RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! (Nobel Laureate Dr. Aaron Ciechanover, Does he think that HITLER GOT OFF HOOK OR NOT? )

 

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Aaron Ciechanover
Flickr - Government Press Office (GPO) - Nobel Laureate Aaron Ciechanover.jpg

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Below you have picture of 1996 Chemistry Nobel Prize Winner Dr. Harry Kroto:

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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. Nobel Laureate Dr. Aaron Ciechanover is found in the 114th video clip in the third video below and his quote is found below in this post and my response is after that.

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)

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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-).Harry Kroto (1939-), Marty E. Martin (1928-), Richard Rubenstein (1924-), James Terry McCollum (1936-), Edward O. WIlson (1929-), Lewis Wolpert (1929), Gerald Holton (1922-),  and  Ray T. Cragun (1976-).

What did Dr. Aaron Ciechanover say in this film series that Harry Kroto wanted me to watch? 

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Quote from Dr. Aaron Ciechanover:

YOU DON’T THEN BELIEVE IN ANY KIND OF AFTERLIFE THEN OR CONSCIOUSNESS OR GOD? “My Israeli purse contains a certificate from the Israeli organ organization that says if I die they can take all the organs give them to whoever they want, I don’t believe in anything that is beyond life… Once we are born we are going to die. Nevertheless, I am a strong religious Jew. Maybe religious Jews will not accept what I am saying…Maybe they feel different about God and the services and prayer and obedience, For me it is a cultural thing.”

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It is true that the view that there is no afterlife is very widespread today and in fact, many people have left the Christian worldview because they did not understand why God had created a place called HELL. My simple question to them would be does he think that HITLER GOT OFF HOOK OR NOT? :

On the popular show MODERN FAMILY Jay has a talk with his grandson Manny:

Manny: So you are not worried about getting in trouble you know with God ?
Jay:oh I think He has bigger things on his plate
Manny: so you are not worried about hell?
Jay : let me let you in on a little secret kid, there is no hell
Manny: seriously no hell!!! That is fantastic!!so everyone goes to heaven?
Jay: yep!! End of story!!
Manny: even bad people?
Jay: yeah they are in another section.
Manny: I was thinking about this heaven of yours that is filled with bad people.
Jay: it is not full, it is the tiniest fraction and they are walled in.
Manny: what if they break out?
Jay: they are surrounded by a lake of fire.
Manny: there are fiery lakes in heaven?  This is turning into hell!!!——–
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What do you do with Hitler? There are three posts I have done in the past that deal this subject in an emphatic way. On my blog I have two posts that thousands of people have read over the last 18 months and they are in my all-time top ten list of most viewed and the ironic thing is that both deal with hell and what do you do with a guy like Hitler if you don’t believe in hell.

The first one post dealt with Chris Martin of Coldplay and his life journey of being raised as an evangelical but leaving during his college years because of his rejection of the idea of hell. Then when he writes his best selling song of all-time  “Viva La Vida” he writes that the evil king pictured in the song  is “eternally damned,” and Saint Peter will not be calling his name.

In the  second one Mike Huckabee caused quite a stir when he said that Osama bin Laden was in hell right now. In this post I include a portion of an article I wrote for our online church magazine back in 1999 that discusses this same subject. It goes like this:

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Woody Allen’s movie Crimes and Misdemeanors does a great job of showing that if God does not exist then people like Stalin and Hitler were “home free” in that they were never going to be punished for what they did. 

“Existential subjects to me are still the only subjects worth dealing with. I don’t think that one can aim more deeply than at the so-called existential themes, the spiritual themes.” WOODY ALLEN

Woody Allen’s 1989 movie, CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS , is an excellent icebreaker concerning the need of God while making decisions in the area of personal morality. In this film, Allen attacks his own atheistic view of morality. Martin Landau plays a Jewish eye doctor named Judah Rosenthal raised by a religious father who always told him, “The eyes of God are always upon you.” However, Judah later concludes that God doesn’t exist. He has his mistress (played in the film by Anjelica Huston) murdered because she continually threatened to blow the whistle on his past questionable, probably illegal, business activities. She also attempted to break up Judah ‘s respectable marriage by going public with their two-year affair. Judah struggles with his conscience throughout the remainder of the movie. He continues to be haunted by his father’s words: “The eyes of God are always upon you.” This is a very scary phrase to a young boy, Judah observes. He often wondered how penetrating God’s eyes are.

Later in the film, Judah reflects on the conversation his religious father had with Judah ‘s unbelieving Aunt May at the dinner table many years ago:

“Come on Sol, open your eyes. Six million Jews burned to death by the Nazis, and they got away with it because might makes right,” says aunt May

Sol replies, “May, how did they get away with it?”

Judah asks, “If a man kills, then what?”

Sol responds to his son, “Then in one way or another he will be punished.”

Aunt May comments, “I say if he can do it and get away with it and he chooses not to be bothered by the ethics, then he is home free.”

Judah ‘s final conclusion was that might did make right. He observed that one day, because of this conclusion, he woke up and the cloud of guilt was gone. He was, as his aunt said, “home free.”

Woody Allen has exposed a weakness in his own humanistic view that God is not necessary as a basis for good ethics. There must be an enforcement factor in order to convince Judah not to resort to murder. Otherwise, it is fully to Judah ‘s advantage to remove this troublesome woman from his life.

The Bible tells us, “{God} has also set eternity in the hearts of men…” (Ecclesiastes 3:11 NIV). The secularist calls this an illusion, but the Bible tells us that the idea that we will survive the grave was planted in everyone’s heart by God Himself. Romans 1:19-21 tells us that God has instilled a conscience in everyone that points each of them to Him and tells them what is right and wrong (also Romans 2:14 -15).

It’s no wonder, then, that one of Allen’s fellow humanists would comment, “Certain moral truths — such as do not kill, do not steal, and do not lie — do have a special status of being not just ‘mere opinion’ but bulwarks of humanitarian action. I have no intention of saying, ‘I think Hitler was wrong.’ Hitler WAS wrong.” (Gloria Leitner, “A Perspective on Belief,” THE HUMANIST, May/June 1997, pp. 38-39)

Here Leitner is reasoning from her God-given conscience and not from humanist philosophy. It wasn’t long before she received criticism. Humanist Abigail Ann Martin responded, “Neither am I an advocate of Hitler; however, by whose criteria is he evil?” (THE HUMANIST, September/October 1997, p. 2)

The secularist can only give incomplete answers to these questions: How could you have convinced Judah not to kill? On what basis could you convince Judah it was wrong for him to murder?

As Christians, we would agree with Judah ‘s father that “The eyes of God are always upon us.” Proverbs 5:21 asserts, “For the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, and He ponders all his paths.” Revelation 20:12 states, “…And the dead were judged (sentenced) by what they had done (their whole way of feeling and acting, their aims and endeavors) in accordance with what was recorded in the books” (Amplified Version). The Bible is revealed truth from God. It is the basis for our morality. Judah inherited the Jewish ethical values of the Ten Commandments from his father, but, through years of life as a skeptic, his standards had been lowered. Finally, we discover that Judah ‘s secular version of morality does not resemble his father’s biblically-based morality.

Woody Allen’s CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS forces unbelievers to grapple with the logical conclusions of a purely secular morality. It opens a door for Christians to find common ground with those whom they attempt to share Christ; we all have to deal with personal morality issues. However, the secularist has no basis for asserting that Judah is wrong.

Larry King actually mentioned on his show, LARRY KING LIVE, that Chuck Colson had discussed the movie CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS with him. Colson asked King if life was just a Darwinian struggle where the ruthless come out on top. Colson continued, “When we do wrong, is that our only choice? Either live tormented by guilt, or else kill our conscience and live like beasts?” (BREAKPOINT COMMENTARY, “Finding Common Ground,” September 14, 1993)

Later, Colson noted that discussing the movie CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS with King presented the perfect opportunity to tell him about Christ’s atoning work on the cross. Colson believes the Lord is working on Larry King.

(Caution: CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS is rated PG-13. It does include some adult themes.)
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In the third post I mention that I had the unique opportunity to discuss this very issue with Robert Lester Mondale and his wife Rosemary  on April 14, 1996 at his cabin in Fredricktown, Missouri , and my visit was very enjoyable and informative. Mr. Mondale had the distinction of being the only person to sign all three of the Humanist Manifestos in 1933, 1973 and 2003. I asked him which signers of Humanist Manifesto Number One did he know well and he said that Raymond B. Bragg, and Edwin H. Wilson  and him were known as “the three young radicals of the group.”  Harold P. Marley used to have a cabin near his and they used to take long walks together, but Marley’s wife got a job in Hot Springs, Arkansas and they moved down there.

Roy Wood Sellars was a popular professor of philosophy that he knew. I asked if he knew John Dewey and he said he did not, but Dewey did contact him one time to ask him some questions about an article he had written, but Mondale could not recall anything else about that.

Mondale told me some stories about his neighbors and we got to talking about some of his church members when he was an Unitarian pastor. Once during the 1930’s he was told by one of his wealthier Jewish members that he shouldn’t continue to be critical of the Nazis. This member had just come back from Germany and according to him Hitler had done a great job of getting the economy moving and things were good.

Of course, just a few years later after World War II was over Mondale discovered on a second hand basis what exactly had happened over there when he visited with a Lutheran pastor friend who had just returned from Germany. This Lutheran preacher was one of the first to be allowed in after the liberation of the concentration camps in 1945, and he told Mondale what level of devastation and destruction of  innocent lives went on inside these camps. As Mondale listened to his friend he could feel his own face turning pale.

I asked, “If those Nazis escaped to Brazil or Argentina and lived out their lives in peace would they face judgment after they died?”

Mondale responded, “I don’t think there is anything after death.”

I told Mr. Mondale that there is sense in me that says  justice will be given eventually and God will judge those Nazis even if they evade punishment here on earth. I did point out that in Ecclesiastes 4:1 Solomon did note that without God in the picture  the scales may not be balanced in this life and power could reign, but at the same time the Bible teaches that all  must face the ultimate Judge.

Then I asked him if he got to watch the O.J. Simpson trial and he said that he did and he thought that the prosecution had plenty of evidence too. Again I asked Mr. Mondale the same question concerning O.J. and he responded, “I don’t think there is a God that will intervene and I don’t believe in the afterlife.”

When It Comes to the Meaning of Life, the Question is Not “What”, But “Why”

150I’ve written before about the importance of recognizing the role of the Creator in determining life’s purpose, but as a non-believer, I had little problem determining the purpose of my life. As a man who rejected God’s existence, I was comfortable assigning meaning to my life. What was the purpose of life? Well, for me, it was to live nobly and enforce the laws as a police officer, to be a faithful husband to my wife and a good father for my kids. I had no problem answering the “what” question. I failed to recognize, however, that the more important questions did not begin with “what”. When it comes to the meaning of life, the most important questions begin with “why”.

Why is it noble to enforce the law and be a good husband and father? Why is my standard of good and evil the correct standard? Why do I think my ideas about purpose and meaning are important or honorable in the first place? Are my ideas about purpose and meaning simply a matter of opinion, or do I think I’m living a life that is objectively valuable and meaningful? I first discovered the importance of these “why” questions as I became saturated in the subcultures of our society. As a patrol officer, a member of the gang detail and then a member of the career criminal team, I found that the offenders I investigated had no problem assigning meaning to their lives; these folks lived contentedly within the purposes they had constructed for themselves. The gangsters I worked with for two years lived within a world of values and mores that were quite different from my own. Their goals and desires were influenced by their status within the gang and this status was achieved as they rejected much of what I valued in my own life. The more they misbehaved, the more stature they achieved within their own group. They definitely had their own ideas related to purpose and meaning, and they retained these values throughout their lives, both in and out of custody.

As a police officer, I rejected the values held by the people I arrested. I disagreed dramatically with their definitions related to the purpose of life. But why did I think my beliefs related to purpose were more valid than theirs? If everyone gets to assign their own meaning, who are we to judge those who select an evil (or even benignly contrary) purpose? Why should we even think anything is good or bad related to life’s meaning? There are gang neighborhoods in Los Angeles County in which people are living with an idea of purpose and meaning that is very different than my own. Are they wrong about the meaning of life? If so, why? Some would say it simply comes down to whether or not any harm is being done to others; if someone’s purpose in life involves harming others, we ought to be able to appropriately judge that purpose as misguided and wrong.

But I bet you would attempt to re-direct your son or daughter if they told you they decided the purpose of their life was to watch Hulu and Netflix all day. Even though this behavior would have no negative impact on the lives of others, I think you would invest some time trying to convince them to adopt a “better” or more productive purpose for their lives. But why should they listen to you? Why should they come to believe that your ideas about purpose and meaning are more valid than their own? Why isn’t the meaning they’ve chosen for themselves good enough? Why should they accept what you have to say in the first place? It’s a times like these, when we find ourselves evaluating two competing ideas about meaning and purpose that we confront the impotence of our subjective choices. If there is no transcendent, objective meaning to our lives, it’s all really a matter of opinion. If that’s the case, good luck trying to get your kids to stop watching videos. If, however, we have been designed by a Creator God for a purpose that transcends our own limited desire and perspective, we can begin to help our kids understand that we are arguing for more than an opinion. When we address the “why” questions, the “what” questions are much easier to answer and defend.

J. Warner Wallace is a Cold-Case Detective, a Christian Case Maker, and the author of Cold-Case Christianity

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