I must say that I have lots of respect for Reason Magazine and for their admiration of Milton Friedman. However, I do disagree with one phrase below. At the end of this post I will tell you what sentence it is.
Uploaded by ReasonTV on Jul 28, 2011
There’s no way to appreciate fully the contributions of Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman (1912-2006), who would have turned 99 years old this weekend, to the growth of libertarian ideas and a free society.
This is the man, after all, who introduced the concept of school vouchers, documented the role of government monopolies on money in creating inflation, provided the intellectual arguments that ended the military draft in America, co-founded the Mont Pelerin Society, and so much more. In popular books such as Capitalism and Freedom and Free to Choose, written with his wife and longtime collaborator Rose, he masterfully drew a through-line between economic freedom and political and cultural freedom.
Yet his ultimate contribution to freedom and liberty is found less in any of the specific argument he made and more in the ways he made them. Friedman provided an all-too-rare example of a public intellectual who was scrupulously honest, forthright, and fair in every debate he entered. Whether he was duking it out with fellow Nobel Prize winners and other high-profile economists or making the case for the morality of capitalism with TV hosts such as Phil Donahue and angry students, he always argued in good faith, admitted when he was wrong, and enlarged the circle of debate.
Long after some of his technical points and social insights have been superseded, that commitment to relentless inquiry and search for truth wherever it takes us will survive.
Milton Friedman gave us something much better than revealed truth: He showed us the process by which we might continue to indefinitely learn about our world and the human condition. In this sense, the Friedman Century is far from over; indeed, it’s just getting started.
Written and narrated by Nick Gillespie. Produced and edited by Jim Epstein, with help from Jack Gillespie.
About 2.30 minutes.
For Reason’s coverage of and interviews with Milton Friedman over the years, go here now.
Here are the words that I take exception to: “Milton Friedman gave us something much better than revealed truth: He showed us the process by which we might continue to indefinitely learn about our world and the human condition.”
Anyone who reads this blog knows that I am an evangelical christian. The fact is that we can’t possess ultimate answers apart from the reference point of the infinite personal God himself. Without this “revealed knowledge” then we are left in a hopeless case that gives us no chance at having any lasting meaning to our lives.
I had the chance to correspond with Carl Sagan in the last year of his life. Sagan insisted that prophecies from the Old Testiment were too vague but I have have not found that to be the case. (Also the evidence from archaeology backs up the historicity of the Bible.) Carl Sagan could not rid himself of the “mannishness of man.” Those who have read Francis Schaeffer’s many books know exactly what I am talking about. We are made in God’s image and we are living in God’s world. Therefore, we can not totally suppress the objective truths of our unique humanity. In my letter of Jan 10, 1996 to Dr. Sagan, I really camped out on this point a long time because I had read Sagan’s book Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors and in it Sagan attempts to totally debunk the idea that we are any way special. However, what does Dr. Sagan have Dr. Arroway say at the end of the movie Contact when she is testifying before Congress about the alien that communicated with her? See if you can pick out the one illogical word in her statement: “I was given a vision how tiny, insignificant, rare and precious we all are. We belong to something that is greater than ourselves and none of us are alone.”
Dr Sagan deep down knows that we are special so he could not avoid putting the word “precious” in there. Schaeffer said unbelievers are put in a place of tension when they have to live in the world that God has made because deep down they know they are special because God has put that knowledge in their hearts.We are not the result of survival of the fittest and headed back to the dirt forevermore. This is what Schaeffer calls “taking the roof off” of the unbeliever’s worldview and showing the inconsistency that exists.
In several of my letters I quoted this passage below:
Romans 1:17-22 (Amplified Bible)
17For in the Gospel a righteousness which God ascribes is revealed, both springing from faith and leading to faith [disclosed through the way of faith that arouses to more faith]. As it is written, The man who through faith is just and upright shall live and shall live by faith.(A)
18For God’s [holy] wrath and indignation are revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who in their wickedness repress and hinder the truth and make it inoperative.
19For that which is known about God is evident to them and made plain in their inner consciousness, because God [Himself] has shown it to them.
20For ever since the creation of the world His invisible nature and attributes, that is, His eternal power and divinity, have been made intelligible and clearly discernible in and through the things that have been made (His handiworks). So [men] are without excuse [altogether without any defense or justification],(B)
21Because when they knew and recognized Him as God, they did not honor and glorify Him as God or give Him thanks. But instead they became futile and [a]godless in their thinking [with vain imaginings, foolish reasoning, and stupid speculations] and their senseless minds were darkened.
22Claiming to be wise, they became fools [professing to be smart, they made simpletons of themselves].
Dr. Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical flow of Truth & History (intro)
Uploaded by Scott87508 on Oct 3, 2010
Some wise words below I got off the internet:
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
The Infinite-Personal God: Thoughts from Francis Schaeffer’s Escape from Reason
Perhaps you are familiar with the indie band Arcade Fire. Their most recent album is entitled Neon Bible. The songs on Neon Bible certainly reflect something of the Bible itself in so far as it raises some of life’s biggest questions. Some of these questions are about fear, faith, love and disappointment. On the album is an update version of their song “No Cars Go” in which we hear the eerie tone of the line “Don’t know where we are goin.’ The line gives the listener the sense that there is no certainty to what our end is. This captures much of what I think indie music captures about our fragmented culture where the greatest questions are asked, but with very few answers.Because we live in a postmodern culture where many are not afraid to ask honest questions about life, the concept of faith is quite popular. Francis Schaeffer’s work and his book Escape from Reason have made a tremendous contribution to an understanding of Christian faith in this type of cultural context. In Escape from Reason, Schaeffer is clear in pointing out that the Bible reveals that God is both infinite and personal.He is the infinite-personal God whom created all things out of nothing and therefore the creation is finite or limited. Only God alone is the infinite Creator, the Creator without limitations. On the side of infinity, Schaeffer points out that, humans are “as separated from God as is the machine.” (pg. 26)On the side of human personality, Schaeffer is clear that humans, being made in the image of God, were made to have a personal relationship with God. Schaeffer states, “On the side of personality you are related to God. You are not infinite but finite; nevertheless, you are truly personal; you are created in the image of the personal God who exists.” (pg. 26-27)
As Schaeffer fleshes this idea out in Escape from Reason, he presents a clear Biblical view of human persons. About the Biblical view of the whole of a human being, Schaeffer states,
“It is not a Platonic view. The soul is not more important than the body. God made the whole man and the whole man is important. The doctrine of the biblical resurrection of the dead is not an old-fashioned thing. It tells us that God loves the whole man and the whole man is important. The biblical teaching, therefore, opposes the Platonic, which makes the soul (“the upper”) very important and leaves the body (“the lower”) with little importance at all. The biblical view opposes the humanistic position where the body and autonomous mind of man become important, and grace becomes very unimportant.”(pg. 28)
“The Bible puts its religious teaching in a historic setting. It is quite the opposite of the new theology and existential thought, quite the opposite of the twentieth century’s reduction of religion to the “spiritual” and the subjective. Scripture relates true religion to space-time history which may be expressed in normal literary form. And that is important, because our generation takes the word religion and everything religious and turns it into something psychological or sociological…a holy and loving God really exists, and He works into the significant history which exists” (Death in the City, pg. 17)
“The basic position of man in rebellion against God is that man is at the centre of the universe, that he is autonomous – here lies his rebellion. Man will keep his rationalism and his rebellion, his insistence on total autonomy or partially autonomous areas, even if it means he must give up his rationality.”(pg. 42)
“The hope of a connecting link between two spheres has completely disappeared. There is a complete dichotomy between the upper and lower storeys. The line between the upper and lower storeys has become a concrete horizontal, ten thousand feet thick, with highly-charged barbed-wire fixed in the concrete…Below the line there is rationality and logic. The upper storey becomes the non-logical and the non-rational.”(pg. 46)
Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical Flow of History & Truth (1)
The search for significance is intrinsic to who we are as people made in the image of God. Humans made in the image of God cannot live as though they are insignificant. But humans cannot live in the lower storey and find adequate answers concerning meaning, purpose, and significance. Yet as Schaeffer states, “in our day, the sphere of faith is placed in the non-rational and non-logical as opposed to the rational and logical.” (pg. 75)
Schaeffer points out some consequences of pitting faith against rationality. First, if we separate the upper storey or the world of universals from nature there is no way of establishing a relationship between the upper storey and everyday life in regard to morality. Schaeffer states, “You cannot have real morals in the real world after you have made this separation.” (pg. 80) The second consequence is that the separation creates no adequate basis for law. God revealed something real in the common world of life. Third, the separation, “throws away the answer to the problem of evil.” Schaeffer states,
“the True Christian position is that, in space and time and history, there was an unprogrammed man who made a choice, and actually rebelled against God…without Christianity’s answer that God made a significant man in a significant history with evil being the result of Satan’s and then man’s historic space-time revolt, there is no answer but to accept Baudelaire’s answer [‘If there is a God, He is the devil’] with tears. Once the historic Christian answer is put away, all we can do is to leap upstairs and say that against all reason God is good.”(pg. 81)
“On the side of infinity…we are separated from God entirely, but on the side of personality we are made in the image of God. So God can speak and tell us about Himself—not exhaustively, but truly. (We could not, after all, know anything exhaustively as finite creatures.) Then He has told us about things in the finite created realm, too. He has told us true things about the cosmos and history. Thus, we are not adrift.” (pg. 83)
“If the intrinsically personal origin of the universe is rejected, what alternative outlook can anyone have? It must be said emphatically that there is no final answer except that man is a product of the impersonal, plus time, plus chance.” (pg. 87)
“beginning only from himself autonomously, it is quite obvious that, being finite, he can never reach any absolute answer. This would be true if only on the basis of the fact that he is finite; but to this must be added the Fall, the fact of his rebellion.” (pg. 89)
Christianity does provide a worldview in which to wrestle with ultimate questions in not simply a theoretical way, but in a personal way. Schaeffer states,
“Christianity is a system which is composed of a set of ideas which can be discussed. By ‘system’ we do not mean a scholastic abstraction, nevertheless we do not shrink from using the word. The Bible does not set out unrelated thoughts. The system it sets forth has a beginning and moves from that beginning in a non-contradictory way. The beginning is the existence of the infinite-personal God as Creator of all else. Christianity is not just a vague set of incommunicable experiences, based on a totally unverifiable ‘leap in the dark.’ Neither conversion (the beginning of the Christian life) nor spirituality (the growth) should be such a leap. Both are firmly related to the God who is there and the knowledge He has given us – and both involve the whole man.”
Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical Flow of History & Truth (2)