“Schaeffer Sunday” Francis Schaeffer on Education

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How Should We then Live Episode 7 small (Age of Nonreason)

#02 How Should We Then Live? (Promo Clip) Dr. Francis Schaeffer

The clip above is from episode 9 THE AGE OF PERSONAL PEACE AND AFFLUENCE

10 Worldview and Truth

In above clip Schaeffer quotes Paul’s speech in Greece from Romans 1 (from Episode FINAL CHOICES)

Two Minute Warning: How Then Should We Live?: Francis Schaeffer at 100

A Christian Manifesto Francis Schaeffer

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I love the works of Francis Schaeffer and I have been on the internet reading several blogs that talk about Schaeffer’s work and the work below was really helpful. Schaeffer’s film series “How should we then live?  Wikipedia notes, “According to Schaeffer, How Should We Then Live traces Western history from Ancient Rome until the time of writing (1976) along three lines: the philosophic, scientific, and religious.[3] He also makes extensive references to art and architecture as a means of showing how these movements reflected changing patterns of thought through time. Schaeffer’s central premise is: when we base society on the Bible, on the infinite-personal God who is there and has spoken,[4] this provides an absolute by which we can conduct our lives and by which we can judge society.  Here are some posts I have done on this series: Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 10 “Final Choices” episode 9 “The Age of Personal Peace and Affluence”episode 8 “The Age of Fragmentation”episode 7 “The Age of Non-Reason” episode 6 “The Scientific Age”  episode 5 “The Revolutionary Age” episode 4 “The Reformation” episode 3 “The Renaissance”episode 2 “The Middle Ages,”, and  episode 1 “The Roman Age,” .

In the film series “WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?” the arguments are presented  against abortion (Episode 1),  infanticide (Episode 2),   euthanasia (Episode 3), and then there is a discussion of the Christian versus Humanist worldview concerning the issue of “the basis for human dignity” in Episode 4 and then in the last episode a close look at the truth claims of the Bible.

Francis Schaeffer

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By Francis A. Schaeffer

(From a speech given in 1982…)

Now, moving from public schools to private schools, what is the priority? Notice I am not saying Christian schools, but all private schools, including Christian schools. If you are really going to do something here, you have to think larger than your own interest. What we must do in the private schools, including the Christian schools, is to stand against those who have done so much to ruin our public schools in not allowing them to get a hold on the private schools, and specifically, the Christian schools, through a control of the curriculum. What we should be doing is struggling to see that the Christian school’s curriculum is not controlled by those who have with their world view ruined the public schools.

This does not mean that the state does not have a legitimate interest in the safety of the pupils in such a thing as a firedoor. There are Christian schools that have said the state has no right even to tell them not to have a fire trap. That is not so. The state has a responsibility to say that a group of people meeting in a building like this we are meeting in have exit signs around the room, so that if there is a fire you will not all burn to death, and that is equally so for the kids in school. So the issue is not something like fire doors. The issue is that they must not begin to bring the same destructive teaching into the private schools by the back door of curriculum control that they have brought so dominantly into the public schools. We must not allow them to bring in through the back door a control of the curriculum and especially at the very point where the Bible’s content is denied and contaminated. Therefore, the protection of the Christian school curriculum is another one of the priorities, which Christians ought to be consciously and intelligently standing for.

However, let me say another side of this question of the Christian school and our protection of it. While we are saying that the Christian school is not to allow its curriculum to be corrupted, we must also say that the private school, and specifically the Christian school, should give a good education.

We are to say we are going to control the curriculum. We are not going to let the state bring in the materialistic view as the final reality through the back door. But if we are going to say that with any validity the Christian schools must be giving a really good education. It should not just be a matter of not teaching what is wrong in a twisted education that rules out a Creator. Our Christian schools should not primarily be negative oriented. It is to be positive.

It is not just to be negative. It should be a superior education, if you are going to really protect the Christian school. It should certainly teach the students how to read and write and how to do mathematics better than most public schools enjoy today. It should do that but it should also appreciate and teach the full scope of human learning. Christian education is indeed knowing the Bible, of course it is, but Christian education should also deal with all human knowledge. We can think of what I said previously about the humanities. Christian education should deal with all human knowledge – presenting it in a framework of truth, rooted in the Creator’s existence, and in his creation. Real Christian education, if we are going to protect our Christian schools, is not just the negative side, it is positive, touching on all human knowledge; and in each case, according to the level of the students, showing how it fits into the total framework of truth, the truth of all reality as rooted in the Creator’s existence and in His creation. If the Judeo-Christian position is the truth of all reality, and-it is, then all the disciplines, and very much including a knowledge of, and I would repeat, an appreciation of, the humanities and the arts are a part of Christian education. Some Christians seem absolutely blind at this point.

If Christianity is not just one more religion, one more upper story kind of thing (as I speak of it in Escape From Reason and in my other books) then it has something to say about all the disciplines, and it certainly has something to say about the humanities and the arts and the appreciation of them. And I want to say quite firmly, if your Christian school does not do this, I do not believe it is giving a good education. It is giving a truncated education and it is not honoring to the Lord.

If truth is one, that is if truth has unity, then Christian education means understanding, and being excited by, the associations between the disciplines and showing how these associations are rooted in the Creator’s existence. I do not know if you know what you are hearing or not. It is a flaming fire. It is gorgeous if you understand what we have in the teaching and revelation of God. If we are going to have really a Christian education, it means understanding truth is not a series of isolated subjects but there are associations, and the associations are rooted in nothing less than the existence of the Creator Himself.

True Christian education is not a negative thing; it is not a matter of isolating the student from the full scope of knowledge. Isolating the student from large sections of human knowledge is not the basis of a Christian education. Rather it is giving him or her the framework or total truth, rooted in the Creator’s existence and in the Bible’s teaching, so that in each step of the formal learning process the student will understand what is true and what is false and why it is true or false. It is not isolating students from human knowledge. It is teaching them in a framework of the total Biblical teaching, beginning with the tremendous central thing, that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. It is teaching in this framework, so that on their own level, as they are introduced to all of human knowledge, they are not introduced in the midst of a vacuum, but they are taught each step along the way why what they are hearing is either true or false. That is true education. The student, then, is an educated person. I just say in passing, John Harvard understood that when he founded Harvard University. It was founded with this whole thing in mind. The student, then if he is taught this way, is an educated person, who will have the tools to keep learning and enjoy learning throughout all of life. Is life dull? How can it be dull? No, a true education, a Christian education, is more than the negative, though that is there. It is giving the tools in the opening the doors to all human knowledge, in the Christian framework so they will know what is truth and what is untruth, so they can keep learning as long as they live, and they can enjoy, they can really enjoy, the whole wrestling through field after field of knowledge. That is what an educated person is.

In short, Christian education should produce students more educated in the totality of knowledge, culture and life, than non-Christian education rooted in a false view of truth. The Christian education should end with a better educated boy and girl and man and woman, than the false could ever produce. Protecting the Christian school must carry with it more than the negative; it should produce a superior education in all areas of. knowledge, and notice I am saying all areas of human knowledge.

Permission is granted in advance by the author to anyone who wishes to reproduce this speech in part or in full provided that the following credit is given wherever it appears:

Copyright by Francis A. Schaeffer, 1982, “Priorities 1982″. Two speeches given at the L’Abri Mini-Seminars in 1982.

Francis A. Schaeffer Institute of Church Leadership Development http://www.truespirituality.org/

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‘I’m not sure where to begin,’ says 79-year-old Oscar-winner about his small screen debut, as streaming TV service seeks to gain march on rivals with exclusive content

Comment: in signing Woody Allen, Amazon Prime has delivered a nuclear blast to the competition

Woody Allen is to write and direct his first television series for Amazon’s video-on-demand service.

The 79-year-old film-maker has been signed up to make a full season of the as-yet-untitled series for Amazon Prime. It is the Oscar-winner’s debut TV project after more than 40 films in a career spanning more than half a century.

Allen joked: “I don’t know how I got into this. I have no ideas and I’m not sure where to begin.”

Amazon’s streaming TV service, Amazon Prime, won plaudits for its transgender comedy drama Transparent, starring Jeffrey Tambor, which was a double Golden Globe winner earlier this week.

Now it has turned to the veteran writer and director of Annie Hall, Hannah and Her Sisters and, more recently, Blue Jasmine, as it looks to up the ante in its battle with online rivals such as House of Cards maker Netflix.

Roy Price, vice president of Amazon Studios, said: “From Annie Hall to Blue Jasmine, Woody has been at the creative forefront of American cinema and we couldn’t be more excited to premiere his first TV series exclusively on Prime Instant Video next year.”

Allen added: “My guess is that Roy Price will regret this.”

Little is known about the project beyond that it will be written and directed by Allen, and will be in 30-minute episodes.

It will be available to subscribers to the Amazon TV service in the US, UK and Germany and is expected to be available in 2016. It remains to be seen if Allen will also be in it.

Allen is not a complete stranger to television, having written early in his career for Ed Sullivan and the Tonight Show.

Allen is the latest film-maker to swap the big screen for the small. Others include Steven Soderbergh and David Fincher, who directed the first two episodes of Kevin Spacey’s House of Cards for Netflix and is now making Utopia for US cable channel HBO, which has launched its own on-demand service.

David Lynch, who swapped film for TV in the early 1990s with Twin Peaks, will resurrect the groundbreaking drama for another US channel, Showtime, next year.

Allen, whose latest film, Magic in the Moonlight, failed to repeat the plaudits for Blue Jasmine, has made a virtue out of trying to make a film every year. His latest as-yet-untitled film is set in Rhode Island and will star Joaquin Phoenix and Emma Stone.

Allen’s film career stumbled in the early 2000s, with a string of flops including Curse of the Jade Scorpion and Cassandra’s Dream.

It has become something of a tradition in more recent years for critics to greet each new film as a “return to form”, though 2013’s Blue Jasmine appeared to be the real thing, earning Allen an Oscar nomination for best original screenplay and an Oscar win for its star, Cate Blanchett.

Last year Allen was publicly challenged by his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow that he had sexually molested her, claims first levelled by his former partner Mia Farrow in the early 1990s. Allen rejected the accusation, saying a previous police investigation had cleared him.

Talking to the Observer last year after the release of his latest film, Magic in the Moonlight starring Colin Firth, Allen said: “It’s hard to find a story with a good beginning, middle and end that’ll be entertaining to an audience. Eventually the supply will run out. I’ll just keel over in my room with a stroke or something.”

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“Sanctity of Life Saturday” Debating Kermit Gosnell Trial, Abortion and infanticide with Ark Times Bloggers Part 14 Al Mohler: “Dr. Gosnell is not alone in having the blood of babies on his hands”

Francis Schaeffer.jpg

Founder of the L’Abri community
Born Francis August Schaeffer
January 30, 1912

Died May 15, 1984 (aged 72)

I truly believe that many of the problems we have today in the USA are due to the advancement of humanism in the last few decades in our society. Ronald Reagan appointed the evangelical Dr. C. Everett Koop to the position of Surgeon General in his administration. He partnered with Dr. Francis Schaeffer in making the video below. It is very valuable information for Christians to have.  Actually I have included a video below that includes comments from him on this subject.

Whatever happened to human race?)

Dr. Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical flow of Truth & History (intro)

Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical Flow of History & Truth (1)

Dr. Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical Flow of Truth & History (part 2)

__________

Francis Schaeffer Whatever Happened to the Human Race (Episode 1) ABORTION

I have gone back and forth and back and forth with many liberals on the Arkansas Times Blog on many issues such as abortionhuman rightswelfarepovertygun control  and issues dealing with popular culture . This time around I have discussed morality with the Ark Times Bloggers and particularly the trial of the abortionist Dr. Kermit Gosnell and through that we discuss infanticide, abortion and even partial birth abortion. Here are some of my favorite past posts on the subject of Gosnell: ,Abby Johnson comments on Dr. Gosnell’s guilty verdict, Does President Obama care about Kermit Gosnell verdict?,  Dr. Gosnell Trial mostly ignored by media,  Kermit Gosnell is guilty of same crimes of abortion clinics are says Jennifer Mason,  Denny Burk: Is Dr. Gosnell the usual case or not?Pro-life Groups thrilled with Kermit Gosnell guilty verdict,  Reactions to Dr. Gosnell guilty verdict from pro-life leaders,  Kermit Gosnell and Planned Parenthood supporting infanticide?, Owen Strachan on Dr. Gosnell Trial, Al Mohler on Kermit Gosnell’s abortion practice, Finally we get justice for Dr. Kermit Gosnell .

In July of 2013 I went back and forth with several bloggers from the Ark Times Blog concerning Dr. Kermit Gosnell’s abortion practice and his trial which had finished up in the middle of May:

Olphart you wrote a well thought out post. In it you noted, “Even I can see that you jump to a huge conclusion when you draw the line by saying that abortion is murder. The Bible doesn’t tell you that.”

______________

Is abortion murder according to the Bible. Let’s take just a few verses.

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

Psalm 139:13-16
________

Sue Bohlin of Probe Ministries has asserted:

Sometimes you will hear a pro-choice argument that says the Bible does not put the same value on the life of the unborn as on infants, citing an Old Testament passage on personal injury law. Exodus 21:22-25 gives two penalties if fighting men hit a pregnant woman. The first penalty was a fine, and some people conclude from this that an unborn baby doesn’t have the same value as a born child. But that penalty was for a situation where nothing serious happened. If there was serious injury, the offender was severely punished with the same injury he inflicted. If the mother or baby died, the offender was to be put to death. This actually shows very eloquently how valuable God considers both the mother and her unborn baby.

http://thedailyhatch.org/2013/04/16/rememb…

Al Mohler talked about Americans’ sense of right and wrong and how everything is turned upside down now while viewing the results of the Gosnell Trial:

What the pro-abortion movement fears most is that Americans will pause to consider what this trial really means. It means that Dr. Gosnell would not be on trial for murder if he had killed those three babies while inside their mother’s body. His murder convictions have everything to do with the fact that the abortions were “botched” and the babies were accidentally born alive. Had the abortions been “successful” — even up to the last hours of pregnancy — Dr. Gosnell might have been charged with performing a late-term abortion, but not of murder.

And, speaking of late-term abortions, the abortion rights movement is against all legal restrictions on those as well. They insist on a woman’s unfettered right to an abortion up to the moment of birth.

Even more chillingly, a Planned Parenthood representative recently told a committee of the Florida legislature that even a baby born alive after a failed abortion should have its life or death decided only by its mother and her doctor.

This is America. A nation that has legalized murder in the womb and that now finds itself staring at what abortion really represents. Human dignity cannot survive in a society that insists that a baby inside the womb has no right to live while that same baby, just seconds later, is a murder victim. Respect for human life cannot endure when a baby inside the womb is just a fetus, but when moved only a few centimeters is a full citizen.

The body parts of babies presented as evidence in the Gosnell trial are routinely discarded as “medical waste” outside your local abortion clinic.

What the Gosnell trial revealed is not the exceptional gruesomeness of a single clinic in Philadelphia. It reveals the truth that all Americans are, by our laws, complicit in Dr. Gosnell’s evil. The real scandal is not just the babies murdered outside the womb, but the millions aborted legally — torn apart by blades, suctioned out as waste, poisoned unto death by drugs.

The trial of Dr. Kermit Gosnell revealed the truth about this homicidal doctor and his house of horrors, but it also revealed the moral house of mirrors behind which America hides. Dr. Gosnell is not alone in having the blood of babies on his hands.

http://thedailyhatch.org/2013/05/15/al-moh…

Part 1 of 2 Gianna Jessen, abortion survivor speaks at Queen’s Hall, Parliament House, Victoria. Australia – on the eve of the debate to decriminalize abortion in Victoria.
Gianna’s visit was sponsored by the Ad Hoc Interfaith Committee.

Gianna Jessen is an abortion survivor. She  was intervewed on Fox’s Hannity and Colmes, where she shared her personal story and also commented on Obama’s voting record. As an Illinois state senator, four times he voted “no” on the Illinois Born-Alive Infant Defined Act, which would protect babies born alive after failed abortions.
There is a lively discussion at the end about whether or not Obama, by his vote, was in fact denying born babies (abortion survivors now outside the womb), the right to live. Pay attention especially to Alan Combs who tries to defend his pro-life liberal president.
Sean Hannity show with Gianna Jessen
Did you see how difficult it was for Alan Combs to defend his liberal president from the charge of infanticide. Logically there is no escape but he tried the best he could.  President Obama was so intent on protecting Roe v Wade that he had to endorse a form of infanticide in order to protect Roe v Wade.
Liberals must acknowledge that hospitals are required to save lives. However, if a hospital is paid to perform an abortion and they botch the job then they must turn from trying to snuff out a life to trying to save it again. How ironic.
Part 2 of 2 Gianna Jessen, abortion survivor speaks at Queen’s Hall.

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Tony Perkins on Kermit Gosnell Trial

Francis Schaeffer: “Whatever Happened to the Human Race” (Episode 1) ABORTION OF THE HUMAN RACE Published on Oct 6, 2012 by AdamMetropolis _____________ Tony Perkins: Gosnell Trial – FOX News Published on May 13, 2013 Tony Perkins: Gosnell Trial – FOX News ________________ Hey Obama, Kermit Gosnell Is What a Real War on Women Looks Like […]

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Many in the world today are taking a long look at the abortion industry because of the May 14, 2013 guilty verdict and life term penalty handed down by a jury (which included 9 out of 12 pro-choice jurors)  to Dr. Kermit Gosnell. During this time of reflection I wanted to put forth some of the […]

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Do New York late term abortionists need more attention like Dr. Gosnell did?

Many in the world today are taking a long look at the abortion industry because of the May 14, 2013 guilty verdict and life term penalty handed down by a jury (which included 9 out of 12 pro-choice jurors)  to Dr. Kermit Gosnell. During this time of reflection I wanted to put forth some of the […]

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The Selfishness of Chris Evert Part 2 (Includes videos and Pictures) _________________________________ _____________________ _______________________ __________________________ Tennis – Wimbledon 1974 [ Official Film ] – 05/05 Published on May 1, 2012 John Newcombe, Ken Rosewall, Bjor Borg, Jimmy Connors, Cris Evert… ___________________ Jimmy Connors Reflects Published on May 13, 2013 Jimmy Connors visits “SportsCenter” to discuss his memoir, […]

By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Current EventsFrancis SchaefferProlife | Tagged  | Edit | Comments (0)

John Lennon and Bob Dylan Conversation mention Johnny Cash and his song “Big River”

Johnny Cash – Big River

Uploaded on Jan 16, 2008

Grand Ole Opry, 1962

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John Lennon and Bob Dylan Conversation mention Johnny Cash and his song “Big River”

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Big River (Johnny Cash song)

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“Big River”
Single by Johnny Cash
from the album Sings the Songs That Made Him Famous
Released March 1958
Genre Rockabilly
Length 2:35
Label Sun
Writer(s) Johnny Cash
Producer Sam Phillips, Jack Clement
Johnny Cash singles chronology
Ballad of a Teenage Queen
(1958)
Big River
(1958)
Guess Things Happen That Way
(1958)

Big River” is a song written and originally recorded by Johnny Cash. Released as a single by Sun Records in 1958, it went as high as #4 on the Billboard country music charts and stayed on the charts for 14 weeks.[1] A verse omitted from the original recording was later performed during Johnny Cash’s live performances.[2]

Cover versions

Ian Tyson (of Ian and Sylvia) included a spirited version of Big River on the duo’s “Lovin’ Sound” album released in 1967, with David Rae on lead guitar. The Grateful Dead played a cover version of this song in 396 live performances[3]. It appears on many of their concert recordings, such as Dick’s Picks Volume 1 (Grateful Dead Records). It was also included in a 2003 tribute to Johnny Cash, Johnny’s Blues: A Tribute To Johnny Cash (Northern Blues), in a version by Colin Linden. Trick Pony recorded a version of Big River with Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings on their debut album. Australian band Cold Chisel included a live version of the song on their 2003 Ringside reunion tour and DVD. Hank Williams Jr. covered this song on his 1970 album; Singing My Songs – Johnny Cash, which contains exclusively songs by Johnny Cash. The Secret Sisters also recorded a version of the song in 2011, with Jack White playing backing guitar.[4] Bob Dylan and The Band also recorded a version of the song in 1967 during The Basement Tapes sessions. It was never officially released, but can be found on many bootlegs. Johnny Cash was featured in a cover performed by The Highwaymen, a country supergroup featuring Cash, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and Kris Kristofferson. This cover is slightly more upbeat, skewing to “Outlaw Country.”

Chart performance

Chart (1958) Peak
position
U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles 4
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 14

Song information

References

  1. ^ Wiki Music Guide
  2. ^ Big River information
  3. ^ http://www.setlists.net/?search=true&venue=&city=&state=&month=&day=&year=&songs=big+river&submit=Search
  4. ^ “Secret Sisters cover”. Retrieved 2011-01-28.

 

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FRIEDMAN FRIDAY Milton Friedman’s FREE TO CHOOSE “Who protects the consumer?” Transcript and Video (60 Minutes)

Milton Friedman’s FREE TO CHOOSE “Who protects the consumer?” Transcript and Video (60 Minutes)

In 1980 I read the book FREE TO CHOOSE by Milton Friedman and it really enlightened me a tremendous amount.  I suggest checking out these episodes and transcripts of Milton Friedman’s film series FREE TO CHOOSE: “The Failure of Socialism” and “What is wrong with our schools?”  and “Created Equal”  and  From Cradle to Grave, and – Power of the Market. From the original Free To Choose series Milton asks: “Who Protects the Consumer?”. Many government agencies have been created for this purpose, yet they do so by restricting freedom and stifling beneficial innovation, and eventually become agents for the groups they have been created to regulate.

Allowing the free market to work is the best thing for consumers. Milton Friedman noted, “Over a quarter of a century ago, I bought, second hand, a desk calculator for which I paid $300. One of these little calculators today which I can buy for $10 or so, will do everything that did and more besides. What produced this tremendous improvement in technology? It was self-interest or if your prefer, greed. The greed of producers who wanted it to produce something that they can made a dollar on. The greed of consumers who wanted to buy things as cheaply as they could. Did government play a role in this? Very little. Only by keeping the road clear for human greed and self-interest to promote the welfare of the consumer.”
Volume 7 - Who Protects the Consumer?
Abstract:
Do consumers need protection? Increasingly the public answer to this question has been “yes.” Increasingly, too, the Federal government has been identified as the source of this protection. Milton Friedman disputes the views that (1) consumers are in dire need of governmental protection against the wiles of the business community and that (2) governmental actions tend to make consumers better off. He argues that consumers’ problems more frequently than not can be attributed to failures of government rather than to failures of free markets. The best protection for the consumer, in Dr. Friedman’s view, is the free market. Despite popular mythology, business interests do not have the power to make people purchase something they do not want. Consider, for example, the failure of the highly touted Edsel, a product that was heavily promoted by the best advertising brains at the Ford Motor Company and its advertising agencies.When people have alternatives, they will not accept products they do not want. In a competitive market system, business people’s recognition that consumers have alternatives provides a powerful stimulus to keep product quality high. Fear of losing business to competitors provides a strong protective shield for the consumer. Armed with the protection offered by the free market, the consumer, says Dr. Friedman, really needs very little protection by the government. Indeed, many government attempts to protect consumers have made them worse off than they were beforehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgVvUz6mUkY

Volume 7 - Who Protects the Consumer?
Transcript:
Friedman: The 1960’s Corvair, condemned by Ralph Nader as unsafe at any speed. Since Nader’s attack it is being increasingly accepted that we need government protection in the marketplace. Today there are agencies all over Washington where bureaucrats decide what’s good for us. Agencies to control the prices we pay, the quality of goods we can buy, the choice of products available. It’s already costing us more than $5 billion a year. Since the attack on the Corvair the government has been spending more and more money in the name of protecting the consumer. This is hardly what the 3rd president of the United States, Thomas Jefferson, whose monument this is, had in mind when he defined a wise and frugal government as, one, which restrains men from injuring each other and leaves them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement. Ever since the Corvair affair the U.S. government has been increasingly been muscling in between buyer and seller in the marketplaces of America. By Thomas Jefferson’s standards, what we have today is not a wise and frugal government but a spendthrift and snooping government.
The federal regulations that govern our lives are available in many place. One set is here, in the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. In 1936, the Federal Government established the Federal Register to record all of the regulations, hearings and other materials connected with the agencies in Washington. This is volume 1, number 1. In 1936 it took three volumes like this to record all these matters. In 1937 it took four and then it grew and grew and grew. At first rather slowly and gradually, but even so, year by year it took a bigger and bigger pile to hold all the regulations and hearings for that year. Then around 1970 came a veritable explosion so that one pile is no longer enough to hold the regulations for that year. It takes two and then three piles. Until on one day in 1977, September 28, the Federal Register had no fewer than 1,754 pages and these aren’t exactly what you’d call small pages either.
Many of those regulations come from this building.
Worker: Consumer Protection Safety hotline _ can you hold please?
Friedman: The Consumer Product Safety Commission is one of the newest agencies set up on our behalf. One of its jobs is to give advice to consumers.
Workers: The clue that gave it away….. What has been done about the flammability of children’s garments?
Friedman: But its main function is to produce rules and regulations. Hundreds and hundreds of them. Designed to assure safety of products on the market. It’s hard to escape the invisible hand of the Consumer Product Safety Commission except for food and drugs, ammunition and automobiles that are covered by other agencies. It has power to regulate just about anything you can imagine. Already it costs $41 million a year to test and regulate all these products on our behalf and that’s just the beginning. The Commission employees highly trained technicians to carry out tests like this, checking the brakes on a bike. But the fact is that 80% of bike accidents are caused by human error. These tests may one day lead to safer brakes, but even that isn’t sure. The one thing that is sure is that the regulations that come out of here will make bikes more expensive and will reduce the variety available. Yes, they really are testing how matches strike. And the tests are very precise. The pressure must be exactly one pound, the match exactly at right angles.
No matter how many tests are done, children’s swings are never going to be totally safe. You cannot outlaw accidents. If you try, you end up with ludicrous results. It hardly seems possible but they really do use highly skilled people to devise regulations that will prevent toy guns from making to big of a bang.
The Commission, in effect, is deciding what they think is good for us. They are taking away our freedom to choose.
Consumers don’t have to be hemmed in by rules and regulations. They’re protected by the market itself. They want the best possible products at the lowest price. And the self-interest of the producer leaves him to provide those products in order to keep customers satisfied. After all, if they bring goods of low quality here, your not going to keep coming back to buy. If they bring goods that don’t serve your needs, you’re not going to buy them. And therefore, they search out all over the world, the products that might meet your needs and might appeal to you. And they stand in back of them because if they don’t they’re going to go out of business. You see the difference between the market and the political action, the governmental agencies. Here nobody forces you, your free, you do what you want to. There’s no policemen to take money out of your pocket or to make sure that you do what you’re told to. Over a quarter of a century ago, I bought, second hand, a desk calculator for which I paid $300. One of these little calculators today which I can buy for $10 or so, will do everything that did and more besides. What produced this tremendous improvement in technology? It was self-interest or if your prefer, greed. The greed of producers who wanted it to produce something that they can made a dollar on. The greed of consumers who wanted to buy things as cheaply as they could. Did government play a role in this? Very little. Only by keeping the road clear for human greed and self-interest to promote the welfare of the consumer.
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Milton Friedman noted how the government usually messes up things when they start regulating: “When governments do intervene in business, innovation is stifled. Railroads have been regulated for nearly a century and they are one of our most backward industries.”
Part 2
When governments do intervene in business, innovation is stifled. Railroads have been regulated for nearly a century and they are one of our most backward industries. The railroad story shows what so often results from the good intentions of consumer protection groups. In the 1860’s railroad rates were lower in the United States than anywhere else in the world. Yet many customers thought they were too high. They complained bitterly about the profits of the railroads.
Now the railway men of the time had their problems too. Problems that arose out of the fierce competitiveness among them. Many railroads all trying to get their share of the market, all trying to make a name for themselves. If you want to see what their problems were as they saw them, come and have a look at this.
From inside this private railroad car it may not look as if the people who ran the railroads had any real problems. Some, like the owner of this private car, had done very well. This was the equivalent of the private jet of today’s business tycoons. But for each one who succeeded, many didn’t survive the cutthroat competition.
What we have here is a railroad map of the United States for the year 1882. It shows every railroad then in existence. The country was literally crisscrossed with railroads going to every remote hamlet and covering the nation from coast to coast. Between points far distant like for example New York and Chicago, there might be a half a dozen lines that would be running between those two points. Each of the half dozen trying to get business would cut rates and rates would get very low. The people who benefited most from this competition were the customers shipping goods on a long trip.
On the other hand, between some segments of that trip, say for example, Harrisburg and Pittsburgh, there might be only a single line that was running and that line would take full advantage of its monopoly position. It would charge all that the traffic would bear. The result was that the sum of the fares charged for the short haul was typically larger than the total sum charged for the long haul between the two distant points. Of course, none of the consumers complained about the low price for the long haul, but the consumer certainly did complain about the higher prices for the short hauls. And that was one of the major sources of agitation leading ultimately to the establishment of the Interstate Commerce Commission.
The cartoonists of the day delighted in pointing out that railroads had tremendous political instinct. As indeed they did. They used the consumer’s complaints to get the government to establish a commission that would protect the railroad’s interest. It took about a decade to get the commission into full operation. By that time, needless to say, the consumer advocates had moved on to their next crusade. But the railway men were still there. They had soon learned how to use the commission to their own advantage. They solved the long haul/short haul problem, by raising the long haul rates. The customers ended up paying more, some protection. The first commissioner was Thomas Cooley, a lawyer who had represented the railroads for many years. The railroads continued to dominate the Commission.
In the 1920’s and 30’s when trucks emerged as serious competitors for long distance hauling, the railroads induced the Commission to extend control over trucking. Truckers, in their turn, learned how to use the Commission to protect themselves from competition. This firm carries freight to and from the Dayton, Ohio International Airport. Its the only one serving some routes and its customers depend on it. But Dayton Airfreight has real problems. Its ICC license only permits it to carry freight from Dayton to Detroit. To serve other routes it’s had to buy rights from other ICC license holders including one who doesn’t own a single truck. It’s paid as much as $100,000 a year for the privilege.
Secretary: Our company is in the process of trying to get rights to go there now. Yes, we’ll do that and thank you for calling sir.
The owners of the firm have been trying for years to get their license extended to cover more routes.
Air freight company: Now I don’t have any argument with the people who already have ICC permits except for the fact that this is a big country and since the inception of the ICC in 1936, there has been very few entrants into the business. They do not allow new entrants to come in and compete with those who are already in.
Unnamed individual: Of course, Dayton Airfreight suffers but so do the customers who pay higher freight charges. Quite frankly, I don’t know why the ICC is sitting on its hands doing nothing. This is the third time to my knowledge that we’ve support the application of Dayton Airfreight to help us save money, help free enterprise, help the country save energy, help, help, help. It all comes down to consumers ultimately going to pay for all of this and they are the blame. The ICC has to be the blame.
Friedman: Dayton Airfreight now has many of its trucks lying idle. Trucks that could be providing a valuable service. Far from protecting consumers, the ICC has ended up making them worse off.
As far as I’m concerned, there is no free enterprise in interstate commerce. It no longer exists in this country. You have to pay the price and you have to pay the price very dearly and I don’t mean we have to pay the price, it means that the consumer is paying that price.
The price consumers pay when it comes to medicine could be their lives. In the 19th Century pharmacies contained an impressive array of pills and potions. Most were ineffective and some were deadly. There was an outcry about drugs that maimed or killed. The Food and Drug Administration in response to consumer pressure succeeded in banning a whole range of medicines. The tonics and lotions with their excessive claims disappeared from the market. In 1962 the Kefauver Amendment gave the FDA power to regulate all drugs for effectiveness as well as for safety. Today, every drug marketed in the United States must pass the FDA. It’s clear that this has protected us from some drugs with horrific side effects like thalidomide. And we all know of people who have benefited from modern drugs. What we don’t hear much about however, are the beneficial drugs that the FDA has prohibited.
Well, if you examine the therapeutic benefits of significant drugs that haven’t arrived in the U.S. but are available somewhere in the rest of the world, such as in Britain, you can come across numerous examples where the patient has suffered. For example, there are one or two drugs called beta blockers which now can prevent death after heart attack, we call it secondary prevention of coronary death after myocardial infarction, which if available here, could be saving about 10,000 lives a year in the United States. In the ten years after the 1962 amendments no drug was approved for hypertension. That’s for the control the blood pressure in the United States, where as several were approve in Britain. In the entire cardiovascular area, only one drug was approved in the five year period from 67 to 72. And this can be correlated with known organizational problems at FDA.
These carts are taking to an FDA official the documents required to get just one drug approved.
Worker: Well, hi there, must be the new one they called me about.
Friedman: It took six years work by the drug company to get this drug passed.
Worker: This one right here, all 119 volumes.
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Milton Friedman noted, “The men and women who have fostered this movement… believe that we as consumers are not able to protect ourselves… But as so often happens the results have been very different from the intentions. Not only have our pockets been picked of billions of dollars, but also we are left less well protected than we were before.”
Part 3
Friedman: The implications for the patients are that therapeutic decisions that used to be the preserve of the doctor and the patient are increasingly becoming made at a national level by committees of experts. And these committees and the agencies for whom they are acting, FDA, are highly skewed to avoid risks. So there is a tendency for us to have drugs that are safer but not to have those that are effective. Now, I’ve heard some remarkable statement from these advisory committees in considering drugs. One has seen the statement, there are not enough patients with the disease of this severity to warrant marketing this drug for general use. Now that’s fine if what you are trying to do is to minimize drug toxicity for the whole population. But if you happen to be one of these “not enough patients” and you have a disease that’s of high severity or a disease that’s very rare than that’s just tough luck on you.
For ten years Mrs. Esther Usdane suffered from severe asthma. The medication she received had serious side effects. Her condition was getting worse. But the drug her doctor preferred is prohibited by the FDA. So, twice a year Mrs. Usdane had to set out on a journey.
Mrs. Usdane: I had been very sick. I had been in and out of the hospital several times and they couldn’t seem to find a way to control the asthma and I had to change my lifestyle once I was out even for a short time, mainly because the cortisone derivatives were softening the bones and causing a puffiness of the face and other changes in my body. The doctors were pretty anxious to get me off the cortisone derivative.
Friedman: The drug her doctor wanted her to have had been available for use for five years in Canada. Once across the boarder of Niagara Falls, Mrs. Usdane could make use of the prescription that she obtained from a Canadian doctor. All she had to do was go to any pharmacy. There she could buy the drug that was totally prohibited in her own country. The drug worked immediately.
Mrs. Usdane: This one made such a difference in my life both because of the shortness of breath being resolved and also because now we don’t have to worry so much about the softening of the bones. Fortunately, once I got that medicine, very quickly, everything sort of reverted back to a much more the normal lifestyle and I’m very grateful that I was able to find relief.
Friedman: It was easy for Mrs. Usdane to get around the FDA regulations because she happens to live near the Canadian boarder. Not everyone is so lucky. It’s no accident that despite the best of intentions, the Food and Drug Administration operates so as to discourage the development and prevent the marketing of new and potentially useful drugs. Put yourself in the position of a bureaucrat who works over there. Suppose you approve a drug that turns out to be dangerous, a thalidomide. Your name is going to be on the front page of every newspaper. You will be in deep disgrace. On the other hand, what if you make the mistake of failing to approve a drug that could have saved thousands of lives. Who will know? The people whose lives might have been saved will not be around. Their relatives are unlikely to know that there was something that could have saved their lives. A few doctors, a few research workers, they will be disgruntled, they will know. You or I, if we were in the position of that bureaucrat, we’d behave exactly the same way. Our own interests would demand that we take any chance, whatsoever, almost, of refusing to approve a good drug in order to be sure that we never approve a bad one.
Drug companies can no longer afford to develop new drugs in the United States for patients with rare diseases. Increasing, they must rely on drugs with high volume sales. Four drug firms have already gone out of business and the number of new drugs introduced is going down.
Where will it all lead? We simply haven’t learned from experience. Remember Prohibition? In a burst of moral righteousness at the end of the first world war, when many young men were oversees, the non-drinkers imposed on all of us prohibition of alcohol. They did it for our own good. And there is no doubt that alcohol is a dangerous substance. Unquestionably, more lives are lost each year through alcohol and also the smoking of cigarettes than through all the dangerous substances the FDA controls. But where did it lead?
This place is today a legitimate business. It’s the oldest bar in Chicago. But during Prohibition days it was a speakeasy. Al Capone, Buggs Moran, and many of the other gangsters of the day sat around this very bar planning the exploits that made them so notorious; murder, extortion, highjacking, bootlegging. Who were the customers who came here? They were people who regarded themselves as respectable individuals, who would never had approved of the activities that Al Capone and Moran were engaged in. They wanted a drink but in order to have a drink they had to break the law. Prohibition didn’t stop drinking, but it did convert a lot of otherwise law obedient citizens into law breakers. Fortunately, we’re a very long way from that today with the Prohibition on cyclamate and DDT. But make no mistake about it, there is already something of a gray market in drugs that are prohibited by the FDA. Many a conscientious physicians fees himself in a dilemma caught between what he regards as the welfare of his patient and strict obedience to the law. If we continue down this path, there is no doubt where it will end. After all, if it is appropriate for the government to protect us from using dangerous guns and bicycles for logic calls for prohibiting still more dangerous activities such as hand gliding, motorcycling, skiing. If the government is to protect us from ingesting dangerous substances, the logic calls for prohibiting alcohol and tobacco. Even the people who administered the regulatory agencies are appalled at this prospect and withdrawal from it. As for the rest of us, we want no part of it. Let the government give us information but let us decide for ourselves what chances we want to take with our own lives.
As you can see all sorts of silly things happen when government starts to regulate our lives. Setting up agencies to tell us what we can buy, what we can’t buy, what we can do.
Remember, we started out this program with a Corvair and on the bill that was castigated by Ralph Nader as unsafe at any speed. The reaction to his crusade led to the establishment of a whole series of agencies designed to protect us from ourselves. Well, some ten years later, one of the agencies that was set up in response to that, now finally got around to testing the Corvair that started the whole thing off. What do you suppose they found? They spent a year and a half comparing the performance of the Corvair with the performance of other comparable vehicles and they concluded and I quote “The 1960_63 Corvair compared favorably with the other contemporary vehicles used in the test.”
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Milton Friedman correctly noted, “It’s time all of us stopped being fooled by those well-meaning bureaucrats who claim to protect us because they say we can’t protect ourselves.”
Pt 4
Nowadays, there are Corvair fan clubs throughout the country. Corvair’s have become collector items. Consumers have given their verdict on Ralph Nader and the government regulations. As Abraham Lincoln said, you can’t fool all of the people all of the time. It’s time all of us stopped being fooled by those well-meaning bureaucrats who claim to protect us because they say we can’t protect ourselves. The men and women who have fostered this movement have been sincere. They believe that we as consumers are not able to protect ourselves. That we need the help of a wise and effervescent government. But as so often happens the results have been very different from the intentions. Not only have our pockets been picked of billions of dollars, but also we are left less well protected than we were before.
DISCUSSION
Participants: Robert McKenzie, Moderator; Milton Friedman; Kathleen O’Reilly, Consumer Federation of America; Richard Landau, Professor of Medicine, University of Chicago; Joan Claybrook, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; Robert Crandall, Brookings Institute
MCKENZIE: Now back at the University of Chicago the consumerists, themselves, get their chance to argue their case.
O’REILLY: I agree with Mr. Friedman with respect to those agencies which have had the major purpose of economically propping up a certain industry which is why consumer advocates like myself advocate the elimination of the ICC, the CAB, the Maritime Commission. But when you’re talking about consumer protection in the marketplace and when you’re talking about government watchdog in competition, consumers need and as every poll is showing, they’re demanding more and more protection. And to give just two examples of how information is simply not enough to protect the consumer, five years ago I could not have bought a child’s crib in this country that would have had the slats sufficiently close together that I did not have to worry about the child strangling. Not until the government and the Consumer Product Safety Commission stepped in did consumers then have the choice to buy that type of a crib, strangulation’s down 50 percent. And in 1975, if I had wanted to lease a Xerox machine, I could not have done it. And not until the Federal Trade Commission antitrust stepped in and forced competition into that marketplace did I have that choice and in one year the price went from 14,000 dollars to 5,000 dollars. Those are dollars back in our pocketbooks to say nothing of minimized emotional trauma.
MCKENZIE: Well, before we ask Milton Friedman to come back on that, lets establish the viewpoint of our other participants and experts. Dr. Richard Landau, what’s your reaction?
LANDAU: Well I think the cost is certainly outrageously large and the benefits are trivial if any. I think that perhaps Milton overstates it slightly to make his point, but basically I would have to agree with it in the area that I know best, which is the regulation of new drug development.
MCKENZIE: And Joan Claybrook.
CLAYBROOK: Well in the auto safety field we’ve saved about 55,000 lives and millions of injuries because of auto safety regulations since the mid_1960s. I might also comment that the cost of auto crashes each year, the American public is 48 billion dollars a year, fairly substantial when you compare it to other things, much less, again, the human trauma.
MCKENZIE: Bob Crandall.
CRANDALL: Well I think it’s impossible to disagree with Milton Friedman on the effects of economic rate regulation of the sort that the railroads and the trucking industry have been through. The intent of that legislation was, of course, to protect the railroad and to protect the trucks, and the same thing is true for maritime regulation. What sustains regulation is sort of a populist theory that somehow through government we will redistribute wealth from people who own business firms to consumers. In fact it doesn’t work that way. It doesn’t work that way in economic regulation and there’s very little evidence that it works that way in any kind of regulation. As to whether we get any value from health and safety regulation, I think much of it is too new to know.
MCKENZIE: Well now that’s the area I want to start with because remember that was the first part of his argument. The whole idea of consumer product safety action by the state. Now, is that so far working? Very close to your interest I know. What’s your reaction, Kathleen O’Reilly?
O’REILLY: Well in product safety in the state of that, the lawnmower industry had said for twenty years they could not design a safe lawnmower. Only when the Consumer Product Safety Commission forced them with the new standard suddenly their creative genius was overnight. They came up with net whips that were made out of plastic and they came up with very innovative forces. Which is why __ where that government presence actually triggered innovation that otherwise would have been left uncovered.
FRIEDMAN: It’s very easy to see the good results. The bad result it’s very much harder to see. You haven’t mentioned the products that aren’t there because the extra cost imposed by Consumer Product Safety Commission have prevented them from existing. You haven’t mentioned the case of the triss (phonetic) problem on the flammable garments. Here you had a clear case where the __ regulation of the CPSC essentially had the effect of requiring all manufacturers of children’s sleepwear to impregnate them with triss.
O’REILLY: Oh, but that’s not true at all.
FRIEDMAN: Three years __ five years later the regulation required that garments to be nonflammable and as it happened, triss was the most readily available chemical which could do it.
MCKENZIE: Kathleen O’Reilly.
O’REILLY: It’s absolutely not true.
FRIEDMAN: But let me finish the story first. Because the second half of the story is the important part of it. It turned out that triss was a carcinogen. And five years later or three years later, I’m not sure the exact time, the same agency had to prohibit the use of those sleepwear garments forcing them to be disposed of at great cost to everybody concerned.
O’REILLY: All right, lets look at the real interesting history here. In 1968, when Congress passed the Flammable Fabric Act, they did not tell the CPSC what chemicals would comply with that and what would not. And so initially when industry said, “we’re going to use triss,” the Consumer Product Safety Commission, from their initial tests, were disturbed by it and had announced informally to industry that they were not going to allow triss to be used. Industry balked and said, “we’re gonna to take you to court because the Act only says it has to be flame retardant.” You, the government, cannot tell us how to comply. And it was the industry that forced the hand of CPSC away. And they don’t even deny that now.
FRIEDMAN: I’m not trying to defend the industry. Go slowly. I am not pro-industry. I am pro-consumer. I’m like you. I’m not pro-industry. and, of course, industry will do a lot of bad things. The whole question at issue is what mechanism is more effective in protecting the interests of the consumers, the disbursed, widespread forces of the market. Take the case of the flammable fabrics, suppose you had not had the requirements.
MCKENZIE: But you believe it was right to test them, don’t you? For a government agency to test it?
FRIEDMAN: No, not at all.
MCKENZIE: No, no.
FRIEDMAN: There are private consumer testing agencies. There’s the Consumers Research. There’s Consumers Union. You speak about a widespread demand for more protection, those agencies have never __ those organizations __
CLAYBROOK: Oh, of course, they have all these publications on cars __
FRIEDMAN: Of course.
CLAYBROOK:__ but what they do is they test the brakes and steering. They never crash test them and the most important thing to know about a car when you buy it is if the car crashes are you going to be killed unnecessarily?
FRIEDMAN: The reason they __
CLAYBROOK: You can’t even get that information.
FRIEDMAN: But the reason they don’t test __
CLAYBROOK: It’s too expensive, that’s the reason why.
FRIEDMAN: Of course. Anyway it is too expensive for them because the number of consumers who are willing to buy their service and take it is very, very small.
CLAYBROOK: That is not why. The reason why is because it’s enormously expensive.
FRIEDMAN: Of course, but if they had a large enough number of customers, if there were enough customers, enough consumers who wanted the __
CLAYBROOK: Yes, but that’s a chicken and egg situation which is ridiculous.
FRIEDMAN: It’s not a chicken and egg situation. The whole situation __
CLAYBROOK: If you believe that technological information is important for consumer to have, which is that basis ad the thesis of your argument, surely that you would say that one of the things that society does as it groups together to provide basic services to the public; police, traffic services, all sorts of basic kinds of things, the mail service and the fire service and all the rest of it. Why is that they shouldn’t even do testing of technological subjects which the public has no way of knowing?
MCKENZIE: Before you reply, I want one or two others in on this, Bob Crandall.
CRANDALL: It seems to me that Professor Friedman could give a little bit on this ground. Certainly in the dissemination of information there’s a free rider problem. And one of the problems is that while you and I might value the results from a Consumer Union rather highly, we don’t have to pay for it. We can look over the shoulder of someone else, borrow the magazine from the library and so forth. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that the government should not at all be in the business of generating information though I am concerned about exactly the same forces, this evil industry that Miss O’Reilly talks about, having its influence on how this information is prepared. I don’t see how we guard ourselves against that.
FRIEDMAN: We don’t
CRANDALL: But it seems to me that there is a case to be made that the market does not supply enough information.
FRIEDMAN: It may not. But the market supplies a great deal and there is also a free rider problem in the negative sense on government provision of information because people who have no use for that information are required to pay for it.
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Milton Friedman rightly noted, “The most anti-consumer measures on our statute books are restrictions on foreign trade.”
Pt 5
MCKENZIE: Milton, I don’t quite understand your position on this. Are you saying, though, that there’s no place for government to test consumer product safety at all?
FRIEDMAN: I am saying, lets separate issues. I am saying there is no place for government to prohibit consumers from buying products, the effect of which will be to harm themselves. There is, of course, a place __
MCKENZIE: But how do they know that effect?
FRIEDMAN: Well, for a moment I’m trying to separate the issues. There is a place for government to protect third parties. If we go to your automobile case __
CLAYBROOK: Well, how about children? Children don’t __ aren’t choosers.
FRIEDMAN: No, no.
CLAYBROOK: They don’t make choices because they ride in the cars.
FRIEDMAN: The parents make their choices. But let’s go __
O’REILLY: But if the industry has it there’s no choice.
FRIEDMAN: We can only take one issue at a time. We’re a little difficult to take them all at once. Let’s take one at a time. I say there is no place for government to require me to do something to protect myself.
(Applause)
FRIEDMAN: Now if government has information __
MCKENZIE: Has of obtains?
FRIEDMAN: __ for a moment, suppose it has information, then it should make that public and available. The next question is: are there circumstances under which it’s appropriate for government to collect information? There may be some such circumstances. They have to be considered one at a time. Sometimes there is and sometimes there isn’t. But you see, I want to get back. Take your area Miss Claybrook, you are now involved on the airbag problem.
CLAYBROOK: That’s right.
FRIEDMAN: If I understand the situation, I don’t know anything about the technical aspects of it, but the airbag, in a car, is there to protect me as a driver. It doesn’t prevent me from having an accident, hurting somebody else because it’s only activated by an accident. All right then, why shouldn’t I make that decision? Who are you to tell me that I have to spend whatever it is, two hundred, three hundred, four hundred dollars on that airbag.
CLAYBROOK: Well we don’t tell you that. What we say is that when a car crashes into a brick wall at 30 miles an hour, the front seat occupants have to have automatic protection built into that car.
FRIEDMAN: Have to, why have to?
CLAYBROOK: And it’s a very __ it’s a very minimal __
FRIEDMAN: Why have to? I don’t care whether it’s an airbag or a seatbelt.
CLAYBROOK: The reason why __ well, there are two reasons why. One is that the sanctity of life is a fairly precious entity in this country.
FRIEDMAN: It’s more precious to me than it is to you. My life is more precious to me than to you.
MCKENZIE: Well, you know.
CLAYBROOK: Do you wear you seatbelt?
FRIEDMAN: Sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t.
CLAYBROOK: I see. Well then it couldn’t be too precious to you because if it were you’d wear it all the time.
FRIEDMAN: I beg you pardon.
CLAYBROOK: Yes.
FRIEDMAN: Other things are precious too.
CLAYBROOK: Yes. Okay, but wearing your seatbelt is a relatively simple thing to go into.
FRIEDMAN: But now my question is __ but I want an answer, a direct answer.
CLAYBROOK: But there is a very __ there’s a very basic reason why.
FRIEDMAN: Yes.
CLAYBROOK: And it’s because a person does not know when they buy a car what that car is gonna do when it performs in various and sundry different ways. That’s number one. Number two, there’s a basic minimum standard, it’s performance standard. It’s not a requirement that you have certain pieces of products in your cars, but it’s a basic performance standard built into your car that when you buy it no one’s going to have less than that. So that you don’t have people needlessly injured on the highway, the cost to society, the cost to the individuals, the trauma to their families and so on. You’re suggesting theoretically that it’s much better to let people go out and kill themselves even though they really don’t know that that’s what’s gonna happen to them when they have that crash.
FRIEDMAN: Excuse me. You’re evading the fundamental issue. If you have the information, give it to them. The question is not a question of giving them the information. The question is what is your right to force somebody to spend money to protect his own life, not anybody else, but only himself and the next question I’m gonna ask you: do you doubt for a moment that prohibiting alcohol would save far more lives on the highways than an airbag, seatbelts and everything else, and on what grounds are you opposed to prohibition on grounds of principle or only because you don’t think you can get it by the legislature?
CLAYBROOK: I’m opposed to prohibition because I don’t think it’s gonna work. That’s the reason I’m opposed to it.
FRIEDMAN: But suppose it would work? I want to get to the __ I want to get to the principle.
CLAYBROOK: Can I answer you __ sure.
FRIEDMAN: I want to __ suppose you could believe it would work. Suppose you could believe__
MCKENZIE: Prohibition?
FRIEDMAN: Prohibition could work. Would you be in favor of it?
CLAYBROOK: No. What I am in favor of is building products __ I am in favor of building products so that at least they service the public.
FRIEDMAN: I was fascinated by some of the initial comments. Everybody agrees that the old agencies are bad, but the new agencies that we haven’t had a chance ___
MCKENZIE: No. You’re trying to sweep them into your net. They didn’t agree to that. But anyway __ hole on to your point.
O’REILLY: When you talk about __ the basic principle is: give me the information. Let me choose for myself. If that’s the ultimate goal, why is it that in any hearings that you’ve every gone to and I beg anyone to find me an exception, whether it’s airbags or DES, saccharine, whatever, you never; you never have the victims of the injury who lost their arm because of a lawnmower, standing up and saying “thank God that you gave me the right to become incapacitated.” Never do you hear a victim thanking the government for backing off. Never do you hear the victim of an anti-competitive action thanking the Justice Department for not bring a suit.
MCKENZIE: Dr. Landau, I promised you could make an observation on that without going into great detail.
LANDAU: Now, when DES was used to preserve pregnancies in women 25 and 30 years ago, there was absolutely zero evidence that it would cause cancer in anybody, certainly not in the children of the women who were pregnant and for you to say that it is __
O’REILLY: Then you’re ignoring the 1941 studies that show just that.
LANDAU: There is no 1941 study. This happens to be my area of expertise, I’m an endocrinologist. There was nothing.
O’REILLY: Well, there are a lot __
MCKENZIE: Now let’s not go any further down that road.
CRANDALL: Let me ask you __ yeah, let me ask Miss O’Reilly a question. I don’t see __ if the problem in drugs is that there is a lack of competition, there are a number of drug companies in the United States __
O’REILLY: That’s one of them.
CRANDALL: __ and around the world; and a lack of innovation, how regulation, which is designed to keep products off the market, that is further restrict the supply of drugs is going to enhance either competition or innovation; as a matter of fact, everything that I have learned in economics would tell me that that is likely to reduce innovation and reduce competition. And one of the great benefits of drug regulation is that if I’m a pharmaceutical company with an old tried and true drug on the market, I really want the FDA to keep new drugs off the market. It will enhance the market value of that drug. I think that’s the lesson that you learn from government regulation, whether it’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration regulation of fuel economy standards, be it drugs, be it pollution controls, their effect is anti-competitive, it’s not pro-competitve at all.
FRIEDMAN: It I go on with Bob’s point for just a moment. He and I, I’m sure, and all economists would agree that the most effective way to stimulate competition would be to have complete free trade and eliminate tariffs. The most anti-consumer measures on our statute books are restrictions on foreign trade.
MCKENZIE: Milton __
FRIEDMAN: Has the Consumer Federation of America testified against tariffs?
O’REILLY: We haven’t even been asked to.
(Laughter)
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Milton Friedman noted, “I would agree with his general position that there is a role for government in pollution. I would agree secondly that the present techniques of controlling pollution are terrible and they are terrible and they are what they are for precisely the reasons he specifies because they are an effective way in which you could use the excuse of pollution to serve some very different objectives.”
Pt 6
MCKENZIE: Now the Food and Drug Administration, and here, Doctor, I know you’re keenly interested in this __ what was your reaction to Milton’s analysis of where it’s fallen down?
LANDAU: Well, I think it’s even worse than Milton’s analysis or Dr. Wordell’s (phonics) analysis of it. If one could look at the past 25 or 30 years of new drug innovation, one could see that most of the drugs that you all would regard as miracle drugs were developed before the Kefauver Amendments.
MCKENZIE: That’s the 1962 amendments __
LANDAU: The 1962 amendments.
MCKENZIE: Which ruled what now again, just a rundown.
LANDAU: Well, the 1962 amendments as Milton said, added efficacy to the regulation of safety. Actually it’s what the regulators did with this law that went haywire. I don’t see how one can object to the law in itself. What the regulators did was go mad with respect to safety. When the only thing that was added to the law was the point of efficacy.
MCKENZIE: Yeah.
LANDAU: After all the two are intertwined inextricably fir a very hazardous disease like cancer you will tolerate a very dangerous drug and for a headache it’s got to be very, very safe. Now this we’ve know all the time, but the regulators have gone to the point of utilizing some hysteria over thalidomide and new legislation which I think was originally designed by Kefauver to get himself to be president by lowering the cost of drugs, to make regulations which are absolutely obstructive. Now instead of 75 percent of the new drugs used in this country being developed in this country, less than 25 percent of them are. They’re being developed elsewhere.
MCKENZIE: Yeah, now could we just clarify this point, though. Are you saying there should not be government intervention in the food and drug field of that kind, or is it simply the policy adopted by the FDA or imposed on it by the Kefauver Amendment is where it went wrong?
LANDAU: I believe that certain guidelines are necessary and it’s possible to construct guidelines based upon the Kefauver Amendment taking the responsibility for decision making away from the bureaucrats in the Food and Drug Administration. You say, how? I would say by giving it to panels of impartial experts to make this decision.
MCKENZIE: Now, Milton, do you take that? Do you buy that?
FRIEDMAN: Nope. I’m not gonna buy that.
O’REILLY: Can I comment?
MCKENZIE: Why not?
FRIEDMAN: Because I have never seen __ have you ever seen a cat that barked?
MCKENZIE: Not especially, no.
FRIEDMAN: Well, governmental agencies and governmental laws follow their own laws just as the physical laws say that cats don’t bark. These laws of social science say that when you start and set up a regulatory agency with power, those powers are going to be used.
MCKENZIE: I want to move on, though, to the third area that Milton chose, the Interstate Commerce Commission as an illustration. Now this is closer to you line, Robert. What is your reaction, first to his analysis and what do you think needs doing about it?
CRANDALL: Well, you’re not going to get much dispute from, I don’t think anybody’s sitting around here as to what the benefits of __ or costs of rate regulation in transportation are. The only group that you will find now supporting continued regulation would be the American Trucking Association and they can’t even make a very persuasive case or one that is consistent from one day to the next. There simply is no good reason for continuing this type of regulation. If might continue longer then, say, airline regulation did because the number of people whose wealth has been enhanced by this regulation, that is people who drive trucks, people who won licenses to operate, to haul only hardbound books between Peoria and Springfield, Illinois or something of that sort. Those people are very numerous. And it’s going to very hard to o something about it.
MCKENZIE: Does this prove anything about the nature of government intervention and regulation or is it simply an example of where the thing was done extremely badly and not in the interest of the public.
CRANDALL: It proves _ _ I think it proves a great deal about government regulation and it is no different. I don’t think in the area of health and safety regulations. Let me give you one piece of information about one area of very important health and safety regulation which I think eve Milton Friedman would be in favor of in some form and that is the regulation of pollution control or at least the establishment of property rights, so as to somehow reduce pollutant levels from what they would be if we allowed unlimited pollution. In the case of environmental policy, the strongest proponents in the Congress for environmental policy come from the northeastern part of the United States and the weakest proponents, those with the worst voting records in the Congress come from the Southwest and Alaska. You might ask yourself why is that. And one possible answer I guess is that well the air’s dirty in New York City, but I don’t think you find many people really worried about the quality of the air in New York City. What they’re worried about is their future employment and the value of their assets in New York City. What would happen in the absence of environmental policy in this country is that more business would move to the southwest and the western part of the United States. As a result, eastern Congressmen are very much in favor of a policy which prohibits through pollution control regulations, prohibits a gravitation.
MCKENZIE: Do you favor that too?
CRANDALL: I don’t prohibit the form it takes, but they use this as an excuse, just as they will use various excuses, let’s say, before the __ Miss Claybrook’s agency, for a very tight standards in order to promote the value of their product.
MCKENZIE: Well before we go back to ICC and I want to do that; Milton, what’s your reaction to his pollution point because I know he’s very keenly interested in it.
FRIEDMAN: Well he and I would __ I would agree with his general position that there is a role for government in pollution. I would agree secondly that the present techniques of controlling pollution are terrible and they are terrible and they are what they are for precisely the reasons he specifies because they are an effective way in which you could use the excuse of pollution to serve some very different objectives. That’s part of the way in which governments meow, if I may go back to my cat. We’ve discussed this at greater lengths in a book that we’ve written to go along with this program on Free to Choose. The program itself was too short for us to be able to get much in about pollution, indeed, we really had to skip it because it’s such a complicated and difficult subject. But there is a real role for government because that is a case in which you’re protecting third parties. And every one of the valid cases, in my opinion, for government entering in has to do with third parties. There’s a case for requiring brakes because that’s to protect the person you might hit. That’s wholly different. There’s no case for requiring an airbag in my opinion, but there is a case for requiring good brakes.
MCKENZIE: Do you accept that distinction, by the way?
O’REILLY: No because when you’re injured because of a failure to us a passive restraint, I am in a sense going to have to help pick up part of your medical bills, part of your insurance rates __
FRIEDMAN: Absolutely.
O’REILLY: __ because they’re spread across.
FRIEDMAN: Absolutely.
O’REILLY: And so only on Gilligan’s Island, when you have six or nine people not interacting such that all of society is affected, does your distinction have any validity?
FRIEDMAN: Go slowly.
CRANDALL: The same thing is true in alcohol. When you’re sick from alcoholism, who pays for it?
O’REILLY: On the alcohol, the studies have only shown excessive amounts of alcohol to be injurious.
CRANDALL: I’m not speaking of accidents. What about cirrhosis of the liver, my dear, it’s a very common disease.
O’REILLY: All of the reasons why we need a stronger __
LANDAU: Because it’s a long and expensive disease.
MCKENZIE: Could we pause on __ Milton’s made a very interesting distinction here, that you can damage yourself, you’ve been saying. Or it’s up to you if you want to run the risk of damaging yourself, but if __ but can you make the distinction.
FRIEDMAN: But let me go back to her question because she says, “no, we mustn’t do that because the fellow who hurts himself is going to go to a government subsidized hospital.”
O’REILLY: Not just government, no, no.
CRANDALL: Oh, but it’s more than that. It’s all the parties and liability as well, answer that issue with it. Because my __
FRIEDMAN: Go slowly. Let me separate the two issues because I really want to get to this because you’re answer is a very favorite one and there is an element of validity to it. Of course. Well, it’s only because we’ve made two mistakes.
O’REILLY: But you don’t have to be in a government hospital for it to be valid because when you’re in traction __
FRIEDMAN: Excuse me. Hold on for a moment. Hold on for a moment. The problem with your answer is that you’re saying one wrong justifies another. I believe that we ought to have much less government intervention into those areas as well. And I don’t __ am not willing to follow a policy which implies saying, you __ that every person goes around with a sign on his back saying, “Property of the U.S. Government do not mutilate, spindle or bend.”
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The best point Milton Friedman made below about the Consumer Protection Agency is this:
“When government intervenes into these affairs that harms third parties. It picks my pocket. It reduces my freedom.”
Pt 7
O’REILLY: Do you favor the government intervention in those areas where, for example, the bar associations and the eyeglass industry were not allowing their members to advertise and then the Federal Trade Commission stepped in and now consumers have the ability to make those kinds of comparisons?
FRIEDMAN: You’re getting into another area, but the answer, a brief answer because we oughtn’t to discuss this here. I am against those governmental measures which have enabled the organizations to have the power to prevent advertising.
O’REILLY: But they were no government __
MCKENZIE: Now, now look, Bob Crandall said __ Bob Crandall said that in an area like the Interstate Commerce Commission there is nothing really to be said in defense at all. Does anybody dissent from that or have we knocked them down flat?
FRIEDMAN: That happens to be the one area on which, so far as I know, you cannot find any dissent anywhere, even __ one of the most effective presentations of what was wrong with ICC was done by one of Ralph Nader’s groups, maybe you were associated with that group. That’s the thing that really baffles me. Fundamentally, here are people, like Ralph Nader and his groups who look at ICC and what is their solution to the problem? More of the same, a different kind of regulation __
CLAYBROOK: No.
FRIEDMAN: __ the only problem is that the wrong people were in there regulating.
CLAYBROOK: No, no, no. That’s not true. No, that’s a complete misrepresentation.
MCKENZIE: You work with Nader now, that’s __
CLAYBROOK: Yes.
FRIEDMAN: That’s Dr. Landau’s solution for the medical problem. Let’s have the right people doing the regulating.
CLAYBROOK: No, no, no. That’s a complete misnomer about the difference between ICC and Health and Safety regulation. There are a number of differences. One is, one involves the economic and the benefits of profits to industry and the other involves the sanctity of life in __ among people.
FRIEDMAN: Excuse me.
MCKENZIE: Now let her finish this point, Milton.
FRIEDMAN: Okay.
MCKENZIE: Yes.
CLAYBROOK: The second one and it deals with your third party relationship is that __ what you’re talking about there is brakes because they’re gonna affect somebody else, but there are also other third-party effects. For example, if you don’t have a helmet used by someone and you hit them with your motorcycle, you’re gonna have huge damage payments to make because they didn’t properly take proper precautions on the public highways. And the question is: Should the public highways be used so that they’re gonna harm somebody else, potentially?
FRIEDMAN: There is nothing that two people do in a world. No man is an island to himself, everything has third-party issues; but you’ve got to have a sense of proportion and the important thing is that government intervention has third-party issues. When government intervenes into these affairs that harms third parties. It picks my pocket. It reduces my freedom. It restricts many activities around the world.
CLAYBROOK: That’s what you question is: what are the benefits? And if the benefits in the auto field, for example, are 55,000 deaths saved, it means __
FRIEDMAN: That’s a very dubious statistic because once again every study has looked at the benefits and not looked at the costs.
CLAYBROOK: Oh no, that’s not true at all. Absolutely not that they haven’t looked at the costs.
FRIEDMAN: I mean the costs in life. You haven’t looked at the fact, for example __
MCKENZIE: Let me clarify this, Milton. I don’t quite follow you.
FRIEDMAN: Sure.
MCKENZIE: Would you explain what you mean exactly?
FRIEDMAN: Of course.
MCKENZIE: Yeah.
FRIEDMAN: Look, take the automobile, by making automobiles more expensive it makes it more profitable to keep older automobiles on the road. The increased age of the automobile is an anti-safety factor by making automobiles safer so people are __ can drive them, people drive them faster or more recklessly then they otherwise would. There are more pedestrian deaths.
CLAYBROOK: That’s a totally unproven and indeed fully rebutted theory. And, in fact, all the savings in lives could __
MCKENZIE: By whom? You or __
CLAYBROOK: Well, no, there are numerous studies, including from__
MCKENZIE: Yeah, I see.
CLAYBROOK: __ Yale and Cooper from Yale and so on, but the key issue has been shown by the regulation that’s been in in the last ten years, you’ve had a huge saving in lives, a decrease in the __ the vehicle deaths that have occurred, the rate of vehicle deaths occurred and so on.
FRIEDMAN: Let me go back again for a moment.
CLAYBROOK: Yes.
FRIEDMAN: You see, the major effect on the saving of life has been from 55_mile_an_hour speed limits.
CLAYBROOK: Oh no, that’s not true.
FRIEDMAN: Which is not after all in there __
CLAYBROOK: Well that is also a regulation.
FRIEDMAN: __ as a safety regulation. That primarily is a fuel regulation.
CLAYBROOK: Yeah, that’s right. It’s a regulation.
MCKENZIE: Yeah.
CLAYBROOK: But your statement’s not accurate.
FRIEDMAN: All right.
CLAYBROOK: That the savings in life have not been primarily __ they’ve been, they’re important from 55. But there have been 55,000 deaths saved by vehicle crash safety regulations.
FRIEDMAN: Excuse me.
CLAYBROOK: Uh_huh.
FRIEDMAN: There have been 55,000 deaths that you have estimated to have been saved by it. Other estimates __
CLAYBROOK: Not me, the General Accounting Office.
FRIEDMAN: Excuse me. Other estimates as well, the estimate by Professor Sam Peltzman (phonetic) of this university, a very, very serious study estimated that there were no lives saved in you took into account all of the indirect effects. Now maybe his study isn’t exactly right.
CLAYBROOK: I don’t think it is.
FRIEDMAN: I’m not going to try to __ but maybe the other study isn’t exactly right either.
CLAYBROOK: Yes, okay, right.
(Laughter)
O’REILLY: But if you’re somewhere in between. If you look at __ consumers have done well if it’s even in between.
FRIEDMAN: No, no. I beg your pardon. If people voluntarily want to risk their lives. Are you saying again you really would not be in favor of prohibiting hand gliding.
CLAYBROOK: We asked the auto __ we asked the auto industry if __
FRIEDMAN: That’s far more dangerous. Did you prohibit the 500_mile speedway?
CLAYBROOK: I think the __ let me answer this. We asked the auto industry if they would remove all the safety standards that have been in effect since 1968 and what would be the savings to the public if they did that. And the answer, sir, that they came back with was, “We couldn’t remove those, they expect them now.” The laminated windshields that don’t crack their head open and the collapsible steering assemblies and the padded dashboards. That __ why the public __ that is now the societal norm. Regulation has changed the thinking of the public and the understanding of what’s possible and so the, you know , what you’re suggesting is that government regulation is willy-nilly and it produces things the public doesn’t want, but you don’t have any__
FRIEDMAN: Excuse me for a moment. You can’t take credit for everything that’s happened in this area. Four-wheel brakes were introduced before there were safety regulations. Many of these developments would have __
MCKENZIE: Well, we leave the matter now for this week and we hope you’ll join us again for the next episode in a week’s time.

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Woody Allen: “the whole thing is tragic” July 20, 2012

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Woody Allen: “the whole thing is tragic”

July 20, 2012
Mr. Allen, do you truly believe that happiness in life is impossible?

This is my perspective and has always been my perspective on life. I have a very grim, pessimistic view of it. I always have since I was a little boy; it hasn’t gotten worse with age or anything. I do feel that’s it’s a grim, painful, nightmarish, meaningless experience and that the only way that you can be happy is if you tell yourself some lies and deceive yourself.

I think it’s safe to say that most people would disagree.

But I am not the first person to say this or even the most articulate person. It was said by Nietzsche, it was said by Freud, it was said by Eugene O’Neill. One must have one’s delusions to live. If you look at life too honestly and clearly, life becomes unbearable because it’s a pretty grim enterprise, you will admit.

I have a hard time imagining Woody Allen having such a hard life…

I have been very lucky and I have made my talent a very productive life for me, but everything else I am not good at. I am not good getting through life, even the simplest things. These things that are a child’s play for most people are a trauma for me.

Can you give me an example?

Checking in at an airport or at hotel, handling my relationships with other people, going for a walk, exchanging things in a store… I’ve been working on the same Olympus Typewriter since I was sixteen – and it still looks like new. All of my films were written on that typewriter, but until recently I couldn’t even change the color ribbon myself. There were times when I would invite people over to dinner just so they would change the ribbon. It’s a tragedy.

Do you distrust the good things in life?

Life is full of moments that are good – winning a lottery, seeing a beautiful woman, a great dinner – but the whole thing is tragic. It’s an oasis that is very pleasant. Take a film like Bergman’s The Seventh Seal. This is a film of great tragedy, but there is a moment when he is sitting with the children and drinking milk and eating wild strawberries. But then that wonderful moment passes and you come back to what existence really is.

Are you equally pessimistic about love?

You are much more dependent on luck than you think. People say if you want to have a good relationship, you have to work at it. But you never hear it about anything you really like, about sailing or going to soccer games. You never say: I have to work at it. You just love it. You can’t work at a relationship; you can’t control it. You have to be lucky and go through your life. If you are not lucky you have to be prepared for some degree of suffering. That’s why most relationships are very difficult and have some degree of pain. People stay together because of inertia, they don’t have the energy. Because they are frightened of being lonely, or they have children.

 

Can a man love two women at the same time?

More than two. (Laughs) I think you can. That’s why romance is a very difficult and painful thing, a very hard, very complicated thing. You can be with your wife, very happily married, and then you meet some woman and you love her. But you love your wife, too. And you also love that one. Or if she’s met some man and she loves the man and she loves you. And then you meet somebody else and now there are three of you. (Laughs) Why only one person?

Things might get a bit tricky if one were to follow your advice…

 

It’s important to control yourself because life gets too complicated if you don’t, but the impulse is often there for people. Some say society should be more open. That doesn’t work either. I think it’s a lose-lose situation. If you pursue the other woman, it’s a losing situation and it’s not good for your relationship or your marriage. If your marriage is open and you’re allowed to, that’s no good either. There’s no way, really in the end, to be happy unless you get very lucky.
Do you ever cry?

 

I cry in the cinema all the time. It’s probably one of the only places I ever cry, because I have trouble crying. In Hannah and Her Sisters there was a scene where I was supposed to cry, and they tried everything, but it was impossible. They blew the stuff in my eyes and I couldn’t cry, but in the cinema I weep. It’s like magic. I see the end of Bicycle Thieves or City Lights. It’s the only place – never in the theater and almost never in life.

You used to star in almost all of your films, but in recent years you’ve been in less and less of them. Why?

Only because there is no good part. For years I played the romantic lead and then I couldn’t play it anymore because I got too old. It’s just no fun not playing the guy who gets the girl. You can imagine how frustrating it is when I do these movies with Scarlett Johansson and Naomi Watts and the other guys get them and I am the director. I am that old guy over there that is the director. I don’t like that. I like to be the one that sits opposite them in the restaurant, looks in their eyes and lies to them. So if I can’t do that it’s not much fun to play in the movies.

What’s your take on getting older?

I find it a lousy deal. There is no advantage getting older. You don’t get smarter, you don’t get wiser, you don’t get more mellow, you don’t get more kindly, nothing good happens. Your back hurts more, you get more indigestion, your eyesight isn’t as good, you need a hearing aid. It’s a bad business getting old and I would advise you not to do it if you can avoid it. It doesn’t have a romantic quality.

Will you ever stop making films?

I simply enjoy working. Where else could I develop ambition? As an artist, you are always striving toward an ultimate achievement but never seem to reach it. You shoot a film, and the result could have always been better. You try again, and fail once more. In some ways I find it enjoyable. You never lose sight of your goal. I don’t do my job to make money or to break box office records, I simply try things out. What would happen if I were to achieve perfection at some point? What would I do then?

 

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The Best Art References in Woody Allen Films Image via Complex / APJAC Productions

Film: Play It Again, Sam (1972)

In 1972’s Play It Again, Sam, Allen plays a film critic trying to get over his wife’s leaving him by dating again. In one scene, Allen tries to pick up a depressive woman in front of the early Jackson Pollock work. This painting, because of its elusive title, has been the subject of much debate as to what it portrays. This makes for a nifty gag when Allen strolls up and asks the suicidal belle, “What does it say to you?”

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Woody Allen in Play It Again Sam

Uploaded on May 20, 2009

Scene from ‘Play it Again Sam’ (1972)

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Allan: That’s quite a lovely Jackson Pollock, isn’t it?

Museum Girl: Yes, it is.

Allan: What does it say to you?

Museum Girl: It restates the negativeness of the universe. The hideous lonely emptiness of existence. Nothingness. The predicament of Man forced to live in a barren, Godless eternity like a tiny flame flickering in an immense void with nothing but waste, horror and degradation, forming a useless bleak straitjacket in a black absurd cosmos.

Allan: What are you doing Saturday night?

Museum Girl: Committing suicide.

Allan: What about Friday night?

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Woody Allen Contemplates God in “Hannah & Her Sisters”

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Woody Allen on insanity and Cate Blanchett

 

12 Questions for Woody Allen

 

 

 

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Hazor and the Historicity of Joshua by Dr. Thomas S. McCall

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Dr. Thomas McCallby Thomas S. McCall, Th.D.

Dr. Thomas McCall, the Senior Theologian of our ministry, has written many articles for the Levitt Letter. He holds a Th.M. in Old Testament studies and a Th.D. in Semitic languages and Old Testament. He has served as Zola’s co-author, mentor, pastor, and friend for nearly 30 years.

This article appeared originally in the September 1996 Levitt Letter.

Introduction

Recent discoveries at Hazor in northern Israel may go a long way toward proving to the world the accuracy of the biblical account of Joshua’s conquest of Canaan.

Most evangelical Christians are amazed to learn how the majority of modern archaeologist/historians approach the history of ancient Israel. They do not accept the record of events in the Bible as factual. From their point of view, there was no Davidic dynasty. In fact, there was no King David, no Joshua, and no Moses. They tell us there was no exodus from Egypt under Moses, no conquest of the land under Joshua, and all of the events described in the Pentateuch and the book of Joshua were imaginative stories that were written after the Babylonian captivity. For these historians, David and his exploits were also just further inventions by Jewish mythologists who felt a need to create national heroes apart from accurate history. They think that Moses, Joshua and David in Israel’s ancient writings are not true historical persons, but are rather the equivalent of Hercules in Greek mythology.

Modern Archaeology Accepts Only What Can Be Proven

In effect, most modern historians assume from the start that the Bible is not historically accurate. They will only accept as authentic history what may be seen in the excavations of archaeology. As far as they are concerned, if they cannot find evidence of a historic event or person in the mounds of the ancient civilizations that they have uncovered, then that person or event never existed. They think it is unscientific to conduct archaeology otherwise, and that it is beneath the dignity of science to try to “prove the Bible” through archaeological discoveries.

Thus, these scholars have developed a “history” of Israel and the Bible lands that bears little resemblance to the history written in the Scriptures. One critical discrepancy is that they do not believe that there ever was a massive Jewish army under Joshua that crossed the Jordan and conquered the land of Canaan in a great sweep during a few years’ time. Instead, the modern historians have constructed a scenario in which the Jews never had such an army, but rather slipped into Canaan in nomadic fashion and gradually took over the country through population growth during a period of centuries. A recent Jerusalem Post article concerning the ancient site of Hazor illustrates these two competing views of the early history of Israel:

An archive would shed light on the highly developed Canaanite civilization which the primitive Israelites overwhelmed — whether by the sword, as the Bible tells us, or by slow infiltration, which has become the scholarly consensus in recent years.

Not all archaeologists agree with the scholarly consensus. During the hundred or so years of the development of archaeological science, there have been several Christians and Jews who have approached their work from a biblical perspective. They accept the basic historical framework of the Bible and endeavor to place whatever discoveries are made within that general structure, rather than try to impose some new framework upon the evidence.

The Minimalists and the Maximalists

This has resulted in two approaches to archaeology in Bible lands: the majority minimalist view, which accepts only the minimal amount of biblical material as authentic history; and the minority maximalist view, which accepts most, if not all, of the Bible as accurate in its historical references.

Gradually over the years, the minimalists have grudgingly had to accept more and more of the Bible as accurate, since every new archaeological find has tended to substantiate the biblical account. The great discoveries of the Herodian structures in Jerusalem and Caesarea, for instance, and the Dead Sea Scrolls at Qumran, have demonstrated even to the greatest skeptic the authenticity of many of the New Testament descriptions of the Second Temple era.

In more recent times, excavations in Jerusalem and Megiddo (to name just a couple) have uncovered strong evidence concerning the First Temple period, and discoveries in Syria and Egypt have confirmed many of the conditions described in the patriarchal era of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. In the last few years, stunning evidence has come to light that establishes the historicity of King David and his royal dynasty. The “House of David” stone that was discovered in Dan (and which was featured in our TV series of the same name), proves to all but a few diehard minimalists that there really was a King David who founded a long-lasting dynasty in Jerusalem.

The Historians Fight the Battle of Joshua

The remaining historical battleground is the crucial period spanning the Exodus from Egypt, the Joshua conquest, and the time of the Judges. The maximalists accept all of the above as history but have not been able to produce much evidence to support this view. The minimalists do think that the book of Judges is somewhat historical. They actually believe that it is an alternative, and more correct, description of how the Jewish people came to possess the land of Canaan, rather than the account presented in the book of Joshua. One problem with this theory is that the Scriptures indicate that the period of the Judges was about 400 years (1400–1000 B.C.), while the minimalists try to compress this entire period into about 250 years (1250–1000 B.C).

At any rate, very little evidence has come to light in Israel regarding this segment of time. I think the main reason for this is that under Joshua, Israel destroyed most of the Canaanite cities and did not occupy them. The Israelis were agricultural people and for the most part spread out into the countryside. They did not try to rebuild the old Canaanite cities until after the monarchies of Judah and Israel were established. Thus, there is a gap in time between the evidence for the Canaanite occupation of some of these cities and the later Israeli occupation.

Hazor and Joshua

This brings us to Hazor, one of the main Canaanite cities in the far north of the land that Joshua conquered. It is located by the fertile, well-watered area of the Huleh Valley, about nine miles north of the Sea of Galilee and fifteen miles south of Dan. Jabin was the King of the city-state of Hazor at the time of Joshua, and he dominated the entire area of northern Canaan. King Jabin organized a huge resistance to the army of Joshua:

“And it came to pass, when Jabin, king of Hazor, had heard those things, that he sent to … the kings that were on the north … and they went out, they and all their hosts with them, many people, even as the sand that is upon the seashore in multitude, with horses and chariots very many. And when all these kings were met together, they came and pitched together at the waters of Merom, to fight against Israel.” (Josh. 11:1–5)

This organized resistance was not successful, however, and Joshua’s army, empowered by the Lord, was able to defeat King Jabin: “and he burned Hazor with fire” (Josh. 11:11). Archaeologists have been excavating the tel (archaeological site) of Hazor for several decades, but only recently have they located the palace of the king. The building is marked by its great size (about 90 feet x 120 feet), and a layer of charred wood suggests that there was a parquet-type floor in the palace that was burned, probably when Joshua destroyed the city.

The Possibility of Archives in Hazor

The Israeli archaeologist in charge, Amnon Ben-Tor, has discovered several clay-tablet inscriptions in Hazor. He is on the verge of excavating the royal palace, where he hopes to find archives, as indicated in a recent AP story:

Hebrew University professor Amnon Ben-Tor, head of the excavation, said Monday that the tablets and other evidence point to the existence of two royal archives at the site in as-yet unexcavated palace rooms.

The discovery of such archives would be unprecedented in the Holy Land and would provide a wealth of information about life in the Canaanite period.

They have not yet found or penetrated the archives, but hope to do so in the next season. What gives the workers optimism is the fact that archives have been discovered in the palaces of similar ancient cities in the Middle East that have been excavated. In a Jerusalem Post article, Ben-Tor explains this correlation between the palace at Hazor and the palaces found in other ancient cities:

The map Amnon Ben-Tor held in one hand was that of the royal palace of Hatzor being excavated around him. His other hand gripped the map of a palace excavated elsewhere in the Middle East.

“The buildings are identical,” he said, pointing out the similarity of room layout to a visiting colleague and a journalist last week. One of the rooms of the other palace was marked with a star. “That’s where they found their archive,” he said. The equivalent room in the Hatzor palace lay just a few meters from him, still unexcavated.

The clay inscriptions already discovered in Hazor prove that the city being excavated is, indeed, Hazor. They also show the political and economic commerce that existed between Hazor and the other major cities of Canaan and Mesopotamia, such as Mari.

Up to this point, the discovery of archives and inscriptions has been rare in Israel, so if the archaeologists do find a trove of inscriptions in Hazor, it will truly be a breakthrough. The more of this kind of discovery that comes to light, the harder it will be for the world to deny the historicity of the Joshua invasion of Canaan in particular, and the truthfulness of the Bible in general.

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WOODY WEDNESDAY Dr. Jack Graham Challenges Agnostic Woody Allen’s ‘Hopeless State of Mind’ BY NICOLA MENZIE , CHRISTIAN POST REPORTER August 23, 2013|4:51 pm

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Dr. Jack Graham Challenges Agnostic Woody Allen’s ‘Hopeless State of Mind’

BY NICOLA MENZIE , CHRISTIAN POST REPORTER
August 23, 2013|4:51 pm

Prolific Hollywood filmmaker and religious skeptic Woody Allen maintains in a recent interview that human life on earth is “just an accident” filled with “silly little moments,” and the “best you can do to get through life is distraction.”

Dr. Jack Graham, pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas, and PowerPoint Ministries broadcaster, called Allen’s suggestions “sad” and “tragic” and “a hopeless state of mind.”

Allen, whose latest film “Blue Jasmine” is currently in theaters, isagnostic and grew up in a Jewish household. His worldview comes across strongly, and in some cases purposefully, in his four dozen films — which “often drip with pessimism (some would say nihilism),” one observernoted.

Allen also has talked openly on more than one occasion about what he believes is the futility of life — described in a 2006 Washington Post article as one of the few subjects about which the filmmaker is “evangelically passionate.” He doesn’t think the existence of God as plausible, and considers people who put their “faith in religion” as delusional.

The award-winning filmmaker reemphasizes those views in Esquire’s September 2013 issue.

“It’s just an accident that we happen to be on earth, enjoying our silly little moments, distracting ourselves as often as possible so we don’t have to really face up to the fact that, you know, we’re just temporary people with a very short time in a universe that will eventually be completely gone,” Allen, 77, says in the interview.

“And everything that you value, whether it’s Shakespeare, Beethoven, da Vinci, or whatever, will be gone. The earth will be gone. The sun will be gone. There’ll be nothing. The best you can do to get through life is distraction. Love works as a distraction. And work works as a distraction. You can distract yourself a billion different ways. But the key is to distract yourself.”

Graham was asked for a response to Allen’s comments during his Aug. 20 appearance on “The Janet Mefferd Show,” and the minister immediately brought up Jesus.

“What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul?” Graham quoted Jesus from the Gospels. “The soul exists and we are not just an accident of time or matter or space. We are created by God for an eternal purpose, therefore we do matter.”

“You matter to God, we matter to God,” the former Southern Baptist Convention president went on. “Because not only were we created by God but in Christ we are recreated to have an eternal life with him.

“So how sad, how tragic that so many people like Woody Allen, whether they can express it like that or not, are just living for self, and living for pleasure and living for things.”

The megachurch pastor referenced Philippians 1:21: “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”

“To live is Christ means that Christ is the focus and the hero, the joy, the reason for living. Therefore, to die is gain,” Graham added. “But if you can’t say to live is Christ, then you have to say to die is loss. There’s no fun and games in a grave without Christ and a future without Christ.”

“That’s the sadness of the lostness of people all around us,” he concluded.

Graham suggested that Christians need to get more “aggressive” in building relationships with people who seem hopeless.

Allen discussed similar issues with Billy Graham in the ’60s for a television program and jokingly expressed his hope to convert the renowned evangelist to agnosticism by the end of their talk (watch part 1 and part 2).

The filmmaker also has many diehard fans, surprisingly it seems, among evangelical Christians, according to a Washington Post “Under God” blog entry published in 2011 and titled “Woody Allen and evangelicals: A surprisingly romantic pair.”

“Many of Allen’s films wrestle in a complex way with core moral themes, such as the nature of forgiveness, what to do with sin, whether life can have any meaning without God. And he does this as an agnostic,” Michelle Boorstein writes in the blog post.

Richard Land, seminary president, former president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission and executive editor of The Christian Post, is “a huge Allen fan and can rattle off an amazing amount of dialogue,” according to the article.

Land suggested that Allen had lost some of his “light touch” and “confidence,” and that his more recent movies expose an awareness of “his own mortality.”

The Southern Baptist leader said Allen “asks all the right questions, he just doesn’t have the right answers.”

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Top Ten Biblical Discoveries in Archaeology – #10 Assyrian Lachish Reliefs JULY 4, 2010 by Tim Kimberley

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Top Ten Biblical Discoveries in Archaeology – #10 Assyrian Lachish Reliefs

Setting the Stage

In 930 BC the unified country of Israel split into two kingdoms.  The northern kingdom is known as Israel.  The southern kingdom is known as Judah.  200 years later, in 720 BC, Israel is destroyed by Assyria (modern day Iraq).

With Israel destroyed Assyria turns its gaze toward destroying Judah.  2 Kings 18:13 says, “In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah’s reign, Sennacherib king of Assyria attacked all the fortified cities of Judah and captured them.”

2 Kings 18:17 states, “The king of Assyria sent his supreme commander, his chief officer and his field commander with a large army, from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem.”  The prize of Judah would be the destruction of Jerusalem.  Conquering Boston would be a victory but defeating Washington, D.C. would be even greater. Sennacherib drives one of the most powerful armies of all human history toward Jerusalem.  The Assyrian commander tells the people of Jerusalem, “Do not listen to Hezekiah, for he is misleading you when he says, ‘The Lord will deliver us.’ Has the god of any nation ever delivered his land from the hand of the king of Assyria?”

Hezekiah prays fervently for deliverance.  He sends a delegation to Isaiah the prophet for counsel.  Isaiah tells him not to worry Jerusalem will NOT be destroyed by the leading world power, God will intervene.  This is just one of the myriad stories found in the Bible.  Is this story accurate?  How can a story from nearly 3,000 years ago be trusted as completely true?  Does archaeology support or deny the accuracy of 2 Kings 18 and 19?

The Discovery

We know from Assyrian history, outside the Bible, there was a king named Sennacherib.  His reign was from 704-681 BC.  We know Sennacherib moved the capital of the Assyrian empire from a city named Dur Sharrukin to Nineveh.  He then built an amazing palace.  He actually named his palace, “The Palace without Rival.”  John Malcolm Russell explains, “The walls of some seventy rooms in this structure were lined with limestone slabs carved in low relief with scenes commemorating Sennacherib’s royal exploits.”  For nearly 2,500 years the palace lay buried and forgotten.

In 1847 Sennacherib’s palace was discovered by the British diplomat and amateur archaeologist Austin Henry Layard.  Layard’s discovery drew a huge amount of attention.  Inscriptions discovered within the palace removed any doubt this was indeed Sennacherib’s famous palace.   The finds were magnificent.  The main focus of the excitement came from a room archaeologists labeled, “Room XXVI.”

Layard found the walls of this room covered with limestone 8 feet tall and 80 feet long wrapping around all four walls.  Every inch of the room’s walls powerfully depicted only one scene in history, Sennacherib’s defeat of the southern kingdom city of Lachish.  Remember in 2 Kings 18:17, “The king of Assyria sent his supreme commander, his chief officer and his field commander with a large army, from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem.”

The piece of art identifies itself as the battle of Lachish and provides detailed chronological information about the battle.  Some women are seen walking down siege ramps; while possibly their husbands are being impaled by the Assyrians.  We see what the women of Lachish were wearing the day of the battle; we see the type of facial hair worn by the men.  We see the type of military equipment and military techniques the Assyrians used to defeat Lachish and threaten Jerusalem.  The relief gives us stunning play-by-play detail of the destruction of Lachish.

Do you see all the little dome-shaped objects in the background?  What are they?  Each one represents a soldier’s helmet.  They are depicting in art a vast sea of soldier’s helmets, representing the immensity of the Assyrian army.

Provenance

The Provenance, or history, of the Lachish Relief is without dispute.  The relief did not appear mysteriously on the black market.  The dig of Sennacherib’s palace was well-documented and the relief clearly discovered from within the city of Nineveh and specifically in Room XXVI of Sennacherib’s palace.   Even though Austin Henry Layard was an amateur archaeologist at the time of the discovery, the discovery has a strong provenance.  Furthermore, leading archaeologists have been able to examine the relief and confirm its authenticity and importance.

Significance

Why would Sennacherib cover a room in his palace with scenes from this one battle?  That’s where it gets really interesting.  Archaeologists have been able to determine this room was a waiting room for people getting ready to see Sennacherib.  Many of the people getting ready to see the emperor were kings or dignitaries in their own land.  These powerful people, as they waited to meet with Sennacherib, would be able to see the power of the king and the fate of those who would resist his rule.

The discovery is significant on many levels, here are but a few:

  1. The discovery confirms Israel as a powerful/important nation in the 8thcentury BC.  If you want to show yourself as powerful to other kings/dignitaries you will mention someone powerful whom you defeated.  No one is impressed if you steal candy from a baby.  Yet if you steel candy from an Ultimate Fighting Champion, you have my attention.  Many critics argue the nation of Israel was not great during the time of the kings (David, Solomon, etc…).  Critics will say Israel was a sparsely populated country full of poor farmers.  The Assyrian relief, in support of the Bible, proves Israel was a powerful country during the period of the kings.
  2. Sennacherib uses 8 feet-by-80 feet of wall space to brag about destroying Lachish.  Why didn’t he instead use that prime real estate to brag about destroying Jerusalem?  Jerusalem would have been the ultimate prize to brag about, Lachish is generally regarded as the second most important city of Judah behind Jerusalem.  Destroying Jerusalem would have meant destroying the temple of the God of Israel.  A message would be sent throughout the world telling people the god of Assyria is greater than the God of Israel.  Since the relief depicts Lachish instead of Jerusalem it is obvious Sennacherib did not destroy Jerusalem.  The biblical account is accurate; Lachish was destroyed not Jerusalem.  In additional support to my first point, Sennacherib is boasting to other kings about destroying the second most influential city in Judah.
  3. The destruction of Lachish is the most widely documented event from the Old Testament.  The story is explained in four independent sources from the same era: 1) In the Bible; 2) In Assyrian cuneiform prisms (another discovery shown in picture at left) accounting the same events, 3) In archaeological excavations at the site of Lachish; and 4) In the monumental reliefs discovered in Nineveh.
  4. The discovery supports the construction of another archaeological marvel: Hezekiah’s Tunnel.  Sennacherib’s army thought they had cut off all sources of water to Jerusalem.  It would be a matter of a couple weeks until the people fled Jerusalem in need of water.  The joke was on them.  Hezekiah, without modern tools, had constructed a tunnel inside Jerusalem through 1750 feet of solid rock in order to reach an underground water supply.  The tunnel wasn’t discovered in modern times until 1837.  I have had the amazing privilege, with water up to my knees, of walking through all 1750 feet of the tunnel constructed to survive Sennacherib’s siege.

The Assyrian Lachish Relief is the 8th century BC’s equivalent of finding an HD video taken during a war that occurred during the Old Testament.  The HD video completely supports the biblical account making this one of the ten most significant biblical discoveries in archaeology of all time.

As we continue down our Top Ten list the significance of our discoveries only grow.  What do you think of the Assyrian Lachish reliefs?  Feel free to join the conversation by commenting on this discovery.

 

 

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RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! PART 18 (Brian Harrison, Historian, Oxford University, Charles Darwin also wrestled with the issue of Biblical Archaeology and the accuracy of the Bible)

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Brian Harrison (historian)

Brian HarrisonEmeritus Fellow of Corpus Christi College

On November 21, 2014 I received a letter from Nobel Laureate Harry Kroto and it said:

…Please click on this URL http://vimeo.com/26991975

and you will hear what far smarter people than I have to say on this matter. I agree with them.

Harry Kroto

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There are 3 videos in this series and they have statements by 150 academics and scientists and I hope to respond to all of them. Wikipedia notes: Professor Sir Brian Howard Harrison, FBA (born 9 July 1937) is a British historian and academic. He was the editor of Oxford Dictionary of National Biography from January 2000 to September 2004 (succeeded by Lawrence Goldman) and professor of Modern Historyat the University of Oxford. He is an emeritus fellow of Corpus Christi College, Oxford. He was appointed knight bachelor in the 2005 New Year’s Honours for “services to scholarship”, and was elected a fellow of the British Academy on 30 July 2005.

Harrison has published extensively on British social and political history from the 1790s to the present. His first book was Drink and the Victorians. The Temperance Question England 1815–1872 (1971, 2nd. ed. 1994). His most recent publications are two volumes in the New Oxford History of England series covering British history from 1951: Seeking a Role: The United Kingdom 1951–1970 (2009, paperback with revisions 2011) and Finding a Role? The United Kingdom 1970–1990 (2010, paperback with revisions 2011).[dated info]

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His comments can be found on the 3rd video and the 119th clip in this series. Below the videos you will find his words.

50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1)

Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2)

A Further 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 3)

An interview of the historian Sir Brian Harrison – part one

Published on Jun 30, 2014

Filmed and interviewed by Alan Macfarlane on 22 June 2012

An interview of the historian Sir Brian Harrison – part two

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I grew up at Bellevue Baptist Church under the leadership of our pastor Adrian Rogers and I read many books by the Evangelical Philosopher Francis Schaeffer and have had the opportunity to contact many of the evolutionists or humanistic academics that they have mentioned in their works. Many of these scholars have taken the time to respond back to me in the last 20 years and some of the names  included are  Ernest Mayr (1904-2005), George Wald (1906-1997), Carl Sagan (1934-1996),  Robert Shapiro (1935-2011), Nicolaas Bloembergen (1920-),  Brian Charlesworth (1945-),  Francisco J. Ayala (1934-) Elliott Sober (1948-), Kevin Padian (1951-), Matt Cartmill (1943-) , Milton Fingerman (1928-), John J. Shea (1969-), , Michael A. Crawford (1938-), Paul Kurtz (1925-2012), Sol Gordon (1923-2008), Albert Ellis (1913-2007), Barbara Marie Tabler (1915-1996), Renate Vambery (1916-2005), Archie J. Bahm (1907-1996), Aron S “Gil” Martin ( 1910-1997), Matthew I. Spetter (1921-2012), H. J. Eysenck (1916-1997), Robert L. Erdmann (1929-2006), Mary Morain (1911-1999), Lloyd Morain (1917-2010),  Warren Allen Smith (1921-), Bette Chambers (1930-),  Gordon Stein (1941-1996) , Milton Friedman (1912-2006), John Hospers (1918-2011), Michael Martin (1932-), John R. Cole  (1942-),   Wolf Roder,  Susan Blackmore (1951-),  Christopher C. French (1956-)  Walter R. Rowe Thomas Gilovich (1954-), Paul QuinceyHarry Kroto (1939-), Marty E. Martin (1928-), Richard Rubenstein (1924-), James Terry McCollum (1936-), Edward O. WIlson (1929-), Lewis Wolpert (1929), Gerald Holton (1922-), Martin Rees (1942-), Alan Macfarlane (1941-),  Roald Hoffmann (1937-), Herbert Kroemer (1928-), Thomas H. Jukes (1906-1999), Glenn BranchGeoff Harcourt (1931-) and  Ray T. Cragun (1976-).

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QUOTE:

I have always remained an agnostic and not an atheist. I am not militant about it. I have never seen any evidence for it, and if anything, being a historian has turned me the other way.

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IS THERE ANY EVIDENCE POINTING TO THE ACCURACY OF THE BIBLE FROM HISTORY OR ARCHAEOLOGY? BELOW IS MY RESPONSE TO DR. HARRISON IN THE FORM OF A LETTER MAILED LAST MONTH:

February 12, 2015

Dear Dr. Harrison,

I just finished reading the online addition of the book Darwin, Francis ed. 1892. Charles Darwin: his life told in an autobiographical chapter, and in a selected series of his published letters [abridged edition]. London: John Murray. There are several points that Charles Darwin makes in this book that were very wise, honest, logical, shocking and some that were not so wise. The Christian Philosopher Francis Schaeffer once said of Darwin’s writings, “Darwin in his autobiography and in his letters showed that all through his life he never really came to a quietness concerning the possibility that chance really explained the situation of the biological world. You will find there is much material on this [from Darwin] extended over many many years that constantly he was wrestling with this problem.”

Here is a quote I ran across recently from you in your wonderful in depth interview with Alan Macfarlane :

I have always remained an agnostic and not an atheist. I am not militant about it. I have never seen any evidence for it, and if anything, being a historian has turned me the other way. 

YOU MAY FIND IT INTERESTING THAT CHARLES DARWIN WAS ALSO INTERESTED IN THE HISTORICAL ASPECT OF THE BIBLE. When I read the book  Charles Darwin: his life told in an autobiographical chapter, and in a selected series of his published letters, I also read  a commentary on it by Francis Schaeffer and I wanted to both  quote some of Charles Darwin’s own words to you and then include the comments of Francis Schaeffer on those words. I have also enclosed a CD with two messages from Adrian Rogers and Bill Elliff concerning Darwinism.

In 1879 Charles Darwin was applied to by a German student, in a similar manner. The letter was answered by a member of my father’s family, who wrote:–

“Mr. Darwin begs me to say that he receives so many letters, that he cannot answer them all.He considers that the theory of Evolution is quite compatible with the belief in a God; but that you must remember that different persons have different definitions of what they mean by God.” 

Francis Schaeffer commented:

You find a great confusion in his writings although there is a general structure in them. Here he says the word “God” is alright but you find later what he doesn’t take is a personal God. Of course, what you open is the whole modern linguistics concerning the word “God.” is God a pantheistic God? What kind of God is God? Darwin says there is nothing incompatible with the word “God.”

This, however, did not satisfy the German youth, who again wrote to my father, and received from him the following reply:—

“I am much engaged, an old man, and out of health, and I cannot spare time to answer your questions fully,—nor indeed can they be answered. Science has nothing to do with Christ, except in so far as the habit of scientific research makes a man cautious in admitting evidence. For myself, I do not believe that there ever has been any revelation.As for a future life, every man must judge for himself between conflicting vague probabilities.”

Francis Schaeffer observed:

So he has come to the place as an old man that he doesn’t believe there has been any revelation. In his younger years he held a different position. He lost his position not on the basis of reason but simply that it disagreed with his theory and his presuppositions and he was forced to give it up.

The passages which here follow are extracts, somewhat abbreviated, from a part of the Autobiography, written in 1876, in which my father gives the history of his religious views:—“During these two years* (ft note *October 1836 to January 1839.) I was led to think much about religion. Whilst on board the Beagle I was quite orthodox, and I remember being heartily laughed at by several of the officers (though themselves orthodox) for quoting the Bible as an unanswerable authority on some point of morality.

Francis Schaeffer noted:

So you find that as a younger man he did accept the Bible. As an older man he has given up revelation but he is not satisfied with his own answers. He is caught in the tension that modern man is caught in. He is a prefiguration  of the modern man and he himself contributed to. Then Darwin goes on and tells us why he gave up the Bible.

Darwin went to write:

I suppose it was the novelty of the argument that amused them. But I had gradually come by this time, i.e. 1836 to 1836, to see that the Old Testament was no more to be trusted than the sacred books of the Hindoos. The question then continually rose before my mind and would not be banished,—is it credible that if God were now to make a revelation to the Hindoos, he would permit it to be connected with the belief in Vishnu, Siva, &c., as Christianity is connected with the Old Testament? This appeared to me utterly incredible.

Francis Schaeffer asserted:

Darwin is saying that he gave up the New Testament because it was connected to the Old Testament. He gave up the Old Testament because it conflicted with his own theory. Did he have a real answer himself and the answer is no. At the end of his life we see that he is dehumanized by his position and on the other side we see that he never comes to the place of intellectual satisfaction for himself that his answers were sufficient.

Darwin continued:

“But I was very unwilling to give up my belief; I feel sure of this, for I can well remember often and often inventing day-dreams of old letters between distinguished Romans, and manuscripts being discovered at Pompeii or elsewhere, which confirmed in the most striking manner all that was written in the Gospels.

Francis Schaeffer commented:

This is very sad. He lies on his bunk and the Beagle tosses and turns and he makes daydreams, and his dreams and hopes are that someone would find in Pompeii or some place like this, an old manuscript by a distinguished Roman that would put his stamp of authority on it, which would be able to show that Christ existed. This is undoubtedly what he is talking about. Darwin gave up this hope with great difficulty. I think he didn’t want to come to the position where his accepted presuppositions were driving him. He didn’t want to give it up, just as an older man he understood where it would lead and “man can do his duty.” Instinctively this of brains understood where this whole thing was going to eventually go…

SINCE CHARLES DARWIN’S DEATH WE NOW HAVE LOTS OF HISTORICAL RECORDS AND MUCH EVIDENCE FROM THE FIELD OF ARCHAEOLOGY THAT SHOW THE BIBLE IS HISTORICALLY ACCURATE.

**************TAKE TIME TO CONSIDER THIS EVIDENCE BELOW********************

I  have been amazed at the prophecies in the Bible that have been fulfilled in history, and also many of the historical details in the Bible have been confirmed by archaeology too. One of the most amazing is the prediction that the Jews would be brought back and settle in Jerusalem again. Another prophecy in Psalms 22 describes the Messiah dying on a cross  almost 1000 years before the Romans came up with this type of punishment.

Many times it has been alleged that the author of the Book of Daniel was from a later period but how did a later author know these 5 HISTORICAL FACTS? How did he know [1] that Belshazzar was ruling during the last few years of the Babylonian Empire when the name “Belshazzar” was lost to history until 1853 when it was uncovered in the monuments? [2] The author also knew that the Babylonians executed individuals by casting them into fire, and that the Persians threw the condemned to the lions. [3] He knew  the practice in the 6th Century was to mention first the Medes, then the Persians and not the other way around. [4] Plus he knew the laws made by Persian kings could not be revoked and [5] he knew that in the sixth century B.C., Susa was in the province of Elam (Dan. 8:2). Of course, the Book of Daniel (2:37-42) clearly predicted the rise of the 4 world empires in the correct order of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome.

One of the top 10 posts on my blog on this next subject concerning Tyre.   John MacArthur went through every detail of the prophecy concerning Tyre and how history shows the Bible prophecy was correct.  Sagan said he had taken a look at Old Testament prophecy and it did not impress him because it was too vague.

HOW CAN ANYONE SAY THAT THIS FOLLOWING PROPHECY CONCERNING TYRE IS “TOO VAGUE?”

Below is an outline from a sermon from Dr. John MacArthur

Photo of John MacArthur

 

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John MacArthur on the amazing fulfilled prophecy on Tyre and how it was fulfilled by historical events.

LESSON

I. BIBLICAL PROPHECY CONCERNING TYRE (Ezekiel 26:1–28:19)

A. The Forecast

1. The specifics

a) That King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon would destroy the mainland city of Tyre (26:7-8).

b) That many nations would rise up against Tyre. These nations would come like waves of the sea, one after another (26:3- 4).

c) That Tyre will be made like a flat rock (26:4, 14).

d) That fisherman will dry their nets there (26:5, 14).

e) That the rubble of the city would be cast into the sea (26:12).

f) That Tyre would never be rebuilt (26:14).

2. The setting

Tyre was a great city. It was one of the largest and most powerful cities of Phoenicia, which is modern day Lebanon.

It was well fortified. A great wall protected the city from land attacks while their world-renowned fleet protected them from attack by sea.

Tyre was a flourishing city during the time when Joshua led Israel into the Promised Land. King Hiram, who began his reign during the rule of David, offered David cedars from Tyre to build his palace. He also loaned David his artisans to craft parts of the great palace (1 Chron. 14:1). Hiram also helped Solomon build the Temple by floating cedars down the shoreline to be picked up and hauled to Jerusalem (2 Chron. 2:16). So Tyre was a great city, and both David and Solomon looked to it for aid.

 

B. The Fulfillment

1. The prophetic call

a) To Nebuchadnezzar

Not long after the prophecy given by Ezekiel, Nebuchadnezzar did exactly what had been predicted–he laid siege against the city in 585 B.C. For thirteen years Nebuchadnezzar cut off the flow of supplies into the city. In 537 B.C. he finally succeeded in breaking the gates down, but found the city almost empty.

During the thirteen-year siege, the people of Tyre moved all their possessions by ship to an island one-half mile offshore. So Nebuchadnezzar gained no plunder (Ezek. 29:17- 20). Although he destroyed the mainland city (Ezek. 26:8), the new city offshore continued to flourish for 250 years. The prophecy of Ezekiel 26:12–“they shall lay thy stones and thy timber and thy dust in the midst of the water”–remained unfulfilled.

 

b) To Alexander the Great

At age twenty-two, Alexander the Great came east conquering the known world with an army of between thirty and forty thousand men. Having defeated the Persians under Darius III, Alexander was on the march toward Egypt.

(1) The dilemma

Alexander arrived in the Phoenician territory and demanded that the cities open their gates to him. The citizens of Tyre refused, feeling they were secure on their island with their superior fleet.

 

(2) The decision

Realizing he did not have a fleet that could match Tyre’s, Alexander decided to build a causeway to the island using the ruins from the mainland city. It was about two hundred feet wide. The prophet said that the city would be thrown into the water, and that’s exactly what happened.

 

(3) The details

Arrian, a Greek historian, wrote about the overthrow of Tyre and how it was accomplished (The Campaigns of Alexander [New York: Penquin, 1958], pp. 132-43). The fortification of Tyre resembled Alcatraz. The city sat offshore like a rock with walls that came down to the edge of the water. Alexander set out to build the only means to approach the city–a land peninsula. Soldiers started pitching rubble into the water, leveling it off as they went so they could march on it. The water got deeper as they approached the island, and to make their task even more difficult, the people of Tyre bombarded them with missiles.

Werner Keller in The Bible as History tells us that to safeguard the operation, Alexander built mobile shields called “tortoises” (New York: Bantam, 1956], p. 361). Knowing that when they reached the city they would have to scale the walls, Alexander built “Hele-poleis,” which were mobile siege towers 160 foot high. The idea was to roll these structures across the causeway and push them up against the walls. A drawbridge on the front of the towers enabled the soldiers to march across the top of the walls and into the city.

Alexander’s men were under constant attack from people within the city and from the Tyrian navy. Realizing that he needed ships to defend his flanks, Alexander returned to the cities he had conquered and demanded their assistance. That fulfilled the prophecy that God “will cause many nations to come up against thee, as the sea causeth its waves to come up” (Ezek. 26:3).

(4) The destruction

Alexander’s plan succeeded. Eight thousand people were slain and thirty thousand were sold into slavery. It took Alexander seven months to conquer Tyre. The causeway he built can be seen to this day.

 

2. The prophetic result

How did Ezekiel know all those things would happen? The only explanation is he expressed the mind of God. Historian Philip Myers said, “Alexander the Great reduced it [Tyre] to ruins (332 B.C.). She recovered in a measure from this blow, but never regained the place she had previously held in the world. The larger part of the site … is now as bare as the top of a rock–a place where the fishermen that still frequent the spot spread their nets to dry” (General History for Colleges and High Schools [Boston: Ginn and Co., 1889], p. 55). That fulfills the prophecies of Ezekiel 26:4-5, 14. The island city was repopulated, later to be destroyed by the Moslems in A.D. 1281. However, God said the mainland city would never be rebuilt–and it never has. Jerusalem has been rebuilt many times but Tyre will never be rebuilt because a prophet in Babylon said twenty-five centuries ago, “Thou shalt be built no more” (Ezek. 26:14).

 

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AS A HISTORIAN YOU HAVE ACCESS TO ALL OF THESE RECORDS. WHY NOT TAKE A FEW MOMENTS AND CHECK OUT THESE FACTS YOURSELF?

I Corinthians 15 asserts:

12 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.

I sent you a CD that starts off with the song DUST IN THE WIND by Kerry Livgren of the group KANSAS which was a hit song in 1978 when it rose to #6 on the charts because so many people connected with the message of the song. It included these words, “All we do, crumbles to the ground though we refuse to see, Dust in the Wind, All we are is dust in the wind, Don’t hang on, Nothing lasts forever but the Earth and Sky, It slips away, And all your money won’t another minute buy.”

Kerry Livgren himself said that he wrote the song because he saw where man was without a personal God in the picture. Solomon pointed out in the Book of Ecclesiastes that those who believe that God doesn’t exist must accept three things. FIRST, death is the end and SECOND, chance and time are the only guiding forces in this life.  FINALLY, power reigns in this life and the scales are never balanced. The Christian can  face death and also confront the world knowing that it is not determined by chance and time alone and finally there is a judge who will balance the scales.

Both Kerry Livgren and the bass player Dave Hope of Kansas became Christians eventually. Kerry Livgren first tried Eastern Religions and Dave Hope had to come out of a heavy drug addiction. I was shocked and elated to see their personal testimony on The 700 Club in 1981 and that same  interview can be seen on You Tube today. Livgren lives in Topeka, Kansas today where he teaches “Diggers,” a Sunday school class at Topeka Bible ChurchDAVE HOPE is the head of Worship, Evangelism and Outreach at Immanuel Anglican Church in Destin, Florida.

The answer to find meaning in life is found in putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. The Bible is true from cover to cover and can be trusted.

Thank you again for your time and I know how busy you are.

Everette Hatcher, everettehatcher@gmail.com, http://www.thedailyhatch.org, cell ph 501-920-5733, Box 23416, LittleRock, AR 72221, United States

The Bible and Archaeology – Is the Bible from God? (Kyle Butt 42 min)

Is the Bible historically accurate and have I taken the time to examine the evidence? Here are some of the posts I have done in the past on the subject and if you like you could just google these subjects: 1. The Babylonian Chronicleof Nebuchadnezzars Siege of Jerusalem2. Hezekiah’s Siloam Tunnel Inscription. 3. Taylor Prism (Sennacherib Hexagonal Prism)4. Biblical Cities Attested Archaeologically. 5. The Discovery of the Hittites6.Shishak Smiting His Captives7. Moabite Stone8Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III9A Verification of places in Gospel of John and Book of Acts., 9B Discovery of Ebla Tablets10. Cyrus Cylinder11. Puru “The lot of Yahali” 9th Century B.C.E.12. The Uzziah Tablet Inscription13. The Pilate Inscription14. Caiaphas Ossuary14 B Pontius Pilate Part 214c. Three greatest American Archaeologists moved to accept Bible’s accuracy through archaeology.,

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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 41 Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan (Featured artist is Marina Abramović)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 40 Timothy Leary (Featured artist is Margaret Keane)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 39 Tom Wolfe (Featured artist is Richard Serra)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 38 Woody Allen and Albert Camus “There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide” (Feature on artist Hamish Fulton Photographer )

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 37 Mahatma Gandhi and “Relieving the Tension in the East” (Feature on artist Luc Tuymans)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 36 Julian Huxley:”God does not in fact exist, but act as if He does!” (Feature on artist Barry McGee)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 35 Robert M. Pirsig (Feature on artist Kerry James Marshall)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 34 Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (Feature on artist Shahzia Sikander)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 33 Aldous Huxley (Feature on artist Matthew Barney )

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 32 Steven Weinberg and Woody Allen and “The Meaningless of All Things” (Feature on photographer Martin Karplus )

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 31 David Hume and “How do we know we know?” (Feature on artist William Pope L. )

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 30 Rene Descartes and “How do we know we know?” (Feature on artist Olafur Eliasson)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 29 W.H. Thorpe and “The Search for an Adequate World-View: A Question of Method” (Feature on artist Jeff Koons)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 28 Woody Allen and “The Mannishness of Man” (Feature on artist Ryan Gander)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 27 Jurgen Habermas (Featured artist is Hiroshi Sugimoto)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 26 Bettina Aptheker (Featured artist is Krzysztof Wodiczko)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 25 BOB DYLAN (Part C) Francis Schaeffer comments on Bob Dylan’s song “Ballad of a Thin Man” and the disconnect between the young generation of the 60’s and their parents’ generation (Feature on artist Fred Wilson)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 24 BOB DYLAN (Part B) Francis Schaeffer comments on Bob Dylan’s words from HIGHWAY 61 REVISITED!! (Feature on artist Susan Rothenberg)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 23 BOB DYLAN (Part A) (Feature on artist Josiah McElheny)Francis Schaeffer on the proper place of rebellion with comments by Bob Dylan and Samuel Rutherford

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 22 “The School of Athens by Raphael” (Feature on the artist Sally Mann)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 21 William B. Provine (Feature on artist Andrea Zittel)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 20 Woody Allen and Materialistic Humanism: The World-View of Our Era (Feature on artist Ida Applebroog)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 19 Movie Director Luis Bunuel (Feature on artist Oliver Herring)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 18 “Michelangelo’s DAVID is the statement of what humanistic man saw himself as being tomorrow” (Feature on artist Paul McCarthy)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 17 Francis Schaeffer discusses quotes of Andy Warhol from “The Observer June 12, 1966″ Part C (Feature on artist David Hockney plus many pictures of Warhol with famous friends)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 16 Francis Schaeffer discusses quotes of Andy Warhol from “The Observer June 12, 1966″ Part B (Feature on artist James Rosenquist plus many pictures of Warhol with famous friends)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 15 Francis Schaeffer discusses quotes of Andy Warhol from “The Observer June 12, 1966″ Part A (Feature on artist Robert Indiana plus many pictures of Warhol with famous friends)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 14 David Friedrich Strauss (Feature on artist Roni Horn )

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 13 Jacob Bronowski and Materialistic Humanism: The World-View of Our Era (Feature on artist Ellen Gallagher )

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 12 H.J.Blackham and Materialistic Humanism: The World-View of Our Era (Feature on artist Arturo Herrera)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 11 Thomas Aquinas and his Effect on Art and HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? Episode 2: THE MIDDLES AGES (Feature on artist Tony Oursler )

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 10 David Douglas Duncan (Feature on artist Georges Rouault )

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 9 Jasper Johns (Feature on artist Cai Guo-Qiang )

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 8 “The Last Year at Marienbad” by Alain Resnais (Feature on artist Richard Tuttle and his return to the faith of his youth)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 7 Jean Paul Sartre (Feature on artist David Hooker )

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 6 The Adoration of the Lamb by Jan Van Eyck which was saved by MONUMENT MEN IN WW2 (Feature on artist Makoto Fujimura)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 5 John Cage (Feature on artist Gerhard Richter)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 4 ( Schaeffer and H.R. Rookmaaker worked together well!!! (Feature on artist Mike Kelley Part B )

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 3 PAUL GAUGUIN’S 3 QUESTIONS: “Where do we come from? What art we? Where are we going? and his conclusion was a suicide attempt” (Feature on artist Mike Kelley Part A)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 2 “A look at how modern art was born by discussing Monet, Renoir, Pissaro, Sisley, Degas,Cezanne, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Seurat, and Picasso” (Feature on artist Peter Howson)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 1 HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? “The Roman Age” (Feature on artist Tracey Emin)

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