RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 66 Stephan Feuchtwang, London School of Economics, “I am deeply respectful, as well as utterly sceptical, of what people say they have as their spiritual experience including what they say about God”

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

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

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

Harry Kroto

_________________

Below you have picture of Dr. Harry Kroto:

Professor Stephan Feuchtwang

FeuchtwangProfessor Stephan Feuchtwang is an emeritus professor of the Department. He has been engaged in research on popular religion and politics in mainland China and Taiwan since 1966, resulting in a number of publications on charisma, place, temples and festivals, and civil society. He has recently been engaged in a comparative project exploring the theme of the recognition of catastrophic loss, including the loss of archive and recall, which in Chinese cosmology and possibly elsewhere is pre-figured in the category of ghosts. Most recently he has been pursuing a project on the comparison of civilisations and empires.

Selected publications:

2011. Feuchtwang, Stephan  After the event: the transmission of grievous loss in Germany, China and Taiwan. Berghahn Books, London, UK. ISBN 9780857450869

2011. Feuchtwang, Stephan  Exhibition and awe: regimes of visibility in the presentation of an emperor. Journal of material culture, 16 (1). pp. 64-79. ISSN 1359-1835

2011. Feuchtwang, Stephan Afterword. In: Shih, Fang-Long and Thompson, Stuart and Tremlett, Paul-François, (eds.) Re-writing culture in Taiwan. Routledge, London, UK. ISBN 9780415602938

2010. Feuchtwang, Stephan Recalling the Great Leap Famine and recourse to irony.In: Zhang, Everett and Kleinman, Arthur and Tu, Weiming, (eds.) Governance of life in Chinese moral experience: the quest for an adequate life. Routledge, London, UK. ISBN 9780415597197

In  the third video below in the 135th clip in this series are his words and  my response is below them. 

An interview of Stefan Feuchtwang, part 1

Uploaded on Jun 29, 2009

An interview with the anthropologist of China Stefan Feuchtwang, made by Alan Macfarlane on 12th March 2009
For a higher quality, downloadable, version with a summary, please see http://www.alanmacfarlane.com

An interview of Stephan Feuchtwang, part 2

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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October 9, 2015

Professor Stephan Feuchtwang, LSE (London School of Economics and Political Science),
London

 

Dear Dr. Feuchtwang,

I really enjoyed your lengthy interview with Dr. Alan Macfarlane. He does the best in depth scholarly interviews on the internet. Thank you for agreeing to give him an interview. I think I have watched almost all of the interviews he has ever done and that is over 100 by now. I have even gone back and watched many of them over and over. I actually did a post on my blog about  Alan Macfarlane.

In that interview you noted:

I think I was always an atheist; I had to ask myself what is God all the time; however, I am deeply respectful, as well as utterly sceptical, of what people say they have as their spiritual experience including what they say about God or gods; I have a preference for polytheism. I come from a psycho-analytically inclined family culture; my mother was psycho-analysed and did graphology, and I am married to a psycho-analytic therapist; what Freud calls an oceanic experience, the emotion of religiosity that goes with a belief in God, I think I can detect in myself; I have never had an epiphany but have had oceanic experiences, the sense of wonder, as the arch-atheist, Richard Dawkins, himself has; I think that is part of one’s human heritage. 

Although you claim that you are a firm atheist I am hopeful that you will take a look at the archaeological evidence I provided at the end of this letter in favor of the Bible’s historicity.

On November 21, 2014 I received a letter from Nobel Laureate Harry Kroto  who I have been corresponding with 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

__________________________

There are 3 videos in this series and they have statements by 150 academics and scientists and I saw that you were featured in this film series. I have been responding to some of the statements concerning God and I plan on responding to what you have said on this issue too.

Now on to the other topics I wanted to discuss with you today. I wanted to write you today for two reasons. First, do you think there is a categorical difference between humans and animals or are they just different in degrees?   Second, I wanted to point out some scientific evidence that caused Antony Flew to switch from an atheist (as you are now) to a theist. Twenty years I had the opportunity to correspond with two individuals that were regarded as two of the most famous atheists of the 20th Century, Antony Flew and Carl Sagan. (I have enclosed some of those letters between us.) I had read the books and seen the films of the Christian philosopher Francis Schaeffer and he had discussed the works of both of these men. I sent both of these gentlemen philosophical arguments from Schaeffer in these letters and in the first letter I sent a cassette tape of my pastor’s sermon IS THE BIBLE TRUE? (CD is enclosed also.) You may have noticed in the news a few years ago that Antony Flew actually became a theist in 2004 and remained one until his death in 2010. Carl Sagan remained a skeptic until his dying day in 1996.

You will notice in the enclosed letter from June 1, 1994 that Dr. Flew commented, “Thank you for sending me the IS THE BIBLE TRUE? tape to which I have just listened with great interest and, I trust, profit.” It would be a great honor for me if you would take time and drop me a note and let me know what your reaction is to this same message.

Dr. John J. Shea appeared on the TV series APE MAN with Walter Cronkite back in the 1990’s and claimed that there is only a degree of difference between monkeys and humans and not a categorical difference. After that program aired I had the opportunity to correspond with Dr. Shea and he was kind enough to send me a two page response to my questions. (This correspondence took place back in 1994 and 1995.)

Dr. Shea also suggested that I read SHADOWS OF FORGOTTEN ANCESTORS by Carl Sagan and his wife Ann Druyan, and I did so. Here are my thoughts on the question.

First, only humans lie in the sense we are held morally responsible. Sagan wrote, “Deception in the social relations of animals…is an emerging and productive topic in biology…” (p. 379). This may be true, but are animals responsible to God? I think not. Romans 3:23 teaches that “All MEN have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Animals may deceive but they are not morally responsible.

Second, only men feel guilt. Sagan refers briefly to the fact that men feel guilt (p. 4.14), but he does not spend a lot of time on this. Romans 1:19 asserts, “For that which is known about God is evident to them and made plain in their inner consciousness, because God has show it to them” (Amplified Bible).  Here Sagan turns to  Thomas Henry Huxley who he quotes:

On all sides, I shall hear the cry–“We are men and women, not a mere better sort of apes, a little longer in the leg, more compact in the foot, and bigger in brain than your brutal Chimpanzees and Gorillas. The power of knowledge–the conscience of good and evil--the pitiful tenderness of human affections, raise us out of all real fellowship with the brutes, however, closely they may seem to approximate us.”

To this I can reply that the exclamation would be just and would be most just and would have my entire sympathy, if it were only relevant. But, it is not I who seek to base Man’s dignity upon this great toe, or insinuate that we are lost if an Ape has a hippocampus minor (in its brain). On the contrary, I have done my best to sweep away this vanity… 

WHY DID SAGAN AND HUXLEY FACE SUCH A LARGE CHORUS THAT WAS OBJECTING TO THIS VIEW THAT WE DON’T HAVE A GOD-GIVEN CONSCIENCE? The answer is very simple and it deals with the consequences of Social Darwinism. Chuck Colson said that Larry King was not very impressed with his long talk on the historical accuracy of the scriptures, but when he touched on this subject things got interesting:

Larry King invited me to dinner. “I don’t believe in God,” Larry told me straight out. “But tell me why you believe.” I responded, “Have you seen Woody Allen‘s movie CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS

Yes, he loved it, in fact. It’s about a doctor who is haunted by GUILT after hiring a killer to murder his mistress. His Jewish father has taught him that God will surely bring justice. In the end the doctor suppresses his GUILT, convincing himself that LIFE IS AN DARWINIAN STRUGGLE WHERE ONLY THE RUTHLESS SURVIVE.

I asked Larry, “Is that our only choice–to be tormented by GUILT or else kill our conscience? Larry, how do you deal with your conscience?” He dropped his fork. I said, “What do you do with the GUILT that is in here? What do you do with what you know you have done wrong?

Then he was ready to listen. I went on and shared with him from Romans which teaches about the voice of conscience that God has given us. 

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Third, men have a longing for significance which expresses itself most clearly in the fear of non being.

Fourth, I would point to the fact that only people worship.

Fifth, men are not satisfied unless they have their spiritual needs met. Carl Sagan quotes the poet Walt Whitman, “Not one (animal) is dissatisfied…Not one is respectable or unhappy over the whole earth…” Sagan comments, “On this basis of the evidence presented in this book, we doubt if any of Whitman’s  six purported differences between other animals and humans is true…” (p. 389).

I read Sagan’s book cover to cover and made over 15 pages of notes, and I have yet to find any of the “evidence” that Sagan speaks of on page 389. I find the comments of NOAM CHOMSKY more logical. He calls animal language an “evolutionary miracle” akin to “finding an island of humans who could be taught to fly.”

I like Francis Schaeffer‘s term “Mannishness” of man. He defines it as those aspects of man, such as significance, love, rationality and the fear of non being, which mark him off from animals and machines and give evidence of his being created in the image of a personal God.

The scientist Blaise Pascal is quoted by Sagan on page 364 and then Sagan notes, “Most of the philosophers adjudged great in the history of western thought held that humans are fundamentally different from other animals…”

As you know Pascal was the inventor of the barometer and he lived from 1623 to 1662. Pascal also observed, “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every man,and only God can fill it.”

What is the solution? “For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). The scriptural directive is not for us to work harder to achieve God’s favor (Romans 3:20), but to accept God’s mercy through our repentance and receiving Christ as a free gift (Ephesians 2:8-10).

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

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PS:

Is the Bible historically accurate? If you want to know then google these ancient subjects. 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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