“Woody Wednesday” Discussing Woody Allen’s movie “Crimes and Misdemeanors” and various other subjects with Ark Times Bloggers (Part 6) Judah ” I believe in God, Miriam. I know it… because without God the world is a cesspool”

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Crimes and Misdemeanors: A Discussion: Part 3

Uploaded by on Sep 23, 2007

Part 3 of 3: ‘Is Woody Allen A Romantic Or A Realist?’
A discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie, Crimes and Misdemeanors, perhaps his finest.
By Anton Scamvougeras.

http://camdiscussion.blogspot.com/
antons@mail.ubc.ca

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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 have used the examples given in Woody Allen’s movie “Crimes and Misdemeanors” to do so. With out God in the picture to punish the evildoers  in an afterlife, then can people do anything they want because “might makes right.”

Without the infinite-personal God of the Bible to reveal moral absolutes then man is left to embrace moral relativism. In a time plus chance universe man is reduced to a machine and can not find a place for values such as love. Both of Francis Schaeffer’s film series have tackled these subjects and he shows how this is reflected in the arts.

Here are some posts I have done on the series “HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? : 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),   euthenasia (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.

In July of 2013 I got into this discussion about morality and the meaning of life with the Arkansas Times Bloggers:

I commented:

Vanessa wrote:

Chimpanzees have a sense of right and wrong. If they got it from god, then man is not so special and if they could develop it themselves, then why did we need god?

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Monkeys do not have a sense of right and wrong. Also it is not wrong for a monkey to kill. He is not made in the image of God knowing right from wrong like humans are. They can kill and go on like nothing ever happened. Humans can’t. 

In the movie “Crimes and Misdemeanors” Judah has his mistress killed but he struggles with the guilt afterwards. Here is a scene from the movie with his underworld brother Jack:


JACK:Judah, you’re having a breakdown.

JUDAH:The police know she phoned me. I lied, but they saw through it. I can’t take this.

JACK: Pull yourself together or you’ll blow it.

JUDAH:I did it, and it’s irrevocable, and now I’m gonna pay. I had to fight an urge to confess to the police. I want this off my mind.


JACK: Listen. I’m in this with you. I helped you out and I don’t wanna go to jail for it. You may not care if you drag me down with you, but I’m not letting that happen.

JUDAH:- What the hell is that? A threat? – 

JACK:Just be a man. You’re in the clear.

JUDAH: – You’ll rub me out, too? – 

JACK: Don’t talk nonsense.

JUDAH: What did you mean by saying you won’t let it happen?

JACK:You’re my brother. You’ve helped me out financially. I did you a favor when you needed it.Now all of a sudden you want to confess? The time to confess was to Miriam, about your mistress. Not about this. This is murder. You paid for it, I engineered it. It’s over. Forget about it.

JUDAH:One sin leads to a deeper sin.

JACK:Now you sound like Papa. – 

JUDAH:Adultery, fornication, lies, killing.

JACK:- Shut up already. – Or you’ll have your friends shut me up?

JUDAH:One phone call, like pushing a button, right?

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Later when talking with his wife Miriam:

MIRIAM: Judah, I don’t know what’s wrong with you these days. You’re a different person.

JUDAH: I believe in God, Miriam. I know it… because without God the world is a cesspool.

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Olphart wrote:

The polygraph purportedly detects lying by measuring small increases in respiratory rate, perspiration, blood pressure, etc. Say you need a job, and for some reason, your perspective employer requires you to take a polygraph test. That in itself would produce anxiety in a lot of people. Then in the middle of the test being given in the deep south prior to 8/25/94, you are asked the unexpected question, “Do you believe in God?” Most people, in this time and place, are going to answer “yes” truthfully. Any of the rest are likely to say yes anyway because they need the job and a “no” answer would automatically disqualify them. Those answering “no” would realize they’d lost the job already and THAT would trip the anxiety detectors.

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I commented:

I have wrote several professors back in the 1990’s about this practice of Claude Brown at his trucking company and you are right Olphart that the objection you brought up was also brought up by several other professors and here are their names:

1. Dr.Walter F. Rowe, The George Washington University, Dept of Forensic Sciences, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
2. Dr. Zen Faulkes, professor of Biology, University of Victoria (Canada), 
3. Robert Craig, Head of Indiana Skeptics Organization (Mr. Craig is not a professor). 

Here are the conclusions of the experts I wrote in the secular world concerning the lie detector test and it’s ability to get at the truth:

Professor Frank Horvath of the School of Criminal Justice at Michigan State University has testified before Congress concerning the validity of the polygraph machine. He has stated on numerous occasions that “the evidence from those who have actually been affected by polygraph testing in the workplace is quite contrary to what has been expressed by critics. I give this evidence greater weight than I give to the most of the comments of critics” (letter to me dated October 6, 1994).

There was no better organization suited to investigate this claim concerning the lie detector test than the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP). This organization changed their name to the Committe for Skeptical Inquiry in 2006. This organization includes anyone who wants to help debunk the whole ever-expanding gamut of misleading, outlandish, and fraudulent claims made in the name of science.


Official Website:
http://www.csicop.org/


Some prominent members of CSICOP earlier were talk show host Steve Allen, author Isaac Asimov, scientist Francis Crick, biologist Stephen Jay Gould, magician James Randi, astronomer Carl Sagan, and philosopher Antony Flew. Current members you may have heard of are author Ann Druyan (Carl Sagan’s widow), biologist Richard Dawkins, tv personality Bill Nye, and philosopher Paul Kurtz (writer of Humanist Manifesto II 1973).


Most members are atheists or agnostics but some members are Christians like Andre Kole, a Christian illusionist. I read The Skeptical Review(publication of CSICOP) for several years during the 90’s and I would write letters to these writers challenging them on their skeptical views on religion. Then when this came up, I wrote them about taking this project on and putting it to the test. Below are their responses (14 or 15 years old now):

1st OBSERVATION Religious culture of USA could have influenced polygraph test results.
Antony Flew (formerly of Reading University in England, now deceased, in a letter to me dated 8-11-96) noted, “For all the evidence so far available seems to be of people from a culture in which people are either directly brought up to believe in the existence of God or at least are strongly even if only unconsciously influenced by those who do. Even if everyone from such a culture revealed unconscious belief, it would not really begin to show that — as Descartes maintained— the idea of God is so to speak the Creator’s trademark, stamped on human souls by their Creator at their creation.”

(Antony Flew was one of the few skeptics that actually took time to listen to the cassette tapes by Adrian Rogers that I sent him in 1992 and 1996. He said they reminded him of his days growing up when he used to listen to his father preach.)

2nd OBSERVATION: Polygraph Machines do not work. Dr. Wolf Roder, professor of Geography, University of Cincinnati, Dr. Susan Blackmore,Dept of Psychology, University of the West of England, Dr. Christopher C.French, Psychology Dept, Goldsmith’s College, University of London, Dr.Walter F. Rowe, The George Washington University, Dept of Forensic Sciences, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

3rd OBSERVATION: The sample size probably was not large enough to apply statistical inference. (These gentlemen made the following assertion before I received the letter back from Claude Brown that revealed that the sample size was over 15,000.) John Geohegan, Chairman of New Mexicans for Science and Reason, Dr. Wolf Roder, and Dr Walter F. Rowe (in a letter dated July 12, 1994) stated, “The polygraph operator for Brown Trucking Company has probably examined only a few hundred or a few thousand job applicants. I would surmise that only a very small number of these were actually atheists. It seems a statistically insignificant (and distinctly nonrandom) sampling of the 5 billion human beings currently inhabiting the earth. Dr. Nelson Price also seems to be impugning the integrity of anyone who claims to be an atheist in a rather underhanded fashion.”

4th OBSERVATION: The question (Do you believe in God?) was out of place and it surprised the applicants. Dr. Zen Faulkes, professor of Biology, University of Victoria (Canada), Robert Craig, Head of Indiana Skeptics Organization, Dr. Walter Rowe.

5th OBSERVATION: Proof that everyone believes in God’s existence does not prove that God does in fact exist. Paul Quincey, Nathional Physical Laboratory,(England), Dr. Claudio Benski, Schneider Electric, CFEPP, (France),

6th OBSERVATION: Both the courts and Congress recognize that lie-detectors don’t work and that is why they were banned in 1988. (Governments and the military still use them.)
Dr Walter Rowe, Kathleen M. Dillion, professor of Psychology, Western New England College.

7th OBSERVATION:This information concerning Claude Brown’s claim has been passed on to us via a tv preacher and eveybody knows that they are untrustworthy– look at their history. Wolf Roder.

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Olphart responded:

Re Saline’s Polygraph posts:

The preponderance of the evidence in your response seemed to support my side of the argument. That doesn’t mean you’re agreeing with me but I do respect the objectivity you are displaying here.

Having said that I’m gonna throw you some ammunition that supports YOUR side. You probably already know this but I’ve never seen you mention it. Antony Flew actually changed his mind about his atheism, right before he died. He wrote a book about it called “There Is A God: How the world’s most notorious atheist changed his mind”. I read it but, needless to say, it didn’t change MY mind. Most of his contention seemed to boil down to the fact that his father had been a minister and he had fond memories of his upbringing. Also, needless to say, most of his atheist friends were dismayed by the deathbed conversion.

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I responded:

Olphart I ran across that book of Flew’s in the Bellevue Baptist Church bookstore in Memphis and am on page 46. The irony is that I sent Flew several cassette tapes from that same church 20 years ago when we were corresponding.

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