Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Before America as a nation takes this criticism seriously, perhaps we should consider what the law entails and how this compares with what goes on in Red China.
The Arizona law will permit police to ascertain an individual's identity and thus legality after initial contact. Essentially, this isn’t anything that isn’t already authorized by law and is perhaps an even better guarantor of individual liberty and dignity than what is already permitted.
In a number of decisions, the Supreme Court ruled that police could compel an individual to identify themselves even when it had not been established that the law had even been violated or that there was probable cause indicating such. Interestingly, there were no riotous mobs in the streets when it was thought these kinds of identity checks were only going to be aimed at actual Americans.
Even if scores of those with no legal standing in the United States are removed from the streets of Arizona as a result of the new law, they will still fair considerably better than those taken into custody in dictatorships. In Iran, several American coed tourists straying over the Islamic Republic’s border with Iraq were sentenced to lengthy prison terms.
And unlike illegals here, those there are not fawned over with lavish government handouts with their bureaucratic benefactors hoping the outsiders will recast the entire society in a foreign image.
It could be properly argued that the American students deserved some kind of punishment for violating another country’s sovereign borders. What likely cannot be argued against is that the accommodations they languished in made Camp Gitmo look like a swanky New York City hotel. Guards there are not going out of their way to provide American delicacies or to treat our holy books and founding documents with a nauseating degree of deference.
In China, one house church pastor sentenced to prison was allowed to languish and suffer without access to his diabetic medicine. And it could be argued that he can be considered one of the lucky ones. It has been claimed that organs are regularly harvested from dissident Tibetans and Christians.
If Red China had the illegal alien problem plaguing the United States, do you honestly believe authorities there would do little than look over the papers of these transnational vagrants, whisper sweet nothings in their ears, and release them on their recognizance which many have very little of to begin with given their connections to the drug trade, human smuggling, and assorted gangs. And given the propensity of a certain atrocity to occur throughout Chinese history (be it during the Great Cultural Revolution or in rumors a few years back regarding what was being done to fetuses), if a wife in China told her husband that they would be having a little Mexican later that evening that wouldn't mean he should expect to have a taco or burrito for dinner.
Many infringements upon human rights stem from an improper understanding of the relationship between social institutions such as government and the individual. In America, the extremes of these have been minimized in part due to the assumption that the individual possesses worth of his own created in the image of God. The individual is not owned by the state.
As an officially atheistic socialist country, the Chinese Communist Party and state see themselves as the highest authority with these determining that it is not so much the individual that counts but rather the group as a whole. After all, if we are simply nothing more than animated primordial ooze as the Darwinian insists and upon which Marxist-Leninism rests, it is kind of hard to get worked up over one person when there are over a billion more walking around easily capable of taking the place of a defective cog in the machine of state.
Since in the Communist system you are less an individual, the more the system provides of those things deemed to be necessities by the overseers (under whom fewer things end up being defined as necessities than in a free market economy) in such command societies such commodities extended only so that the goals mapped out for you by the COMMUNITY might be achieved. In a constitutional republican system, it is believed that the individual is best suited to determine for themselves which needs and desires should take priority for oneself and one's family. Granted, the system is not perfect, but it is far preferable and more in line with what God intended for humanity.
Thus, that is no doubt why China would rank homelessness as a human rights violation while not batting an eye at putting a bullet in the back of the head of a House Church pastor so that his kidneys might remain undamaged for organ harvesting. In America, those who love liberty must first inquire as to why the individual is homeless before formulating an appropriate policy response.
Though it is not politically correct to mention it these days and even if they represent only a fraction of those without a domicile, frankly there are those that simply refuse to do that which is necessary to maintain a residence or they engage in behaviors that cause their homes to be lost. Of those that went into vapors when Glenn Beck critiqued the subject, tell me where is the social justice to take from those working and scrimping in order to hoe their own path to give it to those living irresponsibly and demanding a standard of living far above a subsistence level with a few basic comforts that they are not willing to exert the labor necessary to acquire?
One might feel sorry for the children of such deadbeats and somehow provide enough for the children to get by without hardly a single bread crumb going to such pathetic excuses for parents. It is preferable that such outreach come from the private sector free to point out the deficiencies of individual character and the blunt steps necessary to correct the situation. Often in these times where we must constantly walk around on eggshells for fear of offending some self-enlightened leftist do-gooder with a law degree or a bullhorn and definitely too much time on their hands, government is unable to articulate those steps necessary for complete restoration.
And while we are at it, perhaps something needs to be said about and to these women that fall for scumbag men. If you find the boozing and carousing attractive when you are young only to have it morph into not knowing how you are going to feed the five kids because he's blowing the milk money on beer and backhanded you across the face because you dared ask where he was the night before, other than for tossing his rear in jail, don't expect much pity and especially don't expect some behaved guy you wouldn't give the time of day to 15 years ago to take you in as if he has some obligation to provide for another man's progeny.
One of contemporary liberalism's most glaring intellectual deficiencies is that it assumes that the remainder of the world, when you come down to it, lives no differently than the people of the United States. Before we pull out the sackcloth and ashes to belittle ourselves embarrassingly on the world stage, let’s at least make sure we don’t waste the effort on autocrats, thieves, cutthroats, and homicidal mass murderers.
by Frederick Meekins
Monday, August 30, 2010
Friday, August 27, 2010
For once, Jim Wallis is correct. Glenn Beck is no Martin Luther King. Despite the Fox News correspondents attempts to emphasize the equality called for in a number of King’s speeches, ironically Beck who claims to view history as pivotal in restoring liberty to America, comports himself so as to downplay the connections King had to a number of subversive socialistic front groups and individuals.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
At an event where he shoved his nose up the backside of radical Islam, self-loathing Jew Michael Bloomberg said not building the Ground Zero mosque would "undercut the values...so many died protecting." What value then is being upheld by refusing to let the St. Nicholas Orthodox Church from being rebuilt?
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
A White House "water carrier" acted like the Obama Administration had extended Franklin Graham the epitome of tolerance by recognizing that the evangelist is titled to his opinion when Graham pointed out that, according to Islamic law and tradition, Barack Obama was considered a Muslim through his father’s parentage. Technically, Graham’s statement would be considered a FACT rather than an opinion. I guess this is one way we simply disappear entire inconvenient epistemological realities now.
Monday, August 23, 2010
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Wonder if most conservatives know that one of the primary spokesman of the Institute on The Constitution seems to believe that the answer to nearly every offense is the death penalty and a "barefoot and pregnant" sociology in that women should be denied the right to vote.
Friday, August 20, 2010
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
The next theory of truth and religious knowledge is pragmatism. Developed initially by Charles Sander Pierce and expanded by William James, pragmatism is the theory that truth is not determined by what one thinks, feels, or discovers but rather by what works.
Christians may instinctively recoil from this initially. However, the proper response to this epistemological methodology needs to be more nuanced than the believer might originally suspect.
Providing in part an alternative to the early 20th century viewpoint promoted in large part by Sigmund Freud that belief in God was psychologically harmful, in works such as "The Varieties Of Religious Experience", James believed religion should be judged by its results in the life of the individual. Overall, James concluded that, "In a general way...on the whole...our testing of religion by practical common sense and the empirical method leaves it in possession of its towering place in history. For economically, the saintly group of qualities is indispensable to the world’s welfare (109).”
However, any alliance the Christian apologist may make with William James is tenuous at best. For example, James categorized the pantheistic outlook of Mediterranean paganism as healthy and those emphasizing the need to be “twice born” as epitomizing a Germanic dourness characterized by an obsession regarding man’s fallen nature and need to be saved by God (105).
Though few in number, Christian apologists have adapted pragmaticism to the defense of the faith. Foremost among these is Francis Schaeffer.
Schaeffer’s method might not be considered solely pragmatic by the methodology’s purists as he does not allow a worldview’s viability to determine whether or not it is true but rather to show how the Christian worldview is the most consistently livable. Schaeffer refers to this test as an experiential teleological argument (110).
In a Schaefferian apologetic, one takes the propositions of a particular worldview and projects them onto the movie screen of life. For example, Schaeffer noted how the materialism of Jackson Pollock drove the artist to suicide and how musician John Cage did not adhere to the philosophy of chance that categorized his music when it came to picking potentially deadly mushrooms
The next epistemological methodology is combinationalism. Throughout this discourse thus far, it has been observed that, while each methodology contributes something to our understanding of God and knowledge, none of these approaches is sufficient enough to stand alone as the only way through which to obtain an understanding of reality. But instead of falling into a state of solipsistic dismay that nothing can be known since each approach falls short, combinationalists suggest that the insights of each method ought to be knit together in order to produce the most comprehensive understanding possible.
One such apologist utilizing this approach is Edward J. Carnell. Carnell combines rationalism, which he defines as a “horizontal self-consistency so that all of the major assumptions of the position can be so related together that they placate the rules of formal logic” and evidentialism, which he categorizes as “a vertical fitting of the facts” in that one’s assumptions must cohere with the “real concrete facts of human history (122).” Together, these elements make up systematic consistency.
However, even combinationalists must proceed with caution. As Geisler points out in “the leaky bucket argument”, if the other methodologies are insufficient on their own, these do not necessarily hold the epistemological water any better when they are combined together (129). Furthermore, often when one proceeds to evaluate a worldview, it can be very easy to fall into the trap of presupposing the worldview before it has been established or the facts are spun in such a way to fit into the worldview.
For example, Geisler uses the example of Christ's Resurrection. Geisler writes, "An apologist...cannot legitimately appeal to the miracle of Christ's resurrection as a proof for the existence of God (129)." This statement, shocking on its face value, means that God is already presupposed if the event is categorized as miraculous in terms of its explanation. Geisler reassures, "On the other hand, grant that God already exists, then the resurrection may very well be a miraculous way of confirming that Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of God (129)."
Geisler, Norman. "Christian Apologetics". Baker Academic, 1988.
By Frederick Meekins
Billionaires Minding Their Own Business Shouldn't Have To Explain Why They Haven't Taken The Oath To Give Away 1/2 Their Fortunes
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
A Harris Poll laments women treated with less chivalry. Maybe it's because fewer of them act like ladies. Why should you go out of your way for someone with an earring in their nose and their bosom falling out of their low-cut blouse who doesn't even have the decency to cover over their tramp stamp?
Monday, August 16, 2010
According to the Riverdale Park Town Crier's July 2010 edition, at the 90th anniversary celebration of the town charter a speaker highlighted the town's "strong ties" to the Hispanic community reaching back to the municipality’s “earlier years”. Was mention made of White folks or are we just expected to pay the increasing tax bills and to keep our mouth’s shut?
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Granted, his is not the most informative program in the lineup. However, the fact that Huckabee has a show on Fox News rather than pastoring a church is a bit of a stretch as credible evidence that he has walked away from God. Who is to say that God has not called him to this change during this season in his life? More importantly, isn't the assumption that formalized professional ministerial positions are superior to other vocations one of the reasons why culture is now such a fetid cesspool?
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
If there is no "fiddling" involved, from where are the necessary gametes acquired?
More importantly, if women don't need any assistance from men in raising children, don't let them look towards a fat uncle named Sam either in terms of handouts nor to strongarm the deadbeats fathering these youngsters.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Liberals are having the vapors that Fox News has an insufficient number of African American viewers. Are these multiculturalists also going to toss a hissy over the very name of Black Entertainment television alienating Whites? Instead of blaming Fox News for not appealing to Blacks, maybe Blacks should be chastised for not liking Fox News as such is likely an indication of preferring a life of indolence and government dependence.
Monday, August 09, 2010
The Obamas should sit their rearends home like just about everyone else. Sick of these spineless pundits going on how they don't "begrudge" the New Lord his recreation. Yet it must be remembered it was Il Duce that condemned the rest of us for daring to eat what we want, driving SUV's, and keeping thermostat on 70 degrees.
Doubt Magic Johnson ever had AIDS or HIV. Would he have been allowed to play basketball with a President of the United States where there might have been an accident where this pestilence could have been transmitted? But I guess Johnson no more disease ridden than the members of the gay bathhouse Obama is said to be a member of.
Sunday, August 08, 2010
Friday, August 06, 2010
Thursday, August 05, 2010
Wednesday, August 04, 2010
Tuesday, August 03, 2010
A nun was killed in a carwreck by an illegal alien. Though a tragedy, maybe the Catholic Church might reconsider it's lax and even embracing attitude towards illegal aliens. More importantly, would this sad story have even made the headlines if the victim had been a Baptist church lady rather than a Catholic worker?
Monday, August 02, 2010
The girl's parents are probably as much human scum as her violator and probably barely speak audible English.
Guess there are some that would claim this filth shouldn't have to show police their ID's or immigration papers.
Let's hear what the immigration status of all parties involved just happens to be.
A theonomical Christian Reconstructionist has theorized that the only valid marriages are between Christians. Unless this statement is clarified, this means that the children born to non-Christians would be illegitimate bastards & that should Reconstructionists come to power, they would deny basic civil and contractual rights to those not members of their Calvinistic churches.
Sunday, August 01, 2010
The next methodology is experientialism. Though fideism strives to make faith alone the justification for religious knowledge or belief, Geisler observes that this faith is ultimately justified in terms of an experience had by the individual (65).
To the experientialist, God or the Ultimate is not so much something to be understood or comprehended but rather felt. Stretching all the way back to the Neoplatonist Plotinus, experientialism views what the believer refers to as God as "the one beyond all knowing and being (66)."
In fact, God is so far beyond what the finite mind is capable of comprehending that to really say anything about God is highly inaccurate as to do so would be limiting God. As such, the best the individual can aspire to is an intuitive mystical union with the universal by turning inward through an ascetic detachment from the physical world around us in pursuit of a metaphysical unity.
Friedrich Schleiermacher provided for a more accessible apprehension of the cosmic or divine by equating religious experience not so much with monastic solitude but rather with the feeling of absolute dependence we all feel from time to time. According to Schleiermacher, this feeling is actually the World Spirit reaching out to us and actualizing within each of us.
To experientialists, dogmas and doctrines are not that important (that itself actually a doctrine though) as these conceptual formulations are merely shadows or echoes of the deeper experience. While experientialists are correct that the individual must have some kind of encounter with God beyond that often referred to as "book knowledge", one begins to trod upon dangerous ground when the experience becomes the ultimate criteria for judgment by positing that those having more intense experiences are somehow more in touch with the cosmos as in the case of certain meditation cults.
If experience itself is made the highest standard, the individual will end up not knowing whether or not he is being led into deception. I John 4:1 tells us to test the spirits to see if they are from God.
The next apologetic methodology is evidentialism. Rationalism, fideism, and experientialism are largely inwardly focused approaches to knowledge of God with both fideism and experientialism also being highly subjective as well. Evidentialism tends to be more objective as it points to evidence existing independently of an individual's internal emotional or intellectual states to make a case for the existence of God.
While experientialism stresses the importance of a personal acquaintance with what we categorize as the divine, evidentialism provides an anchor to prevent such hypothesizing from meandering off into exceedingly esoteric or individualized speculation by providing a basis for belief any interested party is free to investigate at their own leisure. The primary forms of proof offered by evidentialists are nature and history.
Nature is probably the form of evidence best used when the individual being appealed to is not yet even a theist. This proof for the existence of God is known as the teleological argument in that it holds that the intricate structures found in the world point to the need for a designer.
This idea is expressed in terms of the Watchmaker Hypothesis formulated by William Paley. Paley contended that, if one found a watch in the woods, one would from the intricacies of its parts working together in tandem for a purpose assume the contraption would need a designer. Likewise, since the world is no less complex and actually even more so, it is only logical to conclude that the physical universe around us would also require a designer.
Having lived from 1743-1805, Paley himself did not face the Darwinian onslaught. However, others since then have tweaked the argument to make it stronger against criticisms such as those of John Stuart Mill. Mill argued that the watchmaker analogy was weak because we know things like watches have watchmakers and, without a perspective beyond which a finite human being is capable, Hume's speculation of organicism with the world growing like a vegetable could very well be correct.
To counter the Darwinian and Humean notions that given enough time a number of elements could be reshuffled enough to fortuitously result in the world we see around us, A.E. Taylor and F.R. Tennat have argued that the world around us shows too much adaptation and anticipation to have been the product of random chance. For example, Taylor notes how the body’s need for oxygen is anticipated by biological structures such as membranes and organs. Geisler writes, “In fact, mind or intelligence is the only known condition that can overcome the improbabilities against the development and preservation of life...In short, the order evident in natural development of life is evidence of God (90)."
While this brand of evidentialism is vital in convincing the atheist or agnostic that God exists, it is not enough to bring someone to a saving knowledge of Christ as many of the world's religions such as Judaism, Islam, and even apostate forms of Christianity are full of theists barreling down the road to Hell. An evidentialist approach emphasizing history directly confronts the unbeliever with the decision he will have to make to decide his eternal destiny.
One of the aspects of Christianity that sets it apart from many of the other religions and belief systems is its historical nature in that the validity of its claims ultimately rest upon the veracity of actual events. II Peter 1:16 says, "For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty?"
Since these events took place within the flow of normal time, by utilizing research methods similar to those used to investigate the past such as the examination of ancient documents, one can construct an intellectual framework reasonably assuming that Christ did indeed exist. Prominent evidentialists utilizing history would include John Warwick Montgomery and Lee Strobel.
Despite the strength of evidentialist apologetics, its efforts to elevate religious dialogue beyond one's internal feelings (the burning in the bosom referred to by the Mormons which could very easily be indigestion), the approach is not without drawbacks. For while facts can indeed exist as objective realities, the individual can often go to great lengths to put a spin on them that fits them into an individual’s preconceived worldview.
For example, those inclined to marvel at the world around them can more easily be persuaded that everything was created by a wise and loving God than those who view the world through a survival of the fittest mindset focusing on the violence, bloodshed, and disease that often characterizes both the human and animal realms. Evidentialists will counter that often the theistic interpretation turns out to be the most credible rather than naturalistic ones that stretch plausibility such as the Apostles absconding with Christ’s body or Jesus being revived in the cool of the tomb.
Geisler, Norman. "Christian Apologetics". Baker Academic, 1988.
By Frederick Meekins