is too long to discuss this here. Here is a link of a debate that happened in the U.K. for an intro. Thanks. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXB0o53FdVM.

    • Jonas E. Alexis  February 4, 2013 at 5:42 am

      Thanks for the response. I did watch the video clip you sent me about Christopher Hitchens. In return, I would recommend a debate video between Christopher Hitchens and William Lane Craig here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KBx4vvlbZ8. After you’re done watching the debate, then let’s talk. The debate does revolve around the questions which you have raised here. Thanks again.

    • OrdinarySerf  February 4, 2013 at 5:55 am

      I have noticed that one before but have not had the chance to view it yet. May be a while before I can do that Jonas, simply because I am having trouble playing clips on this machine at the moment. It is interesting that the late Christopher’s brother, UK based Peter, who he debates here (and the whole 2 hour debate is on YT if you want to watch it) does believe in God. I have the greatest respect for both of them.

    • Jonas E. Alexis  February 10, 2013 at 4:46 pm

      Implying it to bait atheists? Nietzsche said that if God is dead, then anything is permitted. Do you think he said that because he wanted to “bait atheists”? I have already cited Dawkins to the effect that: “In a universe of blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, and no good, nothing but blind pitiless indifference… DNA neither knows nor cares. DNA just is. And we just dance to
      its music.” Do you think Dawkins wrote this to “bait atheists”? Aldous Huxley wrote in Ends and Means, “For myself, as for no doubt most of my contemporaries, the essence of meaninglessness was essentially
      an instrument of liberation…We objected to the [Christian] morality because it interferes with our sexual freedom.” Other people like Michel Foucault, Oscar Wilde, D. H. Lawrence, Gustave Flaubert, and many others, agreed with Nietzsche and lived a life that was consistent with their philosophy, that if God is dead, anything is permitted. This again by no means that an atheist cannot live moral lives.
      What I mean by morality as a non-issue is that it is a non-issue in the sense that both serious atheist and Christian philosophers agree that if God is dead…
      I am amazed that you keep bringing in the issue that “Craig will cite the historians he wants to cite in order to reinforce his own views…” Have you read Reasonable Faith? This issue is not about citing historians in one’s favor. It is about the search for the truth. I cited for example Ehrman (agnostics like you) and even a Jewish historian, but all of that is about citing historians in one’s favor?
      I am puzzled by your statement, “If Craig can use the words ‘believe’ and ‘fact’ in the same sentence, then I ‘believe’ I can use the word ‘baloney’ if I ‘believe’ he is talking ‘baloney’.” Craig gave evidence, but all of that is being dismissed by one word, “baloney.” I can do the same thing with anything I don’t like.
      Dennett is no more contradictory than Craig? Are we really in the search for truth? I can assure you that to say the universe created itself is self-contradictory, my friend. And I am sorry to say it, but a freshman in philosophy class would flee from it. The only way that Dennett clings to that belief because he wants to explain the universe without the supernatural. Craig actually pointed this out to Dennett in a sort of debate and you know what Dennett’s response to Craig was? “That was a virtuous performance”!
      Yes, there has to be an uncaused cause, otherwise you will jump into infinite regress, and infinite regress leads to nonsense. A whole range of literature has been written on this. Thanks again!

    • OrdinarySerf  February 11, 2013 at 5:26 pm

      No, I don’t think Dawkins said what you are quoting in order to bait atheists and did not say that – cannot actually believe that you would think that the Dawkins quote you have chosen there would be used by him to bait atheists ( ?! )…..I put it to you that Craig said what he said to bait atheists and he is deliberately using the most extreme of examples to do this.

      I do not keep bringing up the issue of Craig citing historians that agree with his view to reinforce his own beliefs, in fact I think this is the first time I have stated it. But I will go further now…..what many a supposedly intelligent academic will do is to throw in quotes from people who disagree with his or her perspective in a debate in order to appear ‘balanced’ and ‘rational’. Again, one sees this all the time and in very rare cases is this about searching for the ‘truth’. Rather, in my experience, in most cases I have observed it is about searching for ways to justify an academic’s personal dogmatic position on their own preconditioned ‘truth’.

      Why do you think I cannot use the word ‘baloney’ if in my opinion someone’s position is ‘baloney’ ? Of course I can and you are free to criticise my use of the word. I am totally at ease about it so relax Jonas….if it helps, then you have my permission to use this same word if you disagree with anything I say that you don’t personally like – it used to be ‘a free world’, remember ?

      We could go on here discussing ‘uncaused causes’ and the reasoning behind these beliefs eg. whether one ‘believes’ in the supernatural or not. Let’s just agree to disagree and move on. I like your writing and am interested in your views, but I have to say that you have done nothing here except reinforce my confidence in the agnostic position I take and that position has (so far) firmed up with each reply you have generously provided (and all credit to you for engaging with the readers). Agnostics can take this position because they understand that nobody in history (much greater brains than you or I) has provided any definitive proof as to the existence or otherwise of a Creator, but can appreciate the sincere efforts to find the answer to the greatest question of them all. I look forward to moving my position on this as and when that answer is provided. Once again, many thanks for your articles…..I think you have added a great deal to an already excellent site.

    • Jonas E. Alexis  February 11, 2013 at 10:53 pm

      Thanks for all the comments. I really appreciate it. But this is my last response, since we are going in circles for no reason. I am completely appalled at the response provided. I quoted Dawkins and gave the citations, and now you are saying that “I don’t think Dawkins said what you are quoting in order to bait atheists…” So, I made the quote up? How much time does it take to check out the citation contextually? I also brought up agnostic historian and New Testament scholar Bart Ehrman who disagrees strongly with Craig’s views on the resurrection and even gave the youtube debate between Craig and Ehrman. But all of that has gone down the tube with the word “baloney.”
      No, I did not object when you use the word “baloney” as an opinion, and I support you 100% to exercise your freedom of expression. What I am saying is that as a rational person, you should provide evidence when you state that something is “baloney.” You are free to use the word as you see fit and you are welcome to use stronger words such as “stupid,” “dumb,” or even “claptrap.” But if no evidence is provided, if it is just the word “baloney” with no rigorous backbone, then you have left the rational realm and you are doing something else. I’ll let you figure out what it is.
      I have repeatedly said that there is no “definitive proof” for the existence of a Creator. By “definitive proof,” if you mean something that is mathematical or repeatable, there is no such proof. But if that is what we are going live by, then we are in deep trouble with science, history, and a whole lot of other things. Mathematics itself is based on many assumptions that have to be taken for granted. If you remember your geometry class, postulates in particular are unproven but have to be taken as a basis, otherwise geometry will make no sense. We all make inferences to the best explanations, and I really respect your agnostic positions. I also have used the simple example of biology. If you and I walk on the beach of Miami and see the following inscription: “Ordinary Serf is an agnostic.” That is information. For that “information” to have happened by chance is mathematically impossible. Mathematicians and astronomers such as Sir Fred Hoyle have tried to solve the dilemma with no success and had to admit that someone had “monkey with physics and biology.”
      Now, “Ordinary Serf is an agnostic” is enough information for you and me to conclude that some dude wrote this. This is not an irrational conclusion. Dawkins himself declares in The Blind Watch Maker that the nucleus of every cell “contains a digitally database larger, in information content, than all 30 of the Encyclopaedia Britannica put together.” (pp. 17-18). Well, that is a lot of information. And it is perfectly rational for me to say that information requires an intelligence or mind. I have a kindle and use it very frequently. It would be irrational for me to say that because I do not know anything about its maker, therefore I cannot draw the conclusion the kindle had a maker. We know that there is information in DNA to fill all the volumes of Britannica. My question is that who put that there? If you are interested in the mathematical impossibility of this coming together by chance, I would highly recommend Dean Overman’s book A Case Againt Accident and Self-Organization. Thanks again, friend!

    • OrdinarySerf  February 12, 2013 at 6:33 am

      Can’t see how you can be appalled at the response at all, it isn’t rude and it is perfectly logical stance to take, no less so than yours – just happens to be a different position on this subject.

      No, you didn’t make the quote up and (again) I didn’t say that, never even implied it – I have read the Dawkins quote myself from the original source a long time ago. I simply said that I don’t think that DAWKINS is using that quote to bait atheists. I do however think that CRAIG is using it as an extreme and emotive example to support his position.

      Rational people (of which I am one) reach different conclusions……surprise, surprise ! Craig will use those historians that support his case, Dawkins will use others and Hitchens used others again in his lifetime – human instinct and nothing wrong with it.

      I am pleased that you have again acknowledged that there is no definite proof of the existence of a Creator and respect your right to continue looking for the evidence…..in the meantime I’ll observe the developments on both sides and maintain my agnostic stance.

      You are correct that we are going round in circles…..as mankind has done for thousands of years on this. I too am moving on, but many thanks for your replies.

  5. frankdialogue  February 1, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    Let me make a few simple suggestions:

    1) Turn off your computer for a little while, or for a long while.
    2) For those who enjoy words, read a book, perhaps an older book or a classic….If you wish to write, try actually using a pen and paper.
    3) Engage your mind and spirit with your hands, by playing a musical instrument, by drawing or painting, even sculpting.
    4) Try actually engaging with people in any kind of activity that doesn’t involve looking at a monitor or TV screen…This can include direct conversation.
    5) Play a sport.
    6) Do not neglect quiet time, including prayer and meditation.

    The digital world is highly addictive, and it bases itself on the combination of 0 + 1…The human spirit consists of more than an endless repetition of two digits in different layers…In fact, it is the Spirit which separates man from a machine.

    In terms of inspiration, the Holy Spirit is indeed the source of any true beauty or communication in art.

    Ignore the chattering of Nietzsche, myriad Jewish ‘kultural kadre’, and narcissistic sado-masochists like the Wachowskis…If you don’t, you will go insane.

    Have a peaceful night.

  6. Fravashi  February 1, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    Tremendously inspiring and articulate piece! Christianity values not to mention belief in God are radical weapons in an age of despotism. Thanks for fighting the good fight and encouraging the rest of us to do the same.

  7. OrdinarySerf  February 1, 2013 at 8:31 am

    A very interesting article Jonas, much appreciated.

    I know you state that citations for your articles are available upon request but (as an agnostic !), I have a silent prayer. It would be helpful for source references were included in your work as it is posted, even in the form of links, as many other VT writers do. It would enable greater understanding as one reads the article without having to email you with a ‘shopping list’. I am totally in your corner on the background and influence of imagery / negative stereotypes inflicted on the masses. This is a standard (and extremely sinister) subversion technique to keep a populace where the cabal wants it.

    However, with respect, I do think some of the philosophers and writers you speak of here get a raw deal.

    What relevance is there in mentioning syphilis in the case of Nietzsche and Co ? Isn’t It A Pity re: Schopenhauer ? You are clearly not referring to congenital syphilis or incest, so how do you get syphilis because of misogynistic ideas towards your own mother ? Now I thought one acquired it through sexual contact. Certainly brings new meaning to the Gershwin lyric “My nights were sour….Spent with Schopenhauer”.

    H G Wells ‘atheist’ position was much less simplistic than you state here. As a science based person he naturally gravitated from a traditional Christian upbringing towards Darwinism. In ‘God the Invisible King’ he defines his idea of God as “….a profound belief in a personal and intimate God…..a renascent or modern religion… neither atheist nor Buddhist nor Mohammedan nor Christian”. His views developed through reasoned thought and experience over time and he became particularly critical of the Roman Catholic Church (as in his WWII book Crux Ansata).

    If I may say so Jonas, you are also applying some pretty relaxed reasoning in your interpretation of Dawkins and (Christopher) Hitchens. Dawkins doesn’t violate his own principles, because (as you acknowledge in your article) he describes God as a FICTIONAL character. Given that position from Dawkins, your references to DNA relating to God would seem superfluous ie. you are bringing God into the real life physical dimension with DNA, not him. Without wishing to answer for Mr Dawkins, I suspect that he is ‘mad about someone who doesn’t exist’ because of what he perceives as the appalling centuries old mass conditioning (yes, religion is as guilty as Hollywood on this but over a much longer timeframe); also the many religious based wars that have taken place. Why would you presume that Dawkins is an apologist for Stalin and Mao because he puts forward the concept of random ‘luck of the draw’ DNA…..surely that is a step too far Jonas ? Like you, he is merely exercising his right to express views based on his own research. So I don’t think Dawkins “was implicitly appealing to a transcendent moral law that is independent of what he and others like….” Rather, perhaps he was just expressing an opinion independent of what you like ?

    I don’t personally see any logical reason morality cannot exist without God.

    • Jonas E. Alexis  February 1, 2013 at 4:47 pm

      Thanks for your trenchant critique. I can only answer a few questions here, since I will be expanding on some of those points in later articles in March. Let’s talk about morality a bit. Both theist and atheist metaphysicians agree that objective morality cannot exist without God. I do not say that a person cannot recognize morality without God, or that a person cannot live a moral life without God. What I am saying is that the ontological foundation for morality is impossible if there is no God. I have expanded on this in much detail in the first volume of Christianity & Rabbinic Judaism (introduction).
      The simple fact is that no one, in the whole scope of history, has ever been able to come up with a reasonable definition of morality without God. Rousseau and Russell have tried it but never came up with a solution. Rousseau’s social contract simply won’t do. Schopenhauer was even frightened by the ultimate conclusion of atheism. Kai Nielsen, arguably one of the most trenchant atheist philosophers of our time, lamented: “We have been unable to show that reason requires the moral point of view or that really rational persons unhoodwinked by myth or ideology need not be individual egoists or classical amoralists. Reason doesn’t decide here. The picture I have painted for you is not a pleasant one. Reflection on it depresses me… Pure practical reason, even with a good knowledge of the facts, will not take you to morality.” [(Kai Nielsen, “Why Should I Be Moral?” American Philosophical Quarterly 21 (1984): 90.] (I would slightly disagree with Nielsen in that practical reason ultimately leads to Logos, but for the atheist, practical reason is a bad dream.]
      H. G. Wells likewise unambiguously acknowledged: “After all the present writer has no compelling argument to convince the reader that he should not be cruel or mean or cowardly. Such things are also in his own makeup in a large measure, but none the less he hates and fights against them with all his strength. He would rather our species ended its story in dignity, kindliness and generosity, and not like drunken cowards in a daze or poisoned rats in a sack. But this is a matter of individual predilection for everyone to decide for himself.” [H. G. Wells, Mind at The End of Its Tether and The Happy Turning: A Dream of Life (New York: Didier Publishers, 1946), p. 18] This is Wells, and I agree with him here. Others like Nielsen have wrestled with this idea for years.
      Some skeptics have speculated that Emmanuel Kant argued that right and wrong can be determined by reason alone and without God. But that is not the case, if we are to take Kant seriously, for he made it clear that ethical values are completely independent of our happiness. If they are independent of our happiness, then ethical values lie somewhere else. Therefore, Kant, whether he liked it or not, was arguing from an implicitly Christian viewpoint. Pure reason, ultimately, leads to the Logos (an issue that I have dealt with in the first volume). Pure reason, like mathematics or physics, is non-negotiable and is therefore completely compatible with the Christian worldview.

      A quick note on Schopenhauer. Yes, he hated his mother so much that some writers have declared that getting laid for him was another way of indirectly inflicting vengeance on women. When his father died at the age of 48, his mother got remarried to a person twenty years her junior. And Schopenhauer hated it. His mother responded, “You are unbearable and burdensome, and very hard to live with; all your good qualities are overshadowed by your conceit.” From that time on, Schopenhauer never wanted to see his mother again, even when she was dying. The tension between them was so intense that Will Durant wrote, “A man who has not known a mother’slove—and worse, has knonw a mother’s hatred—has no cause to be infatuated with the world.” [Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1959, p.344.] His “Essay on Women” shows incontrovertibly that Schopenhauer had carried his hatred of women with him. Women, for him, “are incapable of taking a purely objective interest in anything…the most distinguished intellects among the whole sex have never managed to produce a single achievement in the fine arts that is really genuine and original; or given to the world any work of permanent value in any sphere.”

      I do not include the references in the articles because it saves me time and effort, and that also gives me more freedom to write more articles. But the references are all available. Thanks again for the response, for “Iron sharpens Iron.”

    • derricksmithers  February 2, 2013 at 2:25 am

      The facts, and truth are still unfolding. Because history hasn’t yet yielded morality without God isn’t as daunting a challenge as it likely once was. Maybe we just need to think of God differently? I don’t really know for sure what God is claimed to be, but I don’t doubt for a moment there’s a me and a you. Is that God? I’m not really asking, just in case someone was planning on whipping up the proof of God.

      Either God is ill-defined or morality is, in my opinion. Otherwise, they are starting to sound like opposing forces. Think of Nell. I don’t think she was wrong to live without the God of religion, as she was certainly (I know I’m imprinting my theory on a fiction here) living a moral existence.

    • jimbo_jones  February 3, 2013 at 1:27 am

      Dawkins is a piece of work. Here’s a pair of quotes of his:
      “The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.”
      (http://www.positiveatheism.org/hist/quotes/dawkins.htm)
      “… Islam is such an unmitigated evil.”
      (http://old.richarddawkins.net/discussions/624093-support-christian-missions-in-africa-no-but)

      How can Islam be evil if there is no evil in the universe, only pitiless indifference? Self-contradiction. Dawkins’s work is littered with other such self-contradictions, and various absurdities and banalities.

      Basically the problem is that without absolute morality, we have Might Makes Right. Without absolute morality, Hitler’s only error was his succumbing to defeat.
      More precisely, suppose there is no Hell. Now imagine some man who lies, cheats, and murders to gain great glory, much fresh flesh, the best things money can buy, ultra-expensive life-saving surgeries – the works. Then he dies and that’s it – no Hell, no eternal suffering, no justice. In such a universe the only moral is Might Makes Right, and if one is dumb enough to obey the imaginary morality pushed forward by (sometimes) well-meaning freaks like Dawkins, then one deserves to be robbed and raped and killed, because one is but a sheep among wolves.

      And that’s the problem.

    • OrdinarySerf  February 3, 2013 at 2:30 pm

      Oh dear, ’tis dangerous territory indeed to start quoting a perceived Dawkins contradiction jimbo….there are many hundreds more in the bible than Dawkins could be accused of in a lifetime.

      “Do you really mean to tell me the only reason you try to be good is to gain God’s approval and reward, or to avoid his disapproval and punishment? That’s not morality, that’s just sucking up, apple-polishing, looking over your shoulder at the great surveillance camera in the sky, or the still small wiretap inside your head, monitoring your every move, even your every base though.”

      I’ll do a Jonas here and not quote the source……(you’ll just have to guess !)

    • Jonas E. Alexis  February 3, 2013 at 2:48 pm

      Well, the only way Dawkins and others can make a point is to build a straw man and deconstruct it with great relish. No one is saying that people ought to be good in order to get God’s approval. This is one reason even atheist colleagues such as Daniel Came laugh at Dawkins’ excuses as to why he does not want to debate Christian philosopher William Lane Craig. Came is also an atheist from Oxford and wrote a critique of Dawkins in the British newspaper the Guardian (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2011/oct/22/richard-dawkins-refusal-debate-william-lane-craig.) Atheist philosopher Michael Ruse even declared right after the God Delusion came out that “makes me embarrassed to be an atheist.” (Alister McGrath, Dawkins’ Delusion?)
      What Christians are saying is that there is no ontological foundation for morality if God does not exist. I made it plain in the previous article that atheist can recognize or even follow morality. It just that he cannot defend “his” morality from an objective point of view. Thanks for the comment.

    • OrdinarySerf  February 3, 2013 at 3:05 pm

      So I take it you don’t like Dawkins then Jonas ?! Many people don’t and many others do and that’s fine. What Dawkins and Hitchens are saying is that there is a foundation for morality if God doesn’t exist. There is no problem for me with either view – I’m agnostic !

    • OrdinarySerf  February 3, 2013 at 3:15 pm

      http://youtu.be/7nIRJVmZ4K8

    • Jonas E. Alexis  February 4, 2013 at 1:35 am

      I find it very interesting to know that Jonas doesn’t like Dawkins. What prompted you to say that? Just because I pointed out a logical fallacy, then by definition I don’t like Dawkins? By what logical inference that allows you to make that jump? And no, Dawkins and Hitchens are not saying that there is a foundation for morality if God does not exist. I would challenge you to point this out in any of their writings (without contradiction).

    • OrdinarySerf  February 4, 2013 at 5:27 am

      Very convenient for you to ‘explain’ the unexplainable in this way Jonas……I am simply following through your own logic and have asked you who created the ‘creator’. Your answer appears (to me at least) to be that you don’t know or it doesn’t need to be explained at all. In other words it is (as I have stated previously) beyond the realms of human intelligence and understanding. I don’t deny that there may be a God, but have a slight problem with religiously conditioned academics who try to explain what they cannot simply because they believe. The most rational and humble position to take on this subject is therefore the agnostic.

    • OrdinarySerf  February 4, 2013 at 5:40 am

      Re: Dawkins, perhaps I should have said that I take it you do not ‘agree’ with Richard Dawkins.
      Actually, from your posts here in the article and comments section I don’t think you like him either and may even consider yourself to be intellectually and morally superior. I say that with kind regards and respect, but that really is a personal opinion.

    • Jonas E. Alexis  February 4, 2013 at 6:04 am

      I gave reasons as to why I disagree with Dawkins. But that disagreement does not and should not lead anyone to make the leap that “I don’t like him either and may even consider [myself] to be intellectually and morally superior.” Do you think that evolutionary biologists and atheists such as Massimo Pigliucci, David Sloan Wilson, and H. Allen Orr hate Dawkins because they disagree with his conclusions? And I am still puzzled by the statement that the post implies that I hate Dawkins. Over the years, I have come to the conclusion that your critics can be your best friend, pointing out things that need to be explored. Dawkins, to some extent, has actually done that by calling people to think about the implications of their worldviews. In fact, there has been a renaissance of “religion” just a few years after Dawkins’ The God Delusion (see for example God is Back, by John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge).

    • OrdinarySerf  February 4, 2013 at 7:00 am

      Jonas, I did not say that you ‘hate’ Dawkins……that is a ‘leap’ on your part – much too strong. I said I don’t personally think you ‘like’ him.

      For me, you have not answered the key question as to who created the creator. All I have seen is philosophical debate and quotation….I have seen the same approach for decades.

      The fact is there is no answer and therefore there can be no proof that God exists.
      I’m not saying God doesn’t exist, merely saying that creation theory is just that – theory. If you can accept that we do not have the answer to this, then Agnostics really do adopt the least emotive and most sensible position.

    • OrdinarySerf  February 4, 2013 at 8:00 am

      In fact Jonas, you admit it up there in the FB section in a reply to Derrick:

      “There is no such thing as “the proof of God.” But we are rational people and we make logical deduction and inference.”

      “In order words, the universe is actually crying out for a Creator. And I think the evidence points toward that direction.”

      “If Dawkins wants to abandon reason in order to embrace atheism, then I’ll leave him up to it. ”

      So WE are rational people, but YOU are more rational than Dawkins ?

      I might as well say that the universe is actually crying out for a creator, so I’ll try to convince the people by philosophical argument, that there is one.

      It’s just a belief, nothing more….and I should emphasise that there is nothing wrong with you holding that belief.

    • Jonas E. Alexis  February 9, 2013 at 9:59 pm

      Craig’s positions must be characterized properly before a person can accurately respond to them. Never has he said that “an atheist’s viewpoint would be that there is nothing wrong with rape.” He said clearly that on an atheistic ground, rape cannot objectively be wrong. That in no way means that an atheist is apt to rape someone or that they love rape. Nor does it mean that morality is the province of religious people, or that atheists cannot live moral lives. This is a non-issue among philosophers and ethicists—both Christians and atheists. You can check Michael Ruse, Kai Nielsen, Friedrich Nietzsche, and they will say the same thing. I also pointed out last time that Jean Paul Sartre struggled with similar issues in his book Nausea.
      With respect to Craig’s claims that “Historians have reached something of a consensus…,” it is irrelevant to cite all those historians in a short debate like that, particularly when the claim is well attested and well known among people in the field. Craig has a list of those historians in his book Reasonable Faith, and even Bart Ehrman agrees with the consensus of the historians, though Ehrman does not take the position that Christ rose from the dead. Now, when he says “facts,” those are the “facts” that have been widely attested by a wide range of historians, most of whom are not even Christians. Take for example Jewish historian Pinchas Lapid. He is not a Christian. But he agrees with all the “facts” Craig has listed. So does New Testament scholar Gerd Ludemann. Ludemann too does not take the position that Christ rose from the dead.
      Be careful about using the word “baloney” without sufficient evidence. Once again, Craig debated Ehrman on this very issue and Ehrman did not object to the “facts”; Ehrman, like other atheist and agnostic historians, objected to the idea that the resurrection can be examined historically (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhT4IENSwac.)
      I am sorry to say this, but the question of “Who design the Designer” is not a reasonable statement, for it leads to infinite regress which is nonsensical. For anything to exist, you and me and the planets, there has to be an uncaused cause. Again, thinking people have been thinking about these questions for thousands of years, long before you and I were born. Have you read Aristotle or Aquinas on this subject?
      Both Christians and atheists have to respond to the big questions. From your viewpoint, how did the universe get here? Twentieth-century science has indicated that the universe is not eternal and that it began to exist. Stephen Hawking and Roger Penrose themselves acknowledge in their book The Nature of Space and Time: “almost everyone now believes that the universe, and time itself, had a beginning at the big bang.” That leads to two frightening conclusions: either the universe created itself, or someone did the job. Atheist philosopher Daniel Dennett argues in his book Breaking the Spell that the universe created itself! This is self-contradictory. For the universe to create itself, that means the universe was in existence before it created itself! Anyway, the question for all of us to answer is that the universe began to exist, and we need an explanation. What’s yours?

    • OrdinarySerf  February 10, 2013 at 9:53 am

      Thank you Jonas…..to take your points in order:

      Craig is implying it to bait atheists, otherwise he would use a less emotive life area than rape to illustrate his point. Bad form in my opinion, very poor indeed.

      If the morality point is a non-issue, then why is it so regularly brought up by theists as a core issue ?

      Craig will cite the historians he wants to cite in order to reinforce his own views…..that is an age old tactic and we see that across a broad range of important debates; one sees it all the time on VT – have a look at the Red Cross link that was used by the commenter ‘Gray’ on Alan Hart’s recent ‘WANTED’ ( ! ) article and my own counter source for the Red Cross position on the holocaust (small ‘h’ as Mr Hart uses).

      If Craig can use the words ‘believe’ and ‘fact’ in the same sentence, then I ‘believe’ I can use the word ‘baloney’ if I ‘believe’ he is talking ‘baloney’.

      There is nothing non-sensical in asking ‘who designed the designer’. It is only deemed non-sensical by theists (and in some cases atheists) because they cannot answer it, therefore it is very convenient to dismiss it as nonsence. No Sir, there does not have to be an ‘uncaused cause’ – there has to be a cause, it is just that the greatest brains on the planet have never been able to explain it and therefore go around in circles seeking to justify their individual theories on it. There you go again Jonas…..”Stephen Hawking and Roger Penrose themselves acknowledge in their book The Nature of Space and Time: “almost everyone now BELIEVES that the universe, and time itself, had a beginning at the big bang.” Language is the most important aspect in conditioning a populace, which is why I look at the use of language when following a debate – it assists me in determining whether the person speaking (or writing) is credible.

      Dennet is being no more contradictory than Craig and as Came indicates in the link you provided, the contradiction is there for both sides of this debate….you happen to have chosen to cite Dennet’s perceived contradiction here, that’s all.

      My ‘explanation’ has already been provided to you. Something happened that is beyond the intellect of mankind and may possibly be well beyond mankind ever to explain. I totally accept that mankind will continue to search for answers, but as a rational person ( ! ), the agnostic position is the least emotive and most sensible to adopt. The agnostic doesn’t cause wars based on beliefs and is perfectly capable of living a moral and loving life without being indoctrinated by religion. However, if religion is a source of comfort then, as noted previously, there is nothing wrong with anyone holding their own beliefs as long as they live in peace and harmony with those with other beliefs.

      Now I think we are two articles further down the line with you from here, so I will be moving on with interest as there is so much to read on VT. By the way, I am very pleased that you have now started putting your sources at the foot of the latest articles after a further submission from Terry McKibbin. The icing on the cake, many thanks.

  8. shalomjuitsie  February 1, 2013 at 5:03 am

    I would say, it’s not technology and modernization that destroys intelligence and critical thinking, but where the mind is focused. There’s an effort to keep the world dumbed down that’s enhanced with the use of modernization and technology- it’s not a given that that effort must take place,only, that it is taking place!

  9. blakehamilton  February 1, 2013 at 3:13 am

    Nietzsche was a great philosopher who recognized that humans are going backwards saying that technology & modernization of life destroys intelligence & critical thinking skills. Men of 19th/20th Century were a lot smarter than they are today.

    • stephanaugust  February 1, 2013 at 10:18 am

      YES, if they could see our modern school tests they would laugh oneself to death.

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