I sent a cassette tape of Adrian Rogers on Evolution to John Hospers in May of 1994 which was the 10th anniversary of Francis Schaeffer’s passing and I promptly received a typed two page response from Dr. John Hospers. Dr. Hospers had both read my letter and all the inserts plus listened to the whole sermon and had some very angry responses. If you would like to hear the sermon from Adrian Rogers and read the transcript then refer to my earlier post at this link. Over the last few weeks I have posted portions of Dr. Hospers’ letter and portions of the cassette tape that he listened to back in 1994, but today I want to look at some other comments made on that cassette tape that John Hospers listened to and I will also post a few comments that Dr. Hospers made in that 2 page letter.
John Hospers on His Friendship with Ayn Rand
John Hospers, distinguished author and philosopher, first presidential candidate of the Libertarian Party, and a senior editor of Liberty, died in Los Angeles on June 12. He was 93 and had been in fragile health for over a year.
John was a modest and self-skeptical man, but his accomplishments were legion. Born in provincial Iowa of Dutch immigrant stock, he became an internationally recognized philosopher, editor of The Personalist and later of The Monist — two of the most important academic journals of philosophy — and chairman of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Southern California. An early organizer of the Libertarian Party, he was its standard bearer in the election of 1972, in which he and his running mate, Tonie Nathan, achieved a vote in the Electoral College, making Tonie the only woman who had ever done so.
John used to laugh about his encounter with one of his academic colleagues in the hallways of USC during the presidential campaign:
“Hello, John. What are you doing these days?”
“I’m running for president.”
“I didn’t know that. President of the APA!” (APA stands for the American Philosophical Association.)
“Oh no. President of the United States.”
John ran a vigorous campaign (and enjoyed it). Many years later, I got him to write the inside story of this episode, exclusive to Liberty. It’s in our June 2007 issue, and includes a good picture of the candidate.
Before the election, John had published a thoughtful book about the idea of liberty, Libertarianism (1971). As editor of The Personalist, he gave many young libertarians, such as Robert Nozick, their first chance to publish. John was an early and regular contributor to Reason, and starting in the early 1990s he contributed many important articles to Liberty. Usually it worked like this: John would make a comment about a topic that appealed to him. Bill Bradford or I would suggest that he write something about it. “Oh,” John would say, “do you really think people would be interested?” “Yes, John,” we’d reply, “they certainly would be.” Then we’d give him our reasons for saying so. “Well, I don’t know,” he’d say. He’d think it over for a while, and about half the time he would write the article.
Bill and I were right: our readers were always interested in what John had to say. It wasn’t just that he was John Hospers and had a historic importance for libertarians. It was that John had a way of combining the provocative with the calmly, steadily rational — a rare intellectual achievement.
From 1960 to 1962, John was an intimate friend of Ayn Rand, the novelist and philosopher who was one of the greatest influences on modern American libertarianism. John met her not as a disciple (at a time when she engaged with few people who were not disciples) but as a person of independent intellectual development and ideas. Indeed, with the exception of Isabel Paterson in the early 1940s, he was probably the only person who ever debated both amicably and determinedly with Rand. On many occasions, he and Rand stayed up all night, discussing everything in the world, without pretense or intimidation, like Athena and Odysseus sitting together on the shores of Ithaka, plotting the institution of a just society.
John told the story of their relationship, and of its eventual sundering, in an important two-part article in Liberty(July and Sept. 1990). He added another chapter in our August 2006 issue. I think you’ll enjoy those articles.
John’s relationship with Rand ended in one of those disasters that were inevitable with her. I used to wonder how anyone, even she, could quarrel with someone so intelligent, so gentle, so transparently sincere, so sweet as John — or with someone who loved her as much as he did. I’m sorry I never asked him that question, in just that way. Of Rand he told me, with tears in his eyes, “She had so few friends.”
John was a quiet, meditative person, who could sit listening for hours while other people talked, not feeling that the right note had yet been struck for his own intervention. But if you drew him aside, and made just a little effort to draw him out, he was a warm and delightful conversationalist. Personal warmth was important for him. He had it banked up inside him, in his private feelings: his memories of his family, especially of his immigrant great-grandmother, who lived to be a hundred years old, who was kind to him, and talkative about important things; his feelings of disappointment when the Libertarian Party no longer sought his advice, when it failed even to notice him anymore; his concerns about the future of the country, regarding which he was very pessimistic, fearing that the public demand for welfare had become so insistent and so chronic that a truly liberal social order could never be reachieved. He was particularly fearful about the political effects of open immigration, against which he argued with a logic that had been endorsed by every earlier libertarian leader, but that many current leaders of the movement had since repudiated.
I sometimes argued with John. I argued against his pessimism, and he always said, smiling, “Well, I hope you are right.” I argued against his religious agnosticism, and John, who had been brought up in very pious surroundings, always said, “What people don’t understand is that before we argue about God’s existence, we must first define what we mean by God.” My attempts to address the topic by using standard, operative definitions of God — “the creator of the world, who has sometimes intervened in its affairs” — got me precisely nowhere. For Hospers the analytical philosopher, that wasn’t nearly good enough. But I did get him to publish a riposte to my own theism in Liberty’s Jan.-Feb. 2008 issue.
I believe that was, very unfortunately, the last essay John ever wrote. His response to my frequent entreaties to publish something more about his many interests were unavailing. He would say, “I’m not sure I have anything to add. If I do, of course, I’ll send it.” When I suggested that if everyone took that approach, scholarly publication would cease, he enjoyed the joke, but his severe judgment of what it means to “add” to intellectual conversation prevailed. He was, indeed, a modest man.
John could occasionally be acerbic, when he felt that proper definitions, proper philosophic standards, were not in place — although he was never that way in conversing with me, or other people I know. Smiles, and carefully considered comments, and graceful encouragement to continue the conversation, whether he agreed with you or not — those were John’s hallmarks. In his later years, he was the center of a group of friends — including people of all ages, from his own down to the early twenties — who met for regular viewing and discussion of classic films. Enviable group! John had an encyclopedic knowledge of the movies, and his own taste was not only catholic but insightful and . . . here’s that word again: warm. Beneath the modest, judicious, (not unduly) professorial exterior was a heart full of feeling for any real human accomplishment, for anything that made life pleasant, graceful, witty, noble, or courageous. And John was all those things, himself.
Here is a portion of Hospers’ June 2, 1994 letter to me:
The tape is horrible. The mealy-mouthed sanctimoniousness is repellent enough (under the guise of humility). But the arguments are just simply awful.
How can I know the Bible is the Word of God? by Adrian Rogers
Also included on the cassette tape I sent to Dr. Hospers were these words below by Adrian Rogers (who is pictured below)
There are certain facts that cause me to believe the Bible is the word of God. I don’t believe the Bible is the Word of God by mere blind faith. As a matter of fact, I don’t like the term BLIND FAITH. When someone tells me to believe the first question that comes in my mind is WHY SHOULD I BELIEVE? A little boy was asked WHAT IS FAITH? and he said, “That is you believe what you know isn’t so.” No that is not [Biblical] faith. Faith is rooted in evidence. Faith is rooted in facts. I don’t have confidence in just quote JUST BELIEVING.
I heard of the story of the boy who fell over a cliff and many hundreds of feet below were the jagged rocks and he grabbed a limb and was holding on swinging suspended in midair. It was too high to climb to the top and below was certain death. He began to yell at the top of his voice, “Help me is there anybody up there? Help me!”
A voice came and said, “I am here.” The boy said, “Help me!!” The voice said, “Very well. Let go of the limb.” The boy said, “Is anybody else up there?”
I am very much like this boy. WHY SHOULD WE JUST DO SOMETHING JUST BECAUSE SOMEONE SAYS SO? We need to have some evidence before we can have some faith. The Christian faith is rooted not in fable but in fact, and when you believe the Bible it is not a leap into the dark but it is a step into the light.
Let me give you some facts as to why I believe the Bible is the Word of God. Turn with me to the book of Luke 1:1-4. You are going to find that the Book of Luke is a historical document.
Luke 1 New King James Version (NKJV)
1 Inasmuch as many have taken in hand to set in order a narrative of those things which have been fulfilled[a] among us, 2 just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word delivered them to us, 3 it seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, (THAT MAY BE TRANSLATED “having understanding of things from above”) to write to you an orderly account, most excellent Theophilus, 4 that you may know the certainty of those things in which you were instructed.
Now Luke said, Theophilus, you want to know about these things? He said, “Number one, I have interviewed eyewitnesses. Number two, I was careful and accurate in my historical research.” There was a man named Sir William Ramsay, who was the professor of humanities at Aberdeen University in Scotland. He was reputed to be the most eminent authority on the geography and history of ancient Asia Minor. At first he assumed that Luke’s writings were mainly a fabrication. But upon much more careful investigation, he came to an opposite conclusion. He wrote a book about Luke entitled, “The Beloved Physician”, in which he declared Luke to be one of the world’s greatest historians. And this is what he said after he took a more careful look, and I quote: “I take the view that Luke’s history is unsurpassed in regard to its trustworthiness. You may press the words of Luke in a degree beyond any other historian’s and they will stand the keenest scrutiny and the hardest treatment.”
(Sir William Ramsay pictured below, March 1851 – April 1939)
Let me give you an example of what he’s talking about. In Luke 2:1-2, Luke states that the birth of Jesus was when Quirinius was the governor of Syria. And historians knew that Quirinius was governor A.D. 8 through 10. And yet, the Bible teaches that Jesus was born before the death of Herod. And Herod the Great died in 4 B.C. So, they say, “See there, the Bible is full of errors.” But as Sir William Ramsey continued to study, he found out that Quirinius was governor twice. The first time, when Jesus was born, and then he was governor again later. Isn’t that wonderful? But you see, those are the kind of things that somebody might read carelessly and say, “Well, the Bible is not the inspired Word of God.” But the more we do historical research, the more the Bible is confirmed.
Do you remember the story about the handwriting on the wall that is found in the fifth chapter of Daniel? Belshazzar hosted a feast with a thousand of his lords and ladies. Suddenly, a gruesome hand appeared out of nowhere and began to write on a wall. The king was disturbed and asked for someone to interpret the writing. Daniel was found and gave the interpretation. After the interpretation, “Then commanded Belshazzar, and they clothed Daniel with scarlet, and put a chain of gold about his neck, and made a proclamation concerning him, that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom.” (Daniel 5:29). Basing their opinion on Babylonian records, the historians claim this never happened. According to the records, the last king of Babylon was not Belshazzar, but a man named Nabonidas. And so, they said, the Bible is in error. There wasn’t a record of a king named Belshazzar. Well, the spades of archeologists continued to do their work. In 1853, an inscription was found on a cornerstone of a temple built by Nabonidas, to the god Ur, which read: “May I, Nabonidas, king of Babylon, not sin against thee. And may reverence for thee dwell in the heart of Belshazzar, my first-born favorite son.” From other inscriptions, it was learned that Belshazzar and Nabonidas were co-regents. Nabonidas traveled while Belshazzar stayed home to run the kingdom. Now that we know that Belshazzar and Nabonidas were co-regents, it makes sense that Belshazzar would say that Daniel would be the third ruler. What a marvelous nugget of truth tucked away in the Word of God!
(‘Belshazzar’s Feast’ by Rembrandt, about 1635)
Is the Bible historically accurate? Here are some of the posts I have done in the past on the subject: 1. The Babylonian Chronicle, of Nebuchadnezzars Siege of Jerusalem, 2. Hezekiah’s Siloam Tunnel Inscription. 3. Taylor Prism (Sennacherib Hexagonal Prism), 4. Biblical Cities Attested Archaeologically. 5. The Discovery of the Hittites, 6.Shishak Smiting His Captives, 7. Moabite Stone, 8. Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III, 9A Verification of places in Gospel of John and Book of Acts., 9B Discovery of Ebla Tablets. 10. Cyrus Cylinder, 11. Puru “The lot of Yahali” 9th Century B.C.E., 12. The Uzziah Tablet Inscription, 13. The Pilate Inscription, 14. Caiaphas Ossuary, 14 B Pontius Pilate Part 2, 14c. Three greatest American Archaeologists moved to accept Bible’s accuracy through archaeology.,
The Bible and Archaeology – Is the Bible from God? (Kyle Butt)
During the 1990′s I actually made it a practice to write famous atheists and scientists that were mentioned by Adrian Rogers and Francis Schaeffer and challenge them with the evidence for the Bible’s historicity and the claims of the gospel. Usually I would send them a cassette tape of Adrian Rogers’ messages “6 reasons I know the Bible is True,” “The Final Judgement,” “Who is Jesus?” and the message by Bill Elliff, “How to get a pure heart.” I would also send them printed material from the works of Francis Schaeffer and a personal apologetic letter from me addressing some of the issues in their work. My second cassette tape that I sent to both Antony Flew and George Wald was Adrian Rogers’ sermon on evolution and here below you can watch that very sermon on You Tube. Carl Sagan also took time to correspond with me about a year before he died.
(Francis Schaeffer pictured below)
Adrian Rogers pictured below
I have posted on Adrian Rogers’ messages on Evolution before but here is a complete message on it.
Evolution: Fact of Fiction? By Adrian Rogers
Featured artist is Mel Ramos
Mel Ramos is a legend in Pop Art. In 1954, he begins to study at the Sacramento Junior College and at the Art Studio of California State University.
Mel Ramos is a legend in Pop Art. In 1954, he begins to study at the Sacramento Junior College and at the Art Studio of California State University. By 1958 he had already taken a teaching position at Elk Grove High School and California State University. Firstly Ramos painted famous comic book figures, such as Batman and Superman, who embody a new genre in mass culture. These comic books served as an initial template for his work in the early sixties.
In 1963 Ramos took part in the exhibition “Pop Goes East” with his work of that time at the Contemporary Art Museum in Houston and in 1964 he opened his first solo exhibition in a New York gallery. Ramos became established as a leading representative in Pop Art, alongside well known artists such as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein.
In the mid sixties Ramos was occupied with the artistic representation of Pin Up girls and the depiction of adverts which used sensual femininity. What should be understood as a parody of the marketing strategy of the advertising industry that used feminine sexual attraction to influence consumer behaviour, later became a central theme of Ramos’ work. From then on cola bottles, cigarette packets and cheese pieces with sprawling Pin Up girls dominated his work.
The exhibition shows an extensive cross section of his graphic reproductions as well as some paintings and sculptures, including some of the most famous works of Pop Art.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a documentary by N-TV Art.
The important Pop Artist Mel Ramos had dedicated his largest European retrospective to the World Cultural Heritage Site at the Völklingen Ironworks from 18th June to 8th January, 2012. It is arriving to the World Cultural Heritage Site at the Völklingen Ironworks directly from the Albertina in Vienna, before its return to the USA.
Alongside the 75th birthday of the Californian artist, the exhibition also marks the occasion of 50 years of the Pop Art movement. This representative cross-section of Ramos’s life’s work embraces paintings, conceptual sketches and sculptures.
Creative phases in the show are represented by major works: early paintings that take leave of Abstract Expressionism, the presentation of comic heroes and Wonder Women of the 1960s and of course his Commercial Pin-ups, for which, at the end of the 1960s, Ramos became garnered great renown. In the oil-painted satirical pastiches of brand advertising, pin-up girls nestle up to gigantic coke bottles, cigarette packets and cheese cubes.
The exhibition at the World Cultural Heritage Site at the Völklingen Ironworks is exhibiting the series A Salute to Art History, in which he imbued nude paintings by classical masters with the sex appeal of pop culture including views of the Californian landscape that no one but Ramos would refer to. In addition recent works such as the series Galatea and elements from his excursion into the world of sculpture feature in Mel Ramos’ retrospective at the World Cultural Heritage Site at the Völklingen Ironworks.
Mel Ramos is an American Pop artist best known for his female nudes painted alongside brand logos. Ramos’ pointed coupling of women with familiar products serves as a commentary on the ways in which modern culture has cast the female body as interchangeable with beauty and consumerism. Like Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol, Ramos found imagery from comic books inspirational for his highly graphic style and grew up drawing the cartoons and characters from their pages. Born on July 24, 1935 in Sacramento, CA, Ramos studied art at Sacramento State College under the tutelage of his mentor and friend, Wayne Thiebaud, and where he earned both his BA and MA degrees. The painter and printmaker’s work is part of the collections at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, among others. He currently lives and works in Oakland, CA and Spain.
POSTCARD Mel Ramos Artist Man of Steel Pop Art 1962 Artwork Superman
Wonder Woman by Mel Ramos
Mel Ramos 2007
|Born||24 July 1935
|Education||Sacramento State College, M.A., 1958|
|Known for||Painting, Drawing, figurative painter|
|Awards||National Endowment for the Arts – Visual Artist’s Fellowship Grant, 1986|
Mel Ramos (born July 24, 1935) is a U.S. figurative painter, specializing most often in paintings of female nudes, whose work incorporates elements of realist and abstract art. Born in Sacramento, California, to a first generation Portuguese-Azorean immigrant family, he gained his popularity as part of the Pop Art movement of the 1960s. Ramos is “best known for his paintings of superheroes and voluptuous female nudes emerging from cornstalks or Chiquita bananas, popping up from candy wrappers or lounging in martini glasses”. He is also a retired university art professor.
Ramos attended Sacramento Junior College and San Jose State College. One of his earliest art teachers was Wayne Thiebaud, who is considered his mentor, and who remains a friend. Ramos received his B.A. and his M.A. from Sacramento State College, finishing his education in 1958.
Ramos taught art at Elk Grove High School and Mira Loma High School in Sacramento from 1958 to 1966. After two brief college teaching assignments, he began a long career at California State University, East Bay in Hayward, California which lasted from 1966 to 1997, and where he is now Professor Emeritus. He has been Artist in Residence at Syracuse University and the University of Wisconsin.
Ramos married Leta Ramos in 1955, and she was the model for many of his early nude paintings.
Ramos received his first important recognition in the early 1960s; since 1959 he has participated in more than 120 group shows. Along with Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol, he was one of the first artists to do paintings of images from comic books, and works of the three were exhibited together at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1963. Along with Claes Oldenburg, James Rosenquist, Tom Wesselman and Wayne Thiebaud, Ramos produced art works that celebrated aspects of popular cultureas represented in mass media. His paintings have been shown in major exhibitions of Pop art in the U.S. and in Europe, and reproduced in books, catalogs, and periodicals throughout the world.
In 2009, Ramos was part of the first Portuguese American bilingual art book and exhibit in California “Ashes to Life a Portuguese American Story in Art” with fellow artists Nathan Oliveira, John Mattos and Joao de Brito.
A retrospective of over 50 years of his work opened at the Crocker Art Museum in his hometown of Sacramento on June 2, 2012. This show is “the first major exhibition of his work in his hometown”, and his first American retrospective in 35 years.
- Shields, Scott A.; Johnathon Keats; Diana L. Daniels (2012). Mel Ramos: 50 Years of Superheroes, Nudes, and Other Pop Delights. San Francisco: Modernism, Inc. ISBN 978-09830673-2-0.
- Dalkey, Victoria (June 3, 2012). “Mel Ramos retrospective at Sacramento’s Crocker Art Museum”. Sacramento Bee (Sacramento). Retrieved June 3, 2012.
- “MEL RAMOS: GIRLS, CANDIES & COMICS”. Albertina, Vienna. 2011. Retrieved June 3, 2012.
- Letze, Otto; Klaus Honnef; illustrated by Mel Ramos (2010). Mel Ramos: 50 Years of Pop Art. Berlin: Hatje Cantz. ISBN 9783775725316.
- “Crocker Art Museum presents first hometown survey for internationally acclaimed artist Mel Ramos”. ArtDaily. June 4, 2012. Retrieved June 3, 2012.