FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 327 Letter to Richard Dawkins about H.J. Blackham quote “On humanist assumptions, life leads to nothing, and every pretense that it does not is a deceit” Featured Artist is Andy Warhol

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Richard Dawkins and Ricky Gervais

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Francis Schaeffer below:

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Richard Dawkins vs John Lennox | The God Delusion Debate

Ben Stein vs. Richard Dawkins Interview


XXXX Peter Singer – The Genius of Darwin: The Uncut Interviews – Richard Dawkins

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Science Confirms the Bible with Ken Ham

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Schaeffer with his wife Edith in Switzerland.


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Richard Dawkins and John Lennox

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Francis and Edith Schaeffer seen below:

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Dawkins, Hitchens, Dennett, Harris 

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Canary Islands 2014: Harold Kroto and Richard Dawkins

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September 18, 2019

Richard Dawkins c/o Richard Dawkins Foundation, 
Washington, DC 20005

Dear Mr. Dawkins,

i have enjoyed reading about a dozen of your books and some of the most intriguing were The God DelusionAn Appetite for Wonder: The Making of a Scientist, and Brief Candle in the Dark: My Life in Science.

I am looking forward to reading Outgrowing God which is your latest book, and I have been reading several reviews of it. The best interviewer is Krishnan Guru-Murthy in my opinion. He did a great job of asking you some very insightful questions, and I thought your answers gave the audience a good feel for what is in the book.

On September 14, 2019 you tweeted out:

The Clergy Project provides support, community, and hope to clergy who have lost their faith and no longer believe in God. I’m proud of my role in its history: bit.ly/2lVgPRa

I responded by tweeting out:

In a 1994 debate with Phillip Johnson, the late William Provine insisted: “No ultimate foundations for ethics exist, no ultimate meaning in life exists, and free will is merely a human myth. These are all conclusions to which Darwin came quite clearly.”thedailyhatch.org/2016/08/25/


In a 1994 debate with Phillip Johnson, a leading figure in the intelligent design movement, the late evolutionary biologist William Provine insisted: “No ultimate foundations for ethics exist, no ultimate meaning in life exists, and free will is merely a human myth. These are all conclusions to which Darwin came quite clearly.”

Darwinism, the Meaninglessness of Life, and of Death

Richard Weikart April 8, 2016 4:31 AM | Permalinkhttp://www.facebook.com/plugins/like.php?href=http://www.evolutionnews.org/2016/04/darwinism_the_m102757.html&layout=button_count&show_faces=true&width=300&action=like&font=trebuchet+ms&colorscheme=light&height=21

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In a video on YouTube, University of Chicago evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne states that science has demonstrated that

the universe and life are pointless….Pointless in the sense that there is no externally imposed purpose or point in the universe. As atheists this is something that is manifestly true to us. We make our own meaning and purpose.

He went on:

Evolution is the greatest killer of belief that has ever happened on this planet because it showed that some of the best evidence for God, which was the design of animals and plants that so wonderfully matched their environment could be the result of this naturalistic, blind materialistic process of natural selection.

Coyne is by no means alone in claiming Darwinism, with its insistence that all organisms have arisen through chance events (mutations) without plan or purpose, leads logically to the position that human life has no meaning or purpose. In my book The Death of Humanity: And the Case for Life, I provide many examples of evolutionary biologists and other intellectuals who argue Darwinism sweeps away the benighted notion that human life has meaning.

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In a 1994 debate with Phillip Johnson, a leading figure in the intelligent design movement, the late evolutionary biologist William Provine insisted: “No ultimate foundations for ethics exist, no ultimate meaning in life exists, and free will is merely a human myth. These are all conclusions to which Darwin came quite clearly.”

However, as I also explain in detail in my new book, many Darwinists are unable to really live in accord with their own philosophy. For instance, Coyne has stated that evolution “says that there is no special purpose for your life, because it is a naturalistic philosophy. We have no more extrinsic purpose than a squirrel or an armadillo.” But, in a different blog post, Coyne waxed indignant at those who have blamed mass shootings, such as those at Columbine, on Darwinism. (Coyne will likely be enraged that I explain Eric Harris’s Darwinian motivations in The Death of Humanity.) But why does Coyne care about these people, whose lives — according to his philosophy — have no meaning or purpose? He evidently recognizes that the lives of those teenagers gunned down at Columbine did have some point or purpose after all, greater than squirrels or armadillos.

Duke University philosophy professor Alex Rosenberg shows the same inconsistency. He co-authored an article in 2003, “Darwin’s Nihilistic Idea: Evolution and the Meaninglessness of Life,” in which he dismissed morality as an illusion. However, Rosenberg assured us that we have nothing to fear, because nihilism has no effect on our behavior, since “Most of us just couldn’t persistently be mean, even if we tried.” Rosenberg needs to take some of my history courses — or just read the news — if he doesn’t think many people could be mean to each other.

In a 2013 debate with William Lane Craig, Rosenberg objected to some of Craig’s arguments as “morally offensive,” because some of his relatives were murdered in the Holocaust. But if life is meaningless and morality is an illusion, why does it matter if Hitler killed millions? That would be just another meaningless event in the meaningless flow of history. Rosenberg apparently knows better.

Despite what they may say, many Darwinists are fully aware that human lives have meaning and purpose, no matter how loudly they deny it.

Dr. Weikart is professor of history at California State University, Stanislaus, and Senior Fellow with Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture; his new book, The Death of Humanity: And the Case for Life, has just been released.

Photo credit: ESO/H. Dahle [CC BY 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

I have spent alot of time talking about Woody Allen films on my blog and looking at his worldview. He has a hopelessmeaningless, nihilistic worldview that believes we are going to turn to dust and there is no afterlife. Even though he has this view he has taken the opportunity to look at the weaknesses of his own secular view. I salute him for doing that. That is why I have returned to his work over and over and presented my own Christian worldview as an alternative.

My interest in Woody Allen is so great that I have a “Woody Wednesday” on my blog www.thedailyhatch.org every week. Also I have done over 30 posts on the historical characters mentioned in his film “Midnight in Paris.” (Salvador DaliErnest Hemingway,T.S.Elliot,  Cole Porter,Paul Gauguin,  Luis Bunuel, and Pablo Picassowere just a few of the characters.) Francis Schaeffer also discussed Woody Allen several times in his writings on modern culture. Here is a section that again mentions the nihilistic conclusions that Schaeffer says that Woody Allen has come to and Schaeffer salutes Allen for being consistent with his Godless worldview unlike many of the optimistic humanists that I have encountered.

Materialistic Humanism: The World-View of Our Era
What has produced the inhumanity we have been considering in the previous chapters is that society in the West has adopted a world-view which says that all reality is made up only of matter. This view is sometimes referred to as philosophic materialism, because it holds that only matter exists; sometimes it is called naturalism, because it says that no supernatural exists. Humanism which begins from man alone and makes man the measure of all things usually is materialistic in its philosophy. Whatever the label, this is the underlying world-view of our society today. In this view the universe did not get here because it was created by a “supernatural” God. Rather, the universe has existed forever in some form, and its present form just happened as a result of chance events way back in time.
Society in the West has largely rested on the base that God exists and that the Bible is true. In all sorts of ways this view affected the society. The materialistic or naturalistic or humanistic world-view almost always takes a superior attitude toward Christianity. Those who hold such a view have argued that Christianity is unscientific, that it cannot be proved, that it belongs simply to the realm of “faith.” Christianity, they say, rests only on faith, while humanism rests on facts.
Professor Edmund R. Leach of Cambridge University expressed this view clearly:
Our idea of God is a product of history. What I now believe about the supernatural is derived from what I was taught by my parents, and what they taught me was derived from what they were taught, and so on. But such beliefs are justified by faith alone, never by reason, and the true believer is expected to go on reaffirming his faith in the same verbal formula even if the passage of history and the growth of scientific knowledge should have turned the words into plain nonsense.78
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.

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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.”
Many would like to dismiss this sort of statement as coming from one who is merely a pessimist by temperament, one who sees life without the benefit of a sense of humor. Woody Allen does not allow us that luxury. He speaks as a human being who has simply looked life in the face and has the courage to say what he sees. If there is no personal God, nothing beyond what our eyes can see and our hands can touch, thenWoody Allen is right: life is both meaningless and terrifying. As the famous artist Paul Gauguin wrote on his last painting shortly before he tried to commit suicide: “Whence come we? What are we? Whither do we go?” The answers are nowhere, nothing, and nowhere.

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The humanist H. J. Blackham has expressed this with a dramatic illustration:
On humanist assumptions, life leads to nothing, and every pretense that it does not is a deceit. If there is a bridge over a gorge which spans only half the distance and ends in mid-air, and if the bridge is crowded with human beings pressing on, one after the other they fall into the abyss. The bridge leads nowhere, and those who are pressing forward to cross it are going nowhere….It does not matter where they think they are going, what preparations for the journey they may have made, how much they may be enjoying it all. The objection merely points out objectively that such a situation is a model of futility.79
One does not have to be highly educated to understand this. It follows directly from the starting point of the humanists’ position, namely, that everything is just matter. That is, that which has existed forever and ever is only some form of matter or energy, and everything in our world now is this and only this in a more or less complex form. Thus, Jacob Bronowskisays in The Identity of Man (1965): “Man is a part of nature, in the same sense that a stone is, or a cactus, or a camel.” In this view, men and women are by chance more complex, but not unique.
Within this world-view there is no room for believing that a human being has any final distinct value above that of an animal or of nonliving matter. People are merely a different arrangement of molecules. There are two points, therefore, that need to be made about the humanist world-view. First, the superior attitude toward Christianity – as if Christianity had all the problems and humanism had all the answers – is quite unjustified. The humanists of the Enlightenment two centuries ago thought they were going to find all the answers, but as time has passed, this optimistic hope has been proved wrong. It is their own descendants, those who share their materialistic world-view, who have been saying louder and louder as the years have passed, “There are no final answers.”
Second, this humanist world-view has also brought us to the present devaluation of human life – not technology and not overcrowding, although these have played a part. And this same world-view has given us no limits to prevent us from sliding into an even worse devaluation of human life in the future.
So it is naive and irresponsible to imagine that this world-view will reverse the direction in the future. A well-meaning commitment to “do what is right” will not be sufficient. Without a firm set of principles that flows out of a world-view that gives adequate reason for a unique value to all human life, there cannot be and will not be any substantial resistance to the present evil brought on by the low view of human life we have been considering in previous chapters. It was the materialistic world-view that brought in the inhumanity; it must be a different world-view that drives it out.
An emotional uneasiness about abortion, infanticide, euthanasia, and the abuse of genetic knowledge is not enough. To stand against the present devaluation of human life, a significant percentage of people within our society must adopt and live by a world-view which not only hopes or intends to give a basis for human dignity but which really does. The radical movements of the sixties were right to hope for a better world; they were right to protest against the shallowness and falseness of our plastic society. But their radicalness lasted only during the life span of the adolescence of their members. Although these movements claimed to be radical, they lacked a sufficient root. Their world-view was incapable of giving life to the aspirations of its adherents. Why? Because it, too – like the society they were condemning – had no sufficient base. So protests are not enough. Having the right ideals is not enough. Even those with a very short memory, those who can look back only to the sixties, can see that there must be more than that. A truly radical alternative has to be found.
But where? And how?

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Francis Schaeffer in Art and the Bible noted, “Many modern artists, it seems to me, have forgotten the value that art has in itself. Much modern art is far too intellectual to be great art. Many modern artists seem not to see the distinction between man and non-man, and it is a part of the lostness of modern man that they no longer see value in the work of art as a work of art.” 

Many modern artists are left in this point of desperation that Schaeffer points out and it reminds me of the despair that Solomon speaks of in Ecclesiastes.  Christian scholar Ravi Zacharias has 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.” THIS IS EXACT POINT SCHAEFFER SAYS SECULAR ARTISTS ARE PAINTING FROM TODAY BECAUSE THEY BELIEVED ARE A RESULT OF MINDLESS CHANCE.

The answer to find meaning in life is found in putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. The Bible is true from cover to cover and can be trusted.

Thank you again for your time and I know how busy you are.

Everette Hatcher, everettehatcher@gmail.comhttp://www.thedailyhatch.org, cell ph 501-920-5733, Box 23416, LittleRock, AR 72221, United States

Francis Schaeffer pictured below:

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The Basis of Human Dignity by Francis Schaeffer

Richard Dawkins, founder of the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science. Credit: Don Arnold Getty Images

Francis Schaeffer in 1984

Christian Manifesto by Francis Schaeffer

Francis Schaeffer in 1982

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Whatever Happened to the Human Race? Episode 1

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Garik Israelian, Stephen Hawking, Alexey Leonov, Brian May, Richard Dawkins and Harry Kroto

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Dark History of Evolution-Henry Morris, Ph.D.

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Featured artist is Andy Warhol

Warhol’s 32 Campbell’s Soup Cans and the Decline of Connoisseurship

mmm.. soup

Above: A 2007 visitor to MoMA in New York City takes in Andy Warhol’s 1962 set of 20 by 16 inch canvasses depicting 32 varieties of Campbell’s soup.

On June 29th I published a blog titled “Robert Hughes and the Warhol Faultline: Where Do You Stand?” In that blog, I included the following personal observation about Andy Warhol:

“I don’t think Warhol was stupid — I think he was a genius as a social observer and marketeer — but I also think he did genuine damage to the field of art.”

A week later I learned that MOCA Los Angeles will be exhibiting the complete set of Warhol’s 32 Campbell’s Soup can paintings through September 7th. I’ll use the opportunity — and the soup cans — to say about more about just what I think the damage was.

Before I get started, I need to offer a disclaimer. What I am about to say comes only from my intuitions, and not from any rigorous or reasonable study of Warhol or his works. I am going to take advantage of the wide latitude available to me as a blogger to let my own biases, personal issues and art world conspiracy theories guide my commentary.

I think of Andy Warhol’s soup cans as a statement about the decline and increasing irrelevance of connoisseurship. The word connoisseur comes from the French term conoistre which means roughly “to know” or “to know intimately.” The dictionary tells us that a connoisseur is “a person with expert knowledge or training, especially in the fine arts,” or “a person of informed and discriminating taste.” By bringing a representation of mundane consumer choices into an art context I feel that Warhol was saying “In the future you will be choosing art the same way you shop for groceries.”

To choose between Golden Mushroom and Scotch Broth doesn’t take much effort, and Campbell’s is and was an established brand. Warhol, who became one of the art world’s leading brands not long after he exhibited his soup cans, was becoming clear in his mind that if he could become famous collectors wouldn’t need to make fine distinctions in choosing his works. Warhol, who had absorbed much of what the sociologist and media theorist Marshall McLuhan had to say, was convinced that fame, and its cousin — the name brand — would increasingly subvert our decision-making faculties.

The soup can series stands for the situation of all consumers in a modern, capitalist, industrial society. We get to “choose” from groups of factory produced items whose packaging and labeling attempt to convince us that we are indeed choosing items of quality. I must be a bit Marxist in my views of this, as I do believe that the main goal of modern marketing is to give us the illusion of choices to screen out the mundane origins and the lack of variety in the products that dominate our markets and our lives as consumers.

Warhol correctly prophesied, and perhaps contributed to, the McDonaldization of aesthetic culture. According to sociologist Georger Ritzer, McDonaldization is characterized by culture moving away from the traditional motivations of morality, custom and emotion and becomes more interested in efficiency and rational thought. It is the kind of culture you get in a society consumed by thinking about money, production, marketing and consumption.

Although the soup cans images were not created using photo-silkscreening, as were many of his later works, they were executed in what have been characterized as “semi-mechanical” methods. I call the soup can series “works” because I just can’t bear to call them paintings. If anything, they are an open-casket funeral for the traditional of painting. Just as the factory made object wiped out hand work and decoration in the late 19th century, Warhol’s aesthetics did away with the connection between the hand and the sensory imagination. Morality — which other modernists had also tended by bypass — was totally gone.

The soup cans, seen together, can be seen as a still-life. The tradition of the still life, so full of symbols and moral suggestions comes to a dead end in Warhol. The viewer of a still-life used to be invited to participate by pondering plentitude, gluttony, or vanity. In Warhol, all that is left is for the viewer, if inclined, to reach out, choose a soup and grab the can opener. Choices, in Warhol, are innocent and amoral.

Anyone who has taken a course in modern art has heard all the various proclamations about the moment painting “died,” but I think Warhol out-did Malevich and all the others who tried to assassinate painting. The way he drained the sensuality and nuance right out of it, replaced it with a mechanical approach and used appropriated subject matter is devastating. If you think Warhol was great — and believe me, I know that many, many people do — I would think that it was his effective attack on painting that you might consider one of his greatest accomplishments. No doubt about it: he changed things.

Honestly, I could make the 2 hour drive to LA to see the soup cans at Warhol, but Warhol’s works are among the very least interesting works in terms of being seen in person. They do well in reproduction, which isn’t surprising since Warhol’s key works tend to bereproductions.

The things about the tradition of painting that I so love are the human elements: touch, the connection between the hand and the mind, discovery, spontaneity, surprise, difference, eccentricity, transcendence, nuance, these are the things that Warhol felt he could do without. They, and a billion other things that there are no words for, are the qualities that Warhol’s rubber-stamp approach were meant to expunge. These tangible and intangible qualities also represent much of what connoisseurs, critics, afficianados and experts have traditionally done the work of trying to discern and discuss.

If you were to argue that Warhols work does have the qualities above, I would tell you that his work tends to quote or even parody those qualities. In his aesthetic the mechanical and the dispassionate were elevated, while the human and the passionate were extinguished. As a result, the set of faculties that a person uses in appreciating a Warhol is remarkably sparse. Warhol designed his works for a very, very broad demographic: everyone.

Believe me, I am not saying that Warhol didn’t leave some things to be written about. Case in point: I am writing about him now. Art dealer Irving Blum, who first showed the soup cans in his Los Angeles gallery has stated that spending time with the works convinced them that they are “complicated” and I agree with that. However, I think the complications are intellectual, sociological and philosophical. Warhol made painfully boring objects, and that is the interesting part, the complicated part.

In an insightful article that appeared in the LA Times on July 10th, critic Christopher Knight argues that the genius of Pop Art was that it provided an “acute critique of high culture’s supercilious conceits.” I like Knight’s thinking, and perhaps my real quarrel with Warhol and his soup cans is that we have a profound disagreement over what matters in artistic culture and who it is meant to address.

If you go to LA, see the Warhol soup cans and find them fascinating, more power to you. I do think that they may have what you could call a “relic” fascination, and by that I mean that they are historic objects and that they can evoke a direct physical connection to an era and a place. Yes, they were made in Andy Warhol’s silver factory studio while the beautiful people were around, and you may want to connect with that.

By the way, am I the only super-serious one who thinks that by naming his working studio “The Factory” Warhol in fact mocked the situation of workers in real factories? In retrospect, just how cool was that whole scene?

After you leave MOCA, get on the Pasadena freeway and head up to the Huntington Museum and Gardens, and there you will find a single Warhol soup can: “Small Crushed Campbell’s Soup Can (Beef Noodle)” from 1962. You may find it dull, as I did, but hanging on the opposite wall was Richard Diebenkorn’s 1954 “Berkeley #24,” on loan from the Norton Simon Museum. Compared to the Warhol it looked refreshingly uncertain in its attempts to balance representation and abstraction.

In the age of Wal-Mart, where simply “liking things” seems increasingly sinister, I’m hungry for painting and all of its rich human traces and connections. Maybe we live in a world where “Rembrandt” is a toothpaste, but every educated person should know who Rembrandt was before he was a brand. Warhol is a brand name too, but not one that I will be buying anytime soon. I don’t have the cash, or the appetite for what he served up.

Andy Warhol Campbell’s Soup Cans
July 9-September 7, 2011
MOCA Los Angeles, Grand Avenuue

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