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FRIEDMAN FRIDAY “The Truth about Milton Friedman” by David Boaz

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April 21, 2008 8:45AM

The Truth about Milton Friedman 

By David Boaz

Peter Goodman writes in the New York Timesthat we live in a laissez-faire world created by Milton Friedman and that that wild, unfettered market has led to our current economic problems.  David Henderson, the first editor of Cato Policy Report, begs to differ. David R. Henderson is a research fellow with the Hoover Institution, an economics professor in the Graduate School of Business and Public Policy at the Naval Postgraduate School, and the editor of The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics (Liberty Fund, 2008). Here’s his critique of the Times article:

In the April 13 New York Times, economics reporter Peter S. Goodman takes “A Fresh Look at the Apostle of Free Markets,” the late Milton Friedman.  Goodman’s goal seems to be to persuade the reader that we’re emerging from an era of laissez-faire that Ronald Reagan and Milton Friedman implemented together, that laissez-faire didn’t work, and that now we need to reregulate.  No, really.  I’m not kidding.  That seems to be what he’s saying.

Now, Peter is a nice guy.  He’s interviewed me a few times and we had a nice hour-long talk at the Hoover Institution earlier this year.  But his article is full of confusions and misstatements and is crying out for an answer.  Here’s mine.  The quotes from Peter’s article are indented and my answers follow.

Joblessness is growing. Millions of homes are sliding into foreclosure. The financial system continues to choke on the toxic leftovers of the mortgage crisis. The downward spiral of the economy is challenging a notion that has underpinned American economic policy for a quarter-century — the idea that prosperity springs from markets left free of government interference. 

The first two sentences are probably correct.  The third might be correct.  The fourth, the most important in the paragraph, is badly wrong.  Markets haven’t been seriously free of regulation since before the Great Depression.  There were some major deregulatory victories—in airlines, railroads, and trucking—but interestingly, these victories preceded the last quarter century—they happened in the late 1970s and 1980, under President Jimmy Carter.  And they led to good results—cheaper air travel and shipping and more accountability for truckers and railroads, to name two.  It’s true that people give lip service to economic freedom.  But the current president nationalized prescription drugs for the elderly, nationalized airport security except in five cities, and dramatically expanded federal intervention in education.  The previous Congress banned Internet gambling and the current Congress has banned certain kinds of light bulbs.  The government is now pushing people into more-expensive sources of energy.  State and local governments have passed laws that prevent owners of bars and restaurants from allowing smoking.  Congress in the 1990s started to dictate that insurance policies cover certain medical procedures. And notably, federal regulations from mortgage subsidies to the Community Reinvestment Act encouraged ill-advised investments. Those are some of the increases in government regulation.  There have been few decreases. 

The modern-day godfather of that credo was Milton Friedman, who attributed the worst economic unraveling in American history to regulators, declaring in a 1976 essay that “the Great Depression was produced by government mismanagement.” 

True.  And, by the way, Friedman got this one right as even that superregulator, Ben Bernanke admitted.  At Friedman’s 90thbirthday party, Bernanke said, “I would like to say to Milton and Anna [Schwartz]: Regarding the Great Depression. You’re right, we did it. We’re very sorry. But thanks to you, we won’t do it again.” 

Five years later, Ronald Reagan entered the White House, elevating Mr. Friedman’s laissez-faire ideals into a veritable set of commandments. 

Oh, really?  Within a few months, Reagan had persuaded the Japanese government to forcibly limit the number of cars the Japanese auto companies could sell to the United States. And Reagan left almost all federal regulations in place. 

Taxes were cut, regulations slashed and public industries sold into private hands, all in the name of clearing government from the path to riches. 

Reagan did cut taxes in 1981–and then raised them in 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, and 1987

As the economy expanded and inflation abated, Mr. Friedman played the role of chief evangelist in the mission to let loose the animal instincts of the market. 

This certainly is a “fresh” look at Milton Friedman.  It’s also wrong.  I don’t think Friedman ever thought that in advocating that humans be freer, he was advocating letting loose “animal instincts.”  Animals act far more like governments—that is, they use force against their competitors—than like peaceful market participants. 

But with market forces now seemingly gone feral, disenchantment with regulation has given way to demands for fresh oversight, placing Mr. Friedman’s intellectual legacy under fresh scrutiny. 

Unfortunately, Goodman doesn’t say how market forces have gone feral.  Government remains feral and government seems poised to use more force against more victims, but how markets do that is beyond me.  As for Friedman’s intellectual legacy, or anyone else’s, fresh scrutiny is always good.  You won’t find any of it in Goodman’s article, though. 

Just as the Depression remade government’s role in economic life, bringing jobs programs and an expanded welfare system, the current downturn has altered the balance. 

But wait a minute.  The Depression did alter the balance, increasing government power at the expense of people’s freedom dramatically.  Very few Depression-era programs were ended.  We’re still stuck with the SEC, agricultural subsidies, welfare, and Social Security.  Moreover, every president after Franklin Roosevelt increased government power, often, as with LBJ (Great Society), Nixon (price controls, OSHA, and EPA), and Bush Jr. (No Child Left Behind, nationalization of two industries), substantially.  So how can the current downturn alter the balance?  We’ve been moving away from economic freedom for 80 years.  (Herbert Hoover began what really should be called a mini-New Deal.)  How can more government programs alter the balance? 

As Wall Street, Main Street and Pennsylvania Avenue seethe with recriminations, a bipartisan chorus has decided that unfettered markets are in need of fettering. Bailouts, stimulus spending and regulations dominate the conversation. 

It would be more accurate to say, “a bipartisan chorus has decided that fettered markets need to be fettered more.”  But that doesn’t have the same ring, does it? 

In short, the nation steeped in the thinking of a man who blamed government for the Depression now beseeches government to lift it to safety. 

So if the nation is “steeped in the thinking of a man who blamed government for the Depression,” wouldn’t you expect most people to have, until recently, “blamed government for the Depression”?  Is that really what Goodman perceives?  It’s not what my students think when they start out in my class.  Nor is it what their parents think.  Where is Goodman getting his information? 

If Mr. Friedman, who died in 2006, were still among us, he would surely be unhappy with this turn. 

Amen, brother.  Goodman finally got one right. 

“What Milton Friedman said was that government should not interfere,” said Allen Sinai, chief global economist for Decision Economics Inc., a consulting group. “It didn’t work. We now are looking at one of the greatest real estate busts of all time. The free market is not geared to take care of the casualties, because there’s no profit motive. There’s no market incentive to deal with the unemployed or those who have lost their homes.” 

Where do I begin?  Sinai’s first statement is true.  But his second statement?  How could he say that not having government interfere didn’t work when through the whole era being discussed, government interfered?  Even if you were a dyed-in-the-wool advocate of government interference, you couldn’t make Sinai’s statement because throughout that era we had massive government interference.  And what are we to make of Sinai’s statement that the “free market is not geared to take care of casualties”?  Has he heard of insurance?  It’s a free-market way of taking care of casualties.  And there’s no profit motive?  Huh?  People don’t want to make profits?  And there certainly is a “market incentive to deal with the unemployed or those who have lost their homes.”  Employers deal with the unemployed through markets all the time—by hiring them.  And people who have lost their homes still want a place to live and so property owners want to deal with them by renting to them. 

To Mr. Friedman, such sentiments, when turned into policy, deprived the economy of the vibrancy of market forces. 

Somewhat true, but overstated.  One of Milton’s favorite lines was one from Adam Smith: “There is much ruin in a nation.”  He once explained to me that that meant that a whole lot of things can go wrong, and government can mess things up in many ways, but the desire to better ourselves can still make markets work. 

Born in Brooklyn in 1912 to immigrant parents who worked briefly in sweatshops, Mr. Friedman retained a sense that America was a land of opportunity with ample rewards for the hard-working. 

True. 

His intellectual bent was forged as a graduate student at the University of Chicago, a base for those who saw themselves as guardians of classical economics in a world then under the spell of woolly-headed revisionists. 

Not exactly.  The marginal revolution of 1870 had upset the classical school.  The Chicago School economists of the 1930s believed in the marginal revolution.  And many of them advocated, at the same time, a great deal of government intervention.  Read Henry Simons’s work of that era and see if you would ever dream of calling him an advocate of laissez-faire. 

The chief object of their scorn was John Maynard Keynes, and his message that government had to juice the economy with spending during times of duress. 

Not even close.  Milton Friedman was a Keynesian at least into his late thirties.  The shift in his thinking was gradual, so much so that he could never identify—we talked about this—when he became a non-Keynesian.   

That notion dominated policy in the years after the Depression. Mr. Friedman would spend much of his career assailing it: He argued that government should simply manage the supply of money — to keep it growing with the economy — then step aside and let the market do its magic. 

True.  But I don’t recall Friedman ever using the word “magic.”  The way markets work is a completely understandable result of private property and freedom. 

So firm was his regard for market forces, so deep his disdain for government, that Mr. Friedman once said: “If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in five years there would be a shortage of sand.” 

I didn’t know that was his line, but it’s a good one. 

This antagonism toward bureaucracy seemed to spring from Mr. Friedman’s conception of his country as a bastion of rugged individualism. During an interview on PBS in 2000, he noted that Adam Smith, the father of classical economics, published his canonical work, “The Wealth of Nations,” in 1776, “the same year as the American Revolution.” 

Basically correct.  But his antagonism toward bureaucracy also sprang from his empiricism.  He saw how badly bureaucracy worked and how well economic freedom works. 

He spoke in the interview of his concern at the end of World War II that socialism was gaining adherents because countries had been forced to organize collectively to produce armaments. 

“You came out of the war with the widespread belief that the war had demonstrated that central planning would work,” Mr. Friedman said. “The left, in particular, … interpreted Russia as a successful experiment in central planning.” 

True. 

Mr. Friedman’s brand of libertarianism rested on the assumption that economic and political freedom were one and the same. It meshed with and fed the cold war thinking of his time, as the United States offered up capitalism as liberty itself in contrast to the authoritarian Soviet Union. 

The first sentence is absolutely false.  Friedman argued, in one of the classic passages in Capitalism and Freedom, that a great deal of economic freedom is required if we are to have political freedom.  He always distinguished clearly between them. 

Among professional economists, Mr. Friedman’s analytical mastery was near-universally admired. 

True. 

His first breakthrough came in the 1950s with his idea that people’s savings and spending were not a function of psychological factors, but based on rational estimations of wealth. 

That’s actually a nice statement of Friedman’s “permanent income theory of the consumption function.” 

His greatest contribution came the following decade, when Mr. Friedman dismantled the consensus view that inflation was a tolerable byproduct of high employment.  

No.  Friedman’s biggest contribution was his book, co-authored with Anna Schwartz, A Monetary History of the United States, 1867-1960, their analytical contribution to, among other things, the view that Federal Reserve monetary policy was the major contributor to the Great Depression.  It was this work that led, four decades later, to Bernanke’s aforementioned apology.   

He demonstrated that high inflation would eventually cost jobs, as businesses were discouraged to invest by the higher wages they had to pay. 

Not even close.  Probably what Goodman is referring to is Friedman’s insight, in his 1967 Presidential address to the American Economics Association, that there is no long-run tradeoff between inflation and unemployment.  Friedman made an argument that Friedrich Hayek had made years earlier.  Friedman argued that an unanticipated spurt in inflation could reduce unemployment because unemployed workers would be “fooled” into accepting jobs at high nominal wages that were really low real wages.  Once workers figured this out, Friedman argued, unemployment would creep up to the “natural rate.” 

“This triumph, more than anything else, confirmed Milton Friedman’s status as a great economist’s economist, whatever one may think of his other roles,” Paul Krugman, an economist (and a New York Times columnist) wrote last year in The New York Review of Books. 

Overstated.  Friedman made steady headway all through the 1960s.   

Mr. Friedman captured the era with a new formulation known as monetarism: that the government should gradually and predictably inject cash into the financial system, and then let the market figure out where it should go. 

That’s one of the worst statements of monetarism I’ve seen.  Monetarism is the theory that monetary policy matters more than fiscal policy in its ability to affect nominal GDP, and that changes in the velocity of money are slow and predictable.  Actually, for the best succinct statement of monetarism, see Ben McCallum’s article, “Monetarism,” in David R. Henderson, ed., The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics, Liberty Fund, 2008. 

“Any honest Democrat will admit that we are now all Friedmanites,” Lawrence H. Summers, the Harvard economist and former Clinton administration Treasury secretary, wrote in an appreciation published in this newspaper when Mr. Friedman died. “He has had more influence on economic policy as it is practiced around the world today than any other modern figure.” 

Actually, I think Larry overstated the case.  I think you could be honest and not be a Friedmanite. 

But the reviews for Mr. Friedman’s work grow mixed when the subject moves to his role as chief proselytizer in the drive to reduce the role of government in public life. 

Too vague to evaluate.  Whose reviews?  He doesn’t say.  The reviews of Friedman’s work as proselytizer have always been mixed. 

He laid out a blueprint in his 1962 book, “Capitalism and Freedom,” calling for the end of the military draft, the abolition of the licensing of doctors and the creation of “education vouchers” that parents could use to send children to private schools, injecting competition into public education. 

True. 

Two years later, Mr. Friedman put those principles to work as an economic adviser to the presidential campaign of Senator Barry Goldwater, a Republican from Arizona. The campaign called for the abolition of government oversight of the energy, telephone and airline industries and the dismantling of the Social Security system and national parks. 

That would have been nice, but I’m virtually positive that it’s untrue.  Goldwater said nothing about the energy, telephone, or airline industries: at least in all the books I’ve read about his campaign, I don’t recall a thing ever said about those issues.  He also did not call for dismantling national parks, whatever that means.  As for Social Security, Goldwater did say a few times that it should be voluntary but that thought did not rise to the level of campaign promise.   

Mr. Goldwater took a drubbing at the hands of Lyndon Johnson. Mr. Friedman would remain in the policy wilderness until the rise of President Reagan. Then, his notions about rolling back government took on the force of dogma. 

The first sentence is true.  The second is wildly inaccurate.  Friedman was active in the push to eliminate the draft, serving as a key member of the President’s Commission on the All-Volunteer Force in 1969, which agreed 14-0 with one abstention, to recommend ending the draft.  Call me crazy, but I think that removing the government’s gun from the heads of two million men every year is a little bit of an accomplishment.  Friedman was also active in various state tax limitation campaigns, which he always had more confidence in than any presidential candidate.  The statement about dogma is typically overdone; more’s the pity. 

This was so not only in the United States, but also throughout much of the world. As former Iron Curtain countries embraced free markets, they did so with Mr. Friedman’s books in hand. The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank leaned heavily on his ideas in prescribing policies for countries from Asia to Latin America. 

The first sentence is correct.  The third is not.  They talked a good game but the IMF and World Bank still handed out taxpayers’ money to ruthless governments.   

“Among the cognoscenti, he became the figure that represented the war against the overwhelming welfare state,” said Hernando de Soto, a prominent Peruvian economist. “The idea that people are responsible for progress far more than government. One should reserve most of the action for the private sector. From Brazil to Mexico, that idea is still in place.” 

Even Mr. De Soto overstates.  That idea is in place in Mexico?  Where does it show up in Mexico’s policies? 

But Mr. De Soto faulted Mr. Friedman for failing to temper his admonitions with an understanding of poverty and income inequality. 

“The problem with Milton Friedman and his fellow libertarians is they never took into consideration the importance of class,” Mr. De Soto said. “They ignored the way elites were able to distort the policies they prescribed for their own benefit.” 

Well, I guess De Soto said it, but that doesn’t represent Friedman’s views.  Friedman has always been outspoken about well-heeled businesses seeking tariffs, import quotas, and regulation of their competitors.  Maybe De Soto has as much of a tin ear as Peter Goodman. 

In much of Latin America, economic growth never reached the poor, laying ground for the socialist backlash now led by Venezuela’s president, Hugo Chávez. 

True.  But this is hardly a comment on Friedman’s beliefs in markets. Venezuela has had a combination of socialism and fascism for decades. 

In the United States, the reconsideration of the Friedman doctrine came via the global financial crisis that has resulted from the collapse of American real estate. Many economists blame regulators for ignoring warning signs that banks and investors were growing reckless. One Friedman acolyte has taken the brunt of such criticisms — Alan Greenspan, the former chairman of the Federal Reserve. 

If many economists blame regulators, couldn’t this reporter name three?  And what is their case?  And does he even consider the tremendous moral hazard that results precisely because of regulation via deposit insurance and implicit government guarantees?  Nope. 

But as America reaches for regulation to tame the markets, the keepers of the Friedman flame remain resolute that government is no solution. 

True.  We do. 

“Friedman taught some fundamental long-run truths and he was adept and skilled and almost brilliant at getting them into the public domain,” said Allan H. Meltzer, an economist at Carnegie Mellon. “Now we’ve come into a crisis that has dampened enthusiasm for those policies, and we’re headed back into a period of more regulations that will do the same bad things as in the past.” 

Almost?  Well, here my objection is to Allan Meltzer, not Goodman.  Everything else Meltzer said, though, is spot on.   

Milton Friedman

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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE PART 331 (Circle Jerks) I have lots of young people come to us and [they] can’t find any meaning to life. It’s the meaning of the words “punk rock.” SCHAEFFER TAKES LOOK AT ECCLESIASTES AND ESCAPING INTO ALCOHOL Featured artist is Liz Larner

__

Circle Jerks (stylized as Ciʀcle JƎʀᴋs) were an American hardcore punk band, formed in 1979 in Los Angeles, California. The group was founded by former Black Flag vocalist Keith Morris and Redd Kross guitarist Greg Hetson. Their debut album, Group Sex, is considered a landmark of the hardcore genre.

Circle Jerks
Circle Jerks.jpg

Circle Jerks, 1995. L-R: Greg Hetson, Keith Morris, Zander Schloss and Keith Clark.
Background information
Origin Hermosa Beach, California, U.S.
Genres Hardcore punk[1]
Years active 1979–1990, 1994–1995, 2001–2010 (on hiatus)
Labels Frontier, Faulty Products, LAX, Combat, Relativity, Mercury
Associated acts Black Flag, Redd Kross, Bad Religion, the Weirdos, Black President, Off!
Website CircleJerks.net
Past members Keith Morris
Greg Hetson
Lucky Lehrer
Roger Rogerson
John Ingram
Chuck Biscuits
Earl Liberty
Keith Clark
Zander Schloss
Chris Poland
Kevin Fitzgerald

The band broke up and re-formed three times, sometimes with different bassists and/or drummers. They disbanded for the first time after the release of their fifth album, 1987’s VI, as Hetson decided to continue touring and releasing albums with Bad Religion. They reunited around 1994 and recorded a reunion album, Oddities, Abnormalities and Curiosities, the following year, followed by a tour. After that, the Circle Jerks once again parted ways as Hetson was still involved in Bad Religion. They reunited again circa 2001, but as of 2010, went on indefinite hiatus.

To date, Circle Jerks have released six studio albums, one compilation, a live album and a live DVD.

Many groups and artists have cited Circle Jerks as an influence, including Flea, Anti-Flag,[2][3] Dropkick Murphys,[4] the Offspring[3] and Pennywise.[3]

HistoryEdit

Early days and increasing popularity (1979–1982)Edit

Lead vocalist Keith Morris was an original member of Black Flag, co-founding the band with guitarist Greg Ginn and recording the Nervous Breakdown EP with them before suddenly departing the group in December 1979. Morris formed Circle Jerks as the Bedwetters[5] along with guitarist Greg Hetson, bassist Roger Rogerson (a classically-trained guitarist) and drummer Lucky Lehrer (a jazz-trained drummer). Lehrer did not like the name the Bedwetters, so Morris looked through a dictionary of slang words and renamed the band the Circle Jerks.[5]

The band’s first recordings took place in spring 1980, including the original version of “Wild in the Streets”, which appeared on Posh Boy‘s first Rodney on the ROQ compilation. In July of that year, the band recorded their debut studio album, Group Sex, which was released in October 1980 on the Frontier Records label; its 14 songs totaled just 15 minutes. The album featured several songs that Morris had written while in Black Flag. That same year, the group was one of several California punk bands to be immortalized in the Penelope Spheerisdocumentary The Decline of Western Civilization; live versions of five songs from Group Sex appeared on the movie’s soundtrack.

In late 1980, the group signed with IRS Recordssubsidiary Faulty Products and recorded their second album, Wild in the Streets, released in 1982. The title track was a cover version of a song by Garland Jeffreys. Faulty Products ceased operations several months after its release, forcing Circle Jerks to seek their third record deal in as many years. While they regained the copyright to Wild in the Streets, the original stereo master tape was lost, forcing the band to remix it from the multi-track tapes when they reissued the album in 1988.

Is turning to drugs and alcohol the only alternative modern man has?

Take a look at these lyrics of the song “Live fast die young” by Circle Jerks:

I don’t want to live
To be thirty-four
I don’t want to die
In a nuclear war
Go on out
Get some more
Go on out
To the bar, the market or the liquor store
I don’t want to live
To be forty-three
I don’t like
What I see going on around me
Go on out
Get some more
Go on out
Get [messed] up and pass out on the floor
Go on out
Get some more
Go on out
To your favorite liquor store
Go on out
Don’t worry about it any more
Go on out
Get [messed] up
I don’t know what for
I don’t want to live
To be fifty-seven
I’m living in hell
Is there a heaven?
Live fast, die young
Live fast, die young
Live fast, die young
Live fast, die young

__

Francis Schaeffer noted:

I have lots of young people and older ones come to us from the ends of the earth. And as they come to us, they have gone to the end of this logically and they are not living in a romantic setting. They realize what the situation is. They can’t find any meaning to life. It’s the meaning to the black poetry. It’s the meaning of the black plays. It’s the meaning of all this. It’s the meaning of the words “punk rock.”

“They are the natural outcome of a change from a Christian World View to a Humanistic one…
The result is a relativistic value system. A lack of a final meaning to life — that’s first. Why does human life have any value at all, if that is all that reality is? Not only are you going to die individually, but the whole human race is going to die, someday. It may not take the falling of the atom bombs, but someday the world will grow too hot, too cold. That’s what we are told on this other final reality, and someday all you people not only will be individually dead, but the whole conscious life on this world will be dead, and nobody will see the birds fly. And there’s no meaning to life.

As you know, I don’t speak academically, shut off in some scholastic cubicle, as it were. I have lots of young people and older ones come to us from the ends of the earth. And as they come to us, they have gone to the end of this logically and they are not living in a romantic setting. They realize what the situation is. They can’t find any meaning to life. It’s the meaning to the black poetry. It’s the meaning of the black plays. It’s the meaning of all this. It’s the meaning of the words “punk rock.” And I must say, that on the basis of what they are being taught in school, that the final reality is only this material thing, they are not wrong. They’re right! On this other basis there is no meaning to life and not only is there no meaning to life, but there is no value system that is fixed, and we find that the law is based then only on a relativistic basis and that law becomes purely arbitrary.

OUTLINE OF ECCLESIATES BY SCHAEFFER

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William Lane Craig on Man’s predicament if God doesn’t exist

Read Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett. During this entire play two men carry on trivial conversation while waiting for a third man to arrive, who never does. Our lives are like that, Beckett is saying; we just kill time waiting—for what, we don’t know.

Thus, if there is no God, then life itself becomes meaningless. Man and the universe are without ultimate significance.

Francis Schaeffer looks at Nihilism of Solomon and the causes of it!!!

Notes on Ecclesiastes by Francis Schaeffer

Solomon is the author of Ecclesiastes and he is truly an universal man like Leonardo da Vinci.

Two men of the Renaissance stand above all others – Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci and it is in them that one can perhaps grasp a view of the ultimate conclusion of humanism for man. Michelangelo was unequaled as a sculptor in the Renaissance and arguably no one has ever matched his talents.

The other giant of the Renaissance period was Leonardo da Vinci – the perfect Renaissance Man, the man who could do almost anything and does it better than most anyone else. As an inventor, an engineer, an anatomist, an architect, an artist, a chemist, a mathematician, he was almost without equal. It was perhaps his mathematics that lead da Vinci to come to his understanding of the ultimate meaning of Humanism. Leonardo is generally accepted as the first modern mathematician. He not only knew mathematics abstractly but applied it in his Notebooks to all manner of engineering problems. He was one of the unique geniuses of history, and in his brilliance he perceived that beginning humanistically with mathematics one only had particulars. He understood that man beginning from himself would never be able to come to meaning on the basis of mathematics. And he knew that having only individual things, particulars, one never could come to universals or meaning and thus one only ends with mechanics. In this he saw ahead to where our generation has come: everything, including man, is the machine.

Leonardo da Vinci compares well to Solomon and they  both were universal men searching for the meaning in life. Solomon was searching for a meaning in the midst of the details of life. His struggle was to find the meaning of life. Not just plans in life. Anybody can find plans in life. A child can fill up his time with plans of building tomorrow’s sand castle when today’s has been washed away. There is  a difference between finding plans in life and purpose in life. Humanism since the Renaissance and onward has never found it and it has never found it since. Modern man has not found it and it has always got worse and darker in a very real way.

We have here the declaration of Solomon’s universality:

1 Kings 4:30-34

English Standard Version (ESV)

30 so that Solomon’s wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all the people of the east and all the wisdom of Egypt. 31 For he was wiser than all other men, wiser than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, Calcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol, and his fame was in all the surrounding nations. 32 He also spoke 3,000 proverbs, and his songs were 1,005. 33 He spoke of trees, from the cedar that is in Lebanon to the hyssop that grows out of the wall. He spoke also of beasts, and of birds, and of reptiles, and of fish. 34 And people of all nations came to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and from all the kings of the earth, who had heard of his wisdom.

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Here is the universal man and his genius. Solomon is the universal man with a empire at his disposal. Solomon had it all.

Ecclesiastes 1:3

English Standard Version (ESV)

What does man gain by all the toil
    at which he toils under the sun?

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.

(Added by me: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.” )

Man is caught in the cycle

Ecclesiastes 1:1-7

English Standard Version (ESV)

All Is Vanity

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.

All things are full of weariness;
    a man cannot utter it;
the eye is not satisfied with seeing,
    nor the ear filled with hearing.
What has been is what will be,
    and what has been done is what will be done,
    and there is nothing new under the sun.
10 Is there a thing of which it is said,
    “See, this is new”?
It has been already
    in the ages before us.

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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.

Ecclesiastes 1:4

English Standard Version (ESV)

A generation goes, and a generation comes,
    but the earth remains forever.

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Ecclesiastes 4:16

English Standard Version (ESV)

16 There was no end of all the people, all of whom he led. Yet those who come later will not rejoice in him. Surely this also is vanity and a striving after wind.

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In verses 1:4 and 4:16 Solomon places man in the cycle. He doesn’t place man outside of the cycle. Man doesn’t escape the cycle. Man is only cycle. Birth and death and youth and old age. With this in mind Solomon makes this statement.

Ecclesiastes 6:12

12 For who knows what is good for a man during his lifetime, during the few years of his futile life? He will spend them like a shadow. For who can tell a man what will be after him under the sun?

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There is no doubt in my mind that Solomon had the same experience in his life that I had as a younger man. 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 and I felt as man as God. 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.

THIS IS SOLOMON’S FEELING TOO. The universal man, Solomon, beyond our intelligence with an empire at his disposal with the opportunity of observation so he could recite these words here in Ecclesiastes 6:12, “For who knows what is good for a man during his lifetime, during the few years of his futile life? He will spend them like a shadow. For who can tell a man what will be after him under the sun?”

Lack of Satisfaction in life

In Ecclesiastes 1:8 he drives this home when he states, “All things are wearisome; Man is not able to tell itThe eye is not satisfied with seeing, Nor is the ear filled with hearing.” Solomon is stating here the fact that there is no final satisfaction because you don’t get to the end of the thing. THERE IS NO FINAL SATISFACTION. This is related to Leonardo da Vinci’s similar search for universals and then meaning in life. 

In Ecclesiastes 5:11 Solomon again pursues this theme, When good things increase, those who consume them increase. So what is the advantage to their owners except to look on?”  Doesn’t that sound modern? It is as modern as this evening. Solomon here is stating the fact there is no reaching completion in anything and this is the reason there is no final satisfaction. There is simply no place to stop. It is impossible when laying up wealth for oneself when to stop. It is impossible to have the satisfaction of completion. 

Pursuing Learning

Now let us look down the details of his searching.

In Ecclesiastes 1: 13a we have the details of the universal man’s procedure. “And I set my mind to seek and explore by wisdom concerning all that has been done under heaven.”

So like any sensible man the instrument that is used is INTELLECT, and RAITIONALITY, and LOGIC. It is to be noted that even men who despise these in their theories begin and use them or they could not speak. There is no other way to begin except in the way they which man is and that is rational and intellectual with movements of that is logical within him. As a Christian I must say gently in passing that is the way God made him.

So we find first of all Solomon turned to WISDOM and logic. Wisdom is not to be confused with knowledge. A man may have great knowledge and no wisdom. Wisdom is the use of rationality and logic. A man can be very wise and have limited knowledge. Here he turns to wisdom in all that implies and the total rationality of man.

Works of Men done Under the Sun

After wisdom Solomon comes to the great WORKS of men. Ecclesiastes 1:14,  “I have seen all the works which have been done under the sun, and behold, all is [p]vanity and striving after wind.” Solomon is the man with an empire at this disposal that speaks. This is the man who has the copper refineries in Ezion-geber. This is the man who made the stables across his empire. This is the man who built the temple in Jerusalem. This is the man who stands on the world trade routes. He is not a provincial. He knew what was happening on the Phonetician coast and he knew what was happening in Egypt. There is no doubt he already knew something of building. This is Solomon and he pursues the greatness of his own construction and his conclusion is VANITY AND VEXATION OF SPIRIT.

Ecclesiastes 2:18-20

18 Thus I hated all the fruit of my labor for which I had labored under the sun, for I must leave it to the man who will come after me. 19 And who knows whether he will be a wise man or a fool? Yet he will have control over all the fruit of my labor for which I have labored by acting wisely under the sun. This too is vanity. 20 Therefore I completely despaired of all the fruit of my labor for which I had labored under the sun.

He looked at the works of his hands, great and multiplied by his wealth and his position and he shrugged his shoulders.

Ecclesiastes 2:22-23

22 For what does a man get in all his labor and in his striving with which he labors under the sun? 23 Because all his days his task is painful and grievous; even at night his mind does not rest. This too is vanity.

Man can not rest and yet he is never done and yet the things which he builds will out live him. If one wants an ironical three phrases these are they. There is a Dutch saying, “The tailor makes many suits but one day he will make a suit that will outlast the tailor.”

God has put eternity in our hearts but we can not know the beginning or the end of the thing from a vantage point of UNDER THE SUN

Ecclesiastes 1:16-18

16 I said to myself, “Behold, I have magnified and increased wisdom more than all who were over Jerusalem before me; and my mind has observed a wealth of wisdom and knowledge.” 17 And I set my mind to know wisdom and to know madness and folly; I realized that this also is striving after wind.18 Because in much wisdom there is much grief, and increasing knowledge results in increasing pain.

Solomon points out that you can not know the beginnings or what follows:

Ecclesiastes 3:11

11 He has made everything  appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end.

Ecclesiastes 1:11

11 There is no remembrance of earlier things; And also of the later things which will occur, There will be for them no remembrance among those who will come later still.

Ecclesiastes 2:16

16 For there is no lasting remembrance of the wise man as with the fool, inasmuch as in the coming days all will be forgotten. And how the wise man and the fool alike die!

You bring together here the factor of the beginning and you can’t know what immediately follows after your death and of course you can’t know the final ends. What do you do and the answer is to get drunk and this was not thought of in the RUBAIYAT OF OMAR KAHAYYAM:

Ecclesiastes 2:1-3

I said to myself, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure. So enjoy yourself.” And behold, it too was futility. I said of laughter, “It is madness,” and of pleasure, “What does it accomplish?” I explored with my mind how to stimulate my body with wine while my mind was guiding me wisely, and how to take hold of folly, until I could see what good there is for the sons of men to do under heaven the few years of their lives.

The Daughter of the Vine:

You know, my Friends, with what a brave Carouse
I made a Second Marriage in my house;
Divorced old barren Reason from my Bed,
And took the Daughter of the Vine to Spouse.

from the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (Translation by Edward Fitzgerald)

A perfectly good philosophy coming out of Islam, but Solomon is not the first man that thought of it nor the last. In light of what has been presented by Solomon is the solution just to get intoxicated and black the think out? So many people have taken to alcohol and the dope which so often follows in our day. This approach is incomplete, temporary and immature. Papa Hemingway can find the champagne of Paris sufficient for a time, but one he left his youth he never found it sufficient again. He had a lifetime spent looking back to Paris and that champagne and never finding it enough. It is no solution and Solomon says so too.

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(End of Schaeffer comments)

I want to talk about a subject that is very sad indeed and it is the attempt by many today to find  their meaning in life through drugs and alcohol. Perhaps they are trying to escape the hard realities of life by taking this path. Like everyone around us, I too have many close friends and relatives who have fallen into this trap. I have a great deal of compassion for these individuals. In fact, several times this month I have taken time to drive individuals from a facility that my church sponsors to AA meetings. We want these individuals to overcome their addictions and live in victory.  I can’t do anything to go back and  save those who have passed on in the past, but I can do something to encourage those who have obstacles to overcome today!!!!

Our church FELLOWSHIP BIBLE CHURCH sponsors HIDDEN CREEK REENTRY CENTER,  Assisting incarcerated individuals with a successful transition to their community. I have had the joy of giving some of my time to help these gentlemen. Let me share some posts from their Facebook page:

So proud of these guys… They had the honor to go with Mr.Glover yesterday to a school to speak to some children.

Well its been a eye jerker today… great tears of joy!! I have watched these guys grow so much… I pray they continue to grow out there… next month they graduate the program!!

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I have just finished a book about a man who had a tough time breaking drug addition and the it is entitled,  FEARLESS: The undaunted courage and ultimate sacrifice of Navy Seal Team Six Operator Adam Brown by Eric Blehm.
This is how the book opens:

When Adam Brown woke up on March 17, 2010, he didn’t know he would die that night in the Hindu Kush mountains of Afghanistan—but he was ready….Adam Brown did understand what it meant to disappoint, to feel the shame he’d experienced on a hot, humid August afternoon years earlier when his parents had him arrested.“It’s time for you to face what you’ve done,” his father had told him in 1996, just before Adam was handcuffed and escorted to the backseat of the Garland County sheriff’s cruiser. When the deputy slammed the car door shut, Adam watched his mother’s legs buckle, and as she collapsed, his dad caught her and held her tightly against him. She began to cry, and Adam knew he had broken her heart.That vision—of his mother sobbing into his father’s chest—would haunt him for the rest of his life, but it also sparked the journey that defined who he would become. Officially known as a Chief Special Warfare Operator (SEAL), Adam Brown was one of the most respected Special Operations warriors in the U.S. Navy.

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Why do so many individuals today turn to drugs or liquor?  There are various reasons, but let us look at the reason Ernest Hemingway became a drunk.
Ernest Hemingway turned to liquor as a device of escapism because he reached the conclusion that life has no lasting meaning.
“Some lived in it and never felt it but he knew it all was nada y pues nada y nada y pues nada.” This quote from Hemingway’s short story A Clean Well Lighted Place shows that Ernest Hemingway embraced nihilism. The Spanish word NADA meaning NOTHING. The old man in the story tried the previous week to commit suicide but was saved by his niece, and he saw it as a temporary saving.
Hemingway also wrote in his last book THE GARDEN OF EDEN,“Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.”A sensational bestseller when it appeared in 1986, The Garden of Eden is the last uncompleted novel of Ernest Hemingway, which he worked on intermittently from 1946 until his death in 1961.
In you go to You Tube and watch the video Woody Allen talks ‘Midnight in Paris’ which was posted on January 27, 2017 and runs 43 minutes and 37 seconds, you will notice at the 27 minute mark that Woody Allen says:

I have never gotten to the point where I can give an optimistic view of anything. I have these ideas for stories that I hope are entertaining and I am always criticized for being pessimistic or nihilistic. To me this is just a realistic appraisal of life. What I have learned over the years is that there is no other solution to it. There is no satisfying answer. There is no optimistic answer I can give anybody.

Ernest Hemingway in one of his stories ( A FAREWELL TO ARMS)is looking at a burning log with ants running on it. This is the kind of thinking that has over powered me over the years and slips into my stories.

Drinking was a large part of Hemingway’s life. Solomon in the Book of Ecclesiastes also takes a long look at liquor and tries to see if it will bring any satisfaction UNDER THE SUN.

In fact, Solomon  filled his home with the best wine (Eccl 2:3).

Concerning the Book of Ecclesiastes Francis Schaeffer noted:

Solomon was searching for a meaning in the midst of the details of life. His struggle was to find the meaning of life.  Humanism since the Renaissance and onward has never found it and it has never found it. Modern man has not found it and it has always got worse and darker in a very real way.

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.

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In 1978 I heard the song “Dust in the Wind” by Kansas when it rose to #6 on the charts. That song told me thatKerry Livgren the writer of that song and a member of Kansas had come to the same conclusion that Solomon had. 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. Furthermore, like Solomon and Coldplay, they realized death comes to everyone and “there must be something more.”

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 and that same  interview can be seen on youtube today. 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.

The movie maker Woody Allen has embraced the nihilistic message of the song “Dust in the Wind” by Kansas. David Segal in his article, “Things are Looking Up for the Director Woody Allen. No?” (Washington Post, July 26, 2006), wrote, “Allen is evangelically passionate about a few subjects. None more so than the chilling emptiness of life…The 70-year-old writer and director has been musing about life, sex, work, death and his generally futile search for hope…the world according to Woody is so bereft of meaning, so godless and absurd, that the only proper response is to curl up on a sofa and howl for your mommy.”

The song “Dust in the Wind” recommends, “Don’t hang on.” Allen himself says, “It’s just an awful thing and in that context you’ve got to find an answer to the question: ‘Why go on?’ ”  It is ironic that Chris Martin the leader of Coldplay regards Woody Allen as his favorite director.

Lets sum up the final conclusions of these gentlemen:  Coldplay is still searching for that “something more.” Woody Allen has concluded the search is futile. Livgren and Hope of Kansas have become Christians and are involved in fulltime ministry. Solomon’s experiment was a search for meaning to life “under the sun.” Then in last few words in the Book of Ecclesiastes he looks above the sun and brings God back into the picture: “The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: Fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.”

You can hear Kerry Livgren’s story from this youtube link:

(part 1 ten minutes)

(part 2 ten minutes)

Kansas – Dust In The Wind

Ecclesiastes 1

Published on Sep 4, 2012

Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | September 2, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider

Featured artist is Liz Larner

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Related posts

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WOODY WEDNESDAY Woody Allen’s Autobiography resembles Ricky Gervais show AFTER LIFE and Solomon in ECCLESIASTES Part 2

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After Life #1 Trailer

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Billy Graham on Woody Allen Show 1969

Dick Cavett and Woody 

12 questions for woody 

Woody scene in STARDUST MEMORIES 

Scarlet thinks Woody is innocent 

https://youtu.be/WIX8hunX-KM

Discussion of Woody’s autobiography 


I listened to this question and answer session at Harvard in 1992 on cassette tapes and was captivated with Ravi Zacharias. His responses were so much better than Kath’s responses to Tony in AFTER LIFE. I have referenced work by Ravi many times in the past and Especially moving was Ravi’s own spiritual search which started in a hospital bed after a failed suicide attempt. I also want you to check out his talk at Princeton and the question and answer time afterwards which are both on YOU TUBEat these two links: Link for talk, Link for Q/A.

After Life 2 Trailer

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On Saturday April 18, 2020 at 6pm in London and noon in Arkansas, I had a chance to ask Ricky Gervais a question on his Twitter Live broadcast which was  “Is Tony a Nihilist?” At the 20:51 mark Ricky answers my question. Below is the video:

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If Death is the end then what is the point Kath asks below:

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Francis Schaeffer passed away on May 15, 1984 and on the 10th anniversary of that date I wrote many skeptics such as Carl Sagan and corresponded with them on the big questions covered by the Book of Ecclesiastes.

Kath: You are an atheist?

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Adrian Rogers on Evolution

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Ravi Zacharias  (March 26, 1946 – May 19, 2020) 

Francis Schaeffer (January 30, 1912 – May 15, 1984[1]

Francis Schaeffer.jpg


I grew up at Bellevue Baptist Church under the leadership of our pastor Adrian Rogers and I read many books by the Evangelical Philosopher Francis Schaeffer and in 1992 I heard cassette tapes of Ravi Zacharias in all his brilliance in his sessions at Harvard and have had the opportunity to contact many of the evolutionists or humanistic academics that they have mentioned in their works. Many of these scholars have taken the time to respond back to me in the last 20 years and some of the names  included are  Ernest Mayr (1904-2005), George Wald (1906-1997), Carl Sagan (1934-1996),  Robert Shapiro (1935-2011), Nicolaas Bloembergen (1920-),  Brian Charlesworth (1945-),  Francisco J. Ayala (1934-) Elliott Sober (1948-), Kevin Padian (1951-), Matt Cartmill (1943-) , Milton Fingerman (1928-), John J. Shea (1969-), , Michael A. Crawford (1938-), Paul Kurtz (1925-2012), Sol Gordon (1923-2008), Albert Ellis (1913-2007), Barbara Marie Tabler (1915-1996), Renate Vambery (1916-2005), Archie J. Bahm (1907-1996), Aron S “Gil” Martin ( 1910-1997), Matthew I. Spetter (1921-2012), H. J. Eysenck (1916-1997), Robert L. Erdmann (1929-2006), Mary Morain (1911-1999), Lloyd Morain (1917-2010),  Warren Allen Smith (1921-), Bette Chambers (1930-),  Gordon Stein (1941-1996) , Milton Friedman (1912-2006), John Hospers (1918-2011), Michael Martin (1932-).Harry Kroto (1939-), Marty E. Martin (1928-), Richard Rubenstein (1924-), James Terry McCollum (1936-), Edward O. WIlson (1929-), Lewis Wolpert (1929), Gerald Holton(1922-), Martin Rees (1942-), Alan Macfarlane (1941-),  Roald Hoffmann (1937-), Herbert Kroemer (1928-), Thomas H. Jukes(1906-1999) and  Ray T. Cragun (1976-).

 Adrian Rogers (September 12, 1931 – November 15, 2005) 

Adrian Rogers.jpg

Charles Darwin Autobiography


Francis Schaeffer “The Age of NONREASON”

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(Above) Tony and Anne on the bench at the graveyard where their spouses are buried.

May 1, 2020

Woody Allen c/o NY

Dear Woody,

You got to take the time to watch the film series AFTERLIFE on Netflix since Ricky Gervais, you and Solomon in ECCLESIASTES talk about so many of the same nihilistic themes on life!!!

Woody on pages 73-74 of your autobiography you asserted:

 I still have. The few areas where the problems are not so embedded, where one needs a little help, a push, maybe I got some relief. (I can go to a Turkish bath without having to buy out the room.) For me the value was having a person to be around to share my suffering with; hitting with the pro in tennis. Also for me a big plus was the delusion I was helping myself. In the blackest times it’s nice to feel you’re not just lying dormant, a passive slug being pelted by the irrational lunacy of the universe, or even by tsuris of your own making. It’s important to believe you’re doing something about it. The world and the people in it may have their boots on your throat, stomping the very life out of you, but you’re going to change all of that, you’re taking heroic action. You’re free-associating. You’re remembering those dreams. Maybe writing them down. At least once a week you’re going to discuss this with a trained expert, and together you will understand the awful emotions causing you to be sad, frightened, raging, despairing, and suicidal. 

The fact that solving these problems is illusory and you will always remain the same tormented wretch, unable to ask the baker for sehnecken because the word embarrasses you, doesn’t matter. The illusion you’re doing something to help yourself helps you. You somehow feel a little better, a little less despondent. You pin your hopes on a Godot who never comes, but the thought he might show up with answers helps you get through the enveloping nightmare. Like religion, where the illusion gets one through. And being in the arts, I envy those people who derive solace from the belief that the work they created will live on and be much discussed and somehow, like the Catholic with his afterlife, so the artist’s «legacy» will make him immortal. The catch here is that all the people discussing the legacy and how great the artist’s work is are alive and are ordering pastrami, and the artist is somewhere in an urn or underground in Queens. All the people standing over Shakespeare’s grave and singing his praises means a big goose egg to the Bard, and a day will come—a far-off day, but be sure it definitely is coming—when all Shakespeare’s plays, for all their brilliant plots and hoity-toity iambic pentameter, and every dot of Seurat’s will be gone along with each atom in the universe. In fact, the universe will be gone and there will be no place to have your hat blocked. After all, we are an accident of physics. And an awkward accident at that. Not the product of intelligent design but, if anything, the work of a crass bungler.

Woody you are saying that it is the illusion that counts the most becaise it gives you a false hope that keeps you going. I think you know how sad that is in reality. Just because we pretend doesn’t make it so.

In the 6th episode of the second season of AFTERLIFE Tony and Lenny interview a 50 year old person who pretends to be a 8 year old little girl when everyone in his family knows this person has been around for 50 years. 

Just pretending something is true does not make it true. This was true too for Jean Paul Sartre. The atheist Sartre said that this Godless universe has no meaning but “Let’s pretend the universe has meaning.” But this is just fooling ourselves. 

Let me share a portion of an article by William Lane Craig with you.

The Absurdity of Life without God

William Lane Craig

SUMMARY

Why on atheism life has no ultimate meaning, value, or purpose, and why this view is unlivable.

Francis Schaeffer has explained this point well. Modern man, says Schaeffer, resides in a two-story universe. In the lower story is the finite world without God; here life is absurd, as we have seen. In the upper story are meaning, value, and purpose. Now modern man lives in the lower story because he believes there is no God. But he cannot live happily in such an absurd world; therefore, he continually makes leaps of faith into the upper story to affirm meaning, value, and purpose, even though he has no right to, since he does not believe in God.

Let’s look again, then, at each of the three areas in which we saw life was absurd without God, to show how man cannot live consistently and happily with his atheism.

Meaning of Life

First, the area of meaning. We saw that without God, life has no meaning. Yet philosophers continue to live as though life does have meaning. For example, Sartre argued that one may create meaning for his life by freely choosing to follow a certain course of action. Sartre himself chose Marxism.

Now this is utterly inconsistent. It is inconsistent to say life is objectively absurd and then to say one may create meaning for his life. If life is really absurd, then man is trapped in the lower story. To try to create meaning in life represents a leap to the upper story. But Sartre has no basis for this leap. Without God, there can be no objective meaning in life. Sartre’s program is actually an exercise in self-delusion. Sartre is really saying, “Let’s pretend the universe has meaning.” And this is just fooling ourselves.

The point is this: if God does not exist, then life is objectively meaningless; but man cannot live consistently and happily knowing that life is meaningless; so in order to be happy he pretends life has meaning. But this is, of course, entirely inconsistent—for without God, man and the universe are without any real significance.

“If each individual person passes out of existence when he dies, then what ultimate meaning can be given to his life? Does it really matter whether he ever existed at all? It might be said that his life was important because it influenced others or affected the course of history. Twentieth-century man came to understand this. Read Waiting for Godot bySamuel Beckett. During this entire play two men carry on trivial conversation while waiting for a third man to arrive, who never does. Our lives are like that, Beckett is saying; we just kill time waiting—for what, we don’t know. In a tragic portrayal of man, Beckett wrote another play in which the curtain opens revealing a stage littered with junk. For thirty long seconds, the audience sits and stares in silence at that junk. Then the curtain closes. That’s all.”

Value of Life

Turn now to the problem of value. Here is where the most blatant inconsistencies occur. First of all, atheistic humanists are totally inconsistent in affirming the traditional values of love and brotherhood. Camus has been rightly criticized for inconsistently holding both to the absurdity of life and the ethics of human love and brotherhood. The two are logically incompatible. Bertrand Russell, too, was inconsistent. For though he was an atheist, he was an outspoken social critic, denouncing war and restrictions on sexual freedom. Russell admitted that he could not live as though ethical values were simply a matter of personal taste, and that he therefore found his own views “incredible.” “I do not know the solution,” he confessed.” [7] The point is that if there is no God, then objective right and wrong cannot exist. As Dostoyevsky said, “All things are permitted.”

But Dostoyevsky also showed that man cannot live this way. He cannot live as though it is perfectly all right for soldiers to slaughter innocent children. He cannot live as though it is all right for dictators like Pol Pot to exterminate millions of their own countrymen. Everything in him cries out to say these acts are wrong—really wrong. But if there is no God, he cannot. So he makes a leap of faith and affirms values anyway. And when he does so, he reveals the inadequacy of a world without God.

The horror of a world devoid of value was brought home to me with new intensity a few years ago as I viewed a BBC television documentary called “The Gathering.” It concerned the reunion of survivors of the Holocaust in Jerusalem, where they rediscovered lost friendships and shared their experiences. One woman prisoner, a nurse, told of how she was made the gynecologist at Auschwitz. She observed that pregnant women were grouped together by the soldiers under the direction of Dr. Mengele and housed in the same barracks. Some time passed, and she noted that she no longer saw any of these women. She made inquiries. “Where are the pregnant women who were housed in that barracks?” “Haven’t you heard?” came the reply. “Dr. Mengele used them for vivisection.”

Another woman told of how Mengele had bound up her breasts so that she could not suckle her infant. The doctor wanted to learn how long an infant could survive without nourishment. Desperately this poor woman tried to keep her baby alive by giving it pieces of bread soaked in coffee, but to no avail. Each day the baby lost weight, a fact that was eagerly monitored by Dr. Mengele. A nurse then came secretly to this woman and told her, “I have arranged a way for you to get out of here, but you cannot take your baby with you. I have brought a morphine injection that you can give to your child to end its life.” When the woman protested, the nurse was insistent: “Look, your baby is going to die anyway. At least save yourself.” And so this mother took the life of her own baby. Dr. Mengele was furious when he learned of it because he had lost his experimental specimen, and he searched among the dead to find the baby’s discarded corpse so that he could have one last weighing.

My heart was torn by these stories. One rabbi who survived the camp summed it up well when he said that at Auschwitz it was as though there existed a world in which all the Ten Commandments were reversed. Mankind had never seen such a hell.

And yet, if God does not exist, then in a sense, our world is Auschwitz: there is no absolute right and wrong; all things are permitted. But no atheist, no agnostic, can live consistently with such a view. Nietzsche himself, who proclaimed the necessity of living beyond good and evil, broke with his mentor Richard Wagner precisely over the issue of the composer’s anti-Semitism and strident German nationalism. Similarly Sartre, writing in the aftermath of the Second World War, condemned anti-Semitism, declaring that a doctrine that leads to extermination is not merely an opinion or matter of personal taste, of equal value with its opposite. [8] In his important essay “Existentialism Is a Humanism,” Sartre struggles vainly to elude the contradiction between his denial of divinely pre-established values and his urgent desire to affirm the value of human persons. Like Russell, he could not live with the implications of his own denial of ethical absolutes.

A second problem is that if God does not exist and there is no immortality, then all the evil acts of men go unpunished and all the sacrifices of good men go unrewarded. But who can live with such a view? Richard Wurmbrand, who has been tortured for his faith in communist prisons, says,

The cruelty of atheism is hard to believe when man has no faith in the reward of good or the punishment of evil. There is no reason to be human. There is no restraint from the depths of evil which is in man. The communist torturers often said, ‘There is no God, no Hereafter, no punishment for evil. We can do what we wish.’ I have heard one torturer even say, ‘I thank God, in whom I don’t believe, that I have lived to this hour when I can express all the evil in my heart.’ He expressed it in unbelievable brutality and torture inflicted on prisoners. [9]

And the same applies to acts of self-sacrifice. A number of years ago, a terrible mid-winter air disaster occurred in which a plane leaving the Washington, D.C., airport smashed into a bridge spanning the Potomac River, plunging its passengers into the icy waters. As the rescue helicopters came, attention was focused on one man who again and again pushed the dangling rope ladder to other passengers rather than be pulled to safety himself. Six times he passed the ladder by. When they came again, he was gone. He had freely given his life that others might live. The whole nation turned its eyes to this man in respect and admiration for the selfless and good act he had performed. And yet, if the atheist is right, that man was not noble—he did the stupidest thing possible. He should have gone for the ladder first, pushed others away if necessary in order to survive. But to die for others he did not even know, to give up all the brief existence he would ever have—what for? For the atheist there can be no reason. And yet the atheist, like the rest of us, instinctively reacts with praise for this man’s selfless action. Indeed, one will probably never find an atheist who lives consistently with his system. For a universe without moral accountability and devoid of value is unimaginably terrible.

The Success of Biblical Christianity

But if atheism fails in this regard, what about biblical Christianity? According to the Christian world view, God does exist, and man’s life does not end at the grave. In the resurrection body man may enjoy eternal life and fellowship with God. Biblical Christianity therefore provides the two conditions necessary for a meaningful, valuable, and purposeful life for man: God and immortality. Because of this, we can live consistently and happily. Thus, biblical Christianity succeeds precisely where atheism breaks down.

Conclusion

Now I want to make it clear that I have not yet shown biblical Christianity to be true. But what I have done is clearly spell out the alternatives. If God does not exist, then life is futile. If the God of the Bible does exist, then life is meaningful. Only the second of these two alternatives enables us to live happily and consistently. Therefore, it seems to me that even if the evidence for these two options were absolutely equal, a rational person ought to choose biblical Christianity. It seems to me positively irrational to prefer death, futility, and destruction to life, meaningfulness, and happiness. As Pascal said, we have nothing to lose and infinity to gain.

  • [1]Kai Nielsen, “Why Should I Be Moral?” American Philosophical Quarterly 21 (1984): 90.
  • [2]Richard Taylor, Ethics, Faith, and Reason (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1985), 90, 84.
  • [3]H.G. Wells, The Time Machine (New York: Berkeley, 1957), chap. 11.
  • [4]W.E. Hocking, Types of Philosophy (New York: Scribner’s, 1959), 27.
  • [5]Friedrich Nietzsche, “The Gay Science,” in The Portable Nietzsche, ed. and trans. W. Kaufmann (New York: Viking, 1954), 95.
  • [6]Bertrand Russell, “A Free Man’s Worship,” in Why I Am Not a Christian, ed. P. Edwards (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1957), 107.
  • [7]Bertrand Russell, Letter to the Observer, 6 October, 1957.
  • [8]Jean Paul Sartre, “Portrait of the Antisemite,” in Existentialism from Dostoyevsky to Satre, rev. ed., ed. Walter Kaufmann (New York: New Meridian Library, 1975), p. 330.
  • [9]Richard Wurmbrand, Tortured for Christ (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1967), 34.
  • [10]Ernst Bloch, Das Prinzip Hoffnung, 2d ed., 2 vols. (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp Verlag, 1959), 2:360-1.
  • [11]Loyal D. Rue, “The Saving Grace of Noble Lies,” address to the American Academy for the Advancement of Science, February, 1991.

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This reminds me of an illustration from Francis Schaeffer of what existentialism means: 

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 YOU, 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 irrationalism.

Francis Schaeffer has correctly argued:

The universe was created by an infinite personal God and He brought it into existence by spoken word and made man in His own image. When man tries to reduce [philosophically in a materialistic point of view] himself to less than this [less than being made in the image of God] he will always fail and he will always be willing to make these impossible leaps into the area of nonreason even though they don’t give an answer simply because that isn’t what he is. He himself testifies that this infinite personal God, the God of the Old and New Testament is there. 

Instead of making a leap into the area of nonreason the better choice would be to investigate the claims that the Bible is a historically accurate book and that God created the universe and reached out to humankind with the Bible. Below is a piece of that evidence given by Francis Schaeffer concerning the accuracy of the Bible.

TRUTH AND HISTORY (chapter 5 of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?)

We now take a jump back in time to the middle of the ninth century before Christ, that is, about 850 B.C. Most people have heard of Jezebel. She was the wife of Ahab, the king of the northern kingdom of Israel. Her wickedness has become so proverbial that we talk about someone as a “Jezebel.” She urged her husband to have Naboth killed, simply because Ahab had expressed his liking for a piece of land owned by Naboth, who would not sell it. The Bible tells us also that she introduced into Israel the worship of her homeland, the Baal worship of Tyre. This led to the opposition of Elijah the Prophet and to the famous conflict on Mount Carmel between Elijah and the priests of Baal.

Here again one finds archaeological confirmations of what the Bible says. Take for example: “As for the other events of Ahab’s reign, including all he did, the palace he built and inlaid with ivory, and the cities he fortified, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel?” (I Kings 22:39).

This is a very brief reference in the Bible to events which must have taken a long time: building projects which probably spanned decades. Archaeological excavations at the site of Samaria, the capital, reveal something of the former splendor of the royal citadel. Remnants of the “ivory house” were found and attracted special attention (Palestinian Archaeological Museum, Jerusalem). This appears to have been a treasure pavilion in which the walls and furnishings had been adorned with colored ivory work set with inlays giving a brilliant too, with the denunciations revealed by the prophet Amos:

“I will tear down the winter house along with the summer house; the houses adorned with ivory will be destroyed and the mansions will be demolished,” declares the Lord. (Amos 3:15)

Other archaeological confirmation exists for the time of Ahab. Excavations at Hazor and Megiddo have given evidence of the the extent of fortifications carried out by Ahab. At Megiddo, in particular, Ahab’s works were very extensive including a large series of stables formerly assigned to Solomon’s time.

On the political front, Ahab had to contend with danger from the Aramacaus king of Syria who besieged Samaria, Ahab’s capital. Ben-hadad’s existence is attested by a stela (a column with writing on it) which has been discovered with his name written on it (Melquart Stela, Aleppo Museum, Syria). Again, a detail of history given in the Bible is shown to be correct.

This brings me to the message of Solomon in ECCLESIASTES and below are the comments of Francis Schaeffer on ECCLESIASTES:

Ecclesiastes 9:7-12

Go, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart, for God has already approved what you do.

Let your garments be always white. Let not oil be lacking on your head.

Enjoy life with the wife whom you love, (DOES IT SOUND OPTIMISTIC? NOW COMES THE BACKLASH) all the days of your vain life that he has given you under the sun, because that is your portion in life and in your toil at which you toil under the sun. 10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might, for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going.

11 Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to those with knowledge, but time and chance happen to them all. 12 For man does not know his time. Like fish that are taken in an evil net, and like birds that are caught in a snare, so the children of man are snared at an evil time, when it suddenly falls upon them.

Solomon when at work takes off his hat and he stands by the grave of man and he says, “ALAS. ALAS. ALAS.”

But interestingly enough the story of Ecclesiastes does not end its message here because in two places in the New Testament it is picked up and carried along and put in its proper perspective.

Luke 12:16-21

16 And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, 17 and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ 18 And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax,eat, drink, be merry.”’ [ALMOST EVERYONE WHO HAS PROCEEDED HERE HAS FELT CERTAINLY THAT JESUS IS DELIBERATELY REFERRING TO SOLOMON’S SOLUTION.]20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ 21 So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”

Christ here points out the reason for the failure of the logic that is involved. He points out why it fails in logic and then why it fails in reality. This view of Solomon must end in failure philosophically and also in emotional desperation.

We are not made to live in the shortened environment of UNDER THE SUN in this life only!!! Neither are we made to live only in the environment of a bare concept of afterlife [ignoring trying to make this life better]. We are made to live in the environment of a God who exists and who is the judge. This is the difference and that is what Jesus is setting forth here.

I Corinthians 15:32

32 What do I gain if, humanly speaking, I fought with beasts at Ephesus? If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.

There is no doubt here he is reaching back to Solomon again and he is just saying if there isn’t a resurrection of the dead then let’s just follow Solomon and let’s just eat and drink for tomorrow we die!!!! If there isn’t this full structure [including the resurrection of the dead] then just have the courage to follow Solomon and we can eat and drink because tomorrow we die and that is all we have. If the full structure isn’t there then pick up the cup and drink it dry! You can say it a different way in the 20th century: If the full structure is not there then go ahead and be an EXISTENTIALIST, but don’t cheat. Drink the cup to the end. Drink it dry! That is what Paul says. Paul  the educated man. Paul the man who knew his Greek philosophy. Paul the man who understood Solomon and the dilemma. Paul said it one way or the other. There is no room for a middle ground. IF CHRISTIANS AREN’T RAISED FROM THE DEAD THEN SOLOMON IS RIGHT IN ECCLESIASTES, BUT ONLY THEN. But if he is right then you should accept all of Solomon’s despair and his conclusions. 


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.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher, everettehatcher@gmail.comhttp://www.thedailyhatch.org, cell ph 501-920-5733, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002

PS: What is the meaning of life? Find it in the end of the open letter I wrote to Ricky Gervais on April 23, 2020 and it was published on my blog under the title Open Letter #6 to Ricky Gervais on comparison of the Tony of AFTER LIFE to the Solomon of ECCLESIASTES, Both are searching for answers UNDER THE SUN but are coming up empty!.

Below is the workforce of THE TAMBURY GAZETTE 

Seen below is the third episode of AFTERLIFE (season 1) when Matt takes Tony to a comedy club with front row seats to cheer him up but it turns into disaster!!!

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Part 1 “Why have integrity in Godless Darwinian Universe where Might makes Right?”

Part 2 “My April 14, 2016 Letter to Ricky mentioned Book of Ecclesiastes and the Meaninglessness of Life”

Part 3 Letter about Brandon Burlsworth concerning suffering and pain and evil in the world.  “Why didn’t Jesus save her [from cancer]?” (Tony’s 10 year old nephew George in episode 2)

Part 4 Letter on Solomon on Death Tony in episode one, “It should be everyone’s moral duty to kill themselves.”

Part 5 Letter on subject of Learning in Ecclesiastes “I don’t read books of fiction but mainly science and philosophy”

Part 6 Letter on Luxuries in Ecclesiastes Part 6, The Music of AFTERLIFE (Part A)

Part 7 Letter on Labor in Ecclesiastes My Letter to Ricky on Easter in 2017 concerning Book of Ecclesiastes and the legacy of a person’s life work

Part 8 Letter on Liquor in Ecclesiastes Tony’s late wife Lisa told him, “Don’t get drunk all the time alright? It will only make you feel worse in the log run!”

Part 9 Letter on Laughter in Ecclesiastes , I said of laughter, “It is foolishness;” and of mirth, “What does it accomplish?” Ecclesiastes 2:2

Part 10 Final letter to Ricky on Ladies in Ecclesiastes “I gathered a chorus of singers to entertain me with song, and—most exquisite of all pleasures— voluptuous maidens for my bed…behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun” Ecclesiastes 2:8-11.

Part 11 Letter about Daniel Stanhope and optimistic humanism  “If man has been kicked up out of that which is only impersonal by chance , then those things that make him man-hope of purpose and significance, love, motions of morality and rationality, beauty and verbal communication-are ultimately unfulfillable and thus meaningless.” (Francis Schaeffer)

Part 12 Letter on how pursuit of God is only way to get Satisfaction Dan Jarrell “[In Ecclesiastes] if one seeks satisfaction they will never find it. In fact, every pleasure will be fleeting and can not be sustained, BUT IF ONE SEEKS GOD THEN ONE FINDS SATISFACTION”

Part 13 Letter to Stephen Hawking on Solomon realizing he will die just as a dog will die “For men and animals both breathe the same air, and both die. So mankind has no real advantage over the beasts; what an absurdity!” Ecclesiastes

Part 14 Letter to Stephen Hawking on 3 conclusions of humanism and Bertrand Russell destruction of optimistic humanism. “That Man is the product of causes which had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms—no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand. Only within the scaffolding of these truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair, can the soul’s habitation henceforth be safely built.”(Bertrand Russell, Free Man’s Worship)

Part 15 Letter to Stephen Hawking on Leonardo da Vinci and Solomon and Meaningless of life “I hate life. As far as I can see, what happens on earth is a bad business. It’s smoke—and spitting into the wind” Ecclesiastes Book of Ecclesiastes Part 15 “I hate life. As far as I can see, what happens on earth is a bad business. It’s smoke—and spitting into the wind” Ecclesiastes 2:17

Part 16 Letter to Stephen Hawking on Solomon’s longing for death but still fear of death and 5 conclusions of humanism on life UNDER THE SUN. Francis Schaeffer “Life is just a series of continual and unending cycles and man is stuck in the middle of the cycle. Youth, old age, Death. Does Solomon at this point embrace nihilism? Yes!!! He exclaims that the hates life (Ecclesiastes 2:17), he longs for death (4:2-3) Yet he stills has a fear of death (2:14-16)”

Mandeep Dhillon as Sandy on her first assignment in ‘After Life’. (Twitter)

A still from ‘After Life’ that captures the vibe of the Tambury Gazette. (Twitter)

Michael Scott of THE OFFICE (USA) with Ricky Gervais 

After Life on Netflix

After Life on Netflix stars Ricky Gervais as a bereaved husband (Image: Netflix)

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Psychiatrist played by Paul Kaye seen below.

The sandy beach walk

Tony Johnson with his dog Brandi seen below:

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RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 159 GG “Open letter to Harry Kroto’s friend Richard Dawkins” On page 383 of THE GOD DELUSION; Concerning Bible idioms, phrases or cliches, “Surely ignorance of the Bible is bound to impoverish one’s appreciation of English literature?”

Canary Islands 2014: Harold Kroto and Richard Dawkins

Image result for harry kroto richard dawkins

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September 8, 2019

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

Dear Mr. Dawkins,

On page 383 of THE GOD DELUSION; Concerning Bible idioms, phrases or cliches, “Surely ignorance of the Bible is bound to impoverish one’s appreciation of English literature?”

How about “see the handwriting on the wall” in Daniel 5? Below is an excerpt from a message on Daniel by Adrian Rogers:

The Bible is affirmed through historical accuracy. 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!

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

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

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

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

Harry Kroto

Nick Gathergood, David-Birkett, Harry-Kroto

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I have attempted to respond to all of Dr. Kroto’s friends arguments and I have posted my responses one per week for over a year now. Here are some of my earlier posts:

Arif Ahmed, Sir David AttenboroughMark Balaguer, Horace Barlow, Michael BatePatricia ChurchlandAaron CiechanoverNoam Chomsky,Alan DershowitzHubert DreyfusBart Ehrman, Stephan FeuchtwangDavid Friend,  Riccardo GiacconiIvar Giaever , Roy GlauberRebecca GoldsteinDavid J. Gross Brian Greene, Susan GreenfieldStephen F Gudeman,  Alan Guth, Jonathan HaidtTheodor W. HänschBrian Harrison,  Hermann HauserRoald Hoffmann,  Bruce HoodHerbert Huppert,  Gareth Stedman JonesSteve JonesShelly KaganMichio Kaku,  Stuart Kauffman,  Lawrence KraussHarry KrotoGeorge LakoffElizabeth Loftus,  Alan MacfarlanePeter MillicanMarvin MinskyLeonard Mlodinow Yujin NagasawaAlva NoeDouglas Osheroff,  Jonathan Parry,  Saul PerlmutterHerman PhilipseCarolyn PorcoRobert M. PriceLisa RandallLord Martin Rees,  Oliver SacksJohn SearleMarcus du SautoySimon SchafferJ. L. Schellenberg,   Lee Silver Peter Singer,  Walter Sinnott-ArmstrongRonald de SousaVictor StengerBarry Supple,   Leonard SusskindRaymond TallisNeil deGrasse Tyson,  .Alexander VilenkinSir John WalkerFrank WilczekSteven Weinberg, and  Lewis Wolpert,

In  the second video below in the 67th clip in this series are Richard Dawkins’ words that Harry Kroto wanted me to see. Since then I have read several of Richard Dawkins books and have attempted to respond to the contents of these books directly to Richard Dawkins by mail. In fact, I have been writing Richard Dawkins letters since May 15, 1994 which was the 10th anniversary of the passing of one of my heroes, Francis Schaeffer. Francis Schaeffer spent a lot of time responding to many of Richard Dawkins’ heroes such as Carl Sagan, Jacques Monod, H.J. Blackham, Isaac Newton, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Max Planck, Johann Sebastian Bach, Francis Bacon, Samuel Beckett, Leonardo Da Vinci, Albert Einstein, Michael Faraday, Gerald Horton, Edmund Leach, Louis Pasteur, George Wald, Jacob Bronowski, Steven Weinberg, Charles Darwin, Paul Kurtz, Peter Singer, Jonathan Miller, William B. Provine, Woody Allen, Noam Chomsky, James D. Watson, Francis Crick, Michael Polanyi, The Huxley family, Antony Flew, and Edward O. Wilson (Dawkins has since revised his opinion of Flew and Wilson, but he earlier regarded them very highly). 

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Francis Schaeffer 1911-1984

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Both Francis Schaeffer and Richard Dawkins have talked extensively about the life of Charles Darwin.

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Sir Harry Kroto with his high school friend Sir Ian McKellan at the FSU National High Field Magnetic Lab on Tuesday, October 27, 2009.

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50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1)

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Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2)

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Edit Post ‹ The Daily Hatch — WordPress

A Further 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 3)

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Richard Dawkins Photos Photos – Professor Stephen Hawking Unveils Medal For Science Communication – Zimbio

Professor Stephen Hawking Unveils Medal For Science Communication

Professor Stephen Hawking Unveils Medal For Science Communication In This Photo: Richard Dawkins, Stephen Hawking, Brian May, Harold Kroto, Alexi Leonov, Garik Israelian

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

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

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  On November 21, 2014 I received a letter from Nobel Laureate Harry Kroto and it said: …Please click on this URL http://vimeo.com/26991975 and you will hear what far smarter people than I have to say on this matter. I agree with them. Harry Kroto _________________ Below you have picture of 1996 Chemistry Nobel Prize Winner […]

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  _______ On November 21, 2014 I received a letter from Nobel Laureate Harry Kroto and it said: …Please click on this URL http://vimeo.com/26991975 and you will hear what far smarter people than I have to say on this matter. I agree with them. Harry Kroto _________________ Below you have picture of 1996 Chemistry Nobel Prize […]

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Bart Ehrman “Why should one think that God performed the miracle of inspiring the words in the first place if He didn’t perform the miracle of preserving the words?”

September 2, 2015 – 8:42 am

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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 330 LETTER TO HUGH HEFNER (“Playboy was the first mainstream club, non-black club that actually put on stage black comedians,” Hefner said. “Even in Las Vegas Black performers that performed on, including Sammy Davis, who was a very close friend of mine, would appear on stage, but they couldn’t walk through the casino. They had to walk through the back entrance”) Featured Artist is Jean Lamb


HEFNER AT HOME: THE BIRTH OF THE MODERN BACHELOR PAD

Apr 11, 2016

Hefner and his bunnies at the original Playboy Mansion, Chicago, 1966. Photograph by Burt Glinn/MagnumPhoto

“IN MY FATHER’S HOUSE ARE MANY MANSIONS”—JOHN 14:2

Editor’s note: News that the Playboy Mansion in Holmby Hills is on the block for $200 million reminded us of this essay from Man of the World No. 11, in which Steve Garbarino assesses the architectural legacy of the original swinging bachelor …

When Hugh Hefner was drafting the image of his ideal Playboy reader—a literate and liberated sort, who also enjoyed a nice set of cans—his ideas went far beyond silk bedsheets, martini shakers, and one-night stands with stewardesses, a dog-eared copy of the latest Kinsey Report laid conspicuously on the nightstand.

In fact, one of his most lasting contributions to Western culture might be in the realms of architecture and design, areas of interest that allowed him to round out his readers’ world. After inventing the Playboy bunny, he laid the floor plans for another cultural icon: the bachelor pad. Raised in Chicago amid the buildings of Mies van der Rohe and Frank Lloyd Wright, Hefner was an early champion of midcentury modern. He was also a student of human nature, having earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Hefner’s erudite interiors were fully automated, streamlined machines for high-end living, with doorless quarters to encourage debauchery. In contrast to today’s man caves and the musty drawing rooms of yore (where men lounged in cracked leather chairs and harrumphed into their cognac snifters), Hefner’s renderings were chockablock with gizmos and designed to seduce, with linear open plans so a man could smoke his pipe anywhere he damn well pleased.

Hefner in bed, 1966. Courtesy of Playboy.

Remote control in hand, he could also draw the curtains, open the garage door, pop open the wet bar, or click on the hooded fireplace, all from the comfort of his two-piece Eames lounge. You could say Hefner saw his reader, a sort of 007 with a license to lady kill, as the future of American manhood. His reasoning was sound: After surviving the horrors of WWII and Korea, didn’t every guy deserve a castle all his own?In the gorgeously rendered architectural and design drawings that appeared regularly in Playboy’s pages from the early fifties to 1979, the classic men’s den, a secluded habitat equal parts fantasy and function, radiated out into every room of the house.

“THE NOTION OF THE SINGLE MAN BEGAN IN THE 1950S. THE IDEA OF THE BACHELOR AS A SEPARATE LIFE WAS NEW AND OBSCURE,” HEFNER SAID.

These renderings, featuring recognizable midcentury furnishings and the entertainment console gadgets of the day, were often accompanied by profiles of the great modern minimalists. His interest in residential architecture for the upscale single male culminated in the Playboy Penthouse Apartment (designed by Chrysalis architects and featured in a 1956 issue), with its echoes of Neutra and the Eames Case Study House. But it wasn’t until May of 1962, when the magazine published its ambitious pictorial, “Posh Plans for Exciting Urban Living!” that the design world took notice.

BACHELOR PAD ESSENTIALS

The master bedroom of the Playboy Penthouse Apartment designed by Chrysalis architects, 1956. Courtesy of Playboy.

The renderings of the so-called Playboy Town House, drawn up by architect and designer R. Donald Jaye and overseen by Hefner, envisioned a three-level luxury spread, which the magazine described as a “modishly swinging manor” for an “unattached, affluent young man, happily wedded to the infinite advantages of urbia.”

HIS CHICAGO HOUSE BORE A PLAQUE ON THE FRONT DOOR THAT READ, “IF YOU DON’T SWING, DON’T RING,” IN LATIN

Amid the open-plan sprawl—paneled with enough teak to build a second Honey Fitz, and dotted with curvy furnishings by Knoll, Herman Miller, Laverne, and George Nelson—there were show-stopping amenities like an indoor swimming pool, a remote-controlled skylight, a “kitchen-less kitchen” (where drawers and panels hid any evidence of food prep), a twelve-foot upholstered wet bar (because, of course), and the pièce de résistance, a rotating bed, patented by Playboy Enterprises, for work and play. Half a century before the Internet of Things, a man could control his home’s sound and lighting, open and shut curtains, and even pop the toaster from the comfort of his circular sex bed. (Later, Hefner would equip the “Big Bunny,” his converted DC-30 jet, with a similar model, which had become something of a trademark.) “The gadgetry helped give it a James Bond mystique,” he told the Times.

The Playboy Town House predicted many common twenty-first century residential features, with its sprawling open plan and built-in hi-fi system, variously dubbed a “media wall,” “Electronic Entertainment Wall,” and “Wonder Wall.” Inspired by van der Rohe, the house concealed all its internal wiring, and anything else that might disrupt the streamlined effect. This was a place in which you didn’t trip over clutter. To paraphrase Hefner, a civilized man doesn’t leave his dirty socks scattered about.

“Wonder Wall” concept drawing by Syd Mead, 1971. Courtesy of Playboy.

Truth be told, Hefner was never all that removed from his readership. A fantasist who enjoyed vicarious thrills, he lived for a time in his own office, sleeping on a pull-out cot after his wife tossed him out, and spending most of his days in pajamas. And his own homes—both his limestone-and-brick behemoth on Chicago’s Gold Coast and the more infamous digs in Holmby Hills, California, currently the most expensive house for sale in the the United States, furniture included—were hardly the stuff of modernist dreams. A fan of dorm-style living and outré touches (his Chicago house bore a plaque on the front door that read, “If you don’t swing, don’t ring,” in Latin), Hef rarely followed his own blueprints.

But others certainly have, and still can. In 2014, the German Architecture Museum in Frankfurt featured an exhibition of all things architecture published in Playboy from 1953 to 1979. (Hefner actually donated the original mansion to the Art Institute of Chicago, in 1974; it is now luxury condos.) And in 2011, to coincide with Playboy’s fiftieth anniversary, legendary architect Frank Gehry was asked to draw up his own plans for the modern bachelor pad.

While spectacular, like most reboots, it just wasn’t the same.

written by STEVE GARBARINO

Our church FELLOWSHIP BIBLE CHURCH sponsors HIDDEN CREEK REENTRY CENTER,  Assisting incarcerated individuals with a successful transition to their community.

Hidden Creek Reentry Center added 4 new photos.

January 13 ·

So proud of these guys… They had the honor to go with Mr.Glover yesterday to a school to speak to some children.

Hidden Creek Reentry Center added 3 new photos.

August 7, 2016 · Little Rock, AR ·

Well its been a eye jerker today… great tears of joy!! I have watched these guys grow so much… I pray they continue to grow out there… next month they graduate the program!!

Hidden Creek Reentry Center added 2 new photos.

April 16, 2016 ·

In a nutshell – Its simple and uncomplicated, giving of yourself and being of service to others is one of the best ways to strengthen your own recovery. In essence, you give and you receive. Twice blessed.

Hidden Creek Reentry Center updated their cover photo.

April 13, 2016 ·

Ernest Hemingway A Clean Well-lighted Place – Complete Narration

Published on Nov 20, 2012

Complete narration by DB. Enjoy the audio and interpretation on a classic short story.

Woody Allen talks ‘Midnight in Paris’

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Letter on Racial Equality, Drugs and Alcohol and Solomon  I can’t do anything to go back and  save those who have passed on in the past, but I can do something to encourage those who have obstacles to overcome today!!!! David Plant,

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We can’t bring back those we have lost like Bobbie Arnstein but we can help those struggling now to overcome their obstacles with drugs and alcohol!!!

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Dick Gregory and Tim Boxer at the Chicago Playboy Club, 1961

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Mississippi State players swarmed Morgan William after she made the game-winning jump shot at the buzzer in overtime.

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Handshake between Jerry Harkness (Loyola) and Joe Dan Gold (MSU). LOYOLA won 61-51 that day and went on to win National Championship in 1963!!!

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This picture below is the cover picture of the Facebook page for the ministry HIDDEN CREEK REENTRY CENTER, and this ministry has the purpose of assisting incarcerated individuals with a successful transition to their community. I have had the joy of giving some of my time to help these gentlemen.

Hidden Creek Reentry Center in Little Rock, Arkansas
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This picture below is the cover picture of the Facebook page for the ministry HIDDEN CREEK REENTRY CENTER, and this ministry has the purpose of assisting incarcerated individuals with a successful transition to their community. I have had the joy of giving some of my time to help these gentlemen.

Hidden Creek Reentry Center in Little Rock, Arkansas
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FILE – In this May 12, 1959, American novelist Ernest Hemingway, left, speaks with actors Alec Guinness, center, and Noel Coward in Sloppy Joe’s Bar during the making of Sir Carol Reed’s film version of “Our Man in Havana,” based on Graham Greene’s best seller, in Havana, Cuba. Sloppy Joe’s will be reopened in February 2013 by the state-owned tourism company Habaguanex, part of an ambitious revitalization project by the Havana City Historian’s Office, which since the 1990’s has transformed block after block of crumbling ruins into rehabilitated buildings along vibrant cobblestone streets, giving residents and tourists from all over the chance to belly up to the same bar that served thirsty celebrities like Rock Hudson, Babe Ruth and Ernest Hemingway. (AP Photo, File)

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Larry Joe Speaks  (August 20, 1947 to April 7, 2017)

Photo of Larry Joe Speaks

____ April 25, 2017Hugh HefnerPlayboy Mansion16236 Charing Cross RoadLos Angeles, CA 90024

Dear Hugh,

As I have promised I am writing you over and over until I go through all 6 things that Solomon pursued to try to finding a lasting meaning in his life UNDER THE SUN in the Book of Ecclesiastes. Today we will look at LIQUOR.In this letter I am looking at three things.FIRST, I want to compliment you on your stand for racial equality.SECOND, I want to look the problem of escapism and what Solomon had to say about it concerning the path of liquor.THIRD, I want to look at a portion of the sermon WHO IS JESUS? by Adrian Rogers. (This is the sermon that my good friend Larry Speaks gave to hundreds of people during the last 20 years of his life. Larry put his faith alone in Christ in the mid 1990’s and he passed away on April 7, 2017 at age 69.)Let me start off by saying something very nice about you and that is you have always stood for racial equality. I thought about that again recently when I read the article Connecticut’s 111-Game Winning Streak Ends With Loss to Mississippi State by JERÉ LONGMAN on APRIL 1, 2017.You might wonder why that reminded me of you?I got to attend the graduation of my niece from Miss St University last May and I noticed that the banners that hung down from the ceiling showing that Miss St had won their conference in men’s basketball in 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, and 1963 but they had only chose to attend the tournament in 1963. I wondered why. I researched out the reason and I discovered that the Miss St administration did want their white basketball team to play against basketball teams in the NCAA Basketball Tournament that had black players on the team. However, in 1963 the team quietly and secretly left town in a private airplane and flew to play in the 1963 playoffs without the administration finding out. That act of bravery by the part of the Miss St team reminded me of you the other day when I read about this huge upset the Miss St women’s basketball team  had.WHY DID I THINK OF YOU, HUGH? I have been reading  a lot about you in the last few months and I  think this article below sums up best your efforts in the area of racial equality.

Hugh Hefner Recalls His Role As An Activist For Civil Rights

May 13, 2011 11:00 PMBy Pat Harvey

“Playboy was the first mainstream club, non-black club that actually put on stage black comedians,” Hefner said. “Even in Las Vegas Black performers that performed on, including Sammy Davis, who was a very close friend of mine, would appear on stage, but they couldn’t walk through the casino. They had to walk through the back entrance.”

“When we started franchising, when they refused our members, the black members, entrance, I said, ‘you can’t do that, these are members of our club.’ And we literally bought back the franchised clubs,” he said.

Hefner was seen with a young Jesse Jackson, as he met Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“When Dr. King came to the Playboy Mansion, he was in Chicago specifically to deal with the segregation that existed in Chicago. And that is really how I met Jesse and I was very actively involved after King’s death in the funding of PUSH and the Rainbow Coalition,” he said.

“In fact, the last published piece written by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. before his death appeared in Playboy. ‘Playboy’ magazine became the platform for freedom in a time of restriction.

“The very first interview was Miles Davis and he didn’t talk so much about music, he talked about wishes and equality,” Hefner said.Next I want to turn to a subject that is very sad indeed and it is the attempt by many today to find  their meaning in life through drugs and alcohol. Perhaps they are trying to escape the hard realities of life by taking this path. Like everyone around us, I too have many close friends and relatives who have fallen into this trap. I have a great deal of compassion for these individuals. In fact, several times this month I have taken time to drive individuals from a facility that my church sponsors to AA meetings. We want these individuals to overcome their addictions and live in victory.  I can’t do anything to go back and  save those who have passed on in the past, but I can do something to encourage those who have obstacles to overcome today!!!!

Our church FELLOWSHIP BIBLE CHURCH sponsors HIDDEN CREEK REENTRY CENTER,  Assisting incarcerated individuals with a successful transition to their community. I have had the joy of giving some of my time to help these gentlemen. In fact, I just back from volunteering  at the center tonight. These individuals have made a 6 month commitment to taking the path towards sobriety and many of them attend our church too.  Let me share some posts from their Facebook page:

Hidden Creek Reentry Center January 13 ·

So proud of these guys… They had the honor to go with Mr.Glover yesterday to a school to speak to some children.

August 7, 2016 · Little Rock, AR ·

Well its been a eye jerker today… great tears of joy!! I have watched these guys grow so much… I pray they continue to grow out there… next month they graduate the program!!April 16, 2016 ·

In a nutshell – Its simple and uncomplicated, giving of yourself and being of service to others is one of the best ways to strengthen your own recovery. In essence, you give and you receive. Twice blessed._______I have just finished the book about a man who had a tough time breaking drug addition and the it is entitled,  FEARLESS: The undaunted courage and ultimate sacrifice of Navy Seal Team Six Operator Adam Brownby Eric Blehm.This is how the book opens:

When Adam Brown woke up on March 17, 2010, he didn’t know he would die that night in the Hindu Kush mountains of Afghanistan—but he was ready….Adam Brown did understand what it meant to disappoint, to feel the shame he’d experienced on a hot, humid August afternoon years earlier when his parents had him arrested. “It’s time for you to face what you’ve done,” his father had told him in 1996, just before Adam was handcuffed and escorted to the backseat of the Garland County sheriff’s cruiser. When the deputy slammed the car door shut, Adam watched his mother’s legs buckle, and as she collapsed, his dad caught her and held her tightly against him. She began to cry, and Adam knew he had broken her heart.That vision—of his mother sobbing into his father’s chest—would haunt him for the rest of his life, but it also sparked the journey that defined who he would become. Officially known as a Chief Special Warfare Operator (SEAL), Adam Brown was one of the most respected Special Operations warriors in the U.S. Navy.______________________Recently when I read the book MR PLAYBOY by Steven Watts, I noticed that he gave a great deal of attention to the life of Bobbie Arnstein and he concluded his time on her with these words:___

William Safire in New York Times wrote:

What clear invitation to perjury can there be than such a provisional sentence. It is on thing to give a cooperative witness a break,  entirely another to threaten  to let a defendant rot in the slammer until he or she tells the story the prosecution wants. 

Samuel K. Skinner dropped the case and concluded:

No evidence of unlawful or distribution of cocaine or hard drugs by Mr. Hefner, the corporation or its employees had been adduced. 

Samuel K. Skinner in a personal letter to Hefner came close to an apology:

I am aware that the last year was not an easy one for you or your associates and I truly wish it could have been avoided. I have always felt that any investigation should be conducted without any publicity whatsoever in order to protect the individuals involved.

So Hefner was finally vindicated in a drug case that seemed to have been driven mainly by an anti-Playboy political agenda. But much damage had been done. Most disturbingly a young woman lay dead.  (Bobbie Arnstein )____Why do so many individuals today turn to drugs or liquor?  Many atheists have a hard time getting positive about the ultimate lasting meaning of our lives. Take Woody Allen and Ernest Hemingway for example.  Woody Allen has used comedy as a device of escapism while Hemingway turned to liquor but they both reached the same pessimistic conclusion that life has no lasting meaning.“Some lived in it and never felt it but he knew it all was nada y pues nada y nada y pues nada.” This quote from Hemingway’s short story A Clean Well Lighted Place shows that Ernest Hemingway embraced nihilism.The Spanish word NADA meaning NOTHING. The old man in the story tried the previous week to commit suicide but was saved by his niece, and he saw it as a temporary saving.Hemingway also wrote in his last book THE GARDEN OF EDEN, “Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.”A sensational bestseller when it appeared in 1986, The Garden of Eden is the last uncompleted novel of Ernest Hemingway, which he worked on intermittently from 1946 until his death in 1961.In you go to You Tube and watch the video Woody Allen talks ‘Midnight in Paris’ which was posted on January 27, 2017 and runs 43 minutes and 37 seconds, you will notice at the 27 minute mark that Woody Allen says:

I have never gotten to the point where I can give an optimistic view of anything. I have these ideas for stories that I hope are entertaining and I am always criticized for being pessimistic or nihilistic. To me this is just a realistic appraisal of life. There are these little Oasis’s these little distractions you get. Last night I was caught up in the Bulls and Heat basketball game on television and for the time being I was thinking about who was going to win. I wasn’t thinking about my mortality or the fact that I am finite and aging. That was not on my mind. Labron James was on my mind and the game. That is the best you can do is get a little  detraction. What I have learned over the years is that there is no other solution to it. There is no satisfying answer. There is no optimistic answer I can give anybody.

The outcome of that basketball game is no less meaningful or no more meaningful than human life if you take the long view of it. You could look at the earth and say who cares about those creatures running around there and just brush it. Ernest Hemingway in one of his stories A FAREWELL TO ARMS) is looking at a burning log with ants running on it. This is the kind of thinking that has over powered me over the years and slips into my stories.

Drinking was a large part of Hemingway’s life. Solomon in the Book of Ecclesiastes also takes a long look at liquor and tries to see if it will bring any satisfaction UNDER THE SUN.

In fact, Solomon  filled his home with the best wine (Eccl 2:3).

Concerning the Book of Ecclesiastes Francis Schaeffer noted: 

Solomon was searching for a meaning in the midst of the details of life. His struggle was to find the meaning of life. Not just plans in life. Anybody can find plans in life. A child can fill up his time with plans of building tomorrow’s sand castle when today’s has been washed away. There is  a difference between finding plans in life and purpose in life. Humanism since the Renaissance and onward has never found it and it has never found it. Modern man has not found it and it has always got worse and darker in a very real way.

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.

In Ecclesiastes 1:8 he drives this home when he states, “All things are wearisome; Man is not able to tell it. THE EYE IS NOT SATISFIED WITH SEEING. NOR IS THE EAR FILLED WITH HEARING.”  Solomon is stating here the fact that there is no final satisfaction because you don’t get to the end of the thing.

What do you do and the answer is to get drunk and this was not thought of in the RUBAIYAT OF OMAR KAHAYYAM:

Ecclesiastes 2:1-3

I said to myself, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure. So enjoy yourself.” And behold, it too was futility. I said of laughter, “It is madness,” and of pleasure, “What does it accomplish?” I explored with my mind how to stimulate my body with wine while my mind was guiding me wisely, and how to take hold of folly, until I could see what good there is for the sons of men to do under heaven the few years of their lives.

The Daughter of the Vine (from the RUBAIYAT OF OMAR KAHAYYAM):

You know, my Friends, with what a brave Carouse
I made a Second Marriage in my house;
Divorced old barren Reason from my Bed,
And took the Daughter of the Vine to Spouse.

A perfectly good philosophy coming out of Islam, but Solomon is not the first man that thought of it nor the last. In light of what has been presented by Solomon is the solution just to get intoxicated and black the think out? So many people have taken to alcohol and the dope which so often follows in our day. This approach is incomplete, temporary and immature. PAPA HEMINGWAYCAN FIND THE CHAMPAGNE OF PARIS SUFFICIENT FOR A TIME, BUT ONCE HE LEFT HIS YOUTH HE NEVER FOUND IT SUFFICIENT AGAIN. HE HAD A LIFETIME SPENT LOOKING BACK TO PARIS AND THAT CHAMPAGNE AND NEVER FINDING IT ENOUGH.  It is no solution and Solomon says so too.

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Both Woody Allen and Ernest Hemingway like Solomon looked for meaning UNDER THE SUN in what I call the 6 big L words in the Book of Ecclesiastes. These areas are  learning (1:16-18), laughter, ladies,luxuries,  and liquor (2:1-3, 8, 10, 11)and labor (2:4-6, 18-20). All three men agree with the conclusion of Ecclesiastes 2:17:

17So I hated life, because what is done under the sun was grievous to me; for all is vanity and a striving after the wind

Then in last few words in the Book of Ecclesiastes Solomon looks above the sun and brings God back into the picture: “The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: Fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, 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.Now I just want to provide you with the outline of the 3rd point that Adrian Rogers makes in his sermon WHO IS JESUS? I remember discussing this sermon with Larry Speaks. He was so excited that the Bible gave us so much evidence that Christ was who he said he was.If you take the time to look up these verses you will see that Christ fulfilled the prophecies in the Old Testament that had been written hundreds of years before he even existed. Some may doubt that these scriptures were written in advance, but after the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls that interpretation is no longer feasible. Contained in the Dead Sea Scrolls and dated back to approximately 200 years before Christ we have copies of portions of manuscripts from EVERY OLD TESTAMENT BOOK IN THE BIBLE (except Esther). Plus we have a complete copy of the Book of Isaiah. With that in mind please take time to read both Old Testament prophecies and the New Testament fulfillment listed below or just google the name PETER STONER.

THE PROPHETIC WITNESS OF THE SCRIPTURES  (Acts 10:43)

  1. The theme of the Old Testament is the Lord Jesus Christ.
  2. Fulfilled prophecy is one of the greatest proofs that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
  3. All of the prophets speak in unanimity that Jesus is Lord.
    1. It is estimated that there are more than 300 direct Old Testament prophecies that prophesy the miracle birth and earthly life of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
    2. Micah 5:2
    3. Matthew 2:1
    4. Isaiah 7:14
    5. Isaiah 53:4-5
    6. Isaiah 53:9
    7. Matthew 27:57
    8. Matthew 27:38
    9. Zechariah 11:12
    10. Matthew 26:15
    11. Psalm 22

Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

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

PS: I have been so blessed to be a part of a ministry such as Hidden Creek Reentry Center. When I think of the pain and suffering that alcoholism and drugs have caused it makes me think of the Christian track HAPPY HOUR that describes such a case and how Christ can turn someone around. I personally have attended a funeral of a dear friend who went to the grave prematurely. It is true that I can do nothing to bring him back, but I do something about the people who are here now who need help. 

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Francis Schaeffer has rightly noted concerning Hugh Hefner that Hefner’s goal  with the “playboy mentality is just to smash the puritanical ethnic.” I have made the comparison throughout this series of blog posts between Hefner and King Solomon (the author of the BOOK of ECCLESIASTES).  I have noticed that many preachers who have delivered sermons on Ecclesiastes have also mentioned Hefner as a modern day example of King Solomon especially because they both tried to find sexual satisfaction through the volume of women you could slept with in a lifetime.

Ecclesiastes 2:8-10 The Message (MSG)

I piled up silver and gold,
        loot from kings and kingdoms.
I gathered a chorus of singers to entertain me with song,
    and—most exquisite of all pleasures—
    voluptuous maidens for my bed.

9-10 Oh, how I prospered! I left all my predecessors in Jerusalem far behind, left them behind in the dust. What’s more, I kept a clear head through it all. Everything I wanted I took—I never said no to myself. I gave in to every impulse, held back nothing. I sucked the marrow of pleasure out of every task—my reward to myself for a hard day’s work!

1 Kings 11:1-3 English Standard Version (ESV)

11 Now King Solomon loved many foreign women, along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women, from the nations concerning which the Lord had said to the people of Israel, “You shall not enter into marriage with them, neither shall they with you, for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods.” Solomon clung to these in love.He had 700 wives, who were princesses, and 300 concubines. And his wives turned away his heart.

Francis Schaeffer observed concerning Solomon, “You can not know woman by knowing 1000 women.”

Featured artist is Jean Lamb

Contemporary Christian Art – The Rt Revd Lord Harries of Pentregarth

Published on Apr 10, 2012

Contrary to much opinion, the current scene of faith-related art is very much alive. There are new commissions for churches and cathedrals, a number of artists pursue their work on the basis of a deeply convinced faith, and other artists often resonate with traditional Christian themes, albeit in a highly untraditional way. The challenge for the artist, stated in the introduction to the course of lectures above, is still very much there: how to retain artistic integrity whilst doing justice to received themes.

This lecture is part of Lord Harries’ series on ‘Christian Faith and Modern Art’. The last century has seen changes in artistic style that have been both rapid and radical. This has presented a particular problem to artists who have wished to express Christian themes.

The transcript and downloadable versions of the lecture are available from the Gresham College website:
http://www.gresham.ac.uk/lectures-and…

Gresham College has been giving free public lectures since 1597. This tradition continues today with all of our five or so public lectures a week being made available for free download from our website.
http://www.gresham.ac.uk

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From her website:

About

Info :  Born 1957 Hampstead, London.

BA Honours in Fine Art First Class Degree 1979 Reading University

Oxford Certificate in Theology 1984 St Stephens House, Oxford

MA in Fine Art 1988 Nottingham Trent University

Artist and Associate Priest living and practicing in Nottingham

Offering : Public and Private Commissions, Home Gallery, Studio Retreats, Creativity Days, Lectures, Consultancy, Framing and much more.

Studio/Gallery :    St Albans House,  4 Dale Street,  Sneinton,  Nottingham,  NG2 4JX

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Jean Lamb

Mother and Child

Jean Lamb works part time as an artist and part time as a Church of England Deacon in Nottingham. She writes that she turned away from the church when young, but rediscovered Christ in the womb of creation. With the birth of her second child she discovered Christ there and offered him back to God. This is reflected in this statue, which clearly also has echoes of Mary and the Christ child.

Crucifixion

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RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 159 FF “Open letter to Harry Kroto’s friend Richard Dawkins” Page 143 of THE GOD DELUSION: “I am astonished by those theists who seem to rejoice in natural selection as ‘God’s way of achieving his creation’. Peter Atkins calls this the lazy God”

Canary Islands 2014: Harold Kroto and Richard Dawkins

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September 6, 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.

Page 143 of THE GOD DELUSION: 

I am astonished by those theists who seem to rejoice in natural selection as ‘God’s way of achieving his creation’. Peter Atkins calls this the lazy God.

Here is we agree!!!!

Francis Schaeffer rightly noted, “These two world views stand as totals in complete antithesis in content and also in their natural results….It is not just that they happen to bring forth different results, but it is absolutely inevitable that they will bring forth different results.”

Darwin’s Dangerous Doctrine

by Henry Morris III, D.Min. *

Nearly every candidate for pastoral ordination has been challenged with the charge given by the Apostle Paul in 2 Timothy 4:2-3:

Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears.

So why will more than 10,000 pastors publically endorse evolutionary naturalism as “compatible” with Christianity during the month of February 2009?1 One word: Darwin.

On February 12, much of the world will be celebrating the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin, whose popularized notion of evolution has influenced science, education, and many other realms of society for the past 150 years since the publication of his book On the Origin of Species. The media will no doubt hail him as a hero for his contribution to science.

Sadly, many Christians will elevate the life and work of Charles Darwin on February 12. Aberrant hybrids of the biblical creation account, such as progressive creation, the day-age theory, and theistic evolution, are growing in popularity across church denominations and even among evangelicals, who “subscribe” to the inerrancy of the Scriptures.

“Oh, we absolutely do not believe in evolution,” these believers will tell ICR speakers at our seminars across the country. “We are committed to inspiration, but we don’t like to stir up dissension among our folks. A lot of our members hold to long ages, and we don’t think it’s necessary to choose between the ‘young earth’ and the ‘old earth’ positions. The Gospel is what’s important today, and we want to emphasize evangelism and godly living rather than controversial issues like origins.”

Oceans of Piffle

Thomas G. Barnes, a former ICR colleague and long-time Professor of Physics at the University of Texas at El Paso, concluded:

The inevitable consequence of evolutionary training is indoctrination in an inverted form of logic. Inverted logic begins at the wrong end and runs counter to the fundamental laws of science. Inverted logic is the type that would erroneously lead one to think he can lift himself up by his own bootstraps, with his feet still inside the boots.2

The “science falsely so called”3 is so full of inverted logic, empty promises, and unproven “facts” that it defies human reason why and how so many embrace its “piffle.”

Willingly Ignorant

Indeed, the major purveyors of this piffle know that it is nonsense! Richard Lewontin, a Harvard professor and a widely published, highly influential evolutionary geneticist, had this to say about the “scientific method” routinely used by him and his colleagues:

It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover that materialism is absolute for we cannot allow a Divine foot in the door.4

It is no wonder the Apostle Peter insists: “For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old.”5 The “language” and “knowledge” of the creation speak every day and every night.6 That speech is so “clearly seen” that self-blinded, rebellious people who worship and serve “the creature more than the Creator” are “without excuse.”7

Deadly Compromise

That a majority of the world’s naturalistically-educated scientists believe in evolution is not a surprise. Jesus told us that “many” would follow the broad “way, that leadeth to destruction.”8 Much more disturbing, however, is the growing number of evangelical leaders who are willing–even passionate–to embrace some form of compromise with the atheistic theories of naturalism, causing them to subjugate the inerrant Word of God to “fit” with that which is alien to the text of Scripture.

Surely such leaders are aware that the evolutionary and creationist worldviews are in diametrical opposition to one another. Surely pastors know that “the backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways” (Proverbs 14:14). Surely evangelically-trained Christian leaders are aware of the writings and warnings of Dr. Francis Schaeffer.

These two world views stand as totals in complete antithesis in content and also in their natural results….It is not just that they happen to bring forth different results, but it is absolutely inevitable that they will bring forth different results.9

One wonders if such leaders love “the praise of men more than the praise of God” (John 12:43).

“Progressive creationism” is not a modern interpretation developed to bring the Genesis record into harmony with modern science, but a very ancient concept devised to impose a theistic connotation upon the almost universal pagan evolutionary philosophies of antiquity. The primeval existence of the cosmos, with matter in some form present from eternity, was a dogma common to all ancient religions and philosophies, seeking as they were to function without an omnipotent, holy, eternal, personal, Creator God. Compromising monotheists, both in ancient Israel and in the early Christian church, repeatedly resorted to various allegorical interpretations of Scripture, involving some form of protracted creation, seeking to amalgamate creationist/redemptionist theology with pagan humanistic philosophy. Almost inevitably, however, such compromises ended in complete apostasy on the part of the compromisers.10

Charles Darwin began as a biblical creationist, but slid into total atheism as he accepted the “proof” of Lyellian uniformitarianism, the geological ages, and a form of the so-called progressive creationism. It was not long before he became a committed theistic evolutionist, and ultimately a full-fledged atheist.

After the infamous Scopes trial in which William Jennings Bryan embraced the compromised day-age theory during his “defense,” other creationist organizations failed to stand firm on the biblical account and quickly capitulated to theistic evolution or other such hybrids.

Exponential Decline

Those among the Lord’s family who are inclined to merge some portion of the evolutionary dogma with the biblical message are doomed to undermine their own faith, as well as those whom they influence. These two belief systems are diametrically opposed. It is not possible to “serve two masters” (Matthew 6:24). One or the other will dominate.

Ideas do have consequences. If one entertains an atheistically-founded doctrine, he or she will ultimately encounter conflict between the revelation that originates from the Creator God and the rebellious desires of godless humanity, which seeks to exclude God from its thinking.

The very reason for postulating an ancient cosmos is to escape from God–to push Him as far away in space and as far back in time as possible, hoping thereby eventually to escape His control altogether, letting Nature become “god.”

…Furthermore, if one must make a choice between a full-fledged theistic evolutionism and a compromising “progressive creationism,” with its “day/age” theory of Genesis one would have to judge the latter worse than the former, theologically speaking….Surely all those who really believe in the God of the Bible should see that any compromise with the geological-age system is theological chaos. Whether the compromise involves the day/age theory or the gap theory, the very concept of the geological ages implies divine confusion and cruelty, and the God of the Bible could not have been involved in such a thing as that at all.11

The decline of intellectual capability is frighteningly described in Romans 1. Once a person sees the evidence for God in the “things that are made” (Romans 1:20), and in spite of the speech and knowledge that presents itself every day to humanity everywhere (Psalm 19)–once a person rejects that knowledge in favor of a doctrine that changes “the glory of the uncorruptible God” and changes “the truth of God into a lie” (Romans 1:2325)–such a person becomes “vain in their imaginations” and their “foolish heart” becomes darkened (Romans 1:21). “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools…. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind.” (Romans 1:2228)

While the primary application of those warnings are directed toward godless men and women who “hold the truth in unrighteousness” (Romans 1:18), it is entirely possible for God’s own people to be plundered “through philosophy and vain deceit” (Colossians 2:8), and for those of the King’s children who do not grow in their faith to lose assurance of their salvation (2 Peter 1:9) or have their faith made “shipwreck” (1 Timothy 1:19).

Compromise with the “error of the wicked” can only end in a “fall from your own stedfastness” (2 Peter 3:17).

Contend for the Faith

Jude’s admonition to “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 1:3) has never been more critical. Revivals in society have always been preceded by revivals among the saints. The promise for national healing is dependent on God’s people humbling themselves and turning from their sinful behavior (2 Chronicles 7:14). Once the repentance of that which is ungodly has been made, then prayer and seeking the face of our Creator will bring healing to the land. ICR’s founder phrased it this way some 20 years ago:

If it were not for the continued apathetic and compromising attitude of Christian theologians and other intellectuals on this vital doctrine of recent creation, evolutionary humanism would long since have been exposed and defeated. The world will never take the Biblical doctrine of the divine control and imminent consummation of all things very seriously until we ourselves take the Biblical doctrine of the recent creation of all things seriously. Neither in space nor in time is our great God of creation and consummation “very far from every one of us.”12

It is that understanding and the many challenges of God’s Word that drive the work of ICR today. All of us are committed to contend and to fight for the truth of God’s Word, at every level and in every opportunity that God opens up for us.

Become an unashamed “creation advocate” today and stand with ICR on the front lines of our battle for truth.

References

  1. Ford, L. 2008. Capitulating on Creation: Changing the truth of God into a lieActs & Facts. 37 (9): 4.
  2. Barnes, T. G. 1985. Oceans of Piffle in Evolutionary IndoctrinationActs & Facts. 14 (4).
  3. 1 Timothy 6:20.
  4. Lewontin, R. C. 1997. Billions and Billions of Demons. The New York Review of Books. 44 (1): 31.
  5. 2 Peter 3:5.
  6. Psalm 19:2-3.
  7. Romans 1:2025.
  8. Matthew 7:13.
  9. Schaeffer, F. 1981. A Christian Manifesto. Westchester, IL: Crossway Books, 18.
  10. Morris, H. 1984. Recent Creation Is a Vital DoctrineActs & Facts. 13 (6).
  11. Ibid.
  12. Ibid.

* Dr. Morris is Chief Executive Officer of the Institute for Creation Research.

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

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

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

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

Harry Kroto

Nick Gathergood, David-Birkett, Harry-Kroto

Image result for harry kroto richard dawkins

I have attempted to respond to all of Dr. Kroto’s friends arguments and I have posted my responses one per week for over a year now. Here are some of my earlier posts:

Arif Ahmed, Sir David AttenboroughMark Balaguer, Horace Barlow, Michael BatePatricia ChurchlandAaron CiechanoverNoam Chomsky,Alan DershowitzHubert DreyfusBart Ehrman, Stephan FeuchtwangDavid Friend,  Riccardo GiacconiIvar Giaever , Roy GlauberRebecca GoldsteinDavid J. Gross Brian Greene, Susan GreenfieldStephen F Gudeman,  Alan Guth, Jonathan HaidtTheodor W. HänschBrian Harrison,  Hermann HauserRoald Hoffmann,  Bruce HoodHerbert Huppert,  Gareth Stedman JonesSteve JonesShelly KaganMichio Kaku,  Stuart Kauffman,  Lawrence KraussHarry KrotoGeorge LakoffElizabeth Loftus,  Alan MacfarlanePeter MillicanMarvin MinskyLeonard Mlodinow Yujin NagasawaAlva NoeDouglas Osheroff,  Jonathan Parry,  Saul PerlmutterHerman PhilipseCarolyn PorcoRobert M. PriceLisa RandallLord Martin Rees,  Oliver SacksJohn SearleMarcus du SautoySimon SchafferJ. L. Schellenberg,   Lee Silver Peter Singer,  Walter Sinnott-ArmstrongRonald de SousaVictor StengerBarry Supple,   Leonard SusskindRaymond TallisNeil deGrasse Tyson,  .Alexander VilenkinSir John WalkerFrank WilczekSteven Weinberg, and  Lewis Wolpert,

In  the second video below in the 67th clip in this series are Richard Dawkins’ words that Harry Kroto wanted me to see. Since then I have read several of Richard Dawkins books and have attempted to respond to the contents of these books directly to Richard Dawkins by mail. In fact, I have been writing Richard Dawkins letters since May 15, 1994 which was the 10th anniversary of the passing of one of my heroes, Francis Schaeffer. Francis Schaeffer spent a lot of time responding to many of Richard Dawkins’ heroes such as Carl Sagan, Jacques Monod, H.J. Blackham, Isaac Newton, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Max Planck, Johann Sebastian Bach, Francis Bacon, Samuel Beckett, Leonardo Da Vinci, Albert Einstein, Michael Faraday, Gerald Horton, Edmund Leach, Louis Pasteur, George Wald, Jacob Bronowski, Steven Weinberg, Charles Darwin, Paul Kurtz, Peter Singer, Jonathan Miller, William B. Provine, Woody Allen, Noam Chomsky, James D. Watson, Francis Crick, Michael Polanyi, The Huxley family, Antony Flew, and Edward O. Wilson (Dawkins has since revised his opinion of Flew and Wilson, but he earlier regarded them very highly). 

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Francis Schaeffer 1911-1984

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Both Francis Schaeffer and Richard Dawkins have talked extensively about the life of Charles Darwin.

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Sir Harry Kroto with his high school friend Sir Ian McKellan at the FSU National High Field Magnetic Lab on Tuesday, October 27, 2009.

Image result for harry kroto richard dawkins

50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1)

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Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2)

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Edit Post ‹ The Daily Hatch — WordPress

A Further 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 3)

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Richard Dawkins Photos Photos – Professor Stephen Hawking Unveils Medal For Science Communication – Zimbio

Professor Stephen Hawking Unveils Medal For Science Communication

Professor Stephen Hawking Unveils Medal For Science Communication In This Photo: Richard Dawkins, Stephen Hawking, Brian May, Harold Kroto, Alexi Leonov, Garik Israelian

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

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

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October 20, 2015 – 5:20 am

  On November 21, 2014 I received a letter from Nobel Laureate Harry Kroto and it said: …Please click on this URL http://vimeo.com/26991975 and you will hear what far smarter people than I have to say on this matter. I agree with them. Harry Kroto _________________ Below you have picture of 1996 Chemistry Nobel Prize Winner […]

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  _______ On November 21, 2014 I received a letter from Nobel Laureate Harry Kroto and it said: …Please click on this URL http://vimeo.com/26991975 and you will hear what far smarter people than I have to say on this matter. I agree with them. Harry Kroto _________________ Below you have picture of 1996 Chemistry Nobel Prize […]

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Bart Ehrman “Why should one think that God performed the miracle of inspiring the words in the first place if He didn’t perform the miracle of preserving the words?”

September 2, 2015 – 8:42 am

On November 21, 2014 I received a letter from Nobel Laureate Harry Kroto and it said: …Please click on this URL http://vimeo.com/26991975 and you will hear what far smarter people than I have to say on this matter. I agree with them. Harry Kroto ____________________ Below you have picture of 1996 Chemistry Nobel Prize Winner Dr. […]

MUSIC MONDAY Stairway to Heaven: The Song Remains Pretty Similar Did Led Zeppelin write the greatest song opening in rock history—or steal it? by Vernon Silver May 16, 2014, 2:56 PM CDT

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Stairway to Heaven: The Song Remains Pretty Similar

Did Led Zeppelin write the greatest song opening in rock history—or steal it?
May 16, 2014, 2:56 PM CDT
Photograph by Heilemann/Camera Press/Redux

Weary from touring, Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page retreated in 1970 to a stone cottage in Wales, called Bron-Yr-Aur, with no power or running water. Legend has it King Arthur fought his last battle nearby. Not far off is the mountain Cader Idris where, it’s said, those who spend a night at its summit are fated to die, go mad, or become poets. At Bron-Yr-Aur, by candlelight, Page constructed the bones of what may well be the most popular, and valuable, rock ’n’ roll song of all time, Stairway to Heaven. This included the introductory finger-picked section that launched a million guitar lessons.

Back in England that winter, Page laid out the budding epic for the band at another house, Headley Grange, where the magic continued around a fire fueled on one occasion by a section of stairway banister. As Page plucked, singer Robert Plant seemed to channel another world as he wrote the lyrics. To Page, who has referred to the song as “my baby,” it was Zeppelin’s crowning achievement. “Stairway crystallized the essence of the band,” he told then-teenage rock writer Cameron Crowe in a March 13, 1975, Rolling Stone interview. “It was a milestone for us. Every musician wants to do something of lasting quality, something which will hold up for a long time, and I guess we did it with Stairway.”

For generations of middle-class youth, the song is the 8-minute soundtrack of adolescent romance—or at least the anticipation of it. Stairway is slow dancing, the last song played at high school proms, sweet-16 parties, and summer camp mixers across a broad swath of the late 20th century.

Jimmy Page in 1969
Photograph by Chris Walter/WireImage via Getty Images

Stairway’s stature—financially, culturally, and musically—is towering. By 2008, when Conde Nast Portfolio magazine published an estimate that included royalties and record sales, the song had earned at least $562 million. It was so profitable in part because Led Zeppelin refused to release the song as a single, forcing fans to shell out for the entire album, which is untitled but known as Led Zeppelin IV. In the U.S., the album has sold more copies (23 million, according to the Recording Industry Association of America) than any save Michael Jackson’s Thriller and the Eagles’ Their Greatest Hits (1971-75). To this day, Warner Music Group cites the song in its annual reports as an example of its publishing portfolio.

For live audiences, Stairway’s power starts with its introductory notes. “Can you think of another song, any song, for which, when its first chord is played, an entire audience of 20,000 rise spontaneously to their feet, not just to cheer or clap hands, but in acknowledgment of an event that is crucial for all of them?” Observer critic Tony Palmer wrote in a 1975 profile. Dave Lewis writes in Led Zeppelin: The Complete Guide to Their Music that “Stairway has a pastoral opening cadence that is classical in feel and which has ensured its immortality.”

But what if those <a style="background-color:transparent;margin:0;padding:0;border-width:0 0 1px;border-image:initial;font-variant:inherit;font-weight:inherit;font-stretch:inherit;font-size:18px;line-height:inherit;font-family:inherit;vertical-align:baseline;color:#3c3c3c;text-decoration:none;border-color:initial initial #2800d7;border-style:initial initial solid;" title="Game: Which Is the Real Stairway to Heaven?” href=”http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-05-15/the-stairway-to-heaven-game-did-led-zeppelin-steal-the-greatest-song-opening-in-rock-history&#8221; target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow noopener”>opening notes weren’t actually written by Jimmy Page or any member of Led Zeppelin? What if the foundation of the band’s immortality had been lifted from another song by a relatively forgotten California band?

You’d need to rewrite the history of rock ’n’ roll.

In 1968 a Los Angeles area band called Spirit put out its first album, the self-titled Spirit. Among the songs was an instrumental piece, Taurus, written by the band’s guitarist, Randy California. (Born Randy Wolfe, California got his stage name while playing with Jimi Hendrix’s band in New York in 1966. Hendrix took to calling him Randy California to distinguish him from another Randy in the band. California, only 15 at the time, chose to make it stick.) Taurus runs just 2 minutes and 37 seconds. About a minute of it is a plucked guitar line that sounds a lot like the opening measures of Stairway to Heaven.

For Led Zeppelin, 1968 was a big year. The band recorded its first album and flew to the U.S. to promote it with a series of shows. The day after Christmas, it played its first concert in America at the Denver Auditorium Arena. Led Zeppelin opened for Spirit.

Mark Andes, Spirit’s founding bassist, says he believes the members of Led Zeppelin heard Taurus that day, beginning a process that would lead to its appropriation for Stairway. Taurus was a fixture of Spirit’s set at the time. “It was such a pretty moment, and it would typically come after a big forceful number and always got a good response,” Andes says at his home in a Houston suburb, where his music room is lined with framed gold records, many from the decade he later spent with the band Heart. “They would have seen it in that context.”

Members of Spirit including Jay Ferguson, Mark Andes, Ed Cassidy, Randy California and John Locke, pose for a portrait in 1970 in Los Angeles
Photograph by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Within four days of its inaugural U.S. gig, Led Zeppelin had already assimilated some of Spirit’s other music into its act. At Gonzaga University in Spokane, Wash., the band played a medley that included Spirit’s Fresh-Garbage. The song, with its grinding bass line, shares side one of Spirit with Taurus. Set lists posted on Led Zeppelin’s official website name Fresh-Garbage as a song for the Spokane show and at least 11 other shows in the following months. Even if Page hadn’t heard Taurus at that first gig, he would have had other chances to hear it live as the bands crossed paths through 1969. “We did quite a few shows with those guys,” says Andes. “Not to say they might not have heard it from the record.” On May 16, 1969, the bands played a concert together in Detroit at the Grande Ballroom. On July 5, 1969, at the Atlanta Pop Festival, Spirit played right before Zeppelin. The two bands played the closing day of the Seattle Pop Festival on July 27. The weekend of Aug. 30, they played on two separate days at the Texas International Pop Festival.

California doesn’t seem to have griped about Stairway’s genesis, at least publicly, for decades. Finally, citing the gigs they played together, California told journalist Jeff McLaughlin in the winter 1997 issue of Listener magazine that Led Zeppelin had filched his song. “I’d say it was a ripoff,” California said. “And the guys made millions of bucks on it and never said ‘Thank you,’ never said, ‘Can we pay you some money for it?’ It’s kind of a sore point with me. Maybe someday their conscience will make them do something about it.” On Jan. 2, 1997, California drowned while rescuing his 12-year-old son from a rip current in Hawaii.

Now the late California’s allegation may get its day in court. Andes and the trust that handles California’s royalties say they’re teaming up to seek credit for Stairway. They’re working with Francis Alexander Malofiy, a Philadelphia lawyer whose cases include a pending suit against the singer Usher over the writing credit for the song Bad Girl, which Usher is fighting. Starting in June, Led Zeppelin is preparing to cash in anew on Stairway and other hits by releasing all its albums in deluxe, remastered vinyl and CD editions. Malofiy says he is going to file a copyright infringement lawsuit and seek an injunction to block the rerelease of the album containing the song. “The idea behind this is to make sure that Randy California is given a writing credit on Stairway to Heaven,” says Malofiy, 36, who says he grew up with posters of Led Zeppelin on his bedroom wall. “It’s been a long time coming.”

Andes, 66, says he was so wrapped up in his music back then that he only recently noticed how similar Stairway was to California’s song. “The clarity seems to be a present-day clarity, not at the time of infringement. I can’t explain it. It is fairly blatant, and note for note,” he says. “It would just be nice if the Led Zeppelin guys gave Randy a little nod. That would be lovely.”

<a style="background-color:transparent;margin:0;padding:0;border-width:0 0 1px;border-image:initial;font-variant:inherit;font-weight:inherit;font-stretch:inherit;font-size:18px;line-height:inherit;font-family:inherit;vertical-align:baseline;color:#3c3c3c;text-decoration:none;border-color:initial initial #2800d7;border-style:initial initial solid;" title="Game: Which Is the Real Stairway to Heaven?” href=”http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-05-15/the-stairway-to-heaven-game-did-led-zeppelin-steal-the-greatest-song-opening-in-rock-history&#8221; target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow noopener”>

Jason Elzy, a spokesman for New York-based Warner Music, says, “Both Led Zeppelin and Warner Music will be offering no comment for this story.” Hollenbeck Music, which publishes Taurus and receives a portion of the royalties, is run by music mogul Lou Adler, a childhood friend of Randy California’s mother, who signed Spirit to its first record contract. Associates of Adler say he’s told them he believes the lick was lifted, but Adler isn’t part of the lawsuit and didn’t respond to requests for comment. Hollenbeck has compared the songs and doesn’t think there is a case, says Howard Frank, an executive at the Santa Monica (Calif.)-based company.

It’s no secret Led Zeppelin borrowed from blues and folk musicians in what it said was part of an organic tradition that created new, original works. Page has explained how he crafted songs with bits of others. “I always tried to bring something fresh to anything that I used,” he said in an interview for Light & Shade: Conversations With Jimmy Page by Brad Tolinski. “I always made sure to come up with some variation. In fact, I think in most cases, you would never know what the original source could be.” Zeppelin histories that address the issue seem to favor Page, calling him a transformer rather than a thief. In When Giants Walked the Earth: A Biography of Led Zeppelin, Mick Wall details the Welsh genesis of the song and writes that if Page was influenced by the chords from Taurus, “what he did with them was the equivalent of taking the wood from a garden shed and building it into a cathedral.”

But songwriters from whom Led Zeppelin drew inspiration, or more, have brought legal challenges for decades, often successfully. Since its 1969 debut album, the band has altered the credits and redirected portions of the royalties for some of its biggest songs, including Whole Lotta Love and Babe I’m Gonna Leave You. A copyright infringement suit over Dazed and Confused, a defining number that formed the centerpiece of Led Zeppelin’s live shows, was settled in 2012. The rise of the Internet has made comparisons by amateur plagiarism detectives easier, with mashup videos of Zeppelin songs and their alleged antecedents appearing on YouTube.

After its first two, mostly hard-rocking albums met with instant acclaim, Led Zeppelin put out the mainly acoustic Led Zeppelin III in October 1970, only to see it panned by critics. It did not sell well. The band called off a planned British Christmas tour so it could go back to the studio, according to When Giants Walked the Earth. The press speculated about a breakup. Against this backdrop, “Jimmy would soon discover his compromise between the two realms of music, the acoustic and the metallic,” Stephen Davis writes in Hammer of the Gods: The Led Zeppelin Saga. The six-string intro, according to Davis, was recorded at the Island Records studio in London in December 1970 before the band decamped to Headley Grange, where Plant wrote the lyrics.The song that emerged is a concerto in three movements. The first is the finger-picked portion, with a recorder accompaniment played by bassist John Paul Jones. The second section, on which Page switches to a 12-string guitar and drummer John Bonham comes in, is the “and it makes me wonder” section. The third and final “and as we wind on down the road” movement speeds up the tempo. A headbanging three-chord progression repeats under Page’s guitar solo before the instruments surrender to Plant’s final, a cappella “and she’s buying a stairway to heaven.” The song made Led Zeppelin’s fourth album, released in November 1971, its biggest.

As the band rose to rock deity status on the back of Stairway, behind the scenes the slow and expensive unraveling of its intellectual-property foundations was already beginning. In the early 1970s, Chester (Howlin’ Wolf) Burnett’s music publisher sued Led Zeppelin for The Lemon Song, saying it was derived from Burnett’s Killing Floor. The parties settled, according to When Giants Walked the Earth. Burnett got a writing credit.

Willie Dixon in 1970
Photograph by Gilles Petard/Redferns via Getty Images

The next case started around 1979, after Shirley Dixon-Nelson, the daughter of blues legend Willie Dixon, heard Led Zeppelin’s Whole Lotta Love at a friend’s house in Chicago. It’s Led Zeppelin’s highest-charting U.S. single, reaching No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100. To Dixon’s 13-year-old daughter, the song sounded a lot like her father’s You Need Love. Dixon sued, reaching a settlement in 1987, and the song is now credited to the four Zeppelin members and Dixon, who died in 1992. Despite the settlement, “there was no significant money to Willie from record sales. He went to his grave feeling that he was not represented properly,” his wife, Marie Dixon, told Barney Hoskyns in Led Zeppelin: The Oral History of the World’s Greatest Rock Band. Today in Chicago, Willie Dixon’s Blues Heaven Foundation runs a blues education program in local schools and awards college scholarships to study topics including artists’ legal rights.

In the mid-’80s, another artist stepped forward. To reach the home of the 83-year-old woman who wrote the original Babe I’m Gonna Leave You, you drive up a dirt road on the edge of California’s Sierra National Forest. In a house made from two double-wide mobile homes, Anne Bredon, silver-haired and lanky, spends her days making jewelry, which she sells at craft fairs. To get to town for supplies, she drives a white electric car plastered with bumper stickers like “My Other Car Is a Broom.” She’s not a fan of hard rock.

Bredon wrote Babe around 1960 as a student at the University of California at Berkeley. She shared the chords and words with a fellow student, Janet Smith, who took Babe with her to Oberlin College and popularized it there. In 1962, Joan Baez came through the Ohio campus, heard Babe, and added it to her repertoire, including it in a songbook (credited to Bredon) and on a live album (not credited). In 1969, Led Zeppelin’s first album included a version of the song based on the Baez recording, listed as “Trad. arr. Jimmy Page.” “Jimmy Page must have assumed it was a folk song,” Bredon says. She, in the meantime, had no idea that her song was in the pantheon of classic rock.

In 1981, Bredon’s old college friend, Smith, was strumming the tune at home when her 12-year-old son popped into the room. “Gee, Mom, I didn’t know you did Led Zeppelin songs,” he said, according to Smith. It wasn’t until the mid-1980s that Smith happened to look at a copy of the debut Led Zeppelin album in a Tower Records store and realized her friend hadn’t gotten credit. She contacted Bredon with a proposal to hire a lawyer, and the two agreed to split any money they could recover. To resolve the dispute, Led Zeppelin’s publisher made an offer: Because the band had made the song famous, the authorship of the Zeppelin version should be split 50-50, with half going to Bredon and the other half to Page and Plant. Future editions of the song would be credited, “Words and music by Anne Bredon, Jimmy Page, and Robert Plant.”

Bredon, who was married to a math professor and living in New Jersey at the time, got what she says was a small amount for back royalties and has collected royalty checks regularly since. “I just wish we could have known about it earlier,” says Bredon in her living room, holding her banjo. “I lost out on a lot of money. … What I really wanted was my credit. I wanted to get my name on the song so they knew I wrote it, damn it.”

In June 2007, Howard Stern had Denny Somach on as a guest. Somach was the producer of the syndicated Led Zeppelin show, Carol Miller’s Get the Led Out. A big chunk of Somach’s appearance with Stern was devoted to Dazed and Confused and how it sounded a lot like another song called … Dazed and Confused. The earlier version, by a folk singer named Jake Holmes, has the same slow, descending bass line, a similar melody, and some lyrics in common. Holmes had since left folk music to write advertising jingles, including Dr Pepper’s Be a Pepper and the U.S. Army recruiting song Be All You Can Be. After the radio program put Holmes in the spotlight, “He hired a lawyer,” Somach says.

On June 28, 2010, Holmes sued Page and his publishing and record companies in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, alleging copyright infringement of his 1967 Dazed and Confused. He demanded damages, profits, and an accounting. In a 2007 interview published in Somach’s book, Get the Led Out: How Led Zeppelin Became the Biggest Band in the World, Holmes said he’d known Led Zeppelin had done a version of his song but had been unaware it was a highlight of its live show, with renditions running as long as 20 minutes. “I wasn’t interested in Led Zeppelin,” he said. “It wasn’t until about 20 years later that I really thought this wasn’t fair.”

On April 6, 2011, Page’s lawyers filed his response to the lawsuit, denying any copyright infringement and saying the 1969 Led Zeppelin song was independently created. Additionally, Page’s filing said of the Holmes song, “plaintiff’s composition entitled ‘Dazed and Confused’ lacks originality and is thus not protectable by copyright.” Page also requested attorneys’ fees and costs. At the time, Led Zeppelin was preparing for the 2012 release of Celebration Day, the DVD and double CD of its 2007 London reunion concert—on which Dazed and Confused, at 11 minutes and 19 seconds, was to be the longest track. On Nov. 7, 2011, the two parties stipulated to the court that the case should be dismissed, which it was, on Jan. 17, 2012. When Celebration Day came out in November of that year, Dazed and Confused was credited as “Jimmy Page; inspired by Jake Holmes.” Citing the settlement, Holmes declined to comment for this story. “I can’t really talk about it,” he said in an e-mail.

Now it’s Spirit’s turn.

On an afternoon in March, Spirit bassist Andes is standing in the study of his Texas home listening to a recording of the Howard Stern episode for the first time. His lawyer, Malofiy, who is visiting from Philadelphia, has found the audio online and plays it from Andes’s laptop into a pair of speakers above the desk. A barefoot Andes, wearing a white T-shirt, his gray hair in a ponytail, listens as Somach and Stern pick through the hits of the band that once opened for him.

“Everyone knows Dazed and Confused, I mean, that’s a dead ripoff,” Stern says on the recording after playing both versions.

“That’s amazing,” Andes responds.

“Give Jake Holmes a credit,” Stern says.

“I agree. Give credit,” Andes says, laughing. Then Taurus comes on. “Aww,” Andes says. Stern plays a clip from Stairway for comparison. “Yeah,” Andes says, fluttering his left hand over his heart. “Aww. That’s so great.”

Later, in his kitchen, which overlooks a pond and a pasture for the four horses he and his wife own, Andes leafs through a copy of Somach’s book. He reads aloud from the pages that list Spirit’s shared touring history with Led Zeppelin. “It’s so interesting that this is all coming out and it’s so well documented. I love it,” he says. He’d heard that Led Zeppelin had played Spirit’s Fresh-Garbage, but this is the first time he’s seen it written about.

After some minor hits with Spirit, California’s career faded
Photograph by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Part of the reason Stairway’s authorship hasn’t been challenged is Spirit’s members and their survivors haven’t had the means. Randy California’s career sputtered. Spirit had some small hits with I Got A Line On You and Nature’s Way, but his original record deal left him with meager payments. In his final years, living in Ojai, north of Los Angeles, he bartered songs for food. “He’d play sitar at an Indian restaurant in return for being fed,” says Bruce Pates, Spirit’s archivist, who worked with the band in the 1980s and ’90s. After California drowned, his nephew Josh Keiser helped clear out his rental apartment and found he was living on ramen noodles, Keiser says.

After California died, his mother ran the trust that collects his royalties with Mick Skidmore, a London-born former rock journalist who works as a customs consultant in Boston, handling paperwork for importers and exporters. Since her death in 2009, Skidmore has done the job himself. “I don’t have the resources and barely have the time to do the trust stuff and hold down two jobs. It’s like a hobby,” he says. Randy and his mother had talked about a legal challenge but never acted, he says. “Nobody had any money, and they thought the statute of limitations was done.”

Neither issue may be a problem. While the statute of limitations for civil copyright infringement under U.S. law is three years, courts often read that as only restricting back royalties to the previous three years, not barring old infringements. As for money, it appears Malofiy, who had already been representing Andes on other matters, will handle the case on contingency, though he wouldn’t comment on the exact financial arrangements. Skidmore says he’s ready to take a shot at it. “It will be nice if Randy got the credit,” he says.

To show infringement under U.S. copyright law, you generally need to demonstrate two elements: that an original work was copied to make something substantially similar, and that the copier had access to the original work. If a Stairway-Taurus case were to go to trial, each side would hire musicologists who would present opposing analyses of how alike, or not, the songs are, says John Hartmann, a record executive and lecturer on the music business at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. “In a court this would be measured by experts, and a jury would have to decide,” he says.

Ultimately, the legal test isn’t what experts say. Under U.S. law, the standard a jury or judge would apply is whether the song in question sounds like a copy to an ordinary lay listener. To get an idea in this case, I conducted an informal poll of passersby on Los Angeles’s Venice Beach and Hermosa Beach, playing clips from Taurus and asking what song it sounded like. Of the 58 people surveyed, 18 named Stairway to Heaven, without being given any song titles to pick from. It was the only song anyone mentioned by name, with the exception of one young man who recognized it as Taurus.

One of the respondents who suggested it was Stairway happened to be a copyright lawyer, Eric Maier. “It certainly sounds like it would be hard to argue it’s a coincidence,” said Maier, who asked if Spirit needed a lawyer. “If it did get to a jury, it can’t be good for Led Zeppelin.”

“Of course, there’s millions of dollars at stake here,” Malofiy says. Who would actually get any cash could be as sticky a question as infringement. According to Andes, Skidmore, and Pates, most of the money from Spirit’s earliest songs goes to the publisher, Adler, with the rest going to the composers. If a ruling or settlement were based on the Taurus copyright, which is in Randy California’s name, the composer’s share would go to his trust. That means it would end up at the Randy California Project in Ventura County.

On an evening in March, about 50 children wearing Randy California Project T-shirts take the stage at a middle school there, where Randy once lived. These performers get their music lessons, loaner instruments, and band direction paid for by Randy California’s trust, which has made the music project its sole mission. Over the past four years the trust has given $93,000 to Ventura schools and $27,000 to schools in Quincy, Mass., where Skidmore lives, he says. California’s sister, Marla Randall, is attending the concert. She stands in the back of the room, wearing a peace sign pendant around her neck.

The first group, third graders with recorders and xylophones, plays Old MacDonald Had a Farm. They’re followed by the Randy California Band, a brass, woodwind, and percussion ensemble of fourth and fifth graders. Halfway through the show, Ventura Unified School District Superintendent Trudy Arriaga takes the microphone and pays tribute to the man whose music has made this all possible. “Randy California is watching over, looking over, the children of Ventura,” she says.

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Open Letter #99 to Ricky Gervais on comparison of the Tony of AFTER LIFE to the Solomon of ECCLESIASTES, Don’t attempt to make your job the place you look for meaning because that is like chasing the wind!!!

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After Life #1 Trailer

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After Life 2 Trailer

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On Saturday April 18, 2020 at 6pm in London and noon in Arkansas, I had a chance to ask Ricky Gervais a question on his Twitter Live broadcast which was  “Is Tony a Nihilist?” At the 20:51 mark Ricky answers my question. Below is the video:

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If Death is the end then what is the point Kath asks below:

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Kath: You are an atheist?

(Above) Tony and Anne on the bench at the graveyard where their spouses are buried.

July 25, 2020 
Ricky Gervais 


Dear Ricky,  

This is the 99th day in a row that I have written another open letter to you to comment on some of your episodes of AFTER LIFE, and then I wanted to pass along some evidence that indicates the Bible is historically accurate.

Ricky Gervais plays bereaved husband Tony Johnson in AFTER LIFE


Matt: Okay everyone listen up. That was Mr. Middleton. Some of you know that he owns everything, the newspaper and the building. He wants to stop running the paper. He wants to close the paper and then sell the building. 
Tony: Probably sell it to a property developer. This would be luxury flats. 
Kath: I will be alright. Tambury Brewery already said they would take me on. I think the boss fancies me. 
Tony: Well that is the end of the Tambury Gazette kids. Don’t worry we will just get another [crappy] job that barely pays enough to live. 

Sandy: This is the only job I have ever liked. I won’t have a job. My mum is disabled and my daddy can’t work. My brother and sister are in school and they get nothing as it is. (Starts to cry.) 

Tony: Okay. 
Sandy: So I got to find another job that I hate. 
Tony: Okay we will save the paper. 
Sandy: How?

Tony: We will get more revenue. Kath will get more. 
Kath: How?

Tony: You are really good at your job. You will charge more for advertising, like Tambury Brewery. They will pay more, won’t they. Or we will get a loan. Happens all the time. We will buy the building and we will pay back the loan with the profit from the paper and it will be our business to make it work. So don’t worry. 
Sandy: You promise? You will save the paper? 
Tony: Yeah. We will. 
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Tony is involved in a very worthwhile effort to save the newspaper but ultimately will it being meaning to his life UNDER THE SUN?

After Life on Netflix

After Life on Netflix stars Ricky Gervais as a bereaved husband (Image: Netflix)


I want to quote Mark Henry who is one of the teaching pastors at FELLOWSHIP BIBLE CHURCH from his sermon on ECCLESIASTES. 

(Pictured below Pastor Mark Henry with his family)

Here is a part of that sermon below:

WORK BEGAN WITH GOD. GOD IS A WORKER. Jesus was a carpenter. He had a job too. 

GOD CREATED ADAM AND EVE TO WORK AND BUILD A CULTURE THAT WOULD GLORIFY HIM. WE ARE WORKERS. Being made in God’s image also includes being designed to work, and we have that desire is in us. But in Genesis 3 because of our sin God’s beautiful design for accomplishing and doing comes to a bitter and untimely end. God cursed the ground so that creation continually wars against itself making all of our labor a frustrating toil. 

THERE IS NO WORK IN OUR LIVES THAT HAS NOT BEEN KISSED BY THE CURSE OF THE FALL. 

Ecclesiastes 2:18 English Standard Version (ESV)

The Vanity of Toil

18 I hated all my toil in which I toil under the sun, seeing that I must leave it to the man who will come after me,WHAT MAKES OUR WORK TOIL IS THAT EVER SINCE THE FALL WE HAVE BEEN LOOKING TO OUR WORK TO GIVE US A SENSE OF IDENTITY. We believe we are what we do. Our work is a toil because we try and find our identity in our work rather than find our identity in Jesus. Why do you think there are so many workaholics? Workaholics have this obsessive desire to succeed and this comes out of the hope that maybe that some amount of work and accomplishment will bring meaning to their life. However, no amount of work can bring true satisfaction to our souls. No matter how much money we make there is always this sense that something is missing and there has to be more to life. Solomon says if you think you can cheat this because you are saying that you are doing all this hard work for your kids, well that is vanity too!!!!!Remember SOLOMON IS OLDER AND HE SEES THAT FINISH LINE OF DEATH QUICKLY APPROACHING and he has worked to build this massive empire and the question that haunts him is this: WHAT IF THE KID WHO INHERITS ALL MY STUFF IS AN IDIOT?”Ecclesiastes 2:21 English Standard Version (ESV)

21 because sometimes a person who has toiled with wisdom and knowledge and skill must leave everything to be enjoyed by someone who did not toil for it. This also is vanity and a great evil.

Our works and achievements don’t truly last. In time what we have accomplished and gotten will be lost by the next generation because they didn’t earn it themselves. They don’t value it the same way. 

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There are two points that my pastor made that I want to directly personalize to you Ricky!!!

1st point: (You were born in 1961 just like me and over half our life is past!!!) YOU LIKE SOLOMON ARE IN THE FINAL DAYS OF YOUR LIFE (YOU SEE THE FINISH LINE APPROACHING) AND YOU NEED TO LOOK AT SOLOMON’S FINAL CONCLUSION IN THE LAST TWO VERSES OF ECCLESIASTES:

13 The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.14 For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.

2nd point: Dont make your legacy your job!!!

Solomon points out that is like CHASING THE WIND to try and pass on your legacy to your son because he may be an idiot. 

Francis Schaeffer comments on ECCLESIASTES below:

Works of Men done Under the Sun

After wisdom Solomon comes to the great WORKS of men. Ecclesiastes 1:14,  “I have seen all the works which have been done under the sun, and behold, all is [p]vanity and striving after wind.” Solomon is the man with an empire at this disposal that speaks. This is the man who has the copper refineries in Ezion-geber. This is the man who made the stables across his empire. This is the man who built the temple in Jerusalem. This is the man who stands on the world trade routes. He is not a provincial. He knew what was happening on the Phonetician coast and he knew what was happening in Egypt. There is no doubt he already knew something of building. This is Solomon and he pursues the greatness of his own construction and his conclusion is VANITY AND VEXATION OF SPIRIT.

Ecclesiastes 2:18-20

18 Thus I hated all the fruit of my labor for which I had labored under the sun, for I must leave it to the man who will come after me. 19 And who knows whether he will be a wise man or a fool? Yet he will have control over all the fruit of my labor for which I have labored by acting wisely under the sun. This too is vanity.20 Therefore I completely despaired of all the fruit of my labor for which I had labored under the sun.

He looked at the works of his hands, great and multiplied by his wealth and his position and he shrugged his shoulders.

Ecclesiastes 2:22-23

22 For what does a man get in all his labor and in his striving with which he labors under the sun23 Because all his days his task is painful and grievous; even at night his mind does not rest. This too is vanity.

Man can not rest and yet he is never done and yet the things which he builds will out live him. If one wants an ironical three phrases these are they. There is a Dutch saying, “The tailor makes many suits but one day he will make a suit that will outlast the tailor.”

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Lots of evidence points to the Bible being historically accurate, for instance, King David existed!!

House of David Inscription

The current issue of Biblical Archaeology Review has an article entitled, “Archaeology Confirms 50 Real People in the Bible,” by Lawrence Mykytiuk. The first in his list is King David, whose name was found in the Tel Dan Stela, found in Tel Dan in July, 1993. Mykytiuk writes:

According to the Bible, David ruled in the tenth century B.C.E., using the traditional chronology. Until 1993, however, the personal name David had never appeared in the archaeological record, let alone a reference to King David. That led some scholars to doubt his very existence. According to this speculation David was either a shadowy, perhaps mythical, ancestor or a literary creation of later Biblical authors and editors. In 1993, however, the now-famous Tel Dan inscription was found in an excavation led by Avraham Biran. Actually, it was the team’s surveyor, Gila Cook, who noticed the inscription on a basalt stone in secondary use in the lower part of a wall. Written in ninth-century B.C.E. Aramaic, it was part of a victory stele commissioned by a non-Israelite king mentioning his victory over “the king of Israel” and the “House of David.” [See BAR 20:02, Mar-Apr 1994] Whether or not the foreign king’s claim to victory was true, it is clear that a century after he had died, David was still remembered as the founder of a dynasty.

This past October I had the occasion to photograph this important stela, which is housed in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.

Gary Byers suggests that the stela “most likely memorializes the victory of Hazael, king of Aram, over Joram, king of Israel, and Ahaziah, king of Judah, at Ramoth Gilead recorded in 2 Kings 8:28–29″ (Bible and Spade 16:4, p. 121).

For more information on the House of David see Ferrell Jenkins’ post illustrating Isaiah 7 here.

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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.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher, everettehatcher@gmail.comhttp://www.thedailyhatch.org, cell ph 501-920-5733, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002

PS: What is the meaning of life? Find it in the end of the open letter I wrote to you on April 23, 2020. 

Below is the workforce of THE TAMBURY GAZETTE 

Seen below is the third episode of AFTERLIFE (season 1) when Matt takes Tony to a comedy club with front row seats to cheer him up but it turns into disaster!!!

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Part 1 “Why have integrity in Godless Darwinian Universe where Might makes Right?”

Part 2 “My April 14, 2016 Letter to Ricky mentioned Book of Ecclesiastes and the Meaninglessness of Life”

Part 3 Letter about Brandon Burlsworth concerning suffering and pain and evil in the world.  “Why didn’t Jesus save her [from cancer]?” (Tony’s 10 year old nephew George in episode 2)

Part 4 Letter on Solomon on Death Tony in episode one, “It should be everyone’s moral duty to kill themselves.”

Part 5 Letter on subject of Learning in Ecclesiastes “I don’t read books of fiction but mainly science and philosophy”

Part 6 Letter on Luxuries in Ecclesiastes Part 6, The Music of AFTERLIFE (Part A)

Part 7 Letter on Labor in Ecclesiastes My Letter to Ricky on Easter in 2017 concerning Book of Ecclesiastes and the legacy of a person’s life work

Part 8 Letter on Liquor in Ecclesiastes Tony’s late wife Lisa told him, “Don’t get drunk all the time alright? It will only make you feel worse in the log run!”

Part 9 Letter on Laughter in Ecclesiastes , I said of laughter, “It is foolishness;” and of mirth, “What does it accomplish?” Ecclesiastes 2:2

Part 10 Final letter to Ricky on Ladies in Ecclesiastes “I gathered a chorus of singers to entertain me with song, and—most exquisite of all pleasures— voluptuous maidens for my bed…behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun” Ecclesiastes 2:8-11.

Part 11 Letter about Daniel Stanhope and optimistic humanism  “If man has been kicked up out of that which is only impersonal by chance , then those things that make him man-hope of purpose and significance, love, motions of morality and rationality, beauty and verbal communication-are ultimately unfulfillable and thus meaningless.” (Francis Schaeffer)

Part 12 Letter on how pursuit of God is only way to get Satisfaction Dan Jarrell “[In Ecclesiastes] if one seeks satisfaction they will never find it. In fact, every pleasure will be fleeting and can not be sustained, BUT IF ONE SEEKS GOD THEN ONE FINDS SATISFACTION”

Part 13 Letter to Stephen Hawking on Solomon realizing he will die just as a dog will die “For men and animals both breathe the same air, and both die. So mankind has no real advantage over the beasts; what an absurdity!” Ecclesiastes

Part 14 Letter to Stephen Hawking on 3 conclusions of humanism and Bertrand Russell destruction of optimistic humanism. “That Man is the product of causes which had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms—no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand. Only within the scaffolding of these truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair, can the soul’s habitation henceforth be safely built.”(Bertrand Russell, Free Man’s Worship)

Part 15 Letter to Stephen Hawking on Leonardo da Vinci and Solomon and Meaningless of life “I hate life. As far as I can see, what happens on earth is a bad business. It’s smoke—and spitting into the wind” Ecclesiastes Book of Ecclesiastes Part 15 “I hate life. As far as I can see, what happens on earth is a bad business. It’s smoke—and spitting into the wind” Ecclesiastes 2:17

Part 16 Letter to Stephen Hawking on Solomon’s longing for death but still fear of death and 5 conclusions of humanism on life UNDER THE SUN. Francis Schaeffer “Life is just a series of continual and unending cycles and man is stuck in the middle of the cycle. Youth, old age, Death. Does Solomon at this point embrace nihilism? Yes!!! He exclaims that the hates life (Ecclesiastes 2:17), he longs for death (4:2-3) Yet he stills has a fear of death (2:14-16)”

Mandeep Dhillon as Sandy on her first assignment in ‘After Life’. (Twitter)

A still from ‘After Life’ that captures the vibe of the Tambury Gazette. (Twitter)

Michael Scott of THE OFFICE (USA) with Ricky Gervais 

After Life on Netflix

After Life on Netflix stars Ricky Gervais as a bereaved husband (Image: Netflix)

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Psychiatrist played by Paul Kaye seen below.

The sandy beach walk

Tony Johnson with his dog Brandi seen below:

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Francis Schaeffer THE AGE of FRAGMENTATION

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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 329 LETTER TO HUGH HEFNER ( After touring the Playboy mansion Peter O’Toole said, “This is the way God would have done it if he had the money.”) Featured Artist is Katrin Sigurdardóttir

Francis Schaeffer has rightly noted concerning Hugh Hefner that Hefner’s goal  with the “playboy mentality is just to smash the puritanical ethnic.” I have made the comparison throughout this series of blog posts between Hefner and King Solomon (the author of the BOOK of ECCLESIASTES).  I have noticed that many preachers who have delivered sermons on Ecclesiastes have also mentioned Hefner as a modern day example of King Solomon especially because they both tried to find sexual satisfaction through the volume of women you could slept with in a lifetime.

Ecclesiastes 2:8-10 The Message (MSG)

I piled up silver and gold,
        loot from kings and kingdoms.
I gathered a chorus of singers to entertain me with song,
    and—most exquisite of all pleasures—
    voluptuous maidens for my bed.

9-10 Oh, how I prospered! I left all my predecessors in Jerusalem far behind, left them behind in the dust. What’s more, I kept a clear head through it all. Everything I wanted I took—I never said no to myself. I gave in to every impulse, held back nothing. I sucked the marrow of pleasure out of every task—my reward to myself for a hard day’s work!

1 Kings 11:1-3 English Standard Version (ESV)

11 Now King Solomon loved many foreign women, along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women, from the nations concerning which the Lord had said to the people of Israel, “You shall not enter into marriage with them, neither shall they with you, for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods.” Solomon clung to these in love.He had 700 wives, who were princesses, and 300 concubines. And his wives turned away his heart.

Francis Schaeffer observed concerning Solomon, “You can not know woman by knowing 1000 women.”

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Francis August Schaeffer (January 30, 1912 – May 15, 1984[1])

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building of king solomon’s temple

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The Judgment of Solomon, 1617 by Peter Paul Rubens(1577–1640)

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Steel mezzotint engraving by John Sartain
of the 1863 painting by Christian Schussele

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Adrian Pierce Rogers (September 12, 1931 – November 15, 2005)

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Larry Joe Speaks  (August 20, 1947 to April 7, 2017)

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On April 16, 2017 is the day we celebrate Easter which is about Christ’s resurrection from the dead!!!

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Hugh Hefner and Barbi Benton at the Playboy Mansion in LA

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Will Smith, Hugh-Hefner, Karyn Parsons and Alfonso Ribeiro at the Playboy Mansion

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__Hugh Hefner, Lawrence Fishburne and Dennis Hopper in 2005 at the Playboy Mansion

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__April 16, 2017Hugh HefnerPlayboy Mansion16236 Charing Cross RoadLos Angeles, CA 90024Dear Hugh,

Today is Easter and I wanted to talk to you about that especially at the end of this letter. I hope you got a chance to go to church today. What is Easter about anyway? I can assure you one thing and that it would not have been necessary for Christ to die and be raised again if we could simply EARN our way to heaven. Ironically, I wrote you today about your LABOR (your life’s work).Hugh, you built an empire on the Playboy Magazine and then you attempted to make your PLAYBOY MANSION WEST a showplace for  everything you stood for. In  fact, after touring it Peter O’Toole said, “This is the way God would have done it if he had the money.” I read Steven Watts’ book “MR PLAYBOY: Hugh Hefner and the American Dream” and on page 274 it asserts:Surrounding the mansion were six acres of land with a greenhouse, game-house, guesthouse, sweeping lawns in front and back, and the largest stand of redwoods in Southern California. Almost immediately, however, Hefner decided to extensively renovate the grounds to create a personal fantasy setting.Anthony Haden-Guest in an article for ROLLING STONE MAGAZINE in 1973 noted:“…a mullioned slab of Old Englishry, a gray gleam of ersatz granite in the Southern California sunlight. To the back the image dissolves, re-forms. Sexy vicarage metamorphoses to miniature Versailles.”I have personally visited Versailles in France and I can see from these pictures that Anthony Haden-Guest is right.3000 years ago Solomon reached the same conclusion in the Book of Ecclesiastes concerning his LABOR:I have seen everything that is done UNDER THE SUN, and behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind. (Ecclesiastes 2:14).Therefore, it just seems proper since many times in the past you have been  called a modern day Solomon to  compare you to King Solomon and look at what both you and Solomon have accomplished in the area of LABOR (or his life’s work). For Solomon that basically came down to the labor he commissioned in his building campaigns through out his kingdom plus the effort he put forth building his own palace and the temple in Jerusalem.II Chronicles 9:15-28:

15 King Solomon made 200 large shields of beaten gold; 600 shekels[d] of beaten gold went into each shield. 16 And he made 300 shields of beaten gold; 300 shekels of gold went into each shield; and the king put them in the House of the Forest of Lebanon. 17 The king also made a great ivory throne and overlaid it with pure gold… 20 All King Solomon’s drinking vessels were of gold, and all the vessels of the House of the Forest of Lebanon were of pure gold. Silver was not considered as anything in the days of Solomon.21 For the king’s ships went to Tarshish with the servants of Hiram. Once every three years the ships of Tarshish used to come bringing gold, silver, ivory, apes, and peacocks.

22 Thus King Solomon excelled all the kings of the earth in riches and in wisdom23 And all the kings of the earth sought the presence of Solomon to hear his wisdom, which God had put into his mind. 24 Every one of them brought his present, articles of silver and of gold, garments, myrrh, spices, horses, and mules, so much year by year. 25 And Solomon had 4,000 stalls for horses and chariots, and 12,000 horsemen, whom he stationed in the chariot cities and with the king in Jerusalem.26 And he ruled over all the kings from the Euphrates to the land of the Philistines and to the border of Egypt. 27 And the king made silver as common in Jerusalem as stone, and he made cedar as plentiful as the sycamore of the Shephelah.28 And horses were imported for Solomon from Egypt and from all lands.

1 Kings 7:1-9 English Standard Version (ESV)

Solomon Builds His Palace

7Solomon was building his own house thirteen years, and he finished his entire house.

He built the House of the Forest of Lebanon….And it was covered with cedar above the chambers that were on the forty-five pillars, fifteen in each row. There were window frames in three rows, and window opposite window in three tiers. All the doorways and windows had square frames, and window was opposite window in three tiers….There was a porch in front with pillars, and a canopy in front of them.

And he made the Hall of the Throne where he was to pronounce judgment, even the Hall of Judgment. It was finished with cedar from floor to rafters.

His own house where he was to dwell, in the other court back of the hall, was of like workmanship. Solomon also made a house like this hall for Pharaoh’s daughterwhom he had taken in marriage.

All these were made of costly stones, cut according to measure, sawed with saws, back and front, even from the foundation to the coping, and from the outside to the great court. 

Ecclesiastes 2:4-11 English Standard Version (ESV)

made great works. I built houses and planted vineyards for myself. made myself gardens and parks, and planted in them all kinds of fruit trees. made myself pools from which to water the forest of growing trees. I bought male and female slaves, and had slaves who were born in my house. I had also great possessions of herds and flocks, more than any who had been before me in Jerusalem. I also gathered for myself silver and gold and the treasure of kings and provinces. I got singers, both men and women, and many concubines,[a] the delight of the sons of man.

So I became great and surpassed all who were before me in Jerusalem. Also my wisdom remained with me.10 And whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I kept my heart from no pleasure, for my heart found pleasure in all my toil, and this was my reward for all my toil.11 Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun.

I have read a lot about your life and your life is the closest I can think of to the universal man that Francis Schaeffer talks about in the past. Schaeffer’s two examples are Leonardo da Vinci and Solomon. 

Below are the comments of Francis Schaeffer on Solomon and the Book of Ecclesiastes:

Leonardo da Vinci and Solomon both were universal men searching for the meaning in life. Solomon was searching for a meaning in the midst of the details of life. His struggle was to find the meaning of life. Not just plans in life. Anybody can find plans in life. A child can fill up his time with plans of building tomorrow’s sand castle when today’s has been washed away. There is  a difference between finding plans in life and purpose in life. Humanism since the Renaissance and onward has never found it and it has never found it. Modern man has not found it and it has always got worse and darker in a very real way.

We have here the declaration of Solomon’s universality:

1 Kings 4:30-34

English Standard Version (ESV)

30 so that Solomon’s wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all the people of the east and all the wisdom of Egypt. 31 For he was wiser than all other men…and his fame was in all the surrounding nations. 32 He also spoke 3,000 proverbs, and his songs were 1,005. 33 He spoke of trees, from the cedar that is in Lebanon to the hyssop that grows out of the wall. He spoke also of beasts, and of birds, and of reptiles, and of fish. 34 And people of all nations came to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and from all the kings of the earth, who had heard of his wisdom.

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Here is the universal man and his genius. Solomon is the universal man with a empire at his disposal. Solomon had it all.

Ecclesiastes 1:3

English Standard Version (ESV)

What does man gain by all the toil
    at which he toils under the sun?

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.

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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.” 

Many have tried sexual exploits just like Solomon did, and many have thrown their efforts into  business too.Sadly Solomon also found the pursuit of great works in his labor just as empty. In Ecclesiastes 2:11 he asserted, “THEN I CONSIDERED ALL THAT MY HANDS HAD DONE AND THE TOLL I HAD EXPENDED IN DOING IT, AND BEHOLD, ALL WAS VANITY AND A STRIVING AFTER WIND, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun.”

HUGH, OF ALL PEOPLE YOU PROBABLY THINK YOU HAVE COME UP WITH SOMETHING TRULY NEW UNDER THE SUN!!!!!!

Many like you have claimed that they have pioneered something new.   But Solomon noted in Ecclesiastes 1:9, “What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.”

Holman Old Testament Commentary Volume 14, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon byDaniel Akin and David Moore:

Solomon now moves to the second way he demonstrated that life apart from God has no meaning–that there is nothing new under the sun. At first glance these words seem naive. Saying that there is nothing new seems like an overstatement. Today we have many things like computers and cars that the ancients never had. So how can Solomon make the claim that there is nothing new under the sun?

Solomon’s point is to direct our attention to the fact that things like power, status, wealth, and pleasure are the same things that people have always pursued in search of the “good life.” The “packaging” of these things is certainly different today–cars instead of chariots–but the quest is basically the same. There is no new pursuit that can give meaning and purpose to our lives apart from God.

After the 1972 Super Bowl Dewayne Thomas the star of the game was asked, “What does it feel like to win the ultimate game?” Thomas declared, “If it’s the ultimate game, why is it being played again next year?”His response captures the spirit of this passage.

Many people through history have reminded me of  Solomon because they are looking for  lasting meaning in their life and they are looking in the same  6 areas that King Solomon did in what I call the 6 big L words. He looked into  learning (1:16-18), laughter, ladies,luxuries,  and liquor (2:1-3, 8, 10, 11)and labor (2:4-6, 18-20).

Then in last few words in the Book of Ecclesiastes he looks above the sun and brings God back into the picture: “The conclusion, when all has been heard, is:Fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.”

Photo of Larry Joe Speaks

I started writing this series of 7 letters to you concerning Solomon and the meaning of life after the death of my good friend Larry Speaks. During the last 20 years of his life Larry would hand out CD’s of Adrian Rogers’ message WHO IS JESUS? and I wanted to share one of the points that is made in that sermon that particularly applies today since it is EASTER:

Simon Peter gave THREE LINES OF EVIDENCE, three witnesses; and we use these same three witnesses when we share Jesus today.  Let’s look at Acts chapter 10:

39 And we are witnesses of all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree, 40 but God raised him on the third day and made him to appear, 41 not to all the people but to us who had been chosen by God as witnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 And he commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead. 43 To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

I  THE PERSONAL WITNESS OF THE SAINTS (Acts 10:39)

  1. The apostles were a diverse group, yet they were united in their witness.  Among them:
    1. John was young, observant and sensitive.
    2. Peter was a rough, hard-working fisherman.
    3. Simon the Zealot was a political activist.
    4. Nathaniel and Thomas both tended to be skeptical and inquiring.
    5. Matthew was a hardened, political businessman.
    6. Andrew was gentle and compassionate.
    7. Philip was a calculating thinker.
    8. James was a straight shooter.
  2. They were eyewitnesses of the virtuous life of Jesus.
    1. Acts 10:34 & 38
    2. Matthew 17:1-5
  3. They were eyewitnesses of His vicarious death.
    1. Acts 10:39
    2. Deuteronomy 21:23
  4. They were eyewitnesses of His victorious resurrection.
    1. Acts 10:40-41

II THE PROPHETIC WITNESS OF THE SCRIPTURES  (Acts 10:43) (We looked at this in a previous letter.)

III THE PERSUASIVE WITNESS OF THE SPIRIT  (Acts 10:44)

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Today is Easter and it is a day that Christ died NOT for his own sins because he was sinless,  but for ours (Romans 10:9) so we could receive the free gift of grace (Ephesians 2:8). Through your LABOR you can NOT earn salvation.

Romans 10:8-13 English Standard Version (ESV)

But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. 11 For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.”12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. 13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

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.

Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

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

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Featured artist is Katrin Sigurdardóttir

Katrín Sigurdardóttir was born in 1967 in Reykjavik and lives and works in New York. With a background in filmmaking and painting, the artist now works in sculpture and installation, creating works that challenge ideas of space, memory, and perception.

Having produced miniature replicas of buildings such as her childhood home and elementary school, as well as models of real and imagined Icelandic topographies, Sigurdardóttir has long considered place as a construction of the mind. Her conceptual installations often distort scale in order to challenge perceptions of time and distance. In addition to employing traditional sculptural techniques, Sigurdardóttir also works with processes such as cartography and architectural model making

Related posts:

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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE PART 142 Marvin Minsky Part G (Featured artist is Red Grooms)

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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 101 BEATLES,(MANY CHRISTIANS ATTACKED THE BEATLES WHILE FRANCIS SCHAEFFER STUDIED THEIR MUSIC! Part B) Artist featured today is Cartoonist Gahan Wilson

March 3, 2016 – 12:21 am

(I just learned of his death this week!) HE WILL BE MISSED Sir Jonathan Miller ( July 21,1934 – November 27, 2019)

It is 11:35 pm on July 20th and I am in the hospital thinking about an upcoming surgery and I have just learned of the passing of Jonathan Miller. Below is a letter I wrote to him in the past:

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Jonathan Miller

For other people named Jonathan Miller, see Jonathan Miller (disambiguation).

Sir Jonathan Wolfe Miller CBE (21 July 1934 – 27 November 2019) was an English theatre and opera director, actor, author, television presenter, humourist and medical doctor. After training in medicine and specialising in neurology in the late 1950s, he came to prominence in the early 1960s in the comedy revue Beyond the Fringe with Peter CookDudley Moore and Alan Bennett.

Sir
Jonathan Miller
CBE
Appearing on TV discussion After Dark in 1988
BornJonathan Wolfe Miller
21 July 1934
St John’s Wood, London, England
Died27 November 2019(aged 85)
Alma materSt John’s College, Cambridge (MB BChir, 1959)
OccupationHumoristmedical doctortheatre and opera directoractortelevision presenterauthor
Spouse(s)Rachel Collet (m. 1956-2019; his death)
Children3
Parent(s)Betty Miller (née Spiro)
Emanuel Miller

Miller began directing operas in the 1970s. His 1982 production of a “Mafia“-styled Rigoletto was set in 1950s Little Italy, Manhattan. In its early days, he was an associate director at the National Theatre. He later ran the Old Vic Theatre. As a writer and presenter of more than a dozen BBC documentaries, Miller became a television personality and public intellectual in Britain and the United States.

Life and careerEdit

Early lifeEdit

Miller grew up in St John’s Wood, London, in a well-connected Jewish family. His father Emanuel (1892–1970), who was of Lithuanian descent and suffered from severe rheumatoid arthritis, was a military psychiatrist and subsequently a paediatric psychiatrist at Harley House. His mother, Betty Miller(née Spiro), was a novelist and biographer who was originally from County Cork, Ireland. Miller’s older sister Sarah (died 2006) worked in television for many years and retained an involvement with Judaism that Miller, as an atheist, always eschewed. 

Miller was educated at Taunton School[1] and St Paul’s School, London[2] where he developed an early (and ultimately lifelong) interest in the biological sciences. While at St Paul’s School at the age of 12, Miller met and became close friends with Oliver Sacks and Oliver’s best friend Eric Korn, friendships which remained crucial throughout the rest of their lives. In 1953, before leaving secondary school, he performed comedy several times on the BBC radio program Under Twenty Parade.[3] Miller studied natural sciences and medicine at St John’s College, Cambridge (MB BChir, 1959), where he was a member of the Cambridge Apostles before going on to train at University College Hospital in London.[citation needed]

While studying medicine, Miller was involved in the Cambridge Footlights, appearing in the revues Out of the Blue (1954) and Between the Lines (1955). Good reviews for these shows, and for Miller’s performances in particular, led to him performing on a number of radio and television shows while continuing his studies; these included appearances on Saturday Night on the LightTonight and Sunday Night at the London Palladium. He qualified as a medical doctor in 1959 and then worked as a hospital house officer for two years, including at the Central Middlesex Hospital as house physician for gastroenterologist Francis Avery Jones.

1960s: Beyond the FringeEdit

Miller (far right) in Beyond the Fringeon Broadway, with (from left) Dudley MooreAlan Bennett and Peter Cook.

Miller helped to write and produce the musical revueBeyond the Fringe, which premiered at the Edinburgh Festival in August 1960. This launched, in addition to his own, the careers of Alan BennettPeter Cook and Dudley Moore. Miller quit the show shortly after its move from London to Broadway in 1962, and took over as editor and presenter of the BBC‘s arts programme Monitor in 1965. The Monitorappointment arose because Miller had approached Huw Wheldon about taking up a place on the BBC’s director training course. Wheldon assured him that he would “pick it up as he went along”.[citation needed]

Miller’s first experience of directing a stage-play was for John Osborne, whose Under Plain Cover he directed in 1962.[4] In 1964, he directed the play The Old Glory by the American poet Robert Lowell in New York City. It was the first play produced at the American Place Theatre and starred Frank LangellaRoscoe Lee Brown, and Lester Rawlins. The play won five Obie Awards in 1965 including an award for “Best American Play” as well as awards for Langella, Brown and Rawlins.[5][6][7][8]

He wrote, produced, and directed an adaptation for television of Alice in Wonderland (1966) for the BBC. He followed this with Whistle and I’ll Come to You(1968) starring Michael Hordern, a television adaptation of M. R. James‘s 1904 ghost story “Oh, Whistle, and I’ll Come to You, My Lad”. He produced a National Theatre Company production of The Merchant of Venice starring Sir Laurence Olivier. He later resigned as associate director.

1970s: Medical history and operaEdit

Miller held a research fellowship in the history of medicine at University College London from 1970 to 1973. In 1974, he also started directing and producing operas for Kent Opera and Glyndebourne, followed by a new production of The Marriage of Figaro for English National Opera in 1978. Miller’s other turns as an opera director included productions of Rigoletto (in 1975 and 1982) and the operetta The Mikado (in 1987).

Miller drew upon his own experiences as a physician as writer and presenter of the BBC television series The Body in Question (1978),[9] which caused some controversy for showing the dissection of a cadaver. For a time, he was a vice-president of the Campaign for Homosexual Equality.[10]

1980s: Shakespeare and neuropsychologyEdit

In 1980, Miller was persuaded to join the troubled BBC Television Shakespeare project (1978–85). He became producer (1980–82) and directed six of the plays himself, beginning with a well received Taming of the Shrew starring John Cleese. In the early 1980s, Miller was a popular and frequent guest on PBS‘ Dick Cavett Show.

Miller wrote and presented the BBC television series, and accompanying book, States of Mind in 1983 and the same year directed Roger Daltrey as Macheath, the outlaw hero of the BBC’s production of John Gay‘s 1728 ballad operaThe Beggar’s Opera. He also became chair of Edinburgh Festival Fringeboard of directors.[citation needed] In 1984, he studied neuropsychology with Dr. Sandra Witelson at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, before becoming a neuropsychology research fellow at the University of Sussex the following year.

1990sEdit

In 1990, Miller wrote and presented a joint BBC/Canadian production entitled, Born Talking: A Personal Inquiry into Language. The four-part series looked into the acquisition of language, and complexities surrounding language production, with special focus on sign language used by deaf people. This interest was contemporaneous with his friend Oliver Sacks’ immersion in, and writing/publishing a book about Deaf Culture and deaf people entitled Seeing Voices. Miller then wrote and presented the television series Madness (1991) and Jonathan Miller on Reflection (1998). The five-part Madness series ran on PBS in 1991. It featured a brief history of madness and interviews with psychiatric researchers, clinical psychiatrists, and patients in therapy sessions. In 1992, Opera Omaha staged the United States premiere of the Gioachino Rossini‘s 1819 opera Ermione, directed by Miller.

2000s: Atheism and return to directingEdit

In 2004, Miller wrote and presented a television series on atheism entitled Atheism: A Rough History of Disbelief (more commonly referred to as Jonathan Miller’s Brief History of Disbelief) for BBC Four, exploring the roots of his own atheism and investigating the history of atheism in the world. Individual conversations, debates and discussions for the series that could not be included due to time constraints were aired in a six-part series entitled The Atheism Tapes. He also appeared on a BBC Two programme in February 2004, called What the World Thinks of God appearing from New York. The original three-part series aired on public television in the United States in 2007.[11]

In 2007, Miller directed The Cherry Orchard at The Crucible, Sheffield, his first work on the British stage for 10 years. He also directed Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo in Manchester and Bristol, and Der Rosenkavalier in Tokyo and gave talks throughout Britain during 2007 called An Audience with Jonathan Miller in which he spoke about his life for an hour and then fielded questions from the audience. He also curated an exhibition on camouflage at the Imperial War Museum. He appeared at the Royal Society of the Arts in London discussing humour (4 July 2007) and at the British Library on religion (3 September 2007).

In January 2009, after a break of 12 years, Miller returned to the English National Opera to direct his own production of La Bohème, notable for its 1930s setting. This same production ran at the Cincinnati Opera in July 2010, also directed by Miller.

2010sEdit

On 15 September 2010 Miller, along with 54 other public figures, signed an open letter published in The Guardian, stating their opposition to Pope Benedict XVI‘s state visit to the UK.[12] In April and May 2011, Miller directed Verdi’s La Traviata in Vancouver, Canada,[13] and in February and March 2012, Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte in Washington, DC.[14]

On 25 November 2015 the University of London awarded Miller an honorary degree in Literature.[15]

Personal lifeEdit

Miller married Rachel Collet in 1956. They had two sons and a daughter.[16] From 1961 to his death he lived on Gloucester Crescent in Camden Town, north London.[17] In November 2019 Miller died at the age of 85 following a long battle with Alzheimer’s.[18][19]

Parodies and representationsEdit

  • Stevie Smith, a friend of his mother Betty Miller, “rather disloyally” included a thinly-disguised and uncomplimentary version of the nine-year-old Miller, “precocious and brattish… constantly demanding attention”, in her short story ‘Beside the Seaside: A Holiday with Children’ (1949).[20]
  • Private Eye (which had a falling-out with Miller[21]) occasionally lampooned him under the name “Dr Jonathan”, depicting him as a Dr Johnson-like self-important man of learning.[22]
  • In the film for television Not Only But Always about the careers of Peter Cook and Dudley MooreJonathan Aris played Jonathan Miller as a young man; Aris reprised the role in the BBC Radio 4 play Good Evening (2008) by Roy Smiles.
  • Along with the other members of Beyond the Fringe, he is portrayed in the play Pete and Dud: Come Again by Chris Bartlett and Nick Awde.
  • In the BBC Radio Four series The Burkiss Wayedition 35, broadcast on 2 April 1979, he was impersonated by Nigel Rees in a fairly lengthy parody “The Blood Gushing All over the Screen in Question”, in which the history of nasty diseases was traced and the style of Miller’s presentation was sent up. It was written by Andrew Marshalland David Renwick
  • In the 1980s a puppet of Miller appeared frequently in Spitting Image sketches, most notably “Bernard Levin and Jonathan Miller Talk Bollocks”.
  • In series 4, episode 6 of Peep Show, Jez is explaining that a “Mellon-Off” involves a competition between men stood with melons on their erections, with the first man whos melon falls off declared the loser. Mark replies, “Right, and who won – Gore Vidal or Dr Jonathan Miller?”

XXXXXXXX

Harold J. Blackham (1903-2009)

Francis Schaeffer (1912-1984)

Jacques Monod (1910-1976), Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (1965)

CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS was written and directed by Woody Allen

Judah has his mistress eliminated through his brother’s underworld connections

Anjelica Huston

__

April 14, 2016

Jonathan Miller/ , London,

Dear Dr. Miller,

Wikipedia noted, “In 2004, Miller wrote and presented a TV series on atheism entitled Atheism: A Rough History of Disbelief (more commonly referred to as Jonathan Miller’s Brief History of Disbelief) for BBC Four. I watched that complete series and did not see any reference to Antony Flew which I thought was strange since he was such a prominent atheist for so long. Maybe it is because he left atheism behind. Actually I corresponded with him several times in the 1990’s and sent him both material from Francis Schaeffer and Adrian Rogers. Did you know that back in the 1960’s Francis Schaeffer mentioned you in one of his speeches: 

There are art forms expressing the pessimism. I like this quote because I think he will be one of the coming men in England…I like to quote Jonathan MillerJonathan Miller is going to be one of the important men in England and I am perfectly convinced of this at this time. In an interview as he shrugged his shoulders he said there are only two humanist painters left and they are Francis Bacon and Alberto Giacometti and he pointed out why, and these were pessimistic men. The interesting thing is what he was saying is that these two men wouldn’t have been considered humanist artists a certain number of years ago because they both were so black and so pessimistic. So we find Francis Bacon is in complete revolt, and I think he is one of the great forces too. His awful paintings in which humanity is just smashed and bloodied and humanity becomes a side of beef smashed into nothing except dust. Then on the other hand you have Alberto Giacometti who said before his death “I have searched all my life for the essence of man and I never found it and if I ever found it, it would be so horrible that no one could look at it.”

You must see that this something to do with these people’s lives too and as we go into it. You have this pessimistic concept, you have a shift in the other art forms. For example, if you are thinking of America’s 20th Century Novel, it began to move into the area of modern man in a very strong way. These novelists always made moral judgments. Maybe they were perverse moral judgments. Maybe they were judgments that we as Christians scream against, but they were moral judgments, but now we go to the opposite end with Capote’s COLD BLOOD and just his camera saying click, click , click, and there are no moral judgments. Man has died. It isn’t that man has the wrong judges but there are no judges. It has taken on the place where the human’s value is just gone.

I know that you are active in the  BRITISH HUMANIST ASSOCIATION so I thought this short letter may interest you.

H. J. Blackham was the founder of the BRITISH HUMANIST ASSOCIATION and he asserted:

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“( H. J. Blackham, et al., Objections to Humanism (Riverside, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1967).

On John Ankerberg’s show in 1986 there was a debate between  Dr. Paul Kurtz, and Dr. Norman Geisler and when part of the above quote was read, Dr. Kurtz responded:

I think you may be quoting Blackham out of context because I’ve heard Blackham speak, and read much of what he said, but Blackham has argued continuously that life is full of meaning;

With that in mind I wanted to ask you what  does the BRITISH HUMANIST ASSOCIATION have to offer in the area of meaning and values? 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.

According to the Humanist worldview Jacques Monod the universe is silent about values and therefore his good friend Woody Allen  demonstrated this very fact so well in his 1989 movie CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS. In other words, if we can’t get our values from the Bible then  the answer is MIGHT MAKES RIGHT!!!!

I CHALLENGE YOU TO TAKE 90 MINUTES AND WATCH THE MOVIE “CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS” AND THEN ANSWER THE QUESTION: “What reason is there that Judah should not have his mistress eliminated if there is no God and afterlife of judgment and rewards?”

King Solomon closed the Book of Ecclesiastes (Richard Dawkins’ favorite Book of the Bible) with these words, “The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with[d] every secret thing, whether good or evil.” With that in mind I have enclosed a short booklet called THIS WAS YOUR LIFE!

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

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

languages


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