Could have the atheist Anthony Bourdain committed suicide because he embraced Nihilism at the end?

 

I always enjoyed watching Anthony Bourdain on his show which was from all over the world every week!!! I was saddened by his suicide.

Most critics loved Woody Allen’s movie MIDNIGHT IN PARIS and felt like it was a return to greatness in film making. However, Bourdain stated:

“I loathed Midnight in Paris,” he tells the Times’ Rachel Lee Harris. “It’s everything bad about Woody Allen. It panders to a tiny, tiny minority. It is characters that don’t exist in real life, speaking dialogue like no one has ever spoken except in a Woody Allen film. It looked good and I guess the little History, Literature and Art 101 was impressive to somebody. If the word ‘elitist’ didn’t exist before, now it would. I hated everything about it.”

Maybe he also hated the nihilism that was taught in MIDNIGHT IN PARIS too.

Image result for woody allen

Anthony Bourdain just like Woody Allen embraced atheism, but unlike Woody Allen did not want to embrace nihilism. However, in MIDNIGHT IN PARIS the idea of nihilism is clearly taught. Could it have been that Bourdain finally embraced the nihilistic aspect of atheism?

(Disclaimer: I am friends with atheists who live very good lives and have  embraced life. I am not accusing  all atheists of embracing nihilism, but just that some like Woody Allen have nihilistic tendencies. Could it be that Bourdain died after moving towards a similar nihilistic view of Allen’s or was it because of combined causes such as alcoholism etc?)

 

 

Adriana and Gil Pender in MIDNIGHT IN PARIS

 

In the movie Gertrude Stein says to Gil, “Now, about your book,it’s very unusual, indeed.I mean, in a way, it’s almost like science fiction….The artist’s job is not to succumb to DESPAIR,but to find an antidote for the emptiness of existence.You have a clear and lively voice. Don’t be such a defeatist.”

 

Also in the film we find this exchange:

ADRIANA: I can never decide whether Paris is more beautiful by day or by night.

GIL PENDER: No, you can’t. You couldn’t pick one. I mean,I can give you a checkmate argument for each side.You know, I sometimes think,”How’s anyone gonna come up with a book, or a painting, or a symphony or a sculpture that can compete with a great city?”You can’t, ’cause, like,you look around, every…every street, every boulevard is its own special art form.And when you think that in the cold,violent, meaningless universe,that Paris exists, these lights…I mean, come on, there’s nothing happening on Jupiter or Neptune,but from way out in space you can see these lights, the cafe’s, people drinking, and singing…I mean, for all we know, Paris is the hottest spot in the universe.

Annie Hall – The Opening Scene [HD]

Manhattan

Image result for francis schaeffer

Francis Schaeffer two months before he died said if he was talking to a gentleman he was sitting next to on an airplane about Christ he wouldn’t start off quoting Bible verses. Schaeffer asserted:

I would go back rather to their dilemma if they hold the modern worldview of the final reality only being energy, etc., I would start with that. I would begin as I stress in the book THE GOD WHO IS THERE about their own [humanist] prophets who really show where their view goes. For instance, Jacques Monod, Nobel Prize winner from France, in his book NECESSITY AND CHANCE said there is no way to tell the OUGHT from the IS. In other words, you live in a totally silent universe. 

The men like Monod and Sartre or whoever the man might know that is his [humanist] prophet and they point out quite properly and conclusively what life is like, not just that there is no meaningfulness in life but everyone according to modern man is just living out some kind of game plan. It may be knocking 1/10th of a second off a downhill ski run or making one more million dollars. But all you are doing is making a game plan within the mix of a meaningless situation. WOODY ALLEN exploits this very strongly in his films. He really lives it. I feel for that man, and he has expressed it so thoroughly in ANNIE HALL and MANHATTAN and so on.

Francis Schaeffer is correct about Woody Allen and that Allen has embraced nihilism. I hope that many will read below at the bottom of this post about the men Dave Hope and Kerry Livgren of the rock group KANSAS who also came to the end of themselves but they turned away from nihilism and found meaning to their lives.

Image result for kansas dust in the wind

Anthony Bourdain Dead at 61 of Apparent Suicide

Celebrity chef, writer and ‘Parts Unknown’ host found unresponsive in hotel room

Celebrity chef and ‘Parts Unknown’ host Anthony Bourdain has died at age 61 of an apparent suicide.ZUMA

Anthony Bourdain, the chef, writer, and Emmy-winning television personality, died Friday morning of an apparent suicide at the age of 61. His death was confirmed to CNN, which reported that the Parts Unknown host was in Strasbourg, France, filming an episode of the series when chef Eric Ripert, a longtime friend of Bourdain’s, found him unresponsive in his hotel room.

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A suicide attempt appears in MIDNIGHT IN PARIS when Zelda Fitzgerald goes to the Seine River with the intention of jumping and Gil Pender stops her. It seems the nihilist worldview of Woody Allen keeps him putting suicides into his films.

Remember Professor Levy from the movie CRIMES AND MISDEMEANOR? After addressing the question  IS IT POSSIBLE TO BE AN OPTIMISTIC SECULAR HUMANIST THAT DOES NOT BELIEVE IN GOD OR AN AFTERLIFE? Levy jumps out a window!!!

After Levy committed suicide, Cliff reviewed a clip from the documentary footage in which Levy states: “But we must always remember that when we are born we need a great deal of love to persuade us to stay in life. Once we get that love, it usually lasts us. But the universe is a pretty cold place. It’s we who invest it with our feelings. And under certain conditions, we feel that the thing isn’t worth it anymore.”

Hearing the news of Levy’s death, Halley says, “No matter how elaborate a philosophical system you work out, in the end it’s got to be incomplete.”

Professor Levy seen below:

Crimes e Pecados

What is Woody Allen’s main outlook on life? Francis Schaeffer described it as existentialism. 

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  Materialistic Humanism: The World-View of Our Era

So some humanists act as if they have a great advantage over Christians. They act as if the advance of science and technology and a better understanding of history (through such concepts as the evolutionary theory) have all made the idea of God and Creation quite ridiculous.
This superior attitude, however, is strange because one of the most striking developments in the last half-century is the growth of a profound pessimism among both the well-educated and less-educated people. The thinkers in our society have been admitting for a long time that they have no final answers at all.
Take Woody Allen, for example. Most people know his as a comedian, but he has thought through where mankind stands after the “religious answers” have been abandoned. In an article in Esquire (May 1977), he says that man is left with:
… alienation, loneliness [and] emptiness verging on madness…. The fundamental thing behind all motivation and all activity is the constant struggle against annihilation and against death. It’s absolutely stupefying in its terror, and it renders anyone’s accomplishments meaningless. As Camus wrote, it’s not only that he (the individual) dies, or that man (as a whole) dies, but that you struggle to do a work of art that will last and then you realize that the universe itself is not going to exist after a period of time. Until those issues are resolved within each person – religiously or psychologically or existentially – the social and political issues will never be resolved, except in a slapdash way.
Allen sums up his view in his film Annie Hall with these words: “Life is divided into the horrible and the miserable.”

 
     
  Reason Is Dead

However, our intention here is neither to go into the history of irrationalism, nor to examine the proponents of existentialism in our own century, but rather to concentrate on its main thesis. It is this that confronts us on all sides today, and it is impossible to understand modern man without understanding this concept.
Because we shall be using several terms a great deal now, we would ask the reader to attend carefully. When we speak of irrationalism or existentialism or the existential methodology, we are pointing to a quite simple idea. It may have been expressed in a variety of complicated ways by philosophers, but it is not a difficult concept.
Imagine that you are at the movies watching a suspense film. As the story unfolds, the tension increases until finally the hero is trapped in some impossible situation and everyone is groaning inwardly, wondering how he is going to get out of the mess. The suspense is heightened by the knowledge (of the audience, not the hero) that help is on the way in the form of the good guys. The only question is: will the good guys arrive in time?
Now imagine for a moment that the audience is slipped the information that there are no good guys, that the situation of the hero is not just desperate, but completely hopeless. Obviously, the first thing that would happen is that the suspense would be gone. You and the entire audience would simply be waiting for the axe to fall.
If the hero faced the end with courage, this would be morally edifying, but the situation itself would be tragic. If, however, the hero acted as if help were around the corner and kept buoying himself up with this thought (“Someone is on the way!” – “Help is at hand!”), all you could feel for him would be pity. It would be a means to keep hope alive within a hopeless situation. The hero’s hope would change nothing on the outside; it would be unable to manufacture, out of nothing, good guys coming to the rescue. All it would achieve would the hero’s own mental state of hopefulness rather than hopelessness.
The hopefulness itself would rest on a lie or an illusion and thus, viewed objectively, would be finally absurd. And if the hero really knew what the situation was, but consciously used the falsehood to buoy up his feelings and go whistling along, we would either say, “Poor guy!” or “He’s a fool.” It is this kind of conscious deceit that someone like Woody Allen has looked full in the face and will have none of.
Now this is what the existential methodology is about. If the universe we are living in is what the materialistic humanists say it is, then with our reason (when we stop to think about it) we could find absolutely no way to have meaning or morality or hope or beauty. This would plunge us into despair. We would have to take seriously the challenge of Albert Camus (1913-1960) in the first sentence of The Myth of Sisyphus: “There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide.”92 Why stay alive in an absurd universe? Ah! But that is not where we stop. We say to ourselves – “There is hope!” (even though there is no help). “We shall overcome!” (even though nothing is more certain than that we shall be destroyed, both individually at death and cosmically with the end of all conscious life). This is what confronts us on all sides today: the modern irrational-ism.

(Scott and Zelda pictured below)

Dr. Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical flow of Truth & History (intro)

Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical Flow of History & Truth (1)

Dr. Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical Flow of Truth & History (part 2)

Ernest Hemingway and  both his good friend Scott Fitzgerald and Scott’s wife Zelda tried to blot it all out with alcohol and later in the film MIDNIGHT IN PARIS we see Zelda trying to commit suicide.  She actually was in different stages of mental distress the last 15 years of her life which ended at age 48 when a fire killed 9 people at Highland Hospital in Asheville, North Carolina (according to Wikipedia). Unfortunately her husband F. Scott Fitzgerald died 8 years earlier in 1940 from alcoholism.  Ernest Hemingway ended his life on  July 2, 1961 by shooting himself with his favorite shotgun.
(An older Zelda in 1942 seen below)
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(Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald with friend Ernest Hemingway, left)
 

midnight in paris – Fitzgeralds and Hemingway

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ZELDA FITZGERALD: You look lost!-

GIL PENDER: Oh, yeah!- You’re an American?-

ZELDA FITZGERALD: If you count Alabama as America, which I do.I miss the bathtub gin. What do you do?-

GIL PENDER: Me? I’m a writer.-

ZELDA FITZGERALD: Who do you write?-

GIL PENDER: Oh, right now I’m working on a novel.- Oh, yes?

ZELDA FITZGERALD: I’m Zelda, by the way. Oh, Scott! Scott!- Yes, what it is, sweetheart?- Here’s a writer, from, um… where?-

GIL PENDER: California.

SCOTT FITZGERALD: Scott Fitzgerald, and who are you, old sport?

GIL PENDER: Gil…the… You havethe same names as…As what? Scott Fitzgerald and…Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald.

SCOTT FITZGERALD:The Fitzgeralds. Isn’t she beautiful?

GIL PENDER: Yes. Yes! Yeah, that’s… that’sa coincidence…like….uh…

ZELDA FITZGERALD: You have a glazed look in your eye. Stunned.Stupefied. Anesthetized. Lobotomized

GIL PENDER: I…I…keep looking at the man playing piano, and I believe it or not, recognize hisface from some old sheet music.

ZELDA FITZGERALD: I know I can be one of the great writers of musical lyrics- not that I can write melodies, and I try,and then I hear the songs he writes, and then I realize: I’ll never write a great lyric,- and MY TALENT REALLY LIES IN DRINKING.-

SCOTT FITZGERALD: Sure does.

Later in MIDNIGHT IN PARIS we find Zelda attempting to jump in the Seine river and end her life.
 GIL PENDER:God, is that who I think it is?
ADRIANA: What is she doing here,staring into the water?Oh my God! Zelda, what are you doing?!- Please?
ZELDA: I don’t want to live!-
ADRIANA: Stop!- What is it?-
ZELDA: Scott and that beautiful countess.They were– It was so obvious they were whispering about me,and the more they drank, the more he fell in love with her!
GIL PENDER: He…Scott loves only you.- I can tell you that with absolute certainty.-
ZELDA: No.- He’s tired of me!-
GIL PENDER: You’re wrong. You’re wrong. I know.-
ZELDA: How?-
GIL PENDER: Trust me. I know.- Sometimes you get a feel for people, and I get…-
ZELDA: My skin hurts!-
ADRIANA: What do you mean?-
ZELDA: I don’t wanna…I hate the way I look!
ADRIANA:Don’t do that!-
GIL PENDER: Here. Take this.-
ZELDA:What is this?
GIL PENDER: It’s a Valium. It’llmake you feel better.-
ADRIANA:You carry medicine?-
GIL PENDER: No, not normally.It’s just since I’vebeen engaged to Inez,I’ve been having panic attacks, but I’msure they’ll subside after the wedding.
ADRIANA: I’ve never heard of Valium. What is this?
GIL PENDER:It’s the…pill of the future.
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I have posted this article below earlier but I wanted to include a portion of it today.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Philosophical Atheist, Before you Commit Suicide Read Ecclesiastes

People interested in truth often look to philosophy for answers. However, atheist philosophies offer more questions than answers, and this has serious consequences. Statistics show that atheists end up more prone to suicide than people who have a spiritual foundation.[1] One woman, Sharon Rocha, ended up committing suicide after reading an article at the Raving Atheists blog. In her suicide note, Rocha stated “I have been stripped of my delusions… The universe is a cold, uncaring place in which life is short, meaningless and full of suffering.”[2] If you are an atheist thinking of suicide or just seriously interested in the meaning of life, I recommend reading Solomon’s book Ecclesiastes. The book outlines the deceptions of a false perception of reality and the delight of knowing the God who created the universe for a good purpose.

The name Ecclesiastes is translated from Latin into The Preacher. So what exactly is the connection between philosophy and a preacher preaching the gospel? Well, as I’ve written various articles on Christianity, I’ve found that few atheists are interested in reading them. However, when I’ve pointedly challenged the philosophical roots of atheism, I’ve found some atheists eager to step up and defend their beliefs through dialogue and debate. Philosophical questions and challenges are at the core of the book of Ecclesiastes and there is an undertone of evangelism. There’s a saying “You can attract more bees with honey than with vinegar.” But, as we’ll see in Ecclesiastes, you can attract even more bees by prodding the beehive. But you’d better be prepared for what you’re getting into.

Ecclesiastes 12.11 states: “The words of the wise are like goads, their collected sayings like firmly embedded nails–given by one Shepherd.” (NIV)

Goads are pointed prods that are used to help direct cattle and sheep. Words of truth prick the conscience and help to guide people towards moral and ethical reason. The firmly embedded nails signify the fixed principles of logic and the reality of absolute truth. Words of logic help to pin down people who have developed a false paradigm and a false view of reality. Logic helps people to see that their beliefs are not in harmony with reality.

Dr. Francis schaeffer – The flow of Materialism(from Part 4 of Whatever happened to human race?)

 

Meaninglessness and Materialism

There is a wealth of insight in the book of Ecclesiastes, but you can break down the main philosophical aspects into three main points:

1. The Emptiness of Worldly Pre-occupations – Eccl. 2:1-11

2. The Brevity of Life – Eccl. 12:1-8

3. The Only Logical Purpose in Life – Eccl. 12:13-14[9]

Solomon begins Ecclesiastes 1.2-3 announcing “‘Meaningless! Meaningless!’ says the Teacher. ‘Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.’ What do people gain from all their labors at which they toil under the sun?” How discouraging can you get? The key to understanding the book of Ecclesiastes is to understand that he makes many false statements based upon a materialist perspective, in viewing everything “under the sun” as meaningless. Solomon addresses common materialist idols in society and shows why these are meaningless and empty pursuits. Solomon tries learning, laughter an liquor in an attempt to find satisfaction, but he’s left empty.

Solomon was the perfect candidate to dispel the illusion that wealth and physical pleasure can bring the kind of deep fulfillment we’re searching for in life. As the wealthiest man in history he had everything available at his fingertips. Whatever he desired, he could have. But time after time he was struck by the emptiness of all these material allurements.

Common folks don’t have the money to be able to fulfill whatever whim we may have. In society we are led to believe that if we just had a bigger house, a better job, a more pleasant husband or wife, or whatever it may be, then we would be happy. For us common folks, happiness may seem as though it’s always just around the corner. If only… then I’d be happy. But Solomon became the ultimate object lesson in this regard because he was able to try anything and everything he wanted and he finding out first-hand that materialism represents a sad and vacuous existence compared to theism.

King Solomon of Israel wrote the book of Ecclesiastes after he had backslidden to a certain degree. He had known what was right, but disobeyed God in his life and took on many wives, horse stables and wealth, though these things were forbidden for a king of Israel. Deuteronomy 17:16-17 outlines:

“Only he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he may multiply horses; because Yahweh has said to you, You shall henceforth return no more that way. Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart not turn away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold.”

It seems Solomon allowed his great wisdom get to his head, so to speak, and to fill him with pride. His heart gradually became dulled to God’s presence and purpose. But, nevertheless, God disciplined him and allowed him to see his folly. Though he had made mistakes, Solomon offers that truth is still truth and a person should continue to teach the truth as God guides:

“And moreover, because the preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; yea, he gave good heed, and sought out, and set in order many proverbs.”[10]

Though he learned lessons the hard way, Solomon gave “good heed” to present the truths that he learned and to help teach people his wisdom. It seems he may have been the first “life coach.” In the United States the “pursuit of happiness” is considered a fundamental right from the Declaration of Independence. But this pursuit, in and of itself, can become destructive when relativism rules. A 2011 study shows the 10 countries with the highest suicide rates tend to be countries where atheism has predominated. Most on the list are countries of the former Soviet Union where atheism was enforced by the state for over 70 years.[11] Other statistics bear out the fact that atheists are more prone to suicide than theists. The American Journal of Psychiatry published an article December 2004, Religious Affiliation and Suicide Attempt, with some basic conclusions:

“CONCLUSIONS: Religious affiliation is associated with less suicidal behavior in depressed inpatients. After other factors were controlled, it was found that greater moral objections to suicide and lower aggression level in religiously affiliated subjects may function as protective factors against suicide attempts. Further study about the influence of religious affiliation on aggressive behavior and how moral objections can reduce the probability of acting on suicidal thoughts may offer new therapeutic strategies in suicide prevention.”[12]

Two key aspects were cited in the AJP article: less aggressive behavior and a moral objection to suicide. The decrease of aggression in spiritual people may have to do with the knowledge that there is in-fact deep meaning in life. Sometimes intellectuals are prone to suicide. Solomon confirmed that materialist knowledge without spiritual truth brings grief: “For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief.”[13]

(Alan Sandage below)

Like Solomon, people who have large IQs can tend to have inflated egos. In 2010, in an exclusive interview with the Guardian, Stephen Hawking declared that heaven is a “fairy tale” for fearful people.[14] He is correct in one sense that Christians are fearful in that we fear God with a sense of awe and wonder at his majestic wisdom and power. In contrast to Hawking, the Jewish physicist Alan Sandage was an atheist most of his life but simply could not dispel all the evidence he had seen in the cosmos pointing to God’s necessary existence. He became a Christian at age 60, explaining, “I could not live a life full of cynicism. I chose to believe, and a peace of mind came over me.”[15] One of the reasons Sandage believed was the complexity of the universe: “The world is too complicated in all its parts and interconnections to be due to chance alone.”[16]

(Stephen Hawking below in black and white and then a picture from recent movie about Hawking)

It doesn’t take a great mind to understand what Solomon and Sandage knew, it only takes an open mind. Three decades ago, Stephen Hawking declared humanity was on the verge of discovering the “theory of everything”with a 50 per cent chance of knowing it by 2000. But by 2010 Hawking had given up hope.[17] If only Hawking had read the book of Ecclesiastes, he could have saved a lot of wasted time: “He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”[18] Hawking is a good example showing that intelligence and wisdom are two very distinct things.

(King Solomon author of Ecclesiastes below

The “one shepherd” mentioned in Ecclesiastes 12.9 seems to portray Jesus. In John 10.11, Jesus is quoted as saying “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” NIV Jesus is also referred to as the “word made flesh.” In this sense Jesus is the source of all truth and spiritual satisfaction, as implied by Psalm 81:16. “I would satisfy you with wild honey from the rock”, Jesus being the rock of our salvation.The Logical Conclusions             One of the conclusions of Ecclesiastes is that we can live a live of true joy when God is the foundation of our lives:“It is good and fitting for one to eat and drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labor in which he toils under the sun all the days of his life which God gives him; for it is his heritage. As for every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, and given him power to eat of it, to receive his heritage and rejoice in his labor—this is the gift of God. For he will not dwell unduly on the days of his life, because God keeps him busy with the joy of his heart.”[19]Another conclusion is that there is ultimate justice in the world and this knowledge has ramifications for a healthy personal life and for a healthy society:

“Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.”[20]

We will be less prone to bitterness when we realize God will address all injustice in the future. And we understand why corruption is rampant today in society because many people do not believe there is any kind of accountability to our Creator. People assume that they can do anything they can get away with. Hopefully more people will recognize that atheism neither works as a personal philosophy nor as a good basis for society.

Even Communist China sees that theism is pragmatically more effective and beneficial than an atheistic model of society: “The officially atheist Chinese government is surprisingly open to Christianity, at least partially, because it sees a link between the faith and economic success, said a sought after scholar who has relations with governments in Asia.”[21] Dr. William Jeynes, senior fellow of The Witherspoon Institute in Princeton, N.J., outlined this fact. But the truth is a dangerous thing and has a way of shaking up deceptive paradigms: “Jeynes concluded by saying that the key message he wants to convey is that China is both open to Christianity and nervous about the religion because of the potential problems it could bring to the communist government.”[22]

Endnotes

[1] American Journal of Psychiatry, Religious Affiliation and Suicide Attempt, Kanita Dervic, M.D., Maria A. Oquendo, M.D., et al., Am J Psychiatry 161:2303-2308, December 2004 (http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/abstract/161/12/2303)
[2] Raving Theist, Peterson Mother Commits Suicide After Reading Atheist Blog, (http://ravingatheist.com/2003/05/peterson-mother-commits-suicide-after-reading-atheist-blog/)
[3] Proverbs 24.13, NIV
[4] IN DEFENSE OF NON-NATURAL, NON-THEISTIC MORAL REALISM” Erik Wielenberg FAITH AND PHILOSOPHY, Vol. 26 No. 1 January 2009 (http://philpapers.org/archive/WIEIDO.1.pdf)
[5] Ibid.
[6] Ibid.
[7] Ecclesiastes 6.7 (NIV)
[8] Ecclesiastes 1.8b, KJV
[9] Ecclesiastes: Guide to Evangelism (http://www.discoveret.org/lcoc/news/01n0606.htm)
[10] Ecclesiastes 12.9, KJV
[11] Top 10 Countries With Highest Suicide Rates – 2011, (http://www.top-10lists.com/2011/05/top-10-countries-with-highest-suicide.html)
[12] See American Journal of Psychiatry
[13] Ecclesiastes 1.18
[14] The Guardian, Stephen Hawking: ‘There is no heaven; it’s a fairy story’, (http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2011/may/15/stephen-hawking-interview-there-is-no-heaven)
[15] The Telegraph, Allan Sandage (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/science-obituaries/8150004/Allan-Sandage.html)
[16] Leadership U, A Scientist Reflects on Religious Belief (http://www.leaderu.com/truth/1truth15.html)
[17] New Scientist, Stephen Hawking says there’s no theory of everything,  September 2, 2010,
(http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/culturelab/2010/09/stephen-hawking-says-theres-no-theory-of-everything.html)
[18]  Ecclesiastes 3.11b, NIV
[19] Ecclesiastes. 5:18-20
[20] Ecclesiastes 12:13-14, NIV
[21] The Christian Post, Scholar: China Notices Link Between Christianity, U.S. Economic Success (http://www.christianpost.com/news/scholar-china-notices-link-between-christianity-us-economic-success-50287/)
[22] Ibid.

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If we are left with only time and chance and the view of the UNIFORMITY OF  NATURAL CAUSES in a closed system then our only choice is NIHILISM.  TWO OTHER ALSO HELD THIS SAME view  of uniformity of natural causes in a closed system in 1978 when their hit song DUST IN THE WIND rose to the top 10 in the music charts.

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IF WE ARE LEFT WITH JUST THE MACHINE THEN WHAT IS THE FINAL CONCLUSION IF THERE WAS NO PERSONAL GOD THAT CREATED US? Examine 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.

Related image

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.

(Kerry Livgren in front and Dave Hope in background)

Image result for kerry livgren kansas

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.

 

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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Let me close by talking to you about the ROMAN ROAD TO CHRIST.

  1. Rom. 3:10, “As it is written, ‘There is none righteous, not even one . . . “
  2. Rom. 3:23, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
  3. Rom. 5:12, “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned.”
  4. Rom. 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
  5. Rom. 5:8, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
  6. Rom. 10:9-10, “if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved; for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.”
  7. Rom. 10:13, “For whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved.”

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In MIDNIGHT IN PARIS Gil Pender ponders the advice he gets from his literary heroes from the 1920’s. King Solomon in Ecclesiastes painted a dismal situation for modern man in life UNDER THE SUN  and many modern artists, poets, and philosophers have agreed. In the 1920’s T.S.Eliot and his  house guest Bertrand Russell were two of […]

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Bright Lights, Brilliant Minds A Tale of Three Cities Episode:2 Paris 1928 BBC Documentary 2014

Published on Aug 28, 2014

Bright Lights, Brilliant Minds A Tale of Three Cities Episode:2 Paris 1928 BBC Documentary 2014

Dr James Fox tells the story of Paris in 1928. It was a city that attracted people dreaming of a better world after World War I. This was the year when the surrealists Magritte, Dali and Bunuel brought their bizarre new vision to the people, and when emigre writers and musicians such as Ernest Hemingway and George Gershwin came looking for inspiration.

Paris in 1928 was where black musicians and dancers like Josephine Baker found adulation, where Cole Porter took time off from partying to write Let’s Do it, and where radical architect Le Corbusier planned a modernist utopia that involved pulling down much of Paris itself.

Midnight In Paris: A Review

In Film, Reviews on June 16, 2011 at 10:16 am by ERIC PLAAG AND MATT SMITH

Gil, who once lived in Paris briefly, longs for the era of great writing that was the 1920s, when the city was populated by great artists intermingling and collaborating and drinking, like Hemingway, Picasso, Fitzgerald, Dali, and so on. One night after having suffered through another one of Inez’s pseudo-intellectual friend Paul’s (a squirmingly awkward and hilarious turn by Michael Sheen) speeches about art, instead of going dancing with the group, Gil decides to walk back to the hotel and wander the streets at night, gathering some fresh and air and inspiration. He gets lost during this sojourn, and picked up, half drunk, by a couple in an old Peugeot. The people are Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald, and soon Gil is hobnobbing with everyone from Ernest Hemingway and Pablo Picasso to Salvador Dali and Luis Bunuel, and having his novel read and critiqued by Gertrude Stein.

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The wine, women and song of Paris

Gil Pender (Owen Wilson) is a successful screenwriter who wants more from life. While on holiday in Paris with his fiancée Inez (Rachel McAdams) and her stuffy, conservative parents, Gil’s finds himself at a creative impasse, working on his novel about nostalgia. Goaded by Inez to stick to money-making movies, Gil separates himself from the group one night – lost and drunk – and at the stroke of twelve, finds himself back in 1920′s Paris. There, he runs into all the greats including Cole Porter, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas. When he meets Picasso’s girlfriend Adriana (Marion Cotillard), Gil’s got to choose between the past and present.

GAC_MidnightInParis

 

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  • Major Styles  On June 23, 2018 at 11:50 am

    That was a great piece.

    The great men and women of history aspired to lofty goals and the affirmation of human beauty. That’s why we have a Sistene Chapel or Wagner’s Das Rheingold. By contrast, the existentialist vision is, invariably, a dark and lonely descent in hell. And thus, a life that sometimes ends in suicide.

    Note: There are already many men like Bourdain who are spiritually dead, wandering the aisles of an Albertsons on a Friday night as they bitterly mumble to themselves.

    • Everette Hatcher III  On June 23, 2018 at 12:00 pm

      Your comment reminds of a point I was trying to make about 25 years ago. On May 15, 1994 on the 10th anniversary of the passing of Francis Schaeffer I sent a letter to about 250 of the top scientists and philosophers in the world. Here is a portion of that letter below:

      I have enclosed a cassette tape by Adrian Rogers and it includes a story about Charles Darwin‘s journey from the position of theistic evolution to agnosticism. Here are the four bridges that Adrian Rogers says evolutionists can’t cross in the CD “Four Bridges that the Evolutionist Cannot Cross.” 1. The Origin of Life and the law of biogenesis. 2. The Fixity of the Species. 3.The Second Law of Thermodynamics. 4. The Non-Physical Properties Found in Creation.

      In the first 3 minutes of the cassette tape is the hit song “Dust in the Wind.” Below I have given you some key points Francis Schaeffer makes about the experiment that Solomon undertakes in the book of Ecclesiastes to find satisfaction by looking into learning (1:16-18), laughter, ladies, luxuries, and liquor (2:1-3, 8, 10, 11), and labor (2:4-6, 18-20).

      Schaeffer noted that Solomon took a look at the meaning of life on the basis of human life standing alone between birth and death “under the sun.” This phrase UNDER THE SUN appears over and over in Ecclesiastes. The Christian Scholar Ravi Zacharias noted, “The key to understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes is the term UNDER THE SUN — What that literally means is you lock God out of a closed system and you are left with only this world of Time plus Chance plus matter.”

      Here the first 7 verses of Ecclesiastes followed by Schaeffer’s commentary on it:

      The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem. Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity. What does man gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun? A generation goes, and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever. The sun rises, and the sun goes down, and hastens to the place where it rises. The wind blows to the south and goes around to the north; around and around goes the wind, and on its circuits the wind returns. All streams run to the sea, but the sea is not full; to the place where the streams flow, there they flow again.

      Solomon is showing a high degree of comprehension of evaporation and the results of it. Seeing also in reality nothing changes. There is change but always in a set framework and that is cycle. You can relate this to the concepts of modern man. Ecclesiastes is the only pessimistic book in the Bible and that is because of the place where Solomon limits himself. He limits himself to the question of human life, life under the sun between birth and death and the answers this would give.

      Solomon doesn’t place man outside of the cycle. Man doesn’t escape the cycle. Man is in the cycle. Birth and death and youth and old age.

      There is no doubt in my mind that Solomon had the same experience in his life that I had as a younger man (at the age of 18 in 1930). I remember standing by the sea and the moon arose and it was copper and beauty. Then the moon did not look like a flat dish but a globe or a sphere since it was close to the horizon. One could feel the global shape of the earth too. Then it occurred to me that I could contemplate the interplay of the spheres and I was exalted because I thought I can look upon them with all their power, might, and size, but they could contempt nothing. Then came upon me a horror of great darkness because it suddenly occurred to me that although I could contemplate them and they could contemplate nothing yet they would continue to turn in ongoing cycles when I saw no more forever and I was crushed.

      Let me show you some inescapable conclusions if you choose to live without God in the picture. Schaeffer noted that Solomon came to these same conclusions when he looked at life “under the sun.”

      Death is the great equalizer (Eccl 3:20, “All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return.”)
      Chance and time have determined the past, and they will determine the future. (Ecclesiastes 9:11-13 “I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift
      or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all. Moreover, no one knows when their hour will come: As fish are caught in a cruel net, or birds are taken in a snare, so people are trapped by evil times that fall unexpectedly upon them.”)
      Power reigns in this life, and the scales are not balanced(Eccl 4:1; “Again I looked and saw all the oppression that was taking place under the sun: I saw the tears of the oppressed—
      and they have no comforter; power was on the side of their oppressors— and they have no comforter.” 7:15 “In this meaningless life of mine I have seen both of these: the righteous perishing in their righteousness, and the wicked living long in their wickedness. ).
      Nothing in life gives true satisfaction without God including knowledge (1:16-18), ladies and liquor (2:1-3, 8, 10, 11), and great building projects (2:4-6, 18-20).
      There is no ultimate lasting meaning in life. (1:2)
      By the way, the final chapter of Ecclesiastes finishes with Solomon emphasizing that serving God is the only proper response of man. Solomon looks above the sun and brings God back into the picture in the final chapter of the book in Ecclesiastes 12:13-14, “ Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.”

      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. In 1978 I heard the song “Dust in the Wind” by Kansas when it rose to #6 on the charts. That song told me that Kerry Livgren the writer of that song and a member of Kansas had come to the same conclusion that Solomon had and that “all was meaningless UNDER THE SUN,” and looking ABOVE THE SUN was the only option. I remember mentioning to my friends at church that we may soon see some members of Kansas become Christians because their search for the meaning of life had obviously come up empty even though they had risen from being an unknown band to the top of the music business and had all the wealth and fame that came with that.

      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.”

      Both Kerry Livgren and 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. Livgren lives in Topeka, Kansas today where he teaches “Diggers,” a Sunday school class at Topeka Bible Church. Hope is the head of Worship, Evangelism and Outreach at Immanuel Anglican Church in Destin, Florida.

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