Blogalogue

Blogalogue


How Do We Tell A True Act of God From A False One?

posted by jmcgee

Dear Michael:
Thank you again for this exchange, Michael; I am grateful that you took the time to teach me with such patience and tolerance.
In all honesty, I can’t follow your subtle discussion of the relationship between natural laws and Divine Providence. The fault is mine. I think you are saying that miracles and divine intervention are consistent with the laws of nature. In any case, I am perfectly happy to grant you miracles for the sake of argument. The question I have been trying to pursue is rather an epistemological one: How do we tell a true act of God from a false one? Do you, Michael, approach the claims of other faiths with the same expectation of plausibility as you would a non-religious claim?


I take it that you don’t, that you reject other unusual or supernatural claims on the basis of religious orthodoxy, not because they are patently preposterous. Christians reject astrology and witchcraft, you say, because they “are told that such things are sinful.” But someone standing outside a faith has no such priesthood guiding him. Thus my question, again: how would you counsel the nonbeliever to approach the claim, for example, that a resident of upstate New York in 1827 decoded a buried runic gospel with the assistance of magic stones from Old Testament breastplates. How much proof or basic concordance with science and common sense may a disinterested observer rightly demand of such a claim?
In your latest post, you punt on whether God intervened on behalf of the Americans in the Revolutionary War; in No One Sees God, however, you seem to agree with George Washington that God did so interpose himself, thus bringing America “into line with God’s purposes” (73). Most Brits, presumably, despite possessing an equally deep familiarity with Christianity as the colonists, did not see things the same way. How could they have been so mistaken? You will have noticed that victors in war tend to claim divine approbation. This July, signs on a Lebanese highway read: “God’s Achievement Through our Hands. A Sign for Freedom, Victory from God.” These banners commemorated Israel’s release of five Hezbollah prisoners in exchange for the bodies of two Israeli soldiers. You will say that it is patently obvious that God could not possibly have affirmed such an outcome, but it’s not so obvious to millions of people in the world. I’m sure that skeptics strike you as frustratingly and pettily materialistic, demanding proof for God’s will in ways that misunderstand divinity and that limit the human spirit. But if it matters whether religious claims are true or not, and not simply a matter of taste or prior commitment, the not-yet-committed need some way to distinguish among them short of going to war or making a blind leap of faith.
I have more objects of gratitude for the unmerited benefits of my life than I can possibly contemplate. Thousands of human geniuses and entrepreneurs figured out how to conquer the disease and famine that is our natural lot by creating bridges, calculus, antibiotics, computers, clean water, and sanitation, among the millions of wonders that daily pervade our lives. Thousands of other human geniuses–Mozart, Sargent, Chopin, Van Dyck, the list is endless–created beauty that crushes us beneath its grandeur. I give thanks to all those human beings who have striven so hard to improve and to grace the human condition.
What I cannot do, however, is to attribute my privileged life to God’s solicitude for me. Doing so would require me to explain why I deserved in God’s eyes to receive every possible benefit while some other child was born with a genetic defect that will painfully consume her nervous system before she is ten. I am not narcissistic enough to even contemplate such a grotesque exercise. Don’t tell me that both children are equally blessed. No human father would wish on his daughter the second fate. I prefer to attribute my extraordinary fortune to the loving efforts of my parents to shower on me every advantage that human ingenuity has devised and to sheer dumb luck.
There is no suffering so unmerited and agonizing, however, that will ever convince the bulk of Christians that they are not superintended by an all-powerful, all-knowing “loving Friend,” as you term him, Michael. Skeptics are amazed at this, but also grateful that such remarkable double standards do not apply in the main to human judges and caregivers.
The multiplicity of meanings that pervade our lives emanate from the fecundity of the human spirit, in my view, they do not proceed from a single divine source. If I see the good as God’s creation, I would also have to see undeserved pain and catastrophic natural cataclysms as his creation–unless I become Manichean, which I take it you would view as heresy. This August, a seven-year-old girl was swept to her death in a flash flood at a New Hampshire campground. Her human father tried desperately to rescue her. Her purported divine father either did not care to save her or could not do so.
As for what started the universe, I don’t have a clue, and neither, in my view, do you, Michael. God is a placeholder for ignorance. Perhaps one day we will penetrate that mystery with verifiable knowledge, but it just may lie outside the limits of our intelligence. I am willing, however, to stipulate that God is that first cause which we feel compelled to posit as a logical matter but that we have otherwise been unable to verify empirically. The qualities that attach to that placeholder God, however, would be quite minimalist; they would certainly not include personal love and justice.
I do not spend much time wondering about things that I have no hope of answering; I will wait for others with a greater capacity than I to do so. This may be a point at which, Michael, we can distinguish where believers and nonbelievers start to diverge. Perhaps if I had more of a metaphysical bent, I would be closer to your position. But in any case, we do agree that the world is a wonderful place of strange beauty that human beings will always try to make better. Thank you again for our discussion.



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nnmns

posted November 17, 2008 at 10:30 pm


“But if it matters whether religious claims are true or not”
Well, duh.
“God is a placeholder for ignorance.”
Absolutely! It’s always been that way, starting with woods spirits and such, and there’s no reason to claim fewer imaginary beings are in some way superior to more, especially as people are probably more inclined to go to war for one god than for a few hundred various spirits.



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Albert the Abstainer

posted November 17, 2008 at 10:39 pm


Meister Eckhart, (a medieval German Catholic theologian, who by the way was also proscribed by the church), had this to say:
“God is nameless, for no man can either say or understand aught about Him. If I say, God is good, it is not true; nay more; I am good, God is not good. I may even say, I am better than God; for whatever is good, may become better, and whatever may become better, may become best. Now God is not good, for He cannot become better. And if He cannot become better, He cannot become best, for these three things, good, better, and best, are far from God, since He is above all. If I also say, God is wise, it is not true; I am wiser than He. If I also say, God is a Being, it is not true; He is transcendent Being and superessential Nothingness. Concerning this St Augustine says: the best thing that man can say about God is to be able to be silent about Him, from the wisdom of his inner judgement. Therefore be silent and prate not about God, for whenever thou dost prate about God, thou liest, and committest sin. [i}If thou wilt be without sin, prate not about God. Thou canst understand nought about God, for He is above all understanding. A master saith: [b]If I had a God whom I could understand, I would never hold Him to be God[/b][/i]”
Heather had this to say:
“I do not spend much time wondering about things that I have no hope of answering; I will wait for others with a greater capacity than I to do so.”
Actually, it appears to me to be a point where Meister Eckhart and Heather share a fair bit it common.



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Your Name

posted November 18, 2008 at 11:59 am


Catholic theologian John S. Dunne begins his lifelong theological task with a universal question: If I must one day die, what must I do to satisfy my desire to live? He proposes that all life may be interpreted as a journey or quest in search of answers to that question, and that we acquire insight and knowledge by passing over from our own standpoint to that of others to see the world from a perspective other than our own, to perceive and examine images provoked by experiencing another’s standpoint, and then to come back to our own standpoint refreshed by new insight and knowledge of the world.There’s nothing conclusive about what we know in this way, except that our meanings may converge around something we can agree to call truth, even though it’s uncertain.____I wonder what Michael would discover by passing over to Heather’s standpoint for a refreshing view of his own, and what insights Heather would glean by passing over to Michael’s. Dialogue is fruitless as long as we’re listening to each other for the sake of argument rather than seeking to understand and appreciate each other for the sake of insight. This has been a polite conversation so far, but the tableau remains one of standoff rather than openness to mutually shared standpoints.____My guess is that Heather is a humanist and Michael a Roman Catholic by choice based on how each interprets personal experience. Both have embarked upon Dunne’s quest for the meaning of life in light of inevitable death. Both are secure in their standpoints, probably more secure than most of us, by dint of learning and professional investment, so wouldn’t it be productive for both to acknowledge in other than a few patronizing phrases the substantive value in each other’s standpoint, regardless of how erroneous they seem in the final analysis?____Is Michael courageous enough to pass over to Heather’s standpoint, to see the world as she sees it and acknowledge where his horizon converges with hers? Is Heather courageous enough to pass over to Michael’s standpoint? Is Michael courageous enough to appreciate Heather’s humanism and Heather Michael’s Catholicism? The operative word is courage, for both must die and it is of interest to me how each appreciates the other’s answer for satisfying the desire to live.



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Kevin

posted November 18, 2008 at 8:17 pm


The problem with the skeptic position is that it looks at the world only and does not consider who God is without the world. A priority is made to a naturalistic metaphysic and God eludes it. The tools to understand God, truly if they exist, would come from inward and outward observation. The skeptic seems inexhuastibly looking outward. To me, it came as a revelation that the universe and world could not exist without a righteousness upholding them. It is logical that something comes from something, and not from nothing. It is a logical assumption that God must have created the working universe and that God must be good. When a person allows this logical assumption God helps that person to build on their faith. He upholds the axiom in their heart, and they die by this axiom, which nobody else can see, nor can they physically prove. The ability to logic is itself the first proof of God’s goodness and existence. The earth is in turmoil from sin and the skeptic seems bound to include the curse of sin as characteristic of God. The Bible gives the reason why there is tragedy in the world. Read about it in Genesis. Lately, I’ve come to realize that there is fruit that comes from the unbelieving doctor or scientist. They do help others indiscriminately who are suffering and lacking. What I don’t understand is why people who are bearing fruit cling to the idea that God is indistinct in himself, or does not exist. The major tenets of Evolution Theory are one hundred percent imaginative and subjective. From abiogenesis to homologies to mutations the Evolution of species has not met scientific standards. From my perspective it seems to work as a system of control. Freedom is not the ability to exploit the physical, but the invisible. And when you exploit the invisible, you are grateful and obedient, because such a priviledge only can God give. A logical conclusion to the logical assumption of a good God.



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nnmns

posted November 18, 2008 at 9:50 pm


“The problem with the skeptic position is that it looks at the world only and does not consider who God is without the world.”
Uh, a thoroughgoing skeptic is quite sure there isn’t any god so why would you “consider who God is without the world.”? Whatever that means.
You claim it’s logical that “God” must have created the universe. It’s not logical that anything intelligent was needed. Modern physics indicates the properties of the universe might be adequate. And anyway if you think a god did it the obvious question is, what created the god? It’s simpler to think a universe came from something we might call nothing or we might just call very strange than to think a god which could create a universe came from nothing or from something even stranger than such a god.
Oh, and Kevin you are also wrong about the subjectivity of evolution. It’s extremely well established scientifically.



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Kevin

posted November 19, 2008 at 7:35 pm


Have you ever considered that God has always existed? In our lives we must face the beginning of ourselves, and consequently because of sin, the end of ourselves as well. I tell you that I have found that God’s domain and reality is much different than ours. If you look at God without considering that God is greater than worldy dimensions and thinking then you will always have problems with understanding what and who God truly is. You know that you were born and die, so you attribute these characteristics to God. That is looking at God through the world’s wisdom. Is it so amazing that the eternal God would have never been born nor shall ever die? Is it so unbelievable? Why would God be like you? It is more reasonible that you, if God exists, are like God in some way and that God is nothing like you. Do you understand this? Do you even seek God?



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Kevin

posted November 19, 2008 at 9:11 pm


I should have asked instead, Did you ever seek God?



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Kevin

posted November 19, 2008 at 10:02 pm


I would like to add that I usually see that skeptics are actually dishonest with themselves. For whatever reason, they lie to themselves and it is apparent in the way they speak. Intentions reveal integrity, and outcomes reveal intentions. This is a fair way to base judgement because it remains after the fact. This debate is dead in the water now it seems.____Heather MacDonald revealed her dishonesty (in some form) in her directing the discussion to how other religions are perceived. She seemed to resort to throwing punches, and not truly being concerned with the debate topic. If anyone wants to argue that debates are all about throwing punches what would be the reason for the civility such as was in this debate? The only explanation would be to make a false sense of yourself in order to cull your opponenet into some unforeseen weakness.____Religion would be open for a debate subject after the initial talks on Belief, even segued at the end for a following topic, but not during the main event. The object ideal in any debate, whether it is between God and man, or man and man is for a party to have a resolution. Sometimes that resolution may very well be the lack of a resolution, but in this debate the subject was simply derailed. A person can try to justify themselves in what they did



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Kevin

posted November 19, 2008 at 10:06 pm


The above post is incomplete. I copy and paste my posts and when the text security denied me 4-5 times I must have chopped off the rest.



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nnmns

posted November 20, 2008 at 1:58 am


“Have you ever considered that God has always existed?”
Have you ever considered that the universe, or whatever it came from, has always existed? We certainly have problems thinking of something always existing or coming from “nothing” but the exact same problems occur whether you are talking about a god or a universe. But it’s simpler to imagine a universe doing it than a god which, after infinite time apparently doing nothing noteworthy, suddenly decides to make a universe.
And I find this security box stuff very frustrating too.



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Kevembuangga

posted November 20, 2008 at 11:47 am


More has been said above at the Cosmic Variance blog already.
For short, casting inner emotions of love, fear, anguish, etc… onto fictitious external entities (look at what the Greek gods were) is a mild form of schizophrenia.



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Jeremy Kareken

posted November 25, 2008 at 11:27 am


Why are people quick to judge miracles as divine intervention but loath to do so in cases of catastrophe? And one man’s miracle may be another man’s catastrophe. You’re the sole survivor of a plane crash. It seems like a miracle, until you consider the other passengers.
For the resolutely theist, catastrophes sometimes represent an example of a divine power working in “mysterious” ways. Why do we consider that we can understand His beneficence but not His capricious-seeming wrath?
I don’t claim that there is no divine power, only that there is no proof.



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rotorhead

posted December 11, 2008 at 10:46 am


I think what is really being asked here, is how INVOLVED is God in our lives?



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rotorhead

posted December 11, 2008 at 11:19 am


Without starting from a common reference point, “there is a God” and common definitions of terms, “salvation”, “heaven”, “hell”, debating any point as to divine power for blessing our lives or condemnation for punishing us…is really pointless…at some point a person much venture out on “faith” (what does that mean) in their quest for understanding.
I believe this, you believe that, blah, blah, blah…makes for good argument, but not debate!
Striving to answer the “mysterious” ways of divinity is like a 2-yr old trying to explain differential calculus—there is a definite disconnect.
One must “grow” in the “ways” of God, to comprehend God and eventually answer these questions posed in the debate. Why is a father of six suddenly killed in a plane crash leaving a pregnant wife alone to fend for her family? Why are millions of fetus’ aborted each year—did the premature ending of that life permanently end the existence of that entity? Why are the “Hitlers” of the world allowed to cause such havoc? Is life fair? etc., etc., etc.,
Because it is programmed into man to ask questions, a loving supreme God wants us to find the anwers…but in the right time and order. Who is going to explain quantum physics to a 6-yr old boy, even if he is asking about quarks? There is much he must learn “first” —He will eventually get there, if in his haste to know, he exercises patience and persistence and learns in the proper sequence…until then a wise and “learned” teacher will answer only to the level he is “prepared” to receive, otherwise it may very well quell the inquisitiveness necessary to carry one forward in the hard struggle of learning.
Why would we expect “spiritual” learning or the mysterious ways of God to be any different? Sure my curiosity wants to know when was the earth created? or What exactly is the ‘spark’ of life that separates a living, biological body from the dead one? etc., etc., but I haven’t fully grasped the concepts of faith, obedience, grace, works, etc., yet! Let alone, the revealed sciences! So why should I expect to understand the scope of God’s daily workings with man? The most “learned” theologians of our day can’t even agree on which Bible is God’s true word…how can we turn to them for understanding God’s mysterious ways…???
However, just because I may not know something, doesn’t mean the answer can’t be found! Never give up, never surrender!



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Philip Bitar

posted January 26, 2009 at 4:06 pm


I recently published a book in which I present a comprehensive theory of human life. I introduce the book at http://www.philipbitar.com.
In section 2.3, I cover the topic of theism. I present the only rational proof of theism, and I show that both theism and atheism are rational. You can get a feel for this result by reading the summary of section 2.3 on my website under the chapter summaries and under the subsection summaries. Here’s a brief, simplified explanation.
The difference between theism and atheism is that under the former, reality has a mind, while under the latter, reality doesn’t have a mind. But practically speaking, it doesn’t matter whether or not reality has a mind. What matters is our ability to predict what reality will do.
To illustrate, suppose that I’m playing cards with two people and that one opponent believes that I have a mind while the other doesn’t. What matters to both people is their ability to predict my behavior, and this ability is independent of their belief as to whether or not I have a mind.
You may reply that if I have a mind, my thoughts will determine my behavior, so it does matter whether or not I have a mind. But from the point of view of my opponents, it doesn’t matter. Here’s why.
Suppose that I have a choice of two options, B and D, that I have a choice of two thoughts, A and C, and that if I think A, I’ll do B, whereas if I think C, I’ll do D. From the point of view of my opponents, all that matters is my propensity to do B or D, not whether or not I think A or C. Hence, the opponent who assumes that I have a mind will estimate the probability of my thinking A versus C, which implies the probability of my doing B versus D, while the opponent who assumes that I don’t have a mind will dispense with A versus C and will simply estimate the probability of my doing B versus D. We can see that the opponent who assumes that I have a mind has no advantage over the opponent who assumes that I don’t have a mind. What counts is their ability to predict my behavior, and this is independent of whether or not they assume that I have a mind.
I’ve contrived a simple example to illustrate the concept, but this simple example generalizes to thoughts of arbitrary complexity because the person who assumes that I don’t have a mind can create exactly the same predictive model as the person who assumes that I do have a mind. For what the latter refers to as thoughts, the former will refer to as hypothetical constructs. In the end, all that matters is which opponent best predicts my behavior, and assuming that I have a mind confers no advantage in this endeavor.
Returning to theism vs. atheism, under theism, reality has a mind, while under atheism, reality doesn’t have a mind. Practically speaking, it doesn’t matter whether or not reality has a mind. Practically speaking, what matters is our ability to predict the behavior of reality. This gives you a feel for why both theism and atheism are rational, but the actual demonstration is more technical and is presented in section 2.3 of my book.
Because both theism and atheism are rational, theists who battle atheism are battling windmills, and similarly, atheists who battle theism are battling windmills. What matters is how we live. I show that bare theism vs. bare atheism has nothing to do with cultural values or ethical values, and in chapter 4, I show how to develop a model of ethics based on reason applied to experience, independent of religion.
If both theism and atheism are rational, then why do theists believe that theism is important? I conclude that aside from a desire for a sense of intimacy with reality, the reason for theism (monotheism) is twofold: for the hope that evil will be punished and good rewarded, and for the hope that human life will continue after death. The two themes are amalgamated in the concept of dichotomous afterlife: heaven vs. hell.
Both themes remain unfulfilled in Ecclesiastes because the writer (or writers) of Ecclesiastes has no belief in afterlife. The fulfillment sought by the writer will be realized through the dichotomous afterlife of monotheism as exemplified in Zoroastrianism of the time and as subsequently incorporated into Judaism. Christianity obtained it from Judaism, and Islam obtained it from Judaism and Christianity. Hence, the family of Near Eastern monotheist religions — Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam — is characterized by the two themes of monotheism and dichotomous afterlife.
In section 7.1 of my book, I show that the concept of afterlife is rational as an implication of the strong anthropic cosmological principle, a principle that remains to be established. In section 2.3 on theism, in chapter 3 on religion, and in section 7.1 on meaning, I show how we can predict the behavior of reality as per religious-type concerns without having to assume that reality has a mind. In section 3.1 I prove that the idea of dichotomous afterlife is irrational; in section 3.2 I prove that the traditional idea of divine incarnation is irrational; and in section 3.3 I prove that the traditional idea of divine revelation is irrational. These are ideas that an earlier age gave birth to but that we can now move beyond.
In conclusion, both theism and atheism are rational. Since theism is rational, it is rational to believe that reality has a mind and to pursue a sense of intimacy with reality as you would with another person. This is a hallmark of monotheism. It is rational, and it is deeply meaningful to most people, myself included.
Where belief in God can move into the irrational is when it comes to predicting the behavior of reality. For superstitious people, belief in God is not the problem; their model for predicting the behavior of God is the problem. The greater a person’s knowledge of science, the less superstitious they tend to be. Why? Because science presents a model for highly accurate prediction of the behavior of reality, thereby eliminating the need for superstition.



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Leanna

posted March 14, 2009 at 11:48 pm


Everyone should get a copy of this book.
http://faithlikeamustardseed.com



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Your Name

posted July 17, 2009 at 10:15 am


How can we tell a true act of God from a false one if there’s question of His existence in the first place? To first try to determine if an act was done by God or not, you have to believe there’s the possibility that He exists in the first place and seeing how God’s existence is arguable, that makes this question entirely subjectable. It’s a bit like debating whether or not Santa Claus wears boxers or briefs. Unless you’re assuming Santa Claus exists, the discussion is closed.
If we assume God exists and that he created the world and everything in it, technically everything which happens is an act of god whether it be directly from his hand or indirectly though the course of events which lead to it.
In either case, it’s a moot point.



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Lee

posted August 16, 2009 at 8:13 pm


As I read through these posts, an exhortation from Jesus to become childlike in our approach to faith. A child asks many questions, but questions few of the answers they are given. They accept on faith. I think there is a reason Jesus tried to get his followers to approach faith in this way. Sometimes we think too much, and ask too many questions.



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Lee

posted August 16, 2009 at 8:14 pm


My comment should have said:
As I read through these posts, an exhortation from Jesus to become childlike in our approach to faith comes to mind.



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Mark JohnMuirElCid

posted September 3, 2009 at 12:26 pm


Lots of interesting comments. Thank you to Heather and Michael, and all the responses. My thoughts on the matter possibly bear more relation to the point about establishing common points of reference.
Science has always interested me, especially because of its relationship to the real world. Surprise at a good father and family dying in a plane crash is not starting with the basics, I think. Mother Theresa didn’t die in a plane crash. Neither did Ronald Reagan or Jimmy Carter. Are the three equatable in moral terms or in God’s eyes? Just where do we start to get grounded? Who doesn’t want to be good, or appear good? How good are we if we don’t practice meditation and reflect on the long-term and widespread negative consequences of our behavior?
Moreover, who is willing to succeed without getting as much as they possibly can out of it? How much are other people being deprived, and really benefiting in the process? A 1930′s film, My Man Godrey, examines the question in an entertaining way, as does Steve Martin’s 1980′s film, The Jerk. These questions will get us into the combined dynamics of the blessings developed by modern humans, their relationship to an evolving created universe, and to the history of that culture through Christian education, which originates with a man teaching anything but greed and cold-blooded profit-maximization.
One starting point is mind-body healing. Is it real? From Freud to Carl and Stephanie Simonton, to Louise Hay’s curing her own cancer, and helping others heal from other conditions, including AIDS. Without pharmeceutical medicine in many cases. The techniques involve nurturing forms of thought, otherwise known as love.
That’s nice. You know, Jesus is said to have healed. Let’s take some time to think about it.
Then again, do we have all the time in the world? A second point of concern for us is the environment. Love Canal, NY in the 1970′s showed how toxic waste poisons and kills people, trichloroethylene or some such poison. Even Eskimos by now have chemicals in their bodies, and that means we all do. Where are the factories? Mostly out of site of people with most of the money.
This raises the question of economic inequality and injustice. Who has paid for the advertisements against climate change concerns? People interested in investing in clean energy technology? Not exactly. People focussed on economic activity that has been making money for them, with dollar signs from their current bank accounts in their eyes. The movie, “Who Killed the Electric Car?” shows very well how the Electric Car was not eliminated by an “invisible hand.” “Market forces” were not so objective in their economic abuse of power.
“Good” people dying in plane crashes avoids addressing some manageable questions. Many things have become possible in a world of science and technology, whether Jimmy Carter’s putting solar panels on the White House, or Ronald Reagan’s increasing defense spending and decreasing EPA funding. Scientists and economists engage in lots of debates and take lots of credit. However, the environment is being degraded willfully by business and its mentality, and people deprived of economic control by investors are struggling to regain and retain that control worldwide. United Air Lines, for example.
Moreover, what is the origin of science and economic philosophy in the modern world? Aristotle didn’t survive, neither did Plato’s academies. In fact, their teachings lay in the Arabic world for some time. Was it the barbarian tribes who diplomatically contacted the Arabic scholars? Or stealthy Greeks? Then why was it St. Thomas of Aquinas who took Aristotle’s Greek logic and turned it into the proofs of God? Newton, as did DesCartes, Copernicus, Galileo, and Kepler, all still referred to God in their work.
Moving forward to the industrial revolution, how can we reconcile the rise of mechanization in factories of the wealthy and the elimination of skilled craftsmen? Advertising later came to dominate the culture, actually targeting social mores to change cultural perceptions in favor of mass consumption of cheap machine production.
Most of us non-hippies and country-folk have to re-emerge from this psychocultural mind-set, perhaps not unlike the computer HAL who controls the spaceship in 2001:A Space Odyssey. Look at the story of Interface Carpets and Ray Anderson, or the Evangelical Creation Care movement. We have been given enormous power to understand a created and evolved world, thanks to Church-based education with the efforts of the Dominican St. Thomas. The consequences of the differences between the likes of Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan occur at different levels and scales. The destruction of the environment has reached 60% by count of the 2005 World Bank-UNEP-WRI study, but it is still hard to see. The fall of Wall St. in 2008 cost trillions, but who can tell? Executives can still steal bonus money from the government.
Nevertheless, can you cheat an honest man? I have European and Latin American roots that I have explored, and have been to Africa and studied Asian arts. A non-profit like Green America promotes green business, and the NCBA promotes socially responsible business partnerships. Contrasting the pollution and employee-benefits from industrial hog farms and from farmer-owned business like Organic Valley, and businesses that sell Fair Trade certified coffee begins to help specify conditions and choices involved in distinguishing between “good people.” Who doesn’t want to be good, or appear good?
Then again, who is willing to succeed without getting as much as they possibly can out of it? How much are other people being deprived, and really benefiting in the process? A 1930′s film, My Man Godrey, examines the question in an entertaining way, as does Steve Martin’s 1980′s film, The Jerk. These questions will get us into the combined dynamics of the blessings developed by modern humans, their relationship to an evolving created universe, and to the history of that culture through Christian education, which originates with a man teaching anything but greed and cold-blooded profit-maximization.



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jim

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K. Sean Proudler

posted March 7, 2010 at 6:07 pm


Learn to see truths.
This is very difficult for believers though, since they focus upon beliefs instead, meaning they focus upon that which one is dependent upon if one is located at a distance from the actual truth.
If however you choose to look toward truths, then prepare to be in for a massive mind boggling shock.
After you find the truth, of course you immediately wish to share it with others, but then you find that each of the believers 100% reject the truth that you present to them, since they are stuck to their beliefs and thus are stuck to being located at a distance from the truth, and those only accept less than truth.
Never the less, you still do become the most powerful person of this world. You become world famous, yet no one knows of you in the here and now, for they can only see you across distance of both time and space, for they are believers, not seekers of truths.
http://www.outersecrets.com/real/biblecode2.htm



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posted July 26, 2010 at 8:48 pm


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payday loans

posted August 28, 2010 at 6:01 pm


Thanks for such a great post and the review, I am totally impressed! Keep stuff like this coming.



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Your Name

posted September 24, 2010 at 2:40 pm


first of all donot believe it is of god nd corn chapter 11 satan can also appear as an angel of light and there have been many so called miricles done by satan allways seek the truth investigate it and allways allways plead the blood of jesus seek guidance of the holy spitit and god will provide the truth richard orme marion va 24354 ps the bible commands it test the spirit and plead the blood of jesus



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tzimmerm

posted November 11, 2010 at 1:00 pm


Very interesting read. I suggest you check out Chuck Colson’s Centurions Program.
http://www.breakpoint.org/resources/centurions



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