I find the latest billboard from Auckland Anglican church St. Matthew-in-the-City offensive.
I’m not someone who usually gets offended. My motto is, “Take drugs, not umbrage.” But I’m starting to feel like I’m missing out. So, just for once, I thought I’d give it a go. I don’t have any feathers, so I’ve ruffled what little hair I have left instead. I’m offended. Deeply so. And if you find *that* offensive, well … let’s be offended together!
A legal opinion by lawyer Ian Bassett said a Human Rights Commission statement that religious officials and leaders were free to refuse to perform marriages that were not in accordance with their religious beliefs, was incorrect.
He said if celebrants and church leaders refused to perform marriages, or hoteliers and others supplying services to the public refused to supply services to same-sex couples for a wedding, they would be breaching the Human Rights Act.
An educated friend of ours tells me he finds the notion of thinking matter to be incomprehensible … he’s been steeped in dualism too long!
We have the ideas of matter and thinking, but possibly shall never be able to know whether any mere material being thinks or no; it being impossible for us, by the contemplation of our own ideas, without revelation, to discover whether Omnipotency has not given to some systems of matter, fitly disposed, a power to perceive and think, or else joined and fixed to matter, so disposed, a thinking immaterial substance: it being, in respect of our notions, not much more remote from our comprehension to conceive that GOD can, if he pleases, superadd to matter a faculty of thinking, than that he should superadd to it another substance with a faculty of thinking; since we know not wherein thinking consists, nor to what sort of substances the Almighty has been pleased to give that power, which cannot be in any created being, but merely by the good pleasure and bounty of the Creator.
Whether Matter may not be made by God to think is more than man can know. For I see no contradiction in it, that the first Eternal thinking Being, or Omnipotent Spirit, should, if he pleased, give to certain systems of created senseless matter, put together as he thinks fit, some degrees of sense, perception, and thought: though, as I think I have proved, … it is no less than a contradiction to suppose matter (which is evidently in its own nature void of sense and thought) should be that Eternal first-thinking Being.
What certainty of knowledge can any one have, that some perceptions, such as, v.g., pleasure and pain, should not be in some bodies themselves, after a certain manner modified and moved, as well as that they should be in an immaterial substance, upon the motion of the parts of body: Body, as far as we can conceive, being able only to strike and affect body, and motion, according to the utmost reach of our ideas, being able to produce nothing but motion; so that when we allow it to produce pleasure or pain, or the idea of a colour or sound, we are fain to quit our reason, go beyond our ideas, and attribute it wholly to the good pleasure of our Maker. For, since we must allow He has annexed effects to motion which we can no way conceive motion able to produce, what reason have we to conclude that He could not order them as well to be produced in a subject we cannot conceive capable of them, as well as in a subject we cannot conceive the motion of matter can any way operate upon?
I say not this, that I would any way lessen the belief of the soul’s immateriality: I am not here speaking of probability, but knowledge; and I think not only that it becomes the modesty of philosophy not to pronounce magisterially, where we want that evidence that can produce knowledge; but also, that it is of use to us to discern how far our knowledge does reach; for the state we are at present in, not being that of vision, we must in many things content ourselves with faith and probability: and in the present question, about the Immateriality of the Soul, if our faculties cannot arrive at demonstrative certainty, we need not think it strange.
All the great ends of morality and religion are well enough secured, without philosophical proofs of the soul’s immateriality; since it is evident, that he who made us at the beginning to subsist here, sensible intelligent beings, and for several years continued us in such a state, can and will restore us to the like state of sensibility in another world, and make us capable there to receive the retribution he has designed to men, according to their doings in this life. And therefore it is not of such mighty necessity to determine one way or the other, as some, over-zealous for or against the immateriality of the soul, have been forward to make the world believe. Who, either on the one side, indulging too much their thoughts immersed altogether in matter, can allow no existence to what is not material: or who, on the other side, finding not cogitation within the natural powers of matter, examined over and over again by the utmost intention of mind, have the confidence to conclude- That Omnipotency itself cannot give perception and thought to a substance which has the modification of solidity.
He that considers how hardly sensation is, in our thoughts, reconcilable to extended matter; or existence to anything that has no extension at all, will confess that he is very far from certainly knowing what his soul is. It is a point which seems to me to be put out of the reach of our knowledge: and he who will give himself leave to consider freely, and look into the dark and intricate part of each hypothesis, will scarce find his reason able to determine him fixedly for or against the soul’s materiality. Since, on which side soever he views it, either as an unextended substance, or as a thinking extended matter, the difficulty to conceive either will, whilst either alone is in his thoughts, still drive him to the contrary side. An unfair way which some men take with themselves: who, because of the inconceivableness of something they find in one, throw themselves violently into the contrary hypothesis, though altogether as unintelligible to an unbiassed understanding. This serves not only to show the weakness and the scantiness of our knowledge, but the insignificant triumph of such sort of arguments; which, drawn from our own views, may satisfy us that we can find no certainty on one side of the question: but do not at all thereby help us to truth by running into the opposite opinion; which, on examination, will be found clogged with equal difficulties. For what safety, what advantage to any one is it, for the avoiding the seeming absurdities, and to him unsurmountable rubs, he meets with in one opinion, to take refuge in the contrary, which is built on something altogether as inexplicable, and as far remote from his comprehension?
It is past controversy, that we have in us something that thinks; our very doubts about what it is, confirm the certainty of its being, though we must content ourselves in the ignorance of what kind of being it is: and it is in vain to go about to be sceptical in this, as it is unreasonable in most other cases to be positive against the being of anything, because we cannot comprehend its nature. For I would fain know what substance exists, that has not something in it which manifestly baffles our understandings.
Other spirits, who see and know the nature and inward constitution of things, how much must they exceed us in knowledge? To which, if we add larger comprehension, which enables them at one glance to see the connexion and agreement of very many ideas, and readily supplies to them the intermediate proofs, which we by single and slow steps, and long poring in the dark, hardly at last find out, and are often ready to forget one before we have hunted out another; we may guess at some part of the happiness of superior ranks of spirits, who have a quicker and more penetrating sight, as well as a larger field of knowledge.
The Atom. Monists say that Each Individual, All Humanity, All Life, Love, Artistic expression, Every Moral crusade, Politics, Religion, Every Conscious thought, Every moment of Ecstasy and wonder are nothing more than the interaction of Atoms.
Its been one of those days…Reading the Waikato Times pg 7.
So much Atheist Bullshit… So little time to Rub their noses in it!
One of the favorite Atheist ‘Group hugs’ is their Self delusion that their beliefs are planted in ‘superior soil’ to Balmy Religious ‘Hocus pocus’.
They claim to dwell at the pinnacle of the evolutionary advance, having Superior Intelligence and Superior Education to their Lesser Religious cousins, and having escaped the primitive mindset which is religiously prone, they claim *Reason* as the mighty Rock upon which they stand.
Now if the stench of vanity is not enough to make you question the validity of these claims, The Exploits of one of their Sects ought to.
I refer to that sect of atheists known as ‘Evolutionary psychologists’ whose primary ambition is to take the mind of mankind and using scientific jargon make up a rationale to vindicate their faith that everything in the universe conforms to their Atheist Naturalistic Cosmology.
That is their brief, their duty, their delight.
What is important to realize about this process is that insodoing they De-Humanize Mankind from being a Freewill/ reasoning/ Moral Agent into a mere Automation… a robot.
This can be clearly seen in such declarations as this….
How Flocking Ridiculous!
They want you to believe your little Tot has a Pre-disposition to vote Left! (Or Right, or Whateva)
What more via this notion that Genes make our political decisions for us, they have negated your power of reason and freewill …which is what the very purpose of their conclusions are aimed at achieving… forcing the Mind to comply with materialistic determinism, and just as importantly undermining the Moral culpability which underpins The Christian Argument in respect to freewill and Divine judgment.
Many Atheists will get warm fuzzies from this announcement and say to themselves…”Yes! Freewill is a myth! Everything in the Universe has a purely Naturalistic explanation… There is no God and Man is not a Moral Agent.”
“Everything that is… from the Moon, to Leonardo’s Mona Lisa was Pre-ordained in the Big Bang”
Ie they will accept these findings simply because they conveniently integrate with their Materialistic faith…. Ha ha…. Think about that! Blind leading the Blind…
I ask you this…Why would anyone believe any such research produced by such a partisan lobby to be objective and valid?
To think this sect is capable of Real Scientific Objectivity is as Nieve as believing the Waitangi Tribunal’s Ruling that Maori own the Water rights of New Zealand was an objective and impartial judgment in respect to 1840 British Law, and the treaty!
To expect the Evolutionary psychologists to present findings that were contrary to their personal Materialist delusions would be as Naive as expecting Anti-slavery Abolitionist John Brown to have been found ‘Not Guilty’ of treason and insurrection by the Slave State Virginia court!
John Brown did not receive justice, and like shambolic rulings of The Waitangi Tribunal, in declaring Politics to be a Genetic trait, the Priests of Materialism have simply dictated their own prejudices.
This is not Science!
It’s a scam!
And these ‘findings’ fly in the face of Common experience!
Materialism is absurd!
(I had the option of saying Materialism is Ridiculous!… ie we exercise freewill every day!)
We change our political opinions based upon convincing enough Rationale.
*If The Atheists apply their own arguments upon themselves and their Atheism… they must concede that their atheism is not based upon Reason at all but that their rejection of the Idea of a God is simply a Genetic Predisposition!
They ought to conclude that they are not more intelligent…. Not more rationale…. Their education counts for Naught…. They are simply Genetic Atheists… and no amount of reason will convince them God exists.
Thus their own arguments render them stupid.
In the light of this ramification by what act of self delusion do they continue to insist that they are guided by reason, or that Reason is the preserve of atheism?
They have utterly destroyed Reason and enshrined Chemistry!
Our thoughts have been reduced down to chemical actions.
This is where Monism leads to.
The annihilation of the Human being.
Reason is a Theistic/ spiritual concept. Understandable in the Idea of God *THE CONSCIOUS REASONING SPIRITUAL BEING*.
It involves Liberty, and Choice.
Things which are completely alien to Materialistic determinism, and random chaos.
Computers don’t Reason.
Humans Reason. We are not computers… We are like God. We are Free, and we can make real choices. We are Moral Agents.
An ‘Educated’ friend of ours tells me he finds the notion of dualism to be incomprehensible… He’s been saturated in materialism too long!
I must remind him that the fact that we may not be able to understand something (ie Dualism) does not necessarily make it irrational or superstition to accept it and believe in it.I accept Dualism and Biblical morality because it’s explanatory power is vastly superior to Materialism Naturalism.
You cannot expect science to synthesize God, or weigh/ measure the Human soul.
That does not negate their reality. It merely sets limits to the power of science.
(The materialist Tech-myth of artificial consciousness is sooo in fashion!)
I accept spiritual Being as absolutely necessary because materialist naturalism is woefully inadequate to explain reality, and laugh at the pathetic efforts of Materialists to render everything sterile and dead… and accidental.
Scientifically speaking The Human soul is like The Higgs Boson. It’s a Theoretical spiritual particle postulated to explain Consciousness and freewill. Nobody has ever seen it. It’ cant be directly observed. Yet we can trust/ believe in it’s existance because of indirect observations …
Read more on free will and morality…
A manned Mars mission? A lunar base? Asteroid mining?
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said in a recent interview that his “foremost” mission as the head of America’s space exploration agency is to improve relations with the Muslim world.
Though international diplomacy would seem well outside NASA’s orbit, Bolden said in an interview with Al Jazeera that strengthening those ties was among the top tasks President Obama assigned him. He said better interaction with the Muslim world would ultimately advance space travel.
“When I became the NASA administrator — or before I became the NASA administrator — he charged me with three things. One was he wanted me to help re-inspire children to want to get into science and math, he wanted me to expand our international relationships, and third, and perhaps foremost, he wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science … and math and engineering,” Bolden said in the interview.
As Bosch Fawstin says, “No, this is not a story from The Onion.” And, no, it’s not April Fools Day, either.
The end isn’t nigh. It’s been and gone. (This actually happened in July 2010.)
[Hat tip: Joe Maurone]
How many Atheists feel this way?
Those of you who do feel this way are one and the same as the religious extremists who want ‘their Man’ in power, In fact you justify them by your own position. You are just as Petty.
You have no higher ground… no Better vision.
Personally I want a Leader whom respects the inalienable and equal rights of Individuals, and understands that he himself has no special privileges which put him above the same laws and morality as every one else…. and Objectively speaking Few Atheists would be fit for duty because they believe Morality is merely Culturally relative… or Genetic predisposition (So they don’t believe in any higher power to answer to for their Corrupt deeds) , and they believe Mankind are merely smart monkeys…that came from fish…. that came from germs…. that came from a gigantic cosmic accident.
These materialistic Fantasies are incompatible with the Ideals of Inalienable rights, which are only Rational within a Theistic Cosmology.
Denying the Theistic Idea of Mans Fallen Sin Nature Atheists are prone to Utopian delusions.
Utopia being part of an evolutionary progression.
The following Dictators are just a handful of Atheists whom applied ‘Scientific Materialism’ to Politics and came up with… Communism and the Absolute Sovereign State.
Vladimir Lenin. ” Whatsoever Means Serves the Party State and World revolution is Moral”
Joseph Stalin. Russia
Mao Tse Tung (Mao Zedong) China.
Brother Number 1. Pol Pot. Cambodia
Kim Jong il North Korea.
Robert Mugabe Zimbabwe.
Helen Clark New Zealand. “The State is Sovereign”
Marxist Theology is clearly stated by Lenin, “Religion is opium for the people. Religion is a sort of spiritual booze…1
“We Communists are atheists,”2 declared Chou En-lai at the Bandung, Indonesia Conference in April 1955. This Chinese communist leader captured the fundamental theological ingredient of Marxism-Leninism in one word: atheism. Today, Marxists-Leninists prefer two words: scientific atheism.
From the university days of Karl Marx to the present, official spokesmen for Marxism have been consistent about the content of their theology—that God, whether known as a Supreme Being, Creator, or Divine Ruler, does not, cannot, and must not exist.3
God is considered an impediment, even an enemy, to a scientific, materialistic, socialistic outlook. The idea of God, insists Lenin, encourages the working class (the proletariat) to drown its terrible economic plight in the “spiritual booze” of some mythical heaven (“pie in the sky by and by”). Even a single sip of this intoxicant decreases the revolutionary fervor necessary to exterminate the oppressing class (the bourgeois), causing the working class to forfeit its only chance of creating a truly human heaven on earth: global communism.
An ethical ideology that includes the inevitability of change and the evolution of morals leaves Marxists free to abandon generally accepted moral standards in pursuit of a greater good—the creation of a classless communist society. This pursuit requires Marxists to dedicate themselves to the cause and to use whatever action they believe will bring about a classless society. Any course of action then, no matter how immoral it appears to a world that believes in an absolute or universal moral standard, is morally good within the Marxist-Leninist worldview.
If you understand what happened to [Rand] after “Atlas” was published, then the condition of her non-fiction work comes into perspective. In her non-fiction, she reads like no other philosopher that I’m aware of. It is not the most organized work you’ll ever see—and I think that this is a big part of why many people sneer her off as a “philosopher”: it’s because she simply doesn’t write like any of the rest of them, in terms of organization, and there is a good deal of assembly required. (In an almost perverse way, however, I think this is also why she really works in some peoples’ minds: they’re the ones who have little or no problem with abstraction and integration, and a presentation like Rand’s non-fiction is very exciting to them.)
Feel free to add your own glowing tributes in the comments.
[Hat tip: Joe Maurone]
On Sunday July 20, 1969 the first people landed on the moon. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were in the lunar lander which touched down at 3:17 Eastern Standard Time.
Buzz Aldrin had with him the Reserved Sacrament. He radioed:
Houston, this is Eagle. This is the LM pilot speaking. I would like to request a few moments of silence. I would like to invite each person listening in, whoever or wherever he may be, to contemplate for a moment the events of the last few hours, and to give thanks in his own individual way.
Later he wrote:
In the radio blackout, I opened the little plastic packages which contained the bread and the wine. I poured the wine into the chalice our church had given me. In the one-sixth gravity of the moon, the wine slowly curled and gracefully came up the side of the cup. Then I read the Scripture, ‘I am the vine, you are the branches. Whosoever abides in me will bring forth much fruit.’ I had intended to read my communion passage back to earth, but at the last minute Deke Slayton had requested that I not do this. NASA was already embroiled in a legal battle with Madelyn Murray O’Hare, the celebrated opponent of religion, over the Apollo 8 crew reading from Genesis while orbiting the moon at Christmas. I agreed reluctantly … Eagle’s metal body creaked. I ate the tiny Host and swallowed the wine. I gave thanks for the intelligence and spirit that had brought two young pilots to the Sea of Tranquility. It was interesting for me to think: the very first liquid ever poured on the moon, and the very first food eaten there, were the communion elements.
RIP Neil Armstrong.
Neil watched respectfully, but made no comment to me at the time.