Monthly Archives: January 2016

SCHAEFFER SUNDAY Review of HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE?   by Kevin Rhyne THE SCIENTIFIC AGE

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Francis Schaeffer pictured below:

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프란시스 쉐퍼 – 그러면 우리는 어떻게 살 것인가 introduction (Episode 1)

 

#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

How Should We Then Live? (7)

Francis Schaeffer | This Bread Always

Francis Schaeffer | This Bread Always

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything. Alas, so much to be done, so little time. Here is the next set of notes and quotes from our study through Frances Schaeffer’sHow Should We Then Live?

What gave rise to modern science?

The rise of modern science did not conflict with what the Bible teaches; indeed, at a crucial point the Scientific Revolution rested upon what the Bible teaches. Both Alfred North Whitehead (1861–1947) and J. Robert Oppenheimer (1904–1967) have stressed that modern science was born out of the Christian world-view.

Schaeffer, F. A. (1982). The complete works of Francis A. Schaeffer: a Christian worldview (Vol. 5, p. 157).

Based on what? What was it about the Christian world-view that ignited the era of modern science?

Whitehead also spoke of confidence “in the intelligible rationality of a personal being.” He also says in these lectures that because of the rationality of God, the early scientists had an “inexpugnable belief that every detailed occurrence can be correlated with its antecedents in a perfectly definite manner, exemplifying general principles. Without this belief the incredible labors of scientists would be without hope.” In other words, because the early scientists believed that the world was created by a reasonable God, they were not surprised to discover that people could find out something true about nature and the universe on the basis of reason.

Was this new to the Reformation?

First, the reasonableness of the created order on the basis of its creation by a reasonable God was not a distinctive emphasis of the Reformation, but was held in common by both the pre-Reformation church and the Reformers.

Was this thrust to understand the natural world only among those in the Protestant Reformation?

These creative stirrings are rooted in the fact that people are made in the image of God, the great Creator, whether or not an individual knows or acknowledges it, and even though the image of God in people is now contorted.

The world-view determines the direction such creative stirrings will take, and how—and whether the stirrings will continue or dry up.

Whether the stirrings will continue or dry up…what does he mean by that? What examples does he give: Chinese, Arab (fate), Greek.

The Greeks, the Moslems, and the Chinese eventually lost interest in science. As we said before, the Chinese had an early and profound knowledge of the world. Joseph Needham (1900–), in his book The Grand Titration (1969), explains why this never developed into a full-fledged science: “There was no confidence that the code of Nature’s laws could ever be unveiled and read, because there was no assurance that a divine being, even more rational than ourselves, had ever formulated such a code capable of being read.”

Schaeffer, F. A. (1982). The complete works of Francis A. Schaeffer: a Christian worldview (Vol. 5, pp. 163–164).

Was the creativity in the sciences only brought about by Christians?

No, many were not consistent Christians.

But, what made the difference?

They were all living within the thought-forms brought forth by Christianity. And in this setting man’s creative stirring had a base on which to continue and develop.

So, here is the big ten million dollar question for me:

If it is the Christian base that spurs science, why did this not happen prior to the Reformation?

Schaeffer points out that the Renaissance had an influence and the awakenings of the Middle Ages “exerted their influence.” But, it was because the pre-Reformation Church was trapped in the mindset based on human authority rather than observation. Aristotle reigned supreme, pointing to reasoning about the natural world through logic rather than just watching and testing it with the expectation of predictable results.

In other words, skepticism of human assumptions broke the stagnation. But, as is noted at the end of the chapter, skepticism of human assumptions, coupled with the biblical world-view released the creativity of the curious. The natural world reflected the Person Who created it and He created it with cause and effect.

More importantly to me, the scientists of that era were not merely concerned with the how, but also the why. Philosophy was not yet divorced from science. Or rather, Naturalistic Materialism as a philosophy had not yet overshadowed creative scientific thought.

Many of them were personally Christians, but even those who were not, were living within the thought-forms brought forth by Christianity, especially the belief that God as the Creator and Lawgiver has implanted laws in His creation which man can discover.

On the Christian base, one could expect to find out something true about the universe by reason. There were certain other results of the Christian world-view. For example, there was the certainty of something “there”—an objective reality—for science to examine.

Cause and effect does not mandate that we are part of a machine. We are in what he calls, “an open universe.” God and man are outside of the uniformity of natural causes.

Of what significance is this?

There is a place for God, outside of the natural order and above the natural order, but there is also a proper place for man – who is not God, but at a point in time can change the direction of natural order.

In what way can man change the direction of the natural order?

First thing I think of is medicine. What others can you think of?

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

Francis Schaeffer “BASIS FOR HUMAN DIGNITY” Whatever…HTTHR

Dr. Francis Schaeffer: How Should We Then Live? Episode 1 of 10

HowShouldWeThenLive Episode 2

HowShouldWeThenLive Episode 3

HowShouldWeThenLive Episode 4

HowShouldWeThenLive Episode 5

HowShouldweThenLive Episode 6 Scientific Age

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

How Should We Then Live – Episode 8 – The Age of Fragmentation

How Should We Then Live – Episode 9 – The Age of Personal Peace & Affluence

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Comparing Hemingway’s statement, “Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know…” with Ecclesiastes 2:18 “For in much wisdom is much vexation, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.”

We know that Hemingway read Ecclesiastes and his title THE SUN ALSO RISES is taken from it.

One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh; but the earth abideth forever… The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to the place where he arose… The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to its circuits… All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come thither they return again.
– Ecclesiastes

I think he also took note of Ecclesiastes 2;18: “For in much wisdom is much vexation, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.” No wonder he later said, “Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know…” This seems to be the same conclusion that Jeffrey Fisher comes up with in his article, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” I will take a look at that later in this post.

Ernest Hemingway was arguably the greatest American writer of all time although some would say William Faulkner or  Mark Twain.  He was very brilliant. Notice in MIDNIGHT IN PARIS the awe Gil Pender has for Hemingway.

Hemingway & Fitzgerald Clip – Midnight in Paris

HEMINGWAY:Hemingway.

GIL PENDER:Hemingway?

HEMINGWAY:You liked my book?

GIL PENDER:Liked? I loved! All your work.

HEMINGWAY:Yes, it was a good book,because it was an honest book,and that’s what war does to men.And there’s nothing fine and noble about dying in the mud,unless you die gracefully,and then it’s not only noble, but brave.

ZELDA FITZGERALD:Did you read my story? What’d you think?

HEMINGWAY:There was some fine writing in it, but it was unfulfilled.-

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Later in the film Gil Pender asked Hemingway to read and criticize his own manuscript and give him some pointers:

GIL PENDER:I’m not gonna be competitive with you.

HEMINGWAY:You’re too self-effacing.It’s not manly.If you’re a writer, declare yourself the best writer!But you’re not, as long as I’m around. Unless you want to put the gloves on and settle it?

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The next morning he tells his girlfriend of his night before with Hemingway and Fitzgerald.

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INEZ: Good thing you didn’t go last night. You would’ve hated the music, and the crowd,but I had fun.What’re you thinking about?You seem like you’re in a daze.

GIL PENDER: If I was to tell you that I spent last night with Ernest Hemingway and Scott Fitzgerald,- what would you say?-

INEZ: Is that what you were dreaming about?Your literary idols?

GIL PENDER:  Yeah, but if I wasn’t dreaming…What does that mean?If I was with Hemingway, and Fitzgerald,and Cole Porter.

INEZ:I’d be thinking brain tumor.

GIL PENDER: And when I tell you,Zelda Fitzgerald is exactlyas we’ve come to know her througheverything we’ve read in books and articles.You know, charming,but all over the map.You know, she does notlike Hemingway one bit.and Scott knows Hemingway is right about her, butyou can see how conflicted he is because he loves her!

INEZ: Come on! Get up! We should quit the idle chatter,because we’re gonna be late.

GIL PENDER: You know, I’m not gonna…I think I’m gonna stay here and do some work on my novel,’cause there’s a little polishing I wanna do.

INEZ: No. You can do that later. Mom said we can use her decorator’s discount. Get up!

Midnight in Paris OST – 03 – Recado

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Midnight in Paris Beat Sheet End of Act One Turn

Parlez-moi d’amour – Midnight in Paris Soundtrack

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Ecclesiastes, Education, and the Pursuit of Meaning

July 08, 2015 | By

This post is adapted from a sermon delivered by Pastor Dave Gustavsen at Jacksonville Chapel on June 7, 2015. A previous sermon by Pastor Gustavsen was published by us this February, and can be found here.

Ecclesiastes is part of the Hebrew wisdom literature. It is traditionally ascribed to King Solomon of Israel, who lived and ruled in the 9th century BC. Yet the questions with which the writer wrestled are still relevant, 3,000 years later. It’s the same stuff that college students, songwriters, philosophers, and lay people still wrestle with today.

There’s a word that’s repeated all through the book—some translations use the word “meaningless”; some translations use the word “vanity”; but the most literal translation of the Hebrew word is “vapor”—like your breath on a winter day. Which means at least two things: First of all, everything in life is very temporary. Like your breath—you see it, and then it’s gone. And then also, it means that just like you can’t grasp your breath, there is a universal tendency to try to grasp and understand life, and yet every time we try to do that, it seems to elude us. So listen for that concept today.

Solomon was passionate to find meaning and happiness in life, and in today’s passage he talks about one way that he tried to do that. So let’s look at this passage. Actually it’s two passages—Ecclesiastes 1:12-18 and chapter 2:12-17. Here’s what Solomon wrote…

12 I, the Teacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem. 13 I applied my mind to study and to explore by wisdom all that is done under the heavens. What a heavy burden God has laid on mankind! 14 I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.

15 What is crooked cannot be straightened;
    what is lacking cannot be counted.

16 I said to myself, “Look, I have increased in wisdom more than anyone who has ruled over Jerusalem before me; I have experienced much of wisdom and knowledge.” 17 Then I applied myself to the understanding of wisdom, and also of madness and folly, but I learned that this, too, is a chasing after the wind.

18 For with much wisdom comes much sorrow;
    the more knowledge, the more grief.

And then in chapter two, he picks up this same theme:

12 Then I turned my thoughts to consider wisdom,
    and also madness and folly.
What more can the king’s successor do
    than what has already been done?
13 I saw that wisdom is better than folly,
    just as light is better than darkness.
14 The wise have eyes in their heads,
    while the fool walks in the darkness;
but I came to realize
    that the same fate overtakes them both.

15 Then I said to myself,

“The fate of the fool will overtake me also.
    What then do I gain by being wise?”
I said to myself,
    “This too is meaningless.”
16 For the wise, like the fool, will not be long remembered;
    the days have already come when both have been forgotten.
Like the fool, the wise too must die!

17 So I hated life, because the work that is done under the sun was grievous to me. All of it is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.

The two main ideas I want to address are  Pursuing Wisdom and Redefining Wisdom.

First: Pursuing Wisdom. In all of the Bible, the person who’s most famous for his wisdom is Solomon. This is his claim to fame! The most famous example of that is in 1 Kings chapter 3. Two young women who lived in the same house and who both had an infant son came to Solomon for help. One of the women claimed that the other woman accidentally smothered her own son while they were sleeping and then switched the two babies to make it look like the living child was hers. The other woman said, “No—the living baby is mine—I did not swap the babies.” And they brought their case before Solomon.

So he called for a sword. And he said, “There’s only one fair solution: we’ll cut the baby in half, and each of you gets half.” And the boy’s true mother said, “No! Give the baby to her, just don’t kill him!” And the other woman said, “No—it shouldn’t belong to either of us. Go ahead and split it.” And Solomon said, “This is the real mother. Because the true mother would never let her child be hurt.” And the case was solved. That’s pretty good, right?

Solomon was a street-smart, savvy person. He was also well-educated because he grew up in the home of a king. The point is that he was highly qualified—probably as qualified as anyone has been—to understand life from an intellectual perspective.

And under this first point of Pursuing Wisdom, he talks about three things. First, Its Scope. In verse 13, Solomon specifically defines the realm, or the scope of his search—look what he says: “I applied my mind to study and to explore by wisdom all that is done under the heavens.” And then in verse 14 he says “I have seen all the things that are done under the sun.” Solomon uses that phrase “under the sun” over and over in this book—and here’s what he’s saying, “I limited my search to what I could see with my eyes and perceive with my senses. So I’m talking about things that are empirically provable.”

And maybe you’re thinking, “Wait a minute—are you telling me King Solomon of Israel didn’t have God as part of his worldview?” And I think the answer is, in Ecclesiastes, he’s talking about a time in his life when he was either doubting deeply (which can happen to anyone); or possibly, he was so confident in his intellectual ability that he tried to make life work without any assistance from God.

And because of that, Solomon is a great example of where our culture is rapidly moving. Did you see the Pew Research report that came out a couple of weeks ago? There is a growing group of Americans who say, “I don’t identify with any faith; I reject the concept of faith.” And many of those same people say that the only source of really reliable knowledge is science. Peter Atkins, who was a chemistry professor at Oxford, represents this view well—he said, “There is no reason to believe that science cannot deal with every aspect of existence.”

So even though Solomon lived well before the age of modern science, this is basically the approach he took. He says, “I’m not going to rely on some outside, supernatural source. I’m going to leverage my mind and my education and the power of human reasoning to find happiness and meaning in life.”

But when he threw himself into that, he found out that approach has its limits. And he expresses that in two ways. The first way is in chapter one verse 15. He says: “What is crooked cannot be straightened…” Which is a very poetic way to say: Life is confusing—it’s crooked; messed up; twisted …and there are questions in this life that even a brilliant person like me can’t get straight. And then he says “what is lacking cannot be counted.” In other words, “This thing I was searching for—meaning in life—was still lacking. And you can’t count or add up or build anything when you’re starting with nothing.

He also expresses the limits of this search in chapter two, verse 16: “For the wise, like the fool, will not be long remembered; the days have already come when both have been forgotten. Like the fool, the wise too must die!” This is depressing, isn’t it? He says, “Look—consider a guy who gets an elite education and devotes himself to lifelong learning and then consider another guy who watches reality television all day, and both of them will wind up the same in the end: dead.” Right? No matter how wise you are, you’re going to die. They’re going to put you in a box or burn you up, and after a few generations no one will even know you existed. Unless they’re doing some genealogical family tree project for school, and my great, great, great grandchildren are going to ask their parents, “Who was this Dave Gustavsen?” And their parents will say, “I have no idea. Just do your homework.”

The most brilliant thinking will not unravel life’s biggest questions, and it won’t help us avoid death.

And therefore, when that’s the realm we function in, here’s how that affects us personally—let’s talk about its End Result. We’re looking at these two passages today, and the last verse in each passage is really a summary of each passage. So look at the last verse in chapter one—verse 18: “For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief.” What a poignant thing to say! In some ways, the more we learn about the world, the more sadness we will have. So if this is true, that means the most brilliant, educated people might be some of the least happy people. It’s like they know too much. Ernest Hemingway once said, “Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.”

And then at the end of the second passage—look at Ecclesiastes 2:17,“So I hated life, because the work that is done under the sun was grievous to me. All of it is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.” Like a vapor that you just can’t grab. And I hated life.

There was a really interesting opinion piece written in the Harvard student newspaper a couple of years ago, in February 2013. And the author, who was an economics major, was trying to figure out why Harvard students have higher-than-average rates of depression and suicide. And his theory was: it’s because they’re so smart. And he quotes something that Woody Allen said: “It’s very hard to keep your spirits up. You’ve got to keep selling yourself a bill of goods, and some people are better at lying to themselves than others. If you face reality too much, it kills you.” And then this Harvard student writes: “My hunch is that being intelligent makes it harder to sell yourself a bill of goods.” Do you see what he’s saying? Less intelligent people can kind of deceive themselves and convince themselves that life has some meaning. But really smart people know better. They look at the universe, and they know in their gut that it has no meaning. And that realization is terrifying and so empty that it can lead to depression, and sometimes to suicide. With much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief.

We have a little terrier/cockapoo mix named Maggie. And Maggie is a great dog, but just really not smart. A couple of years ago, we put in a little doggie door, right next to the sliding glass door that leads to our backyard. So Maggie can go in and out without us having to open a door for her—it’s great. The problem is, about once a day, Maggie stands in front of the sliding glass door and waits to be let out or let in. And her doggie door is right next to it; but she forgets. She’s like Dory—remember on Finding Nemo? Every day she forgets everything she ever knew. And every time we have to say, “Maggie—use your door!” And she tilts her head, like, “What?” And then finally she goes over, like, “Hey—there’s a little dog-size door right here!” So you see my point, right? She’s low on the IQ scale. But…she’s so happy. I mean, she’s always wagging her tail and licking people and chasing squirrels. She loves life!

And there is a part of me—and I think there was a part of Solomon—that thought this: I’d rather be dumb and happy—like my dog—rather than being smart and miserable. Because that way, I just wouldn’t know any better, and I could live out my life in blissful ignorance. So when all my Ivy League friends are worrying about global warming and world peace and the emptiness of life, I would just say, “Whatever, dude. It’s happy hour!”

So maybe that’s the answer: wisdom is overrated; stop thinking so much; and you’ll be happy!

But as tempting as that is, I don’t like that answer. Because in my heart, I know wisdom is not a bad thing. I know knowledge is a good thing. And we Christians need to be very careful here. Because sometimes Christians have a reputation—and sometimes we deserve it—for being anti-intellectual. When we say, “I don’t care what science has discovered; I’m going to stick with the Bible.” That’s a dangerous and foolish attitude. Because if we’re really interested in pursuing truth, we should be grateful for biology and chemistry and physics and all the other beautiful tools for understanding our world. And if we believe Scripture is true, we should have no fear of exploring truth through science and other scholarly pursuits. Our friend, Jennifer Wiseman, is such a great example of this spirit—because she is a brilliant astronomer with an advanced education and all of her learning hasn’t weakened her faith; it’s strengthened it.

If you read Ecclesiastes carefully, Solomon is not saying that knowledge and learning are bad; he’s saying they’re incomplete. So maybe if my wisdom and knowledge are leading me to depression, there’s something I’m missing. So let’s talk about Redefining Wisdom.

Remember the way Solomon defined his search? He limited it to things you can experience and prove with your natural perception, with human reason, under the sun. But something huge happened in history: God chose to enter into our closed system, in the flesh of Jesus Christ. And in the teaching of Jesus, and in the pages of the Bible, we are invited into this larger reality.

Specifically, the New Testament defines wisdom much differently than Solomon did in Ecclesiastes. And the classic place that’s explained is in 1 Corinthians, chapter one, starting in verse 20. Listen to this:

20 Where is the wise person? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22 Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

See, according to the Christian faith, the essence of wisdom is not how much you know; it’s Whom you know. The essence of wisdom is not a philosophical system; it’s a Person. So Paul, who wrote this, says, “We preach Christ crucified.” That’s the center of our message. That’s the core of wisdom. Jesus, giving up his life on the cross. When you see that—when you make that personal and make that the center of your life, you’ll become truly wise.”

Why? What does “Christ crucified” have to do with being wise? That’s a whole sermon series in itself. But let me just give you a few quick thoughts.

When I realize that Jesus came to do that for me, I realize there’s a God who loves me, and so my life must have value and meaning. It’s not just an empty vapor.

When I realize that my problem was so serious that someone needed to die for me, it makes me profoundly humble and aware of my own capacity for darkness.

When I realize that God was satisfied with the death of Jesus in my place, and based on that he forgave me of all the ways I’ve offended him, it makes me quick to forgive people who offend me.

When I realize that Jesus didn’t stay dead, but rose again on the third day, it gives me hope for the future—because even though I will physically die, just like Solomon reminded me, I know that’s not the end.

Do you see how “Christ crucified” has the power to change the way we think about life? And Paul says that message is so simple that it’s offensive to people. It’s sounds foolish and dumb. Some people will say, “That’s it? That’s all you’ve got?” But it’s the essence of real wisdom.

Now I’m going to be completely honest: what I just said, I can’t prove. I can’t scientifically or logically prove that Jesus is the missing piece that we need in our lives. I can show you evidence for the life of Jesus. I can give you historical support for the reliability of the New Testament documents. I can talk about the unlikely growth and survival of the early church within the Roman Empire in the first couple of centuries A.D. I can point to the ways I’ve seen Jesus affect the lives of people I know in extremely positive ways. But I can’t prove it.

Ultimately, there’s a step of faith required. Not a blind leap. But a step of faith.

Some of you have read Yann Martel’s book, Life of Pi. About a boy who survives a shipwreck and winds up on a little life boat with a tiger and some other animals. And in the book, the main character, Pi, says there are really two ways you can look at life. You can view it as a closed system—with no supernatural involvement—everything’s limited to what we can prove and verify. Or you can choose to embrace what he calls “the better story.” You can recognize that life just doesn’t make sense without a larger perspective, where God is behind it and involved in it. That’s the better story. And even though he doesn’t land on a purely Christian view of reality, he makes a valid point: the nature of life is that all of us have to choose which story of reality we’ll embrace.

Now, does that mean that if we embrace Jesus Christ all the mysteries of life will be solved? All our questions will be answered? No. But they look different. I like the way C.S. Lewis said it: “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” When Christ is at the center, life just looks different. You don’t have all the answers, but you have value and self-knowledge and forgiveness and hope, to name just a few things. And best of all, you have a relationship with the living God.

So, please hear the warning of Solomon, even if you have an elite education and an intimidating level of intelligence: apart from God it will not make you happy or satisfied. In fact, it might lead to misery. So if you’re feeling some of that emptiness, maybe it’s God calling you to consider the better story of Jesus Christ, crucified for you.

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Dave Gustavsen is the Senior Pastor at Jacksonville Chapel in Lincoln Park, NJ. He is committed to grace-oriented, gospel-centered ministry that resonates with skeptical, educated people in the New York City area. He blogs atdavegustavsen.com, tweets at @pastordavegus, and is excited about the recent launch of Acts 17, an organization that offers the hope of Christ in the public square by promoting intelligent conversations about key cultural issues. – See more at: http://biologos.org/blogs/archive/ecclesiastes-education-and-the-pursuit-of-meaning#sthash.LW9MN2ea.dpuf

– See more at: http://biologos.org/blogs/archive/ecclesiastes-education-and-the-pursuit-of-meaning#sthash.LW9MN2ea.dpuf

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Midnight in Paris OST – 02 – Je Suis Seul Ce Soir

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When I think about Gil Pender, Woody Allen’s lead character in MIDNIGHT IN PARIS, it reminds me of all the atheists that try their best to come to grips with the fact that without God in the picture more knowledge does bring more worries. Jeffrey Fisher’s article below is a perfect example. Here is a portion of his article below:

“For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.” -Ecclesiastes 1:18

tl;dr – Don’t worry, be happy. Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we’ll die. Or, whatever flavor you choose. Whatever variation of that theme suits you best…

For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to ‘know.’ I’ve wanted to know how things work, where things come from, how they get there, why we’re here, what it all means… and it has lead me to become a non-believer; an atheist. Not because I have anything against religions necessarily, and definitely not because I ‘set out to prove religions wrong’ or any other such thing. I simply wanted to know the truth, and the stories religions told me didn’t make sense. They didn’t provide meaningful answers.

But in finding the truth, I have also found an answer that I have a hard time dealing with. The truth is, there is no meaning. There is no purpose. We’re all just here because certain chemicals under certain circumstances react to each other in ways that ultimately leads to once inanimate objects thinking about how they’re thinking. Of course, a higher power could have pushed that original domino but then who created that higher power that pushed that first domino? There are no answers there, and I don’t think it really matters either way.

Ernest Hemingway said, “Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.” I’m not claiming to be ‘intelligent’ by any means (there are some smart people out there!), but I do believe that my understanding of the universe is correct in the sense that life has no ultimate meaning; thereby knowing this fact elicits a level of inherit hopelessness and/or depression. I’ve been through much inner turmoil for many years now as I’ve tried to find ways of coping with that knowledge. I’ve been forced, as many others have before me, to find my own meaning and purpose in this meaningless existence – which I have. My meaning basically boils down to being a good friend and neighbor, husband and father; to love as much as I can and to be as happy as possible in this limited time I have here on this tiny ball of dust in the vastness of eternity. Easier said than done…

I’ve only recently began to really devote substantial time and energy into the idea of ‘being happy.’ It sounds counter-intuitive right? I mean, why would you have to work to be happy? Why not just be happy? Well, for me I can’t, so I have to work at it. I’ve begun to really try and let things go, to not worry so much about what I’m not accomplishing, to accept the fact that I do only have a limited time here and that fretting about what standards I’m not living up to shouldn’t count. We should only compare ourselves to ourselves, not others, and improve ourselves today from what we were yesterday. And don’t forget about the Joneses, be happy for the Joneses! They are finding their way through this thing just like you and me. We are not to judge…

In doing this, I’ve been able to let a lot of little things go that would normally get to me on a regular basis. You know when you’re an adult when you can be right without the other person being wrong. I’m still working on that, but I’m getting better. Walking away from certain situations can be very foreign and uncomfortable when you first try but after a while, a deeper fulfillment can emerge from such confrontations that you could never get from engaging in a winnerless battle….

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Let me just take a few moments and challenge the atheists to come to grips to several facts.

1. Woody Allen correctly noted in his movie CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS that without God in the picture there is no good reason why Judah should not have his troublesome mistress killed since his brother was a mob hit man and Judah could get away with it.

2.  Francis Schaeffer in his book “HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE?” stated that according to Alfred North Whitehead and J. Robert Oppenheimer, both renowned philosophers and scientists of our era (but not Christians themselves), modern science was born out of the Christian world view.

3. According to Romans 1 there is no such thing as an atheist but all people know in their hearts that God exists.

4. The song DUST IN THE WIND released by KANSAS in 1978 correctly notes humanist man’s nihilistic outlook on life and 3 years later Kerry Livgren and Dave Hope from KANSAS admitted the message of the song was from ECCLESIASTES and they both put their faith in Christ.

Livgren wrote:

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.”

5. There is evidence that indicates the Bible is accurate and can be trusted. Here are some of the posts I have done in the past on the subject: 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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Midnight in Paris OST – 16 – Le Parc De Plaisir

Ernest Hemingway Quotes: On His Birthday, 14 Memorable Sayings, Photos To Remember Author Born In 1898

RTXJ2TO
Ernest Hemingway (center) posed with his family in this file photo from 1918 at his boyhood home at 339 N. Oak Park Place Ave in Oak Park, Illinois. The Hemingway family with Ernest are (from left to right) his father, Dr. Clarence; his mother, Mrs. Grace, Ernest; Madeliane; Ursula; Marcelline and Leicester and Carol in front.PHOTO: REUTERS

Nobel Prize-winning author Ernest Hemingway was born exactly 116 years ago on Tuesday. The author known for his terse, matter-of-fact prose was born July 21, 1899 in Oak Park, Illinois.

Hemingway — who served as a volunteer ambulance driver for Italy on the front lines of World War I — began his career as a journalist and eventually ventured into fiction, often addressing war in his writing. Hemingway also often wrote detailed descriptions of hunting, bull-fighting, fishing and eating/drinking.

He wrote the classic novels “The Sun Also Rises,” “A Farewell to Arms” and “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” and later wrote the popular short story, “The Old Man and the Sea.” Along with his successful novels, Hemingway also wrote a number of short stories that were well-received, such as “Hills Like White Elephants,” “A Clean Well-Lighted Place,” and a series about a character named Nick Adams.

Hemingway, also known for his hard-drinking and bullish nature, was an adventurer who traveled about the world. He suffered in his later years from a number of injuries and mental health struggles. Hemingway took his own life in Ketchum, Idaho on July 2, 1961.

His writing has remained popular, punctuated by simple sentences and a direct style often referenced and imitated. His story structure, in which he often added to the story through the omission of key details, has been praised, as well. Below are pictures of the writer and quotes from Hemingway on the anniversary of his birthday. The quotes, which were either spoken or written, were compiled from Brainy Quote and Goodreads.

RTXJ2TPErnest Hemingway posed with fish that he caught in Wallon Lake in Michigan, 1916.PHOTO: REUTERS

1. “Courage is grace under pressure.”

2. “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”

3. “There is no friend as loyal as a book.”

4. “Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.”

5. “All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.”

6. “Every day is a new day. It is better to be lucky. But I would rather be exact. Then when luck comes you are ready.”

7. “Courage is grace under pressure.”

8. “If people bring so much courage to this world the world has to kill them to break them, so of course it kills them. The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry.”

9. “If a writer knows enough about what he is writing about, he may omit things that he knows. The dignity of movement of an iceberg is due to only one ninth of it being above water.”

10. “Never confuse movement with action.”

11. “Every man’s life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another.”

12. “There’s no one thing that’s true. It’s all true.”

13. “Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.”

14. “But man is not made for defeat. A man can be destroyed but not defeated.”

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Gertrude Stein with Jack “Bumby” Hemingway, Paris

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Hemingway en 1928 devant la librairie Shakespeare and Company,

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Ernest Hemingway compared Paris to a moveable feast because no matter what time it is, Paris is always the magnificent city of lights.

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This series deals with the Book of Ecclesiastes and Woody Allen films.  The first post  dealt with MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT and it dealt with the fact that in the Book of Ecclesiastes Solomon does contend like Hobbes  and Stanley that life is “nasty, brutish and short” and as a result has no meaning UNDER THE SUN.

The movie MIDNIGHT IN PARIS offers many of the same themes we see in Ecclesiastes. The second post looked at the question: WAS THERE EVER A GOLDEN AGE AND DID THE MOST TALENTED UNIVERSAL MEN OF THAT TIME FIND TRUE SATISFACTION DURING IT?

In the third post in this series we discover in Ecclesiastes that man UNDER THE SUN finds himself caught in the never ending cycle of birth and death. The SURREALISTS make a leap into the area of nonreason in order to get out of this cycle and that is why the scene in MIDNIGHT IN PARIS with Salvador Dali, Man Ray, and Luis Bunuel works so well!!!! These surrealists look to the area of their dreams to find a meaning for their lives and their break with reality is  only because they know that they can’t find a rational meaning in life without God in the picture.

The fourth post looks at the solution of WINE, WOMEN AND SONG and the fifth and sixth posts look at the solution T.S.Eliot found in the Christian Faith and how he left his fragmented message of pessimism behind. In the seventh post the SURREALISTS say that time and chance is all we have but how can that explain love or art and the hunger for God? The eighth  post looks at the subject of DEATH both in Ecclesiastes and MIDNIGHT IN PARIS. In the ninth post we look at the nihilistic worldview of Woody Allen and why he keeps putting suicides into his films.

In the tenth post I show how Woody Allen pokes fun at the brilliant thinkers of this world and how King Solomon did the same thing 3000 years ago. In the eleventh post I point out how many of Woody Allen’s liberal political views come a lack of understanding of the sinful nature of man and where it originated. In the twelfth post I look at the mannishness of man and vacuum in his heart that can only be satisfied by a relationship with God.

In the thirteenth post we look at the life of Ernest Hemingway as pictured in MIDNIGHT AND PARIS and relate it to the change of outlook he had on life as the years passed. In the fourteenth post we look at Hemingway’s idea of Paris being a movable  feast. The fifteenth and sixteenth posts both compare Hemingway’s statement, “Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know…”  with Ecclesiastes 2:18 “For in much wisdom is much vexation, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.”

Related posts:

A list of the most viewed posts on the historical characters mentioned in the movie “Midnight in Paris”

Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 38,Alcoholism and great writers and artists)

The characters referenced in Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 36, Alice B. Toklas, Woody Allen on the meaning of life)

Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 35, Recap of historical figures, Notre Dame Cathedral and Cult of Reason)

The characters referenced in Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 34, Simone de Beauvoir)

The characters referenced in Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 33,Cezanne)

The characters referenced in Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 32, Jean-Paul Sartre)

The characters referenced in Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 31, Jean Cocteau)

The characters referenced in Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 30, Albert Camus)

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 29, Pablo Picasso)

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 8, Henri Toulouse Lautrec)

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 7 Paul Gauguin)

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 6 Gertrude Stein)

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 5 Juan Belmonte)

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 4 Ernest Hemingway)

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 3 Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald)

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 2 Cole Porter)

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 1 William Faulkner)

MUSIC MONDAY Cole Porter “Let’s Do it, Let’s Fall in Love” in the movie MIDNIGHT IN PARIS

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FRIEDMAN FRIDAY Taxmageddon and Obamacare: What Would Milton Friedman Say? Rich Tucker / @RichardBTucker / July 31, 2012

Milton Friedman on Medical Care (Full Lecture)

Published on Feb 2, 2014

Taxmageddon and Obamacare: What Would Milton Friedman Say?

“I am in favor of cutting taxes under any circumstances and for any excuse, for any reason, whenever it’s possible,” economist Milton Friedman once said. So the Nobel Prize winner would undoubtedly be concerned this year asTaxmageddon, the one-year $494 billion tax increase that is poised to strike the economy in January approaches.

Friedman’s opposition to taxes was based on the idea that governments were inefficient in everything they did. “If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in five years there’d be a shortage of sand,” he quipped. By limiting government resources, he hoped to limit the size and scope of government.

Instead, the coming of Taxmageddon would make the federal government even more intrusive and influential. As such, it’s already slowing job creation, generating economic uncertainty, and reducing productive investment.

Friedman would also warn us about the dangers of Obamacare.

“The great achievements of civilization have not come from government bureaus,” he explained. “There is no alternative way so far discovered at improving the lot of ordinary people that can hold a candle to the productive activities that are unleashed by a free enterprise system.”

Yet Obamacare takes our health care system in exactly the wrong direction. Instead of putting people in charge of their own health care decisions, “it imposes several costly new mandates and restrictions on health insurers and providers that will raise health care costs and therefore premiums.” Further,“Obamacare raises taxes and adds 17 new taxes or penalties that will affect all Americans.”

Friedman warned that government involvement would lead to socialized medicine and that it would be “very much against the interests of patients, of physicians, and of other health care personnel.” Why? Because “you invariably get lower quality and a lower quantity of medical care.”

In one of his most famous quotes, Friedman pointed out that “there’s no free lunch.” Every government “benefit” is paid for by somebody.

Friedman would have been 100 years old today. His wise counsel is missed, but the lessons he taught apply just as much to today’s debates as they did during his lifetime.

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I have written about Obamacare over and over again on this blog. Dan Mitchell has shared many funny cartoons about Obamacare too. Milton Friedman has spoken out about government healthcare many times in the past and his film series FREE TO CHOOSE is on You Tube and I encourage you to watch it. It is clear that the federal government debt is growing so much that it is endangering us because if things keep going like they are now we will not have any money left for the national defense because we are so far in debt as a nation.

We have been spending so much on our welfare state through food stamps and other programs that I am worrying that many of our citizens are becoming more dependent on government and in many cases they are losing their incentive to work hard because of the welfare trap the government has put in place. Other nations in Europe have gone down this road and we see what mess this has gotten them in. People really are losing their faith in big government and they want more liberty back. It seems to me we have to get back to the founding  principles that made our country great.  We also need to realize that a big government will encourage waste and corruption. Also raising taxes on the job creators is a very bad idea too. The Laffer Curve clearly demonstrates that when the tax rates are raised many individuals will move their investments to places where they will not get taxed as much.

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 “The Anatomy of a Crisis” and “What is wrong with our schools?”  and “Created Equal”  and  From Cradle to Grave, and – Power of the Market.

Milton Friedman – Health Care Reform (1992) pt 1/4

Milton Friedman – Health Care Reform (1992) pt 2/4

Milton Friedman – Health Care Reform (1992) pt 3/4

Milton Friedman – Health Care Reform (1992) pt 4/4

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Dan Mitchell on Obamacare Supreme Court Decision: “I’m disgusted that the Supreme Court once again has decided to put politics above the Constitution!” (Includes lots of videos and cartoons)

__________ Enzi statement on the Supreme Court’s King Vs. Burwell decision 5 Takeaways From Today’s Supreme Court Ruling on Obamacare Wicker Comments on King v Burwell Supreme Court Decision Senator Lankford Discusses the King v. Burwell Supreme Court Decision Congressman Steve King Response to SCOTUS King v. Burwell Ruling Obamacare and the Odious Anti-Constitutionalism of […]

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The Region – Banking and Policy Issues Magazine – Interview with Milton Friedman June 1992

______ Milton Friedman’s Free to Choose (1980), episode 3 – Anatomy of a Crisis. part 1 The Region – Banking and Policy Issues Magazine – Interview with Milton Friedman June 1992 In his new book, Money Mischief, economist Milton Friedman compares inflation to alcoholism; blames the rise of Chinese communism, in large part, on an […]

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______ Milton Friedman – A Conversation On Minimum Wage Milton Friedman Interview Milton Friedman is Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of Chicago and Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution.Dr. Friedman received the 1976 Nobel Memorial Prize for Economic Science. Member of the research staff of the National Bureau of Economic Research from 1937 […]

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_______ José Niño José Niño is a graduate student based in Santiago, Chile. A citizen of the world, he has lived in Venezuela, Colombia, and the United States. He is currently an international research analyst with the Acton Circle of Chile. Follow@JoseAlNino. 40 Years Later: Milton Friedman’s Legacy in Chile “Chilean Miracle” Struck a Blow […]

FRIEDMAN FRIDAY Milton Friedman came up with the NEGATIVE INCOME TAX

____ Milton Friedman – The Negative Income Tax The Conservative Case for a Guaranteed Basic Income NOAH GORDON AUG 6, 2014 Creating a wage floor is an effective way to fight poverty—and it would reduce government spending and intrusion. Swiss backers of a minimum income spread out coins in Bern. Denis Balibouse/Reuters Last week, my […]

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A great speech below: Here are the myths:Robber Baron Myth, The Cause of Great Depression Myth, The Demand for Government Service Myth, The Free Lunch Smith, and The Robin Hood Myth. 1) the Robber Baron Myth, 2) the Great Depression Myth, 3) the Demand for Government Service Myth, 4) the Free Lunch Myth, and 5) […]

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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE PART 96 THE BEATLES (Breaking down the song “Eleanor Rigby” Part B and the issue of LONELINESS) Featured artist is Robert Morris

 

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The song ELEANOR RIGBY was a huge hit because it connected so well with “all the lonely people.” The line that probably best summed up how many people felt was: “All the lonely people, Where do they all come from? All the lonely people, Where do they all belong?”

Francis Schaeffer believed in engaging the secular society and attempting to answer the big questions of life from a Biblical perspective. However, some Christians opposed this approach. In Robert M. Price’s book BEYOND BORN AGAIN we read the reason that many Christians had avoided Beatles’ music:

Bob Larson warns, ” Lyrical content which is directly opposed to Biblical standards and accepted Christian behavior should definitely be avoided. For teenagers listening to the Beatles sing NOWHERE MAN or ELEANOR RIGBY would stop to realize the philosophical implications of the lyrics of these sayings. Nevertheless, the philosophical outlook conveyed will influence their thoughts.”

Eleanor Rigby-The Beatles

| On Apr 05, 2013

Jake Meador writes on Edith (and Francis) Schaeffer over at Mere Orthodoxy.

Without the Schaeffers, I sincerely wonder if we’d have magazines like Relevant and Cardus or journals like Books & Culture or the Mars Hill Audio Journal. I know that the nonprofit Ransom Fellowship, run by two very dear friends of mine, would not exist as it does. And even as some of the work they inspired has fallen out of favor in recent years (most notably the Christian worldview movement spearheaded by Charles Colson and Nancy Pearcey), I suspect its critics would not be nearly so well equipped to address the movement’s shortcomings were it not for the trailblazing work of the Schaeffers. After all, the worldview movement’s most astute critic, Jamie Smith, is drawing from the same (reformed) theological well as the Schaeffers.

The Schaeffers made it possible in a way it had not been before to be thoughtfully engaged with (and even delighted by) much of popular culture while still holding to Christian orthodoxy. That is a tremendous accomplishment when one considers that today’s evangelicals are, by and large, the theological descendants of fundamentalists who emphasized separation from the world. When Francis Schaeffer first came to Wheaton in 1968, he spoke on the music of The Rolling Stones and THE BEATLES and Pink Floyd. He talked about the films of Bergman and Antonioni–and at a time when Wheaton’s honor code forbade students from seeing any movies at all! That the Schaeffers accomplished such an enormous cultural work while also modeling a tremendously generous, sacrificial hospitality at L’Abri that imaged the Gospel to thousands of guests over nearly 30 years is nothing short of remarkable.

(Francis Schaeffer pictured below)

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“Eleanor Rigby” is a song about loneliness and depression representing a departure from the Beatles’ early pop love songs.

This is an early example of the Beatles taking risks and dabbling in other genres; in this particular its baroque pop, as made evident by the string arrangements. During the Beatles’ experimental phase, their producer George Martin experimented with studio techniques to satiate the Beatles’ artistic desires. To achieve the aggressive punchy sound of the strings, Martin had the microphones set up really close to the instruments, much to the chagrin of the session players, who were not used to such a unique set-up.

Eleanor Rigby – PAUL McCARTNEY

The Beatles Cartoon – Eleanor Rigby.

Uploaded on Feb 21, 2012

Ah, look at all the lonely people
Ah, look at all the lonely people

Eleanor Rigby picks up the rice in the church where a
wedding has been
Lives in a dream
Waits at the window, wearing the face that she keeps
in a jar by the door
Who is it for?

All the lonely people
Where do they all come from?
All the lonely people
Where do they all belong?

Father McKenzie writing the words of a sermon that
no one will hear
No one comes near
Look at him working, darning his socks in the night
when there’s nobody there
What does he care?

All the lonely people
Where do they all come from?
All the lonely people
Where do they all belong?

Ah, look at all the lonely people
Ah, look at all the lonely people

Eleanor Rigby died in the church and was buried along with her name
Nobody came
Father McKenzie wiping the dirt from his hands as he walks from the grave
No one was saved

All the lonely people (Ah, look at all the lonely people)
Where do they all come from?
All the lonely people (Ah, look at all the lonely people)
Where do they all belong?

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Eleanor Rigby’s despair reminds me of another song called  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.

I close my eyes
Only for a moment and the moment’s gone
All my dreams
Pass before my eyes with curiosity

Dust in the wind
All they are is dust in the wind

Same old song
Just a drop of water in an endless sea
All we do
Crumbles to the ground, though we refuse to see

Now don’t hang on
Nothin’ last forever but the earth and sky
It slips away
And all your money won’t another minute buy

Dust in the wind
All we are is dust in the wind
(All we are is dust in the wind)

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.

(Kerry Livgren)

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.

(Dave Hope)

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

 

You can hear DAVE HOPE and Kerry Livgren’s stories from this youtube link:

(part 1 ten minutes)

(part 2 ten minutes)

Kansas – Dust in the Wind (Official Video)

Help for the Suicidal

God offers you true, living hope–not a false hope based on your death.
By David Powlison

WHAT YOU NEED TO DO

It’s easy to see the risk factors for suicide—depression, suffering, disillusioning experiences, failure—but there are also ways to get your life back on track by building protective factors into your life.

Ask for help

How do you get the living hope that God offers you in Jesus? By asking. Jesus said, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened” (Matthew 7:7-8).

Suicide operates in a world of death, despair, and aloneness. Jesus Christ creates a world of life, hope, and community. Ask God for help, and keep on asking. Don’t stop asking. You need Him to fill you every day with the hope of the resurrection.

At the same time you are asking God for help, tell other people about your struggle with hopelessness. God uses His people to bring life, light, and hope. Suicide, by definition, happens when someone is all alone. Getting in relationship with wise, caring people will protect you from despair and acting out of despair.

But what if you are bereaved and alone? If you know Jesus, you still have a family—His family is your family. Become part of a community of other Christians. Look for a church where Jesus is at the center of teaching and worship. Get in relationship with people who can help you, but don’t stop with getting help. Find people to love, serve, and give to. Even if your life has been stripped barren by lost relationships, God can and will fill your life with helpful and healing relationships.

Grow in godly life skills

Another protective factor is to grow in godly living. Many of the reasons for despair come from not living a godly, fruitful life. You need to learn the skills that make godly living possible. What are some of those skills?

    • Conflict resolution. Learn to problem-solve by entering into human difficulties and growing through them. (See Ask the Christian Counselor article, “Fighting the Right Way.”)
    • Seek and grant forgiveness. Hopeless thinking is often the result of guilt and bitterness.
    • Learn to give to others. Suicide is a selfish act. It’s a lie that others will be better off without you. Work to replace your faulty thinking with reaching out to others who are also struggling. Take what you have learned in this article and pass it on to at least one other person. Whatever hope God gives you, give to someone who is struggling with despair.

Live for God

When you live for God, you have genuine meaning in your life. This purpose is far bigger than your suffering, your failures, the death of your dreams, and the disillusionment of your hopes. Living by faith in God for His purposes will protect you from suicidal and despairing thoughts. God wants to use your personality, your skills, your life situation, and even your struggle with despair to bring hope to others.

He has already prepared good works for you to do. Paul says, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10). As you step into the good works God has prepared for you—you will find that meaning, purpose, and joy.

 

Eleanor Rigby

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For other uses, see Eleanor Rigby (disambiguation).
“Eleanor Rigby”

US picture sleeve
Single by The Beatles
from the album Revolver
A-side Yellow Submarine
Released 5 August 1966
Format 7″
Recorded 28–29 April and 6 June 1966,
EMI Studios, London
Genre Baroque pop[1]
Length 2:08
Label
Writer(s) Lennon–McCartney
Producer(s) George Martin
The Beatles singles chronology
Paperback Writer
(1966)
Eleanor Rigby” / “Yellow Submarine
(1966)
Strawberry Fields Forever” / “Penny Lane
(1967)
Revolver track listing
Music sample
MENU
0:00

Eleanor Rigby is a song by the Beatles, released on the 1966 albumRevolver and as a 45 rpm single. It was written by Paul McCartney, and credited to Lennon–McCartney.[2]

The song continued the transformation of the Beatles from a mainly rock and roll / pop-oriented act to a more experimental, studio-based band. With a double string quartet arrangement by George Martin and striking lyrics about loneliness, “Eleanor Rigby” broke sharply with popular music conventions, both musically and lyrically.[3]Richie Unterberger of Allmusic cites the band’s “singing about the neglected concerns and fates of the elderly” on the song as “just one example of why the Beatles’ appeal reached so far beyond the traditional rock audience”.[4] In 1987, American poet Allen Ginsberg stated that when they sang “look at all the lonely people,” the Beatles were referring to their fans, specifically the screaming members of their live audiences.

Composition[edit]

A promotional poster for the single from the UK.

Paul McCartney came up with the melody of “Eleanor Rigby” as he experimented with his piano. However, the original name of the protagonist that he chose was not Eleanor Rigby but Miss Daisy Hawkins.[5] The singer-composer Donovan reported that he heard McCartney play it to him before it was finished, with completely different lyrics.[6] In 1966, McCartney recalled how he got the idea for his song:

I was sitting at the piano when I thought of it. The first few bars just came to me, and I got this name in my head … “Daisy Hawkins picks up the rice in the church”. I don’t know why. I couldn’t think of much more so I put it away for a day. Then the name Father McCartney came to me, and all the lonely people. But I thought that people would think it was supposed to be about my Dad sitting knitting his socks. Dad’s a happy lad. So I went through the telephone book and I got the name “McKenzie”.[7]

Others believe that “Father McKenzie” refers to “Father” Tommy McKenzie, who was the compere at Northwich Memorial Hall.[8][9]

McCartney said he came up with the name “Eleanor” from actress Eleanor Bron, who had starred with the Beatles in the film Help!. “Rigby” came from the name of a store in Bristol, “Rigby & Evens Ltd, Wine & Spirit Shippers”, which he noticed while seeing his girlfriend of the time, Jane Asher, act in The Happiest Days of Your Life. He recalled in 1984, “I just liked the name. I was looking for a name that sounded natural. ‘Eleanor Rigby’ sounded natural.” However, it has been pointed out that the graveyard of St Peter’s Church in Liverpool, where John Lennon and Paul McCartney first met at the Woolton Village garden fete in the afternoon of 6 July 1957, contains the gravestone of an individual called Eleanor Rigby. Paul McCartney has conceded he may have been subconsciously influenced by the name on the gravestone.[10] The real Eleanor Rigby lived a lonely life similar to that of the woman in the song.[11]

McCartney wrote the first verse by himself, and the Beatles finished the song in the music room of John Lennon’s home at Kenwood. John Lennon, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, and their friend Pete Shotton all listened to McCartney play his song through and contributed ideas. Harrison came up with the “Ah, look at all the lonely people” hook. Starr contributed the line “writing the words of a sermon that no one will hear ” and suggested making “Father McCartney” darn his socks, which McCartney liked. It was then that Shotton suggested that McCartney change the name of the priest, in case listeners mistook the fictional character in the song for McCartney’s own father.[12]

The song is often described as a lament for lonely people[13] or a commentary on post-war life in Britain.[14][15]

McCartney could not decide how to end the song, and Shotton finally suggested that the two lonely people come together too late as Father McKenzie conducts Eleanor Rigby’s funeral. At the time, Lennon rejected the idea out of hand, but McCartney said nothing and used the idea to finish off the song, later acknowledging Shotton’s help.[12] The Rolling Stones’ song “Paint It Black” with its oblique reference to a funeral “a line of cars … all painted black” was in the charts when the recording of “Eleanor Rigby” was being completed.[16]

Lennon was quoted in 1971 as having said that he “wrote a good half of the lyrics or more”[17] and in 1980 claimed that he wrote all but the first verse,[18] but Shotton (who was Lennon’s childhood friend) remembered Lennon’s contribution as being “absolutely nil”.[19] McCartney said that “John helped me on a few words but I’d put it down 80–20 to me, something like that.”[20]

Harmony[edit]

The song is a prominent example of mode mixture, specifically between the Aeolian mode, also known as natural minor, and the Dorian mode. Set in E minor, the song is based on the chord progression Em-C, typical of the Aeolian mode and utilising notes ♭3, ♭6, and 7 in this scale. The lead melody, however, is taken primarily from the somewhat lighter Dorian mode, a minor scale with sharpened sixth degree.[21] “Eleanor Rigby” opens with a C-major vocal harmony (“Aah, look at all …”), before shifting to E-minor (on “lonely people”). The Aeolian C-natural note returns later in the verse on the word “dre-eam” (C-B) as the C chord resolves to the tonic Em, giving an urgency to the melody’s mood.

The Dorian mode appears with the C# note (6 in the Em scale) at the beginning of the phrase “in the church”. The chorus beginning “All the lonely people” involves the viola in a chromatic descent to the 5th; from 7 (D natural on “All the lonely peo-“) to 6 (C on “-ple”) to 6 (C on “they) to 5 (B on “from”). This is said to “add an air of inevitability to the flow of the music (and perhaps to the plight of the characters in the song)”.[22]

Historical artefacts[edit]

The gravestone of the “real” Rigby, St. Peter’s Parish Church, Woolton, August 2008

In the 1980s, a grave of an Eleanor Rigby was “discovered” in the graveyard of St. Peter’s Parish Church in Woolton, Liverpool, and a few yards away from that, another tombstone with the last name “McKenzie” scrawled across it.[23][24] During their teenage years, McCartney and Lennon spent time sunbathing there, within earshot of where the two had met for the first time during a fete in 1957. Many years later, McCartney stated that the strange coincidence between reality and the lyrics could be a product of his subconscious (cryptomnesia), rather than being a meaningless fluke.[23]

An actual Eleanor Rigby was born in 1895 and lived in Liverpool, possibly in the suburb of Woolton, where she married a man named Thomas Woods. She died on 10 October 1939 at age 44. Regardless of whether this Eleanor was the inspiration for the song or not, her tombstone has become a landmark to Beatles fans visiting Liverpool. A digitised version was added to the 1995 music video for the Beatles’ reunion song “Free as a Bird“.

In June 1990, McCartney donated to Sunbeams Music Trust[25] a document dating from 1911 which had been signed by the 16-year-old Eleanor Rigby; this instantly attracted significant international interest from collectors because of the coincidental significance and provenance of the document.[26] The nearly 100-year-old document was sold at auction in November 2008 for £115,000 ($250,000).[27] The Daily Telegraph reported that the uncovered document “is a 97-year-old salary register from Liverpool City Hospital”. The name “E. Rigby” is printed on the register, and she is identified as a scullery maid.

Recording[edit]

Statue of Eleanor Rigby in Stanley Street, Liverpool. A plaque to the right describes it as “Dedicated to All the Lonely People

“Eleanor Rigby” does not have a standard pop backing. None of the Beatles played instruments on it, though John Lennon and George Harrison did contribute harmony vocals.[28] Like the earlier song “Yesterday“, “Eleanor Rigby” employs a classical string ensemble—in this case an octet of studio musicians, comprising four violins, two cellos, and two violas, all performing a score composed by producer George Martin.[28] Where “Yesterday” is played legato, “Eleanor Rigby” is played mainly in staccato chords with melodic embellishments. For the most part, the instruments “double up”—that is, they serve as a single string quartet but with two instruments playing each of the four parts. Microphones were placed close to the instruments to produce a more vivid and raw sound; George Martin recorded two versions, one with and one without vibrato, the latter of which was used. McCartney’s choice of a string backing may have been influenced by his interest in the composer Antonio Vivaldi, who wrote extensively for string instruments (notably “the Four Seasons“). Lennon recalled in 1980 that “Eleanor Rigby” was “Paul’s baby, and I helped with the education of the child … The violin backing was Paul’s idea. Jane Asher had turned him on to Vivaldi, and it was very good.”[29] The octet was recorded on 28 April 1966, in Studio 2 at Abbey Road Studios; it was completed in Studio 3 on 29 April and on 6 June. Take 15 was selected as the master.[30]

George Martin, in his autobiography All You Need Is Ears, takes credit for combining two of the vocal parts—”Ah! look at all the lonely people” and “All the lonely people”—having noticed that they would work together contrapuntally. He cited the influence of Bernard Herrmann‘s work on his string scoring. (Originally he cited the score for the film Fahrenheit 451,[31] but this was a mistake as the film was not released until several months after the recording; Martin later stated he was thinking of Herrmann’s score for Psycho.)[32]

The original stereo mix had Paul’s voice only in the right channel during the verses, with the string octet mixed to one channel, while the mono single and mono LP featured a more balanced mix. On the Yellow Submarine Songtrack and Love versions, McCartney’s voice is centred and the string octet appears in stereo, creating a modern-sounding mix.

Releases[edit]

The “Eleanor Rigby”/”Yellow Submarine” single issued byParlophone in the UK. “Eleanor Rigby” stayed at #1 for four weeks on the British pop charts.

Simultaneously released on 5 August 1966 on both the album Revolver and on a double A-side single with “Yellow Submarine” on Parlophone in the United Kingdom and Capitol in the United States,[33] “Eleanor Rigby” spent four weeks at number one on the British charts,[28] but in America it only reached the eleventh spot.[34]

The song was nominated for three Grammys and won the 1966 Grammy for Best Contemporary (R&R) Vocal Performance, Male or Female for McCartney. Thirty years later, a stereo remix of George Martin’s isolated string arrangement (without the vocal) was released on the Beatles’ Anthology 2. A decade after that, a remixed version of the track was included in the 2006 album Love.

It is the second song to appear in the Beatles’ 1968 animated film Yellow Submarine. The first is “Yellow Submarine”; it and “Eleanor Rigby” are the only songs in the film which the animated Beatles are not seen to be singing. “Eleanor Rigby” is introduced just before the Liverpool sequence of the film; its poignancy ties in quite well with Ringo Starr (the first member of the group to encounter the submarine), who is represented as quietly bored and depressed. “Compared with my life, Eleanor Rigby’s was a gay, mad world.”

In 1984, a re-interpretation of the song was included in the film and album Give My Regards to Broad Street, written by and starring McCartney. It segues into a symphonic extension, “Eleanor’s Dream.”

A fully remixed stereo version of the original “Eleanor Rigby” song was issued in 1999 on the Yellow Submarine Songtrack, with some minor fixes to the vocals.

Significance[edit]

The “Eleanor Rigby”/”Yellow Submarine” single from Japan. The photo shows The Beatles on stage in Tokyo in 1966.

“Eleanor Rigby” was important in the Beatles’ evolution from a pop, live-performance band to a more experimental, studio-orientated band, though the track contains little studio trickery. In a 1967 interview, Pete Townshend of The Who commented, “I think ‘Eleanor Rigby’ was a very important musical move forward. It certainly inspired me to write and listen to things in that vein.”[35]

Though “Eleanor Rigby” was far from the first pop song to deal with death and loneliness, according to Ian MacDonald it “came as quite a shock to pop listeners in 1966”.[28] It took a bleak message of depression and desolation, written by a famous pop band, with a sombre, almost funeral-like backing, to the number one spot of the pop charts.[28] The bleak lyrics were not the Beatles’ first deviation from love songs, but were some of the most explicit.

In some reference books on classical music, “Eleanor Rigby” is included and considered comparable to art songs (lieder). Classical and theatrical composer Howard Goodall said that the Beatles’ works are “a stunning roll-call of sublime melodies that perhaps only Mozart can match in European musical history” and that they “almost single-handedly rescued the Western musical system” from the “plague years of the avant-garde“. About “Eleanor Rigby”, he said it is “an urban version of a tragic ballad in the Dorian mode“.[36]

Celebrated songwriter Jerry Leiber said: “The Beatles are second to none in all departments. I don’t think there has ever been a better song written than ‘Eleanor Rigby’.”[37]

Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees once said that their 1969 song “Melody Fair” was influenced by “Eleanor Rigby”[38]

In 2004, this song was ranked number 138 on Rolling Stone‍ ’​s list of “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time“.[39]

Personnel[edit]

Personnel per Ian MacDonald[28]

Cover versions[edit]

Studio versions[edit]

The following artists have recorded “Eleanor Rigby” in a variety of styles, at least 62 released on albums by one count:[40]

Live performances[edit]

Samples[edit]

  • In 1993, Marky Mark together with Prince Ital Joe sampled “Eleanor Rigby” for his single “Happy People” which became a Top 10 hit in Germany and Finland, reaching Top 40 in Austria, Sweden and Switzerland.
  • In 1994, Irish singer Sinéad O’Connor used the lyrics of the song’s chorus for her song “Famine“, which appears on Universal Mother. The song was later remixed and released as a single in 1995, and was a Top 40 UK hit.
  • In 2000, Dru Hill frontman Sisqo sampled the “Eleanor Rigby” song on the hit single “Thong Song“.
  • In 2004, Brooklyn rapper Talib Kweli released “Lonely People”, using “Eleanor Rigby” as the main sample.
  • In 2006, mashup artist team9 created a remix of “Eleanor Rigby” using Queens of the Stone Age‘s “In My Head”.
  • In 2009, a beat produced by J-Dilla that sampled the live “Eleanor Rigby” cover by The Four Tops was used for Raekwon‘s “House of the Flying Daggers”, three years after J-Dilla’s death in 2006.
  • In 2009, rapper Game (rapper) sampled this song for his single “Dope Boys”.
  • In 2010, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra used the opening harmony as a guitar riff in their live performances of the “Gutter Ballet Medley,” which also features a cover version of The Beatles’ “Help!“.
  • Immortal Technique “The Martyr” (from the compilation album, The Martyr) uses an interpolation of the string backing from “Eleanor Rigby”.
  • In 2013, No’Side mixed “Eleanor Rigby” with the instrumental and hook of Bob Marley‘s Sun is Shining, dubbing it Eleanor Rigby is Shining.

Charts[edit]

Chart (1966) Peak
position
UK Singles Chart 1
Canadian CHUM Chart 1
US Billboard Hot 100 11
Chart (1986) Peak
position
UK Singles Chart 63
  • UK, starting 11 August 1966: 8-1-1-1-1-3-5-9-18-26-30-33-42
  • UK, starting 30 August 1986: 63-81

References[edit]

Categories:

__________________

Robert Morris is featured artist today!!

_____

Great article 

Robert Morris Life and Art Periods

“Simplicity of shape does not necessarily equate with simplicity of experience.”

Robert Morris

ROBERT MORRIS SYNOPSIS

Robert Morris was one of the central figures of Minimalism. Through both his own sculptures of the 1960s and theoretical writings, Morris set forth a vision of art pared down to simple geometric shapes stripped of metaphorical associations, and focused on the artwork’s interaction with the viewer. However, in contrast to fellow MinimalistsDonald Judd and Carl Andre, Morris had a strikingly diverse range that extended well beyond the Minimalist ethos and was at the forefront of other contemporary American art movements as well, most notably, Process art and Land art. Through both his artwork and his critical writings, Morris explored new notions of chance, temporality, and ephemerality.

ROBERT MORRIS KEY IDEAS

In the mid-1960s, Morris created some of the key exemplars of Minimalist sculpture: enormous, repeated geometric forms, such as cubes and rectangular beams devoid of figuration, surface texture, or expressive content. These works forced the viewer to consider the arrangement and scale of the forms themselves, and how perception shifted as one moved around them, which was a central preoccupation of Minimalism.
Morris’s 1966 essay “Notes on Sculpture” was among the first to articulate the experiential basis of Minimalist artwork. It called for the use of simple forms, such as polyhedrons, which could be grasped intuitively by the viewer. and also described Minimalist sculptures as dependent on the context and conditions in which they were perceived, essentially upending the notion of the artwork as independent in and of itself.
In the late 1960s, Morris began introducing indeterminacy and temporality into the artistic process, referred to as Process art or Anti-Form. By cutting, dropping, or stacking everyday materials such as felt or rags, Morris emphasized the ephemeral nature of the artwork, which would ultimately change every time it was installed in a new space. This replaced what Morris posited as the fixed, static nature of Minimalist, or “object-type,” art.

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MOST IMPORTANT ART

Box with the Sound of Its Own Making (1961)
As its title indicates, Morris’s Box with the Sound of Its Own Making consists of an unadorned wooden cube, accompanied by a recording of the sounds produced during its construction. Lasting for three-and-a-half hours, the audio component of the piece denies the air of romantic mystery surrounding the creation of the art object, presenting it as a time-consuming and perhaps even tedious endeavor. In so doing, the piece also combines the resulting artwork with the process of artmaking, transferring the focus from one to the other. Fittingly, the first person in New York Morris invited to see the piece was John Cage-whose silent 1952 composition 4’33” is famously composed of the sounds heard in the background while it is being performed. Cage was reportedly transfixed by Box with the Sound of Its Own Making, as Morris later recalled: “When Cage came, I turned it on… and he wouldn’t listen to me. He sat and listened to it for three hours and that was really impressive to me. He just sat there.”
Walnut and recorded audio tapes (original) and compact disc (reformatted by artist) – Seattle Art Museum, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Bagley Wright
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ROBERT MORRIS BIOGRAPHY

Childhood

Robert Morris grew up in a suburban area of Kansas City. Early in life, he began reproducing comic strip images, a habit that helped him discover a talent for drawing. A flexible outlook at his elementary school allowed him to spend additional time honing his artistic skills. He also participated in a weekend enrichment program that encouraged the students to sketch artwork in the local Nelson Gallery (now the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art) and draw at the art studios of the Kansas City Art Institute.

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ROBERT MORRIS LEGACY

Morris’s pioneering role in Minimalism and Post-Minimalist movements such asProcess art and Land art made him one of the most significant figures in American art of the 1960s and 1970s. His use of repeated geometric forms, industrial materials and focus on the viewer’s pure engagement with the object influenced the work of contemporaries such as Donald Judd, as well as later adherents of Minimalism such asFred Sandback and Jo Baer. Morris’s embrace of simple actions such as cutting and dropping and his use of unconventional materials resonated in the works of artists likeEva Hesse and Felix Gonzalez-Torres, as seen, for example, in the former’s coiled rope pieces and the latter’s works composed of spilled black licorice.

Morris also has an important critical legacy. His pivotal essay “Notes on Sculpture” directly prompted a negative response from critic Michael Fried who composed his famous 1967 essay “Art and Objecthood” as a response to Morris. In “Art and Objecthood,” Fried expressed his objection to Minimalist sculpture for abandoning the concern with the nuances of composition and form in favor of engagement with the viewer, or “theatricality,” which, in Fried’s eyes, removed the work from the realm of art and transformed the act of viewing into a spectacle.

Original content written by Tracee Ng
Robert Morris. [Internet]. 2015. TheArtStory.org website. Available from:
http://www.theartstory.org/artist-morris-robert.htm [Accesed 03 May 2015]

ROBERT MORRIS QUOTES

“Have I reasons? The answer is my reasons will soon give out. And then I shall act, without reasons.”

“There’s information and there’s the object; there’s the sensing of it; there’s the thinking that connects to process. It’s on different levels. And I like using those different levels.”

“I’ve been interested in memory and forgetting, fragments and wholes, theories and biographies, disasters and absurdities, and drawing but not dancing in the dark.”

“So long as the form (in the broadest possible sense: situation) is not reduced beyond perception, so long as it perpetuates and upholds itself as being in the subject’s field of vision, the subject reacts to it in many particular ways when I call it art. He reacts in other ways when I do not call it art. Art is primarily a situation in which one assumes an attitude of reacting to some of one’s awareness as art…”

INFLUENCES

ARTISTS

Marcel Duchamp

Jackson Pollock
FRIENDS

Simone Forti

Donald Judd

Yvonne Rainer
MOVEMENTS

Abstract Expressionism

Dada
Robert Morris Bio Photo
Robert Morris
Years Worked: 1960 – Present
ARTISTS

Felix Gonzalez-Torres Overview

Felix Gonzalez-Torres

Barry Le Va Overview

Barry Le Va

Bruce Nauman Overview

Bruce Nauman
FRIENDS

Richard Bellamy Overview

Richard Bellamy

Leo Castelli Overview

Leo Castelli

Rosalind Krauss Overview

Rosalind Krauss
MOVEMENTS

Minimalism Overview

Minimalism

Post-Minimalism Overview

Post-Minimalism

Process Art Overview

Process Art

Robert Morris at Sprüth Magers

March 21st, 2012

Artist: Robert Morris

Venue: Sprüth Magers, Berlin

Date: February 10 – April 05, 2012

Click here to view slideshow

Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.

Images:

Images courtesy of Sprüth Magers, Berlin. Photos by Jens Ziehe.

Press Release: 

Monika Sprüth and Philomene Magers are pleased to present the second solo exhibition by Robert Morris in Berlin. The American artist is displaying a selection of space-related works which offer an historical overview of his involvement with sculpture.

The interdisciplinary work of Robert Morris, which extends from objects, sculptures, and drawings through performances all the way to films and texts, has exercised a strong influence on developments in art ever since the 1960s. As an important thinker at the end of the avant-gardes of modernism, proceeding from Minimal Art, he detached himself early on from a rigid concept of the work of art and from the autonomous aura of the object, addressing above all the process of artistic production, which he displayed as an essential component of his works. During the 1960s, he was involved with the Judson Dance Theater in New York, where he participated in performances by Yvonne Rainer and Simone Forti and conceived his own choreographies. The engagement with postmodern dance gave rise to a significant constant within his sculptural works: The investigation of an inclusion of the viewer which focuses on the temporal perception of sculpture by means of bodily movement through space, and which furthermore directs the view from the institutional space out onto social aspects in the real world. Thus in the current exhibition as well, Robert Morris activates, through a specific spatial arrangement of his works, performative and self-reflective modes of perception in the viewers.

Prominently placed in the Garden Room at the beginning of the exhibition is Scatter Piece (1968), whose setting gives the viewer control over how he experiences the objects by moving through the space. The elements made of felt, copper, steel, lead zinc, and brass aluminum unfold a confrontation between industrial and biomorphic materials, and they lay out a sculptural production site whose arrangement reacts directly to the site which it occupies at the moment. In this way, the installation manifests a temporary and changeable state of completion. The bringing to light of a processual artistic activity, such as Morris called for in his theoretical texts Notes on Sculpture, Part 1-4 (1966-69) and Anti-Form (1968), likewise addresses the social context of production and labor, a perspective which is also to be seen against the background of the institutional criticism of Concept Art as well as the social expectations during the 1970s with regard to art production.

Situated in the Main Room are Untitled (Corner Beam) and Untitled (Floor Beam), which are made out of plywood and painted gray. Along with the works Untitled (Corner Piece) and Untitled (Wall/Floor Slab), presented on the Upper Floor, they were first shown by Morris in 1964 at the Green Gallery in New York as components of a seven-part group. The objects trace out simple actions in space: They connect architectural structures with each other, emphasize corner situations, or lean against walls. They are reminiscent of stage props such as Column, which Morris used in 1960 as a substitute for the human body in one of his first performances at the Living Theater in New York.

Morris’ early Minimal Art works, to which Untitled (Ring with Light) (1965-66) also belongs, are closely linked to his dance compositions such as Site (1964) or Waterman Switch (1965) in which the dancers partly executed onstage task-oriented movements with geometrical objects.

Also in another work on display, Steel Mesh Ls (1988), the different positioning of the three identical L-shapes can be read as anthropomorphic movements such as sitting, lying, or standing. Whereas Morris conceived of the plywood sculptures from 1964 as temporary objects which can be taken apart and reproduced on site at any time, the Steel Mesh Ls are made out of metal mesh. Thus they conform on the one hand to industrial production and to the solid, cool surfaces of Minimal Art, but they contradict this correspondence through the semi-transparent grid which renders unstable and disconcerting perspectives onto the objects. Morris often works with interchangeable structures, inasmuch as he reconstructs and repeats forms such as the L-Beams in materials as wood, aluminum, or steel mesh and thereby dissolves the notion of original or seriality within his own work.

In addition, part of the exhibition consists of selected works made of felt: Lead and Felt from 1969 spreads out in the Main Room as a sculptural mass made from pieces of lead and felt and creates a structure which oscillates between positive and negative forms, between light-reflecting and light-absorbing textures. In this work, Morris directs attention to the relationship between material and gravity as well as between spatial arrangement and random indeterminacies. This turning away from permanent sculptures by means of temporary formations is achieved through fleeting and mutable materials such as felt, steam, or soil. Morris thereby aims at functional and economic considerations, in order to introduce social connotations of everyday life into the exhibition space, which has also been pursued by artists such as Eva Hesse, Robert Rauschenberg, and Claes Oldenburg. The works Untitled (1976) and Untitled (2010) belong to a series of wall works in felt which the artist developed from 1974 onward. As an important aspect of the works, the metal grommets imply the possibility of mounting the felt pieces onto the wall which Morris realized in pocket- or diamond-shaped folds. Here, too, the artist follows the force of gravitation: In his arrangements, he integrates the flowing physical movement of the material as a factor determining how it hangs from the wall and into which forms it is directed. By further endeavoring to compel the flexible texture of felt into rigid, geometrical forms, Morris reflects ironically upon the formal severity of the visual icons of abstract art or Cubism.

Furthermore, there are two installations which use sound to create an altered spatial situation. Both works take up the aspect of an assembly or an inner dialogue whose speakers, however, remain absent. Chairs (2001), one of Morris’ more recent works, consists of a circle of small-sized chairs which are covered by lead elements that are shaped by hand into the form of textile sheets. In contrast to the older works, there ensues here a narrative scene which indicates a possible meeting of children who, accompanied by a sonnet, exchange their thoughts. The 8-track sound installation Voices from 1974, which can be heard for the first time as a digitally synchronized version, consists of a complex choreography of several voices and soundtracks emanating into the empty space from eight loudspeakers. The abstract audio-play lasts three-and-a-half hours and brings together spoken texts, some of which were written by Robert Morris while others comprise excerpts from Emil Kraepelin’s Dementia Praecox (1919) and Manic Depressive Insanity and Paranoia (1921) which he edited. Voices consists of four sequences, whereby each differs from the next with respect to the subject matter and the editing technique. The mental, introspective narrative space built up by the speakers is connected with a discontinuous experience of the real space, inasmuch as the voices from the various sources of sound can only be followed through a physical movement.

In his exhibition, Robert Morris combines various spatial conceptions which emphasize the experience of art as a process and employ sculptural works to create situations of change, displacement, and disorientation so as to initiate for the viewer constantly unexpected and evolving possibilities of perception.

Robert Morris (born 1931 in Kansas City, Missouri, USA) lives and works in New York State. His works have been presented throughout the world in solo exhibitions at such institutions as the Green Gallery, New York (1964), the Whitney Museum, New York (1970), the Tate Gallery, London (1971), the Art Institute of Chicago (1980), and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (1986). Morris was represented with his works at the documenta 6 (1977) and the documenta 8 (1987), as well as at the Venice Biennials in 1978 and 1980. In 1994, the Guggenheim Museum in New York organized the extensive retrospective The Mind/Body Problem, which was displayed further at the Deichtorhallen in Hamburg and at the Musée National d’Art Moderne in Paris. Recently, the artist has shown his work in solo exhibitions at the Tate Modern, London (Bodyspacemotionthings, 2009); at the Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach (Notes on Sculpture – Objects, Installations, Film, 2009/2010) as well as in a group exhibition at the Hayward Gallery, London (Move: Choreographing You – Art & Dance, 2010/2011).

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Transcript of Milton Friedman speech from 1991

Best quote from the speech below:

However, the point that impresses me now and that I want to emphasize is that the problem is not only for them but for us. They have as much to teach us as we have to teach them. What was their problem under communism? Too big, too intrusive, too powerful a government. I ask you, what is our problem in the United States today? We have a relatively free system. This is a great country and has a great deal of freedom, but we are losing our freedom. We are living on our capital in considerable measure. This country was built up during 150 years and more in which government played a very small role. As late as 1929, total government spending in the United States never exceeded about 12% of the national incomeabout the same fraction as in Hong Kong in recent years. Federal government spending was about 3 to 4% of the national income except at the time of the Civil War and World War I. Half of that went for the military and half for everything else. State and local governments spent about twice as much. Again, local governments spent more than state governments. In the period between then and now, the situation has changed drastically. Total government spending, as I said, is 43% of national income, and twothirds of that is federal.

 

Moreover, in addition to what government spends directly, it exercises extensive control over the deals that people can make in the private market. It prevents you f rom buyi ng sugar in the cheapest market; it forces you to pay twice the world price for sugar. It forces enterprises to meet all sorts of requirements about wages, hours, antipollution standards, and so on and on. Many of these may be good, but they are government dictation of how the resources shall be used. To put it in one word that should be familiar to us by now, it is socialist.

 

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“Economic Freedom, Human Freedom, Political Freedom”

by Milton Friedman

Delivered November 1, 1991

 


Introduction of Milton Friedman by Charles W. Baird, Director.

In 1963 I was an undergraduate economics major in a private university in Massachusetts. In a small seminar class I was assigned to read a new book by Milton Friedman, Capitalism & Freedom, and a 1958 book by John Kenneth Galbraith, The Affluent Society, which expressed contrary views. My task was to write an essay defending Galbraith against Friedman. I got an “A” on that assignment.

But, in the fullness of time, I made my way to UCLA and the tutelage of Armen Alchian. I came to appreciate the wisdom of Milton Friedman. Moreover, judging from a lecture Galbraith gave at Berkeley just last month, even he is beginning to see the light.

Professor Friedman won the Nobel Prize in economics in 1976 “for his achievements in the fields of consumption analysis, monetary history and theory, and for his demonstration of the complexity of stabilization policy.”

He was the Paul Snowden Russell Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago from 1962 1977. He is now the Emeritus holder of that chair. Since 1977, he has been a Senior Research Fellow at the Hoover Institu tion.

Professor Friedman was the founder, and chief proponent of the Chicago School of monetary economicsaka., monetarism. I can recall during the 1960s that the great debate in macroeconomics, set off by Friedman & Schwartz’ monumental Monetary History of the U.S., was between the Keynesians and the Monetarists. Which was more stable: the Keynesian multiplier or, as Friedman would have it, the velocity of circulation of money? Most economists today would agree that Friedman and company had the better arguments and the better evidence.

Professor Friedman is one of the most versatile members of the profession. His 1953 article, “The Methodology of Positive Economics,” is still required reading in almost every class in economic theory. It is the starting point for all discussions of what separates good economics from bad economics. In addition to methodology and macroeconomics, he has made significant contributions in the areas of economic history, statistics, international finance, risk and insurance, and microeconomic theory. He is one of the most cited economists of the latter half of the twentieth century.

Professor Friedman is a founding member and a past president of the Mont Pelerin Societyan international organization of individuals who share a dedication to the principles of free markets and limited government. Without doubt, Milton Friedman is the best known, and most widely respected, freemarket economist in the entire world.

The three books which he coauthored with Rose Friedman, are among the best nontechnical defenses of economic freedom, human freedom, and political freedom ever written by anyone. Capitalism & Freedom (1962) set forth the case for market liberalism at a time when almost everyone accepted the premises of the welfare and regulatorystate as beyond reproach. Free to Choose (1980), was the best selling nonfiction book in the United States for the year 1980, and it was translated into most major languages. It was based on a tenpart television series of the same name. Tyranny of the Status auo (1984) was also complemented by a threepart television series of the same name in which Milton Friedman discussed a broad range of topics with seven university students of widely varying views.

Milton Friedman is one of the most influential economists of the twentieth century. He is unsurpassed as an academic teacher, formidable as a debater, persuasive as a public policy analyst, and pathbreaking as a scholar and scientist. There simply could not be a more appropriate person to deliver the Smith Center Inaugural Lecture.

Please join me in welcoming Professor Milton Friedman.

Charles W. Baird, Director

 


ECONOMIC FREEDOM, HUMAN FREEDOM, POLITICAL FREEDOM, Address by Milton Friedman.

I appreciate that very much, Chuck, but I don’t want you to give these good people the impression that Ken Galbraith is all bad. Rose and I were in India in the early 1960s when he was ambassador to India. I wrote Ken to see if I could visit him when we went to New Delhi. He wrote back inviting us to lunch at the embassy, adding that, as I knew, he didn’t agree with my ideas but they would do less harm in India than anywhere else he could think of.

In 1962, when our book Capitalism and Freedom was published, the general intellectual climate of opinion was very differ ent than it has since become. That book was not reviewed by a single major publication in the United States; not by Newsweek or Time, the New York Times or any other major newspaper. It was reviewed only in professional economic journals and in The Economistof London. It sold fewer than 10,000 copies in the first yearafterpublication, but since then it has sold well over half a million copies without any reviews whatsoever.

The situation was very different in 1980, as Chuck indicated, when our Free to Choose appeared. The difference was not because Free to Choose is a better book; it is not. In fact, l believe that Capitalism and Freedom is a better book. The differ ence was because the climate of opinion had changed. In the 1950s and 1960s, socialist thinking was dominant; those of us who rejected that view were regarded as fringe eccentrics. Since then, there has been a reaction against such socialist thinking and a recognition of the importance of private enterprise and of private property. Unfortunately, as I shall note later, the reaction has been more in the climate of opinion than in practice. Talk and rhetoric have been one thing; actual practice has been very different.

What I want to talk about tonight is the relationship among economic freedom, human freedom, and political freedom. In Capitalism and Freedom, I wrote: “Historical evidence speaks with a single voice on the relation between political freedom and a free market. I know of no example in time or place of a society that has been marked by a large measure of political freedom that has not also used something comparable to a free market to organize the bulk of economic activity” (p. 9). I went on to point out that “History suggests only that capitalism is a necessary condition for political freedom. Clearly it is not a sufficient condition” (p. 10).

Both of those statements remain valid today, thirty years later. Over the centuries many nonfree societies have relied on capitalism and yet have enjoyed neither human nor political freedom. Ancient Greece was fundamentally a capitalist society, but it had slaves. The U.S. South before the Civil War is another example of a society with slaves that relied predominantly on private property. Currently, South Africa has relied predominantly on private markets and private enterprise, yet it has not been a free society. Many Latin American countries are in the same position. They have been ruled by an oligarchy, and yet they have employed primarily private markets. So it is clear that capitalism is not a sufficient condition for human or political freedom, though it is a necessary condition.

While experience has not contradicted the statements I made, it has persuaded me that the dichotomy I stressed between economic freedom and political freedom is too simple. Even at this broad level, l am persuaded that it is important to con sider a trichotomy: economic freedom, human freedom, and political freedom.

The example that persuaded me that the relationship was less simple than the one I had sketched in Capitalism and Freedom is Hong Kong as it developed in the 1950s and especially as it has developed in the period since CapitalismandFreedomwaswritten. Hong Kong has beenthough unfortunately as the Mainland communist regime takes over it will not remainone of the freest, if not the freest, of countries in the world in every respect but one. Hong Kong has had an extraordinary degree of economic freedom: no tariffs and no import or export quotas, except as we in our wisdom have forced such quotas on Hong Kong in order to protect our industries from its efficiency. (It is truly absurd for the United States to force Hong Kong to limit the output of textiles so that our textile industry will not be bothered. That is no way for a great nation to behave.) Taxes have been very low, 10 to 12% of the national income. (In the United States today, government spending is 43% of the national income.) There are few regulations on business, no price controls, no wage controls.

Hong Kong’s completely free economy has achieved marvels. Here is a place with no resources except a magnificent harbor, a small piece of land, an island offs peninsula, a population of 500,000afterWorldWar 11 that has grown to a population close to six millionover ten times as large and at the same time, the standard of life has multiplied more than fourfold. It has been one of the most rapidly growing countries in the world, a remarkable example of what free markets can do if left unre stricted. I may say that Hong Kong is not a place where most of us would want to live. It is not a place where most of the people there want to live. It is very crowded; it is a very small area. If other places would take them, the people would love to go. However, the remarkable thing is that under such adverse circumstances they have done so well.

In addition to economic freedom, Hong Kong has a great deal of human freedom. I have visited many times and I have never seen any evidence of suppression of freedom of speech, freedom of the press, or any other human freedom that we regard as important.

However, in one respect Hong Kong has no freedom whatsoever. It has no political freedom. The Chinese who fled to Hong Kong were not free people. They were refugees from the communist regime and they themselves had been citizens of a regime that was very far from a free society. They did not choose freedom; it was imposed on them. It was imposed on them by outside forces. Hong Kong was governed by officials of the British Colonial Office, not by selfchosen representatives. In the past couple of years, in trying to persuade the world that Britain has not done a dastardly deed in turning Hong Kong over to the communists, the British administration has tried to institute a legislative council and to give some evidence of political representation. However, in general, over the whole of that period, there has been essentially no direct political representa tion.

That brings out an enormous paradox, the one that as I said caused me to rethink the relationship among different kinds of freedom. The British colonies that were given their political freedom after World War II have for the most part destroyed the other freedoms. Similarly, at the very time officials of the British Colonial Office were imposing economic freedom on Hong Kong, at home in Britain a socialist government was imposing socialism on Britain. Perhaps they sent the backward people out to Hong Kong to get rid of them. It shows how complex the relationship is between economic freedom and political freedom, and human freedom and political freedom. Indeed, it suggests that while economic freedom facilitates political freedom, political freedom, once established, has a tendency to destroy economic freedom.

Consider the example that I believe is most fascinating, India. It was given its political freedom by Britain over forty years ago. It has continued, with rare exceptions, to be a political democracy. It has continued to be a country where people are governed by representatives chosen at the ballot box, but it has had very little economic freedom and very limited human freedom. On the economic side, it has had extensive controls over exports and imports, over foreign exchange, over prices, over wages. There have been some reforms in the past year or so, but until recently you could not establish any kind of enterprise without getting a license from the government. The effect of such centralized control of the economy has been that the standard of life for the great bulk of the Indians is no higher today than it was forty years ago when India was given its political freedom.

The situation is even more extreme if you consider that Hong Kong, which I started with, got zero foreign aid during its growth. India has been a major recipient; it got some $55 billion of foreign aid over the past forty years. It is tempting to say that India failed to grow despite foreign aid. I believe that it was the other way: in part, India failed to grow because of foreign aid. Foreign aid provided the resources that enabled the government to impose the kind of economic policies it did.

What is true for India is true much more broadly. Foreign aid has done far more harm to the countries we have given it to than it has done good. Why? Because in every case, foreign aid has strengthened governments that were already too power ful. Mozambique, Tanzania, and many another African country testify to the same effect as India.

To come back to Hong Kong, the only reason it did not get its political freedom is because the local people did not want political freedom. They knew very well that that meant the Chinese communists would take them over. In a curious way, the existence of the Chinese communistgovernment was the major protection of the economic and human freedoms that Hong Kong enjoyed. Quite a paradoxical situation.

Hong Kong is by no means unique. Wherever the market plays a significant role, whether you have political freedom or not, human freedoms are more widespread and more extensive than where the market does not play any role. The totalitarian countries completely suppressed the market and atso had the least human freedom.

Another fascinating example that brings out the complexity of the situation is Chile. Chile, as you know, was first taken over by Salvador Allende and a socialist group. Allende came into power as a result of an election in which no one of the three major parties was able to get a majority, and subsequent political maneuvering, along with his promise to abide by the constitution. No sooner in office, however, than he reneged on his promise and proceeded to try to convert Chile into a fullfledged communist state. The important thing for my purpose is what happened after Allende’s policies provoked the military to overthrow him and set up a military junta led by General Pinochet to run the country.

Almost all military juntas are adverse to economicfreedom for obvious reasons. The military is organized from the top down: the general tells the colonel, the colonel tells the captain, the captain tells the lieutenant, and so on. A market economy is organized from the bottom up: the consumer tells the retailer, the retailer tells the wholesaler, the wholesaler tells the pro ducer, and the producer delivers. The principles underlying a military organization are precisely the reverse of those underly ing a market organization.

Pinochet and the military in Chile were led to adopt freemarket principles after they took over only because they did not have any other choice. They tried for a while to have military officers run the economy. However, inflation doubled in the first eight or nine months of their regime. When rates of inflation reached 700 to 1,000% they had to do something. By accident, the only group of economists in Chile who were not tainted by a connection with the Allende socialists were the socalled Chicago boys. They were called Chicago boys because they consisted almost entirely of economists who had studied at the University of Chicago and had received their Ph.D. degrees at the University of Chicago. They were untainted because the University of Chicago was almost the only institution in the United States at the time in which the economics department had a strong group of freemarket economists. So in desperation Pinochet turned to them.

I have nothing good to say about the political regime that Pinochet imposed. It was a terrible political regime. The real miracle of Chile is not how well it has done economically; the real miracle of Chile is that a military junta was willing to go against its principles and support a freemarket regime designed by principled believers in a free market. The results were spectacular. Inflation came down sharply. After a transitory period of recession and low output that is unavoidable in the course of reversing a strong inflation, output started to expand, and ever since, the Chilean economy has performed better than any other South American economy.

The economic development and the recovery produced by economic freedom in turn promoted the public’s desire for a greater degree of political freedom exactly what happened, if I may jump from one continent to another, in China after 1976 when the regime introduced a greater measure of economic freedom in one sector of the economy, agriculture, with great success. That, too, generated pressure for more political freedom and was one of the major factors underlying the dissatisfaction that led to Tiananmen Square.

In Chile, the drive for political freedom, that was generated by ecoriomic freedom and the resulting economic success, ultimately resulted in a referendum that introduced political democracy. Now, at long last, Chile has all three things: political freedom, human freedom and economic freedom. Chile will continue to be an interesting experiment to watch to see whetheritcan keep all three orwhether, nowthat it has politicalfreedom,that political freedom will tend to be used to destroy or reduce economic freedom.

In order to understand the paradox that economic freedom produces political freedom but political freedom may destroy economic freedom, it is important to recognize that free private markets have a far broader meaning than the usual restric tion to narrowly economic transactions. Literally, a market is simply a place where people meet, where people get together to make deals with one another. Every country has a market. At its most extreme totalitarian stage Russia had a market. But there are different kinds of markets. A private market is one in which the people making deals are making them either on their own behalf or as agents for identifiable individuals rather than as agents of governments. In the Russian market, the market existed and deals were being made all over the lot, but people were dealing with one another not on their own behalf, not as representatives for other identifiable individuals, but supposedly as agents for the government, for the public at large. A private market is very different from a government market. In a strictly private market, all the deals are between individu als acting in their own interest or as agents for other identifiable individuals.

Finally, you can have a private market, but it may or may not be a free market. The question is whether all the deals are strictly voluntary. In a free private market, all the deals are strictly voluntary. Many of the cases of private markets that I cited before were not cases of free private markets. You have a private market in many of the Latin American countries, but they are not free private markets. You have a private market in India, but it is not a free private market because many voluntary deals are not permitted. An individual can deal with anotherto exchange a good or service only if he has the permission of the government. I may say a completely free private market exists nowhere in the world. Hong Kong is perhaps the closest approximation to it. However, almost everywhere what you have, at best, is a partly free, largely hampered, private market.

A free private market is a mechanism for achieving voluntary cooperation among people. It applies to any human activity, not simply to economic transactions. We are speaking a language. Where did that language come from? Did some government entity construct the language and instruct people to use it? Was there some government commission that developed the rules of grammar? No, the language we speak developed through a free private market. People communicated with one another, they wanted to talk with one another, the words they used gradually came to be one thing rather than another, and the gram mar came to be one thing rather than another entirely as a result of free voluntary exchange.

Take another example, science. How did we develop the complicated structure of physics, economics, what will you? Again, it was developed and continues to develop as a result of a free private market in which scientists communicate with one another, exchange information with one another, because both parties to any exchange want to benefit.

A characteristic feature of a free private market is that all parties to a transaction believe that they are going to be better off by that transaction. It is not a zero sum game in which some can benefit only at the expense of others. It is a situation in which everybody thinks he is going to be better off.

A free private market is a mechanism for enabling a complex structure of cooperation to arise as an unintended consequence of Adam Smith’s invisible hand, without any deliberate design. A f ree private market involves the absence of coercion. People deal with one another voluntarily, not because somebody tells them to or forces them to. It does not follow that the people who engage in these deals like one another, or know one another, or have any interest in one another. They may hate one another. Everyone of us, everyday without recognizing it, engages in deals with people all over the world whom we do not know and who do not know us. No super planning agency is telling them to produce something for us. They may be of a different religion, a different color, a different race. The farmer who grows wheat is not interested in whether it is going to be bought by somebody who is black or white, somebody who is Catholic or Protestant; and the person who buys the wheat is not concerned about whether the person who grew it was white or black, Catholic or Protestant. So the essence of a free private market is that it is a situation in which everybody deals with one another because he or she believes he or she will be better off.

The essence of human freedom as of afree private market, is freedom of people to make their own decisions so long as they do not prevent anybody else from doing the same thing. That makes clear, l think, why free private markets are so closely related to human freedom. It is the only mechanism that permits a complex interrelated society to be organized from the bottom up rather than the top down. However, it also makes clear why free societies are so rare. Free societies restrain power. They make it very hard for bad people to do harm, but they also make it very hard for good people to do good. Implicitly or explicitly, most opponents of freedom believe that they know what is good for other people better than other people know for themselves, and they want the power to make people do what is really good for them.

The recent absolutely remarkable phenomenon of the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe raises in acute form the issues that we have been discussing. There is much talk in those countries about moving to a free market, but so far very limited success. In the past, free markets have developed in all sorts of waysout of feudalism, out of military juntas, out of autocracyand mostly they have developed by accident rather than by design. It was a pure accident that Hong Kong achieved a free market. Insofar as anyone designed it, it was the colonial officials who were sent there; but it was a pure accident that they were favorable to, or at least not hostile to, a free market. It was an accident that a free market developed in the United States, nothing natural about it. We might very well have gone down a very different road. We started to go down a very different road in the 1830s when there was widespread governmental activity in the building of canals, in the building of tollways, and the taking over of banksthere were state banks in Ohio, lilinois, and so on. What happened is that in the Panic of 1837 they all went broke, and that destroyed people’s belief that the way to run a country was by government. That had a great deal to do with the subsequent widespread belief that small government was the best government.

While free societies have developed by accident in many different ways, there is so far no example of a totalitarian country that has successfully converted to a free society. That is why what is going on in Eastern Europe is so exciting. We are witnessing something that we have not seen before. We know and they know what needs to be done. It is very simple. I tell the people in Eastern Europe when I see them that I can tell them what to do in three words: privatize, privatize, privatize. The problem is to have the political will to do so, and to do so promptly. It is going to be exciting to see whether they can do so.

However, the point that impresses me now and that I want to emphasize is that the problem is not only for them but for us. They have as much to teach us as we have to teach them. What was their problem under communism? Too big, too intrusive, too powerful a government. I ask you, what is our problem in the United States today? We have a relatively free system. This is a great country and has a great deal of freedom, but we are losing our freedom. We are living on our capital in considerable measure. This country was built up during 150 years and more in which government played a very small role. As late as 1929, total government spending in the United States never exceeded about 12% of the national incomeabout the same fraction as in Hong Kong in recent years. Federal government spending was about 3 to 4% of the national income except at the time of the Civil War and World War I. Half of that went for the military and half for everything else. State and local governments spent about twice as much. Again, local governments spent more than state governments. In the period between then and now, the situation has changed drastically. Total government spending, as I said, is 43% of national income, and twothirds of that is federal.

Moreover, in addition to what government spends directly, it exercises extensive control over the deals that people can make in the private market. It prevents you f rom buyi ng sugar in the cheapest market; it forces you to pay twice the world price for sugar. It forces enterprises to meet all sorts of requirements about wages, hours, antipollution standards, and so on and on. Many of these may be good, but they are government dictation of how the resources shall be used. To put it in one word that should be familiar to us by now, it is socialist.

The United States today is more than 50% socialist in terms of the fraction of our resources that are controlled by the govern ment. Fortunately, socialism is so inefficient that it does not control 50% of our lives. Fortunately, most of that is wasted. People worry about government waste; I don’t. I just shudder at what would happen to freedom in this country if the govern ment were efficient in spending our money. The really fascinating thing is that our private sector has been so effective, so efficient, that it has been able to produce a standard of life that is the envy of the rest of the world on the basis of less than half the resources available to all of us.

The major problems that face this country all derive from too much socialism. If you consider our educational system at the elementary and secondary level, government spending per pupil has more than tripled over the past thirty years in real terms after allowing for inflation, yet test scores keep declining, dropout rates are high, and functional illiteracy is widespread. Why should that be a surprise? Schooling at the elementary and secondary level is the largest socialist enterprise in the United States next to the military. Now why should we be better at socialism than the Russians? In fact, they ought to be better; they have had more practice at it. If you consider medical care, which is another major problem now, total spending on medical care has gone from 4% of the national income to 13%, and more than half of that increase has been in the form of government

spending. Costs have multiplied and it is reasonably clear that output has not gone up in anything like the same ratio. Our automobile industry can produce all the cars anybody wants to drive and is prepared to pay for. They do not seem to have any difficulty, but our government cannot produce the roads for us to drive on. The aviation industry can produce the planes, the airlines can get the pilots, but the government somehow cannot provide the landing strips and the air traffic controllers. I challenge anybody to name a major problem in the United States that does not derive from excessive govern ment.

Crime has been going up, our prisons are overcrowded, our inner cities are becoming unlivable all as a consequence of good intentions gone awry, the good intentions in this case being to prevent the misuse of drugs. The results: very little if any reduction in the use of drugs but a great many innocent victims. The harm which is being done by that program is far greater than any conceivable good. And the harm is not being done only at home. What business do we have destroying other countries such as Colombia because we cannot enforce our laws?

It is hard to be optimistic about how successful we can be in preserving our relatively free system. The collapse of the com munist states in Eastern Europe was the occasion for a great deal of selfcongratulation on our part. It introduced an element of complacency and smugness. We all said, ” Oh my, how good we are! See, we must be doing everything right.” But we did not learn the lesson that they had to teach us, and that lesson is that government has very real functions, but if it wanders beyond those functions and goes too far, it tends to destroy human and economic freedom.

I am nonetheless a longterm optimist. I believe that the United States is a great country and that our problems do not arise from the people as such. They arise from the structure of our government. We are being misgoverned in all these areas but not because of bad motives or bad people. The people who run our government are the same kind of people as the people outside it. We mislead ourselves if we think we are going to correct the situation by electing the right people to government. We will elect the right people and when they get to Washington they will do the wrong things. You and I would; I am not saying that there is anything special about them.

The important point is that we in our private lives and they in their governmental livesareall moved by the same incentive: topromote ourown selfinterest. ArmenAlchianonce made averyimportantcomment. He said, “You know, there is one thing you can trust everybody to do. You can trust everybody to put his interest above yours.” That goes for those of us in the private sector; that goes for people in the government sector. The difference between the two is not in the people; it is not in the incentives. It is in what it is in the selfinterest for different people to do. In the private economy, so long as we keep a free private market, one party to a deal can only benefit if the other party also benefits. There is no way in which you can satisfy your needs at the expense of somebody else. In the government market, there is another recourse. If you start a program that is a failure and you are in the private market, the only way you can keep it going is by digging into your own pocket. That is your bottom line. However, if you are in the government, you have another recourse. With perfectly good intentions and good will nobody likes to say “I was wrong”you can say, “Oh, the only reason it is a failure is because we haven’t done enough. The only reason the drug program is a failure is because we haven’t spent enough money on it.” And it does not have to be your own money. You have a very different bottom line. If you are persuasive enough, or if you have enough control over power, you can increase spending on your program at the expense of the taxpayer. That is why a private project that is a failure is closed down while a government project that is a failure is expanded.

The only way we are really going to change things is by changing the political structure. The most hopeful thing I see on that side is the great public pressure at the moment for term limits. That would be a truly fundamental change.

I want to close on a slightly optimistic note. About 200 years ago, an English newspaper wrote: “There are 775,300,000 people in the World. Of these, arbitrary governments command 741,800,000 and the free ones … Only 33 1/2 million… On the whole, slaves are three and twenty times more numerous than men enjoying, in any tolerable degree, the rights of human nature” [cited in Forrest McDonald, Novus Ordo Seclorum (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1985), p.9]. I know of no such precise estimate for the present, but I made a rough estimate on the basis of the freedom surveys of Freedom House. I estimate that, while slaves still greatly outnumber free people, the ratio has fallen in the past two centuries from 23 to 1 to about 3 to 1. We are still very far from our goal of a completely free world, but, on the scale of historical time, that is amazing progressmore in the past two centuries than in the prior two millennia. Let’s hope and work to make sure that that keeps up. Thank you.

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Milton Friedman Videos, Over 50 quotes too!!!!!

Milton Friedman – Public Schools / Voucher System

Published on May 9, 2012 by

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Milton Friedman – Public Schools / Voucher System (Q&A) Part 1

Milton Friedman: Why soaking the rich won’t work (Do the rich hoard their money? What are they investing in?)

Uploaded by on Apr 10, 2010

http://blog.voogru.com/2011/11/19/a-picture-of-the-arrogance-of-wealth/

The video is self-explanatory. This is a cut of an interview with the economist Milton Friedman, which answers a question about what rich people do with the profits they maliciously obtained from the poor citizens of our great nation

Milton Friedman – Redistribution of Wealth (100% inheritance tax?)

Uploaded by on Feb 12, 2010

Milton Friedman clears up misconceptions about wealth redistribution, in general, and inheritance tax, in particular. http://www.LibertyPen.com

Milton Friedman – Market Failure

Uploaded by on Sep 21, 2011

Before attempting to correct market failure, consider the possibility of government failure. http://www.LibertyPen.com

Milton Friedman – Self-Interest & Self-Ownership

Uploaded by on Oct 7, 2011

Professor Friedman explains fundamental principles of self-ownership and self-interest to Phil Donahue. http://www.LibertyPen.com

Milton Friedman – The Proper Role of Government

Uploaded by on Oct 8, 2010

Professor Friedman lectures on the proper role of government in a free society. More videos and information on issues of liberty is available at http://www.LibertyPen.com

Milton Friedman – Collectivism

Uploaded by on Aug 20, 2010

Despite its dismal track record, collectivism continues to hold appeal for some. Professor Friedman discusses this dynamic. http://www.LibertyPen.com

Milton Friedman – The Social Security Myth

Uploaded by on Mar 5, 2010

Using Social Security as his prime example, Professor Friedman explodes the myth that the major expansions in government resulted from popular demand. In a speech delivered more than 30 years ago, he directly relates this dynamic to today’s health care debate. http://www.LibertyPen.com

Milton Friedman – The Great Depression Myth

Uploaded by on Mar 25, 2010

Milton Friedman explodes the myth that the Great Depression was produced by a failure of private enterprise. http://www.LibertyPen.com

Milton Friedman – Monopoly

Uploaded by on Jan 29, 2010

Professor Friedman explains the free market remedy to monopoly. http://www.LibertyPen.com

Power of the Market – The Pencil

Uploaded by on Aug 26, 2008

Milton Friedman uses a pencil to explain how the operation of the free market promotes harmony and world peace. (1 of 30) http://www.LibertyPen.com

Milton Friedman – Socialized Medicine

Uploaded by on Jun 22, 2009

Nobel Laureate Economist Milton Friedman explores the unsettling dynamics set into motion when government imposes itself into the health care system. (1978)

Source: Milton Friedman Speaks

Milton Friedman – The Free Lunch Myth

Uploaded by on Apr 2, 2010

Milton Friedman explodes the myth that government can provide goods and services at no one’s expense. Full video available for purchase at http://www.ideachannel.com
http://www.LibertyPen.com

Milton Friedman – Socialism is Force

Uploaded by on May 21, 2010

Milton Friedman discusses the moral values encouraged by economic systems and explains that a primary difference between capitalism and socialism is the difference between free choice and compulsory force. http://www.LibertyPen.com

Milton Friedman – Regulation In A Free Society

Uploaded by on Dec 9, 2011

Professor Friedman explains the proper role of regulation in a free market. http://www.LibertyPen

Milton Friedman – Fairness Or Freedom?

Uploaded by on Nov 28, 2011

Friedman looks at two competing concepts. http://www.LibertyPen.com

Power of the Market – Prices

Uploaded by on Aug 31, 2008

Milton Friedman explains the function of prices in the marketplace. (3 of 30) http://www.libertypen.com

Do Gooders Who Do Harm

Uploaded by on Mar 19, 2010

Milton Friedman discusses the efficacy of “affecting to trade for the public good,” as Adam Smith put it.

All too often people who are well-meaning and have good intentions end up creating results which are the opposite of the very thing they are trying to fix.

Creative Quotations from Milton Friedman

Milton Friedman on Greed

Uploaded by on Jul 14, 2007

In his book “Capitalism and Freedom” (1962) Milton Friedman (1912-2006) advocated minimizing the role of government in a free market as a means of creating political and social freedom.

An excerpt from an interview with Phil Donahue in 1979.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milton_Friedman

Here is a good quote by Milton Friedman:

Milton Friedman quotes (showing 1-50 of 53)

“A society that puts equality before freedom will get neither. A society that puts freedom before equality will get a high degree of both.”
Milton Friedman
“One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results.”
Milton Friedman
“Now here’s somebody who wants to smoke a marijuana cigarette. If he’s caught, he goes to jail. Now is that moral? Is that proper? I think it’s absolutely disgraceful that our government, supposed to be our government, should be in the position of converting people who are not harming others into criminals, of destroying their lives, putting them in jail. That’s the issue to me. The economic issue comes in only for explaining why it has those effects. But the economic reasons are not the reasons”
Milton Friedman
“Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program.”
Milton Friedman
“If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in five years there’d be a shortage of sand.”
Milton Friedman
“The great virtue of a free market system is that it does not care what color people are; it does not care what their religion is; it only cares whether they can produce something you want to buy. It is the most effective system we have discovered to enable people who hate one another to deal with one another and help one another.”
Milton Friedman
“Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself.”
Milton Friedman
“Well first of all, tell me: Is there some society you know that doesn’t run on greed? You think Russia doesn’t run on greed? You think China doesn’t run on greed? What is greed? Of course, none of us are greedy, it’s only the other fellow who’s greedy. The world runs on individuals pursuing their separate interests. The great achievements of civilization have not come from government bureaus. Einstein didn’t construct his theory under order from a bureaucrat. Henry Ford didn’t revolutionize the automobile industry that way. In the only cases in which the masses have escaped from the kind of grinding poverty you’re talking about, the only cases in recorded history, are where they have had capitalism and largely free trade. If you want to know where the masses are worse off, worst off, it’s exactly in the kinds of societies that depart from that. So that the record of history is absolutely crystal clear, that there is no alternative way so far discovered of improving the lot of the ordinary people that can hold a candle to the productive activities that are unleashed by the free-enterprise system.”
Milton Friedman
“I am favor of cutting taxes under any circumstances and for any excuse, for any reason, whenever it’s possible.”
Milton Friedman
“When unions get higher wages for their members by restricting entry into an occupation, those higher wages are at the expense of other workers who find their opportunities reduced. When government pays its employees higher wages, those higher wages are at the expense of the taxpayer. But when workers get higher wages and better working conditions through the free market, when they get raises by firm competing with one another for the best workers, by workers competing with one another for the best jobs, those higher wages are at nobody’s expense. They can only come from higher productivity, greater capital investment, more widely diffused skills. The whole pie is bigger – there’s more for the worker, but there’s also more for the employer, the investor, the consumer, and even the tax collector.That’s the way the free market system distributes the fruits of economic progress among all people. That’s the secret of the enormous improvements in the conditions of the working person over the past two centuries.”
Milton Friedman, Free to Choose: A Personal Statement
“There’s no such thing as a free lunch.”
Milton Friedman
“Governments never learn. Only people learn.”
Milton Friedman
“The society that puts equality before freedom will end up with neither. The society that puts freedom before equality will end up with a great measure of both”
Milton Friedman
“The Great Depression, like most other periods of severe unemployment, was produced by government mismanagement rather than by any inherent instability of the private economy.”
Milton Friedman
“Many people want the government to protect the consumer. A much more urgent problem is to protect the consumer from the government.”
Milton Friedman
“In a much quoted passage in his inaugural address, President Kennedy said, “Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.” It is a striking sign of the temper of our times that the controversy about this passage centered on its origin and not on its content. Neither half of the statement expresses a relation between the citizen and his government that is worthy of the ideals of free men in a free society. The paternalistic “what your country can do for you” implies that government is the patron, the citizen the ward, a view that is at odds with the free man’s belief in his own responsibility for his own destiny. The organismic, “what you can do for your country” implies that government is the master or the deity, the citizen, the servant or the votary. To the free man, the country is the collection of individuals who compose it, not something over and above them. He is proud of a common heritage and loyal to common traditions. But he regards government as a means, an instrumentality, neither a grantor of favors and gifts, nor a master or god to be blindly worshiped and served. He recognizes no national goal except as it is the consensus of the goals that the citizens severally serve. He recognizes no national purpose except as it is the consensus of the purposes for which the citizens severally strive.”
Milton Friedman
“I think that nothing is so important for freedom as recognizing in the law each individual’s natural right to property, and giving individuals a sense that they own something that they’re responsible for, that they have control over, and that they can dispose of.”
Milton Friedman
“This plea comes from the bottom of my heart. Every friend of freedom, and I know you are one, must be as revolted as I am by the prospect of turning the United States into an armed camp, by the vision of jails filled with casual drug users and of an army of enforcers empowered to invade the liberty of citizens on slight evidence. A country in which shooting down unidentified planes “on suspicion” can be seriously considered as a drug-war tactic is not the kind of United States that either you or I want to hand on to future generations.”
Milton Friedman
“Education spending will be most effective if it relies on parental choice & private initiative — the building blocks of success throughout our society.”
Milton Friedman
“It is because it’s prohibited. See, if you look at the drug war from a purely economic point of view, the role of the government is to protect the drug cartel. That’s literally true.”
Milton Friedman
“He moves fastest who moves alone.”
Milton Friedman
“Most of the energy of political work is devoted to correcting the effects of mismanagement of government.”
Milton Friedman
“There is one and only one social responsibility of business–to use it resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game, which is to say, engages in open and free competition without deception or fraud”
Milton Friedman
“A major source of objection to a free economy is precisely that it … gives people what they want instead of what a particular group thinks they ought to want. Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself.”
Milton Friedman
“For example, the supporters of tariffs treat it as self-evident that the creation of jobs is a desirable end, in and of itself, regardless of what the persons employed do. That is clearly wrong. If all we want are jobs, we can create any number–for example, have people dig holes and then fill them up again, or perform other useless tasks. Work is sometimes its own reward. Mostly, however, it is the price we pay to get the things we want. Our real objective is not just jobs but productive jobs–jobs that will mean more goods and services to consume.”
Milton Friedman, Free to Choose: A Personal Statement
“Even the most ardent environmentalist doesn’t really want to stop pollution. If he thinks about it, and doesn’t just talk about it, he wants to have the right amount of pollution. We can’t really afford to eliminate it – not without abandoning all the benefits of technology that we not only enjoy but on which we depend.”
Milton Friedman, There’s No Such Thing as a Free Lunch
“Government has three primary functions. It should provide for military defense of the nation. It should enforce contracts between individuals. It should protect citizens from crimes against themselves or their property. When government– in pursuit of good intentions tries to rearrange the economy, legislate morality, or help special interests, the cost come in inefficiency, lack of motivation, and loss of freedom. Government should be a referee, not an active player.”
Milton Friedman
“We do not influence the course of events by persuading people that we are right when we make what they regard as radical proposals. Rather, we exert influence by keeping options available when something has to be done at a time of crisis.”
Milton Friedman
“Only a crisis – actual or perceived – produces real change. When that crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around. That, I believe, is our basic function: to develop alternatives to existing policies, to keep them alive and available until the politically impossible becomes the politically inevitable.”
Milton Friedman
“Hell hath no fury like a bureaucrat scorned.”
Milton Friedman
“I’m in favor of legalizing drugs. According to my values system, if people want to kill themselves, they have every right to do so. Most of the harm that comes from drugs is because they are illegal.”
Milton Friedman
“I am a libertarian with a small ‘l’ and a Republican with a capital ‘R’. And I am a Republican with a capital ‘R’ on grounds of expediency, not on principle.”
Milton Friedman
“The unions might be good for the people who are in the unions but it doesn’t do a thing for the people who are unemployed. Because the union keeps down the number of jobs, it doesn’t do a thing for them.”
Milton Friedman
“Our minds tell us, and history confirms, that the great threat to freedom is the concentration of power. Government is necessary to preserve our freedom, it is an instrument through which we can exercise our freedom; yet by concentrating power in political hands, it is also a threat to freedom. Even though the men who wield this power initially be of good will and even though they be not corrupted by the power they exercise, the power will both attract and form men of a different stamp.”
Milton Friedman
“The existence of a free market does not of course eliminate the need for government. On the contrary, government is essential both as a forum for determining the “rule of the game” and as an umpire to interpret and enforce the rules decided on.”
Milton Friedman
“The key insight of Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations is misleadingly simple: if an exchange between two parties is voluntary, it will not take place unless both believe they will benefit from it. Most economic fallacies derive from the neglect of this simple insight, from the tendency to assume that there is a fixed pie, that one party can gain only at the expense of another.”
Milton Friedman
“There is no place for government to prohibit consumers from buying products the effect of which will be to harm themselves”
Milton Friedman, Free to Choose: A Personal Statement
“The ICC [Interstate Commerce Commission] illustrates what might be called the natural history of government intervention. A real or fancied evil leads to demands to do something about it. A political coalition forms consisting of sincere, high-minded reformers and equally sincere interested parties. The incompatible objectives of the members of the coalition (e.g., low prices to consumers and high prices to producers) are glossed over by fine rhetoric about “the public interest,” “fair competition,” and the like. The coalition succeeds in getting Congress (or a state legislature) to pass a law. The preamble to the law pays lip service to the rhetoric and the body of the law grants power to government officials to “do something.” The high-minded reformers experience a glow of triumph and turn their attention to new causes. The interested parties go to work to make sure that the power is used for their benefit. They generally succeed. Success breeds its problems, which are met by broadening the scope of intervention. Bureaucracy takes its toll so that even the initial special interests no longer benefit. In the end the effects are precisely the opposite of the objectives of the reformers and generally do not even achieve the objectives of the special interests. Yet the activity is so firmly established and so many vested interests are connected with it that repeal of the initial legislation is nearly inconceivable. Instead, new government legislation is called for to cope with the problems produced by the earlier legislation and a new cycle begins.”
Milton Friedman, Free to Choose: A Personal Statement
“Keynes was a great economist. In every discipline, progress comes from people who make hypotheses, most of which turn out to be wrong, but all of which ultimately point to the right answer. Now Keynes, in The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money,set forth a hypothesis which was a beautiful one, and it really altered the shape of economics. But it turned out that it was a wrong hypothesis. That doesn’t mean that he wasn’t a great man!”
Milton Friedman
“Political freedom means the absence of coercion of a man by his fellow men. The fundamental threat to freedom is power to coerce, be it in the hands of a monarch, a dictator, an oligarchy, or a momentary majority. The preservation of freedom requires the elimination of such concentration of power to the fullest possible extent and the dispersal and distribution of whatever power cannot be eliminated — a system of checks and balances.”
Milton Friedman
“Society doesn’t have values. People have values.”
Milton Friedman
“There is still a tendency to regard any existing government intervention as desirable, to attribute all evils to the market, and to evaluate new proposals for government control in their ideal form, as they might work if run by able, disinterested men free from the pressure of special interest groups.”
Milton Friedman, Capitalism and Freedom
“Lo que importa no es la inflación per se, sino la inflación no anticipada”
Milton Friedman
“With some notable exceptions, businessmen favor free enterprise in general but are opposed to it when it comes to themselves.”
Milton Friedman
“Thanks to economists, all of us, from the days of Adam Smith and before right down to the present, tariffs are perhaps one tenth of one percent lower than they otherwise would have been. … And because of our efforts, we have earned our salaries ten-thousand fold.”
Milton Friedman
“The true test of any scholar’s work is not what his contemporaries say, but what happens to his work in the next 25 or 50 years. And the thing that I will really be proud of is if some of the work I have done is still cited in the text books long after I am gone.”
Milton Friedman
“Because we live in a largely free society, we tend to forget how limited is the span of time and the part of the globe for which there has ever been anything like political freedom: the typical state of mankind is tyranny, servitude, and misery. The nineteenth century and early twentieth century in the Western world stand out as striking exceptions to the general trend of historical development. Political freedom in this instance clearly came along with the free market and the development of capitalist institutions. So also did political freedom in the golden age of Greece and in the early days of the Roman era.”
Milton Friedman
“With respect to teachers’ salaries …. Poor teachers are grossly overpaid and good teachers grossly underpaid. Salary schedules tend to be uniform and determined far more by seniority.”
Milton Friedman
“Silence was pleased.”
Milton Friedman
“We economists don’t know much, but we do know how to create a shortage. If you want to create a shortage of tomatoes, for example, just pass a law that retailers can’t sell tomatoes for more than two cents per pound. Instantly you’ll have a tomato shortage. It’s the same with oil or gas.”
Milton Friedman

“Woody Wednesday” ECCLESIASTES AND WOODY ALLEN’S FILMS: SOLOMON “WOULD GOT ALONG WELL WITH WOODY!” (Part 12 MIDNIGHT IN PARIS Part K, Ecclesiastes 3:11 “God has put eternity in their hearts”)

In MIDNIGHT IN PARIS Gil Pender concludes there is no GOLDEN AGE, but people dream of a GOLDEN AGE because they find the PRESENT AGE unsatisfying. Actually Solomon said a long time ago,  “[God]has placed eternity on the hearts of men.” Scientist Blaise Pascal put it this way,  “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God the Creator, made known through Jesus Christ.” No wonder life is unsatisfying to Gil since he is an agnostic that is not seeking a relationship with God. King Solomon wrote 3,000 years ago in the Book of Ecclesiastes that attempting to find satisfaction in life UNDER THE SUN is equal to CHASING THE WIND.

This series deals with the Book of Ecclesiastes and Woody Allen films.  The first post  dealt with MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT and it dealt with the fact that in the Book of Ecclesiastes Solomon does contend like Hobbes  and Stanley that life is “nasty, brutish and short” and as a result has no meaning UNDER THE SUN.

The movie MIDNIGHT IN PARIS offers many of the same themes we see in Ecclesiastes. The second post looked at the question: WAS THERE EVER A GOLDEN AGE AND DID THE MOST TALENTED UNIVERSAL MEN OF THAT TIME FIND TRUE SATISFACTION DURING IT?

In the third post in this series we discover in Ecclesiastes that man UNDER THE SUN finds himself caught in the never ending cycle of birth and death. The SURREALISTS make a leap into the area of nonreason in order to get out of this cycle and that is why the scene in MIDNIGHT IN PARIS with Salvador Dali, Man Ray, and Luis Bunuel works so well!!!! These surrealists look to the area of their dreams to find a meaning for their lives and their break with reality is  only because they know that they can’t find a rational meaning in life without God in the picture.

The fourth post looks at the solution of WINE, WOMEN AND SONG and the fifth and sixth posts look at the solution T.S.Eliot found in the Christian Faith and how he left his fragmented message of pessimism behind. In the seventh post the SURREALISTS say that time and chance is all we have but how can that explain love or art and the hunger for God? The eighth  post looks at the subject of DEATH both in Ecclesiastes and MIDNIGHT IN PARIS. In the ninth post we look at the nihilistic worldview of Woody Allen and why he keeps putting suicides into his films.

In the tenth post I show how Woody Allen pokes fun at the brilliant thinkers of this world and how King Solomon did the same thing 3000 years ago. In the eleventh post I point out how many of Woody Allen’s liberal political views come a lack of understanding of the sinful nature of man and where it originated. In the twelfth post I look at the mannishness of man and vacuum in his heart that can only be satisfied by a relationship with God.

Owen Wilson plays Gil, a Hollywood screenwriter on vacation in Paris who wishes he could escape back to the 1920s. David Edelstein says his performance is one of the finest by a lead in a Woody Allen film — and rivals many of Allen's performances, too.
Roger Arpajou /Sony Picture Classics Owen Wilson plays Gil, a Hollywood screenwriter on vacation in Paris who wishes he could escape back to the 1920s. David Edelstein says his performance is one of the finest by a lead in a Woody Allen film — and rivals many of Allen’s performances, too.

In MIDNIGHT IN PARIS Gil Pender concludes there is no GOLDEN AGE, but people dream of a GOLDEN AGE because they find the PRESENT AGE unsatisfying. Actually Solomon said a long time ago,  “[God]has placed eternity on the hearts of men.” Scientist Blaise Pascal put it this way,  “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God the Creator, made known through Jesus Christ.”

Midnight in Paris – The Golden Age – greek and italian subs

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Midnight in Paris by Woody Allen Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (by Vincent Menjou Cortes)
Edgar Degas
Paul Gauguin

GIL PENDER: Wow, it didn’t take Gauguin long to start steaming in.

ADRIANA:Let’s never go back to the ’20s!-

GIL PENDER: What are you talking about?-

ADRIANA:We should stay here.It’s the start of La Belle Époque ! It’s the greatest, most beautifulera Paris has ever known.

GIL PENDER: Yeah, but about the 20s, and the Charleston,and the Fitzgeralds, and the Hemingways? I mean, I love those guys.

ADRIANA:But it’s the present. It’s dull.

GIL PENDER: Dull?It’s not my present.I’m from 2010.

ADRIANA:What do you mean?

GIL PENDER: I dropped in on you the same way we’re dropping in on the 1890s.

ADRIANA:You did?

GIL PENDER: I was trying to escape my present the same way you’re trying to escape yours,to a golden age.

Surely you don’t think the 20’s are a golden age!

GIL PENDER: Well, yeah. To me they are.

ADRIANA:But I’m from the ’20s, and I’m telling you the golden age is La Belle Époque.

GIL PENDER: And look at these guys. I mean, to them,their golden age was the Renaissance.You know, they’re trade La Belle Époque  to be painting alongside Titian and Michelangelo. And those guys probably imaginedlife was a lot better when Kublai Khan was around.You see, I’m having an insightright now. It’s a minor one, but it explains the anxiety in my dream that I had.-

ADRIANA:What dream?-

GIL PENDER:  I had a dream the other night, whereit was like a nightmare,where I ran out of Zithromax. And then I went to the dentist,and he didn’t have any Novocaine.You see what I’m saying?These people don’t have any antibiotics.

ADRIANA:What are you talking about?

GIL PENDER: Adriana, if you stay here,and this becomes your present,then, pretty soon, you’ll start imagining another time was really your,you know, was really the golden time.That’s what the present is.That it’s a little unsatisfying, because life’s a little unsatisfying.

ADRIANA:That’s the problem with writers.You are so full of words.But I am more emotional,and I’m going stay,and live in Paris’ most glorious time.You made a choice to leave Paris once, and you regretted it.

GIL PENDER: Yeah, I did regret it.It was a bad decision,but at least it was a choice.I mean, it was a realchoice. This way, I think, is,I don’t know, crazy.It doesn’t really work.If I ever want to writesomething worthwhile, I have to,you know, get rid of my illusions, and then I’d be happier in the past,as where I want a home.

So…Goodbye, Gil?

GIL PENDER: Goodbye.

Eternity In Paris

midnight in paris top post-thumb-600x400-53668

I have this new theory. It’s not based in anything really, but tell me if you agree. This post is going to be rather extensive in its scope, as I attempt to critique a Woody Allen film, present a theory on memories, and include a Biblical basis for all of it.

The theory is this: Every time you think back to a memory from your own past, you are not thinking directly back to the event itself; you are thinking of the last time you thought of it. You are recalling the feelings, emotions, and colors present the last time you thought of the previous memory. For example, the summer of 2007 was the greatest time of my life. Every day was painted with scenes from the best romantic comedies, mixed with endless East coast adventures, and wrapped in the blanket of my three best friends and I doing everything together.

Now, for the sake of explanation, let’s say I have thought of this summer five times since it happened. By that, I mean I really thought about it and everything that happened over those three months. So, whenever my mind glances in the rearview mirror to that time period, I have to access it through the tunnels of the previous five times I thought of it. In other words, my mind must take a detour through all the times I have recalled it before, rather than taking a highway directly to the events themselves. When this occurs, I also see the summer of ’07 through the fog of all the emotions I had the other five times I thought of it. In this situation, the typical emotion held toward that summer is nostalgia and a longing to go back. In reality,I am sure that there were parts of the summer that were not so great, but because of the detours through my other memories, I can’t see them now. I am convinced that there were things happening in my life that were not enjoyable, or decisions that did not turn out my way, or some other longings I was entertaining at the time. In this way, the memories only get blurrier and blurrier as an icon from my life of a time when things were perfect.

Woody Allen explored this phenomena in his film Midnight in Paris, and dubbed the occurrence ‘Golden Age Thinking.’ Now some readers of my blog may see this review as an excuse to talk once more about the dazzling Marion Cotillard.  You would not be wrong. However, Allen presents a few compelling ideas in this piece. Owen Wilson plays Gil; a romantic screenwriter who daydreams about seeing Paris in the 1920’s when it is raining. Somehow, he gets his wish when on a walk one night in Paris and a cab full of old-timey people pulls up and invites him in. He enters and is taken back to the time of Hemingway, Dali, Picasso, and Cole Porter. He is in love with the time. Every night, he returns to the enchanted time of the 20’s, and every morning returns to his drag of a fiancee. Soon after the time travels begin, he meets the mysteriously beautiful Adriana (Cotillard), the supposed muse of Picasso and Hemingway, and is smitten. After a couple nights spent  wandering in and out of parties and the streets of Paris in the 1920’s, Adriana reveals that she would much rather live in the time of la Belle Epoque; about a century earlier. They travel back in time even further, this time by magical horse drawn carriage, to the 1890’s. Adriana is overjoyed and wants to stay there rather than in her own time; the 1920’s.

One of the main ideas Allen is conveying here is that everyone has a time they view as the ‘Golden Age;’ the time when nothing was wrong and everything was perfect and alive and beautiful.  Even people living in our own personal golden ages. I’m sure that the Ethan living in the summer of 2007 was longing for some time other than the one he was in then, just as the Ethan writing this now does.

Someone else took note of this empty yearning that every human has, several millennia prior to Woody. The wisest man alive, in fact. I know I have used this scripture before, but that’s because I find it so central to the human experience that to overlook it is pure foolishness. Ecclesiastes 3:11 says that “He has placed eternity on the hearts of men.” How many of you long for THAT? How many of you have ever said to yourself, “Boy, I wish I could just go back to forever, when everything was good and okay?” We can’t even fathom eternity, therefore, we cannot even comprehend longing for it. C.S. Lewis is famously quoted in his short piece “The Weight of Glory” for writing,  “It would seem that our Lord finds our desires, not too strong, but too weak.” The kind of desire that each one of us has is placed in us for a reason–not to bring us to satisfaction in the promising, yet empty, objects of the world, but in Him [Jesus] alone! There’s a reason that every human being has an unquenchable thirst for another time period, place, or group of friends. We have eternity planted in our hearts. We wants things we can’t even comprehend.This is why the past looks perfect to us only from one side, hindsight, and the present is always left unsatisfied…

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Blaise Pascal, a famous French mathematician and philosopher, put it like this: “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God the Creator, made known through Jesus Christ.” That ties in nicely with with Ecclesiastes 3:11  “He has placed eternity on the hearts of men.”  Furthermore we read in Romans Chapter 1 and 2 about that the God-given conscience that everyone has. In his book  DEATH IN THE CITY Francis Schaeffer discusses these passages in Romans in chapter 7:

Chapter 7

THE MAN WITHOUT THE BIBLE

In three different places Paul speaks solely to men without the Bible. The first is in Lystra (Acts 14:15-17) where the message is fragmentary because it was interrupted. The second is on Mars Hill (Acts 17:16-32), where he has a longer speech but one that was also broken off. Third is Romans 1:18-2:16, where he can develop his argument at ease. We can see here what he was really saying in all these places, for the other two conform to this early section in Romans….

(Lystra area, Turkey. Paul visited on his First and Second Missionary Journeys)

But the Bible is clear: there is a moral law of the universe. And that basic law is the character of God Himself. There is no law behind God that binds God. Rather God Himself is the law because He is not a contentless God but a God with a character. His character is the law of the universe. When He reveals this character to us in verbalized, propositional form, we have the commands of God for men. Thus there are absolutes and categories; the law which God has revealed and which is based upon His character is final. This is the biblical position.

Therefore, when men break these commands, they are guilty, guilty in the same way as a man is guilty when he breaks the law of the state. When a man sins, he sins against the character of God, and he has moral guilt in the presence of the Great Judge. I know very well that people no longer talk very much in these terms. But it is to our loss. You may wonder if one can say such things to the far-out twentieth-century people with whom I come into contact. I would tell you with all my heart that I could not talk with them if I did not say these things. For in contrast to left-wing or right-wing totalitarianism with its changing arbitrary absolutes and in contrast to modern man’s relativistic chaos, the Bible’s teaching alone gives moral answers to men.

(page 268)

We are told in this eighteenth verse that the man without the Bible holds the truth in unrighteousness. Or if you choose, you can say, he ‘hinders’ or ‘suppresses’ the truth. I will deal later with the difference between ?hold’ and ‘hinder’. For the moment I will use the word ‘suppress’, which is used in most modern translations.

What truth then does the man without the Bible suppress? Formerly we talked about apostasy in a generation which knew the gospel and turned away from it. The Jews of Jeremiah’s day suppressed the truth of the Bible which they had. But what truth does man suppress if he does not have the Bible? We read in verses 19 and 20, ‘Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath manifested it unto them. For the invisible things of him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived by the things that are made.’

Paul divides the truth which they suppress into two parts. It is interesting that it is the same two things that Carl Gustav Jung  says cut across man’s will: first of all, the external world; and secondly, those things that well up from inside himself. Jung, though he has no real solution, exactly identifies the two basic things that confront man – man himself, and the external universe. And Paul said long ago, these are the two truths which man, even the man without the Bible, suppresses. As we have seen, Paul preached in other places to the Gentiles without Jews present, in Lystra and on Mars Hill. There too he used exactly the same approach to the man without the Bible.

(Mars Hill in Athens, Greece pictured below)

(Carl Gustav Jung  below)

We should look in more detail at the truth about man which those without the Bible suppress. The list is fairly long, for man is distinguished from both animals and machines on the basis of his moral motions, his need for love, his fear of non-being and his longings for beauty and for meaning. Only the biblical system has a way of explaining these factors which make man unique.

In Romans 2:15 Paul put special emphasis upon the moral nature of man: ‘Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness, and their thoughts one with another accusing or else excusing.’

(page 269)

God through Paul is saying here exactly what I feel we should say to modern man. Despite what a man may say in theory, he cannot escape being a moral creature. The man who says morals do not exist is not amoral in the sense that he has no moral motions. Men may have different mores, but one never finds men without a moral nature.
Take a girl from the streets of London, for example. She may seem absolutely amoral. But if you get her alone and talk to her, you find that she does have her own moral standards. They may be different; they may be very poor. But she is not just a machine. Modern man, as I have said, sees himself in the deterministic situation where morals indeed have no meaning, but he cannot live this way.

(Francis Schaeffer pictured below)

We have a startling illustration of this in the Marquis de Sade, who was not only a pornographer, but a real philosopher. Those who are materialists have something to wrestle with in the Marquis de Sade’s formulation, something that no determinist has ever been able to answer. The Marquis de Sade says that since everything is chemically determined, then whatever is, is right. Think about that for six months. The simple fact is that, if you are a determinist, there is no way around that conclusion. De Sade is right. And sadism is then the perfectly logical result.
Obviously nature made man stronger than the woman: therefore, a man has the right to do anything he wants to a woman. That was de Sade’s particular form of sadism. Nobody who holds any concept of determinism, either chemical or psychological, can explain why the Marquis de Sade is wrong. Determinism leads in the direction of cruelty and inhumanity, whether it takes the specific form of de Sade’s sadism or not.

But even the Marquis de Sade, who indeed would have claimed that all men were merely determined, could not live this way. If you read carefully from his words and his history, you find that at the end of his life he was in an asylum for the insane, at Charenton. What he was doing hardly seems possible. He was spending his time grumbling about the way he was being treated by the jailors, and he was reading the letters of his wife with meticulous care, having worked out some sort of system whereby he thought he could figure out from the number of letters in the lines the day he was going to get out. Figure it out for yourself.
The simple fact is that men, even a Marquis de Sade, may say there is no such thing as morality, and that all is a fixed system, but in their own actions, in their own writing, they demonstrate what they deny.

(Geoffrey Rush plays the Marquis de Sade and Kate Winslet as Madeleine in the film ‘Quills’. Source: AP)

(page 270)

I have always enjoyed the thought of Khrushchev sitting at the United Nations, pounding on the table with his shoe and shouting, ‘It’s wrong. It’s wrong.’ Isn’t that an interesting thing for a materialist to say? He did not mean that something was merely counter to the best interests of the Soviet Union. He was saying something was wrong.


Moral motions distinguish man from non-man, but so does the need for love. Man feels the necessity of a love that means more than a sexual relationship. Many of the same people who say that love is only sexual go through marriage after marriage, hoping to find something more than physical satisfaction. Even when they say love is only sexual, they are looking for something to make ?love’ mean what the heart of man longs to have it mean. They simply cannot live consistently with their own view.

___________

For a few men the need for beauty is the point at which the ‘mannishness’ of man most clearly shows through, even though on the basis of their own concept of man as a chance configuration of atoms in an impersonal universe, the very meaning of the word ‘beauty’ is open to question.


All men, however, have a deep longing for significance, a longing for meaning. I was struck just recently by the opening to Will and Ariel Durant’sThe Lessons of History. In the first paragraph they meditate on the cosmic dimensions of the universe, on the fact that the planets will remain not only when individual men are gone but even after the whole race of man is gone. They were impressed with man’s transience much as Proust was when he said that the dust of death is on everything human. But as to man’s significance all the Durants can point to is a kind of dignity that man has because he can observe the planets and they cannot observe him. It is quite clear: no man – no matter what his philosophy is, no matter what his era or his age – is able to escape the longing to be more than merely a stream of consciousness or a chance configuration of atoms now observing itself by chance.

Valentin Louis Georges Eugène Marcel Proust (/prst/;[1] French: [maʁsɛl pʁust]; 10 July 1871 – 18 November 1922) was a French novelist, critic, and essayist.

In an extreme form the longing for significance expresses itself most clearly in the fear of non-being. It has been obvious for centuries that men fear death, but depth psychologists tell us that such a fear, while not found in animals, is for man a basic psychosis: no man, regardless of his theoretical system, is content to look at himself as a finally meaningless machine which can and will be discarded totally and for ever. Even those who seek death and cry for the fulfillment of the death-wish still have a fear of non-being somewhere inside them. I am struck that when you talk to men contemplating suicide, somewhere inside they see themselves as a continuing spectator.

(page 271)

If you go back in art as far as you can go, you find that wherever man is, his essential mannishness is there too. Recently archaeologists unearthed a man that they claim lived something like 30 thousand years ago. They found him buried in a grave of flower petals. Now that’s intriguing. You do not find animals burying their dead in flower petals. Or, examine the cave paintings – the largest early work of art which gives us extended content. (I would accept the date of about 20,000 BC for these.) The paintings reveal that those cave dwellers had the same human longings we have. Right there in the midst of the painting are indications that a man is crying out, ‘I know within myself that I am more than the dust that surrounds me.’ As a matter of fact, there is a theory that explains the cave paintings in southern France and northern Spain as a symbol system speaking out the longings of man. Although it is open to discussion, I think it is probably right, and even if that theory proves not to be correct, still they do show man considering himself as uniquely distinguished from that which is non-man.

We may also mention the testimony of the scholar Levi-Strauss. Though his theories are highly controversial, Levi-Strauss is one of the most important anthropologists in the world today. This French scientist has put forward a notion that has shaken the world of anthropology. No matter where you go, he says, into the past, into the present, to primitive peoples or cultured societies, you find that all men think in the same fashion. Man’s thinking has not basically changed along the way. Thus, although primitive tribes may not make high-level, analysed antitheses, there is in tribal thinking a clear antithesis between ‘tribe’ and ‘non-tribe’, ‘hot’ and ‘cold’, and so forth. The mannishness of man is evident as far back as anybody has been able penetrate.

Claude Lévi-Strauss,  (born Nov. 28, 1908, Brussels, Belg.—died Oct. 30, 2009, Paris, France),

 

Michael Polanyi’s arguments concerning the DNA template show much the same thing. Without going into details let me say simply that Polanyi specifically rejects the chemical determinism of Francis Crick. The chemical and physical properties of the DNA template do not give an explanation of what man is merely on the basis of those chemical and physical properties.

Michael Polanyi below

James Watson and Francis Crick (right), co-originators of the double-helix model, with Maclyn McCarty (left).


So Levi-Strauss says to look at the thinking of man; wherever you go into the past, into the present, man is man. Polanyi says the DNA template alone does not explain those peculiar things which man is. Mortimer Adler also testifies to the problem of man’s uniqueness in “The Difference of Man and the Difference It Makes”. He does not have an answer, but he says there is something different in man and we had better identify it or we will start to treat people as non-human and even more tragedy will result. No matter what his theoretical system is, man knows within himself that he cannot be equated with non-man.

Mortimer Jerome Adler (December 28, 1902 – June 28, 2001)

(page 272)

What Paul says in Romans is as up-to-date as the present ticking of the clock – men, even men without the Bible, suppress the truth of what they themselves are. Primitive man, cultured man, ancient man, modern man, Eastern man, Western man: all have a testimony that says that man is more than their own theories explain.

(Jean-Paul Sartre pictured below)

Paul then turns to the second area in which men suppress the truth. In Romans 1:20 he says, ‘For the invisible things of him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived by the things that are made.’ So the second testimony man suppresses is the truth of the external world. Jean-Paul Sartre has said that the basic philosophical question of all questions is this: Why is it that something is there rather than nothing? He is correct. The great mystery to the materialist is that there is anything there at all.

EINSTEIN AND OPPENHEIMER BELOW (IMAGE: ALFRED EISENSTAEDT, LIFE MAGAZINE)

However, it is not only that something chaotic is there but that something orderly is there. Einstein understood this very well at the end of his life. According to his friend Oppenheimer and what we know from his own writing, Einstein at the end of his life became a modern mystic. He did not have the answer, he did not return to the Judeo-Christian position or the Bible, but he understood that there had to be a bigger answer because he saw in the universe an order that is indisputable. Einstein worded it beautifully when he said the world is like a well-constructed crossword puzzle; you can suggest any number of words, but only one will fit all the facts. And so Sartre says, ‘There’s something there,’ and Einstein adds, ‘Yes. Look at the marvel of its form.’ Let us put it another way: there is a distinction between science and science-fiction. In science-fiction you may imagine any kind of universe, but in science you must deal with the universe that is there.

For several years Murray Eden at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has been using high-speed computers to calculate the possibility of whether on the basis of chance there could be so much complexity in the universe within any acceptable amount of time. His conclusion is that the possibility is zero.
We find the same thing in Charles Darwin himself in his autobiography and his letters. It is amazing that this old man toward the very end of his life keeps saying, ‘I cannot believe with my mind that all this was produced by chance.’ Not his emotions, but his mind. And he has to excuse the testimony of his intelligence by saying that his mind has just come by evolution from a monkey mind, and who can trust that? But, of course, there is a trick in this. If he could not trust his mind on such a crucial point, how could he trust it to formulate the evolutionary hypothesis itself? ( end of page 272)

(page 275)

…Romans 1:28: ‘And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over [or God gave them up] to a mind void of judgment.’ The Authorized Version ‘a reprobate mind’ misses the point. It is a mind void of judgment, a phrase referring back to verses 21 and 22, ‘they became vain in their reasoning’, religiously but also intellectually foolish. These people do not understand what the universe is, and they do not understand who they themselves are. That sounds very modern indeed.

(Painting of Paul Gauguin below)

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Paul Gauguin, the French painter, brilliant as he was, provides an excellent example. Following Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s idea that man is (or ought to be) autonomous, completely free, he said that what troubled him was that 2 and 2 always equaled 4. He wanted to be so free that on a Tuesday morning at eight o’clock he could say 2+2=4.5.
What Paul is stressing here is that when you turn away from God and follow other presuppositions, the more consistent you are to your presuppositions, the further you get away from reality itself. So you see Gauguin trying to paint an autonomous freedom, a primitive simplicity, and, as it were, stamping his feet and saying, ‘If my system is right, somehow or other 2+2 should not always equal 4.’

(PAINTING SCHAEFFER IS REFERRING TO ABOVE IS Paul Gauguin, Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going?, 1897-98, oil on canvas, 139.1 x 374.6 cm [Museum of Fine Arts, Boston] )

Let us summarize briefly the course of the argument in this chapter. We began by noticing that Paul speaks in a special way to the man without the Bible, for he has not suppressed the special revelation, that is, the revelation in the Bible, but the general revelation given by the mannishness of man and by the external world. It is then plain that the man without the Bible holds the truth in unrighteousness, he holds some of the truth about himself and the universe, but he does not follow it to its reasonable conclusions. Thereafter, a breakdown in morality occurs. God says to man in this position: You are under my judgment. And so the questions arise, how is man without the Bible going to be judged? Is this just?

 
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Related posts:

I love the movie “Midnight in Paris” by Woody Allen and I have done over 30 posts on the historical characters mentioned in the film. Take a look below:

“Midnight in Paris” one of Woody Allen’s biggest movie hits in recent years, July 18, 2011 – 6:00 am

(Part 32, Jean-Paul Sartre)July 10, 2011 – 5:53 am

 (Part 29, Pablo Picasso) July 7, 2011 – 4:33 am

(Part 28,Van Gogh) July 6, 2011 – 4:03 am

(Part 27, Man Ray) July 5, 2011 – 4:49 am

(Part 26,James Joyce) July 4, 2011 – 5:55 am

(Part 25, T.S.Elliot) July 3, 2011 – 4:46 am

(Part 24, Djuna Barnes) July 2, 2011 – 7:28 am

(Part 23,Adriana, fictional mistress of Picasso) July 1, 2011 – 12:28 am

(Part 22, Silvia Beach and the Shakespeare and Company Bookstore) June 30, 2011 – 12:58 am

(Part 21,Versailles and the French Revolution) June 29, 2011 – 5:34 am

(Part 16, Josephine Baker) June 24, 2011 – 5:18 am

(Part 15, Luis Bunuel) June 23, 2011 – 5:37 am

Related posts:

A list of the most viewed posts on the historical characters mentioned in the movie “Midnight in Paris”

Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 38,Alcoholism and great writers and artists)

The characters referenced in Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 36, Alice B. Toklas, Woody Allen on the meaning of life)

Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 35, Recap of historical figures, Notre Dame Cathedral and Cult of Reason)

The characters referenced in Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 34, Simone de Beauvoir)

The characters referenced in Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 33,Cezanne)

The characters referenced in Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 32, Jean-Paul Sartre)

The characters referenced in Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 31, Jean Cocteau)

The characters referenced in Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 30, Albert Camus)

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 29, Pablo Picasso)

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 8, Henri Toulouse Lautrec)

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 7 Paul Gauguin)

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 6 Gertrude Stein)

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 5 Juan Belmonte)

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 4 Ernest Hemingway)

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 3 Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald)

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 2 Cole Porter)

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 1 William Faulkner)

MUSIC MONDAY Cole Porter “Let’s Do it, Let’s Fall in Love” in the movie MIDNIGHT IN PARIS

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RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 62 Dr.Yujin Nagasawa of Birmingham “…why we don’t live in this kind of environment where we are not tempted to perform morally wrong?”

 

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

_________________

Below you have picture of Dr. Harry Kroto:

3063098-4x3-700x525

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Yujin Nagasawa
 is Professor of Philosophy and Co-Director of the John Hick Centre for Philosophy of Religion at the University of Birmingham. He was educated as an undergraduate at the State University of New York at Stony Brook and received his PhD from the Australian National University (ANU) in 2004. From 2004 to 2005 he was Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Alberta, Canada and Research Fellow at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics (CAPPE) at ANU. He was awarded the Philosophical Quarterly Essay Prize in 2007, the John Templeton Award for Theological Promise in 2008, and the Excellence in Philosophy of Religion Prize in 2011.

 _____________________________

In  the third video below in the 1o3rd clip in this series are his words and  my response is below them. 

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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Quote from Yujin Nagasawa:

They might say that heaven is different from earth because in heaven the environment is different so maybe people are not tempted to commit sin in heaven, but then you wonder why on earth is not like that, why we don’t live in this kind of environment where we are not tempted to perform morally wrong.

March 12, 2015

Professor Yujin Nagasawa,  ERI Building 147, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT, UK

Dear Dr.Nagasawa,

As you can tell from reading this letter I am an evangelical Christian and I have made it a hobby of mine to correspond with scientists or academics like yourself over the last 25 years. Some of those who corresponded back with me have been  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-). I would consider it an honor to add you to this very distinguished list. 

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 from you recently:

They might say that heaven is different from earth because in heaven the environment is different so maybe people are not tempted to commit sin in heaven, but then you wonder why on earth is not like that, why we don’t live in this kind of environment where we are not tempted to perform morally wrong.

The problem of evil and suffering hit this world in a big way because of Adam and what happened in Genesis Chapter 3, and even though Adam and Eve were in a great environment they chose to rebel against God and fell morally and spiritually. Christians know that God can use all things for His glory and his purpose (Romans 8:28).

On February 15, 2015 at our church service at FELLOWSHIP BIBLE CHURCH in Little Rock, Arkansas, our teaching pastor Brandon Barnard told the story of my good friends Roger and Terrie Cheuvront  and the tragic death of their 19 year daughter Danaea on April 15, 2007 in a traffic accident. I was at the Funeral Home when the minister came in that very day, and I found the words of the pastor as a great comfort because we knew Danaea was in heaven. The sermon on 2-15-15 was about the time that Jesus wept at sight of his friend Lazarus’ tomb, and this 11th chapter of John had comforted Terrie Cheuvront because she knew that Jesus had felt the same pain that we have and he will eventually raise us too from the dead and her daughter Danaea is even now in heaven with Christ.

Rev Barnard actually read these words from Terri at our service: “God never intended us to experience sin and death, but sin brought about this consequence. I could be mad at death and all that it meant but the amazing thing was when I realized God’s plan then God took the anger and replaced it with His grace. It made me realize at a deeper level what God had truly done for me on the cross. He conquered sin and death for me. What amazing glorious hope he gives us. We live because He lives. Yes I am separated from my daughter now but there will be a glorious reunion.”

Let me make three points concerning the problem of evil and suffering. First, the problem of evil and suffering hit this world in a big way because of Adam and what happened in Genesis Chapter 3. Second, if there is no God then there is no way to distinguish good from evil and there will be no ultimate punishment for Hitler and Josef Mengele. (By the way Mengele never faced punishment and lived his long life out in peace.) Third. Christ came and suffered and will destroy all evil from this world eventually forever.

CHARLES DARWIN ALSO SPENT A LOT OF TIME TALKING ABOUT THIS ISSUE OF EVIL AND SUFFERING. 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.

Darwin, C. R. to Doedes, N. D.2 Apr 1873

“I am sure you will excuse my writing at length, when I tell you that I have long been much out of health, and am now staying away from my home for rest. It is impossible to answer your question briefly; and I am not sure that I could do so, even if I wrote at some length. But I may say that the impossibility of conceiving that this grand and wondrous universe, with our conscious selves, arose through chance, seems to me the chief argument for the existence of God; but whether this is an argument of real value, I have never been able to decide…....Nor can I overlook the difficulty from the immense amount of suffering through the world.”

Francis Schaeffer observed:

This of course is a valid problem. The only answer to the problem of evil is the biblical answer of the fall. Darwin has a problem because he never had a high view of revelation, so he doesn’t have the answer any more than the liberal theologian has the answer. If you don’t have a space-time fall then you don’t have an answer to suffering. If you have a very, very significant man at the beginning, Darwin did not have that, but if you had a very significant, wonderful man at the beginning and can change history then the fall is the possible answer that can be given to Darwin’s 2nd argument.

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:—

But passing over the endless beautiful adaptations which we everywhere meet with, it may be asked how can the generally beneficent arrangement of the world be accounted for? Some writers indeed are so much impressed with the amount of suffering in the world, that they doubt, if we look to all sentient beings, whether there is more of misery or of happiness; whether the world as a whole is a good or a bad one. According to my judgment happiness decidedly prevails, though this would be very difficult to prove.”

Francis Schaeffer commented:

We come now to a funny situation where Darwin is arguing there is more happiness than sorry in the world. In this I think he is right. What he is saying if you could have a balance of 51% of happiness then it would open the door to thinking God is good, but I would never argue this way because it is not 51% of happiness versus 49% of unhappiness in the universe but how could a good God make unhappiness at all. The answer is in the [space time fall in Genesis].

Darwin continued:

“If the truth of this conclusion be granted, it harmonizes well with the effects which we might expect from natural selection. If all the individuals of any species were habitually to suffer to an extreme degree, they would neglect to propagate their kind; but we have no reason to believe that this has ever, or at least often occurred. Some other considerations, moreover, lead to the belief that all sentient begins have been formed so as to enjoy, as a general rule, happiness. Every one who believes, as I do, that all the corporeal and mental organs (excepting those which are neither advantageous nor disadvantageous to the possessor) of all beings have been developed through natural selection, or the survival of the fittest, together with use or habit, will admit that these organs have been formed so that their possessors may compete successfully with other beings, and thus increase in number.”

Francis Schaeffer noted:

What he is saying here is that from his own view he needs to hold that suffering is less than happiness otherwise what would drive the creatures on toward natural selection. The Christian of course does not have this problem. The Christian says everything is in agony because the whole has been thrown out of joint and there has been an reordering of the universe because of the fall. We don’t have to find such a balance as he was grappling with here.

From Darwin’s section on religion:

“The sum of such pleasures as these, which are habitual or frequently recurrent, give, as I can hardly doubt, to most sentient beings an excess of happiness over misery, although many occasionally suffer much. Such suffering is quite compatible with the belief in Natural Selection, which is not perfect in its action, but tends only to render each species as successful as possible in the battle for life with other species, in wonderfully complex and changing circumstances.  That there is much suffering in the world no one disputes. Some have attempted to explain this with reference to man by imagining that it serves for his moral improvement. But the number of men in the world is as nothing compared with that of all other sentient beings, and they often suffer greatly without any moral improvement. This very old argument from the existence of suffering against the existence of an intelligent First Cause seems to me a strong one; whereas, as just remarked, the presence of much suffering agrees well with the view that all organic beings have been developed through variation and natural selection.”

Francis Schaeffer :

He has to argue this otherwise what drove the creatures on. He has to have a 51% or 52% happiness. Then he says what does this do to God. We would answer if there is no space time fall it makes God if He exists the devil, on the other hand with a space time fall you have another answer.

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Here is a portion of the text from the CD I sent you today on DARWINISM from Adrian Rogers:

I was in Israel, I was a guest, there, of the Israeli government. They gave me the best guide that they had in Israel. And, that man in Israel—I’ll not call his name, because, thank God, I believe he listens to this program; and, I’m grateful he does, because I’m still trying to witness to him—but this man—a brilliant man, the curator of the Rockefeller Museum there—became a friend. We sat up, one night, late, talking. I said, “Sir, do you believe in God?” He said, “No, I do not.” I said, “Why don’t you believe—why don’t you believe—in God?” He said, “The Holocaust. What kind of a God would allow that to happen?” That deals with the message I preached this morning.

Because of the Holocaust. I said, “Then Hitler has caused you not to believe in God?” He said, “Yes, I detest Hitler.” I said, “Well, you’re on the same side as Hitler. Hitler didn’t believe in God, as such; you don’t believe in God. Hitler believed in evolution; you believe in evolution. Evolution is the survival of the fittest; you believe in the survival of the fittest. And, Hitler had his gas ovens, because he thought that the Aryan race was superior to your people, sir. You’ve become very much like the thing that you fight.” It’s only a short step from believing in evolution to the gas ovens, or whatever.

You see, folks, if there is no God, you can choose what you want. I said to this man, “Sir, if you don’t believe in God, then let me give you a proposition: If there’s a sick baby and a healthy dog, which one would you choose?” In a moment of honesty, he said, “If it were my dog, I would choose the dog.” Let the baby die; let the dog live—why? There’s no God, no creation. Man is not distinct from the animals. All we are is an animal with a thumb juxtaposed to five fingers, with a knee that causes him to stand upright, with the ability to articulate and to think abstractly. If that’s all the difference there is, I submit to you, the man was right. And, who can say what is right, or who can say what is wrong?

Therefore, I reject—I reject—evolution on the moral basis. And, I want to tell you, folks, the battle lines are being drawn today. Over what? Euthanasia. Over what? Genetic engineering. Over what? Abortion. Over what? A basic sense of right or wrong. Now, if evolution is true, then all of these things are up for grabs. We have morality by majority—whatever a person wishes to believe or think. Self-autonomous man wants to have it his way.

I reject evolution for moral reasons—for moral reasons. Now, there were two atheists, who lived in the time of Darwin, who believed Darwin’s teaching and locked onto it. One was a man named Nietzsche, and the other was a man named Karl Marx. From Nietzsche we got Nazism. Hitler was a student of Nietzsche, who was a student of Charles Darwin. The other was Karl Marx. Karl Marx was the father of Communism—also a student of Darwin. And, you see, it’s easy to understand, if there is no God, how something like Communism, which is based on Godlessness, and Nazism, which is based on raw brutality, could come. People talk about all those who’ve died in religious wars—and many have, and that’s tragic. But, I want to say that far more—multiplied many more; millions, and millions, and multiplied millions—have died—not because of religion, but because of anti-godly evolution.

You think of those who were destroyed by Nazi Germany. Think of the gas camps. Think of the multiplied millions that were put to death under Stalin and the others, the atrocity of Communism. Well, why that? Why these immoral things? Well, if you believe that you came from animals, if you believe that everything is an accident, ultimately, there can be no standard of right or wrong. You teach people that they’ve come from animals; and, after a while, they’ll begin to live like animals. It follows as night follows day. What do animals live for? Self-gratification, self-preservation, self-propagation. And, that’s what the average American is living for.

Peter Singer, who is an ethicist—so-called—at Princeton, believes that we ought to be able to kill little babies, if we don’t like them, if they’re not perfect enough for us. Now, I’m not talking about babies in the womb; I’m talking about pure infanticide. He believes that a live chimpanzee is of more value, if that chimpanzee is healthy, than an unhealthy baby.

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FINALLY WE MUST ADMIT IF WE WERE NOT CREATED BY GOD THEN WE HAVE NO HOPE FOR OUR ETERNAL FUTURES.  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

Is the Bible historically accurate? Here are some of the posts I have done in the past on the subject: 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.

You can hear DAVE HOPE and Kerry Livgren’s stories from this youtube link:

(part 1 ten minutes)

(part 2 ten minutes)

Kansas – Dust in the Wind (Official Video)

Uploaded on Nov 7, 2009

Pre-Order Miracles Out of Nowhere now at http://www.miraclesoutofnowhere.com

About the film:
In 1973, six guys in a local band from America’s heartland began a journey that surpassed even their own wildest expectations, by achieving worldwide superstardom… watch the story unfold as the incredible story of the band KANSAS is told for the first time in the DVD Miracles Out of Nowhere.

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Adrian Rogers on Darwinism

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“Truth Tuesday” Debating the Founding Fathers with Ark Times Bloggers Part 6 Our founding fathers did believe in rewards and punishments in the next life for what we do in this life!!!!!!

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 , but the issue of the founding fathers’ views on religion got one of the biggest responses.

It is true that 29 of the signers of the Declaration of Independence had degrees with Bible Colleges or Seminaries and these men we know were God-fearing Protestants. This means they had a biblical view of man with an understanding of our sin nature and this led them to come up with a limited government with many checks and balances. They had a strong belief in the afterlife and in future punishments and rewards. They also encouraged Christianity and were not hostile to religion. However, they did not set up a Christian Theocracy but wanted freedom of religion.

People really are losing their faith in big government and they want more liberty back. It seems to me we have to get back to the founding  principles that made our country great.  We also need to realize that a big government will encourage waste and corruptionThe recent scandals in our government have proved my point. In fact, the jokes President Obama made at Ohio State about possibly auditing them are not so funny now that reality shows how the IRS was acting more like a monster out of control.  Here is a clip discussing the founders and what their religious views were.

David Barton: Declaration and Constitution Are Based Entirely On The Bible

Here is some comments from our debate on the Arkansas Times Blog in July of 2013:

Outlier, you have your humorous moments, I have to give you that and I enjoyed the rap song and the irony of feeling sorry for the pimp who has the hard job of making his rent. It reminded me of the Will Ferrell pimp story he told about in the movie THE OTHER GUYS. Here is the clip:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzqLbAMhZo…

Morality from religion is necessary for a government such as the founders set up in the USA. Don’t take my word for it but look at some of these comments from George Washington.

In the advertisement from the Freedom from Religion Foundation you have a quote from George Washington but these quotes below were omitted:

“While just government protects all in their religious rights, true religion affords to government its surest support.”

(Source: George Washington, The Writings of George Washington, John C. Fitzpatrick, editor (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1932), Vol. XXX, p. 432 n., from his address to the Synod of the Dutch Reformed Church in North America, October 9, 1789.)

“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of man and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connexions with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked, Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths, which are the instruments of investigation in Courts of Justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle. It is substantially true, that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government. The rule, indeed, extends with more or less force to every species of free government. Who, that is a sincere friend to it, can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric?”

(Source: George Washington, Address of George Washington, President of the United States . . . Preparatory to His Declination (Baltimore: George and Henry S. Keatinge), pp. 22-23. In his Farewell Address to the United States in 1796.)

“[T]he [federal] government . . . can never be in danger of degenerating into a monarchy, and oligarchy, an aristocracy, or any other despotic or oppressive form so long as there shall remain any virtue in the body of the people.”

(Source: George Washington, The Writings of George Washington, John C. Fitzpatrick, editor (Washington: U. S. Government Printing Office, 1939), Vol. XXIX, p. 410. In a letter to Marquis De Lafayette, February 7, 1788.)

_____________________

OUTLIER, ON WHAT BASIS DO YOU SAY THAT MURDER IS WRONG? The founding fathers made it clear that our rights to life and liberty came to us from the lawgiver which was the God that revealed himself in the Bible. If you took the time to read George Washington’s Farewell Speech (which I quoted from above) then you will see that this is true.

Here is an outline of some of points he made in that speech, by the way when he said “religion” in this speech he was talking about Christianity.

Religion and Morality…
Are “indispensable supports” for “political prosperity.”
Are the “firmest props of the duties of Men and Country.”

The oaths in our courts would be useless without “the sense of religious obligation.”

“And let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can be maintained without religion.”

“Reason and experience both forbid us to expect, that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”

“Promote, then, as an object of primary importance, institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge.”

THIS BRINGS ME TO WHAT “CITIZEN1” DISMISSED AS “RICHES IN THE NEXT LIFE.”

Our founding fathers did believe in rewards and punishments in the next life for what we do in this life!!!!!!
___________

Benjamin Rush, Signer of the Declaration of Independence,

“Remember that NATIONAL CRIMES REQUIRE NATIONAL PUNISHMENTS AND WITHOUT DECLARING WHAT PUNISHMENT AWAITS THIS EVIL, YOU MAY VENTURE TO ASSURE THEM THAT IT CANNOT PASS WITH IMPUNITY, UNLESS GOD SHALL CEASE TO BE JUST or merciful.”

(Source: Benjamin Rush, An Address to the Inhabitants of the British Settlements in America Upon Slave-Keeping (Boston: John Boyles, 1773), p. 30.)

______________________

James McHenry

Signer of the Constitution

“[P]ublic utility pleads most forcibly for the general distribution of the Holy Scriptures. The doctrine they preach, the obligations they impose, THE PUNISHMENT THEY THREATEN, THE REWARDS THEY PROMISE, the stamp and image of divinity they bear, which produces a conviction of their truths, can alone secure to society, order and peace, and to our courts of justice and constitutions of government, purity, stability and usefulness. In vain, without the Bible, we increase penal laws and draw entrenchments around our institutions. Bibles are strong entrenchments. Where they abound, men cannot pursue wicked courses, and at the same time enjoy quiet conscience.”

(Source: Bernard C. Steiner, One Hundred and Ten Years of Bible Society Work in Maryland, 1810-1920 (Maryland Bible Society, 1921), p. 14.)

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Christian Rock Pioneer Larry Norman’s Songs Part 1

I posted a lot in the past about my favorite Christian musicians such as Keith Green (I enjoyed reading Green’s monthly publications too), and 2nd Chapter of Acts and others. Today I wanted to talk about one of Larry Norman’s songs. David Rogers introduced me to Larry Norman’s music in the 1970’s and his album IN ANOTHER LAND came out in 1976 and sold an enormous amount of copies for a Christian record back then.

 

Larry Norman – The Great American Novel ~ [Lyrics]

Larry Norman – 1 – The Rock That Doesn’t Roll – In Another Land (1976)

Larry Norman – 2 – I Love You – In Another Land (1976)

Larry Norman and Michael Norman

 

Remembering Larry Norman

Contributor Two Contributor Two
Remembering Larry Norman
Contributor Two Contributor Two

Calling Larry Norman a “Christian rock pioneer” is easy, and true enough. But before becoming the personification of the Jesus Movement of the late ’60s and early ’70s, he got his start in the mainstream pop world.In 1966, he joined San Jose area band People and signed to Capitol Records. They scored a pop hit with their cover of The Zombies’ “I Love You (But the Words Won’t Come),” before disbanding over internal spiritual conflicts and Norman’s frustration with the label’s re-naming of the band’s debut album. Norman stayed with Capitol for the release of his solo debut, Upon This Rock, a wildly eclectic folk/rock record often referred to as the first Christian rock record of any consequence.

He moved to MGM Records for two critically-acclaimed albums, including Only Visiting This Planet (called “The Best Christian Album of All Time” by the editors of CCM Magazine). But sales were few, and by 1972, Norman went underground, starting Solid Rock Records in the U.S. and Europe, beginning a 35-year run of independence that brought about not only more great music of his own, but also introduced other artful, progressive artists including Randy Stonehill, Daniel Amos, Steve Scott, Tom Howard, Mark Heard, Chris Eaton (Lyrix) and others.

Unlike the safe, southern gospel influenced Christian records of the mid-’70s, Norman’s albums were richly layered in the best tradition of acts like The Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Elton John and Crosby, Stills and Nash, with a dark, apocalyptic streak. His message engaged the culture with authenticity and conviction, and his imagination articulated the disconnectedness felt by so many people in the aftermath of the ’60s.

Odd and controversial business practices and broken personal relationships would bring about the end of his Solid Rock Records imprint and cause friction between Norman and some of his closest friends. As Christian music came into its own, he sent himself into a sort of exile. He emerged occasionally, often with surprising stories of personal injuries and even conspiracies. But for the most part, he spent the last two decades of his life communicating directly with his die-hard fans and performing solo acoustic concerts around the world in small venues.

He released a few new projects and re-assembled his classics for release through his website, larrynorman.com. Occasional festival appearances were rare treats for the faithful fans, but he was so far outside the mainstream that most of today’s Christian music fans have absolutely no idea who Larry Norman is.

The fire he fanned continues to burn to this day. Much of the current faith-fueled music scene can trace its existence all the way back to this lanky San Jose kid with the quizzical face, the ripped blue jeans and the simple message that Jesus loves us. His reach extends well into the mainstream where he was admired by artists like U2, John Mellancamp, Bob Dylan and alternative/punk legend Frank Black of Pixies fame. Black, with his ’90s band The Catholics, covered Norman’s song “Six Sixty Six” and frequently went out of his way to laud his impact. In a statement issued the day after Norman’s death, Black called the singer “The most Christ-like man I ever knew.”

In 2002, when U2’s Bono visited Nashville to speak with Christian artists about his DATA campaign, the only artist he specifically asked about was Larry Norman. Norman couldn’t make that trip, so Bono visited him on the road later that year.

His flaws were many, and unfortunately, often kept him at more than arm’s length from the industry he inadvertently helped create. But in time, most of his harshest critics accepted that despite his faults, maybe because of them, he was an amazing person who had given the Church an incredible gift. One-time protégée and best friend Randy Stonehill had distanced himself from Norman for over 20 years following deep personal conflict between the two. In 2001, they reconciled, reuniting onstage at Cornerstone.

Norman struggled with heart disease for most of the last decade. On Sunday, Feb. 24, 2008 his struggle ended. He died peacefully. He was 60. It is certainly no overstatement to say Larry Norman is to Christian music what John Lennon is to rock & roll or Bob Dylan is to folk music. His contributions deserve to be discovered by future generations, and his enduring legacy includes the fantastic truth that despite his personal weakness and frailty, God used him to accomplish amazing things.

 

John J. Thompson is an artist, author, pastor, music journalist and industry veteran. He founded True Tunes and Gyroscope Arts and currently resides in Nashville. JohnJThompson.com

– See more at: http://www.ccmmagazine.com/article/remembering-larry-norman/#sthash.dNOPNZrq.dpuf

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