Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Quote of the Week: Michael Ruse on Darwinism

"One thing that does worry me is the belief by many Darwinians, especially, that their position implies atheism. If it does, then I think the creationists have a good point—Darwinism is getting close to religion, or at least to implications about religion. In which case, does it not violate the constitutional separation of church and state? My personal response has been to write a book (Can a Darwinian Be a Christian?) arguing that Darwinism does not imply atheism—it does not imply God, either, but that is another matter."

- Michael Ruse, An Interview with Michael Ruse

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Quote of the Week: Chad Meister on the Conclusion of an Atheistic Worldview

While it is good that Ruse and Wilson acknowledge this conclusion and don’t try to smuggle in an objective morality in their atheistic worldview, I wonder if they have contemplated the moral ramifications of their position. On their worldview, we are merely evolved brutes whose very existence is derived from the naturalistic laws of evolution, including random mutation and survival of the fittest in which the strong survive and the weak die off (and sometimes the strong kill off the weak in their struggle for survival). We are simply the byproducts of a “nature red in tooth and claw,” to quote the poet Tennyson. Is it any wonder that the atheistic regimes of Mao Zedong, Joseph Stalin, Vladimir Lenin, and Pol Pot—devoid as they were of any significant Christian influence—were responsible for the mass murder of over 100 million people in their quest for dominance, more lives destroyed than in all of the religious wars in the history of the human race? These regimes were not discordant with an atheistic basis of morality; they were consistent with it.

Christopher Hitchens and his ilk are wrong: Christian morality, rooted as it is in a transcendent, personal, omni-benevolent God, has truly been good for the world. Heaven help us if an atheistic morality, rooted in evolutionary theory or otherwise, should ever become the guiding moral force on a global scale.

- Chad Meister, Atheists and the Quest for Objective Morality

Monday, October 28, 2013

Quote of the Week: Alvin Plantinga on Moral Freedom

Now God can create free creatures, but He can't cause or determine them to do only what is right. For if He does so, then they aren't significantly free after all; they do not do what is right freely. To create creatures capable of moral good, therefore, He must create creatures capable of moral evil; and He can't give these creatures the freedom to perform evil and at the same time prevent them from doing so. As it turned out, sadly enough, some of the free creatures God created went wrong in the exercise of their freedom; this is the source of moral evil. The fact that free creatures sometimes go wrong, however, counts neither against God's omnipotence nor against His goodness; for He could have forestalled the occurrence of moral evil only by removing the possibility of moral good.
Alvin Plantinga, The Nature of Necessity. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1974

Monday, October 14, 2013

Quote of the Week: Aristotle on God

If, then, God is always in that good state in which we sometimes are, this compels our wonder; and if in a better this compels it yet more. And God is in a better state. And life also belongs to God; for the actuality of thought is life, and God is that actuality; and God's self-dependent actuality is life most good and eternal.

Aristotle, Metaphysics, Book XII, 1072.b24

Monday, October 7, 2013

Quote of the Week: Thomas Nagel on Mind

Eventually, I believe, current attempts to understand the mind by analogy with man-made computers that can perform superbly some of the same external tasks as conscious beings will be recognized as a gigantic waste of time. 

- The View from Nowhere. New York, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1986, p. 16. ISBN: 0195056442

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Thoughts on the Government Shutdown

DISCLAIMER: The following viewpoints are not those of the blogger, but a friend of his. If this point of view upsets you, you may vent, but don’t yell at the person who posted them. Start a discussion, express and opinion, but don’t yell at the person who didn’t write it, that is just senseless…These writings are the intellectual property of me, the Author, with permission granted to the blogger who is positing them. They may not be reposted or used in any form without express written consent by either myself or the blogger of Reformed Seth.

Congress. WOW! Here we are, the supposed greatest country the world has ever known, and we have a political morass that is beyond belief.  We elect people to congress to represent us, and our best interest, but have they really been doing that? And I am not talking about just this congress, but let’s go over the last 70 years of congress, just as an example…

Currently, the government is on a shutdown. Why? People can’t seem to play well with one another. We have the left blaming the right, the right blaming the left, and intelligent people blaming Obama, which they should, and less intelligent people asking, “Why do I have to pay for insurance, or pay a penalty for not having insurance? What happened to my free ride? Why are you forcing me to accept responsibility for my own life? THIS ISN’T FAIR!!!” And in a way, they are also right.

The masses have forgotten the lessons that were passed along by our elders. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A FREE LUNCH. And now the masses are waking up from the stupor to realize, THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS FREE INSURANCE. I blame this on the 74th congress and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.  That’s right, FDR, the “greatest” president we were to ever have had, until Barrack Hussein Obama was elected, and he decided that HE was the greatest president, hell, citizen of the world. As I had to explain to a person at the doctor’s the other day, at a free clinic, because I have no job, and of course no insurance, Social Security started handing out checks a year or so after it was passed. Up until then, there was a surplus in the federal budgets, and all was good. Yet, as I had to explain, people were being paid with money they hadn’t put in; someone else had put the money in that they were handing out to those collecting. So the money that this gentleman had put into Social Security was already gone, having paid for people before him.  In any other world, this would be a Ponzi Scheme, but with this being the United States, it is Social Security, and very legal.

So, why blame the continuing congresses after the 74th? Because they all allowed it, and then started adding programs that would suck up money we didn’t have, to pay people who haven’t put into the system. I imagine had they stopped the free lunch with Social Security, that would have been great, and we could have handled the rest, maybe even find a way to make sure the program was solid. But nope, had to go into areas we didn’t need to go into. Like paying farmers NOT to grow crops. EXCUSE ME? Why are we doing this? ESPECIALLY when we have people in our own country starving, children going hungry, foreclosed houses with people being homeless! Why isn’t the congress, ANY congress, doing something about it?

The simple answer: entrenchment.  Yep, the people who we have elected to congress are entrenched in their ideologies, saying this is what the people who elected them, want them to do. And boy, isn’t that a lie! McCain, so far off the reservation, needs to retire. Reid, so far off his meds, seems to think he is 20 years old, and has 80 years to fix the mess he has continued to create, like the current government shutdown.  Harry has decided that he and his party, Democrats, have the right vision for the country, which is to take all the money from everyone and they get to decide who gets what, how much, and when. And make no mistake, Harry and Obama shutdown the government.  Harry and Barry, kind of like Heckle and Jeckle, have decided that they and their staffs do not need to be involved in Obamacare, which their friends, the unions, need to not be involved, and any FOB, Friend of Barack, need not be saddled, with massive cost, and little coverage; EVEN THOUGH, they make enough money, they can afford the top tier insurance, that allows the rich to continue to get great insurance and coverage, and those without money, again, get screwed. If YOU were a FOB you would most likely get one of the over 1000 waivers, and not be bound by the law itself. How is that for a crock of crap?

So, with the magic pen he carries in his pocket, Barry gave all of congress a waiver, (which is against the law, as only CONGRESS can change a law once it is passed, but since Barry is a supposed constitutional professor he would already know that) they wouldn’t have to abide by the law that was passed, to affect everyone else, not the privileged few.  And THAT is what this shutdown is really about. Republicans in the House of Representatives says, YOU PASSED IT, YOU HAVE TO LIVE WITH IT, NOT EXEMPT YOURSELVES FROM THE PAIN YOU ARE PLACING ON OTHERS. So, were the Republican Party is saying they are standing for the people, the Democrats are showing, they are standing for themselves. Now they might be screaming that it is about the debt ceiling, but Republicans offered a continuing resolution to fund the government, but Harry and Barry say it’s the Republican desire to make America go into default on its money obligations to everyone else.

And this is where entrenchment is involved. Instead of listening to the people they are supposed to represent, they listen to the lobbyist,  their friends in the Senate, the WAY LEFT LEANING Main Stream Media, who is only repeating the crap they say, thinking they are giving gold to the masses instead of the horse crap it really is. They say they know more of what is good for the people, than what they want. There is no bipartisanship, unless it is to bash the Tea Party, which is making McCain, Graham, Reid, Pelosi, Waters, among so many others, look like asses and idiots. Where it would be best that they actually listened to people, like Cruz, Paul, and the new crop of statesmen and women, the older crowd stay entrenched in a ideology that is ripping the country apart. And the uninformed, which is way more than the informed, keeps voting the same old guard in, to continue giving them free stuff, and damn the expense.

So what can “We the People: do? Get involved, go to town hall meetings, make your voice heard, get small groups of your neighbors together, and discuss what is best for you and yours.  Which of course is also dangerous, because we need compromise to legislate, and when everyone is grabbing their own piece of the pie, then we get more gridlock. But if you are smart, bring people up from ignorance, like I did with the gentleman at the clinic, who suddenly realized, the past 40 years of his working, actually has netted him NOTHING.

Or at least, this is how Mark C’s it.

Quote of the Week: J.P. Moreland on the couch potato

"The couch potato is the role model for the empty self, and there can be no doubt that Americans are becoming increasingly passive in their approach to life. We let other people do our living and thinking for us: The pastor studies the Bible for us, the news media does our political thinking for us, and we let our favorite sports team exercise, struggle, and win for us. From watching television to listening to sermons, our primary agenda is to be amused and entertained. Holidays have become vacations. Historically, a holiday was a "holy day," an intrinsically valuable, special, active change of pace in which, through proactive play and recreation, you refreshed your soul. A vacation is a "vacating"-even the language is passive-in order to let someone else amuse you. The passive individual is a self in search of pleasure and consumer goods provided by others. Such an individual increasingly becomes a shriveled self with less and less ability to be proactive and take control of life."

- J.P. Moreland, The Lost Virtue of Happiness, 2006