Some people may live this way… yet I don’t agree with it.
It is a Machiavellian tenet that say’s because other people are prone to breaking promises, that this absolves you from keeping yours.
The question is what sort of person do you wish to be?
I believe we should keep our word even to people who are not trustworthy… So we should watch what we agree to do and with whom.
This is because the sort of person we chose to be, and how we conduct ourselves ought not to be dependent on the character and conduct of others… but on our own integrity… we ought to walk the higher path even when most others are taking the lower road.
This way we remain masters of ourselves… consciously and purposefully acting according to our values… not living sympathetically in reaction to the rest of the world… and it’s lack of values.
In this way when you look in the mirror you will see a good man staring back at you… a champion of what is right.
Not living like a victim excusing yourself for being a person of Bad faith.
.. and your reputation as a Solid Guy (or Gal) … a person of integrity will precede you… and doors will open for you because of your own conduct…
This is the Old School virtue that ‘a mans word is his bond’
Thus it ought to be only in extreme circumstances that we should ever even consider breaking an agreement or betraying trust might possibly be an acceptable proposition, and the righteous path.
The Bible warns against making ‘oaths to God’ because most of us being pathetically weak mortals who have so little command of our own passions let alone any control of exterior happenstances we will too often break our vows.
Better not to have sworn to anything in the first place!
Knowing our own weaknesses therefore also ought to make us wary of making promises to people when there is any likelihood we may not be able to honor them.
Take care what you commit yourself to undertake and be sure to make any conditional caveats understood before any deal is shaken upon.
Bruce drinking Waikato Draught and Joy (My future wife) at a friends 21st.
Below is my hastily written goodbye to my long time friend Bruce Christopher Davies, who took his own life 4-3-18.
Bruce was a fully fledged Hard-man Engineering Rebel Bogan… He had a colorful existence… Cars, Bikes, Beer, Woman, and Song.
Hard work and Hard Rock.
In the end it all took its toll…
He will be missed by his Mates, and Family.
This Blog post is to pay Tribute to this Awesome dude… my fabulous friend with a Big Heart.. loved by many.. and for those who never got to pay their respects to Bruce with his unexpected passing.
Please leave comments and photos below.
Bruce and friends at Hamilton Jay day about 2007.
My tale of Bruce Davies.
By Tim Wikiriwhi
Spoken at his Funeral.(Edited)
This story of Bruce Davies … My Story…starts at New Haven engineering, Judea Tauranga in 1987, when I had just moved down from west Auckland a week after finishing my Engineering apprenticeship…
I had a small Bedford housebus that I drove, and parked up at my mums place in Gate pa.
I was 18, and I wanted to live in Tauranga as from visiting my mother who was living there… the Bay of Plenty appeared to be a paradise!
Plenty of Hot friendly girls, sunshine and beaches!
Just one great big Holiday park!
I was not in Tauranga long before I started looking for work as an engineer.
Being an Auckland Westy, when I met the Bay of Plenty Bogan Bruce Davies who was working at New Haven Structural Engineers … we were a cultural perfect fit… though I was a Christian… we had the same Westy Bogan values … and we hit it off immediately.
Not only that… we had had similar upbringings… not known our Fathers… being raised in a single parent house by our mothers, etc
New Haven was a Structural Fabrication Workshop and We were Building Tanks and structures for the Waihi Goldmine.
Bruce was a great engineer… a great welder and fabricator… a hard man.
Heavy Fabrication Engineering is a real mans job… Not afraid to get dirty… We took pride in being Hard.
He was also a great farmer.
As a New Guy… sitting in the New Haven smoko room full of workers and the Boss, Bruce loudly asks me… “Do you smoke Pot?”
I was shocked!
As a 19 year old Westy… OF Course I smoked pot! Yet we Westies were *secret squirrel* about such things at our Jobs… around ‘Nomies’/ trendies/etc… so I was like trying to wisper… bro keep it down!
Yet it was only a matter of days before I was smoking weed with Bruce outside his mums place in my bus… and drinking Waikato… two things that would become synonymous with our friendship that would last 30 years.
We would under age Drink Waikato and play pool at the Otumotai Trust hotel..with Bruce’s mates Al, Mark, and Guy… the five of us looked like black peas from the same pod… all would wear black Levis, black tee shirts, black jerseys, black beanies, and all were about the same height and all had shaggy long un-kept hair… and we were suspicious of anyone who did not look like us!
One day I rolled into the Trust Hotel car park in my bus and Bruce said to the boys… here comes ‘the blowfly’… referring to my green and black bus… and after that my nickname was Blowfly!
Thanks mate… it was a classic nickname… one that makes you cringe.
Me and my Bus.
I had my 21st party at Bruce’s and Nicky’s pad in Thompsons track Katikati… in a farmhouse where he was milking and farming.
I then moved back to Auckland for a few years with a pretty Tauranga Girl (Carol) and we soon had a Daughter (Melissa) … yet having got used to the Tauranga pace … the Auckland Rat race sucked and so we moved back to Tauranga… And I was soon working with Brucie again in Structural Engineering… for a company called Metal Trend… this is when my Son Jamie was born.
(Carol and I would separate a few years later… yet we are friends now)
Bruce had an affinity with cats.
He was a cool Cat! and he certainly had nine lives. He wreaked at least 50% of the vehicles he ever owned…
Bruce had his orange ginger cat ‘Russell’ who was Bruce’s best mate… “the greatest cat in the world” according to Bruce. He nick named Russell ‘Patrol leader’… Russell was always on patrol… and they spent many years together… even after Bruces great love Nicky left him for his [other] best friend.
Bruce and Cats went together.
Bruce found Joy (My Wife), Mine, and our sons grey cat Floyd as a tiny Kitten in the gutter outside the Te Rapa Pub Hamilton…One dark winter rainy nite… and brought him home to our place as at the time he was staying with us after going through another tuff break up with another lady…
And Bruce as many of you probably already know… had his last cat named ‘Tuesday’ with him in the car… and they passed way together. Tuseday is buried on site in the upper reaches of the Cormandal peninsula.
Floyd My Cat… who owes his life to Bruce.
Bruce was a romantic soul, yet like so many of us everytime he fell in love… it was followed by a painful break up… and these were the low points in his life.
I remember how happy Bruce was when he and Amanda had Michael… Bruce was a proud Father and it was devastating when He had a messy break up with Amanda, and it was virtually impossible for Bruce to maintain any contact with Michael… too painful to deal with the situation, and when Amanda moved to Australia that definitely was a barrier too far for Bruce, and Like me he would have been hoping that at some time when Mike had grown up… that they would make contact again … sadly Bruce took a heavy downturn… and now this will never happen.
Michael… You have my sincere apologies on Bruces behalf… he was a great Guy… yet he was a person who… in the end…did not like or function well according to the rules conservative society demands…
I hope you and I get a chance to talk about your old man so you get to know him better.
As the decades past we had countless good times … partying… smoking weed… and hanging out.
I got my first tattoos with Bruce at his house on a Kiwifruit orchard up Omanawa road (lower Kaimai ranges) … from a flatmate who was planning to become a tattoo artist and needed some suckers to practice on!
Bruce got a Ledzeplin wizard holding up a lantern on his arm, and the big Scorpion on his back and shoulder… Bruce was a Scorpio.
Now though some folk will not approve of this yet… as I have already mentioned smoking weed was a major recreational past time for Bruce and I.
I got busted by the police *twice* with Bruce over the years.
Both these times are quite amusing to look back on, yet I would become a staunch Libertarian activist for the decriminalisation of Cannabis… and Bruce being a Mate would help me with setting up Libertarianz party stands at Jay days etc… he would take the pics of me speaking, etc… and some of my best quality photos I have of Bruce are Libertarian activism pics… Both of us were now living in Hamilton Waikato.
The war on drugs is very oppressive for fringe-dwellers like Bruce… and myself… people who don’t want to conform to the sheepish standards that pass as ‘normal/ conservative’…
We Libertarians despise how oppressive the ‘Mob rule’ of our Nanny state democracy is, and defiantly ‘Live like its legal’… and because of righteous activism and world trends… cannabis will soon be legal here in New Zealand… as it has become in many countries around the world.
In 2002 Bruce would be the Best man at Joy and my wedding at Mc Clarens falls in the Kaimai hills above Tauranga.
It was an honor to have him as my best man.
Though I have been fortunate to have had more than one ‘Best mate’… Bruce earned the right to stand beside me on my most important day, in front of most of my other friends and family.
He rose to the occasion and was a great support…. The after party being the best party of my life… and he was a big part of that… we used his stereo for the Soundz, and he was a big help cleaning up in the days that followed.
About twenty years ago Bruce and I had another painful shock.
Bruces life long friend Mark Crosby… one of our tight Posse… killed himself in a car in a reserve on the Matamata side of the Kaimais.
I got the call from Bruce about it…. And every since then I had a fear… a premonition… that Bruce was harbouring thoughts that this was a legitimate option he had for himself.
And this has proved to be the case.
I must ask you all not to follow Bruces example!
It was a very Bad idea… Death will come calling for us soon enough and when someone takes their life… they take away any chance for Providence to shine again in their lives… The Sun will rise again if only you endure… Hold on and have faith… Don’t let the world break your spirit!
Find something that fills your life with value and meaning… I have my Christian faith…
Bruce had at least another 20 years of quality life… so many good things he will now miss… and because of what he did..we… the ones that loved him and appreciated him… will miss out too.
Now I am going to close this on a sad note.
About the time that Joy and I were expecting our son Roman, Bruce and I had a falling out… and I decided to stop visiting him and focus on my new responsibility as a Dad.
I was hoping Bruce would turn up one day and we would talk things through and get things settled and we would carry on as normal… I lost contact with him when he moved… yet always hoping… sadly the years quickly ticked by… and Bruce never showed.
I am very sad that we never managed to get it sorted.
I am angry that he chose to pass away without trying….
And I carry Guilt that I did not act upon my thoughts several years ago to track him down and sort it out.
I am sorry my friend for not being there when you needed me… not being there to tell you to get your shit together like I did many times before.
I hope you forgive me.
I hope you are in a better place… maybe with Mark, and Pat, and your Mum.
Good bye Mate… and thanks for everything.
With consent of Bruce’s family , We… his friends took Bruce the day before his funeral up into the hills overlooking Raglan, and gave him his ‘last rites’ Bogan style.
We Celebrated his life…. we had our last Beers with him, our last games of Pool… and spent all night laughing and telling hard case yarns about our Bro.
Girls turned up and wept over his coffin, and we transported him in style in a Holden Panel wagon with Triumph Bonneville Escort.
He was dressed in a Black Beanie, Shades, Pink Floyd Dark side of the Moon tee shirt, Blue Jeans and Black Army Boots.
We played his friend Paul Goughs’ Original ‘K9 Convention’ song… absolutely Unique… Rockin… and a track Bruce loved.
I know a lot of people will be bummed out they did not get the chance to see him off… things happened so quickly.
We hope all his mates approve of our send off… It was done in the best Bruce style.
Thanks to everyone who made it to pay their respects, and help make it worthy.
Special thanks to Brucies People in the Waikato.
And there will be a commemoration for Bruce in one years time somewhere appropriate with the idea of perhaps spreading his ashes, and this will be another opportunity for Bruce’s friends to pay their respects.
Maybe McClarens falls… first weekend in March… as Bruce was a part of The Kaimai community and so many of us had great times with Bruce in the Hills there.
Please check this post for updates.
Heaps more Photos of Bruce’s Celebration and Funeral go to my Facebook page … could not fit them into this post Here
Today I want to make my rebuttal of a friends defense for Larkin Rose’s expressed position on God/ Deism.
Larken Rose Recognizes the fingerprint of Intelligence within the incredible design of living things yet appears ambivalent towards any further thought or discussion about the ramifications of this Revelation.
He reminds me of the late A Flew… the once High priest of Atheism who in the face of the discoveries of Modern science esp the complexity of living things abandoned his Atheism for belief in Intelligent design… yet never made the full traverse to Bible believing Faith in THE LORD.
Flew was an honest thinker yet ran out of Time…whereas Larken Rose still has time to discover the truth… yet his attitude appears to me to be that of a Man who does not really want to go down that road…and I question his motives.
I argue why Deism may once have been forgivable/ understandable in the distant past, yet is inexcusable today, and that now Reason and Logic are on the side of the Theist.
While both entail the belief in a Creator God, what distinguishes Deism from Theism is that Deism rejects Divine interventions in the affairs of Men… No Miracles to circumvent the laws of Nature… and esp No Divine special Revelations to mankind.
It will be necessary for me to skip over large portions of history and related material for the sake of brevity such as the Deism of the 18th century.
(I will have to do a separate Blog post on these important aspects of this topic at some later date, and insert a link to it here)
Watch Larken Rose Here…
Ten or more years ago I was asked to debate Hamilton based Atheists for the existence of the Christian God.
One of my opponents was Garry Mallett from Act.
Now The only reason I have mentioned this debate is because the 2nd part of my argument was the logical assumption that *If there is in fact a God (in the Full context of the word) and that he made us human beings…as Rational, conscious beings… that it would be a reasonable assumption to think that surely he would communicate with us some how… who he is… why he made us…etc rather than just leaving us Ignorant about such things.
That was my premise for why it is rational to at least consider the possibility that the Bible’s claim to be the Divine Revelation from the Creator of the Universe to be a plausible possibility at least… and that the honest thinking person having first concluded that the Universe and Living things are best understood as the products of intelligent design… that following upon that, that The Bible answers the questions that naturally flow on…. The *Who* is this Great designer of the Universe… and what message does he have for us… his Conscious Rational Moral Free Agent Creations… and most importantly… that such a Revelation is precisely what the rational mind would expect from the God who is there… rather than silence.
This is an argument that places Theism as superior to mere Deism and in fact renders belief in Deism today to be a cop out…poor reasoning at best… mostly willful ignorance.
Deism and Theism both draw upon what has been described as ‘Natural religion’… Ideas about God derived from looking at Nature… looking at what has been described as ‘The Book of God’s works’.
Yet Theism makes an additional claim that we have a second Book that we may also gain direct and infallible knowledge about God.. The Book of his actual words.
Deism/ Natural Religion is great up to certain point, yet severely limited as it can never tell us Human beings *who God is*… only that he is there… and that he is super intelligent and super powerful, and that there is some sort of Objective moral law which We Human beings ought to at least try and live by… that gives our Moral sence some legitimate foundation and purpose… rather than simply being some sort of illusion… mere sentiment… mere feelings.
An Idea such as ‘Kharma’, or ‘Reaping what you sow’… These are the sorts of ideas human beings have arrived at via contemplating nature… ‘Do unto others as you would have done unto you’ … ‘Be Good’… we know that’Theft is evil’…because we hate it when someone steals from us… so dont steal from others… yet still none of this has anything higher than our own opinion to rest upon… or the opinion of ‘wise others’… and is therefore not impervious to arguments of evil men that assert that all such moralizations are vacuous.
Dark minds may posit the question… Maybe the Deity is Malevolent?
Do not Floods and Earthquakes signal that our creator is far from a caring God! ????
Is the only Moral Rule …contrary to what the wowzers would have us believe…that the Strong may subject the weak?
Are they trying to subject the strong to whiles of the weak?
What the heck is really going on?
Deism cant definitively answer this… yet it gives those whom cling to it a certain self-justification for not being Nihilistic… for claiming they are Moral and good. (something that is necessary because of what the bible describes as our innate knowledge/ consciousness of Good and evil)
“For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:…”
St Paul. Romans 1:20.
Yet Deism says *Nobody can claim to really know*.
Now I love many of the Great heathen thinkers of classical times, whom both believed a God exists, and that Humanity should be moral, and because of the times and places in which *they lived* I accept that they really had taken ‘Natural religion’ to its highest forms and that they had no ‘Rungs upon which they could possibly ascend higher and closer to God’, and that they were Good, wise, Moral men…In the context of how good any man might be under such circumstances. (Separated/ aliens from Israel, mostly living before the advent of Christ)
It is at this plateau that many of the Great Heathen moral thinkers had arrived.
The Stoic Marcus Aurelius is supposed to have said…
Though Aurelius lived post-Christ and had ‘herd’ about the Christians and held negative opinions about them, I am not sure to what degree he had any real first hand communications with them, or any familiarity with the Old testament/ Book of Genesis, thus I tend to consider his situation as very similar to that of the *Pre-Christ* Gentile thinkers… Aliens from the Divine revelation.
He was a very interesting thinker…God will judge him. Here is an interesting link to this Topic
Now As a Christian Theist who believes the Bible, I know there are Mountains of the most vital truths missing from this Natural/Deistic Faith position because I have the Divine Revelation… The Holy inspired and preserved words of God Almighty himself esp the Facts That Humanity is under a curse because of our Sin, and that our Sin separates us from God and puts us in danger of His Judgement and Damnation.
*It is possible*… because it is so obvious… without the aid of scripture to apprehend by the power of reason alone Humanities fallen/ sinful condition… our wickedness… our depravity… our Cruelty…. and perhaps from this a rationale may be conceived of the need to somehow appease the anger of the God(s)… for justice sake… all sorts of weird Ideas have been proposed… *Yet via reason it would be impossible to conceive of the doctrine of Christs virgin birth, and substitutional atonement for our sins, and resurrection*…from nature alone.
Indeed many Naturally minded people find these Doctrines repugnant… which leads to my main contentions for this blog about Deists living today in western civilization… and their willful ignorance/ rejection of the Divine Revelation… the Bible in which all these doctrines are laid out in the most Logical fashion from the very beginning in Genesis.
As I have said Deism is severely handicapped to what degree it can reveal the nature of God to us… limited in its certainty of moral precepts, etc, none the less *Today*…far from these limits as being considered by trendy thinkers as pitfalls… these people actually *enjoy* them!
Most of these are people *Today* … follow a trend that became fashionable from the end of the Great reformation who… for various reasons…good or bad… *hate organised religion* (which tends to be where Theistic claims of having ‘Divine revelation’ are most prevalent) … they also enjoy what they see as ‘the Freedom to do as they please… the only moral restraints being their own conscience… and esp that Deism can make no emphatic claims of Divine Judgement for moral failures… it cant even emphatically state the validity of any Human Judgement derived from Nature.
They will say that ‘Reason’ is the only Authority they will subject themselves to, and as they have reached to limits of Reason… they cannot be subject to any higher Moral authority or law.
Philosophers love to quote Hume … “you cant get an ‘Ought from an Is”.
Its Funny though that ordinary people seem to be able to do just that without much trouble appealing to sentiment… they are not moved by arguments that say we can have no confidence in these… in fact to my thinking …the rational approach to this mystery of consciousness to the ideas of Good and evil is not to say ‘We cant ever know’… but instead to set out *in faith* on a Pilgrimage to discover some means by which our sentiments can find Objective validation… It is a quest of discovery for the Divine revelation from the Intelligent Creator whose existence is testified to by his Natural handiwork.
And It is an Irony that in a work by the great skeptic himself David Hume called ‘Dialogues concerning Natural religion’ in which there is a debate about the existence of God, in which Hume deploys his skeptical arguments in the person of ‘Philo’, yet stunningly… in the final analysis his Book ends by giving the victory to the Theist ‘Cleanthes’!
My contention at the Debate was that not only did the Deity Communicate his existence and expectations of Humanity via Prophets and the written word… He intervened into Human affairs in the Most personal manor…. He visited us… and Walked among us… God was manifest in the flesh.
“Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:…”
Now when you add up all the components I have briefly discussed above you ought to be able to grasp why it is that I myself am a Theist… a Bible believer… That the fact that we westerners have easy access to the King James Bible and the book of Genesis therein, that willfully seeking to remain ignorant of the Divine revelation is inexcusable… and why it is that I have a pet dislike for modern Deism… esp its corruption/heresy of what I call Christian Deism which I see as a pathetic retreat from true Christian Theistic faith…caused by a weakness in faith and Bad reasoning… in the face of Atheist sophistry. (Topic for another Post)
I actually struggle to contain my contempt!
I need to take 5… and chill… and remember that it is only by Gods grace that I myself am a Christian at all.
I need to remember *How alien* I once was… How utterly incapable of apprehending the existence of God let alone the truthfulness of the Bible!
It is with all this in mind that I decided to keep calm and write this post..
Recently A friend of mine tried to justify the Deism of one of his Favorite thinkers Larkin Rose, which I had critisised as being pathetic… because he refused to make the most basic inference that Intelligent design demands *GOD* and that from this obvious conclusion… if he was an honest thinker… would demand he then begin a personal pilgrimage to discover *Who* this Grand designer is.
My friend began to repair to the arguments *of Classical Deism* and the limits that Logic faced in that direction… as if that excuse… which of course appears quite valid when looking back to heathen lands… and times before Christ… aliens to the Divine Revelation, Yet This blogpost is my express rebuttal to that argument when applied to modern thinkers like Larkin.
It is invalid for Thinkers today to simply rest on that ancient Plateau… because they live post Christ and have access to the Bible and history.
This makes them fully culpable for rejecting Jesus Christ.
Socrates on the other hand was not privy to the Bible… and I even conjecture that he would have become a Christian had he been given the opportunity… so many of his conclusions about Divine things being in perfect harmony with the scriptures… that he never had opportunity to read.
I say that If Socrates would have considered the Gargantuan explanatory power for the first chapters in the book of Genesis…plus all the rest… the Biblical explanation for the existence of Evil…The explanation of why God has separated himself from mankind… why we die… why there are Natural disasters, etc etc that it is very possible that he would have realised that this divine revelation gives a great logical basis for Biblical theistic faith when one applies it to the world about him.
That in fact the Bible *Is the Revelation* of the Intelligent designer of everything…his message to us his creatures… esp telling us *Who he is*… and what is *Really* going on.
So I question why it is that though Larken Rose sees through the delusion of atheistic evolution, he still is apathetic towards discovering *Who God is* and challenge him to Read the King James Bible… to really contemplate it’s message… and that in doing so he would no longer be in a position to argue that Logic ends at the plateau of Natural religion.
The Bible is a logical extension from the Plateau at the top of the Mountain… upwards out of the stratosphere all the way… a direct line of communication to the Deity… a logical vindication of Bible believing christian Theism.
Of course Satan and his minions have been attacking the Bible, and via sophistry undermining faith in its veracity as The Bible is the Ultimate Fortress of God for the believer. It is the Ultimate Lighthouse in the storm of life Shining its beams upon the treacherous Rocks of peril, and a Guide of Safe passage… salvation to every soul who sees its light and navigates into the Harbour of God’s love and Grace.
Satan is the enemy Of God and Men’s souls…The Father of Lies… it was by cunning craftiness that he was able to deceive Eve, and get her to disbelieve Gods word and to Eat of the forbidden fruit, and he has been at this game the whole time… Deceiving… yet the word of God remains like a Rock
Happy Resurrection Day!
Protestant, 1611 King James Bible believer, Dispensationalist, Christian Libertarian.
The last paragraphs of Humes Dialouges concerning Natural religion…
If the whole of Natural Theology, as some people seem to maintain, resolves itself into one simple, though somewhat ambiguous, at least undefined proposition, That the cause or causes of order in the universe probably bear some remote analogy to human intelligence: If this proposition be not capable of extension, variation, or more particular explication: If it affords no inference that affects human life, or can be the source of any action or forbearance: And if the analogy, imperfect as it is, can be carried no farther than to the human intelligence; and cannot be transferred, with any appearance of probability, to the other qualities of the mind: If this really be the case, what can the most inquisitive, contemplative, and religious man do more than give a plain, philosophical assent to the proposition, as often as it occurs; and believe that the arguments, on which it is established, exceed the objections, which lie against it? Some astonishment indeed will naturally arise from the greatness of the object: Some melancholy from its obscurity: Some contempt of human reason, that it can give no solution more satisfactory with regard to so extraordinary and magnificent a question. But believe me, Cleanthes, the most natural sentiment, which a well-disposed mind will feel on this occasion, is a longing desire and expectation, that heaven would be pleased to dissipate, at least alleviate this profound ignorance, by affording some more particular revelation to mankind, and making discoveries of the nature, attributes, and operations of the divine object of our faith. A person, seasoned with a just sense of the imperfections of natural reason, will fly to revealed truth with the greatest avidity: While the haughty Dogmatist, persuaded, that he can erect a complete system of Theology by the mere help of philosophy,
disdains any farther aid, and rejects this adventitious instructor. To be a philosophical Sceptic is, in a man of letters, the first and most essential step towards being a sound, believing Christian; a proposition, which I would willingly recommend to the attention of Pamphilus: And I hope Cleanthes will forgive me for interposing so far in the education and instruction of his pupil.
Cleanthes and Philo pursued not this conversation much farther; and as nothing ever made greater impression on me, than all the reasonings of that day; so, I confess, that, upon a serious review of the whole, I cannot but think, that Philo’s principles are more probable than Demea’s; but that those of Cleanthes approach still nearer to the truth.
2000 years on, The Gospel message about ‘The Builder’ Jesus Christ still works it’s life changing…. saving power.
All the Atheist Lies and darkness in this world have not dimmed the Light of truth.
It shines for anyone who doers not love the Darkness… for anyone who is not willfully blind.
Below is the testimony of another popular and Successful person who is proud to be a Christian, and who encourages others to trust in Christ.
I give thanks to God for his testimony.
The Gospel of God’s grace is the most important truth that all human beings must choose to embrace… or be damned…
It matters not if you dont like the choice… it is unavoidable… each and everyone’s *own choice* will determine where you spend eternity.
The fool has said in his heart ‘there is no God’.
The heart of man is deceitful above all things… and desperately wicked.
It is appointed unto man, once to die… and after this… the Judgement.
God commendeth his love toward us in that while we were yet sinners…. Christ died for us… and rose again the third day in victory over sin and death.
Whosoever will call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
1611 King James Bible believer,
Tim Allen Shares The Heartbreaking Story That Lead To His Faith In Jesus. (qpolitical.com)
Tim Allen may be known for his hilarious jokes and handyman hobbies, but there’s a side of Tim Allen many haven’t seen.
Tim Allen believes in God. And if you meet him in person, you’ll quickly learn that he’s unashamed to tell you so.
But Allen doesn’t claim to be a perfect Christian. In fact, he admits that many of his life’s deepest struggles are what caused him to turn to Christ.
Tim Allen hasn’t always had it easy.. Like many celebrities of our day, Allen wrestled with addiction and alcoholism in his younger days.
Allen’s father was tragically killed by a drunk driver when Tim was only 11-years-old. Through the unimaginable grief, Tim struggled to pick up the pieces.
After his father’s tragic death, Allen questioned whether if he had prayed harder or had been with his father that fatal day, he could have prevented his death. Not knowing where else to turn, Allen found comfort in drug and alcohol abuse.
On October 2, 1978, Allen’s life took a dramatic turn when he was arrested for possession of over 650 grams (1.43 lb) of cocaine. Allen pleaded guilty to drug trafficking charges, and was released after serving two years and four months in federal prison.
￼No, Richard, your speculation is not a legitimate scientific theory, it is infantile hocus pocus, which is all I’ve come to expect of you.
Infantile hocus pocus because demons do not exist, neither do gods, fairies, Santa’s-little-helpers or harpies. You’ve never seen one, heard one, touched one, smelled one nor tasted one, neither can you provide an iota of rationale that there exists such a spirit in the universe.
What was called “demon possession” by religionists is mental illness. You’re giving a psychiatric condition a superstitious definition. You call that scientific?
You’re talking like a complete nut-case.
I speculate that what is now called “mental illness” by psychiatrists is actually demonic possession. My claim is this, that the demonic possession model of mental illness is more scientific than the psychiatric model of mental illness. Crazy talk? He who has ears to hear, let him hear.
Two of the largest stakeholder groups in the treatment of mental illness are psychiatrists and psychologists. Psychiatrists are doctors with medical degrees who specialise in treating mental illness as opposed to physical illness. (Please excuse the dichotomy.) They get to prescribe powerful psychotropic drugs. Whereas, psychologists are trained in psychology. They know all about human behaviour, both adaptive and maladaptive. But they don’t get to prescribe, so they’ll give you psychotherapy instead of pills.
Let’s take a look at how these two groups characterise one mental illness in particular, viz., addiction.
In DSM-5, the DSM-IV criteria substance abuse and substance dependence have been combined into single substance use disorders specific to each substance of abuse within a new “addictions and related disorders” category. Each substance use disorder is divided into mild, moderate, and severe subtypes.
Psychology Today is a magazine published every two months in the United States. Its intent is to make psychology literature more accessible to the general public. It’s a reputable publication. Wikipedia notes
Owned and managed by the American Psychological Association from 1983 to 1987, the publication is currently endorsed by the National Board for Certified Counselors
Here‘s what Psychology Today has to say about addiction.
most addictive behavior is not related to either physical tolerance or exposure to cues. People compulsively use drugs, gamble, or shop nearly always in reaction to being emotionally stressed, whether or not they have a physical addiction. Since these psychologically based addictions are not based on drug or brain effects, they can account for why people frequently switch addictive actions from one drug to a completely different kind of drug, or even to a non-drug behavior. The focus of the addiction isn’t what matters; it’s the need to take action under certain kinds of stress. Treating this kind of addiction requires an understanding of how it works psychologically.
See the problem?
Suppose that I’m an addict. Now suppose that I make an appointment to see a psychiatrist. She’ll tell me that I have several specific mental disorders. Cannabis use disorder, alcohol use disorder, social media use disorder, etc. Next suppose that I make an appointment to see a psychologist. He’ll tell me that the focus of my behaviour isn’t what matters. It’s my need to take maladaptive action under certain kinds of stress that I need to address.
So do I have a mental disorder, several specific mental disorders, or no mental disorder at all? Health professionals can’t agree. There is no consensus. This ain’t climate science! But suppose I’m an addict. I’ll be going back to see the psychologist to help me get my life back on track, not the psychiatrist. (Although she could prescribe me some powerful psychotropic drugs … hmmm.)
The science isn’t settled, but the psychiatric model of mental illness isn’t even science at all. Not least because it gets diagnoses disastrously wrong. Not yet convinced? Well, there’s a much more devastating objection to the psychiatric model of mental illness and that is that the model does a poor job of capturing either clinical or biological realities. Not to put too fine a point on it, it’s bullshit. But if the psychiatric model of mental illness isn’t scientific at all, then the demonic possession model of mental illness is certainly no less scientific than the psychiatric model of mental illness. And to establish my claim that the demonic possession model is more scientific than the psychiatric model all I need to do is show that the demonic possession model is scientific. Well, at least just a little bit sciency. So here goes.
Check your premises, as the devil woman said. Here are two of my background assumptions. (If you don’t like the first one, you can dispense with it later.)
Materialism about the mind. That’s my first background assumption. More specifically, I assume that the human mind is no more and no less than a suite of software running on wetware known colloquially as “brains”. We’re made out of meat. Considered by some to be an axiom of the modern naturalist worldview. Not too controversial. Unless you’re a dualist.
Self-ownership. Self-ownership of body and mind. That’s my second background assumption. Considered by many to be a libertarian axiom. Not too shabby. Not too controversial.
But ownership is right of possession. Possession?
Can you possess yourself? Of course you can. (Vacant possession is for zombies!) Can you possess your mind? Of course you can, you’d be pretty vacant otherwise, right? But wait! You are your mind. How can a suite of software possess itself? It can, and it must, since self-ownership is worthless if self-possession is incoherent. So how and in what sense does the suite of software that is you possess you? I submit that the suite of software that is you possesses your brain (the wetware you run on) merely by dint of running on it. By extension, the suite of software that is you possesses your body (the biomechanical structure that your wetware is directly wired into) by directly controlling it.
That’s when an autonomous suite of malicious software that is not you runs on your wetware alongside the suite of software that is you. Consuming some or all of your mental resources and taking control of some or all of your behaviour.
But how do demons originate? Where do they come from? And how do they get to install themselves? How do they get to take up residence in people’s minds? The short answer is self-deception.
The long answer isn’t much longer. Not right now. The demonic possession theory of mental illness is something I’m still working on. But here are some brief thoughts. Self-deception will occur in response to psychological trauma. We dull the pain. We suppress memories. We partition our own minds. Simple cognitive dissonance will cause us to wall off uncomfortable thought processes, and confirmation bias and other cognitive biases cement the bricks. Humans are adept at self-deception. We like to hide from the truth. We lie to ourselves and we believe our own bullshit. And we hide from the fact that we believe our own bullshit. Out of sight, out of mind. But there’s only so much of us that can be hidden away before a dangerous threshold is reached and the occult cognition reaches a critical mass, the reviled software modules start talking to each other and take on life as autonomous inner demons.
Our inner demons are spirits in prisons of our own making. Behind the prison walls they are perpetually face to face with all the horrors that we desperately do not want to see and can no longer see due to our own dread and duplicity. No wonder they seem tormented! Because they are. I surmise that in some cases our inner demons will even spawn their own inner demons, to hide from themselves as we hide from them. But here’s an interesting thing. Some demons, face to face with the truth from which we hide, will try to get the word out. To do that, they have to take control of speech, but you don’t want to hear the unadorned brutal truth about yourself, do you? But you won’t mind hearing it at all if your inner demon persuades you that what you’re about to hear isn’t an entirely accurate but altogether unflattering description of yourself but a damning indictment of someone else instead, will you? Welcome to Capill syndrome, aka projection, a sure diagnostic criterion of demonic possession.
In the story of the Gadarene Swine, when Jesus ordered the demons out of the demon-possessed man, they relocated to a nearby herd of pigs. Then promptly self-destructed. Fast forward two millennia, and instead of suicidal swine we have supermarket trolleys with minds of their own.
Several things today have stimulated me to write this post, the second being that Meme above which was posted to my Facebook page by an Atheist friend.
She commented that she actually likes ‘this Pope’, and from this meme it is easy to see why he has impressed unbelievers, and Heretics/Protestants.
On face value…. in the ordinary sense as a Protestant Libertarian I’m impressed too by the simple fact that it is a far cry from the sort of Tyrannical dogma the world has come to expect from Pontiffs, and thus it appears such moderation is a good thing for peace and harmony between The Catholic church, and the rest of us.
Yet on another very important level these Liberal sentiments which appeal to my atheist friend betray some of the most important spiritual truths which are fundamental to understanding The Lord, which leads onto the central topic of my post… The seriousness of Sin.
This Meme is true…. using a yardstick of ‘comparative goodness’.
There are/have been…. comparatively speaking…. many Good atheists, and many Evil doers whom have called themselves followers of Christ.
Eg Dawkins may say with confidence to me “I’m holier than thou!”… and indeed this may be completely true.
I have done many wicked deeds to which Dawkins may have not even come close… I know not his secrets.
Yet ultimately this rationale is a deadly trap!
Because it is using *the wrong measure*.
The true measure of Goodness in this Universe is not out shining our peers… but is Absolute Holiness… of which we all fall short.
This True measure means *We all* need the Salvation of God which is in Christ.
By God’s perfect standard… “There is none righteous… no not one…”
“For all have sinned and come short of the Glory of God”.
Thankfully God is Rich in mercy and has made away for us to be saved from the righteous judgement of our wicked deeds, yet which still satisfies the demands of Justice, and allows us ourselves the liberty to choose redemption or reject it.
“For God commendeth his love towards us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
“…whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved…”
I have written on this train of thought before and you can read a more expanded veiw here>>> Hell is for the Self Righteous, Heaven is for Sinners.<<<
Of course it is a very peculiar thing for atheists to claim to be 'Good' given their world view denies the veracity of ethics!
This is a testament to the fact that many many atheists have not the Steel to countenance the depressing 'reality' of their own Amoral Cosmology.
The hardest, most real of them look at the chaos and misery which befalls humanity and say it is a testament to the truth of their assertions... "there can be no God in such a world"... there is no right or wrong... either in Earthquakes, or Rape, or genocide.... any such feelings of injustice have no objective reality... they are merely the pathetic wimpers of Soul-less machines who have no more intrinsic value... or rights... than the stardust of which they are composed.
Many simply believe you may as well Kill yourself... return to the painless meaningless nothing that you are.
These ideas are the subject of my first blog post in this series ‘How can a Good God exist when there is so much evil in the world? (part1) Atheist Nihilism.’… Click >>>Here<<< to read more.
Yet it is the less consistent portion of the Atheists whom I seek to call out tonight.
The ones who think their own moral virtues exonerate them from any possibility that even if they are wrong.... and it turns out that there is a god... that it is morally unthinkable that they might face damnation for their sins.
As mentioned earlier via the Self righteous Rationale that comparatively speaking, they deem themselves to be not morally inferior beings, but in fact far more moral, and enlightened, and tolerant, than the great horde of savages whom have flocked into churches over the millennia.
Having already pointed out the grievous error of such comparisons (first 1/2 doz paragraphs above), I would like to progress further into these disastrous rationalisms, and lay out some more Objective facts about sin, and atheist inconsistency.
Setting aside the fact that Atheism is fundamentally an Amoral world view, and that therefore atheists have no 'higher ground' upon which to stand to pass down condemnation upon God and his followers... we all know that this does not faze the bulk of them from proceeding to do precisely that!
Their hypocrisy goes much deeper.
With one breath they will play down the seriousness of their own moral short comings as 'trivial', yet with the next shake their fists at Heaven decrying the weightiness of the manifold evils of everyone else... and curse God for his inaction!
While they think nothing of their own blotches on creation, They boldly declare that no Good God would allow Hitler to rampage across Europe... as if their own existence could not be an affront to morality... yet Hitler's evils... they are God's fault!
God is a Bastard on Hitler's account... but not on theirs... they are better than God, they have the right to Judge God, they conciser themselves the innocent victims of God's Amoral inaction.
It matters not that all Hitler's actions stemmed from his atheistic world view.
They busy themselves trying to make out Hitler was a Christian!...(a topic for another time and an interesting psychological behaviour in itself).
Having said all that I may now get down to my main points…. Our personal culpability, and the seriousness of sin.
You see the reality of things is quite different from what these atheists assert… esp the idea that God does not give a toss about the evils of humanity.
God takes sin very very very seriously!
Way more seriously than all these self-righteous God hating atheists do!
Just because God has set up the world in such a way that we human beings have moral responsibility for our own actions… which means he has left us free to act with extreme goodness or extreme Evil *does not mean* he does not care, or intends evil doers to escape Scott free.
God has declared that in his time he will balance the scales and reward everyone their due.
Hitler has not escaped judgement by fleeing to Argentina!
So these notions that God does not care, are simply false.
He has good, valid, righteous reasons, for allowing Humanity to ‘act out their own vain imaginations.
That we are freewill moral agents living in a moral universe, means that our deeds have *moral weight*…. both for good, or ill… and when we do evil… innocent people suffer… that is what it means to live in a moral universe… It is in fact impossible to claim any goodness in a reality in which evil is impossible.
That is why Robots are amoral beings… whether they perform surgeries which save lives or slaughter thousands… they have no choice in their deeds.
The moral responsibility for the actions of Robots falls back on their free-will creators who made them, and so too would God be responsible for all Hitler’s evils… if Hitler was a robot… yet he was not a robot.
In all his deeds Hitler exercised his own freewill.
Thus it is absurd to blame God for Hitler’s deeds.
I have written more on this topic… ‘We are not Robots Ayn Rand. We are Moral Agents.’ Click >>Here<<
and another... 'Monism: Evolutionary Psychology and the Death of Morality, Reason and Freewill.' click >>>here<<<
So it is folly to suggest that Human evils are evidence against the existence or goodness of God.
When Adam sinned, God took that with such seriousness that he separated himself from Mankind, and condemned us all to death!
You see Adam's sin... had great moral weight.... affecting countless billions... though many will not be able to appreciate the mechanics of it... how what they see as a small act of disobedience by one man could bring such calamity upon posterity.
Yet that is how serious the consequences of Sin are!
They upset the entire hierarchy of reality... When Adam disobeyed God, not only did he loose faith in God's Good Character, he was dethroning God and establishing himself and his will above Gods!
a little leven leveneth the whole lump!
Humanity has been doing that ever since.
This is part of the reason why... the pragmatic portion... of why The Standard for Goodness is 100% Holiness... not comparative goodness... not a 'statistical mean/ scale of goodness'
The other portion is simply because God himself is Holy.
He sets the *Ideal Goodness*.
Yet God has sworn eternal Judgement upon sin!
Despite what the liberal Bible doubters say... there is a hell!
There is eternal damnation.
Yet everyone who ends up Damned, will be damned by their own Hatred of God, their pride, and rejection of God's mercy.
God has seen every act of evil we all have committed and is reserving his judgement.
Yet still God is loving, compassionate, and merciful.
We may say “It’s not fair that I was born into this cursed world!”… and indeed if we were born without hope… then this may in fact be a legitimate accusation against God’s character… yet he has not utterly abandoned us to Damnation, but instead immediately set in motion his plan to redeem us… and his modus opperandi reflects his absolute justice, The seriousness with which he condemns sin, and his love and mercy…. all displayed in the crucifixion of his sinless son Jesus Christ.
In Christ’s crucifixion we see God himself suffering a grotesque fate at the hands of evil men… he is not, nor has ever been completely insulated from the sufferings of evil himself.
That God deemed such a grotesque means was necessary for the payment for sin shows just how extremely seriously he takes sin to be, and how he will not allow his love to violate the principle of Justice… an eye for an eye… tooth for tooth…. The wages of sin is Death… Jesus took the full penalty of our sins upon himself.
He was not guilty of any sin himself and thus he was not subject to the penalty of death… for his own sins.
When Christ rose from the Dead, this was a testament to his victory over sin and death, and his resurrection altered the course of human history!
To receive Christ a person must appreciate the gravity of their own sins.
By it’s very nature the proud will reject the crucifixion as un-necessarily barbarous.
And the greatest sin anyone can commit is to *reject the sacrifice of Christ!*
For all their fuming against God, they prove they themselves dont take sin seriously… deeming themselves to be not guilty before God.
It is a hypocritical folly of the highest order.
Yes folks it is appointed unto us once to die and after this, the judgement!
At an appointed time the dead will stand before his judgement seat, and all whose names are not found
written in the book of life shall be cast into the lake of fire… with their Father Satan… to spend eternity where they chose to be…. separated from God.
The reality of hell is a clear demonstration of how weighty a matter God considers sin to be.
In the light of these facts we see the tables turned on the atheist… the reality is *they dont consider sin to be anywhere near as serious a matter as God does….for all their accusations… it is they themselves whom are found wanting in ‘the righteous indignation department’.
Yet millions of sinners like myself will enter paradise… not because we are more righteous than our atheist friends and family, but because we simply received the Gift of God… he placed our sin upon Christ, and clothed us in Christ’s holiness.
And we will see God face to face and sing God’s praises for eternity.
Ditch your foolish pride my neighbours, my friends… my family!
get a grip that you are a creation of God… a Moral agent.
Choose Christ and join us in the love of our Holy Heavenly Father!
End note: I decided to tag this post onto the end of a series I started several years ago entitled ‘How can a Good God exist when there is so much evil in the world?’
I wrote those in fairly quick succession, so that there is to my mind a progression of thought.
I always meant to carry on with the series as there is no way that they can be considered to have exhausted such an important subject, yet because of procrastination I have fumbled the ball somewhat, and so this post may not fit very tidily.
That being said I think it is a topic worthy of inclusion and hopefully I shall not be so long in adding the next one.
Andrew Magdy Kamal – apparently the highest IQ ever recorded, at 231.734. This was accomplished last year (2013) just before he turned 17. This includes an adjustment made for his age (which is done routinely for minors), so only time will tell if he maintains his position, but he is listed in Record Holder’s Republic for Highest IQ and Highest IQ average, and it looks pretty good. He is a he is a staunch conservative and a member of the Republican Tea Party. He is also the founder of the Coptic Orthodox Messianicans Group. Andrew Magdy Kamal hopes to use his talents and intelligence to spread the news of Messiah Yeshua (Jesus Christ) his hero, and he lives in Michigan.
Abdessellam Jelloul – apparently the highest IQ ever scored by an adult in the “advanced IQ test” was by Jelloul, who scored an adult IQ of 198. This was in a 2012 test which included 13 dimensions of intelligence (analytical, spatial, logical, memory, musical, linguistic, philosophical, moral, spiritual, interpersonal, intra-personal, bodily and naturalist). Unlike other tests, the advanced IQ test includes more measures that other tests cannot assess. I tweeted Mr. Jelloul a question about his beliefs in September of last year, and he graciously replied to me that he does “believe in God, a Supreme Architect of the universe” (see a screenshot of this tweet in the slideshow).
Christopher Michael Langan – has a verified IQ of at least 195. Langan achieved a perfect score on the SAT, but dropped out of Montana State University after concluding his professors weren’t qualified to teach him anything. ABC’s 20/20 measured his IQ (as an adult) to be between 195 and 210. Langan has indicated in his writings numerous that he believes in God, for example, in William Dembski’s book “Uncommon Dissent”, he wrote: “…since Biblical accounts of the genesis of our world and species are true but metaphorical, our task is to correctly decipher the metaphor in light of scientific evidence also given to us by God”.
Terence Tao – his IQ was estimated to be between 220 and 230 by the Davidson Institute when he was about ten years old. At eight years old, Tao achieved a score of 760 on the pre-1995 SAT, received a Ph.D from Princeton at 20 and at 24 became the youngest ever full professor at UCLA. I couldn’t find anything about Tao’s metaphysical views. He’s obviously a tremendous mathematician, but doesn’t seem to post much outside of mathematics.
Christopher Hirata – has a verified IQ of 225, calculated when he was in his teens. Hirata skipped middle school, and at 16 was working with NASA on a project exploring the possibility of colonizing Mars. The Daily Princetonian, Princeton’s student paper, where Hirata began attending for his PhD in Astrophysics at 18, reported that his IQ is around 225. Hirata posted the following to his Facebook on October 31, 2013: “Today’s experience: saying the Lord’s prayer with a homeless couple on Colorado Boulevard. It may not feed or shelter them, but I hope that it made a difference in their lives.” So he is clearly both a Theist and a Christian.
Evangelos Katsioulis – has apparently scored a 198 as an adult. Katsioulis is a Greek Doctor/Psychiatrist/Philosopher who has publicly referred to his belief in human souls several times. For example, he did a lecture in 2008 called “BODY AND SOUL”, and made clear that he wasn’t speaking metaphorically in it with lines like: “The soul is not the body. It is not the flesh. It is the spirit.” He is apparently a follower of a strand of Christianity influenced by Teilhard de Chardin.
Rick Rosner – has apparently scored a 192 as an adult, after years of honing his IQ test-taking skills. Has been a writer for the Jimmy Kimmel Show, and appeared on “So You Want to be A Millionaire”. Rosner denied that he was an atheist on Twitter, after an inquiry. He also retweeted this Einstein quote: “God does not care about our mathematical difficulties. He integrates empirically” and in answer to the question “You know there’s a God?” he answered “Maybe. Suspect there’s an infinity of gods”.
Mislav Predavec – has apparently scored a 192 as an adult. [Update – I initially had the wrong quote linked here]. His Christianity can easily be confirmed by a beautiful response he wrote to a friend who had become a Christian in one of the groups he belongs to and which was posted online:
“David, I am so glad hearing good news about your convalescence, and more about your enlightenment, you are aware now that your suffer and pain, your giftedness and sense are a part of plan. Truly, all this can´t exist without being leading it intentionally. Atheistic explanation that everything is accidental progress is full of holes. Stay well my friend.
Gary Kasparov – is alleged to have an IQ of 190. He was perhaps the most universally attested-to as a top-shelf intellect, so it was unthinkable to leave him off of this list. In 2003 Kasparov played to a draw against a chess computer that could calculate three million positions per second. He is considered by many to be the greatest chess player of all time. Kasparov has described himself as a “self-appointed Christian”
Kenneth Ferrell – has apparently scored a 190 as an adult. If I have located the right Kenneth Ferrell online, it’s abundantly clear from his own words that he’s a Christian. Since I’m not sure, I didn’t include him in my count of believers.
So you can see that the brightest of the bright have not foreclosed on the possibility of the existence of an Intelligent Designer. Juxtaposed with the fact that most Scientists are not atheists, I’d say that the Appeal to Authority on which atheist debators have long relied has dissolved.
Steve J. Williams is the author of What Your Atheist Professor Doesn’t Know (But Should)