BREAKING DOWN CARL SAGAN’S LOGIC ON ABORTION Part 2 “Problem of Radicals Killing Abortion Doctors” (My 1995 correspondence with Sagan)

The issue of Abortion is a very central one in our culture today and I will do a series of posts on my correspondence with Carl Sagan concerning this issue.

Unplanned Official Trailer – In Theaters March 29

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Carl Sagan pictured below:

Carl Sagan pictured below:

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Carl Sagan pictured below:

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Recently I have been revisiting my correspondence in 1995 with the famous astronomer Carl Sagan who I was introduced to when reading a book by Francis Schaeffer called HE IS THERE AND HE IS NOT SILENT written in 1968.

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Francis Schaeffer

I was blessed with the opportunity to correspond with Dr. Sagan, and in his December 5, 1995 letter Dr. Sagan went on to tell me that he was enclosing his article “The Question of Abortion: A Search for Answers”by Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan. I am going to respond to several points made in that article. Here is a portion of Sagan’s article (here is a link to the whole article):

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 “The Question of Abortion: A Search for Answers”

by Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan

For the complete text, including illustrations, introductory quote, footnotes, and commentary on the reaction to the originally published article see Billions and Billions.

The issue had been decided years ago. The court had chosen the middle ground. You’d think the fight was over. Instead, there are mass rallies, bombings and intimidation, murders of workers at abortion clinics, arrests, intense lobbying, legislative drama, Congressional hearings, Supreme Court decisions, major political parties almost defining themselves on the issue, and clerics threatening politicians with perdition. Partisans fling accusations of hypocrisy and murder. The intent of the Constitution and the will of God are equally invoked. Doubtful arguments are trotted out as certitudes. The contending factions call on science to bolster their positions. Families are divided, husbands and wives agree not to discuss it, old friends are no longer speaking. Politicians check the latest polls to discover the dictates of their consciences. Amid all the shouting, it is hard for the adversaries to hear one another. Opinions are polarized. Minds are closed..

Sometimes people want to separate reality from their political and social views. Many liberals I have talked to refuse to admit that there is a notable size of Muslims who actually believe in Jihad. It is true that in the ancient history of Christianity there were religious wars, but today the murders by religious zealots are done primarily by Muslims.

In the movie Contact we see Carl Sagan’s view that radical Christian zealots are willing to attack peace-loving people.




Contact

Based on the book by Carl Sagan (famous atheist astronomer). Starring Jodi Foster as Dr. Eleanor (Ellie) Arroway and Matthew McConaughey as Palmer Joss.

I think that Carl Sagan sees himself as a real-life Dr. Eleanor Arroway. He sees himself as one independent thinker amongst a sea of religious/militaristic/governmental zombies. He is Jodi Foster, sitting there in front of a board of interviewers, battling that scourge called “religion” that oppresses ninety-something percent of the world. Much like Jodi Foster, Sagan is determined to prove that wormholes and aliens exist, which will, in turn, prove that God does not exist. Step aside you bomb-strapped Jesus freaks! Step aside you closed minded military guys who wants to nuke the world… make way for progress! Make way for Science!

(beware of this man)

_

Seriously, though, Sagan must have had a few disenchanting experiences with religion, probably some sect of Christianity. The same is probably true of Jodi Foster as well, or else she would not have taken that role.

In his review of Contact evangelical Ray Bohline notes:

Two other characters in the film outline Sagan’s view of the modern evangelical right. The long-haired preaching zealot is portrayed as a dangerous man, out of control and out of touch with reality. He later borrows a trick from Muslim fundamentalists by sacrificing himself in an attempt to derail the multinational project to build the travel machine.

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Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris,  Daniel Dennett

Sam Harris rightly noted earlier on Bill Maher’s show that liberals are still getting “agitated over the abortion clinic bombings that happened in 1984” but they are not upset at what is happening in the Muslim world right now!!!! There is really no comparison at all between Christianity and Islam concerning the areas of freedom of religion, freedom of the press and political freedom.

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I was saddened to learn of the passing of Dr. Nicolaas Bloembergen on September 5, 2017. I always enjoyed corresponding with him during the last three decades. He brought up the issue of Religious wars to me in 1995 which I responded to him back then, and also he discussed the issue of abortion with me. I also took the time to write him back concerning that issue too.  Then on July 1, 2016, I was honored to get a call from Dr. Bloembergen, and we discussed several issues such as his abandonment of his childhood faith that he was brought up in, and I mentioned that Charles Darwin had gone through a similar situation. He seemed to know a lot about Darwin’s background.

On July 3, 2016, I responded to our phone call with an email that basically recapped several things that Dr. Bloembergen and I had discussed in our phone discussion 2 days before. I pointed out to him on the phone that day that each religion was different and that in recent history it was Islam fanatics that were guilty of so much killing, and Dr Bloembergen seemed to resist that by saying that Muslims are not getting treated very well.I addressed this in my email of July 3rd that is posted below. So far in 2017 there are have been 1,049 attacks and 6,571 fatalities by Muslim radicals. In fact, on October 31, 2017, Eight people are killed and almost a dozen injured when a 29-year-old man in a rented pickup truck drives down a busy bicycle path near the World Trade Center in New York. The suspect has been identified as Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov. Authorities found a note near the truck used in the incident, claiming the attack was made in the name of ISIS, a senior law enforcement official said.

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Also CNN Reported: 

Terrorist Attacks by Vehicle Fast Facts

Al Qaeda’s Yemeni branch encouraged its Western recruits to use trucks as weapons. A 2010 webzine article, “The Ultimate Mowing Machine” called for deploying a pickup truck as a“mowing machine, not to mow grass but mow down the enemies of Allah.”In September 2014, ISIS spokesman Abu Mohammad al-Adnani called for lone wolf attacks using improvised weaponry, “If you are not able to find an IED or a bullet, then single out the disbelieving American, Frenchman or any of their allies. Smash his head with a rock or slaughter him with a knife or run him over with your car or throw him down from a high place or choke him or poison him.”Timeline:
March 3, 2006 – 
Mohammed Taheri-azar, an Iranian-American, drives an SUV into an area crowded with students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Nine people sustain minor injuries during the attack, which Teheri-azar later says is retribution for the killing of Muslims overseas. He is convicted of attempted murder in 2008 and is sentenced to 33 years in prison.October 22, 2014 – A three-month old girl and an Ecuadorian tourist are killed when a driver swerves into a crowd at a light rail station in Jerusalem. The driver, Abdel Rahman al-Shaludi is shot and killed by police. Israeli media reported he published militant writing on Facebook and supported Hamas, a fundamentalist Islamic group that has conducted attacks in Gaza and the West Bank, but his family denied he supported Hamas or any terror organization.July 14, 2016 – After a Bastille Day fireworks display in Nice, France, a man drives a 20-ton rental truck into the crowd, striking and killing 86 people. The attacker, Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, 31, a Tunisian national, drives nearly a mile on the beachfront promenade before he is shot and killed by authorities. French officials say Bouhlel seemed to become radicalized “very quickly” by ISIS propaganda before the attack. He also suffered from mental illness, according to his father.November 28, 2016 –At Ohio State University, 11 people are injured when a student, Abdul Razak Ali Artan, 18, carries out a car and knife attack. A campus police officer shoots and kills Artan, whom police believe inspired by ISIS and the radical cleric, Anwar al-AwlakiDecember 19, 2016 – Tunisian man drives a tractor trailer into a Christmas market in Berlin, killing 12 people. In the wake of the attack, authorities conduct a manhunt for Anis Amri, 24, throughout Europe. He is shot and killed by police in Milan, Italy, four days after the attack. Hours after Amri dies, ISIS releases a video of him pledging allegiance to the terrorist group.March 22, 2017 – A man drives an SUV into a crowd on the sidewalk along the Westminster Bridge in London, killing at least four. After ramming the car into a barrier outside the House of Parliament, the driver exits the vehicle and stabs a police officer to death. The attacker is then gunned down by a police officer. The assailant, Khalid Masood, 52, of West Midlands, reportedly had a criminal record and may have had connections to violent extremism, British Prime Minister Theresa May says.April 7, 2017 – At least four people are killed when a truck drives into pedestrians on a busy street in the center of Stockholm, Sweden, before crashing into a department store. The attacker, Rakhmat Akilov, a 39-year-old from Uzbekistan, admitted to carrying out a “terrorist crime,” his lawyer says.June 3, 2017 – Seven people are killed in two terror attacks in central London before police shoot three suspects dead, the Metropolitan police say. The violence begins when a van swerves into throngs of pedestrians on London Bridge. The suspects then jump out the van and proceed on foot to nearby Borough Market, a popular nightlife spot, where witnesses say they produce knives and slash indiscriminately at people in restaurants and bars. At least 48 people are taken to hospitals, according to the London Ambulance Service. Authorities announce 12 arrests the next day.June 19, 2017 – Just after midnight, a van plows into a group of pedestrians who had attended late-night prayers at London’s Finsbury Park Mosque, killing one man and injuring 11 people. The driver is arrested at the scene for attempted murder and further held on suspicion of terrorism offenses. The suspect is later identified as Darren Osborne, 47, a resident of Cardiff in Wales, according to multiple UK media outlets.August 16-18, 2017 –At least 13 people are killed and about 100 are injured on August 17th after a van plows through a crowd of people in a popular tourist district in Barcelona, Spain. Two suspects are arrested, but the driver gets away, according to police. ISIS’ media wing, Amaq, issues a statement claiming responsibility, saying that the attackers are “soldiers of the Islamic State.” On August 18th, in Cambrils, a coastal city around 100 kilometers from Barcelona, five attackers drive an Audi A3 into several pedestrians, killing one. The attackers are shot and killed by police. A house explosion on August 16th, in Alcanar, south of Barcelona, is also believed to be connected to the attacks.September 30-October 1, 2017 – On September 30 in Edmonton, Canada, a man purposely strikes a police officer with a white Chevrolet Malibu before jumping out of the vehicle, stabbing the officer several times with a knife and fleeing on foot. There is an ISIS flag in the car, which is later seized as evidence. Just before midnight that same day, a police officer stops a U-Haul truck at a checkpoint and recognizes the driver’s name as similar to that of the Chevrolet’s registered owner. The U-Haul truck then speeds off towards downtown Edmonton. During the chase, the truck deliberately attempts to hit pedestrians in crosswalks and alleys, injuring at least four pedestrians. Abdulahi Hasan Sharif, 30, a Somali refugee, is later charged with five counts of attempted murder, dangerous driving, criminal flight causing bodily harm and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose.October 31, 2017 – Eight people are killed and almost a dozen injured when a 29-year-old man in a rented pickup truck drives down a busy bicycle path near the World Trade Center in New York. The suspect has been identified as Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov. Authorities found a note near the truck used in the incident, claiming the attack was made in the name of ISIS, a senior law enforcement official said


I wanted to share with you a correspondence I had with Dr. Nicolaas Bloembergen of Harvard. He won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1981 and was born in Dordrecht, the Netherlands on March 11, 1920. He spent the last two years of World War II hiding from the Nazis. I found his story very interesting.

In his September 6, 1995 letter to me he wrote:

Less zealotry and more compassion for those who have different concepts of the world from yours would help make this world more livable.

I RESPONDED IN AN EARLIER POST WITH WHAT I RESPONDED WITH IN 1995. Below are some more thoughts on this issue.Is religion the cause of most wars? March 28, 2016, by Laneatheism, Religion, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, wars 0 Comment

Is religion the cause of most wars? Well, according to Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins, avowed proponents of the New Atheism (nothing new about the substance, just voiced in a new and vitriolic tone), the answer is yes, religion is the cause of most wars. Harris states that religion is, “the most prolific source of violence in our history” (The End of Faith page 27). Not to be outdone, Richard Dawkins offers the claim that, “There’s no doubt that throughout history religious faith has been a major motivator for war and for destruction.” When one hears such ‘truth’ claims being propounded, a simple, but yet, the profound question must be asked, “is that true?” Sad to say, most people don’t take the time to ask this simple three-word question when hearing such supposed truth claims.

I thought it would be interesting to take Harris and Dawkins’ claims, and ask the question, “but is that true?” and then follow the evidence where it leads. The following are a list of facts (not rhetoric) that help to bring Harris and Dawkins supposed truth claim out of the darkness and into the light:

 In 5 millennia worth of wars—1,763 total—only 123 (or about 7%) were religious in nature (according to author Vox Day in the book The Irrational Atheist).  If you remove the 66 wars waged in the name of Islam, it cuts the number down to a little more than 3%.  A second scholarly source, The Encyclopedia of War edited by Gordon Martel, confirms this data, concluding that only 6% of the wars listed in its pages can be labeled religious wars.  William Cavanaugh’s book, The Myth of Religious Violence, exposes the “wars of religion” claim.  a recent report (2014) from the Institute for Economics and Peace further debunks this myth.  A strong case can be made that atheism, not religion, and certainly not Christianity, is responsible for a far greater degree of bloodshed. Indeed, R.J. Rummel’s work in Lethal Politics and Death by Government has the secular body count at more than 100 million…in the 20th century alone.

Atheist and anthropologist, Scot Atran, in his book, God and the Ivory Tower, offers the following summary on the issue, “Moreover, the chief complaint against religion—that it is history’s prime instigator of intergroup conflict—does not withstand scrutiny. Religions issues motivate only a small minority of recorded wars. The Encyclopedia of Wars surveyed 1,763 violent conflicts across history; only 123 (7 percent) were religious. A BBC-sponsored “God & War” audit, which evaluated major conflicts over 3,500 years and rated them on a 0-5 scale for religious motivation (Punic Wars=0 Crusades=5), found that more than 60% had no religious motivation. Less than 7% earned a rating greater than 3. There was little religious motivation for the internecine Russian and Chinese conflicts or the world wars responsible for history’s most lethal century of international bloodshed.”

The conclusion: between 6-7% of all wars have been religious in nature. (the Islamic dynamic set aside) When you consider that the body count that has been tallied in the 20th century under atheist/naturalist/Darwinian evolution promoting governments has come to over 100 million, one has to ask, “what ideology is truly the driving force behind the vast majority of wars waged by humanity?” The evidence does seem somewhat conclusive, doesn’t it?

There is no arguing that religion has been the cause of war and violence on occasion, but it is a gross overstatement, exaggeration and distortion of the facts to say that “the most prolific source of violence in our history” has been “religious faith.” Obviously, Harris and Dawkins are not historians, nor have they consulted the experts in the field of history.

The Bible is specific as to the cause of war, that of the “lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life,” which James sums up in his epistle: “From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.” James 4:1-3

Jesus gave us the antidote to lust, and as such, wars: “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you. “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:38-45 ESV)

Religion & War–Dr. Ravi Zacharias New Atheist proponents often condemn and points the finger at religion for the suffering of the earth, and in particular, as being the cause of most of the wars and suffering that results. Ravi Zacharias deals with this alleged truth claim head-on in the following video clip.

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