Category Archives: Woody Allen

(In tribute to the memory of Steven Weinberg who was a great thinker I am reposting my 1st post on him) FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 32 Steven Weinberg and Woody Allen and “The Meaningless of All Things” (Feature on photographer Martin Karplus )

I enjoyed reading Steven Weinberg’s books and my first was THE FIRST THREE MINUTES and my favorite was TO EXPLAIN THE WORLD. What a great supporter of Israel too!

Nobel Prize winner Steven Weinberg, celebrated scientific mind, dies, 88

Steven Weinberg at the 2010 Texas Book Festival, Austin, Texas, United States. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Steven Weinberg at the 2010 Texas Book Festival, Austin, Texas, United States.
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Born to Jewish immigrants, Weinberg’s scientific accomplishments fueled his activism as a proud liberal and outspoken defender of Israel.

Nobel Prize-winning physicist and astronomer Prof. Steven Weinberg passed away Friday at the age of 88, according to a statement from the University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin).

The cause of death has not yet been determined, though according to the Washington Post, he had been hospitalized for some time.

Born in 1933 in New York City to Jewish immigrants, Weinberg would go on to have a landmark career in academia. His most famous work was a paper he published in 1967 that discussed the interaction between electromagnetism and the weak nuclear force – two of the universe’s four fundamental forces, which work as part of a unified electroweak force.

Simply titled “A Model of Leptons,” the paper was barely even three pages long, published in the academic journal Physical Review Letters. However, the impact it has has on the field of physics is nothing short of immense, being one of the single most cited works ever in the field of high-energy physics.
The equation-filled article discussed and theorized concepts and properties that had never been observed before, but which played key roles in the progression of the field. His predictions were supported in later years, including by the discovery of the Higgs boson particle in 2012 at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland.
This work later saw him awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1979 along with fellow scientists Sheldon Glashow and Abdus Salam.

Despite the complexity behind his work, however, Weinberg was also known for trying to make science more accessible. In his 1977 work The First Three Minutes: A Modern View Of The Origin Of The Universe, he walked readers through the first minutes of the existence of the universe – itself a very complex topic – in a way that was easy to understand, as noted by Live Science.

But Weinberg wasn’t just known for his scientific fame and accomplishments. Rather, he was also a noted activist, working as a spokesman for science. He had spoken to Congress, lectured on the history and philosophy of science and made waves for taking a stand against concealed carry guns in UT classrooms.
But Weinberg was also an outspoken advocate of the State of Israel. This was especially noted in his 1997 essay, “Zionism and Its Adversaries.”
He had also been an outspoken advocate against antisemitism, something he considered boycotting Israel to constitute.
Back in the early 2000s, Weinbeg had called off trips to universities in the UK due to UK boycotts against Israel. In a letter explaining his reason for withdrawing, the physicist said he perceived “a widespread anti-Israel and antisemitic current in British opinion.”
According to the UK daily The Guardian,Weinberg wrote that “I know that some will say that these boycotts are directed only against Israel, rather than generally against Jews.
“But given the history of the attacks on Israel and the oppressiveness and aggressiveness of other countries in the Middle East and elsewhere, boycotting Israel indicated a moral blindness for which it is hard to find any explanation other than antisemitism.”
Weinberg is survived by his wife, UT Austin Law Prof. Louise Weinberg, and their daughter, Elizabeth.


The Atheism Tapes – Steven Weinberg [2/6]

Published on Sep 25, 2012

Jonathan Miller in conversation with American physicist and Nobel laureate Steven Weinberg

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I have posted many times in the past about Steven Weinberg on my blog and I have always found his works very engaging. It is true that he is a secular humanist and is friends with many of the new atheists and many of the top scientists of today hold his same secular views. 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), and Michael Martin (1932-).

Many times in the past these secular humanists have suggested books for me to read and I have made it my practice to take them up on that and read the books they suggest and then I send my reviews back to them to consider.

One trend I have noticed among modern scholars and that have become more and more pessimistic. (No where is this demonstrated better than in the beginning of the episode THE AGE OF NONREASON shown below.  Also Francis Schaeffer in his book WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE? points out that Steven Weinberg has discussed the issue of the meaningless and pointlessness of life.

How Should We then Live Episode 7 small (Age of Nonreason)

#02 How Should We Then Live? (Promo Clip) Dr. Francis Schaeffer

10 Worldview and Truth

Two Minute Warning: How Then Should We Live?: Francis Schaeffer at 100

Francis Schaeffer “BASIS FOR HUMAN DIGNITY” Whatever…HTTHR

Many modern artists are left in this point of desperation that Schaeffer points out and it reminds me of the despair that Solomon speaks of in Ecclesiastes.  Christian scholar Ravi Zacharias has noted, “The key to understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes is the term ‘under the sun.’ What that literally means is you lock God out of a closed system, and you are left with only this world of time plus chance plus matter.” THIS IS EXACT POINT SCHAEFFER SAYS SECULAR ARTISTS ARE PAINTING FROM TODAY BECAUSE THEY BELIEVED ARE A RESULT OF MINDLESS CHANCE.

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Francis Schaeffer noted:

The Meaningless of All Things

An  overwhelming number of modern thinkers agree that seeing the universe and man from a humanist base leads to meaninglessness, both for the universe and for man – not just mankind in general but for each of us as individuals. Professor Steven Weinberg of Harvard University and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory has written a book entitled The First Three Minutes: A Modern View of the Origin of the Universe (1976). Here he explains, as clearly as probably anyone has ever done, the modern materialistic view of the universe and its origin.
But when his explanation is finished and he is looking down at the earth from an airplane, as Weinberg writes, “It is very hard to realize that this all is just a tiny part of an overwhelmingly hostile universe … [which] has evolved from an unspeakably unfamiliar early condition, and faces a future extinction of endless cold or intolerable heat. The more the universe seems comprehensible, the more it also seems pointless.”86
When Weinberg says that the universe seems more “comprehensible,” he is, of course, referring to our greater understanding of the physical universe through the advance of science. But it is an understanding, notice, within, a materialistic framework, which considers the universe solely in terms of physics and chemistry – simply machinery. Here lies the irony. It is comprehension of a sort, but it is like giving a blind person sight, only to remove anything seeable. As we heard Woody Allen saying earlier, such a view of reality is “absolutely stupefying in its terror, and it renders anyone’s accomplishments meaningless.”
So, to the person who wants to be left alone without explanations for the big questions, we must say very gently, “Look at what you are left alone with.” This is not merely rhetoric. As the decades of this century have slipped by, more and more have said the same thing as Steven Weinberg and Woody Allen. It has become an obvious thing to say. The tremendous optimism of the nineteenth century, which stemmed from the Enlightenment of the eighteenth century, has gradually ebbed away.
If everything “faces a future extinction of endless cold or intolerable heat,” all things are meaningless. This is the first problem, the first form of pollution. The second is just as bad.

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Rice Broocks in his book GOD’S NOT DEAD quoted the American philosopher and theologian William Lane Craig:

My claim is that if there is no God then meaning, value, and purpose are ultimately human illusions. They’re just in our heads. If atheism is true, then life is really objectively meaningless, valueless, and purposeless, despite our subjective beliefs to the contrary,” (William Lane Craig, ON GUARD: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision [Colorodo Springs: David C. Cook, 2010], 30).

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Francis Schaeffer below pictured on cover of World Magazine:

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

Back in September of 2014 I had a chance to correspond with Nobel Prize Harold Kroto and he  used this quote from his friend Steven Weinberg,“With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.” I DO AGREE WITH A PORTION OF THAT ASSERTION BUT IT SEEMS THAT MUSLIMS KILL A LOT MORE PEOPLE TODAY THAN CHRISTIANS. (SAM HARRIS EVEN POINTED THAT OUT RECENTLY ON BILL MAHER’S SHOW.)Then he gave me a link that gave more quotes from Steven Weinberg and here are some of those quotes and my initial reaction to some of them (From Nobel Lectures, Physics 1971-1980, Editor Stig Lundqvist, World Scientific Publishing Co., Singapore, 1992):

“One of the great achievements of science has been, if not to make it impossible for intelligent people to be religious, then at least to make it possible for them not to be religious. We should not retreat from this accomplishment.”  Steven Weinberg (Many of Weinberg and Kroto’s scientific heroes of the past were Bible believing Christians such as Isaac Newton and I pointed this out to Ernst Mayr during our correspondence in 1995.I have also pointed out that evolutionists must hope  like George Wald that   “Time is the Hero” because the law of bio-genesis seems to  disprove evolution altogether.)

“I don’t need to argue here that the evil in the world proves that the universe is not designed, but only that there are no signs of benevolence that might have shown the hand of a designer.” Steven Weinberg  (There are great problems for the agnostic on this subject too and my discussion with Lester Mondale in his home in Missouri in 1996 clearly shows the secular humanist’s glaring weakness.)

“I have a friend — or had a friend, now dead — Abdus Salam, a very devout Muslim, who was trying to bring science into the universities in the Gulf states and he told me that he had a terrible time because, although they were very receptive to technology, they felt that science would be a corrosive to religious belief, and they were worried about it… and damn it, I think they were right. It is corrosive of religious belief, and it’s a good thing too.”
Steven Weinberg
I would point out that many scientists of the past were Christians and many of them opposed Darwinism (Agassiz, Pasteur, Lord Kelvin, Maxwell, Dawson, Virchow, Fabre, Fleming, etc). The list of Bible believing scientists boogle the mind and they believed the inspiration of the scriptures and put their faith in Christ for their salvation. Here is just a short list of some of them, Newton, Pasteur, Linnaeus, Faraday, Pascal, Lord Kelvin, Maxwell, Kepler, etc. 

“If there is no point in the universe that we discover by the methods of science, there is a point that we can give the universe by the way we live, by loving each other, by discovering things about nature, by creating works of art. And that—in a way, although we are not the stars in a cosmic drama, if the only drama we’re starring in is one that we are making up as we go along, it is not entirely ignoble that faced with this unloving, impersonal universe we make a little island of warmth and love and science and art for ourselves. That’s not an entirely despicable role for us to play.” Steven Weinberg (I was privileged to have the opportunity to correspond with Carl Sagan during the last year of his life and in that correspondence I answered back his letter with the assertion that mankind was put on this earth by God with a special purpose. We are precious, but even though Jodie Foster makes that claim in the movie CONTACT which Sagan wrote, the secular worldview does not in anywhere support that conclusion.)

One of the great achievements of science has been, if not to make it impossible for intelligent people to be religious, then at least to make it possible for them not to be religious. We should not retreat from this accomplishment. Steven Weinberg (Although Charles Darwin did lead science that direction,  Dr. H. Fritz Schaefer confronted the assertion that a scientist cannot believe in God in an excellent article. )

https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/86758.Steven_Weinberg (This link led me to the following quotes.)

“All logical arguments can be defeated by the simple refusal to reason logically”
Steven Weinberg, Dreams of a Final Theory
“The effort to understand the universe is one of the very few things that lifts human life a little above the level of farce, and gives it some of the grace of tragedy. ”
Steven Weinberg
“It does not matter whether you win or lose, what matters is whether I win or lose!”
Steven Weinberg

The Nobel Prize in Physics 1979
Sheldon Glashow, Abdus Salam, Steven Weinberg

Steven Weinberg – Biographical

I was born in 1933 in New York City to Frederick and Eva Weinberg. My early inclination toward science received encouragement from my father, and by the time I was 15 or 16 my interests had focused on theoretical physics.

I received my undergraduate degree from Cornell in 1954, and then went for a year of graduate study to the Institute for Theoretical Physics in Copenhagen (now the Niels Bohr Institute). There, with the help of David Frisch and Gunnar Källén. I began to do research in physics. I then returned to the U.S. to complete my graduate studies at Princeton. My Ph.D thesis, with Sam Treiman as adviser, was on the application of renormalization theory to the effects of strong interactions in weak interaction processes.

After receiving my Ph.D. in 1957, I worked at Columbia and then from 1959 to 1966 at Berkeley. My research during this period was on a wide variety of topics – high energy behavior of Feynman graphs, second-class weak interaction currents, broken symmetries, scattering theory, muon physics, etc. – topics chosen in many cases because I was trying to teach myself some area of physics. My active interest in astrophysics dates from 1961-62; I wrote some papers on the cosmic population of neutrinos and then began to write a book, Gravitation and Cosmology, which was eventually completed in 1971. Late in 1965 I began my work on current algebra and the application to the strong interactions of the idea of spontaneous symmetry breaking.

From 1966 to 1969, on leave from Berkeley, I was Loeb Lecturer at Harvard and then visiting professor at M.I.T. In 1969 I accepted a professorship in the Physics Department at M.I.T., then chaired by Viki Weisskopf. It was while I was a visitor to M.I.T. in 1967 that my work on broken symmetries, current algebra, and renormalization theory turned in the direction of the unification of weak and electromagnetic interactions. In 1973, when Julian Schwinger left Harvard, I was offered and accepted his chair there as Higgins Professor of Physics, together with an appointment as Senior Scientist at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory.

My work during the 1970’s has been mainly concerned with the implications of the unified theory of weak and electromagnetic interactions, with the development of the related theory of strong interactions known as quantum chromodynamics, and with steps toward the unification of all interactions.

In 1982 I moved to the physics and astronomy departments of the University of Texas at Austin, as Josey Regental Professor of Science. I met my wife Louise when we were undergraduates at Cornell, and we were married in 1954. She is now a professor of law. Our daughter Elizabeth was born in Berkeley in 1963.

Francis Schaeffer has written extensively on art and culture spanning the last 2000years and here are some posts I have done on this subject before : Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 10 “Final Choices” episode 9 “The Age of Personal Peace and Affluence”episode 8 “The Age of Fragmentation”episode 7 “The Age of Non-Reason” episode 6 “The Scientific Age” , episode 5 “The Revolutionary Age” episode 4 “The Reformation” episode 3 “The Renaissance”episode 2 “The Middle Ages,”, and  episode 1 “The Roman Age,” . My favorite episodes are number 7 and 8 since they deal with modern art and culture primarily.(Joe Carter rightly noted,Schaefferwho always claimed to be an evangelist and not aphilosopher—was often criticized for the way his work oversimplifiedintellectual history and philosophy.” To those critics I say take a chill pillbecause Schaeffer was introducing millions into the fields of art andculture!!!! !!! More people need to read his works and blog about thembecause they show how people’s worldviews affect their lives!

J.I.PACKER WROTE OF SCHAEFFER, “His communicative style was not that of acautious academic who labors for exhaustive coverage and dispassionate objectivity. It was rather that of an impassioned thinker who paints his vision of eternal truth in bold strokes and stark contrasts.Yet it is a fact that MANY YOUNG THINKERS AND ARTISTS…HAVE FOUND SCHAEFFER’S ANALYSES A LIFELINE TO SANITY WITHOUT WHICH THEY COULD NOT HAVE GONE ON LIVING.”

Francis Schaeffer’s works  are the basis for a large portion of my blog posts andthey have stood the test of time. In fact, many people would say that many of the things he wrote in the 1960’s  were right on  in the sense he saw where ourwestern society was heading and he knew that abortion, infanticide and youthenthansia were  moral boundaries we would be crossing  in the coming decadesbecause of humanism and these are the discussions we are having now!)

There is evidence that points to the fact that the Bible is historically true asSchaeffer pointed out in episode 5 of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE? There is a basis then for faith in Christ alone for our eternal hope. This linkshows how to do that.

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

Steven Weinberg here in this video below does come down more critical on the violence brought on by Muslim radicals versus the political correct view that Islam is an religion of peace while Christianity has all the problems. At the end of this video he says “I don’t like God.”

Steven Weinberg on Atheism

Uploaded on Jul 31, 2011

According to atheist physicist Steven Weinburg, most scientists don’t think much about religion — they don’t think it’s worth thinking about. But Steven Weinburg does think about it and in a 2003 interview with BBC’s Jonathan Miller he gave his view on a number of things. Why are people religious, is the U.S. too religious, do Americans equate religion with patriotism, is truth important in religion, does our moral sense come from religion, is religion a good thing and does religion conflict with science? This video is edited from the original 29 minutes and does not have the annoying text over.

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APOLOGETICS: ETHICS

The Practical Impossibility of Atheism

By William Lane Craig
Guest Contributor

0 Comment(s)

CBN.com – Excerpted with permission from On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision

About the only solution the atheist can offer is that we face the absurdity of life and live bravely. The British philosopher Bertrand Russell, for example, believed that we have no choice but to build our lives upon “the firm foundation of unyielding despair.” Only by recognizing that the world really is a terrible place can we successfully come to terms with life. Camus said that we should honestly recognize life’s absurdity and then live in love for one another.

The fundamental problem with this solution, however, is that it’s impossible to live consistently and happily within the framework of such a worldview. If you live consistently, you will not be happy; if you live happily, it is only because you are not consistent.

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 that life was absurd without God, to see how difficult it is to live consistently and happily with an atheistic worldview.

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 totally inconsistent. It is inconsistent to say life is objectively absurd and then to say you may create meaning for your life. If life is really absurd, then you’re 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. Sartre’s program is actually an exercise in self-delusion. For the universe doesn’t really acquire a meaning just because I happen to give it one. This is easy to see: Suppose I give the universe one meaning, and you give it another. Who’s right? The answer, of course, is neither one. For the universe without God remains objectively meaningless, no matter how we happen to regard it. Sartre is really saying, “Let’s pretend the universe has meaning.” And this is just fooling yourself.

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.

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 view that there are no values is logically incompatible with affirming the values of love and brotherhood. 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.6

The point is that if there is no God, then objective right and wrong do not exist. As Dostoyevsky said, “All things are permitted.” But man cannot live this way. 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 several years ago as I watched 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 former 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. Josef 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 felt compelled to take 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 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 mass extermination is not merely an opinion or matter of personal taste of equal value with its opposite. 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.

Neither can the so-called New Atheists like Richard Dawkins. For although he says that there is no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference, he is an unabashed moralist. He vigorously condemns such actions as the harassment and abuse of homosexuals, religious indoctrination of children, the Incan practice of human sacrifice, and prizing cultural diversity over the interests of Amish children. He even goes so far as to offer his own amended Ten Commandments for guiding moral behavior, all the while marvelously oblivious to the contradiction with his ethical subjectivism.

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.

Finally, let’s look at the problem of purpose in life. The only way most people who deny purpose in life live happily is either by making up some purpose—which amounts to self-delusion, as we saw with Sartre—or by not carrying their view to its logical conclusions. The temptation to invest one’s own petty plans and projects with objective significance and thereby to find some purpose to one’s life is almost irresistible.

For example, the outspoken atheist and Nobel Prize–winning physicist Steven Weinberg, at the close of his much-acclaimed book The First Three Minutes, writes,

It is almost irresistible for humans to believe that we have some special relation to the universe, that human life is not just a more-or-less farcical outcome of a chain of accidents reaching back to the first three minutes, but that somehow we were built in from the beginning.… It is very hard to realize that this all is just a tiny part of an overwhelmingly hostile universe. It is even harder to realize that this present universe has evolved from an unspeakably unfamiliar early condition, and faces a future extinction of endless cold or intolerable heat. The more the universe seems comprehensible, the more it also seems pointless.

But if there is no solace in the fruits of our research, there is at least some consolation in the research itself. Men and women are not content to comfort themselves with tales of gods and giants, or to confine their thoughts to the daily affairs of life; they also build telescopes and satellites and accelerators, and sit at their desks for endless hours working out the meaning of the data they gather. The effort to understand the universe is one of the very few things that lifts human life a little above the level of farce, and gives it some of the grace of tragedy.

There’s something strange about Weinberg’s moving description of the human predicament: Tragedy is not a neutral term. It expresses an evaluation of a situation. Weinberg evidently sees a life devoted to scientific pursuits as truly meaningful, and therefore it’s tragic that such a noble pursuit should be extinguished. But why, given atheism, should the pursuit of science be any different from slouching about doing nothing? Since there is no objective purpose to human life, none of our pursuits has any objective significance, however important and dear they may seem to us subjectively. They’re no more significant than shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic.

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Woody Allen’s view of life

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What’s the Meaning of Life?

Jerry Solomon

The Questions Around Us

As I was driving to my office one day I heard a dramatic radio advertisement for a book. It began something like this: “Would you like to find meaning in life?” As I listened to the remainder of the ad I realized that the book’s author was focusing on New Age concepts of purpose and meaning. But the striking thing about what was said was that the advertisers obviously believed that they could get the attention of the radio audience by asking about meaning in life. Some may think it is advertising suicide to open an ad with such a question. Or perhaps the author and her publicists are on to something that “strikes a chord” with many people in our culture.

Questions of meaning and purpose are a part of the mental landscape as we enter a new millenium. Some contend this has not always been the case, but that such questions are an unprecedented legacy of the upheavals of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.{3} Others assert that such questions are a result of man’s rejection of God.{4}

Even though most of us don’t make such issues a part of our normal conversations, the questions tend to lurk around us. They can be heard in songs, movies, books, magazines, and many other media that permeate our lives. For example, Jackson Browne, an exceptionally reflective songwriter of the ’60s and ’70s, wrote these haunting lyrics in a song entitled For a Dancer:

Into a dancer you have grown
From a seed somebody else has thrown
Go ahead and throw
Some seeds of your own
And somewhere between the time you arrive
And the time you go
May lie a reason you were alive….{5}

Russell Banks, the author of Affliction and The Sweet Hereafter, both of which became Oscar-nominated films, has this to say about his work: “I’m not a morbid man. In my writing, I’m just trying to describe the world as straightforwardly as I can. I think most lives are desperate and painful, despite surface appearances. If you consider anyone’s life for long, you find it’s without meaning.”{6}

Woody Allen, the film writer, director, and actor, has consistently populated his scripts with characters who exchange dialogue concerning meaning and purpose. In Hannah and Her Sisters a character named Mickey says, “Do you realize what a thread we’re all hanging by? Can you understand how meaningless everything is? Everything. I gotta get some answers.”{7}

Even television ads have focused on meaning, although in a flippant manner. A few years ago you could watch Michael Jordan running across hills and valleys in order to find a guru. When Jordan finds him he asks, “What is the meaning of life?” The guru answers with a maxim that leads to the product that is the real focus of Jordan’s quest.

Even though such illustrations can be ridiculous, maybe they serve to lead us beyond the surface of our subject. We often get nervous when we are encouraged to delve into subject matter that might stretch us. When we get involved in conversations that go beyond the more mundane things of everyday life we may tend to get tense and defensive. Actually, this can be a good thing. The Christian shouldn’t fear such conversations. Indeed, I’m confident that if we go beyond the surface, we can find peace and hope.

Beyond the Surface
Listen to the sober words of a famous writer of the twentieth century:

There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide. Judging whether life is worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy…. I see many people die because they judge that life is not worth living. I see others paradoxically getting killed for the ideas or illusions that give them a reason for living (what is called a reason for living is an excellent reason for dying). I therefore conclude that the meaning of life is the most urgent of questions.{8}

These phrases indicate that Albert Camus, author of The Plague, The Stranger, and The Myth of Sisyphus, was not afraid to go beyond the surface. Camus was bold in exposing the thoughts many were having during his lifetime. In fact, his world view made it obligatory. He was struggling with questions of meaning in light of what some called the “death of God.” That is, if there is no God, can we find meaning? Many have concluded that the answer is a resounding “No!” If true, this means that one who believes there is no God is not living consistently with that belief.

William Lane Craig, one of the great Christian thinkers of our time, states that:

Man cannot live consistently and happily as though life were ultimately without meaning, value or purpose. If we try to live consistently within the atheistic world view, we shall find ourselves profoundly unhappy. If instead we manage to live happily, it is only by giving the lie to our world view.{9}

Francis Schaeffer agrees with Craig’s analysis, but makes even bolder assertions. He also maintains that the Christian can close the hopeless gap that is created in a person’s godless world view. Listen to what he wrote:

It is impossible for any non-Christian individual or group to be consistent to their system in logic or in practice. Thus, when you face twentieth-century man, whether he is brilliant or an ordinary man of the street, a man of the university or the docks, you are facing a man in tension; and it is this tension which works on your behalf as you speak to him.{10}

What happens when we go “beyond the surface” in order to find meaning? Can a Christian world view stand up to the challenge? I believe it can, but we must stop and think of whether we are willing to accept the challenge. David Henderson, a pastor and writer, gives us reason to pause and consider our response. He writes:

Our lives, like our Daytimers, are busy, busy, busy, full of things to do and places to go and people to see. Many of us, convinced that the opposite of an empty life is a full schedule, remain content to press on and ignore the deeper questions. Perhaps it is out of fear that we stuff our lives to the walls—fear that, were we to stop and ask the big questions, we would discover there are no satisfying answers after all.{11}

Let’s jettison any fear and continue our investigation. There are satisfying answers. It is not necessary to “stuff our lives to the walls” in order to escape questions of meaning and purpose. God has spoken to us. Let us begin to pursue His answers.

Eternity in Our Hearts

The book of Ecclesiastes contains numerous phrases that have entered our discourse. One of those phrases states that God “has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart. . .” (3:11). What a fascinating statement! Actually, the first part of the verse can be just as accurately translated “beautiful in its time.” Thus “a harmony of purpose and a beneficial supremacy of control pervade all issues of life to such an extent that they rightly challenge our admiration.”{12} The second part of the verse indicates that “man has a deep-seated ‘sense of eternity’, of purposes and destinies.”{13}But man can’t fathom the vastness of eternal things, even when he believes in the God of eternity. As a result, all people live with what some call a “God-shaped hole.” Stephen Evans believes this hole can be understood through “the desire for eternal life, the desire for eternal meaning, and the desire for eternal love:”{14}

The desire for eternal life is the most evident manifestation of the need for God. Deep in our hearts we feel death should not be, was not meant to be.

The second dimension of our craving for eternity is the desire for eternal meaning. We want lives that are eternally meaningful.

We crave eternity, and earthly loves resemble eternity enough to kindle our deepest love. Yet earthly loves are not eternal. Our sense that love is the clue to what it’s all about is right on target, but earthly love itself merely points us in the right direction.

What we want is an eternal love, a love that loves us unconditionally, accepts us as we are, while helping us to become all we can become.

In short, we want God, the God of Christian faith.{15}

We must trust God for what we cannot see and understand. Or, to put it another way, we continue to live knowing there is meaning, but we struggle to know exactly what it is at all times. We are striving for what the Bible refers to as our future glorification (Rom. 8:30). “There is something self-defeating about human desire, in that what is desired, when achieved, seems to leave the desire unsatisfied.”{16} For example, we attempt to find meaning while searching for what is beautiful. C.S. Lewis referred to this in a sermon entitled The Weight of Glory:

The books or the music in which we thought the beauty was located will betray us if we trust to them; it was not in them, it only came through them, and what came through them was longing. These things–the beauty, the memory of our own past–are good images of what we really desire; but if they are mistaken for the thing itself they turn into dumb idols, breaking the hearts of their worshippers. For they are not the thing itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have not visited.{17}

Lewis’ remarkable prose reminds us that meaning must be given to us. “Meaning is never intrinsic; it is always derivative. If my life itself is to have meaning (or a meaning), it thus must derive its meaning from some sort of purposive, intentional activity. It must be endowed with meaning.”{18} Thus we return to God, the giver of meaning.

Meaning: God’s Gift

Think of all the wonderful gifts that God has given you. No doubt you can come up with a lengthy record of God’s goodness. Does your list include meaning or purpose in life? Most people wouldn’t think of meaning as part of God’s goodness to us. But perhaps we should. This is because “only a being like God–a creator of all who could eventually, in the words of the New Testament, ‘work all things together for good’–only this sort of being could guarantee a completeness and permanency of meaning for human lives.”{19}So how did God accomplish this? The answer rests in His amazing love for us through His Son, Jesus Christ.

Consider the profound words of Carl F.H. Henry: “the eternal and self-revealed Logos, incarnate in Jesus Christ, is the foundation of all meaning.”{20} Bruce Lockerbie puts it like this: “The divine nature manifesting itself in the physical form of Jesus of Nazareth is, in fact, the integrating principle to which all life adheres, the focal point from which all being takes its meaning, the source of all coherence in the universe. Around him and him alone all else may be said to radiate. He is the Cosmic Center.”{21}

Picture a bicycle. When you ride one you are putting your weight on a multitude of spokes that radiate from a hub. All the spokes meet at the center and rotate around it. The bicycle moves based upon the center. Thus it is with Christ. He is the center around whom we move and find meaning. Our focus is on Him.

When the apostle Paul reflected on meaning and purpose in his life in Phillipians 3, he came to this conclusion (emphases added):

7…whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ.

8 More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish in order that I may gain Christ,

9 and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith,

10 that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death;

11 in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

Did you notice how Christ was central to what Paul had to say about both his past and present? And did you notice that he used phrases such as “knowing Christ,” or “that I may gain Christ?” Such statements appear to be crucial to Paul’s sense of meaning and purpose. Paul wants “to know” Christ intimately, which means he wants to know by experience. “Paul wants to come to know the Lord Jesus in that fulness of experimental knowledge which is only wrought by being like Him.”{22}

Personally, Paul’s thoughts are important words of encouragement in my life. God through Christ gives meaning and purpose to me. And until I am glorified, I will strive to know Him and be like Him. Praise God for Jesus Christ, His gift of meaning!
Notes
1. James Dobson, Focus on the Family Newsletter (May 1996).
2. Ibid.
3. Gerhard Sauter, The Question of Meaning, trans. and ed. Geoffrey W. Bromiley (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1982).
4. Charles R. Swindoll, Living on the Ragged Edge (Waco, TX: Word, 1985).
5. Jackson Browne, “For a Dancer,” in James F. Harris, Philosophy at 33 1/3 rpm: Themes of Classic Rock Music (Chicago: Open Court, 1993), 68.
6. Russell Banks, in Jerome Weeks, “Continental Divide,” The Dallas Morning News (2 March 1999), 2C.
7. Woody Allen, Hannah and Her Sisters, in Thomas V. Morris, Making Sense of It All: Pascal and the Meaning of Life (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1992), 54.
8. Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus, trans. Justin O’Brien (New York: Vintage, 1960), 3-4.
9. William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1994), 71.
10. Francis A. Schaeffer, The God Who Is There (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1968), 122.
11. David W. Henderson, Culture Shift: Communicating God’s Truth to Our Changing World (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1998), 186.
12. H.C. Leupold, Exposition of Ecclesiastes (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1952), 90.
13. Ibid., 91.
14. C. Stephen Evans, Why Believe? Reason and Mystery as Pointers to God, revised ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1996), 58-60.
15. Ibid.
16. Alistair McGrath, A Cloud of Witnesses (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1990), 127.
17. C.S. Lewis, in “The Weight of Glory,” quoted in Alistair McGrath, A Cloud of Witnesses, 127.
18. Morris, 57.
19. Ibid., 62.
20. Carl F.H. Henry, God Revelation and Authority, Vol. III (Waco, TX: Word, 1979), 195.
21. D. Bruce Lockerbie, The Cosmic Center: The Supremacy of Christ in a Secular Wasteland (Portland, OR: Multnomah, 1986),127-128.
22. Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies From the Greek New Testament, Volume Two (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1973), 93.
© 1999 Probe Ministries International

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Featured Photographer is Martin Karplus

Martin Karplus on his passions

Two passions are Photography and cooking in famous Paris restaurants.

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THURSDAY SEP 25 – FRIDAY NOV 28, 2014

Presented by the
Austrian Cultural Forum New York

>> OPEN DAILY, 10 AM – 6 PM. FREE ADMISSION.

Martin Karplus is a chemist, Professor emeritus at Harvard University, and Nobel laureate who has spent the past fifty years consumed by a passion for documenting humanity in thousands of photographs. Sourced from Europe, Asia, and the Americas, his photographs capture societies at pivotal moments in their cultural and economic development in rich Kodachrome color.

In 1953, the Austrian-born, American Karplus received his uncle’s Leica camera as a gift from his parents and headed to Oxford University on a fellowship. In the following years he would spend months exploring the globe, documenting what he describes a “vision of a world, much of which no longer exists”.

Images from the Netherlands, Denmark, Greece, Italy, France, Yugoslavia, and Germany present the closure of a bygone lifestyle as societies modernized and rebuilt in the wake of World War 2 and the dawning of the Cold War. Further travels throughout the 1950s took him to the Americas, where he photographed the exuberance of suburban Californian prosperity alongside Native and Latin Americans living a way of life uninterrupted for centuries, yet largely unheard of today. A more recent series from 2008-09 presents a look at China and India as each nation’s unfurling economy brings rapid modernization, as well as to Japan, where it has firmly taken root.

[Image: Martin Karplus, Portrait Martin Karplus, Marineland of the Pacific, California, 1956, ©Martin Karplus Photography]

images

MARTIN KARPLUS

Schönbrunn, Austria, 1954
kodachrome
©Martin Karplus Photography

MARTIN KARPLUS

Rome, Italy, 1954
kodachrome
©Martin Karplus Photography

MARTIN KARPLUS

Ferry along the Moselle, Germany, 1954
kodachrome
©Martin Karplus Photography

MARTIN KARPLUS

Sarajevo, Bosnia, 1955
kodachrome
©Martin Karplus Photography

MARTIN KARPLUS

Near Biograd, Croatia, 1955
kodachrome
©Martin Karplus Photography

MARTIN KARPLUS

Copenhagen, Denmark, 1955
kodachrome
©Martin Karplus Photography

MARTIN KARPLUS

Waiting for the ferry to Denmark, 1955
kodachrome
©Martin Karplus Photography

MARTIN KARPLUS

Grand Canyon, Arizona, 1956
kodachrome
©Martin Karplus Photography

MARTIN KARPLUS

Gallup, New Mexico, 1956
kodachrome
©Martin Karplus Photography

MARTIN KARPLUS

Cuzco, Peru, 1960
kodachrome
©Martin Karplus Photography

MARTIN KARPLUS

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1960
kodachrome
©Martin Karplus Photography

credits

Exhibition Coordinator Natascha Boojar
Exhibition Assistants Lisa-Joanna Csanyi, Sophie Gogl

With generous support from The Office of Science and Technology Austria (OSTA)

Supporting Institutions of the Austrian Cultural Forum New York Air BerlinEsterházy WineryStiegl

Special thanks to Franklin Castanien, Taylor Hawkins, Stefan Hoza, Geraldine Lau

Jewish Trio Win Nobel Prize for Chemistry: Michael Levitt, Martin Karplus and Arieh Warshel awarded

Published on Oct 11, 2013

A three man team of professors has won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. And all three are Jewish, with two hailing from Israel. Michael Levitt, a British-US citizen of Stanford University; US-Austrian Martin Karplus of Strasbourg University and Harvard; and US-Israeli Arieh Warshel of the University of Southern California will share this year’s prize of around USD 1.25 million. Warshel said the work for which he and his colleagues received the prize is for developing a method that allowed them to understand how proteins work. The trio devised computer simulations to understand chemical processes. In so doing, they revolutionized research in areas ranging from pharmaceuticals to solar energy.

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Two Israeli scientists who emigrated to U.S. win Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Arieh Warshel, Michael Levitt, and Martin Karplus win prize for the development of multiscale models for complex chemical systems; all three scientists are Jewish, while Warshel and Levitt hold Israeli citizenship.

By and | Oct. 9, 2013 | 10:24 PM

Three Jewish scientists – two of them Israelis who had emigrated to the U.S. – won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry on Wednesday.

Arieh Warshel, Michael Levitt and Martin Karplus were awarded the top international prize for the development of multiscale models for complex chemical systems.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on Wednesday said, upon awarding the prize of 8 million crowns ($1.25 million), that their research in the 1970s has helped scientists develop programs that unveil chemical processes such as the purification of exhaust fumes or the photosynthesis in green leaves.

“The work of Karplus, Levitt and Warshel is ground-breaking in that they managed to make Newton’s classical physics work side-by-side with the fundamentally different quantum physics,” the academy said. “Previously, chemists had to choose to use either/or.”

All three winners are American citizens, but also hold dual citizenships. Warshel and Levitt are Israeli citizens, and both studied and worked at the Weizmann Institute in Israel, where Levitt also served as head of the Chemical Physics Department. Warshel was also educated at the Technion. Austrian-born Karplus had fled the Nazis to the U.S. as a child. The Nobel prize was awarded to them on the basis of their research at American universities.

Warshel is a U.S. and Israeli citizen affiliated with the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, Levitt is a U.S., Israeli and British citizen and a professor at the Stanford University School of Medicine, and Karplus is affiliated with the University of Strasbourg, France, and Harvard University.

Pretoria-born Levitt immigrated to Israel at the age of 35 in 1983. He married an Israeli, and worked a few years at the Weizmann Institute until he left for Stanford.

“I can’t say I moved there because the conditions in Israel were not satisfactory,” Levitt told Israel Army Radio. “In all honesty, to this day I can’t quite say why I left the country, my connection to it being very strong. […] My wife is Israeli, I have two sons living in Israel.”

When visiting Israel, Levitt resides in a Rehovot flat, but recently has been  considering a move to Tel Aviv, which he called “an amazing city.”

“I am being asked all the time what I plan to do with the winnings, but it isn’t enough to buy a flat in Tel Aviv with.”
‘I didn’t leave by choice’

Warshel completed his Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology in 1966.

The person who supervised Warshel in his final project, ‘his first scientific father,’ you could say, was Prof. Ruben Pauncz, who was the first in Israel who dealt with quantum chemistry and calculations of the molecular and atomic systems. Through him, Warshel entered the field of theoretical chemistry.

“I was very happy to hear of Arieh Warshel’s winning [the Nobel Prize]”, Pauncz, now 93 years old, told Haaretz. “There were very many students over the years and I remember him somewhat hazily. I remember at some point speaking with Prof. Shneior Lifson of the Weizmann Institute, who supervised his doctorate work, and I remember he was impressed by his intellectual abilities.”

From the Technion, Warshel continued on to the Weizmann Institute of Science, where, in 1970 he completed his Ph. D. degree after three years of work. He spent four years there as a researcher in the Molecular Biology Department, from 1972 to 1976, and then in the late 1970s left for the United States, after not being able to receive tenure at the Institute, according to Speiser.

“The primary reason I left [the Weitzmann Institute] was the difficulties I had in progressing [there],” said Warshel, interviewed Wednesday on Channel 2. “I didn’t leave by choice, so I am not a good example for the‘brain drain’ issue,” he added.

As to his relationship with Israel, Warshel said “I still define myself as an Israeli, but it isn’t a clear definition. I have two passports. I speak Hebrew, and sometimes pass to English.” But, he concluded his answer, “I act like an Israeli.”

“I was sleeping when I got the news,” he said. “My wife got a call, and after verifying a Swedish accent was on the other end I was very pleased.”

Warshel’s wife Tamar told Israel Radio on Wednesday that her husband “didn’t know how to sell himself well enough to Israeli academia,” when asked about his leaving Israel.

Benny Shalev, Warshel’s brother, spoke to  him after the announcement. “He was very excited – like someone who won the Nobel Prize. He may not have been completely surprised since he has been a candidate to receive the prize for a few years already, but it is still a very nice surprise,” Shalev told Haaretz.

Warshel visits Israel once a year and was last here three months ago, said his brother. “He came to lecture at Tel Aviv University and Weizmann Institute.” As to the reasons Warshel left Weizmann, Shalev said: “There are a lot of smart people in Israel and at the same time there was not a job – so he left.”

Warshel won the prize for his development of computer programs that describe the processes of complex chemical and biological systems using quantum mechanical and classical models, explained Prof. Alon Hoffman, the dean of the Schulich Faculty of Chemistry at the Technion.

“Today, in biological systems we are trying to understand how proteins work and how drugs work, for example, on proteins. With the aid of these [computer] programs we can predict the nature of the interaction between the protein and the drug, the responses of the active ingredients, etc. To predict the processes using computerized methods has great importance and it allows the development of new materials and drugs,” said Hoffman.

“In short, what we developed is a method which requires computers to look, to take the structure of the protein and then to eventually understand how exactly it does what it does,” Warshel said. When scientists wanted to simulate complex chemical processes on computers, they used to have to choose between software that was based on quantum physics, which applies on the scale of an atom, or classical Newtonian physics, which operates at larger scales. The academy said the three laureates developed computer models that “opened a gate between these two worlds.”

While quantum mechanics is more accurate, it is impossible to use on large molecules because the equations are too complex to solve. By using quantum mechanics only for key parts of molecules and classical physics for the rest, the blended approach delivers the accuracy of the quantum approach with manageable computations.

“They certainly deserve the prize. They are trailblazers and to a great extent they founded this field,” said Prof. Hanoch Senderowitz of the chemistry department at Bar-Ilan University, who also works in the area of computerized models of chemical and biological systems.

“The specific field which they specialize in is molecular dynamics and in their first simulation they ran on biological systems. To receive a Nobel Prize in Chemistry in a theoretical field is exceptional,” said Senderowitz.

“The great majority of Nobel Prize winners are experimentalists. I think that this is mostly because people have finally understood the importance of this field and the things it can bring. For people in this field, international recognition is important, because we are talking about a computing tool that always went hand in hand with the experimental work. When you develop a computer model you always validate it against experimental results, since only after you validate it a great number of times can you achieve results,” explained Senderowitz.

Chemistry was the third of this year’s Nobel prizes, medicine and physics were already awarded. The prizes for achievements in science, literature and peace were first awarded in 1901 in accordance with the will of businessman and dynamite inventor Alfred Nobel.

Israel’s history of Nobel Prizes

Israel has an impressive showing when it comes to Nobel winners, with 11 laureates in its 65-year history. Most recently, Israeli scientist Daniel Shechtman won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2011, just two years afterAda Yonath won the same award in 2009. Other Israelis to have won the prestigious prize in Chemistry were Aaron Ciechanover and Avram Hershko in 2004. Three Israeli politicians have also won the Nobel Prize for peace – Menachem Begin in 1978, and Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin in 1994.

The other Israeli Nobel laureates are Robert Aumann and Daniel Kahneman, who won the prize in economic sciences in 2005 and 2002 respectively, and Shmuel Yosef Agnon, who won the prize in literature in 1966.

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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE PART 379 Francis Schaeffer’s term the “Mannishness of Man” and how it relates to Woody Allen and Charles Darwin!!!Featured artist is Pedro Reyes

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Dr. Francis Schaeffer – The Naturalistic, Materialistic, World View

Francis Schaeffer and  Gospel of Christ in the pages of the Bible

Francis Schaeffer’s term the “Mannishness of Man” and how it relates to Woody Allen and Charles Darwin!!! Schaeffer noted that everyone has these two things constantly pulling at them. First, it is the universe and its form and second, it is the mannishness of man. If one does not realize that God created them in the image of God where they can know right and wrong and worship their Creator then they will be longing throughout their life and even though they may say that we are a product of chance, like Allen did in his recent film MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT, he still is left with an empty feeling. Furthermore, Paul in  Romans 1 brings out these same two factors. In this post I am not going to spend much time on the demonstration that Woody Allen has dealt with the issues for the simple reason that I have done that over and over again in my previous posts. However, I will look at what Schaeffer says about Allen but mostly what he says about Charles Darwin and I will be providing extensive quotes from Darwin’s own autobiography Darwin, Francis ed. 1892. Charles Darwin: his life told in an autobiographical chapter, and in a selected series of his published letters [abridged edition]. London: John Murray.

The Search for an Adequate World-View: A Question of Method
Before we consider various possibilities, we must settle the question of method. What is it we are expecting our “answer” to answer?
There are a number of things we could consider, but at this point we want to concentrate on just two. The first is what we will call “the universe and its form,” and the second is “the mannishness of man.” The first draws attention to the fact that the universe around us is like an amazing jigsaw puzzle. We see many details, and we want to know how they fit together. That is what science is all about. Scientists look at the details and try to find out how they all cohere. So the first question that has to be answered is: how did the universe get this way? How did it get this form, this pattern, this jigsawlike quality it now has?
Second, “the mannishness of man” draws attention to the fact that human beings are different from all other things in the world. Think, for example, of creativity. People in all cultures of all ages have created many kinds of things, from “High Art” to flower arrangements, from silver ornaments to high-technology supersonic aircraft. This is in contrast to the animals about us. People also fear death, and they have the aspiration to truly choose. Incidentally, even those who in their writings say we only think we choose quickly fall into words and phrases that only make sense if they are wrong and we do truly choose. Human beings are also unique in that they verbalize. That is, people put concrete and abstract concepts into words which communicate these concepts to other people. People also have an inner life of the mind; they remember the past and make projections into the future. One could name other factors, but these are enough to differentiate people from other things in the world.
What world-view adequately explains the remarkable phenomenon of the distinctiveness of human beings? There is one world-view which can explain the explain the existence of the universe, its form, and the uniqueness of people – the world-view given to us in the Bible. There is a remarkable parallel between the way scientists go about checking to see if what they think about reality does in fact correspond to it and the way the biblical world-view can be checked to see if it is true.
Many people, however, react strongly against this sort of claim. They see the problem – Where has everything come from and why is it the way it is? – but they do not want to consider a solution which involves God. God, they say, belongs to “religion,” and religious answers, they say, do not deal with facts. Only science deals with facts. Thus, they say, Christian answers are not real answers; they are “faith answers.”
This is a strange reaction, because modern people pride themselves on being open to new ideas, on being willing to consider opinions which contradict what has been believed for a long time. They think this is what “being scientific” necessitates. Suddenly, however, when one crosses into the area of the “big” and most basic questions (like those we are considering now) with an answer involving God, the shutters are pulled down, the open mind closes and a very different attitude, a dogmatic rationalism, takes over.80
This is curious -first, because few seem to notice that the humanist explanations of the big and most basic questions is just as much a “faith answer” as any could be. With the humanist world-view everything begins with only matter; whatever has developed has developed only within matter, a reordering of matter by chance.
Even though materialistic scientists have no scientific understanding of why things exist, nor any certain scientific understanding of how life began, and even though this world-view leaves them with vast problems – the problems Woody Allen has described of “alienation, loneliness [and] emptiness verging on madness” – many modern people still reject at once any solution which uses the word God, in favor of the materialistic humanist “answer” which answers nothing. This is simply prejudice at work.
We need to understand, however, that this prejudice is both recent and arbitrary. Professor Ernest Becker, who taught at the University of California at Berkeley and San Francisco State College, said that for the last half-million years people have always believed in two worlds – one that was visible and one that was invisible. The visible world was where they lived their everyday lives; the invisible world was more powerful, for the meaning and existence of the visible world was dependent on it. Suddenly in the last century and a half, as the ideas of the Enlightenment have spread to the whole of Western culture, we have been told quite arbitrarily that there is no invisible world. This has become dogma for many secular people today.
Christians try to answer prejudices like these by pointing out that the biblical system does not have to be accepted blindly, any more than the scientific hypotheses have to be accepted blindly. What a scientist does is to examine certain phenomena in the world. He then casts about for an explanation that will make sense of these phenomena. That is the hypothesis. But the hypothesis has to be checked. So a careful checking operation is set up, designed to see if there is, in fact, a correspondence between what has been observed and what has been hypothesized. If it does correspond, a scientist accepts the explanation as correct; if it does not, he rejects it as false and looks for an alternative explanation. Depending on how substantially the statement has been “verified,” it becomes accepted as a “law” within science, such as the law of gravity or the second law of thermodynamics.
What we should notice is the method. It is rather like trying to find the right key to fit a particular lock. We try the first key and then the next and the next until finally, if we are fortunate, one of them fits. The same principle applies, so Christians maintain, when we consider the big questions. Here are the phenomena. What key unlocks their meaning? What explanation is correct?
We may consider the materialistic humanist alternative, the Eastern religious alternative, and so on. But each of these leaves at least a part of these most basic questions unanswered. So we turn to examine the Christian alternative.
Obviously, Christians do not look on the Bible as simply an alternative. As Christians we consider it to be objectively true, because we have found that it does give the answers both in knowledge and in life. For the purposes of discussion, however, we invite non-Christians to consider it as an alternative – not to be accepted blindly, but for good and sufficient reasons.
But note this – the physical scientist does something very easy, compared to those who tackle the really important and central questions for mankind. He examines a tiny portion of the real world – a leaf, a cell, an atom, a particle – and, because these things are not personal and obey very precise laws, he is able to arrive at explanations with relative ease. C. F. A. Pantin, who was professor of zoology at Cambridge University, once said: “Very clever men are answering the relatively easy questions of the natural examination paper.” This is not to disparage physical science. It works consistently with its own principles of investigation, looking further and further into the material of the world around us. But it only looks at part of the world. As Professor W. H. Thorpe of Cambridge University says, it is “a deliberate restriction to certain areas of our total experience – a technique for understanding certain parts of that experience and achieving mastery over nature.”
We are not then moving from definite things to indefinite things, when we look at those aspects of our experience which are more central than the study of an individual physical thing such as a leaf, a cell, an atom, or a particle. Rather, we are turning from a small part of reality to a larger part of reality. Picture a scientist for a moment: he is looking at a particular detail and carrying out his scientific investigation according to the recognized procedures. We have already discussed the method he uses to find the answers. Now we need to draw back and consider the whole phenomenon we are looking at, that is, the scientist carrying out his experiment. When the scientist is seated at his desk, he is able to find answers to his questions only because he has made two colossal assumptions about his situation, in fact about the entire world. He is assuming first of all that the things he is looking at do fit together somehow, even if some areas – such as particle physics – cannot at this time be fitted into a simple explanation. If the scientist did not assume that the things he is studying somehow fit together, he would not be trying to find an answer. Second, he is assuming that he as a person is able to find answers.
In other words, the big questions constitute the very framework within which the scientist is operating. To quote Thorpe again, “I recently heard one of the most distinguished theoretical scientists state that his own scientific drive was based on two fundamental attitudes: a conviction of his own responsibility and an awe at the beauty and harmony of nature.” So we have to resist any suggestion that to be involved in answering the big questions is somehow to be getting further and further away from “the real world.”
The opposite is the case. It is as we come to these big questions that we approach the real world that every one of us is living in twenty-four hours a day – the world of real persons who can think and so work out problems such as how to get to the other side of town, persons who can love, persons who can make moral decisions. These are, in other words, the phenomena which cry out for an adequate explanation. These are the things we know best about ourselves and the world around us. What world-view can encompass them?
C. S. Lewis pointed out that there are only two alternatives to the Christian answer – the humanist philosophy of the West and the pantheist philosophy of the East. We would agree. We agree, too, with his observation that Eastern philosophy is an “opposite” to the Christian system, but we shall look at that later. For the present our attention is directed toward the materialistic world-view of the West.
From time to time we read in the press or hear on the radio that an oil tanker has run aground on rocks and that the crude oil is being driven by the wind and currents onto an otherwise beautiful coast. We can picture the problem of humanism in that way. There is a rock on which all humanist philosophy must run aground. It is the problem of relative knowledge and relative morality or, to put it another way, the problem of finiteness or limitation. Even if mankind now had perfect moral integrity regarding the world, people would still be finite. People are limited. This fact, coupled with the rejection of the possibility of having answers from God, leads humanists into the problem of relative knowledge. There has been no alternative to this relativity for the past 200 years, and there can be no alternative within the humanist world-view. That is what we want to show now.

Francis Schaeffer pictured below:

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A nice parallel can be made between Woody Allen’s struggle with the issue of the mannishness of man and that of Charles Darwin. Below is something that Charles Darwin wrote looking back on his life:

“It is impossible to answer your question briefly; and I am not sure that I could do so, even if I wrote at some length. But I may say that the impossibility of conceiving that this grand and wondrous universe, with our conscious selves, arose through chance, seems to me the chief argument for the existence of God; but whether this is an argument of real value, I have never been able to decide.

Francis Schaeffer observed:

So he sees here exactly the same that I would labor and what Paul gives in Romans chapter one, and that is first this tremendous universe [and it’s form] and the second thing, the mannishness of man and the concept of this arising from chance is very difficult for him to come to accept and he is forced to leap into this, his own kind of Kierkegaardian leap, but he is forced to leap into this because of his presuppositions but when in reality the real world troubles him. He sees there is no third alternative. If you do not have the existence of God then you only have chance. In my own lectures I am constantly pointing out there are only two possibilities, a personal God or this concept of the impersonal plus time plus chance.  You will notice that he divides it into the same two points that Paul does in Romans into and that Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961) will in the problem of existence, the external universe, and man and his consciousness. Paul points out there are these two things that man is confronted with. Two things is the real world, the universe and its form and I usually quote Jean Paul Sartre here, and Sartre says the basic philosophic problem is that something is there rather than nothing is there and I then I add at the point the very thing that Darwin feels and that is it isn’t a bare universe that is out there, it is an universe in a specific form. I always bring in Einstein and the uniformity of the form of the universe and that it is constructed as a well formulated word puzzle or you have Carl Gustav Jung who says two things cut across a man’s will that he can not truly be automous, the external world and what Carl Gustav Jung would call his “collected unconsciousness.” It is the thing that curns up out of man, the mannishness of man. Darwin understood way back here this is a real problem. So he says “the impossibility of conceiving that this grand and wondrouse universe,” part one, the real world, the external universe, and part two “with our conscious selves arose through chance” and then he goes on and says this is not “an argument of real value.” This only thing he has to put in its place is his faith in his own theory.

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Here below is the Romans passage that Schaeffer is referring to and verse 19 refers to what Schaeffer calls “the mannishness of man” and verse 20 refers to Schaeffer’s other point which is  “the universe and it’s form.”

Romans 1:18-22Amplified Bible (AMP)

18 For God’s [holy] wrath and indignation are revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who in their wickedness repress and hinder the truth and make it inoperative.

19 For that which is known about God is evident to them and made plain in their inner consciousness, because God [Himself] has shown it to them.

20 For ever since the creation of the world His invisible nature and attributes, that is, His eternal power and divinity, have been made intelligible and clearly discernible in and through the things that have been made (His handiworks). So [men] are without excuse [altogether without any defense or justification],

21 Because when they knew and recognized Him as God, they did not honor andglorify Him as God or give Him thanks. But instead they became futile andgodless in their thinking [with vain imaginings, foolish reasoning, and stupid speculations] and their senseless minds were darkened.

22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools [professing to be smart, they made simpletons of themselves].

Francis Schaeffer commented:

Now Darwin is going to set forth two arguments for God in this and again you will find when he comes to the end of this that he is in tremendous tension. Darwin wrote, 

“At the present day the most usual argument for the existence of an intelligent God is drawn from the deep inward conviction and feelings which are experienced by most persons. Formerly I was led by feelings such as those just referred to (although I do not think that the religious sentiment was ever strongly developed in me), to the firm conviction of the existence of God and of the immortality of the soul. In my Journal I wrote that whilst standing in the midst of the grandeur of a Brazilian forest, ‘it is not possible to give an adequate idea of the higher feelings of wonder, admiration, and devotion which fill and elevate the mind.’ I well remember my conviction that there is more in man than the mere breath of his body; but now the grandest scenes would not cause any such convictions and feelings to rise in my mind. It may be truly said that I am like a man who has become colour-blind,

Francis Schaeffer observed:

Now Darwin says when I look back and when I look at nature I came to the conclusion that man can not be just a fly! But now Darwin has moved from being a younger man to an older man and he has allowed his presuppositions to enter in to block his logic. These things at the end of his life he had no intellectual answer for. To block them out in favor of his theory. Remember the letter of his that said he had lost all aesthetic senses when he had got older and he had become a clod himself. Now interesting he says just the same thing, but not in relation to the arts, namely music, pictures, etc, but to nature itself. Darwin said, “But now the grandest scenes would not cause any such convictions  and feelings to rise in my mind. It may be truly said that I am like a man who has become colour-blind…” So now you see that his presuppositions have not only robbed him of the beauty of man’s creation in art, but now the universe. He can’t look at it now and see the beauty. The reason he can’t see the beauty is very simple: THE BEAUTY DRIVES HIM TO DISTRACTION. THIS IS WHERE MODERN MAN IS AND IT IS HELL. The art is hell because it reminds him of man and how great man is, and where does it fit in his system? It doesn’t. When he looks at nature and it’s beauty he is driven to the same distraction and so consequently you find what has built up inside him is a real death, not  only the beauty of the artistic but the beauty of nature. 

Darwin wrote:

…and the universal belief by men of the existence of redness makes my present loss of perception of not the least value as evidence. This argument would be a valid one if all men of all races had the same inward conviction of the existence of one God; but we know that this is very far from being the case. Therefore I cannot see that such inward convictions and feelings are of any weight as evidence of what really exists. The state of mind which grand scenes formerly excited in me, and which was intimately connected with a belief in God, did not essentially differ from that which is often called the sense of sublimity; and however difficult it may be to explain the genesis of this sense, it can hardly be advanced as an argument for the existence of God, any more than the powerful though vague and similar feelings excited by music.

Francis Schaeffer noted:

You notice that Darwin had already said he had lost his sense of music [appreciation]. However, he brings forth what I think is a false argument. I usually use it in the area of morality. I mention that anthropologists point out that different people have different moral [systems]  and this is perfectly true, but what the materialist anthropologist can never point out is why man has a sense of moral motion and that is the problem here. Therefore, it is perfectly true that men have different concepts of God and different concepts of moral motion, but Darwin himself is not satisfied in his own position and WHERE DO THEY [MORAL MOTIONS] COME FROM AT ALL? So you are wrestling with the same dilemma here in this reference as you do in the area of all things human. For these men it is not the distinction that raises the problem, but it is the overwhelming factor of the existence of the humanness of man, the mannishness of man. The simple fact is he saw that you are shut up to either God or chance, and he said basically “I don’t see how it could be chance” and at the same time he looks at a mountain or listens to a piece of music it is a testimony that really chance isn’t sufficient enough. So gradually with the sensitivity of his own inborn self conscience he kills it. He deliberately  kills the beauty so it doesn’t argue with his theory. Maybe I am being false to Darwin here. Who can say about Darwin’s subconscious thoughts? It seems to me though this is exactly the case. What you find is a man who can’t stand the argument of the external beauty and the mannishness of man so he just gives it up in this particular place.

The Best Art References in Woody Allen Films Image via Complex / APJAC Productions

Film: Play It Again, Sam (1972)

In 1972’s Play It Again, Sam, Allen plays a film critic trying to get over his wife’s leaving him by dating again. In one scene, Allen tries to pick up a depressive woman in front of the early Jackson Pollock work. This painting, because of its elusive title, has been the subject of much debate as to what it portrays. This makes for a nifty gag when Allen strolls up and asks the suicidal belle, “What does it say to you?”

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Woody Allen in Play It Again Sam

Uploaded on May 20, 2009

Scene from ‘Play it Again Sam’ (1972)

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Allan: That’s quite a lovely Jackson Pollock, isn’t it?

Museum Girl: Yes, it is.

Allan: What does it say to you?

Museum Girl: It restates the negativeness of the universe. The hideous lonely emptiness of existence. Nothingness. The predicament of Man forced to live in a barren, Godless eternity like a tiny flame flickering in an immense void with nothing but waste, horror and degradation, forming a useless bleak straitjacket in a black absurd cosmos.

Allan: What are you doing Saturday night?

Museum Girl: Committing suicide.

Allan: What about Friday night?

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Woody Allen Contemplates God in “Hannah & Her Sisters”

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Woody Allen on insanity and Cate Blanchett

12 Questions for Woody Allen

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Featured artist is Pedro Reyes

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WOODY WEDNESDAY The 10 best Woody Allen Films

_I like this list a lot since it has both CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS and MIDNIGHT IN PARIS on it.


Woody Allen

The 10 best Woody Allen films

We asked readers to vote for their favourite of the director’s films. Here are the results, with contributors making the case for the Woody Allen film that means the most to them

Guardian readers

Fri 4 Oct 2013 07.42 EDT

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Woody Allen and Diane Keaton in Sleeper.
 Woody Allen and Diane Keaton in Sleeper. Photograph: BFI

10. Sleeper

“Allen was a compulsive gag writer; in Sleeper he paid homage to Keaton and co with slapstick and visual gags galore. A giant banana skin, a growing cake mix, a steamroller squashing the President’s nose. It’s full of fantastic ideas that have lived long in the memory (orgasmatron, robot servant and dog…) It’s not much of a satire, but there’s laughs a plenty.” Alfie Hisself

9. Midnight in Paris

“A wonderfully imaginative plot, plenty of smart “inside” humor, actors who were successfully pushed far beyond their comfort zones, brilliant cinematography. Hugely entertaining.” Frank AbsherPlay VideoPlayCurrent Time0:00/Duration Time0:00Loaded: 0%Progress: 0%FullscreenMuteFacebookTwitterPinterest

8. Stardust Memories

“This much panned work is a tour de force. Hated by critics at the time of its release, it’s nevertheless Woody Allen at the height of his powers – faux-Euro filmmaking at its best. Stardust Memories, like Celebrity from many years later, presents Woody Allen’s view of the public’s odd adoration of the famous. Oh, and that long shot of Charlotte Rampling near the end…genius.” Tim

7. Love and Death

“One of the ‘early, funny ones’, it features the magnificent Diane Keaton in her greatest comedic performance, and shows how much fun Woody could have with Bergman and Dostoevsky before he began to feed on their sombre bits. Its first five minutes include some of the funniest material he ever wrote – and it’s endlessly quotable.” Wieland Schwanebeck

6. Take the Money and Run

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“I first saw it at Nui Dat (South Vietnam) in 1970. The army projectionist played the reels out of order, but it didn’t seem to matter – there’s nothing like a war to turn the absurd into the everyday. I was an instant fan and bought a bootleg cassette of Allen’s standup while on leave in Vung Tau. I have a DVD I burnt from a VHS I transferred from Betamax recorded off-air in the 80s. I still watch it and and laugh – I quote lines of dialogue as if it were Pete & Dud.” Jim Stewart

5. Broadway Danny Rose

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“A masterpiece – Allen and Mia Farrow never better together. The scene in the restaurant where Woody vacillates between losing his change from a 20 as he has to flee the pursuing mobsters or being caught has stayed in my memory for years.” Raymond Williams

“I love the title character, his limitless belief in his clients, his goodness, his charity… What makes the film for me is the look on Danny’s face when Nick tells him that he has found a new agent: Woody is never the greatest actor in his films, but this, for me, is his best acting moment.” Kevin Finn

4. Hannah and Her Sisters

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“Manhattan aside, it’s Hannah and Her Sisters that most vividly captures a romantic New York to me. It’s a New York that no longer exists, one that still has a bohemian, undeveloped, Top Shop-free SoHo, the musty glory of Pageant Books and Tower Records, and movie theatres where you could actually find a Marx Brothers film. Allen’s trio of complicated sisters are his most vividly and lovingly written female characters: fallible, but not judged harshly for it – the casting was impeccable. And Allen has written, next to Alvy Singer, his best role for himself as well. Everything about this film feels painterly, wistful and wise, splashed in autumnal hues and capturing, in two hours, the last gasp of romantic, contemporary, artistically vibrant New York. It’s also the last film that dodges the bitterness of his later work.” Kara Manning

3. Crimes and Misdemeanours

“Woody jettisons the signature adolescent habits of most of his earlier stuff and gives us an honest indictment of the kind of privilege that commits murder with one hand and receives high honors with the other. A tense and morally sound film with genuine gravitas. Allen’s script could be applied to Kissinger, Nixon, Obama and hundreds of others in power who are shielded by their respectability from facing up to their crimes. A quiet masterpiece. Makes most of his other works seem lightweight by comparison.” Keith Harrison

woody allen annie hall
 Diane Keaton and Woody Allen on the set of the Annie Hall.

2. Annie Hall

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“Annie Hall hits a perfect balance between the anarchic early films and the more introspective works of the eighties, with serious themes but also loads of humour. Christopher Walken’s ‘driving visions’, the ‘what he’s/she’s really thinking’ subtitles, Allen asking passers-by about their sex lives. The chemistry between the two leads has never been bettered and neither has Allen’s performance as a lead actor, except perhaps in Manhattan. But Annie Hall trumps Manhattan because Diane Keaton – the best female Allen interpreter in her greatest role – is equal to Allen in terms of screen time and dialogue. She’s the most completely realised of his female characters, from her ties-and-checks wardrobes to her off-beat remarks. In the rom-com genre, neither the character nor the film has ever been bettered.” Neil Cockburn

1. Manhattan

“Of his many, many films, Manhattan stands out as a work that manages to be both a love letter to one of the great cities and a strikingly personal self-portrait. It’s possible to be viewed as both a lightly humorous tragedy and a darkly tragic farce and comes the closest, out of all of Allen’s films, to capturing the outspoken artist’s true opinion of himself.” Christopher Shepler

“Funny, smart and romantic, Manhattan has got pretty much everything I look for in a Woody Allen film, or any other kind of film for that matter. The black and white cinematography is heart-swellingly beautiful throughout, while Rhapsody In Blue and fireworks combine to create one of the great, iconic openings in movie history. Naturally, Allen viewed the film as a failure, making it feel all the more perfect.” Mahinder Kingra

“The final scene. Two characters contemplate the end of their relationship against the musical backdrop of a solo violin. The orchestra swells and overwhelms the violin as we simultaneously see the city effortlessly absorb the characters and their relationship. Love in the metropolis has never been so beautifully expressed.” Nigel Challenge

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

My interest in Woody Allen is so great that I have a “Woody Wednesday” on my blog www.thedailyhatch.org every week. Also I have done over 30 posts on the historical characters mentioned in his film “Midnight in Paris.” (Salvador DaliErnest Hemingway,T.S.Elliot,  Cole Porter,Paul Gauguin,  Luis Bunuel, and Pablo Picasso were just a few of the characters.)

During the last 30 days here are the posts that have got the most hits on my blog on this subject of the “Meaning of Life”:

Francis Bacon: Humanist artist who believed life “is meaningless” (Part 1)

The movie “Les Miserables” and Francis Schaeffer
Danny Woodhead has found satisfaction in his Christian faith, Brady still looking for satisfaction despite 3 Super Bowl rings (Part 2)
2008 article on Woody Allen on the meaning of lifeNihilism can be seen in Woody Allen’s latest film “Midnight in Paris”

Dave Hope and Kerry Livgren of Kansas: Their story of deliverance from drugs jh16c

According to Woody Allen Life is meaningless (Woody Wednesday)

“Is God Enough?” Fellowship Bible sermon outline by Mark Henry July 8, 2012Here are some posts on the movie “Midnight in Paris”:

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 15, Luis Bunuel)
The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 9, Georges Braque)
The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 5 Juan Belmonte)
The characters referenced in Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 23,Adriana, fictional mistress of Picasso)
The characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 11, Rodin)The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 29, Pablo Picasso)The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 13, Amedeo Modigliani)The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 14, Henri Matisse)Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 35, Recap of historical figures, Notre Dame Cathedral and Cult of Reason)The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 3 Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald)The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 10 Salvador Dali)The characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 12, Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel)Related posts:I love the movie “Midnight in Paris” by Woody Allen and I have done over 30 posts on the historical characters mentioned in the film. Take a look below:All my posts on Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 40)July 19, 2011 – 8:51 am“Midnight in Paris” one of Woody Allen’s biggest movie hits in recent yearsJuly 18, 2011 – 6:00 amWoody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” explores “golden age fallacy” (Part 39) July 17, 2011 – 5:59 am(Part 38,Alcoholism and great writers and artists) July 16, 2011 – 5:47 amWoody Allen’s search for God in the movie “Midnight in Paris”(Part 37) July 15, 2011 – 5:44 am(Part 36, Alice B. Toklas, Woody Allen on the meaning of life) July 14, 2011 – 5:16 am  (Part 35, Recap of historical figures, Notre Dame Cathedral and Cult of Reason)July 13, 2011 – 5:42 am(Part 34, Simone de Beauvoir) July 12, 2011 – 6:03 am(Part 33,Cezanne) July 11, 2011 – 6:15 am(Part 32, Jean-Paul Sartre)July 10, 2011 – 5:53 am(Part 31, Jean Cocteau) July 9, 2011 – 6:15 am(Part 30, Albert Camus) July 8, 2011 – 5:48 am (Part 29, Pablo Picasso) July 7, 2011 – 4:33 am(Part 28,Van Gogh) July 6, 2011 – 4:03 am(Part 27, Man Ray) July 5, 2011 – 4:49 am(Part 26,James Joyce) July 4, 2011 – 5:55 am(Part 25, T.S.Elliot) July 3, 2011 – 4:46 am(Part 24, Djuna Barnes) July 2, 2011 – 7:28 am(Part 23,Adriana, fictional mistress of Picasso) July 1, 2011 – 12:28 am(Part 22, Silvia Beach and the Shakespeare and Company Bookstore) June 30, 2011 – 12:58 am(Part 21,Versailles and the French Revolution) June 29, 2011 – 5:34 am(Part 20, King Louis XVI of France) June 28, 2011 – 5:44 am(Part 19,Marie Antoinette) June 27, 2011 – 12:16 am(Part 18, Claude Monet) June 26, 2011 – 5:41 am(Part 17, J. M. W. Turner) June 25, 2011 – 5:44 am(Part 16, Josephine Baker) June 24, 2011 – 5:18 am(Part 15, Luis Bunuel) June 23, 2011 – 5:37 am(Part 14, Henri Matisse) June 22, 2011 – 5:54 am(Part 13, Amedeo Modigliani) June 21, 2011 – 5:29 am(Part 12, Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel) June 20, 2011 – 5:58 am(Part 11, Rodin)  June 19, 2011 – 9:50 am(Part 10 Salvador Dali) June 18, 2011 – 2:57 pm(Part 9, Georges Braque) June 18, 2011 – 2:55 pm(Part 8, Henri Toulouse Lautrec) June 18, 2011 – 2:45 pm(Part 7 Paul Gauguin) June 18, 2011 – 11:20 am(Part 6 Gertrude Stein) June 16, 2011 – 11:01 am(Part 5 Juan Belmonte) June 16, 2011 – 10:59 am(Part 4 Ernest Heminingway) June 16, 2011 – 9:08 am(Part 3 Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald) June 16, 2011 – 3:46 am(Part 2 Cole Porter) June 15, 2011 – 7:40 am(Part 1 William Faulkner) June 13, 2011 – 3:19 pm

Related posts:


I love Woody Allen’s latest movie “Midnight in Paris”
June 12, 2011 – 11:52 pm

“Woody Wednesday” A 2010 review of Woody Allen’s Annie Hall

February 27, 2013 – 7:34 am

I have spent alot of time talking about Woody Allen films on this blog and looking at his worldview. He has a hopeless, meaningless, nihilistic worldview that believes we are going to turn to dust and there is no afterlife. Even though he has this view he has taken the opportunity to look at the weaknesses of […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Current Events | Edit | Comments (0)

“Woody Wednesday” In 2009 interview Woody Allen talks about the lack of meaning of life and the allure of younger women

February 20, 2013 – 1:58 am

I have spent alot of time talking about Woody Allen films on this blog and looking at his worldview. He has a hopeless, meaningless, nihilistic worldview that believes we are going to turn to dust and there is no afterlife. Even though he has this view he has taken the opportunity to look at the weaknesses of […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Current Events | Edit | Comments (0)

Woody Allen video interview in France talk about making movies in Paris vs NY and other subjects like God, etc

February 20, 2013 – 12:49 am

Woody Allen video interview in France Related posts: “Woody Wednesdays” Woody Allen on God and Death June 6, 2012 – 6:00 am Good website on Woody Allen How can I believe in God when just last week I got my tongue caught in the roller of an electric typewriter? If Jesus Christ came back today and […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Current Events | Edit | Comments (0)

“Woody Wednesday” Woody Allen on the Emptiness of Life by Toby Simmons

February 13, 2013 – 7:48 am

I have spent alot of time talking about Woody Allen films on this blog and looking at his worldview. He has a hopeless, meaningless, nihilistic worldview that believes we are going to turn to dust and there is no afterlife. Even though he has this view he has taken the opportunity to look at the weaknesses of […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Current Events | Edit | Comments (0)

Woody Allen interviews Billy Graham (Woody Wednesday)

February 6, 2013 – 1:49 am

A surprisingly civil discussion between evangelical Billy Graham and agnostic comedian Woody Allen. Skip to 2:00 in the video to hear Graham discuss premarital sex, to 4:30 to hear him respond to Allen’s question about the worst sin and to 7:55 for the comparison between accepting Christ and taking LSD. ___________________ The Christian Post > […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Current Events | Edit | Comments (0)

“Woody Allen Wednesdays” can be seen on the www.thedailyhatch.org

February 4, 2013 – 4:54 am

Crimes and Misdemeanors: A Discussion: Part 1 If you like Woody Allen films as much as I do then join me every Wednesday for another look the man and his movies. Below are some of the posts from the past: “Woody Wednesday” How Allen’s film “Crimes and Misdemeanors makes the point that hell is necessary […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Current Events | Edit | Comments (0)

“Woody Wednesday” Great Documentary on Woody Allen

January 30, 2013 – 7:35 am

I really enjoyed this documentary on Woody Allen from PBS. Woody Allen: A Documentary, Part 1 Published on Mar 26, 2012 by NewVideoDigital Beginning with Allen’s childhood and his first professional gigs as a teen – furnishing jokes for comics and publicists – WOODY ALLEN: A DOCUMENTARY chronicles the trajectory and longevity of Allen’s career: […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Current Events | Edit | Comments (0)

“Woody Wednesday” Discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie “Crimes and Misdemeanors” (Part 6)

January 23, 2013 – 12:36 am

Crimes and Misdemeanors: A Discussion: Part 3 Uploaded by camdiscussion on Sep 23, 2007 Part 3 of 3: ‘Is Woody Allen A Romantic Or A Realist?’ A discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie, Crimes and Misdemeanors, perhaps his finest. By Anton Scamvougeras. http://camdiscussion.blogspot.com/ antons@mail.ubc.ca______________ One of my favorite Woody Allen movies and I reviewed […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Uncategorized | Edit | Comments (0)

“Woody Wednesday” Discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie “Crimes and Misdemeanors” (Part 5)

January 16, 2013 – 12:35 am

Crimes and Misdemeanors: A Discussion: Part 2 Uploaded by camdiscussion on Sep 23, 2007 Part 2 of 3: ‘What Does The Movie Tell Us About Ourselves?’ A discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie, perhaps his finest. By Anton Scamvougeras. http://camdiscussion.blogspot.com/ antons@mail.ubc.ca _________________- One of my favorite Woody Allen movies and I reviewed it earlier but […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Current Events | Edit | Comments (0)

In 2009 interview Woody Allen talks about the lack of meaning of life and the allure of younger women

January 14, 2013 – 6:52 am

I have spent alot of time talking about Woody Allen films on this blog and looking at his worldview. He has a hopeless, meaningless, nihilistic worldview that believes we are going to turn to dust and there is no afterlife. Even though he has this view he has taken the opportunity to look at the weaknesses of […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Current Events | Edit | Comments (0)

“Woody Allen Wednesdays” can be seen on the www.thedailyhatch.org

January 13, 2013 – 4:55 am

Crimes and Misdemeanors: A Discussion: Part 1 If you like Woody Allen films as much as I do then join me every Wednesday for another look the man and his movies. Below are some of the posts from the past: “Woody Wednesday” How Allen’s film “Crimes and Misdemeanors makes the point that hell is necessary […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Current Events | Edit | Comments (0)

Woody Allen on the Emptiness of Life by Toby Simmons

January 10, 2013 – 2:48 pm

I have spent alot of time talking about Woody Allen films on this blog and looking at his worldview. He has a hopeless, meaningless, nihilistic worldview that believes we are going to turn to dust and there is no afterlife. Even though he has this view he has taken the opportunity to look at the weaknesses of […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Current Events | Edit | Comments (0)

“Woody Wednesday” Discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie “Crimes and Misdemeanors” (Part 4)

January 9, 2013 – 12:32 am

Crimes and Misdemeanors: A Discussion: Part 1 Uploaded by camdiscussion on Sep 23, 2007 Part 1 of 3: ‘What Does Judah Believe?’ A discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie, perhaps his finest. By Anton Scamvougeras. http://camdiscussion.blogspot.com/ antons@mail.ubc.ca _____________ One of my favorite films is this gem by Woody Allen “Crimes and Misdemeanors”: Film Review By […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Uncategorized | Edit | Comments (0)

“Woody Wednesday” Discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie “Crimes and Misdemeanors” (Part 3)

January 2, 2013 – 12:30 am

Crimes and Misdemeanors: A Discussion: Part 3 Uploaded by camdiscussion on Sep 23, 2007 Part 3 of 3: ‘Is Woody Allen A Romantic Or A Realist?’ A discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie, Crimes and Misdemeanors, perhaps his finest. By Anton Scamvougeras. http://camdiscussion.blogspot.com/ antons@mail.ubc.ca______________ One of my favorite Woody Allen movies and I reviewed […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Current Events | Edit | Comments (0)

“Woody Wednesday” Discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie “Crimes and Misdemeanors” (Part 2)

December 26, 2012 – 12:27 am

Crimes and Misdemeanors: A Discussion: Part 2 Uploaded by camdiscussion on Sep 23, 2007 Part 2 of 3: ‘What Does The Movie Tell Us About Ourselves?’ A discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie, perhaps his finest. By Anton Scamvougeras. http://camdiscussion.blogspot.com/ antons@mail.ubc.ca _________________- One of my favorite Woody Allen movies and I reviewed it earlier but […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Current Events | Edit | Comments (0)

“Woody Wednesday” Discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie “Crimes and Misdemeanors” (Part 1)

December 19, 2012 – 7:05 am

Crimes and Misdemeanors: A Discussion: Part 1 Uploaded by camdiscussion on Sep 23, 2007 Part 1 of 3: ‘What Does Judah Believe?’ A discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie, perhaps his finest. By Anton Scamvougeras. http://camdiscussion.blogspot.com/ antons@mail.ubc.ca _____________ Today I am starting a discusssion of the movie “Crimes and Misdemeanors” by Woody Allen. This 1989 […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Current Events | Edit | Comments (0)

_

Netflix Series AFTER LIFE Characters Examined in Light of Book of Ecclesiastes Part 11 Tommy Finnegan as Tony’s nephew George

Tommy Finnegan Picture

Tommy Finnegan is an actor, known for After Life (2019), Hard Sun (2018) and Danny Boy (2021).

After walking past a school and waving to his nephew, George (Tommy Finnegan), another kid yells “Pedo” at him. Tony layers on the meanness in his quick reply (Hint: It’s not for sensitive ears).

After Life on Netflix

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

Episode # 2 of AFTERLIFE:

Below is a discussion between Tony and his ten year old nephew George concerning the passing of Tony’s wife Lisa.

George: Daddy says you are sad since  Aunt Lisa died.

Tony: Yep.

George: I am sad too. I dream about her sometime.

Tony: Me too.

George: Why didn’t the doctors make her better?

Tony: They tried.

George: Why didn’t Jesus save her?

Tony: Because Jesus is a &@$@$&! Don’t tell your Mum and Dad I said that.

George: I won’t.

On Twitter on May 23, 2013 Ricky Gervais wrote:

God doesn’t prevent terrible things because: A) He can’t B) He doesn’t want to C) He causes them D) He doesn’t exist PLEASE VOTE NOW.

——-

This objection to God’s existence has been stated many different ways through the years:

“tsunami just killed up you know i think that numbers higher  up two hundred thousand people flood twenty none of this is a sign that there’s a benevolent anything out there and this ninety percent is shipping nine nine percent of his earlier noted that’s uh… uh…” Neil deGrasse Tyson 

Peter Singer is a gentleman that I have had the opportunity to correspond with and he wrote in an article in FREE INQUIRY:

I argued that while I cannot
disprove the existence of every possible kind of deity, we can be sure that we do
not live in a world that was created by a god who is all-powerful, all-knowing,
and all good. Christians, of course, think we do live in such a world. Yet a
powerful reason for doubting this confronts us every day: the world contains a
vast amount of pain and suffering. If god is all-knowing, he knows how much
suffering there is. If he is all-powerful, he could have created a world without so
much suffering. If he is all-good, he surely would have created a world without
so much suffering.

3,000 years ago Solomon looked at the issue of the existence of pain and suffering in his Book of Ecclesiastes.

Ecclesiastes 4:1

 Then I looked again at all the acts of oppression which were being done under the sun. And behold I saw the tears of the oppressed and that they had no one to comfort them; and on the side of their oppressors was power, but they had no one to comfort them.

Francis Schaeffer: Between birth and death power rules. Solomon looked over his kingdom and also around the world and proclaimed that right does not rule but power rules.

Ecclesiastes 7:14-15

14 In the day of prosperity be happy, but in the day of adversity consider—God has made the one as well as the other so that man will not discover anything that will be after him.

15 I have seen everything during my lifetime of futility; there is a righteous man who perishes in his righteousness and there is a wicked man who prolongs his life in his wickedness.

Ecclesiastes 8:14

14 There is futility which is done on the earth, that is, there are righteous men to whom it happens according to the deeds of the wicked. On the other hand, there are evil men to whom it happens according to the deeds of the righteous. I say that this too is futility.

Francis Schaeffer: We could say it in 20th century language, “The books are not balanced in this life.”

Francis Schaeffer: There is only one reason that viewing life UNDER THE SUN from birth to death causes despair and that is because we live in an abnormal world [since the fall in Genesis 3 when sin entered the world because of rebellion]. It is a legitimate despair if viewed only in the context of UNDER THE SUN,but it is an abnormal despair if it is seen in its proper setting.

In September of 2016 I wrote the following letter to Ricky Gervais in the subject of suffering and pain in the world and it centered around the movie GREATER about the life of Brandon Burlsworth and for some reason thousands of people have visited the post I did on it.

__________

Image result for greater brandon burlsworth nick searcy the farmer Neal McDonough

Neal McDonough who starred in BAND OF BROTHERS takes center stage in the film GREATER as Brandon‘s older brother Marty Burlsworth

Image result for greater brandon burlsworth nick searcy the farmer Neal McDonough

________

Image result for greater movie cheesecake

“If that boy is sittin’ on that couch eatin’ chips and cheesecake again, I’m gonna explode!”

___________

a-commemorative-display-was-set-up-by-the-indianapolis-colts-at-the-funeral-of-brandon-burlsworth-in-harrison-on-saturday-may-1-1999

Flowers at Burlsworth’s funeral

Image result for greater brandon burlsworth nick searcy the farmer

Brandon’s brother Marty is hounded at the funeral service  by a SECULARIST FARMER WHO QUESTIONS IF BELIEF IN GOD IS WARRENTED.  And the Farmer (played by Nick Searcy), repeatedly delivers soliloquies about the utter foolishness of faith. In one scene, the farmer says, “Brandon did have faith. He believed if he worked hard and did everything he was supposed to do, God would make everything turn out for the best. Did everything turn out for the best, Marty?”

Elsewhere, the Farmer taunts, “There is no loving God, Marty. That’s ridiculous. There’s just a howling void. And a real man, an honest man, doesn’t get down on his knees to pray to it for his mercy. He stands up to it, and he looks it right in his face and he howls right back.”

Image result for brandon burlsworth indianapolis colts

__

Image result for greater brandon burlsworth nick searcy the farmer Neal McDonough

___

______

Image result for greater brandon burlsworth frank broyles

__________

Image result for greater movie brandon burlsworth He believed if he worked hard and did everything he was supposed to that God would make everything turn out for the best

Brandon below with his brother Marty and his two nephews

Image result for brandon burlsworth death

XXXXXXXXX

September 23, 2016

Rickey Gervais, United Kingdom

Dear Rickey,

I know that you are a skeptic similar to Richard Dawkins and you have quoted him in the past in fact. It just so happens that I have just got finishing reading back to back his books, The God DelusionAn Appetite for Wonder: The Making of a Scientist, and Brief Candle in the Dark: My Life in Science.

On Twitter on May 23, 2013 you wrote:

God doesn’t prevent terrible things because: A) He can’t B) He doesn’t want to C) He causes them D) He doesn’t exist PLEASE VOTE NOW

I just saw the movie GREATER about the life of Brandon Burlsworth and there was a secularist farmer played by Nick Searcy that reminded me of you and when the DVD is released on 12-20-16 I would like to send you a free one.

Yesterday while in my  attic  I ran across a cassette tape labeled“April  1999” and it has the recording of my 12 year  old son calling  into a local radio show where he got to talk to Brandon Burlsworth who had just been drafted by the Indianapolis  Colts to play  in the NFL. Just a few days later Burlsworth was on his way to his Harrison, Ark., home from Fayetteville, where he received an SEC West title ring along with the rest of the 1998 Razorbacks on April 28, 1999. Every Wednesday, he returned to take his mom, Barbara, to church. The drive was supposed to take about 90 minutes.

He never made it.

The 22-year-old Burlsworth, who had been drafted by the Colts 11 days earlier after earning first-team All-America honors as a fifth-year senior, was involved in a head-on crash with a tractor-trailer about 15 miles outside Harrison and was killed. He was in the prime of his life and football career, and then he was gone.

One movie reviewer noted: 

There’s a great deal of Christian content in this film. It can perhaps best be summarized by saying that Brandon’s unwavering faith deeply informs everything he does, while his brother’s faltering faith after Brandon’s death is something he grapples with mightily.

Brandon has deep trust in God. At every step along his journey, when naysayers rise up to tell him that he’s being unrealistic, Brandon keeps moving forward in faith. Marty is more pragmatic, asking his brother things like, “You think God would give you D I [Division 1] dreams and a D III (Division III) body?” To Marty, the answer to that rhetorical, spiritual question is self-evident. Brandon, however, soldiers on, refusing to give up. “Have faith, Marty,” he says elsewhere. “This is my road.”

For his part, Marty struggles to cling to his faith in the wake of his brother’s death. That internal battle is depicted in a dramatic way through ongoing dialogue with a doubter named the Farmer. Marty’s trying to summon the courage to go into Brandon’s memorial service at Harrison High School. And the Farmer (played by Nick Searcy), depicted very nearly as a Satan-like tempter, repeatedly delivers soliloquies about the utter foolishness of faith. In one scene, the man (who’s whittling a portrait of Marty into a block of wood, almost as if he’s creating a voodoo doll) says, “Brandon did have faith. He believed if he worked hard and did everything he was supposed to do, God would make everything turn out for the best. Did everything turn out for the best, Marty?”

Elsewhere, the Farmer taunts, “There is no loving God, Marty. That’s ridiculous. There’s just a howling void. And a real man, an honest man, doesn’t get down on his knees to pray to it for his mercy. He stands up to it, and he looks it right in his face and he howls right back.”

But Marty also talks with his godly mother about how to process the randomness of Brandon’s death. She tells him that it’s only random when looked at from an earthly perspective. “If you assume this is all there is, you’d have a point, Marty. But that’s not true. This life is a drop in the ocean. One tick of eternity’s clock, and we’ll all be together again, Marty. And every trouble we had here will recede away like a dream.”

__

It has been a pleasure to send you these letters in the past and I hope you take me up on this offer to see this inspirational true story about Brandon Burlsworth who was truly one of the greatest rags to richest stories in sports history. Also I would encourage you to google FRANCIS SCHAEFFER THE PROBLEM OF EVIL.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher, cell ph 501-920-5733, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002 everettehatcher@gmail.com

________________

—-

Josh Wilson – Before The Morning (Official Music Video)

One of my favorite songs  is called “Before the Morning” and it is by  the Christian singer Josh Wilson. The lyrics start out: “Why do you have to feel the things that hurt you? If there’s a God who loves you where is He now?” Over the years I have corresponded with several atheists and many times they confront me on this  very issue such as this letter did from Dr. Brian Charlesworth, Dept of Ecology and Evolution, University of Chicago in letter dated May 10, 1994:

Thank you for your various communications. I am afraid that I formed the view many years ago that there is no foundation for any belief in a benevolent creator of the world. For me, there is too much suffering in the world to be compatible with the existence of such a being. 

Let me make three points concerning the problem of evil and suffering. First, the problem of evil and suffering hit this world in a big way because of Adam and what happened in Genesis Chapter 3. Second, if there is no God then there is no way to distinguish good from evil and there will be no ultimate punishment for Hitler and Josef Mengele. Third. Christ came and suffered and will destroy all evil from this world eventually forever.

Recently I went to see the movie GOD’S NOT DEAD in a local theater and that prompted me to read the book of the same name by Rice Broocks. In the movie the problem of evil and suffering is discussed just like it is in the book  and would love to interact further with anyone who would like to see the film is a big hit in theaters this year. On page 5 on the book you will find these words:
 
Atheists claim that the universe isn’t what you would expect
if a supernatural God existed. All this death and suffering, they say,
are plain evidence that a loving, intelligent God could not be behind
it all. The truth is that God has created a world where free moral
agents are able to have real choices to do good or evil. If God had
created a world without that fundamental choice and option to do
evil, then we wouldn’t be having this discussion. God made a world
where choices are real and humanity is affected by the choices of
other humans. Drunk drivers kill innocent people. Some murder
and steal from their fellow men. Though God gave clear com-
mandments to humanity, we have for the most part ignored these
directives. The mess that results is not God’s fault. It’s ours.
We are called to follow God and love Him with all our hearts
and minds. This means we have to think and investigate. Truth
is another word for reality. When something is true it’s true
everywhere. The multiplication tables are just as true in China
as they are in America. Gravity works in Africa the way it does
in Asia. The fact that there are moral truths that are true every-
where points to a transcendent morality that we did not invent
and from which we cannot escape (C.S.Lewis, MERE CHRISTIANITY,[1952:
New York: Harper Collins, 2001], p. 35).
 
As Creator, God has placed not only natural laws in the earth
but also spiritual laws. For instance, lying is wrong everywhere.
So is stealing. Cruelty to children is wrong regardless of what
culture you’re in or country you’re from. When these laws are
broken, people are broken. Not only does violating these spiritual
laws separate us from God, but it causes pain in our lives and
in the lives of those around us. The big question becomes, what
can be done about our condition? When we break these spiritual
laws, whom can we call for help? How can we be reconciled to
God as well as break free from this cycle of pain and dysfunction?

Francis Schaeffer in his fine book about modern man ESCAPE FROM REASON  states,

“the True Christian position is that, in space and time and history, there was an unprogrammed man who made a choice, and actually rebelled against God…without Christianity’s answer that God made a significant man in a significant history with evil being the result of Satan’s and then man’s historic space-time revolt, there is no answer but to accept Baudelaire’s answer [‘If there is a God, He is the devil’] with tears. Once the historic Christian answer is put away, all we can do is to leap upstairs and say that against all reason God is good.”(pg. 81)

Someone I knew in 1985 grew up in Germany and was part of the Hitler Youth Program, Was he wrong in his beliefs? 

On what basis does the atheist have to say “Hitler was wrong!!!”

Early in his career Hitler was popular and many of the German people bought into his anti-semetic views. Does the atheist have an intellectual basis to condemn Hitler’s actions?

____________________________________

My friend who grew up in Germany  believed until his dying day that Hitler was right. I had a basis for knowing that Hitler was wrong and here it is below.
 
It is my view that according the Bible all men are created by God and are valuable.  However, the atheist has no basis for coming to this same conclusion. Francis Schaeffer put it this way:
 
We cannot deal with people like human beings, we cannot deal with them on the high level of true humanity, unless we really know their origin—who they are. God tells man who he is. God tells us that He created man in His image. So man is some- thing wonderful.
 
In 1972 Schaeffer wrote the book “He is There and He is Not Silent.” Here is the statement that sums up that book:

One of philosophy’s biggest problems is that anything exists at all and has the form that it does. Another is that man exists as a personal being and makes true choices and has moral responsibility. The Bible gives sufficient answers to these problems. In fact, the only sufficient answer is that the infinite-personal triune God is there and He is not silent. He has spoken to man in the Bible.

In the movie CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS the basic question Woody Allen is presenting to his own agnostic humanistic worldview is: If you really believe there is no God there to punish you in an afterlife, then why not murder if you can get away with it?   The secular humanist worldview that modern man has adopted does not work in the real world that God has created. God “has planted eternity in the human heart…” (Ecclesiastes 3:11). This is a direct result of our God-given conscience. The apostle Paul said it best in Romans 1:19, “For that which is known about God is evident to them and made plain in their inner consciousness, because God  has shown it to them” (Amplified Version).

It’s no wonder, then, that one of Allen’s fellow humanists would comment, “Certain moral truths — such as do not kill, do not steal, and do not lie — do have a special status of being not just ‘mere opinion’ but bulwarks of humanitarian action. I have no intention of saying, ‘I think Hitler was wrong.’ Hitler WAS wrong.” (Gloria Leitner, “A Perspective on Belief,” The Humanist, May/June 1997, pp.38-39). Here Leitner is reasoning from her God-given conscience and not from humanist philosophy. It wasn’t long before she received criticism.

Humanist Abigail Ann Martin responded, “Neither am I an advocate of Hitler; however, by whose criteria is he evil?” (The Humanist, September/October 1997, p. 2.). Humanists don’t really have an intellectual basis for saying that Hitler was wrong, but their God-given conscience tells them that they are wrong on this issue.

Here is fine film by Francis Schaeffer and Dr. C. Everett Koop that makes the case for human dignity.

Francis Schaeffer “BASIS FOR HUMAN DIGNITY” Whatever…HTTHR

Also here is the link for  another fine article on this same issue by Chuck Colson.

Crimes? What Crimes?

The Grand ‘Sez Who’

Let us take a close look at how you are going to come up with morality as an atheist. When you think about it there is no way around the final conclusion that it is just your opinion against mine concerning morality. There is no final answers. However, if God does exist and he has imparted final answers to us then everything changes.

Take a look at a portion of this paper by Greg Koukl. In this article he points out that atheists don’t even have a basis for saying that Hitler was wrong:

What doesn’t make sense is to look at the existence of evil and question the existence of God. The reason is that atheism turns out being a self-defeating philosophic solution to this problem of evil. Think of what evil is for a minute when we make this kind of objection. Evil is a value judgment that must be measured against a morally perfect standard in order to be meaningful. In other words, something is evil in that it departs from a perfect standard of good. C.S. Lewis made the point, “My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call something crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line.”[ ] He also goes on to point out that a portrait is a good or a bad likeness depending on how it compares with the “perfect” original. So to talk about evil, which is a departure from good, actually presumes something that exists that is absolutely good. If there is no God there’s no perfect standard, no absolute right or wrong, and therefore no departure from that standard. So if there is no God, there can’t be any evil, only personal likes and dislikes–what I prefer morally and what I don’t prefer morally.

This is the big problem with moral relativism as a moral point of view when talking about the problem of evil. If morality is ultimately a matter of personal taste–that’s what most people hold nowadays–then it’s just your opinion what’s good or bad, but it might not be my opinion. Everybody has their own view of morality and if it’s just a matter of personal taste–like preferring steak over broccoli or Brussels sprouts–the objection against the existence of God based on evil actually vanishes because the objection depends on the fact that some things are intrinsically evil–that evil isn’t just a matter of my personal taste, my personal definition. But that evil has absolute existence and the problem for most people today is that there is no thing that is absolutely wrong. Premarital sex? If it’s right for you. Abortion? It’s an individual choice. Killing? It depends on the circumstances. Stealing? Not if it’s from a corporation.

The fact is that most people are drowning in a sea of moral relativism. If everything is allowed then nothing is disallowed. Then nothing is wrong. Then nothing is ultimately evil. What I’m saying is that if moral relativism is true, which it seems like most people seem to believe–even those that object against evil in the world, then the talk of objective evil as a philosophical problem is nonsense. To put it another way, if there is no God, then morals are all relative. And if moral relativism is true, then something like true moral evil can’t exist because evil becomes a relative thing.

An excellent illustration of this point comes from the movie The Quarrel . In this movie, a rabbi and a Jewish secularist meet again after the Second World War after they had been separated. They had gotten into a quarrel as young men, separated on bad terms, and then had their village and their family and everything destroyed through the Second World War, both thinking the other was dead. They meet serendipitously in Toronto, Canada in a park and renew their friendship and renew their old quarrel.divider

Rabbi Hersch says to the secularist Jew Chiam, “If a person does not have the Almighty to turn to, if there’s nothing in the universe that’s higher than human beings, then what’s morality? Well, it’s a matter of opinion. I like milk; you like meat. Hitler likes to kill people; I like to save them. Who’s to say which is better? Do you begin to see the horror of this? If there is no Master of the universe then who’s to say that Hitler did anything wrong? If there is no God then the people that murdered your wife and kids did nothing wrong.”

That is a very, very compelling point coming from the rabbi. In other words, to argue against the existence of God based on the existence of evil forces us into saying something like this: Evil exists, therefore there is no God. If there is no God then good and evil are relative and not absolute, so true evil doesn’t exist, contradicting the first point. Simply put, there cannot be a world in which it makes any sense to say that evil is real and at the same time say that God doesn’t exist. If there is no God then nothing is ultimately bad, deplorable, tragic or worthy of blame. The converse, by the way, is also true. This is the other hard part about this, it cuts both ways. Nothing is ultimately good, honorable, noble or worthy of praise. Everything is ultimately lost in a twilight zone of moral nothingness. To paraphrase the late Dr. Francis Schaeffer, the person who argues against the existence of God based on the existence of evil in the world has both feet firmly planted in mid-air.

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Ricky Gervais in a You Tube clip from the show Piers Morgan Tonight on  1-20-2011 said that he embraced the golden rule because it made sense to him to be good to others so they would be good to you. However, how would that work if there is no ultimate lawmaker that also is our final judge? Rabbi Hersch’s argument to the secularist Jew Chiam seems to point out that without God in the picture it really does come to : “If a person does not have the Almighty to turn to, if there’s nothing in the universe that’s higher than human beings, then what’s morality? Well, it’s a matter of opinion. I like milk; you like meat. Hitler likes to kill people; I like to save them. Who’s to say which is better?”

Francis Schaeffer

Francis Schaeffer pictured above.

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The Bible and Archaeology (1/5)

The Bible and Archaeology (2/5)

God Is A Luxury I Can’t Afford – From Crimes And Misdemeanors

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Francis Schaeffer’s term the “Mannishness of Man” and how it relates to Woody Allen and Charles Darwin!!!

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Dr. Francis Schaeffer – The Naturalistic, Materialistic, World View

Francis Schaeffer and  Gospel of Christ in the pages of the Bible

Francis Schaeffer’s term the “Mannishness of Man” and how it relates to Woody Allen and Charles Darwin!!! Schaeffer noted that everyone has these two things constantly pulling at them. First, it is the universe and its form and second, it is the mannishness of man. If one does not realize that God created them in the image of God where they can know right and wrong and worship their Creator then they will be longing throughout their life and even though they may say that we are a product of chance, like Allen did in his recent film MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT, he still is left with an empty feeling. Furthermore, Paul in  Romans 1 brings out these same two factors. In this post I am not going to spend much time on the demonstration that Woody Allen has dealt with the issues for the simple reason that I have done that over and over again in my previous posts. However, I will look at what Schaeffer says about Allen but mostly what he says about Charles Darwin and I will be providing extensive quotes from Darwin’s own autobiography Darwin, Francis ed. 1892. Charles Darwin: his life told in an autobiographical chapter, and in a selected series of his published letters [abridged edition]. London: John Murray.

The Search for an Adequate World-View: A Question of Method
Before we consider various possibilities, we must settle the question of method. What is it we are expecting our “answer” to answer?
There are a number of things we could consider, but at this point we want to concentrate on just two. The first is what we will call “the universe and its form,” and the second is “the mannishness of man.” The first draws attention to the fact that the universe around us is like an amazing jigsaw puzzle. We see many details, and we want to know how they fit together. That is what science is all about. Scientists look at the details and try to find out how they all cohere. So the first question that has to be answered is: how did the universe get this way? How did it get this form, this pattern, this jigsawlike quality it now has?
Second, “the mannishness of man” draws attention to the fact that human beings are different from all other things in the world. Think, for example, of creativity. People in all cultures of all ages have created many kinds of things, from “High Art” to flower arrangements, from silver ornaments to high-technology supersonic aircraft. This is in contrast to the animals about us. People also fear death, and they have the aspiration to truly choose. Incidentally, even those who in their writings say we only think we choose quickly fall into words and phrases that only make sense if they are wrong and we do truly choose. Human beings are also unique in that they verbalize. That is, people put concrete and abstract concepts into words which communicate these concepts to other people. People also have an inner life of the mind; they remember the past and make projections into the future. One could name other factors, but these are enough to differentiate people from other things in the world.
What world-view adequately explains the remarkable phenomenon of the distinctiveness of human beings? There is one world-view which can explain the explain the existence of the universe, its form, and the uniqueness of people – the world-view given to us in the Bible. There is a remarkable parallel between the way scientists go about checking to see if what they think about reality does in fact correspond to it and the way the biblical world-view can be checked to see if it is true.
Many people, however, react strongly against this sort of claim. They see the problem – Where has everything come from and why is it the way it is? – but they do not want to consider a solution which involves God. God, they say, belongs to “religion,” and religious answers, they say, do not deal with facts. Only science deals with facts. Thus, they say, Christian answers are not real answers; they are “faith answers.”
This is a strange reaction, because modern people pride themselves on being open to new ideas, on being willing to consider opinions which contradict what has been believed for a long time. They think this is what “being scientific” necessitates. Suddenly, however, when one crosses into the area of the “big” and most basic questions (like those we are considering now) with an answer involving God, the shutters are pulled down, the open mind closes and a very different attitude, a dogmatic rationalism, takes over.80
This is curious -first, because few seem to notice that the humanist explanations of the big and most basic questions is just as much a “faith answer” as any could be. With the humanist world-view everything begins with only matter; whatever has developed has developed only within matter, a reordering of matter by chance.
Even though materialistic scientists have no scientific understanding of why things exist, nor any certain scientific understanding of how life began, and even though this world-view leaves them with vast problems – the problems Woody Allen has described of “alienation, loneliness [and] emptiness verging on madness” – many modern people still reject at once any solution which uses the word God, in favor of the materialistic humanist “answer” which answers nothing. This is simply prejudice at work.
We need to understand, however, that this prejudice is both recent and arbitrary. Professor Ernest Becker, who taught at the University of California at Berkeley and San Francisco State College, said that for the last half-million years people have always believed in two worlds – one that was visible and one that was invisible. The visible world was where they lived their everyday lives; the invisible world was more powerful, for the meaning and existence of the visible world was dependent on it. Suddenly in the last century and a half, as the ideas of the Enlightenment have spread to the whole of Western culture, we have been told quite arbitrarily that there is no invisible world. This has become dogma for many secular people today.
Christians try to answer prejudices like these by pointing out that the biblical system does not have to be accepted blindly, any more than the scientific hypotheses have to be accepted blindly. What a scientist does is to examine certain phenomena in the world. He then casts about for an explanation that will make sense of these phenomena. That is the hypothesis. But the hypothesis has to be checked. So a careful checking operation is set up, designed to see if there is, in fact, a correspondence between what has been observed and what has been hypothesized. If it does correspond, a scientist accepts the explanation as correct; if it does not, he rejects it as false and looks for an alternative explanation. Depending on how substantially the statement has been “verified,” it becomes accepted as a “law” within science, such as the law of gravity or the second law of thermodynamics.
What we should notice is the method. It is rather like trying to find the right key to fit a particular lock. We try the first key and then the next and the next until finally, if we are fortunate, one of them fits. The same principle applies, so Christians maintain, when we consider the big questions. Here are the phenomena. What key unlocks their meaning? What explanation is correct?
We may consider the materialistic humanist alternative, the Eastern religious alternative, and so on. But each of these leaves at least a part of these most basic questions unanswered. So we turn to examine the Christian alternative.
Obviously, Christians do not look on the Bible as simply an alternative. As Christians we consider it to be objectively true, because we have found that it does give the answers both in knowledge and in life. For the purposes of discussion, however, we invite non-Christians to consider it as an alternative – not to be accepted blindly, but for good and sufficient reasons.
But note this – the physical scientist does something very easy, compared to those who tackle the really important and central questions for mankind. He examines a tiny portion of the real world – a leaf, a cell, an atom, a particle – and, because these things are not personal and obey very precise laws, he is able to arrive at explanations with relative ease. C. F. A. Pantin, who was professor of zoology at Cambridge University, once said: “Very clever men are answering the relatively easy questions of the natural examination paper.” This is not to disparage physical science. It works consistently with its own principles of investigation, looking further and further into the material of the world around us. But it only looks at part of the world. As Professor W. H. Thorpe of Cambridge University says, it is “a deliberate restriction to certain areas of our total experience – a technique for understanding certain parts of that experience and achieving mastery over nature.”
We are not then moving from definite things to indefinite things, when we look at those aspects of our experience which are more central than the study of an individual physical thing such as a leaf, a cell, an atom, or a particle. Rather, we are turning from a small part of reality to a larger part of reality. Picture a scientist for a moment: he is looking at a particular detail and carrying out his scientific investigation according to the recognized procedures. We have already discussed the method he uses to find the answers. Now we need to draw back and consider the whole phenomenon we are looking at, that is, the scientist carrying out his experiment. When the scientist is seated at his desk, he is able to find answers to his questions only because he has made two colossal assumptions about his situation, in fact about the entire world. He is assuming first of all that the things he is looking at do fit together somehow, even if some areas – such as particle physics – cannot at this time be fitted into a simple explanation. If the scientist did not assume that the things he is studying somehow fit together, he would not be trying to find an answer. Second, he is assuming that he as a person is able to find answers.
In other words, the big questions constitute the very framework within which the scientist is operating. To quote Thorpe again, “I recently heard one of the most distinguished theoretical scientists state that his own scientific drive was based on two fundamental attitudes: a conviction of his own responsibility and an awe at the beauty and harmony of nature.” So we have to resist any suggestion that to be involved in answering the big questions is somehow to be getting further and further away from “the real world.”
The opposite is the case. It is as we come to these big questions that we approach the real world that every one of us is living in twenty-four hours a day – the world of real persons who can think and so work out problems such as how to get to the other side of town, persons who can love, persons who can make moral decisions. These are, in other words, the phenomena which cry out for an adequate explanation. These are the things we know best about ourselves and the world around us. What world-view can encompass them?
C. S. Lewis pointed out that there are only two alternatives to the Christian answer – the humanist philosophy of the West and the pantheist philosophy of the East. We would agree. We agree, too, with his observation that Eastern philosophy is an “opposite” to the Christian system, but we shall look at that later. For the present our attention is directed toward the materialistic world-view of the West.
From time to time we read in the press or hear on the radio that an oil tanker has run aground on rocks and that the crude oil is being driven by the wind and currents onto an otherwise beautiful coast. We can picture the problem of humanism in that way. There is a rock on which all humanist philosophy must run aground. It is the problem of relative knowledge and relative morality or, to put it another way, the problem of finiteness or limitation. Even if mankind now had perfect moral integrity regarding the world, people would still be finite. People are limited. This fact, coupled with the rejection of the possibility of having answers from God, leads humanists into the problem of relative knowledge. There has been no alternative to this relativity for the past 200 years, and there can be no alternative within the humanist world-view. That is what we want to show now.

Francis Schaeffer pictured below:

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A nice parallel can be made between Woody Allen’s struggle with the issue of the mannishness of man and that of Charles Darwin. Below is something that Charles Darwin wrote looking back on his life:

“It is impossible to answer your question briefly; and I am not sure that I could do so, even if I wrote at some length. But I may say that the impossibility of conceiving that this grand and wondrous universe, with our conscious selves, arose through chance, seems to me the chief argument for the existence of God; but whether this is an argument of real value, I have never been able to decide.

Francis Schaeffer observed:

So he sees here exactly the same that I would labor and what Paul gives in Romans chapter one, and that is first this tremendous universe [and it’s form] and the second thing, the mannishness of man and the concept of this arising from chance is very difficult for him to come to accept and he is forced to leap into this, his own kind of Kierkegaardian leap, but he is forced to leap into this because of his presuppositions but when in reality the real world troubles him. He sees there is no third alternative. If you do not have the existence of God then you only have chance. In my own lectures I am constantly pointing out there are only two possibilities, a personal God or this concept of the impersonal plus time plus chance.  You will notice that he divides it into the same two points that Paul does in Romans into and that Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961) will in the problem of existence, the external universe, and man and his consciousness. Paul points out there are these two things that man is confronted with. Two things is the real world, the universe and its form and I usually quote Jean Paul Sartre here, and Sartre says the basic philosophic problem is that something is there rather than nothing is there and I then I add at the point the very thing that Darwin feels and that is it isn’t a bare universe that is out there, it is an universe in a specific form. I always bring in Einstein and the uniformity of the form of the universe and that it is constructed as a well formulated word puzzle or you have Carl Gustav Jung who says two things cut across a man’s will that he can not truly be automous, the external world and what Carl Gustav Jung would call his “collected unconsciousness.” It is the thing that curns up out of man, the mannishness of man. Darwin understood way back here this is a real problem. So he says “the impossibility of conceiving that this grand and wondrouse universe,” part one, the real world, the external universe, and part two “with our conscious selves arose through chance” and then he goes on and says this is not “an argument of real value.” This only thing he has to put in its place is his faith in his own theory.

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Here below is the Romans passage that Schaeffer is referring to and verse 19 refers to what Schaeffer calls “the mannishness of man” and verse 20 refers to Schaeffer’s other point which is  “the universe and it’s form.”

Romans 1:18-22Amplified Bible (AMP)

18 For God’s [holy] wrath and indignation are revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who in their wickedness repress and hinder the truth and make it inoperative.

19 For that which is known about God is evident to them and made plain in their inner consciousness, because God [Himself] has shown it to them.

20 For ever since the creation of the world His invisible nature and attributes, that is, His eternal power and divinity, have been made intelligible and clearly discernible in and through the things that have been made (His handiworks). So [men] are without excuse [altogether without any defense or justification],

21 Because when they knew and recognized Him as God, they did not honor andglorify Him as God or give Him thanks. But instead they became futile andgodless in their thinking [with vain imaginings, foolish reasoning, and stupid speculations] and their senseless minds were darkened.

22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools [professing to be smart, they made simpletons of themselves].

Francis Schaeffer commented:

Now Darwin is going to set forth two arguments for God in this and again you will find when he comes to the end of this that he is in tremendous tension. Darwin wrote, 

“At the present day the most usual argument for the existence of an intelligent God is drawn from the deep inward conviction and feelings which are experienced by most persons. Formerly I was led by feelings such as those just referred to (although I do not think that the religious sentiment was ever strongly developed in me), to the firm conviction of the existence of God and of the immortality of the soul. In my Journal I wrote that whilst standing in the midst of the grandeur of a Brazilian forest, ‘it is not possible to give an adequate idea of the higher feelings of wonder, admiration, and devotion which fill and elevate the mind.’ I well remember my conviction that there is more in man than the mere breath of his body; but now the grandest scenes would not cause any such convictions and feelings to rise in my mind. It may be truly said that I am like a man who has become colour-blind,

Francis Schaeffer observed:

Now Darwin says when I look back and when I look at nature I came to the conclusion that man can not be just a fly! But now Darwin has moved from being a younger man to an older man and he has allowed his presuppositions to enter in to block his logic. These things at the end of his life he had no intellectual answer for. To block them out in favor of his theory. Remember the letter of his that said he had lost all aesthetic senses when he had got older and he had become a clod himself. Now interesting he says just the same thing, but not in relation to the arts, namely music, pictures, etc, but to nature itself. Darwin said, “But now the grandest scenes would not cause any such convictions  and feelings to rise in my mind. It may be truly said that I am like a man who has become colour-blind…” So now you see that his presuppositions have not only robbed him of the beauty of man’s creation in art, but now the universe. He can’t look at it now and see the beauty. The reason he can’t see the beauty is very simple: THE BEAUTY DRIVES HIM TO DISTRACTION. THIS IS WHERE MODERN MAN IS AND IT IS HELL. The art is hell because it reminds him of man and how great man is, and where does it fit in his system? It doesn’t. When he looks at nature and it’s beauty he is driven to the same distraction and so consequently you find what has built up inside him is a real death, not  only the beauty of the artistic but the beauty of nature. 

Darwin wrote:

…and the universal belief by men of the existence of redness makes my present loss of perception of not the least value as evidence. This argument would be a valid one if all men of all races had the same inward conviction of the existence of one God; but we know that this is very far from being the case. Therefore I cannot see that such inward convictions and feelings are of any weight as evidence of what really exists. The state of mind which grand scenes formerly excited in me, and which was intimately connected with a belief in God, did not essentially differ from that which is often called the sense of sublimity; and however difficult it may be to explain the genesis of this sense, it can hardly be advanced as an argument for the existence of God, any more than the powerful though vague and similar feelings excited by music.

Francis Schaeffer noted:

You notice that Darwin had already said he had lost his sense of music [appreciation]. However, he brings forth what I think is a false argument. I usually use it in the area of morality. I mention that anthropologists point out that different people have different moral [systems]  and this is perfectly true, but what the materialist anthropologist can never point out is why man has a sense of moral motion and that is the problem here. Therefore, it is perfectly true that men have different concepts of God and different concepts of moral motion, but Darwin himself is not satisfied in his own position and WHERE DO THEY [MORAL MOTIONS] COME FROM AT ALL? So you are wrestling with the same dilemma here in this reference as you do in the area of all things human. For these men it is not the distinction that raises the problem, but it is the overwhelming factor of the existence of the humanness of man, the mannishness of man. The simple fact is he saw that you are shut up to either God or chance, and he said basically “I don’t see how it could be chance” and at the same time he looks at a mountain or listens to a piece of music it is a testimony that really chance isn’t sufficient enough. So gradually with the sensitivity of his own inborn self conscience he kills it. He deliberately  kills the beauty so it doesn’t argue with his theory. Maybe I am being false to Darwin here. Who can say about Darwin’s subconscious thoughts? It seems to me though this is exactly the case. What you find is a man who can’t stand the argument of the external beauty and the mannishness of man so he just gives it up in this particular place.

The Best Art References in Woody Allen Films Image via Complex / APJAC Productions

Film: Play It Again, Sam (1972)

In 1972’s Play It Again, Sam, Allen plays a film critic trying to get over his wife’s leaving him by dating again. In one scene, Allen tries to pick up a depressive woman in front of the early Jackson Pollock work. This painting, because of its elusive title, has been the subject of much debate as to what it portrays. This makes for a nifty gag when Allen strolls up and asks the suicidal belle, “What does it say to you?”

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Woody Allen in Play It Again Sam

Uploaded on May 20, 2009

Scene from ‘Play it Again Sam’ (1972)

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Allan: That’s quite a lovely Jackson Pollock, isn’t it?

Museum Girl: Yes, it is.

Allan: What does it say to you?

Museum Girl: It restates the negativeness of the universe. The hideous lonely emptiness of existence. Nothingness. The predicament of Man forced to live in a barren, Godless eternity like a tiny flame flickering in an immense void with nothing but waste, horror and degradation, forming a useless bleak straitjacket in a black absurd cosmos.

Allan: What are you doing Saturday night?

Museum Girl: Committing suicide.

Allan: What about Friday night?

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Woody Allen Contemplates God in “Hannah & Her Sisters”

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Woody Allen on insanity and Cate Blanchett

12 Questions for Woody Allen

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Ricky Gervais Show AFTERLIFE in light of the Book of Ecclesiastes Part 3 “Why didn’t Jesus save her [from cancer]?” (Tony’s 10 year old nephew George in episode 2)

After Life on Netflix

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

Daphne who is a good friend of Tony asserted,  Bad things happen to good people, good things happen to bad people… sometimes it’s just no one’s fault.

Episode # 2 of AFTERLIFE:

Below is a discussion between Tony and his ten year old nephew George concerning the passing of Tony’s wife Lisa.

George: Daddy says you are sad since  Aunt Lisa died.

Tony: Yep.

George: I am sad too. I dream about her sometime.

Tony: Me too.

George: Why didn’t the doctors make her better?

Tony: They tried.

George: Why didn’t Jesus save her?

Tony: Because Jesus is a &@$@$&! Don’t tell your Mum and Dad I said that.

George: I won’t.

On Twitter on May 23, 2013 Ricky Gervais wrote:

God doesn’t prevent terrible things because: A) He can’t B) He doesn’t want to C) He causes them D) He doesn’t exist PLEASE VOTE NOW.

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This objection to God’s existence has been stated many different ways through the years:

“tsunami just killed up you know i think that numbers higher  up two hundred thousand people flood twenty none of this is a sign that there’s a benevolent anything out there and this ninety percent is shipping nine nine percent of his earlier noted that’s uh… uh…” Neil deGrasse Tyson 

Peter Singer is a gentleman that I have had the opportunity to correspond with and he wrote in an article in FREE INQUIRY:

I argued that while I cannot
disprove the existence of every possible kind of deity, we can be sure that we do
not live in a world that was created by a god who is all-powerful, all-knowing,
and all good. Christians, of course, think we do live in such a world. Yet a
powerful reason for doubting this confronts us every day: the world contains a
vast amount of pain and suffering. If god is all-knowing, he knows how much
suffering there is. If he is all-powerful, he could have created a world without so
much suffering. If he is all-good, he surely would have created a world without
so much suffering.

Monday Morning Quotes: Sir David Attenborough

 
 
 
 
 
“I often get letters, quite frequently, from people who say how they like the programmes a lot, but I never give credit to the almighty power that created nature. To which I reply and say, “Well, it’s funny that the people, when they say that this is evidence of the Almighty, always quote beautiful things. They always quote orchids and hummingbirds and butterflies and roses.” But I always have to think too of a little boy sitting on the banks of a river in west Africa who has a worm boring through his eyeball, turning him blind before he’s five years old. And I reply and say, “Well, presumably the God you speak about created the worm as well,” and now, I find that baffling to credit a merciful God with that action. And therefore it seems to me safer to show things that I know to be truth, truthful and factual, and allow people to make up their own minds about the moralities of this thing, or indeed the theology of this thing.”
 

QUOTE FROM REBECCA GOLDSTEIN:

And I am an atheist. I am not wishy-washy on this question. Not only do I think the arguments for God’s existence don’t work, I think that this, more importantly to me, does not look like the kind of world empirically that is created by a good and caring and powerful God. It just—to me there’s just too much empirical evidence against it. Suffering of children is my number one complaint. And the amount of work that one has to do, that philosophers have done, that theists have done to answer the question, the problem of evil—you know, free will, and that works for only some of them, and the Holocaust was, okay, the Nazis had to have the power of absolute evil in order for them to be free, so a certain amount of suffering had to take place—that even that only goes so far. There’s a lot of suffering that can’t be answered that way. Soul making, you know, this is a place where a lot of virtues can only be induced, we can only come to them because of suffering, that doesn’t really seem to be to explain the suffering of children

Quote from Dershowitz in debate with Alan Keyes: 

I think the problem with the theodicy  is a very serious one. How does one explain the disasters in the world? I remember when Elian Gonzalez was rescued. So many religious people said, “See, see, God is wonderful. He saved Elian Gonzalez with porpoises.” Yeah, but what about those people who died? Was God not responsible for their death? “Oh, God works in mysterious ways.” If you are willing as human beings to abdicate your intelligence to a being who you don’t understand or know, what will that lead you to? It will lead you to being Abraham in the Bible. God comes down and says to Abraham, “Kill your son.” And Abraham says, “Sure.” And he’s prepared to kill his son. And there have been many Abrahams in the past.

3,000 years ago Solomon looked at the issue of the existence of pain and suffering in his Book of Ecclesiastes.

Ecclesiastes 4:1

 Then I looked again at all the acts of oppression which were being done under the sun. And behold I saw the tears of the oppressed and that they had no one to comfort them; and on the side of their oppressors was power, but they had no one to comfort them.

Francis Schaeffer: Between birth and death power rules. Solomon looked over his kingdom and also around the world and proclaimed that right does not rule but power rules.

Ecclesiastes 7:14-15

14 In the day of prosperity be happy, but in the day of adversity consider—God has made the one as well as the other so that man will not discover anything that will be after him.

15 I have seen everything during my lifetime of futility; there is a righteous man who perishes in his righteousness and there is a wicked man who prolongs his life in his wickedness.

Ecclesiastes 8:14

14 There is futility which is done on the earth, that is, there are righteous men to whom it happens according to the deeds of the wicked. On the other hand, there are evil men to whom it happens according to the deeds of the righteous. I say that this too is futility.

Francis Schaeffer: We could say it in 20th century language, “The books are not balanced in this life.”

Francis Schaeffer: There is only one reason that viewing life UNDER THE SUN from birth to death causes despair and that is because we live in an abnormal world [since the fall in Genesis 3 when sin entered the world because of rebellion]. It is a legitimate despair if viewed only in the context of UNDER THE SUN,but it is an abnormal despair if it is seen in its proper setting.

In September of 2016 I wrote the following letter to Ricky Gervais in the subject of suffering and pain in the world and it centered around the movie GREATER about the life of Brandon Burlsworth and for some reason thousands of people have visited the post I did on it.

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Image result for greater brandon burlsworth nick searcy the farmer Neal McDonough

Neal McDonough who starred in BAND OF BROTHERS takes center stage in the film GREATER as Brandon‘s older brother Marty Burlsworth

Image result for greater brandon burlsworth nick searcy the farmer Neal McDonough

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Image result for greater movie cheesecake

“If that boy is sittin’ on that couch eatin’ chips and cheesecake again, I’m gonna explode!”

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a-commemorative-display-was-set-up-by-the-indianapolis-colts-at-the-funeral-of-brandon-burlsworth-in-harrison-on-saturday-may-1-1999

Flowers at Burlsworth’s funeral

Image result for greater brandon burlsworth nick searcy the farmer

Brandon’s brother Marty is hounded at the funeral service  by a SECULARIST FARMER WHO QUESTIONS IF BELIEF IN GOD IS WARRENTED.  And the Farmer (played by Nick Searcy), repeatedly delivers soliloquies about the utter foolishness of faith. In one scene, the farmer says, “Brandon did have faith. He believed if he worked hard and did everything he was supposed to do, God would make everything turn out for the best. Did everything turn out for the best, Marty?”

Elsewhere, the Farmer taunts, “There is no loving God, Marty. That’s ridiculous. There’s just a howling void. And a real man, an honest man, doesn’t get down on his knees to pray to it for his mercy. He stands up to it, and he looks it right in his face and he howls right back.”

Image result for brandon burlsworth indianapolis colts

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Image result for greater brandon burlsworth nick searcy the farmer Neal McDonough

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Image result for greater brandon burlsworth frank broyles

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Image result for greater movie brandon burlsworth He believed if he worked hard and did everything he was supposed to that God would make everything turn out for the best

Brandon below with his brother Marty and his two nephews

Image result for brandon burlsworth death

XXXXXXXXX

September 23, 2016

Rickey Gervais, United Kingdom

Dear Rickey,

I know that you are a skeptic similar to Richard Dawkins and you have quoted him in the past in fact. It just so happens that I have just got finishing reading back to back his books, The God DelusionAn Appetite for Wonder: The Making of a Scientist, and Brief Candle in the Dark: My Life in Science.

On Twitter on May 23, 2013 you wrote:

God doesn’t prevent terrible things because: A) He can’t B) He doesn’t want to C) He causes them D) He doesn’t exist PLEASE VOTE NOW

I just saw the movie GREATER about the life of Brandon Burlsworth and there was a secularist farmer played by Nick Searcy that reminded me of you and when the DVD is released on 12-20-16 I would like to send you a free one.

Yesterday while in my  attic  I ran across a cassette tape labeled“April  1999” and it has the recording of my 12 year  old son calling  into a local radio show where he got to talk to Brandon Burlsworth who had just been drafted by the Indianapolis  Colts to play  in the NFL. Just a few days later Burlsworth was on his way to his Harrison, Ark., home from Fayetteville, where he received an SEC West title ring along with the rest of the 1998 Razorbacks on April 28, 1999. Every Wednesday, he returned to take his mom, Barbara, to church. The drive was supposed to take about 90 minutes.

He never made it.

The 22-year-old Burlsworth, who had been drafted by the Colts 11 days earlier after earning first-team All-America honors as a fifth-year senior, was involved in a head-on crash with a tractor-trailer about 15 miles outside Harrison and was killed. He was in the prime of his life and football career, and then he was gone.

One movie reviewer noted: 

There’s a great deal of Christian content in this film. It can perhaps best be summarized by saying that Brandon’s unwavering faith deeply informs everything he does, while his brother’s faltering faith after Brandon’s death is something he grapples with mightily.

Brandon has deep trust in God. At every step along his journey, when naysayers rise up to tell him that he’s being unrealistic, Brandon keeps moving forward in faith. Marty is more pragmatic, asking his brother things like, “You think God would give you D I [Division 1] dreams and a D III (Division III) body?” To Marty, the answer to that rhetorical, spiritual question is self-evident. Brandon, however, soldiers on, refusing to give up. “Have faith, Marty,” he says elsewhere. “This is my road.”

For his part, Marty struggles to cling to his faith in the wake of his brother’s death. That internal battle is depicted in a dramatic way through ongoing dialogue with a doubter named the Farmer. Marty’s trying to summon the courage to go into Brandon’s memorial service at Harrison High School. And the Farmer (played by Nick Searcy), depicted very nearly as a Satan-like tempter, repeatedly delivers soliloquies about the utter foolishness of faith. In one scene, the man (who’s whittling a portrait of Marty into a block of wood, almost as if he’s creating a voodoo doll) says, “Brandon did have faith. He believed if he worked hard and did everything he was supposed to do, God would make everything turn out for the best. Did everything turn out for the best, Marty?”

Elsewhere, the Farmer taunts, “There is no loving God, Marty. That’s ridiculous. There’s just a howling void. And a real man, an honest man, doesn’t get down on his knees to pray to it for his mercy. He stands up to it, and he looks it right in his face and he howls right back.”

But Marty also talks with his godly mother about how to process the randomness of Brandon’s death. She tells him that it’s only random when looked at from an earthly perspective. “If you assume this is all there is, you’d have a point, Marty. But that’s not true. This life is a drop in the ocean. One tick of eternity’s clock, and we’ll all be together again, Marty. And every trouble we had here will recede away like a dream.”

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It has been a pleasure to send you these letters in the past and I hope you take me up on this offer to see this inspirational true story about Brandon Burlsworth who was truly one of the greatest rags to richest stories in sports history. Also I would encourage you to google FRANCIS SCHAEFFER THE PROBLEM OF EVIL.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher, cell ph 501-920-5733, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002 everettehatcher@gmail.com

________________

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Josh Wilson – Before The Morning (Official Music Video)

One of my favorite songs  is called “Before the Morning” and it is by  the Christian singer Josh Wilson. The lyrics start out: “Why do you have to feel the things that hurt you? If there’s a God who loves you where is He now?” Over the years I have corresponded with several atheists and many times they confront me on this  very issue such as this letter did from Dr. Brian Charlesworth, Dept of Ecology and Evolution, University of Chicago in letter dated May 10, 1994:

Thank you for your various communications. I am afraid that I formed the view many years ago that there is no foundation for any belief in a benevolent creator of the world. For me, there is too much suffering in the world to be compatible with the existence of such a being. 

Let me make three points concerning the problem of evil and suffering. First, the problem of evil and suffering hit this world in a big way because of Adam and what happened in Genesis Chapter 3. Second, if there is no God then there is no way to distinguish good from evil and there will be no ultimate punishment for Hitler and Josef Mengele. Third. Christ came and suffered and will destroy all evil from this world eventually forever.

Recently I went to see the movie GOD’S NOT DEAD in a local theater and that prompted me to read the book of the same name by Rice Broocks. In the movie the problem of evil and suffering is discussed just like it is in the book  and would love to interact further with anyone who would like to see the film is a big hit in theaters this year. On page 5 on the book you will find these words:
 
Atheists claim that the universe isn’t what you would expect
if a supernatural God existed. All this death and suffering, they say,
are plain evidence that a loving, intelligent God could not be behind
it all. The truth is that God has created a world where free moral
agents are able to have real choices to do good or evil. If God had
created a world without that fundamental choice and option to do
evil, then we wouldn’t be having this discussion. God made a world
where choices are real and humanity is affected by the choices of
other humans. Drunk drivers kill innocent people. Some murder
and steal from their fellow men. Though God gave clear com-
mandments to humanity, we have for the most part ignored these
directives. The mess that results is not God’s fault. It’s ours.
We are called to follow God and love Him with all our hearts
and minds. This means we have to think and investigate. Truth
is another word for reality. When something is true it’s true
everywhere. The multiplication tables are just as true in China
as they are in America. Gravity works in Africa the way it does
in Asia. The fact that there are moral truths that are true every-
where points to a transcendent morality that we did not invent
and from which we cannot escape (C.S.Lewis, MERE CHRISTIANITY,[1952:
New York: Harper Collins, 2001], p. 35).
 
As Creator, God has placed not only natural laws in the earth
but also spiritual laws. For instance, lying is wrong everywhere.
So is stealing. Cruelty to children is wrong regardless of what
culture you’re in or country you’re from. When these laws are
broken, people are broken. Not only does violating these spiritual
laws separate us from God, but it causes pain in our lives and
in the lives of those around us. The big question becomes, what
can be done about our condition? When we break these spiritual
laws, whom can we call for help? How can we be reconciled to
God as well as break free from this cycle of pain and dysfunction?

Francis Schaeffer in his fine book about modern man ESCAPE FROM REASON  states,

“the True Christian position is that, in space and time and history, there was an unprogrammed man who made a choice, and actually rebelled against God…without Christianity’s answer that God made a significant man in a significant history with evil being the result of Satan’s and then man’s historic space-time revolt, there is no answer but to accept Baudelaire’s answer [‘If there is a God, He is the devil’] with tears. Once the historic Christian answer is put away, all we can do is to leap upstairs and say that against all reason God is good.”(pg. 81)

Someone I knew in 1985 grew up in Germany and was part of the Hitler Youth Program, Was he wrong in his beliefs? 

On what basis does the atheist have to say “Hitler was wrong!!!”

Early in his career Hitler was popular and many of the German people bought into his anti-semetic views. Does the atheist have an intellectual basis to condemn Hitler’s actions?

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My friend who grew up in Germany  believed until his dying day that Hitler was right. I had a basis for knowing that Hitler was wrong and here it is below.
 
It is my view that according the Bible all men are created by God and are valuable.  However, the atheist has no basis for coming to this same conclusion. Francis Schaeffer put it this way:
 
We cannot deal with people like human beings, we cannot deal with them on the high level of true humanity, unless we really know their origin—who they are. God tells man who he is. God tells us that He created man in His image. So man is some- thing wonderful.
 
In 1972 Schaeffer wrote the book “He is There and He is Not Silent.” Here is the statement that sums up that book:

One of philosophy’s biggest problems is that anything exists at all and has the form that it does. Another is that man exists as a personal being and makes true choices and has moral responsibility. The Bible gives sufficient answers to these problems. In fact, the only sufficient answer is that the infinite-personal triune God is there and He is not silent. He has spoken to man in the Bible.

In the movie CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS the basic question Woody Allen is presenting to his own agnostic humanistic worldview is: If you really believe there is no God there to punish you in an afterlife, then why not murder if you can get away with it?   The secular humanist worldview that modern man has adopted does not work in the real world that God has created. God “has planted eternity in the human heart…” (Ecclesiastes 3:11). This is a direct result of our God-given conscience. The apostle Paul said it best in Romans 1:19, “For that which is known about God is evident to them and made plain in their inner consciousness, because God  has shown it to them” (Amplified Version).

It’s no wonder, then, that one of Allen’s fellow humanists would comment, “Certain moral truths — such as do not kill, do not steal, and do not lie — do have a special status of being not just ‘mere opinion’ but bulwarks of humanitarian action. I have no intention of saying, ‘I think Hitler was wrong.’ Hitler WAS wrong.” (Gloria Leitner, “A Perspective on Belief,” The Humanist, May/June 1997, pp.38-39). Here Leitner is reasoning from her God-given conscience and not from humanist philosophy. It wasn’t long before she received criticism.

Humanist Abigail Ann Martin responded, “Neither am I an advocate of Hitler; however, by whose criteria is he evil?” (The Humanist, September/October 1997, p. 2.). Humanists don’t really have an intellectual basis for saying that Hitler was wrong, but their God-given conscience tells them that they are wrong on this issue.

Here is fine film by Francis Schaeffer and Dr. C. Everett Koop that makes the case for human dignity.

Francis Schaeffer “BASIS FOR HUMAN DIGNITY” Whatever…HTTHR

Also here is the link for  another fine article on this same issue by Chuck Colson.

Crimes? What Crimes?

The Grand ‘Sez Who’

Let us take a close look at how you are going to come up with morality as an atheist. When you think about it there is no way around the final conclusion that it is just your opinion against mine concerning morality. There is no final answers. However, if God does exist and he has imparted final answers to us then everything changes.

Take a look at a portion of this paper by Greg Koukl. In this article he points out that atheists don’t even have a basis for saying that Hitler was wrong:

What doesn’t make sense is to look at the existence of evil and question the existence of God. The reason is that atheism turns out being a self-defeating philosophic solution to this problem of evil. Think of what evil is for a minute when we make this kind of objection. Evil is a value judgment that must be measured against a morally perfect standard in order to be meaningful. In other words, something is evil in that it departs from a perfect standard of good. C.S. Lewis made the point, “My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call something crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line.”[ ] He also goes on to point out that a portrait is a good or a bad likeness depending on how it compares with the “perfect” original. So to talk about evil, which is a departure from good, actually presumes something that exists that is absolutely good. If there is no God there’s no perfect standard, no absolute right or wrong, and therefore no departure from that standard. So if there is no God, there can’t be any evil, only personal likes and dislikes–what I prefer morally and what I don’t prefer morally.

This is the big problem with moral relativism as a moral point of view when talking about the problem of evil. If morality is ultimately a matter of personal taste–that’s what most people hold nowadays–then it’s just your opinion what’s good or bad, but it might not be my opinion. Everybody has their own view of morality and if it’s just a matter of personal taste–like preferring steak over broccoli or Brussels sprouts–the objection against the existence of God based on evil actually vanishes because the objection depends on the fact that some things are intrinsically evil–that evil isn’t just a matter of my personal taste, my personal definition. But that evil has absolute existence and the problem for most people today is that there is no thing that is absolutely wrong. Premarital sex? If it’s right for you. Abortion? It’s an individual choice. Killing? It depends on the circumstances. Stealing? Not if it’s from a corporation.

The fact is that most people are drowning in a sea of moral relativism. If everything is allowed then nothing is disallowed. Then nothing is wrong. Then nothing is ultimately evil. What I’m saying is that if moral relativism is true, which it seems like most people seem to believe–even those that object against evil in the world, then the talk of objective evil as a philosophical problem is nonsense. To put it another way, if there is no God, then morals are all relative. And if moral relativism is true, then something like true moral evil can’t exist because evil becomes a relative thing.

An excellent illustration of this point comes from the movie The Quarrel . In this movie, a rabbi and a Jewish secularist meet again after the Second World War after they had been separated. They had gotten into a quarrel as young men, separated on bad terms, and then had their village and their family and everything destroyed through the Second World War, both thinking the other was dead. They meet serendipitously in Toronto, Canada in a park and renew their friendship and renew their old quarrel.divider

Rabbi Hersch says to the secularist Jew Chiam, “If a person does not have the Almighty to turn to, if there’s nothing in the universe that’s higher than human beings, then what’s morality? Well, it’s a matter of opinion. I like milk; you like meat. Hitler likes to kill people; I like to save them. Who’s to say which is better? Do you begin to see the horror of this? If there is no Master of the universe then who’s to say that Hitler did anything wrong? If there is no God then the people that murdered your wife and kids did nothing wrong.”

That is a very, very compelling point coming from the rabbi. In other words, to argue against the existence of God based on the existence of evil forces us into saying something like this: Evil exists, therefore there is no God. If there is no God then good and evil are relative and not absolute, so true evil doesn’t exist, contradicting the first point. Simply put, there cannot be a world in which it makes any sense to say that evil is real and at the same time say that God doesn’t exist. If there is no God then nothing is ultimately bad, deplorable, tragic or worthy of blame. The converse, by the way, is also true. This is the other hard part about this, it cuts both ways. Nothing is ultimately good, honorable, noble or worthy of praise. Everything is ultimately lost in a twilight zone of moral nothingness. To paraphrase the late Dr. Francis Schaeffer, the person who argues against the existence of God based on the existence of evil in the world has both feet firmly planted in mid-air.

_____________

Ricky Gervais in a You Tube clip from the show Piers Morgan Tonight on  1-20-2011 said that he embraced the golden rule because it made sense to him to be good to others so they would be good to you. However, how would that work if there is no ultimate lawmaker that also is our final judge? Rabbi Hersch’s argument to the secularist Jew Chiam seems to point out that without God in the picture it really does come to : “If a person does not have the Almighty to turn to, if there’s nothing in the universe that’s higher than human beings, then what’s morality? Well, it’s a matter of opinion. I like milk; you like meat. Hitler likes to kill people; I like to save them. Who’s to say which is better?”

Francis Schaeffer

Francis Schaeffer pictured above.

_______

Many crime victims feel forsaken by God. So do many divorced people, war prisoners, and starving refugees. But this young man’s cry of desperation carried added significance because of its historical allusion.
The words had appeared about a thousand years earlier in a song written by a king. The details of the song are remarkably similar to the suffering the young man endured. It said, “All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads …. They have pierced my hands and my feet…. They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.”{2}
Historians record precisely this behavior during the young man’s execution.{3} It was as if a divine drama were unfolding as the man slipped into death.
Researchers have uncovered more than 300 predictions or prophesies literally fulfilled in the life and death of this unique individual. Many of these statements written hundreds of years before his birth-were beyond his human control. One correctly foretold the place of his birth. {4} Another said he would be born of a virgin. {5} He would be preceded by a messenger who would prepare the way for his work, {6} He would enter the capital city as a king but riding on a donkeys back {7} He would be betrayed for thirty pieces of Silver, {8} pierced, {9} executed among thieves, {10} and yet, though wounded, {11} he would suffer no broken bones.{12}
Peter Stoner, a California mathematics professor, calculated the chance probability of just eight of these 300 prophecies coming true in one person. Using conservative estimates, Stoner concluded that the probability is 1 in 10 to the 17th power that those eight could be fulfilled by a fluke.
He says 1017silver dollars would cover the state of Texas two feet deep. Mark one coin with red fingernail polish. Stir the whole batch thoroughly. What chance would a blindfolded person have of picking the marked coin on the first try? One in 1017, the same chance that just eight of the 300 prophecies “just happened” to come true in this man, Jesus. {13}
In his dying cry from the cross Jesus reminded His hearers that His life and death precisely fulfilled God’s previously stated plan. According to the biblical perspective, at the moment of death Jesus experienced the equivalent of eternal separation from God in our place so that we might be forgiven and find new life.
He took the penalty due for all the crime, injustice, evil, sin, and shortcomings of the world-including yours and mine.
Though sinless Himself, He likely felt guilty and abandoned. Then-again in fulfillment of prophecy{14} and contrary to natural law-He came back to life. As somewhat of a skeptic I investigated the evidence for Christ’s resurrection and found it to be one of the best-attested facts in history. {15} To the seeker Jesus Christ offers true inner peace, forgiveness, purpose, and strength for contented living.

SO WHAT?

“OK, great,” you might say, “but what hope does this give the crime or divorce victim, the hungry and bleeding refugee, the citizen paralyzed by a world gone bad?” Will Jesus prevent every crime, reconcile every troubled marriage, restore every refugee, stop every war? No. God has given us free will. Suffering–even unjust suffering–is a necessary consequence of sin.
Sometimes God does intervene to change circumstances. (I’m glad my assailant became nervous and left.) Other times God gives those who believe in Him strength to endure and confidence that He will see them through. In the process, believers mature.
Most significantly we can hope in what He has told us about the future. Seeing how God has fulfilled prophecies in the past gives us confidence to believe those not yet fulfilled. Jesus promises eternal life to all who trust Him for it: “Whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.”{16}
He promised He would return to rescue people from this dying planet.{17}
He will judge all evil.{18}
Finally justice will prevail. Those who have chosen to place their faith in Him will know true joy: “He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain.”{19}
Does God intend that we ignore temporal evil and mentally float off into unrealistic ethereal bliss? Nor at all. God is in the business of working through people to turn hearts to Him, resolve conflicts, make peace. After my assailant went to prison, I felt motivated to tell him that I forgave him because of Christ. He apologized, saying he, too, has now come to believe in Jesus.
But through every trial, every injustice you suffer, you can know that God is your friend and that one day He will set things right. You can know that He is still on the throne of the universe and that He cares for you. You can know this because His Son was born (Christmas is, of course, a celebration of His birth), lived, died, and came back to life in fulfillment of prophecy. Because of Jesus, if you personally receive His free gift of forgiveness, you can have hope!
Will you trust Him?
Notes
 
1. Matthew 27:46.
2. Psalm 22.
3. Matthew 27:35-44; John 20:25.
4. Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:1.
5. Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18, 24-25; Luke 1:26-35.
6. Malachi 3:1; Isaiah 40:3; Matthew 3:1-2.
7. Zechariah 9:9; John 12:15; Matthew 21: 1-9.
8. Zechariah 11:12; Matthew 26:15.
9. Zechariah 12:10; John 19:34, 37.
10. Isaiah 53:12.
11. Matthew 27:38; Isaiah 53:5; Zechariah 13:6; Matthew 27:26.
12. Psalm 34:20; John 19:33, 36.
13. Peter Stoner, Science Speaks, pp. 99-112.
14. Psalm 6:10; Acts 2:31-32.
15. Josh McDowell, Evidence That Demands a Verdict, pp. 185-273.
16. John 5:24.
17. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.
18. Revelation 20:10-15.
19. Revelation 21:4 NAS.
©1994 Rusty Wright. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Reprinted with permission from Pursuit magazine (© 1994, Vol. III, No. 3)

About the Author
Rusty Wright, former associate speaker and writer with Probe Ministries, is an international lecturer, award-winning author, and journalist who has spoken on six continents. He holds Bachelor of Science (psychology) and Master of Theology degrees from Duke and Oxford universities, respectively. http://www.rustywright.com/

The Bible and Archaeology (1/5)

The Bible and Archaeology (2/5)

God Is A Luxury I Can’t Afford – From Crimes And Misdemeanors

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“Music Monday” THE BEATLES, Breaking down the song “BLACKBIRD” Part A (Featured Photographer is Richard Avedon)

The Beatles in their song BLACKBIRD were taking  notice of the plight of the Blacks and their civil rights struggles in the USA in the 1960’s. The song reminds me  of U2’s song PRIDE and Dion’s song ABRAHAM, MARTIN AND JOHN. Obviously Martin Luther King was the central leader of the Civil Rights Movement at this time and he was murdered  in Memphis just 2  months before the song was recorded by the Beatles. Paul McCartney wrote this song because it was a subject that had to be addressed!!! No wonder in the video THE AGE OF NON-REASON Francis Schaeffer noted that the Beatles did a great job of expressing exactly what people at the time were thinking and feeling in their songs.

How Should We then Live Episode 7 small (Age of Nonreason)

HowShouldweThenLive Episode 6

The Beatles – Blackbird (official video)

U2 – Pride (In The Name Of Love)

Dion — Abraham, Martin and John — Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.

 

The Beatles – Blackbird Meaning

Martin Luther King noted in 1963 in his I HAVE A DREAM SPEECH: 

In a sense we’ve come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the “unalienable Rights” of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked “insufficient funds.”

But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so, we’ve come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.

Francis Schaeffer asserted shortly before his death: 

The world view that the final reality is only material or energy shaped by pure chance, inevitably, (that’s the next word I would bring to you ) mathematically — with mathematical certainty — brings forth all these other results which are in our country and in our society which have led to the breakdown in the country — in society — and which are its present sorrows. So, if you hold this other world view, you must realize that it is inevitable that we will come to the very sorrows of relativity and all these other things that are so represented in our country at this moment of history.

It should be noticed that this new dominant world view is a view which is exactly opposite from that of the founding fathers of this country. Now, not all the founding fathers were individually, personally, Christians. That certainly is true. But, nevertheless, they founded the country on the base that there is a God who is the Creator (now I come to the next central phrase) who gave the inalienable rights.

We must understand something very thoroughly. If society — if the state gives the rights, it can take them away — they’re not inalienable. If the states give the rights, they can change them and manipulate them. But this was not the view of the founding fathers of this country. They believed, although not all of them were individual Christians, that there was a Creator and that this Creator gave the inalienable rights — this upon which our country was founded and which has given us the freedoms which we still have — even the freedoms which are being used now to destroy the freedoms.

The reason that these freedoms were there is because they believed there was somebody who gave the inalienable rights. But if we have the view that the final reality is material or energy which has existed forever in some form, we must understand that this view never, never, never would have given the rights which we now know and which, unhappily, I say to you (those of you who are Christians) that too often you take all too much for granted. You forget that the freedoms which we have in northern Europe after the Reformation (and the United States is an extension of that, as would be Australia or Canada, New Zealand, etc.) are absolutely unique in the world.

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According to SONGFACTS.COM:

  • Paul McCartney wrote this about the civil rights struggle for blacks after reading about race riots in the US. He penned it in his kitchen in Scotland not long after Little Rock, when the federal courts forced the racial desegregation of the Arkansas capital’s school system. McCartney told Mojo magazine October 2008: “We were totally immersed in the whole saga which was unfolding. So I got the idea of using a blackbird as a symbol for a black person. It wasn’t necessarily a black ‘bird’, but it works that way, as much as then you called girls ‘birds’; the Everlys had had Bird Dog, so the word ‘bird’ was around. ‘Take these broken wings’ was very much in my mind, but it wasn’t exactly an ornithological ditty; it was purposely symbolic.”

Paul McCartney ‘Early Days’

Published on Jul 7, 2014

http://www.PaulMcCartney.com
‘Early Days’ is taken from Paul McCartney’s ‘NEW’ album.

Get ‘NEW’:
From Amazon: http://smarturl.it/PMc_New_Album_Amzn
From iTunes: http://smarturl.it/PMnewiTunes
From Google Play: http://g.co/PlayPaulMcCartney

Early Days:

They can’t take it from me if they try
I lived through those early days
So many times I had to change the pain to laughter
Just to keep from getting crazed

Dressed in black from head to toe
Two guitars across our backs
We would walk the city roads
Seeking someone who would listen to the music
That we were writing down at home

But they can’t take it from me if they try
I lived through those early days
So many times I had to change the pain to laughter
Just to keep from getting crazy

Hair slicked back with Vaseline
Like the pictures on the wall
Of the local record shop
Hearing noises we were destined to remember
We willed the thrill to never stop

May sweet memories of friends from the past
Always come to you, when you look for them
And your inspiration, long may it last
May it come to you, time and time again

Now everybody seems to have their own opinion
Who did this and who did that
But as for me I don’t see how they can remember
When they weren’t where it was at

And they can’t take it from me if they try
I lived through those early days
So many times I had to change the pain to laughter
Just to keep from getting crazed
I lived through those early days
I lived through those early days

Paul McCartney – Blackbird (Live)

Blackbird (Beatles song)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about the Beatles song. For other songs with similar titles, see Blackbird (disambiguation).
“Blackbird”
Beatles-blackbird.jpg

Sheet music
Song by The Beatles from the album The Beatles
Released 22 November 1968
Recorded 11 June 1968, EMI Studios,London
Genre Folk
Length 2:19
Label Apple Records
Writer Lennon–McCartney
Producer George Martin

Blackbird” is a Beatles song from the double-disc album The Beatles (known as the White Album). The song was written by Paul McCartney, though credited to Lennon–McCartney.

Origins[edit]

McCartney explained on Chaos and Creation at Abbey Road, aired in 2005, that the guitar accompaniment for “Blackbird” was inspired by J.S. Bach‘s Bourrée in E minor, a well known lute piece, often played on the classical guitar.
The first night his future wife Linda Eastman stayed at his home, McCartney played “Blackbird” for the fans camped outside his house.[1]As teenagers, he and George Harrison tried to learn Bourrée as a “show off” piece. The Bourrée is distinguished by melody and bass notes played simultaneously on the upper and lower strings. McCartney adapted a segment of the Bourrée (reharmonised into the original’s relative major key of G) as the opening of “Blackbird”, and carried the musical idea throughout the song.

Meaning[edit]

McCartney was inspired to write it while in Scotland as a reaction to racial tensions escalating in the United States in the spring of 1968.[2]

In May 2002, during a show at the Reunion Arena in Dallas, Texas as part of the Driving USA Tour supporting the Driving Rain album, McCartney spoke on stage about the meaning of the song. KCRW DJ Chris Douridas interviewed McCartney backstage afterwards for his radio show New Ground, and the meaning of the song was discussed.[3] This interview aired on KCRW on 25 May 2002.

I had been doing poetry readings. I had been doing some in the last year or so because I’ve got a poetry book out called Blackbird Singing, and when I would read “Blackbird”, I would always try and think of some explanation to tell the people, ’cause there’s not a lot you can do except just read the poem, you know, you read 10 poems that takes about 10 minutes, almost. It’s like, you’ve got to, just, do a bit more than that. So, I was doing explanations, and I actually just remembered why I’d written “Blackbird”, you know, that I’d been, I was in Scotland playing on my guitar, and I remembered this whole idea of “you were only waiting for this moment to arise” was about, you know, the black people’s struggle in the southern states, and I was using the symbolism of a blackbird. It’s not really about a blackbird whose wings are broken, you know, it’s a bit more symbolic.— Paul McCartney, Interview with KCRW’s Chris Douridas, 25 May 2002 episode of New Ground (17:50–19:00)

Also, before his solo acoustic guitar set during the Driving USA Tour, McCartney explained that “bird” is British slang for girl, making “blackbird” a synonym for ‘black girl’. Near the end of the song’s performance, a young black woman sang the lyrics, “You were only waiting for this moment to arrive, blackbird fly…”, after which the program faded to a commercial.

In 2009, McCartney performed this song at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, commenting prior to singing it on how it had been written in response to the 1960s Civil Rights movement, and added, “It’s so great to realise so many civil rights issues have been overcome.”[4]

The Beatles – Blackbird (Subtitulada en español)

Composition and recording[edit]

The song was recorded on 11 June 1968 in EMI Studios, with George Martin as the producer and Geoff Emerick as the audio engineer.[5] It is a solo performance with McCartney playing a Martin D 28 acoustic guitar. The track includes recordings of a male blackbird singing in the background.[5][6]

The accompaniment consists of guitar, tapping, and birdsong overdub. The tapping “has been incorrectly identified as a metronome in the past”, according to engineer Geoff Emerick, who says it is actually the sound of Paul tapping his foot, which Emerick recalls as being mic’d up separately.[7] Footage included in the bonus content on disc two of the 2009 remaster of the album shows McCartney tapping both his feet alternately while performing the song.

The mono version contains bird sounds different from the stereo recording, and was originally issued on a mono incarnation of The Beatles (it has since been issued worldwide as part of The Beatles in Mono CD box set). The song appears on Love with “Yesterday“, billed as “Blackbird/Yesterday”. “Blackbird” provides an introduction to “Yesterday”.

George Harrison Interview 2000 (rare!)

Personnel[edit]

Cover versions[edit]

“Blackbird” is, by one count, one of the top ten most recorded covers of all time.[8] The following artists have recorded “Blackbird” in a variety of styles (in alphabetical order):

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Featured Photographer is Richard Avedon

Charlie Rose – Richard Avedon

Published on Feb 26, 2014

1999 Interview of photographer Richard Avedon by Charlie Rose. The first half of this episode of The Charlie Rose Show is an interview with photographer Annie Leibovitz here: http://bit.ly/1llyFo4

_________________

These first few people were on the cover of Sgt. Pepper’s:

Marlene Dietrich, Actor, The Ritz, Paris, August 1955 © Richard Avedon

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Bob Dylan

__________________


Aldous Huxley

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Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller by Richard Avedon, New York, May 8, 1957

________________


William S. Burroughs

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Below Paul by Richard Avedon

____________

Richard Avedon is mentioned at the 4:40 mark in the clip below:

Beatles Revolution #7-A

Richard Avedon below:

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___________

_____________________

_______________

_____________________________

GEORGE BY AVEDON:

______________

This shot of Ringo as Nero was taken by Richard Avedon on 29 January and used as illustration for a Daily Mail article titlled ‘Hail, Ringo’. The pic was taken at Thomson House where Avedon later took his iconic image of the four Beatles on 11 August 1967 (used for the psychedelic Daily Express posters in 1968 and, of course, on the Love Songs album. The Beatles also came to thomson House to start the Mad Day out photo shoot on 28 July 1968. BTW, Thomson House is now the headquarters of the ITV media empire.

Tags: ,

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Richard Avedon- Darkness and Light

Published on Sep 6, 2012

From the 1995 American Masters Series.

Good article below:

<a class=”entry-title” style=”margin:0;padding:0;border:none;outline:0;font-size:27px;text-decoration:none;color:#330000;font-family:Times;line-height:28.35000038147px;” title=”Once and For All: What’s The Beatles’ Coolest Collective Look?” href=”http://www.rocktownhall.com/blogs/once-and-for-all-coolest-collective-beatles-look/&#8221; rel=”bookmark”>Once and For All: What’s The Beatles’ Coolest Collective Look?

Posted by

Let’s kick off Once and For All February with a subject that hits on a large segment of the Hall’s demographic, involving a favorite band, Rock Superpowers, and the all-important issues of Look. Let’s determine—once and for allThe Beatles’ Coolest Collective Look.

The nominees and the RTH People’s Poll follow…after the jump!

Collarless Suits. What’s more classic, more Beatle-esque than the original collarless suits? Next to the moptop hairdos (and the music, of course), those suits are most responsible for putting the band on the map.

collarless

Sgt. Pepper’s. What’s more classic, more Beatle-esque than the moustachioed Sgt. Pepper’s Look? Any Beatles tribute band performance builds to a crescendo once the vaguely Beatles-looking members come back from a brief intermission in their colorful silk military suits and glue-on moustaches.

sgtpeppers

Rooftop Concert. The rooftop performance Look is heavy, man. Hair is blowing in the wind. Facial hair is in need of that snazzy electric razor favored by Adrien Brody, André 3000, and the Spanish guy from that overlooked gem of a movie The Science of Sleep. To top it off, they’re wearing a mish-mash of women’s fur coats, raincoats, green jeans, and proto-hipster sneaks!

rooftop

Stoned Soul Picnic. The Rubber Soul album cover photo shoot caught the band on a day when they probably needed a haircut, but someone must have watched the weather report and realized that low humidity would allow for one more day of stoned shagginess.

rubbersoulphoto

Richard Avedon glossies. Fashion photographer Richard Avedon’s White Album glossies capture a unique perspective on the boys: they are both immersed in their hippie-dom yet cleaned up and glammed up just enough to show their original guise as the fresh-faced lads they had been just a few years earlier.

avedon

Runners up (not eligible): Leonine (ie, when all 4 Beatles were bearded, which I don’t believe was ever captured on camera simultaneously); Walrus/Eggman costumes; Beatles Dress Up Like The Band (ie, Beatles Again album cover)…

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Richard Avedon Biography

Photographer (1923–2004)
American photographer Richard Avedon was best known for his work in the fashion world and for his minimalist, large-scale character-revealing portraits.
American photographer Richard Avedon was best known for his work in the fashion world and for his minimalist portraits. He worked first as a photographer for the Merchant Marines, taking identification photos. He then moved to fashion, shooting for Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue, demanding that his models convey emotion and movement, a departure from the norm of motionless fashion photography.

Profile

Richard Avedon was born on May 15, 1923 in New York City. His mother, Anna Avedon, came from a family of dress manufacturers, and his father, Jacob Israel Avedon, owned a clothing store called Avedon’s Fifth Avenue. Inspired by his parents’ clothing businesses, as a boy Avedon took a great interest in fashion, especially enjoying photographing the clothes in his father’s store. At the age of 12, he joined the YMHA (Young Men’s Hebrew Association) Camera Club.

Avedon later described one childhood moment in particular as helping to kindle his interest in fashion photography: “One evening my father and I were walking down Fifth Avenue looking at the store windows,” he remembered. “In front of the Plaza Hotel, I saw a bald man with a camera posing a very beautiful woman against a tree. He lifted his head, adjusted her dress a little bit and took some photographs. Later, I saw the picture in Harper’s Bazaar. I didn’t understand why he’d taken her against that tree until I got to Paris a few years later: the tree in front of the Plaza had that same peeling bark you see all over the Champs-Elysees.”

Avedon attended DeWitt Clinton High School in New York City, where one of his classmates and closest friends was the great writer James Baldwin. In addition to his continued interest in fashion and photography, in high school Avedon also developed an affinity for poetry. He and Baldwin served as co-editors of the school’s prestigious literary magazine, The Magpie, and during his senior year, in 1941, Avedon was named “Poet Laureate of New York City High Schools.” After high school, Avedon enrolled at Columbia University to study philosophy and poetry. However, he dropped out after only one year to serve in the United States Merchant Marine during World War II. As a Photographer’s Mate Second Class, his main duty was taking identification portraits of sailors. Avedon served in the Merchant Marine for two years, from 1942 to 1944.

Upon leaving the Merchant Marine in 1944, Avedon attended the New School for Social Research in New York City to study photography under Alexey Brodovitch, the acclaimed art director of Harper’s Bazaar. Avedon and Brodovitch formed a close bond, and within one year Avedon was hired as a staff photographer for the magazine. After several years photographing daily life in New York City, Avedon was assigned to cover the spring and fall fashion collections in Paris. While legendary editor Carmel Snow covered the runway shows, Avedon’s task was to stage photographs of models wearing the new fashions out in the city itself. Throughout the late 1940s and early 1950s he created elegant black-and-white photographs showcasing the latest fashions in real-life settings such as Paris’s picturesque cafes, cabarets and streetcars.

Already established as one of the most talented young fashion photographers in the business, in 1955 Avedon made fashion and photography history when he staged a photo shoot at a circus. The iconic photograph of that shoot, “Dovima with Elephants,” features the most famous model of the time in a black Dior evening gown with a long white silk sash. She is posed between two elephants, her back serenely arched as she holds on to the trunk of one elephant while reaching out fondly toward the other. The image remains one of the most strikingly original and iconic fashion photographs of all time. “He asked me to do extraordinary things,” Dovima said of Avedon. “But I always knew I was going to be part of a great picture.”

Avedon served as a staff photographer for Harper’s Bazaar for 20 years, from 1945 to 1965. In addition to his fashion photography, he was also well known for his portraiture. His black-and-white portraits were remarkable for capturing the essential humanity and vulnerability lurking in such larger-than-life figures as President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Marilyn Monroe, Bob Dylan and The Beatles. During the 1960s, Avedon also expanded into more explicitly political photography. He did portraits of civil rights leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and Julian Bond, as well as segregationists such as Alabama Governor George Wallace, and ordinary people involved in demonstrations. In 1969, he shot a series of Vietnam War portraits that included the Chicago Seven, American soldiers and Vietnamese napalm victims.

Avedon left Harper’s Bazaar in 1965, and from 1966 to 1990 he worked as a photographer for Vogue, its chief rival among American fashion magazines. He continued to push the boundaries of fashion photography with surreal, provocative and often controversial pictures in which nudity, violence and death featured prominently. He also continued to take illuminating portraits of leading cultural and political figures, ranging from Stephen Sondheim and Toni Morrison to Hillary Clinton. In addition to his work for Vogue, Avedon was also a driving force behind photography’s emergence as a legitimate art form during the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s. In 1959 he published a book of photographs, Observations, featuring commentary by Truman Capote, and in 1964 he published Nothing Personal, another collection of photographs, with an essay by his old friend James Baldwin.

In 1974 Avedon’s photographs of his terminally ill father were featured at the Museum of Modern Art, and the next year a selection of his portraits was displayed at the Marlborough Gallery. In 1977, a retrospective collection of his photographs, “Richard Avedon: Photographs 1947-1977,” was exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art before beginning an international tour of many of the world’s most famous museums. As one of the first self-consciously artistic commercial photographers, Avedon played a large role in defining the artistic purpose and possibilities of the genre. “The moment an emotion or fact is transformed into a photograph it is no longer a fact but an opinion,” he once said. “There is no such thing as inaccuracy in a photograph. All photographs are accurate. None of them is the truth.”

Richard Avedon married a model named Dorcas Nowell in 1944, and they remained married for six years before parting ways in 1950. In 1951, he married a woman named Evelyn Franklin; they had one son, John, before they also divorced.

In 1992, Avedon became the first staff photographer in the history of The New Yorker. “I’ve photographed just about everyone in the world,” he said at the time. “But what I hope to do is photograph people of accomplishment, not celebrity, and help define the difference once again.” His last project for The New Yorker, which remained unfinished, was a portfolio entitled “Democracy” that included portraits of political leaders such as Karl Rove and John Kerry as well as ordinary citizens engaged in political and social activism.

Richard Avedon passed away on October 1, 2004, while on assignment forThe New Yorker in San Antonio, Texas. He was 81 years old.

One of the greatest photographers of the 20th century, Richard Avedon expanded the genre of photography with his surreal and provocative fashion photography as well as portraits that bared the souls of some of the most important and opaque figures in the world. Avedon was such a predominant cultural force that he inspired the classic 1957 film Funny Face, in which Fred Astaire’s character is based on Avedon’s life. While much has been and continues to be written about Avedon, he always believed that the story of his life was best told through his photographs. Avedon said, “Sometimes I think all my pictures are just pictures of me. My concern is… the human predicament; only what I consider the human predicament may simply be my own.”

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Groucho Marx by Richard Avedon

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Buster Keaton, comedian, New York, September 1952. Photo Richard Avedon

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Dwight-EistenhowerRichard Avedon Foundation. Eli Reed. ‘Tupac Shakur’ 1992 (printed 2013)Richard Avedon. Charlie Chaplin Leaving America. NYC, September 13 1952___________

SIMPLY STUNNING: RICHARD AVEDON’S PORTRAITS

August 31, 2012

Good luck keeping your $#!% together when you walk into a room and see Jackie O., Malcolm X, Elizabeth Taylor, Tina Turner, Truman Capote, Janis Joplin, Katharine Hepburn, and Andy Warhol all in the same place.  Perhaps one of the most striking photography exhibitions in modern history, the SF MoMA’s Richard Avedon retrospective in 2009 was the first comprehensive retrospective of the American photographer since his death in 2004.  Titled “Richard Avedon: Photographs 1946-2004,” the exhibit focused purely on Avedon’s black and white photographs spanning his fifty+ year career, from pieces that graced the pages of Vogue to a portrait series of rural, Midwestern farm hands, carneys and beekeepers.

Born to a Russian Jewish family in New York City in 1923, Avedon began his career in his 20s in commercial and fashion photography, producing shots for Harper’s Bazaar, and soon after for Vogue and Life Magazine.

Funny Face – trailer (1956) AUDREY HEPBURN

Though he began his career in fashion photography, as he became a more established artist his interests  meandered to the movers and shakers of the American political and social scene.  Many of Avedon’s iconic photos depict some of the most famous models, actresses and actors, politicians, writers and artists in modern history.  In most cases, however, Avedon tried to capture a version of each person that is stripped of the Hollywood or political branding and bravado, instead aiming to represent basic human emotions and relatable expressions.

Keep in mind that the vast majority of the work reproduced below was originally produced on a larger-than-life scale, some reaching 8 by 10 feet or larger.

Even if you had no idea who these people were or what they did for a living, each portrait could give you a pretty good idea based on how Avedon chose to represent them.  The combination of the simple background with the close-up details and epic proportions of each photograph force your eyes to focus sharply on each facial expression and body movement; You notice the wrinkles around the lips of the trumpeter, the musician’s easy posture, a wife’s admirative stare, the grin and outstretched hand of a budding politician.

“He was trying to cut to the heart of the matter…to understand what people’s lives were really like under force of pressure.  His work, in a way, strips away the masks that we all wear, and in doing so reveals a kind of deeper humanity.  I think that when photographers today, or artists or writers or the public at large, look at his photographs, that this is what they’ll really be able to take away from the work: this penetrating of the masks that we all wear in order to hide ourselves.”  -Paul Roth, curator of Photography at Corcoran Gallery in Washington D.C.

Famous for saying, “All photographs are accurate.  None of them is the truth.”, Avedon understood that photography is an art of collaboration between a photographer and his subject, with push and pull, give and take from each.  He enjoyed using stories to evoke specific reactions from his subjects and to play with their emotions, allowing him to capture the expressions he wanted to show.

Take, for example, his photo shoot with the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.  Here is a photo of the duo taken in the Bahamas by the The Vancouver Sun in 1940 (not by Avedon):

Infamous for abdicating the throne to marry the woman he loved, Edward VIII was given the title Duke of Windsor, and his new wife Wallis Simpson became the Duchess of Windsor upon their marriage in the 1930s.  Wallis was an American socialite with two living ex-husbands (the second divorce was not finalized when she met Edward VIII)–hardly a suitable companion for a British monarch.  In addition to the initial political uproar that their romance caused in Britain,  during the Second World War the Duke and Duchess of Windsor were also suspected by many to be Nazi sympathizers.

Avedon knew that these political and socialite subjects were no strangers to being photographed, and that they were likely expecting a classic “stock photo shoot.”  As they sat down in front of the camera, and with the knowledge that they were avid Pug lovers, Avedon told them that on his way to meet them that day, his taxi had run over and killed a dog.

The following expression ensued:

The Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Waldorf Astoria, Suite 28A, New York, April 16, 1957

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Avedon’s focus shifted from celebrity portraits to documenting “working class” Americans.  He created a series, eventually published into an exhibition catalogue, called “In the American West: 1979-1984.”

Avedon himself said, during his transition from celebrity and fashion photographer  to “staff photographer” (ha!) at U.S.A. Today:

“I’ve photographed just about everyone in the world…but what I hope to do is photograph people of accomplishment, not celebrity, and help define the difference once again.”

In lieu of me posting a million (or two) additional mesmerizing Avedon portraits, check out The Richard Avedon Foundation’s website, which keeps his artwork and legacy alive in truly stunning photo displays, as well as in arts institutions worldwide.

Avedon Self Portrait

Richard Avedon, Self-portrait, Provo, Utah, August 20, 1980; © 2009 The Richard Avedon Foundation

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Salvador Dalí and Dovima, New York, January 1963Photographer: Richard Avedon

Avedon’s son and father, 1969

Avedon’s 8 x 10 portrait of his son, his father, and himself during a visit to Jacob Avedon’s home in Sarasota, Florida, August 9, 1969

Evidence 1944-1994 by Richard Avedon, Random House, 1994, p. 151: “Avedon’s 8″ x 10″ portrait of his son, his father, and himself during a visit to Jacob Avedon’s home in Sarasota, Florida, August 9, 1969”. © Richard Avedon Foundation.

This is the portrait of three different generations of men from the same family, each of them moving through life at different speed and in different direction, immobilized for a fraction of a second within the same frame.

From left to right: John Avedon, Jacob Israel Avedon (died in 1973) and Richard Avedon (died in 2004). The complete series of photos Richard Avedon took of his father can be found online at The Richard Avedon Foundation website.

palonka: photo of Coco Chanel by Richard Avedon via Accro de la Mode

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PATTI HANSEN aka Ms KEITH RICHARDS – Richard Avedon (1977) (Via superseventies)George Bush below:Henri Cartier-Bresson – Photographer Richard Avedon, Carmel Snow and Marie-Louise Bousquet, Paris 1951

Boston Museum of Fine Arts Hosts Richard Avedon Exhibit

Legendary American fashion photographer Richard Avedon who revolutionized the industry during his 60-year-long career (until his death in 2004) has taken tens upon thousands of the most well-done and well-known photographs. He is also famous for saying, “Think about the dream of Paris that everyone has. I helped invent that dream.” To honor this icon, theBoston Museum of Fine Arts is hosting a traveling exhibition of Avedon’s works entitled Avedon Fashion 1944-2000 which runs through January 17 2011.

Whether it be his photos of 15-year-old Brooke Shields in the controversial Calvin Klein Jeans campaign, his portraits of Andy Warhol, The Beatles, Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Bob Dylan, his tenure at Harper’s Bazaar, US Vogue and Life, or his photos for Gianni Versace, Richard Avedon’s name has been synonymous with fashion since the 1940s.

Brooke Shields, Calvin Klein Jeans, 1981

Andy Warhol, Jay Johnson and Candy Darling, New York, August 20, 1969

Audrey Hepburn, evening wear by Balmain, Dior, Patou, at Maxim’s, Paris, 1957

Born in New York City in the 1920s, Richard Avedon was fascinated since childhood by the art of photography, and the power that it has to portray clothes and women. He realized this as he grew up watching his father’s business (a women’s clothing store). Dropping out of Columbia University, Avedon began his career as a photographer for the Merchant Marines in 1942, followed by shooting advertisements for a department store. He soon caught the eye of Harper’s Bazaar’s creative director, eventually leading him to occupy the role of chief photographer for the magazine. During this time, Avedon opened up his own studio and began working on assignments for US Vogue and Life magazine.

Dorian Leigh, evening dress by Piguet, Paris, August 1949

Marilyn Monroe, New York City, May 6, 1957

Dovima with elephants, evening dress by Dior, Cirque d’Hiver, 1955

In 1966, Avedon followed famous editor Diana Vreeland when she left Harper’s Bazaar for Vogue; he subsequently became the staff photographer at Vogue until Anna Wintour‘s entry in 1988. He was also the star photographer year after year for the Gianni Versace label circa the 1980s. Numerous 1990s supermodels such as Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington, Stephanie Seymour and Cindy Crawford were featured in his photos. These images are now considered precious collectibles.

Christy Turlington, Linda Evangelista & Paulina Porizkova for Gianni Versace, 1988

Christy Turlington & Linda Evangelista for Gianni Versace, 1987

Karen Elson for Versace Couture, 1997

At a time, when fashion photographers followed de rigeur of asking models to remain still and emotionless in order to emphasize the clothes, Avedon went against the grain, asking models to jump, laugh, run down the street and wear rollerblades. He is said to have been able to animate the clothes via the model unlike any other photographer.

Model Carmen, coat by Cardin, Paris, August 1957

Richard Avedon with Twiggy in the 1960s

Stephanie Seymour, dress by Chanel, Paris, 1995

Richard Avedon was not only responsible for animating designers’ creations, but his photos of Paris can be said to hold testament to his self-proclaimed statement regarding the invention of the dreamy vision of Paris that exists today. As he frequented Paris in the latter half of the 1940s on Harper’s Bazaar assignments, Avedon began taking multiple series of photos of bleak Post-World War II Paris. However instead of showing a disheartened, gray city, he showed models skipping on the sidewalks, showing a real sense of joie de vivre.

Models Elise & Monique, hats by Schiaparelli, Cafe de Flore, Paris, August 1948

Suzy Parker & Robin Tattersall, evening dress by Grès, Moulin Rouge, Paris, 1957

Christian Bérard & Renée, suit by Dior, Le Marais, Paris, 1947

He found a way to take designers’ creations, be it Dior or Balenciaga, depict a woman wearing these clothes with sophistication, and then involve her with an element of the city, be it at the Moulin Rouge, or watching street performers in the Marais or outside the many cafes that line the Parisian sidewalks.

Kate Moss, May 1998

John Galliano, December 1999

Although Avedon did take non-fashion photographs as well, the Avedon Fashion exhibition explores only one aspect of his multi-faceted talent. The exhibition runs at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts until January 17, 2011.

Images from TFS & The Richard Avedon Foundation.

Richard Avedon

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
“Avedon” redirects here. For other uses, see Avedon (disambiguation).
Richard Avedon
Richard Avedon.jpg

Richard Avedon, 2004
Born May 15, 1923
New York City, New York, U.S.
Died October 1, 2004 (aged 81)
San Antonio, Texas, U.S.
Alma mater The New School for Social Research
Known for Photography
Spouse(s) Dorcas Marie “Doe” (Nowell) Avedon (m. 1944; div. 1949)
Evelyn Franklin (m. 1951)

Richard Avedon (May 15, 1923 – October 1, 2004) was an American fashion and portrait photographer. An obituary published in The New York Times said that “his fashion and portrait photographs helped define America’s image of style, beauty and culture for the last half-century”.[1]

Personal life and death[edit]

In 1944, Avedon married 19-year-old bank teller Dorcas Marie Nowell who later became the model and actress Doe Avedon; they did not have children and divorced in 1949.[27] In 1951, he married Evelyn Franklin; she died on March 13, 2004.[28] Their marriage produced one son, John Avedon, who has written extensively about Tibet.[29][30][31] [32]

In 1970, Avedon purchased a former carriage house on the Upper East Side that would serve as both his studio and his apartment.[33] In the late 1970s, he purchased a four-bedroom house on a 7.5-acre (3.0 ha) estate in Montauk, nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and a nature preserve; in 1998, he put the place on the market for $10 million and sold it for almost $9 million in 2000.[32][34]

On October 1, 2004, Avedon died in a San Antonio, Texas hospital of complications from a cerebral hemorrhage. He was in San Antonio shooting an assignment for The New Yorker. At the time of his death, he was also working on a new project titled Democracy to focus on the run-up to the 2004 U.S. presidential election.[1]

Legacy[edit]

The Richard Avedon Foundation is a private operating foundation, structured by Avedon during his lifetime. It began its work shortly after his death in 2004. Based in New York, the foundation is the repository for Avedon’s photographs, negatives, publications, papers, and archival materials.[35] In 2006, Avedon’s personal collection was shown at the Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York, and at the Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco, and later sold to benefit the Avedon Foundation. The collection included photographs by Martin Munkacsi, Edward Steichen and Man Ray, among others. A slender volume, Eye of the Beholder: Photographs From the Collection of Richard Avedon (Fraenkel Gallery), assembles the majority of the collection in a boxed set of five booklets: “Diane Arbus,” “Peter Hujar”, “Irving Penn”, “The Countess de Castiglione” and “Etcetera,” which includes 19th- and 20th-century photographers.[36]

In popular culture[edit]

Hollywood presented a fictional account of his early career in the 1957 musical Funny Face, starring Fred Astaire as the fashion photographer “Dick Avery.” Avedon supplied some of the still photographs used in the production, including its most famous single image: an intentionally overexposed close-up of Audrey Hepburn‘s face in which only her famous features – her eyes, her eyebrows, and her mouth – are visible.

Hepburn was Avedon’s muse in the 1950s and 1960s, and he went so far as to say: “I am, and forever will be, devastated by the gift of Audrey Hepburn before my camera. I cannot lift her to greater heights. She is already there. I can only record. I cannot interpret her. There is no going further than who she is. She has achieved in herself her ultimate portrait.”[37]

Famous photographs[edit]

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Alberto Giacometti

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J. Robert Oppenheimer

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Ronald Reagan by Richard Avedon

Merce Cunningham, choreographer, New York, February 17, 1993

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Arnold Schwarzenegger, actor, Republican candidate for Governor of California, New York, June

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Truman Capote

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Richard Avedon with Francis Bacon

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Willem de Kooning

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Ronald Reagan

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Patti Smith

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Janis Joplin

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John and Jackie Kennedy

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Andy Warhol and Group

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Image result for sergent peppers album cover

Francis Schaeffer’s favorite album was SGT. PEPPER”S and he said of the album “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band…for a time it became the rallying cry for young people throughout the world. It expressed the essence of their lives, thoughts and their feelings.”  (at the 14 minute point in episode 7 of HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? ) 

Image result for francis schaeffer how should we then live

How Should We Then Live – Episode Seven – 07 – Portuguese Subtitles

Francis Schaeffer

Image result for francis schaeffer

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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE PART 202 the BEATLES’ last song FREE AS A BIRD (Featured artist is Susan Weil )

February 15, 2018 – 1:45 am

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 200 George Harrison song HERE ME LORD (Featured artist is Karl Schmidt-Rottluff )

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE PART 184 the BEATLES’ song REAL LOVE (Featured artist is David Hammonds )

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 170 George Harrison and his song MY SWEET LORD (Featured artist is Bruce Herman )

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 168 George Harrison’s song AWAITING ON YOU ALL Part B (Featured artist is Michelle Mackey )

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 167 George Harrison’s song AWAITING ON YOU Part A (Artist featured is Paul Martin)

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 133 Louise Antony is UMass, Phil Dept, “Atheists if they commit themselves to justice, peace and the relief of suffering can only be doing so out of love for the good. Atheist have the opportunity to practice perfect piety”

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 166 George Harrison’s song ART OF DYING (Featured artist is Joel Sheesley )

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 165 George Harrison’s view that many roads lead to Heaven (Featured artist is Tim Lowly)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 164 THE BEATLES Edgar Allan Poe (Featured artist is Christopher Wool)

PART 163 BEATLES Breaking down the song LONG AND WINDING ROAD (Featured artist is Charles Lutyens )

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE PART 162 A look at the BEATLES Breaking down the song ALL WE NEED IS LOVE Part C (Featured artist is Grace Slick)

PART 161 A look at the BEATLES Breaking down the song ALL WE NEED IS LOVE Part B (Featured artist is Francis Hoyland )

 

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE PART 160 A look at the BEATLES Breaking down the song ALL WE NEED IS LOVE Part A (Featured artist is Shirazeh Houshiary)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 159 BEATLES, Soccer player Albert Stubbins made it on SGT. PEP’S because he was sport hero (Artist featured is Richard Land)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 158 THE BEATLES (breaking down the song WHY DON’T WE DO IT IN THE ROAD?) Photographer Bob Gomel featured today!

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 118 THE BEATLES (Why was Tony Curtis on cover of SGT PEP?) (Feature on artist Jeffrey Gibson )

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 117 THE BEATLES, Breaking down the song WITHIN YOU WITHOUT YOU Part B (Featured artist is Emma Amos )

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Dr. Francis Schaeffer – The Naturalistic, Materialistic, World View

Francis Schaeffer and  Gospel of Christ in the pages of the Bible

Francis Schaeffer’s term the “Mannishness of Man” and how it relates to Woody Allen and Charles Darwin!!! Schaeffer noted that everyone has these two things constantly pulling at them. First, it is the universe and its form and second, it is the mannishness of man. If one does not realize that God created them in the image of God where they can know right and wrong and worship their Creator then they will be longing throughout their life and even though they may say that we are a product of chance, like Allen did in his recent film MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT, he still is left with an empty feeling. Furthermore, Paul in  Romans 1 brings out these same two factors. In this post I am not going to spend much time on the demonstration that Woody Allen has dealt with the issues for the simple reason that I have done that over and over again in my previous posts. However, I will look at what Schaeffer says about Allen but mostly what he says about Charles Darwin and I will be providing extensive quotes from Darwin’s own autobiography Darwin, Francis ed. 1892. Charles Darwin: his life told in an autobiographical chapter, and in a selected series of his published letters [abridged edition]. London: John Murray.

The Search for an Adequate World-View: A Question of Method
Before we consider various possibilities, we must settle the question of method. What is it we are expecting our “answer” to answer?
There are a number of things we could consider, but at this point we want to concentrate on just two. The first is what we will call “the universe and its form,” and the second is “the mannishness of man.” The first draws attention to the fact that the universe around us is like an amazing jigsaw puzzle. We see many details, and we want to know how they fit together. That is what science is all about. Scientists look at the details and try to find out how they all cohere. So the first question that has to be answered is: how did the universe get this way? How did it get this form, this pattern, this jigsawlike quality it now has?
Second, “the mannishness of man” draws attention to the fact that human beings are different from all other things in the world. Think, for example, of creativity. People in all cultures of all ages have created many kinds of things, from “High Art” to flower arrangements, from silver ornaments to high-technology supersonic aircraft. This is in contrast to the animals about us. People also fear death, and they have the aspiration to truly choose. Incidentally, even those who in their writings say we only think we choose quickly fall into words and phrases that only make sense if they are wrong and we do truly choose. Human beings are also unique in that they verbalize. That is, people put concrete and abstract concepts into words which communicate these concepts to other people. People also have an inner life of the mind; they remember the past and make projections into the future. One could name other factors, but these are enough to differentiate people from other things in the world.
What world-view adequately explains the remarkable phenomenon of the distinctiveness of human beings? There is one world-view which can explain the explain the existence of the universe, its form, and the uniqueness of people – the world-view given to us in the Bible. There is a remarkable parallel between the way scientists go about checking to see if what they think about reality does in fact correspond to it and the way the biblical world-view can be checked to see if it is true.
Many people, however, react strongly against this sort of claim. They see the problem – Where has everything come from and why is it the way it is? – but they do not want to consider a solution which involves God. God, they say, belongs to “religion,” and religious answers, they say, do not deal with facts. Only science deals with facts. Thus, they say, Christian answers are not real answers; they are “faith answers.”
This is a strange reaction, because modern people pride themselves on being open to new ideas, on being willing to consider opinions which contradict what has been believed for a long time. They think this is what “being scientific” necessitates. Suddenly, however, when one crosses into the area of the “big” and most basic questions (like those we are considering now) with an answer involving God, the shutters are pulled down, the open mind closes and a very different attitude, a dogmatic rationalism, takes over.80
This is curious -first, because few seem to notice that the humanist explanations of the big and most basic questions is just as much a “faith answer” as any could be. With the humanist world-view everything begins with only matter; whatever has developed has developed only within matter, a reordering of matter by chance.
Even though materialistic scientists have no scientific understanding of why things exist, nor any certain scientific understanding of how life began, and even though this world-view leaves them with vast problems – the problems Woody Allen has described of “alienation, loneliness [and] emptiness verging on madness” – many modern people still reject at once any solution which uses the word God, in favor of the materialistic humanist “answer” which answers nothing. This is simply prejudice at work.
We need to understand, however, that this prejudice is both recent and arbitrary. Professor Ernest Becker, who taught at the University of California at Berkeley and San Francisco State College, said that for the last half-million years people have always believed in two worlds – one that was visible and one that was invisible. The visible world was where they lived their everyday lives; the invisible world was more powerful, for the meaning and existence of the visible world was dependent on it. Suddenly in the last century and a half, as the ideas of the Enlightenment have spread to the whole of Western culture, we have been told quite arbitrarily that there is no invisible world. This has become dogma for many secular people today.
Christians try to answer prejudices like these by pointing out that the biblical system does not have to be accepted blindly, any more than the scientific hypotheses have to be accepted blindly. What a scientist does is to examine certain phenomena in the world. He then casts about for an explanation that will make sense of these phenomena. That is the hypothesis. But the hypothesis has to be checked. So a careful checking operation is set up, designed to see if there is, in fact, a correspondence between what has been observed and what has been hypothesized. If it does correspond, a scientist accepts the explanation as correct; if it does not, he rejects it as false and looks for an alternative explanation. Depending on how substantially the statement has been “verified,” it becomes accepted as a “law” within science, such as the law of gravity or the second law of thermodynamics.
What we should notice is the method. It is rather like trying to find the right key to fit a particular lock. We try the first key and then the next and the next until finally, if we are fortunate, one of them fits. The same principle applies, so Christians maintain, when we consider the big questions. Here are the phenomena. What key unlocks their meaning? What explanation is correct?
We may consider the materialistic humanist alternative, the Eastern religious alternative, and so on. But each of these leaves at least a part of these most basic questions unanswered. So we turn to examine the Christian alternative.
Obviously, Christians do not look on the Bible as simply an alternative. As Christians we consider it to be objectively true, because we have found that it does give the answers both in knowledge and in life. For the purposes of discussion, however, we invite non-Christians to consider it as an alternative – not to be accepted blindly, but for good and sufficient reasons.
But note this – the physical scientist does something very easy, compared to those who tackle the really important and central questions for mankind. He examines a tiny portion of the real world – a leaf, a cell, an atom, a particle – and, because these things are not personal and obey very precise laws, he is able to arrive at explanations with relative ease. C. F. A. Pantin, who was professor of zoology at Cambridge University, once said: “Very clever men are answering the relatively easy questions of the natural examination paper.” This is not to disparage physical science. It works consistently with its own principles of investigation, looking further and further into the material of the world around us. But it only looks at part of the world. As Professor W. H. Thorpe of Cambridge University says, it is “a deliberate restriction to certain areas of our total experience – a technique for understanding certain parts of that experience and achieving mastery over nature.”
We are not then moving from definite things to indefinite things, when we look at those aspects of our experience which are more central than the study of an individual physical thing such as a leaf, a cell, an atom, or a particle. Rather, we are turning from a small part of reality to a larger part of reality. Picture a scientist for a moment: he is looking at a particular detail and carrying out his scientific investigation according to the recognized procedures. We have already discussed the method he uses to find the answers. Now we need to draw back and consider the whole phenomenon we are looking at, that is, the scientist carrying out his experiment. When the scientist is seated at his desk, he is able to find answers to his questions only because he has made two colossal assumptions about his situation, in fact about the entire world. He is assuming first of all that the things he is looking at do fit together somehow, even if some areas – such as particle physics – cannot at this time be fitted into a simple explanation. If the scientist did not assume that the things he is studying somehow fit together, he would not be trying to find an answer. Second, he is assuming that he as a person is able to find answers.
In other words, the big questions constitute the very framework within which the scientist is operating. To quote Thorpe again, “I recently heard one of the most distinguished theoretical scientists state that his own scientific drive was based on two fundamental attitudes: a conviction of his own responsibility and an awe at the beauty and harmony of nature.” So we have to resist any suggestion that to be involved in answering the big questions is somehow to be getting further and further away from “the real world.”
The opposite is the case. It is as we come to these big questions that we approach the real world that every one of us is living in twenty-four hours a day – the world of real persons who can think and so work out problems such as how to get to the other side of town, persons who can love, persons who can make moral decisions. These are, in other words, the phenomena which cry out for an adequate explanation. These are the things we know best about ourselves and the world around us. What world-view can encompass them?
C. S. Lewis pointed out that there are only two alternatives to the Christian answer – the humanist philosophy of the West and the pantheist philosophy of the East. We would agree. We agree, too, with his observation that Eastern philosophy is an “opposite” to the Christian system, but we shall look at that later. For the present our attention is directed toward the materialistic world-view of the West.
From time to time we read in the press or hear on the radio that an oil tanker has run aground on rocks and that the crude oil is being driven by the wind and currents onto an otherwise beautiful coast. We can picture the problem of humanism in that way. There is a rock on which all humanist philosophy must run aground. It is the problem of relative knowledge and relative morality or, to put it another way, the problem of finiteness or limitation. Even if mankind now had perfect moral integrity regarding the world, people would still be finite. People are limited. This fact, coupled with the rejection of the possibility of having answers from God, leads humanists into the problem of relative knowledge. There has been no alternative to this relativity for the past 200 years, and there can be no alternative within the humanist world-view. That is what we want to show now.

Francis Schaeffer pictured below:

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A nice parallel can be made between Woody Allen’s struggle with the issue of the mannishness of man and that of Charles Darwin. Below is something that Charles Darwin wrote looking back on his life:

“It is impossible to answer your question briefly; and I am not sure that I could do so, even if I wrote at some length. But I may say that the impossibility of conceiving that this grand and wondrous universe, with our conscious selves, arose through chance, seems to me the chief argument for the existence of God; but whether this is an argument of real value, I have never been able to decide.

Francis Schaeffer observed:

So he sees here exactly the same that I would labor and what Paul gives in Romans chapter one, and that is first this tremendous universe [and it’s form] and the second thing, the mannishness of man and the concept of this arising from chance is very difficult for him to come to accept and he is forced to leap into this, his own kind of Kierkegaardian leap, but he is forced to leap into this because of his presuppositions but when in reality the real world troubles him. He sees there is no third alternative. If you do not have the existence of God then you only have chance. In my own lectures I am constantly pointing out there are only two possibilities, a personal God or this concept of the impersonal plus time plus chance.  You will notice that he divides it into the same two points that Paul does in Romans into and that Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961) will in the problem of existence, the external universe, and man and his consciousness. Paul points out there are these two things that man is confronted with. Two things is the real world, the universe and its form and I usually quote Jean Paul Sartre here, and Sartre says the basic philosophic problem is that something is there rather than nothing is there and I then I add at the point the very thing that Darwin feels and that is it isn’t a bare universe that is out there, it is an universe in a specific form. I always bring in Einstein and the uniformity of the form of the universe and that it is constructed as a well formulated word puzzle or you have Carl Gustav Jung who says two things cut across a man’s will that he can not truly be automous, the external world and what Carl Gustav Jung would call his “collected unconsciousness.” It is the thing that curns up out of man, the mannishness of man. Darwin understood way back here this is a real problem. So he says “the impossibility of conceiving that this grand and wondrouse universe,” part one, the real world, the external universe, and part two “with our conscious selves arose through chance” and then he goes on and says this is not “an argument of real value.” This only thing he has to put in its place is his faith in his own theory.

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Here below is the Romans passage that Schaeffer is referring to and verse 19 refers to what Schaeffer calls “the mannishness of man” and verse 20 refers to Schaeffer’s other point which is  “the universe and it’s form.”

Romans 1:18-22Amplified Bible (AMP)

18 For God’s [holy] wrath and indignation are revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who in their wickedness repress and hinder the truth and make it inoperative.

19 For that which is known about God is evident to them and made plain in their inner consciousness, because God [Himself] has shown it to them.

20 For ever since the creation of the world His invisible nature and attributes, that is, His eternal power and divinity, have been made intelligible and clearly discernible in and through the things that have been made (His handiworks). So [men] are without excuse [altogether without any defense or justification],

21 Because when they knew and recognized Him as God, they did not honor andglorify Him as God or give Him thanks. But instead they became futile andgodless in their thinking [with vain imaginings, foolish reasoning, and stupid speculations] and their senseless minds were darkened.

22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools [professing to be smart, they made simpletons of themselves].

Francis Schaeffer commented:

Now Darwin is going to set forth two arguments for God in this and again you will find when he comes to the end of this that he is in tremendous tension. Darwin wrote, 

“At the present day the most usual argument for the existence of an intelligent God is drawn from the deep inward conviction and feelings which are experienced by most persons. Formerly I was led by feelings such as those just referred to (although I do not think that the religious sentiment was ever strongly developed in me), to the firm conviction of the existence of God and of the immortality of the soul. In my Journal I wrote that whilst standing in the midst of the grandeur of a Brazilian forest, ‘it is not possible to give an adequate idea of the higher feelings of wonder, admiration, and devotion which fill and elevate the mind.’ I well remember my conviction that there is more in man than the mere breath of his body; but now the grandest scenes would not cause any such convictions and feelings to rise in my mind. It may be truly said that I am like a man who has become colour-blind,

 

Francis Schaeffer observed:

 

Now Darwin says when I look back and when I look at nature I came to the conclusion that man can not be just a fly! But now Darwin has moved from being a younger man to an older man and he has allowed his presuppositions to enter in to block his logic. These things at the end of his life he had no intellectual answer for. To block them out in favor of his theory. Remember the letter of his that said he had lost all aesthetic senses when he had got older and he had become a clod himself. Now interesting he says just the same thing, but not in relation to the arts, namely music, pictures, etc, but to nature itself. Darwin said, “But now the grandest scenes would not cause any such convictions  and feelings to rise in my mind. It may be truly said that I am like a man who has become colour-blind…” So now you see that his presuppositions have not only robbed him of the beauty of man’s creation in art, but now the universe. He can’t look at it now and see the beauty. The reason he can’t see the beauty is very simple: THE BEAUTY DRIVES HIM TO DISTRACTION. THIS IS WHERE MODERN MAN IS AND IT IS HELL. The art is hell because it reminds him of man and how great man is, and where does it fit in his system? It doesn’t. When he looks at nature and it’s beauty he is driven to the same distraction and so consequently you find what has built up inside him is a real death, not  only the beauty of the artistic but the beauty of nature. 

Darwin wrote:

…and the universal belief by men of the existence of redness makes my present loss of perception of not the least value as evidence. This argument would be a valid one if all men of all races had the same inward conviction of the existence of one God; but we know that this is very far from being the case. Therefore I cannot see that such inward convictions and feelings are of any weight as evidence of what really exists. The state of mind which grand scenes formerly excited in me, and which was intimately connected with a belief in God, did not essentially differ from that which is often called the sense of sublimity; and however difficult it may be to explain the genesis of this sense, it can hardly be advanced as an argument for the existence of God, any more than the powerful though vague and similar feelings excited by music.

Francis Schaeffer noted:

You notice that Darwin had already said he had lost his sense of music [appreciation]. However, he brings forth what I think is a false argument. I usually use it in the area of morality. I mention that anthropologists point out that different people have different moral [systems]  and this is perfectly true, but what the materialist anthropologist can never point out is why man has a sense of moral motion and that is the problem here. Therefore, it is perfectly true that men have different concepts of God and different concepts of moral motion, but Darwin himself is not satisfied in his own position and WHERE DO THEY [MORAL MOTIONS] COME FROM AT ALL? So you are wrestling with the same dilemma here in this reference as you do in the area of all things human. For these men it is not the distinction that raises the problem, but it is the overwhelming factor of the existence of the humanness of man, the mannishness of man. The simple fact is he saw that you are shut up to either God or chance, and he said basically “I don’t see how it could be chance” and at the same time he looks at a mountain or listens to a piece of music it is a testimony that really chance isn’t sufficient enough. So gradually with the sensitivity of his own inborn self conscience he kills it. He deliberately  kills the beauty so it doesn’t argue with his theory. Maybe I am being false to Darwin here. Who can say about Darwin’s subconscious thoughts? It seems to me though this is exactly the case. What you find is a man who can’t stand the argument of the external beauty and the mannishness of man so he just gives it up in this particular place.

The Best Art References in Woody Allen Films Image via Complex / APJAC Productions

Film: Play It Again, Sam (1972)

In 1972’s Play It Again, Sam, Allen plays a film critic trying to get over his wife’s leaving him by dating again. In one scene, Allen tries to pick up a depressive woman in front of the early Jackson Pollock work. This painting, because of its elusive title, has been the subject of much debate as to what it portrays. This makes for a nifty gag when Allen strolls up and asks the suicidal belle, “What does it say to you?”

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Woody Allen in Play It Again Sam

Uploaded on May 20, 2009

Scene from ‘Play it Again Sam’ (1972)

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Allan: That’s quite a lovely Jackson Pollock, isn’t it?

Museum Girl: Yes, it is.

Allan: What does it say to you?

Museum Girl: It restates the negativeness of the universe. The hideous lonely emptiness of existence. Nothingness. The predicament of Man forced to live in a barren, Godless eternity like a tiny flame flickering in an immense void with nothing but waste, horror and degradation, forming a useless bleak straitjacket in a black absurd cosmos.

Allan: What are you doing Saturday night?

Museum Girl: Committing suicide.

Allan: What about Friday night?

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Woody Allen Contemplates God in “Hannah & Her Sisters”

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Woody Allen on insanity and Cate Blanchett

 

12 Questions for Woody Allen

 

 

 

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WOODY WEDNESDAY Open letter to Woody Allen concerning his obsession with death Part 1

In the film MIDNIGHT IN PARIS Gertrude Stein tells Gil Pender what she thinks about his book, “Now, about your book,it’s very unusual, indeed.I mean, in a way, it’s almost like science fiction.We all fear death, and question our place in the universe.The artist’s job is not to succumb to despair,but to find an antidote for the emptiness of existence.You have a clear and lively voice. Don’t be such a defeatist.”

Open Letter to Woody Allen

March 6, 2019

Woody Allen

c/o XXXXXXX
New York, NY 10016

Dear Mr. Woody Allen,

I feel like I know you personally. I have read several books about you and seen all of your movies and many of them over and over. I am one of your biggest fans and I have told many people about your movies.

I have done about 1,000 posts on your movies, but among the top most popular posts I have ever done deal with looking at the historical lives of the characters mentioned in the movie MIDNIGHT IN PARIS.

Did you know that several of these individuals committed suicide? Amedeo Modigliani, Juan Belmonte, Van Gogh, and Ernest Hemingway did commit suicide, and Paul Gauguin attempted to. The issue of death comes up quite a lot in your movies.

“There’s an old joke, um, two elderly women are at a Catskill Mountain resort, and one of ’em says, ‘Boy, the food at this place is really terrible.’ The other one says, ‘Yeah, I know. And such small portions.’ Well, that’s essentially how I feel about life. Full of loneliness and misery and suffering and unhappiness, and it’s all over much too quickly.” So begins the famous monologue at the beginning of Woody Allen’s best-known work, Annie Hall.

Image result for adrian rogers

(Adrian Rogers)

There is one book in the Bible that deals with death more than any other and it is the Book of Ecclesiastes. I have been interested in studying the Book of Ecclesiastes since I heard a message by Adrian Rogers on it in 1976 at my Junior High Chapel Service at school.

Let me start off by discussing what the book says about death.

Francis Schaeffer comments on the Book of Ecclesiastes and the subject of death:

Ecclesiastes 9:11

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.

Chance rules. If a man starts out only from himself and works outward it must eventually if he is consistent seem so that only chance rules and naturally in such a setting you can not expect him to have anything else but finally a hate of life.

Ecclesiastes 2:17-18a

17 So I hated life, because what is done under the sun was grievous to me, for all is vanity and a striving after wind. 18 I hated all my toil in which I toil under the sun…

That first great cry “So I hated life.” Naturally if you hate life you long for death and you find him saying this in Ecclesiastes 4:2-3:

And I thought the dead who are already dead more fortunate than the living who are still alive. But better than both is he who has not yet been and has not seen the evil deeds that are done under the sun.

He lays down an order. It is best never have to been. It is better to be dead, and worse to be alive. But like all men and one could think of the face of Vincent Van Gogh in his final paintings as he came to hate life and you watch something die in his self portraits, the dilemma is double because as one is consistent and one sees life as a game of chance, one must come in a way to hate life. Yet at the same time men never get beyond the fear to die. Solomon didn’t either. So you find him in saying this.

Ecclesiastes 2:14-15

14 The wise person has his eyes in his head, but the fool walks in darkness. And yet I perceived that the same event happens to all of them. 15 Then I said in my heart, “What happens to the fool will happen to me also. Why then have I been so very wise?” And I said in my heart that this also is vanity.

The Hebrew is stronger than this and it says “it happens EVEN TO ME,” Solomon on the throne, Solomon the universal man. EVEN TO ME, even to Solomon.

Ecclesiastes 3:18-21

18 I said in my heart with regard to the children of man that God is testing them that they may see that they themselves are but beasts. 19 For what happens to the children of man and what happens to the beasts is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and man has no advantage over the beasts, for all is vanity.[n] 20 All go to one place. All are from the dust, and to dust all return.21 Who knows whether the spirit of man goes upward and the spirit of the beast goes down into the earth?

What he is saying is as far as the eyes are concerned everything grinds to a stop at death.

Ecclesiastes 4:16

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.

That is true. There is no place better to feel this than here in Switzerland. You can walk over these hills and men have walked over these hills for at least 4000 years and when do you know when you have passed their graves or who cares? It doesn’t have to be 4000 years ago. Visit a cemetery and look at the tombstones from 40 years ago. Just feel it. IS THIS ALL THERE IS? You can almost see Solomon shrugging his shoulders.

Ecclesiastes 8:8

There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither hath he power in the day of death: and there is no discharge in that war; neither shall wickedness deliver those that are given to it. (King James Version)

A remarkable two phrase. THERE IS NO DISCHARGE IN THAT WAR or you can translate it “no casting of weapons in that war.” Some wars they come to the end. Even the THIRTY YEARS WAR (1618-1648) finally finished, but this is a war where there is no casting of weapons and putting down the shield because all men fight this battle and one day lose. But more than this he adds, WICKEDNESS WON’T DELIVER YOU FROM THAT FIGHT. Wickedness delivers men from many things, from tedium in a strange city for example. But wickedness won’t deliver you from this war. It isn’t that kind of war. More than this he finally casts death in the world of chance.

These facts inspired the author of the song DUST IN THE WIND. Kerry Livgren of KANSAS, who wrote the song noted, “I happened to be reading a book of American Indian poetry and somewhere in it I came across the line, ‘We’re just dust in the wind.’ I remembered in the BOOK of ECCLESIASTES  where it said, ‘All is vanity,’ ” Livgren said of the passage that it reminds man he came from dust and will return to dust.

Image result for kansas rock band

I remember a visit in 1976 that Adrian Rogers made to our Junior High Chapel service at EVANGELICAL CHRISTIAN SCHOOL, and it was that day that I personally began a lifelong interest in King Solomon’s life, and his search for satisfaction as pictured in the Book of Ecclesiastes.

(Kerry Livgren, Dave Hope in back)

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Solomon was searching for meaning and satisfaction in life in what Rogers called the 6 big L words in the Book of Ecclesiastes. 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).

Ecclesiastes 2:8-10The 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!

(Edward John Poynter Painting  below of Solomon)

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

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King Solomon in Ecclesiastes 2:11 sums up his search for meaning with these words, “…behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun.”

After hearing the sermon by Adrian Rogers in 1976, I took a special interest in the Book of Ecclesiastes and then the next year I bought the album POINT OF KNOW RETURN by the group rock group KANSAS. On that album was the song “Dust in the Wind”  and it rose to #6 on the charts in 1978. That song told me that Kerry Livgren the writer of that song 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, Solomon realized death comes to everyone and there must be something more. I was hoping the members of KANSAS would keep looking for something more than just material pursuits UNDER THE SUN.

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 the bass player DAVE HOPE of KANSAS became Christians eventually. Kerry Livgren first tried Eastern Religions and DAVE HOPE had to come out of a heavy drug addiction. I was 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. DAVE HOPE is the head of Worship, Evangelism and Outreach at Immanuel Anglican Church in Destin, Florida.

Those who reject God must accept three realities of their life UNDER THE SUN. FIRST, death is the end and SECOND, chance and time are the only guiding forces in this life. FINALLY, power reigns in this life and the scales are never balanced. In contrast, Dave Hope and Kerry Livgren believe death is not the end and the Christian can face death and also confront the world knowing that it is not determined by chance and time alone and finally there is a judge who will balance the scales.

Solomon’s experiment was a search for meaning to life “UNDER the sun.” Notice this phrase UNDER THE SUN since it appears about 30 times in Ecclesiastes. Francis 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.”

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.”

Even though this  phrase is used over and over in Ecclesiastes, Solomon omits the phrase in the 12th and final chapter of Ecclesiastes. In Ecclesiastes 12 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.”

(Adrian Rogers below)

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Kerry Livgren/Dave Hope: 700 Club Interview (Kansas) Part 1

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Kerry Livgren/Dave Hope: 700 Club Interview (Kansas) Part 2

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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. Below is a piece of that evidence given by Francis Schaeffer concerning the accuracy of the Bible.

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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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.

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TRUTH AND HISTORY (chapter 5 of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?, under footnote #94)

We looked earlier at the city of Lachish. Let us return to the same period in Israel’s history when Lachich was besieged and captured by the Assyrian King Sennacherib. The king of Judah at the time was Hezekiah.

Perhaps you remember the story of how Jesus healed a blind man and told him to go and wash in the Pool of Siloam. It is the same place known by King Hezekiah, approximately 700 years earlier. One of the remarkable things about the flow of the Bible is that historical events separated by hundreds of years took place in the same geographic spots, and standing in these places today, we can feel that flow of history about us. The crucial archaeological discovery which relates the Pool of Siloam is the tunnel which lies behind it.

One day in 1880 a small Arab boy was playing with his friend and fell into the pool. When he clambered out, he found a small opening about two feet wide and five feet high. On examination, it turned out to be a tunnel reaching  back into the rock. But that was not all. On the side of the tunnel an inscribed stone (now kept in the museum in Istanbul) was discovered, which told how the tunnel had been built originally. The inscription in classical Hebrew reads as follows:

The boring through is completed. And this is the story of the boring: while yet they plied the pick, each toward his fellow, and while there were yet three cubits [4 14 feet] to be bored through, there was heard the voice of one calling to the other that there was a hole in the rock on the right hand and on the left hand. And on the day of the boring through the workers on the tunnel struck each to meet his fellow, pick upon pick. Then the water poured from the source to the Pool 1,200 cubits [about 600 yards] and a 100 cubits was the height of the rock above the heads of the workers in the tunnel. 

We know this as Hezekiah’s Tunnel. The Bible tells us how Hezekiah made provision for a better water supply to the city:Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah and all his might, and how he made the pool and the conduit and brought water into the city, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah?(II Kings 20:20). We know here three things: the biblical account, the tunnel itself of which the Bible speaks, and the original stone with its inscription in classical Hebrew.

From the Assyrian side, there is additional confirmation of the incidents mentioned in the Bible. There is a clay prism in the British Museum called the Taylor Prism (British Museum, Ref. 91032). It is only fifteen inches high and was discovered in the Assyrian palace at Nineveh. This particular prism dates from about 691 B.C. and tells about Sennacherib’s exploits. A section from the prism reads, “As for Hezekiah,  the Jew, who did not submit to my yoke, forty-six of his strong walled cities, as well as small cities  in their neighborhood I have besieged and took…himself like a caged bird, I shut up in Jerusalem, his royal city. Earthworks I threw up against him,” Thus, there is a three-way confirmation concerning Hezekiah’s tunnel from the Hebrew side and this amazing confirmation from the Assyrian side.

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End of Open Letter to Woody Allen

Below is a previous post I did on Picasso and the issue of death and it was one of my most popular posts:

Both Solomon in Ecclesiastes and Picasso in his painting had an obsession with the issue of their impending death!!!

Picasso in the movie MIDNIGHT IN PARIS

Pablo Picasso: Self-portrait Facing Death (1972)

Does anyone not know the name Picasso? Based on sales of his works at auctions, he holds the title of top ranked artist according to the Art Market Trends report. He was also a prolific artist with estimates of 50,000 works of art producedin his lifetime. (This includes paintings, drawings, sculptuers, etc).

Pablo Picasso worked up until the day he died at age 91; literally painting till 3 am on Sunday, April 8th, which was just hours before his death.

His last well known self-portriat was done a little less than a year before his death, entitled Self Portrait Facing Death (June 30, 1972).

The piece is done with crayon on paper, and took several months to complete. A friend, Pierre Daix, tells of his memory of the piece on a visit to Picasso, “[Picasso] held the drawing beside his face to show that the expression of fear was a contrivance.” Then on another visit 3 months later, Pierre recalled that the harsh colored lines were even deeper, and Pierre writes, “He did not blink. I had the sudden impression that he was staring his own death in the face, like a good Spaniard”

There is much comentary about this piece. People talk about the fear of death Picasso had and how terrified his eyes look. They comment on the deep lines of age, and the work symbolizing Picasso’s confrontation of death.

Interestingly, as I researched this post I found a complete catolgue of Picasso’s works, in sequential order. It appears that just days prior and days after the piece above, he did several other self portraits.

I’m placing them in order, and wonder if there is a comment in the progression, I certainly feel there is a change with each. Below, copyright Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, are Self Portrait (June 28, 1972), Self Portrait (July 2, 1972), and Self Portrait (July 3, 1972)


In all his works through the next months before his death, I saw no further self portraits, these above were done in a burst, as if when done with these, he was done contemplating self and death.

Picasso’s death itself was sudden, waking on the morning of the 8th with an inabilty to get out of bed, calling for his wife, and dying 10 mins later. His cause of death was likely a heart attack with complications from heart failure.

I am happy to have stummbled upon the other portraits, giving us different glimpses of the idea of himself. Having such different works done in such a short time, gives testament to the complexity of all of our own self concepts. Just as I see the feelings of chaos, fear and acceptance in the works above, my own patients contemplating death can bounce from chaos, fear and acceptance sometimes in the span of a few hours.

References and more reading on the title piece:

http://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/picasso/home/ed/8works/8works_8

http://www.artst.org/picasso/PabloPicasso-Self-Portrait-1972.jpg.html

*And special thanks to Karen Faught for alerting me to this piece

Midnight in Paris

“Love the sort of Van Goh poster”
a.k.a “The title card is too simple (not that I’m complaining)”

While vacationing in Paris with his fiancée Inez (Rachel McAdams), Hollywood screenwriter Gil (Owen Wilson) falls in love with the city and dreams of, in his opinion, its golden age in the 1920s. Drunk and lost on his way back to his hotel, the city clock strikes 12 and Gil rides a vintage car to the era he loves in the city he adores. That’s when the rest of the movie begins, the romance flourishes, and the smiles chime in.

“A scene to tease and to deceive. Why? Watch.”
a.k.a. “A kiss is always a good start to a movie”

Like Before Sunrise (also a love story set in Europe) or Vicky Cristina Barcelona (also written and directed by Woody Allen, but less whimsical than this one), the movie carries the same tone all three movies share—very spontaneous and carefree. But while it’s a love story on many levels, it’s also a fantasy adventure, kind of a time-traveling, self-reflection story of a guy who seeks more in life.

“I said “more in life”. not more girls in life” a.k.a “Owen is one lucky guy”
(left: with Marion Cotillard); right: with Lea Seydoux)

Part of the mystique is having world-renowned artists and literary giants portrayed by current actors. If you paid attention during your art and literature classes, you’ll spot them easily and get their drift and the narrative slightly better than those who flunked the subject.

“Star-studded cast both past and current” a.k.a. “The only few I know”
Clockwise from top left: The Fritzgeralds (Alison Pill, Tom Hiddleston), Hemingway (Corey Stoll),
Gertrude Stein (Kathy Bates), Picasso (Marcial Di Fonzo Bo), and Dali (Adrien Brody)

I love how all the movie’s themes cut across time, also proving that old school can still be relevant in this day and age. Plus, to be so taken by the breathtaking sights of Paris—spectacular yet not very tourist-y, as Allen captured it—is always a pleasure. The film’s premise and story is simple but profound, yet such a breeze to watch. And if you don’t take with you romance or lessons, you should have at least bagged a good, genuine smile.

Midnight in Paris gets a seven-point-five out of ten for giving us a very timeless upgrade: romance with a hint of modern and a dash of nostalgia in the city of love.

Pablo Picasso: Death of Harlequin

Picasso’s “Death of Harlequin” captures an enigmatic view of life and death as a performer

Picasso portrait artist cubist painter

Credit: The Telegraph

You don’t have to be an art lover to know the name Pablo Picasso (1881-1973). But few would think to associate a Harlequin-esque character with the cubist legend.

The character of “Harlequin” shows up in a countless number of Picasso’s paintings (especially his Rose Period) and became the ideal personality onto which he could project his ponderings of life and death. One of the most powerful paintings of Harlequin is Death of Harlequin (1905), which shows a somber funeral scene after the entertainer’s death.

Why choose to work through Harlequin? He is, after all, a character who had no resemblance to the painter himself. The physical traits of Harelquin are far from discreet: his face eclipsed in white, while his body constantly overwhelmed by the gaudiness of his clothes. As far as we know, Picasso was never seen running around in a 15th century romper.

“Why choose to work through Harlequin? He is, after all, a character who had no resemblance to the painter himself.”


“Death of Harlequin” (1905) by Pacblo Picasso. Credit: cultured.com

There are endless academic and arty ponderings as to why Picasso chose to paint Harlequin in his tableaux. A mythological perspective notes that Harlequin was “a mysterious character with classical origins,” who “had long been associated with the god Mercury and with Alchemy and the Underworld.” Perhaps Picasso was drawn to Harlequin for the dark undertones of the character’s peppy visage – it presented an opportunity for him to explore a harsh duality.

Pablo Picasso pintando el Guernica (París, 1937)

Pablo Picasso (Paris, 1937). (Photo credit: Recuerdos de Pandora)

According the Met Museum, “Picasso has revealed the private sadness behind the public face of [Harlequin],” through “an interpretation that has greater resonance when one considers that the artist often regarded his clowns as representations of his alter ego.” In a way, Picasso played a similar role to Harlequin; he was never an entertainer per-se, but was expected to perform on a certain level as an artist for the public.

Death of Harlequin could very well show the exhaustion Picasso felt from such pressure. The image of Harlequin reclined in his garb, but also succumbed to death, represents the metaphorical death Picasso’s inspiration from time to time. With the constant pressure to “perform” well as a painter, it becomes easier to see the empathy Picasso could have felt with clowns like Harlequin. Another piece of information worth noting, says the Met, is the fact that Picasso was quite depressed at the time he painted Death of Harlequin, as his dear friend Carlos Casagemas had just committed suicide.

“As far as we know, Picasso was never seen running around in a 15th century romper.”

The tone of the painting is a bit undecided, walking the line between sadness and tranquility; helplessness and relief in the face of death. Harlequin and his mourners are bathed in white halos that seem to extend from their own face paint. The viewer doesn’t even see the legs of the table Harlequin is placed upon; instead he seems to float upon a cool, white portion of Picasso’s under-painting. Is Harlequin experiencing a peaceful death? Is he filled with regret after a life of tireless performance, or fulfillment? The wonderful thing about the work is, perhaps, its malleability: depending on our own mood, we can see a man reposed in peace, or surrendered to a life – and inspiration — exhausted.

What do you see in the face of Harlequin? We look forward to your comments below.

Related SevenPonds Posts:

Painting Details

20th Century Artist: Pablo Picasso
Title and Year: Death of Casagemas, 1901
Size: 27cm x 35cm
Medium: Oil on Canvas
Collection: Musée Picasso, Paris, France
Subject: Portraits, Male Portraits, Self Portraits

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This deathbed painting of Carlos Casagemas is an intimate portrait of a friend that committed suicide over a lover. Casagemas also appears in the melancholy La Vie painting of 1903.

The thick, expressive brushstrokes and complimentary colors are reminiscent of Vincent van Gogh.

See more Picasso Blue Period Paintings, Cubist Paintings or Late Picasso Paintings.

Francis Schaeffer comments on the Book of Ecclesiastes and the subject of death:

Ecclesiastes 9:11

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.

Chance rules. If a man starts out only from himself and works outward it must eventually if he is consistent seem so that only chance rules and naturally in such a setting you can not expect him to have anything else but finally a hate of life.

Ecclesiastes 2:17-18a

17 So I hated life, because what is done under the sun was grievous to me, for all is vanity and a striving after wind. 18 I hated all my toil in which I toil under the sun…

That first great cry “So I hated life.” Naturally if you hate life you long for death and you find him saying this in Ecclesiastes 4:2-3:

And I thought the dead who are already dead more fortunate than the living who are still alive. But better than both is he who has not yet been and has not seen the evil deeds that are done under the sun.

He lays down an order. It is best never have to been. It is better to be dead, and worse to be alive. But like all men and one could think of the face of Vincent Van Gogh in his final paintings as he came to hate life and you watch something die in his self portraits, the dilemma is double because as one is consistent and one sees life as a game of chance, one must come in a way to hate life. Yet at the same time men never get beyond the fear to die. Solomon didn’t either. So you find him in saying this.

Ecclesiastes 2:14-15

14 The wise person has his eyes in his head, but the fool walks in darkness. And yet I perceived that the same event happens to all of them. 15 Then I said in my heart, “What happens to the fool will happen to me also. Why then have I been so very wise?” And I said in my heart that this also is vanity.

The Hebrew is stronger than this and it says “it happens EVEN TO ME,” Solomon on the throne, Solomon the universal man. EVEN TO ME, even to Solomon.

Ecclesiastes 3:18-21

18 I said in my heart with regard to the children of man that God is testing them that they may see that they themselves are but beasts. 19 For what happens to the children of man and what happens to the beasts is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and man has no advantage over the beasts, for all is vanity.[n] 20 All go to one place. All are from the dust, and to dust all return.21 Who knows whether the spirit of man goes upward and the spirit of the beast goes down into the earth?

What he is saying is as far as the eyes are concerned everything grinds to a stop at death.

Ecclesiastes 4:16

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.

That is true. There is no place better to feel this than here in Switzerland. You can walk over these hills and men have walked over these hills for at least 4000 years and when do you know when you have passed their graves or who cares? It doesn’t have to be 4000 years ago. Visit a cemetery and look at the tombstones from 40 years ago. Just feel it. IS THIS ALL THERE IS? You can almost see Solomon shrugging his shoulders.

Ecclesiastes 8:8

There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither hath he power in the day of death: and there is no discharge in that war; neither shall wickedness deliver those that are given to it. (King James Version)

A remarkable two phrase. THERE IS NO DISCHARGE IN THAT WAR or you can translate it “no casting of weapons in that war.” Some wars they come to the end. Even the THIRTY YEARS WAR (1618-1648) finally finished, but this is a war where there is no casting of weapons and putting down the shield because all men fight this battle and one day lose. But more than this he adds, WICKEDNESS WON’T DELIVER YOU FROM THAT FIGHT. Wickedness delivers men from many things, from tedium in a strange city for example. But wickedness won’t deliver you from this war. It isn’t that kind of war. More than this he finally casts death in the world of chance.

 PABLO PICASSO
The Art History ArchiveCubism


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The Most Famous Artist of the 20th Century

Biography by Charles Moffat.

Full Name: Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Clito Ruiz y Picasso

Born October 25, 1881 – Died April 8, 1973.

“Everyone wants to understand art. Why don’t we try to understand the song of a bird? Why do we love the night, the flowers, everything around us, without trying to understand them? But in the case of a painting, people think they have to understand. If only they would realize above all that an artist works of necessity, that he himself is only an insignificant part of the world, and that no more importance should be attached to him than to plenty of other things which please us in the world though we can’t explain them; people who try to explain pictures are usually barking up the wrong tree.” – Picasso

After WWII, The Late Works: 1946-1973

In 1944, after the liberation of Paris, Picasso joined the Communist Party and became an active participant of the Peace Movement. In 1949, the Paris World Peace Conference adopted a dove created by Picasso as the official symbol of the various peace movements. The USSR awarded Picasso the International Stalin Peace Prize twice, once in 1950 and for the second time in 1961 (by this time, the award had been renamed the International Lenin Peace Prize, as a result of destalinization) . He protested against the American intervention in Korea and against the Soviet occupation of Hungary. In his public life, he always expressed humanitarian views.

After WWII, Françoise gave birth to two children: Claude (1947) and Paloma (1949). Paloma is the Spanish word for “dove” — the girl was named after the peace symbol.

Picasso would not settle down, and more women would come into his life, some coming and going, like Sylvette David; and some staying longer, like Jacqueline Rogue. Picasso would remain sexually active and seeking throughout most of his life; it wasn’t that he was looking for something better than what he had had previously; the artist had a passion for the new and untried, evident in his travels, his art and, of course, his women. For him, it was a way of staying young.

In the summer of 1955, Picasso bought “La Californie”, a large villa near Cannes. From his studio, he had a view of the enormous garden, which he filled with his sculptures. The south and the Mediterranean were just right for his mentality; they reminded of Barcelona, his childhood and youth. There, he painted “Studio ‘La Californie’ at Cannes” (1956) and Jacqueline in the Studio (1956). By 1958, however “La Californie” had become a tourist attraction. There had been a constantly increasing stream of admirers and of people trying to catch a glimpse of the painter at his work, and Picasso, who disliked public attention, chose to move house. Picasso bought the Chateau Vauvenargues, near Aix-en-Provence, and this was reflected in his art with an increasing reduction of his range of colors to black, white and green.

The mass media turned Picasso into a celebrity, and the public deprived him of privacy and wanted to know his every step, but his later art was given very little attention and was regarded as no more than the hobby of an aging genius who could do nothing but talk about himself in his pictures. Picasso’s late works are an expression of his final refusal to fit into categories. He did whatever he wanted in art and did not arouse a word of criticism.

With his adaptation of “Las Meninas” by Velászquez and his experiments with Manet’s Luncheon on the Grass, was Picasso still trying to discover something new, or was he just laughing at the public, its stupidity and its inability to see the obvious.

A number of elements had become characteristic in his art of this period: Picasso’s use of simplified imagery, the way he let the unpainted canvas shine through, his emphatic use of lines, and the vagueness of the subject. In 1956, the artist would comment, referring to some schoolchildren: “When I was as old as these children, I could draw like Raphael, but it took me a lifetime to learn to draw like them.”

In the last years of his life, painting became an obsession with Picasso, and he would date each picture with absolute precision, thus creating a vast amount of similar paintings — as if attempting to crystallize individual moments of time, but knowing that, in the end, everything would be in vain.

The movie MIDNIGHT IN PARIS offers many of the same themes we see in Ecclesiastes. The second post looked at the question: WAS THERE EVER A GOLDEN AGE AND DID THE MOST TALENTED UNIVERSAL MEN OF THAT TIME FIND TRUE SATISFACTION DURING IT?

In the third post in this series we discover in Ecclesiastes that man UNDER THE SUN finds himself caught in the never ending cycle of birth and death. The SURREALISTS make a leap into the area of nonreason in order to get out of this cycle and that is why the scene in MIDNIGHT IN PARIS with Salvador Dali, Man Ray, and Luis Bunuel works so well!!!! These surrealists look to the area of their dreams to find a meaning for their lives and their break with reality is  only because they know that they can’t find a rational meaning in life without God in the picture.

The fourth post looks at the solution of WINE, WOMEN AND SONG and the fifth and sixth posts look at the solution T.S.Eliot found in the Christian Faith and how he left his fragmented message of pessimism behind. In the seventh post the SURREALISTS say that time and chance is all we have but how can that explain love or art and the hunger for God? The eighth  post looks at the subject of DEATH both in Ecclesiastes and MIDNIGHT IN PARIS. In the ninth post we look at the nihilistic worldview of Woody Allen and why he keeps putting suicides into his films.

In the tenth post I show how Woody Allen pokes fun at the brilliant thinkers of this world and how King Solomon did the same thing 3000 years ago. In the eleventh post I point out how many of Woody Allen’s liberal political views come a lack of understanding of the sinful nature of man and where it originated. In the twelfth post I look at the mannishness of man and vacuum in his heart that can only be satisfied by a relationship with God.

In the thirteenth post we look at the life of Ernest Hemingway as pictured in MIDNIGHT AND PARIS and relate it to the change of outlook he had on life as the years passed. In the fourteenth post we look at Hemingway’s idea of Paris being a movable  feast. The fifteenth and sixteenth posts both compare Hemingway’s statement, “Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know…”  with Ecclesiastes 2:18 “For in much wisdom is much vexation, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.” The seventeenth post looks at these words Woody Allen put into Hemingway’s mouth,  “We fear death because we feel that we haven’t loved well enough or loved at all.”

In MIDNIGHT IN PARIS Hemingway and Gil Pender talk about their literary idol Mark Twain and the eighteenth post is summed up nicely by Kris Hemphill‘swords, “Both Twain and [King Solomon in the Book of Ecclesiastes] voice questions our souls long to have answered: Where does one find enduring meaning, life purpose, and sustainable joy, and why do so few seem to find it? The nineteenth post looks at the tension felt both in the life of Gil Pender (written by Woody Allen) in the movie MIDNIGHT IN PARIS and in Mark Twain’s life and that is when an atheist says he wants to scoff at the idea THAT WE WERE PUT HERE FOR A PURPOSE but he must stay face the reality of  Ecclesiastes 3:11 that says “God has planted eternity in the heart of men…” and  THAT CHANGES EVERYTHING! Therefore, the secular view that there is no such thing as love or purpose looks implausible. The twentieth post examines how Mark Twain discovered just like King Solomon in the Book of Ecclesiastes that there is no explanation  for the suffering and injustice that occurs in life UNDER THE SUN. Solomon actually brought God back into the picture in the last chapter and he looked  ABOVE THE SUN for the books to be balanced and for the tears to be wiped away.

The twenty-first post looks at the words of King Solomon, Woody Allen and Mark Twain that without God in the picture our lives UNDER THE SUN will accomplish nothing that lasts. The twenty-second post looks at King Solomon’s experiment 3000 years that proved that luxuries can’t bring satisfaction to one’s life but we have seen this proven over and over through the ages. Mark Twain lampooned the rich in his book “The Gilded Age” and he discussed  get rich quick fever, but Sam Clemens loved money and the comfort and luxuries it could buy. Likewise Scott Fitzgerald  was very successful in the 1920’s after his publication of THE GREAT GATSBY and lived a lavish lifestyle until his death in 1940 as a result of alcoholism.

In the twenty-third post we look at Mark Twain’s statement that people should either commit suicide or stay drunk if they are “demonstrably wise” and want to “keep their reasoning faculties.” We actually see this play out in the film MIDNIGHT IN PARIS with the character Zelda Fitzgerald. In the twenty-fourth, twenty-fifth and twenty-sixth posts I look at Mark Twain and the issue of racism. In MIDNIGHT IN PARIS we see the difference between the attitudes concerning race in 1925 Paris and the rest of the world.

The twenty-seventh and twenty-eighth posts are summing up Mark Twain. In the 29th post we ask did MIDNIGHT IN PARIS accurately portray Hemingway’s personality and outlook on life? and in the 30th post the life and views of Hemingway are summed up.

In the 31st post we will observe that just like Solomon Picasso slept with many women. Solomon actually slept with  over 1000 women ( Eccl 2:8, I Kings 11:3), and both men ended their lives bitter against all women and in the 32nd post we look at what happened to these former lovers of Picasso. In the 33rd post we see that Picasso  deliberately painted his secular  worldview of fragmentation on his canvas but he could not live with the loss of humanness and he reverted back at crucial points and painted those he loved with all his genius and with all their humanness!!! In the 34th post  we notice that both Solomon in Ecclesiastes and Picasso in his painting had an obsession with the issue of their impending death!!!

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Related posts:

“Woody Wednesday” ECCLESIASTES AND WOODY ALLEN’S FILMS: SOLOMON “WOULD GOT ALONG WELL WITH WOODY!” (Part 7 MIDNIGHT IN PARIS Part F, SURREALISTS AND THE IDEA OF ABSURDITY AND CHANCE)

Woody Allen believes that we live in a cold, violent and meaningless universe and it seems that his main character (Gil Pender, played by Owen Wilson) in the movie MIDNIGHT IN PARIS shares that view. Pender’s meeting with the Surrealists is by far the best scene in the movie because they are ones who can […]

“Woody Wednesday” ECCLESIASTES AND WOODY ALLEN’S FILMS: SOLOMON “WOULD GOT ALONG WELL WITH WOODY!” (Part 6 MIDNIGHT IN PARIS Part E, A FURTHER LOOK AT T.S. Eliot’s DESPAIR AND THEN HIS SOLUTION)

In the last post I pointed out how King Solomon in Ecclesiastes painted a dismal situation for modern man in life UNDER THE SUN  and that Bertrand Russell, and T.S. Eliot and  other modern writers had agreed with Solomon’s view. However, T.S. Eliot had found a solution to this problem and put his faith in […]

“Woody Wednesday” ECCLESIASTES AND WOODY ALLEN’S FILMS: SOLOMON “WOULD GOT ALONG WELL WITH WOODY!” (Part 5 MIDNIGHT IN PARIS Part D, A LOOK AT T.S. Eliot’s DESPAIR AND THEN HIS SOLUTION)

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

“Woody Wednesday” ECCLESIASTES AND WOODY ALLEN’S FILMS: SOLOMON “WOULD GOT ALONG WELL WITH WOODY!” (Part 4 MIDNIGHT IN PARIS Part C, IS THE ANSWER TO FINDING SATISFACTION FOUND IN WINE, WOMEN AND SONG?)

Ernest Hemingway and Scott Fitzgerald left the prohibitionist America for wet Paris in the 1920’s and they both drank a lot. WINE, WOMEN AND SONG  was their motto and I am afraid ultimately wine got the best of Fitzgerald and shortened his career. Woody Allen pictures this culture in the first few clips in the […]

“Woody Wednesday” ECCLESIASTES AND WOODY ALLEN’S FILMS: SOLOMON “WOULD GOT ALONG WELL WITH WOODY!” (Part 3 MIDNIGHT IN PARIS Part B, THE SURREALISTS Salvador Dali, Man Ray, and Luis Bunuel try to break out of cycle!!!)

In the film MIDNIGHT IN PARIS Woody Allen the best scene of the movie is when Gil Pender encounters the SURREALISTS!!!  This series deals with the Book of Ecclesiastes and Woody Allen films.  The first post  dealt with MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT and it dealt with the fact that in the Book of Ecclesiastes Solomon does contend […]

“Woody Wednesday” ECCLESIASTES AND WOODY ALLEN’S FILMS: SOLOMON “WOULD GOT ALONG WELL WITH WOODY!” (Part 2 MIDNIGHT IN PARIS Part A, When was the greatest time to live in Paris? 1920’s or La Belle Époque [1873-1914] )

In the film MIDNIGHT IN PARIS Woody Allen is really looking at one main question through the pursuits of his main character GIL PENDER. That question is WAS THERE EVER A GOLDEN AGE AND DID THE MOST TALENTED UNIVERSAL MEN OF THAT TIME FIND TRUE SATISFACTION DURING IT? This is the second post I have […]

“Woody Wednesday” ECCLESIASTES AND WOODY ALLEN’S FILMS: SOLOMON “WOULD GOT ALONG WELL WITH WOODY!” (Part 1 MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT)

I am starting a series of posts called ECCLESIASTES AND WOODY ALLEN’S FILMS: SOLOMON “WOULD GOT ALONG WELL WITH WOODY!” The quote from the title is actually taken from the film MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT where Stanley derides the belief that life has meaning, saying it’s instead “nasty, brutish, and short. Is that Hobbes? I would have […]

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WOODY WEDNESDAY Woody Allen’s Nihilism and the movie CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS

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THE WEEKEND READ

The Woody Allen Affair and the Nihilism of Thinking

The Woody Allen affair teaches us that one of the great challenges of our time is the need to judge absent the solace of absolute knowledge or the illusions of certitude.

Published on: February 8, 2014

DISCUSSING FILMS AND SPIRITUAL MATTERS
By Everette Hatcher III

“Existential subjects to me are still the only subjects worth dealing with. I don’t think that one can aim more deeply than at the so-called existential themes, the spiritual themes.” WOODY ALLEN

Evangelical Chuck Colson has observed that it used to be true that most Americans knew the Bible. Evangelists could simply call on them to repent and return. But today, most people lack understanding of biblical terms or concepts. Colson recommends that we first attempt to find common ground to engage people’s attention. That then may open a door to discuss spiritual matters.

Woody Allen’s 1989 movie, CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS , is an excellent icebreaker concerning the need of God while making decisions in the area of personal morality. In this film, Allen attacks his own atheistic view of morality. Martin Landau plays a Jewish eye doctor named Judah Rosenthal raised by a religious father who always told him, “The eyes of God are always upon you.” However, Judah later concludes that God doesn’t exist. He has his mistress (played in the film by Anjelica Huston) murdered because she continually threatened to blow the whistle on his past questionable, probably illegal, business activities. She also attempted to break up Judah ‘s respectable marriage by going public with their two-year affair. Judah struggles with his conscience throughout the remainder of the movie. He continues to be haunted by his father’s words: “The eyes of God are always upon you.” This is a very scary phrase to a young boy, Judah observes. He often wondered how penetrating God’s eyes are.

Later in the film, Judah reflects on the conversation his religious father had with Judah ‘s unbelieving Aunt May at the dinner table many years ago:

“Come on Sol, open your eyes. Six million Jews burned to death by the Nazis, and they got away with it because might makes right,” says aunt May

Sol replies, “May, how did they get away with it?”

Judah asks, “If a man kills, then what?”

Sol responds to his son, “Then in one way or another he will be punished.”

Aunt May comments, “I say if he can do it and get away with it and he chooses not to be bothered by the ethics, then he is home free.”

Judah ‘s final conclusion was that might did make right. He observed that one day, because of this conclusion, he woke up and the cloud of guilt was gone. He was, as his aunt said, “home free.”

Woody Allen has exposed a weakness in his own humanistic view that God is not necessary as a basis for good ethics. There must be an enforcement factor in order to convince Judah not to resort to murder. Otherwise, it is fully to Judah ‘s advantage to remove this troublesome woman from his life.

The Bible tells us, “{God} has also set eternity in the hearts of men…” (Ecclesiastes 3:11 NIV). The secularist calls this an illusion, but the Bible tells us that the idea that we will survive the grave was planted in everyone’s heart by God Himself. Romans 1:19-21 tells us that God has instilled a conscience in everyone that points each of them to Him and tells them what is right and wrong (also Romans 2:14 -15).

It’s no wonder, then, that one of Allen’s fellow humanists would comment, “Certain moral truths — such as do not kill, do not steal, and do not lie — do have a special status of being not just ‘mere opinion’ but bulwarks of humanitarian action. I have no intention of saying, ‘I think Hitler was wrong.’ Hitler WAS wrong.” (Gloria Leitner, “A Perspective on Belief,” THE HUMANIST, May/June 1997, pp. 38-39)

Here Leitner is reasoning from her God-given conscience and not from humanist philosophy. It wasn’t long before she received criticism. Humanist Abigail Ann Martin responded, “Neither am I an advocate of Hitler; however, by whose criteria is he evil?” (THE HUMANIST, September/October 1997, p. 2)

The secularist can only give incomplete answers to these questions: How could you have convinced Judah not to kill? On what basis could you convince Judah it was wrong for him to murder?

As Christians, we would agree with Judah ‘s father that “The eyes of God are always upon us.” Proverbs 5:21 asserts, “For the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, and He ponders all his paths.” Revelation 20:12 states, “…And the dead were judged (sentenced) by what they had done (their whole way of feeling and acting, their aims and endeavors) in accordance with what was recorded in the books” (Amplified Version). The Bible is revealed truth from God. It is the basis for our morality. Judah inherited the Jewish ethical values of the Ten Commandments from his father, but, through years of life as a skeptic, his standards had been lowered. Finally, we discover that Judah ‘s secular version of morality does not resemble his father’s biblically-based morality.

Woody Allen’s CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS forces unbelievers to grapple with the logical conclusions of a purely secular morality. It opens a door for Christians to find common ground with those whom they attempt to share Christ; we all have to deal with personal morality issues. However, the secularist has no basis for asserting that Judah is wrong.

Larry King actually mentioned on his show, LARRY KING LIVE, that Chuck Colson had discussed the movie CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS with him. Colson asked King if life was just a Darwinian struggle where the ruthless come out on top. Colson continued, “When we do wrong, is that our only choice? Either live tormented by guilt, or else kill our conscience and live like beasts?” (BREAKPOINT COMMENTARY, “Finding Common Ground,” September 14, 1993)

Later, Colson noted that discussing the movie CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS with King presented the perfect opportunity to tell him about Christ’s atoning work on the cross. Colson believes the Lord is working on Larry King. How about your neighbors? Is there a way you can use a movie to find common ground with your lost friends and then talk to them about spiritual matters?

(Caution: CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS is rated PG-13. It does include some adult themes.)

Access this on the web at www.excelstillmore.com/html/beinformed/article1.shtml .(Originally published in December 2003 edition of Excel Magazine)

 

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

My interest in Woody Allen is so great that I have a “Woody Wednesday” on my blog www.thedailyhatch.org every week. Also I have done over 30 posts on the historical characters mentioned in his film “Midnight in Paris.” (Salvador Dali, Ernest Hemingway,T.S.Elliot,  Cole Porter,Paul Gauguin,  Luis Bunuel, and Pablo Picasso were just a few of the characters.)

During the last 30 days here are the posts that have got the most hits on my blog on this subject of the “Meaning of Life”:

Francis Bacon: Humanist artist who believed life “is meaningless” (Part 1)

The movie “Les Miserables” and Francis Schaeffer
Danny Woodhead has found satisfaction in his Christian faith, Brady still looking for satisfaction despite 3 Super Bowl rings (Part 2)
2008 article on Woody Allen on the meaning of life

Nihilism can be seen in Woody Allen’s latest film “Midnight in Paris”

Dave Hope and Kerry Livgren of Kansas: Their story of deliverance from drugs jh16c

According to Woody Allen Life is meaningless (Woody Wednesday)

“Is God Enough?” Fellowship Bible sermon outline by Mark Henry July 8, 2012

Here are some posts on the movie “Midnight in Paris”:
The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 15, Luis Bunuel)
The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 9, Georges Braque)
The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 5 Juan Belmonte)
The characters referenced in Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 23,Adriana, fictional mistress of Picasso)
The characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 11, Rodin)The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 29, Pablo Picasso)

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 13, Amedeo Modigliani)

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 14, Henri Matisse)
Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 35, Recap of historical figures, Notre Dame Cathedral and Cult of Reason)

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 3 Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald)
The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 10 Salvador Dali)

The characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 12, Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel)

Related posts:

I love the movie “Midnight in Paris” by Woody Allen and I have done over 30 posts on the historical characters mentioned in the film. Take a look below:

“Midnight in Paris” one of Woody Allen’s biggest movie hits in recent years, July 18, 2011 – 6:00 am

(Part 32, Jean-Paul Sartre)July 10, 2011 – 5:53 am

 (Part 29, Pablo Picasso) July 7, 2011 – 4:33 am

(Part 28,Van Gogh) July 6, 2011 – 4:03 am

(Part 27, Man Ray) July 5, 2011 – 4:49 am

(Part 26,James Joyce) July 4, 2011 – 5:55 am

(Part 25, T.S.Elliot) July 3, 2011 – 4:46 am

(Part 24, Djuna Barnes) July 2, 2011 – 7:28 am

(Part 23,Adriana, fictional mistress of Picasso) July 1, 2011 – 12:28 am

(Part 22, Silvia Beach and the Shakespeare and Company Bookstore) June 30, 2011 – 12:58 am

(Part 21,Versailles and the French Revolution) June 29, 2011 – 5:34 am

(Part 16, Josephine Baker) June 24, 2011 – 5:18 am

(Part 15, Luis Bunuel) June 23, 2011 – 5:37 am

“Woody Wednesday” A 2010 review of Woody Allen’s Annie Hall

I have spent alot of time talking about Woody Allen films on this blog and looking at his worldview. He has a hopeless, meaningless, nihilistic worldview that believes we are going to turn to dust and there is no afterlife. Even though he has this view he has taken the opportunity to look at the weaknesses of […]

“Woody Wednesday” In 2009 interview Woody Allen talks about the lack of meaning of life and the allure of younger women

I have spent alot of time talking about Woody Allen films on this blog and looking at his worldview. He has a hopeless, meaningless, nihilistic worldview that believes we are going to turn to dust and there is no afterlife. Even though he has this view he has taken the opportunity to look at the weaknesses of […]

Woody Allen video interview in France talk about making movies in Paris vs NY and other subjects like God, etc

Woody Allen video interview in France Related posts: “Woody Wednesdays” Woody Allen on God and Death June 6, 2012 – 6:00 am Good website on Woody Allen How can I believe in God when just last week I got my tongue caught in the roller of an electric typewriter? If Jesus Christ came back today and […]

“Woody Wednesday” Woody Allen on the Emptiness of Life by Toby Simmons

I have spent alot of time talking about Woody Allen films on this blog and looking at his worldview. He has a hopeless, meaningless, nihilistic worldview that believes we are going to turn to dust and there is no afterlife. Even though he has this view he has taken the opportunity to look at the weaknesses of […]

Woody Allen interviews Billy Graham (Woody Wednesday)

A surprisingly civil discussion between evangelical Billy Graham and agnostic comedian Woody Allen. Skip to 2:00 in the video to hear Graham discuss premarital sex, to 4:30 to hear him respond to Allen’s question about the worst sin and to 7:55 for the comparison between accepting Christ and taking LSD. ___________________ The Christian Post > […]

“Woody Allen Wednesdays” can be seen on the www.thedailyhatch.org

Crimes and Misdemeanors: A Discussion: Part 1 If you like Woody Allen films as much as I do then join me every Wednesday for another look the man and his movies. Below are some of the posts from the past: “Woody Wednesday” How Allen’s film “Crimes and Misdemeanors makes the point that hell is necessary […]

“Woody Wednesday” Great Documentary on Woody Allen

I really enjoyed this documentary on Woody Allen from PBS. Woody Allen: A Documentary, Part 1 Published on Mar 26, 2012 by NewVideoDigital Beginning with Allen’s childhood and his first professional gigs as a teen – furnishing jokes for comics and publicists – WOODY ALLEN: A DOCUMENTARY chronicles the trajectory and longevity of Allen’s career: […]

“Woody Wednesday” Discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie “Crimes and Misdemeanors” (Part 6)

Crimes and Misdemeanors: A Discussion: Part 3 Uploaded by camdiscussion on Sep 23, 2007 Part 3 of 3: ‘Is Woody Allen A Romantic Or A Realist?’ A discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie, Crimes and Misdemeanors, perhaps his finest. By Anton Scamvougeras. http://camdiscussion.blogspot.com/ antons@mail.ubc.ca ______________ One of my favorite Woody Allen movies and I reviewed […]

“Woody Wednesday” Discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie “Crimes and Misdemeanors” (Part 5)

Crimes and Misdemeanors: A Discussion: Part 2 Uploaded by camdiscussion on Sep 23, 2007 Part 2 of 3: ‘What Does The Movie Tell Us About Ourselves?’ A discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie, perhaps his finest. By Anton Scamvougeras. http://camdiscussion.blogspot.com/ antons@mail.ubc.ca _________________- One of my favorite Woody Allen movies and I reviewed it earlier but […]

In 2009 interview Woody Allen talks about the lack of meaning of life and the allure of younger women

I have spent alot of time talking about Woody Allen films on this blog and looking at his worldview. He has a hopeless, meaningless, nihilistic worldview that believes we are going to turn to dust and there is no afterlife. Even though he has this view he has taken the opportunity to look at the weaknesses of […]

“Woody Allen Wednesdays” can be seen on the www.thedailyhatch.org

Crimes and Misdemeanors: A Discussion: Part 1 If you like Woody Allen films as much as I do then join me every Wednesday for another look the man and his movies. Below are some of the posts from the past: “Woody Wednesday” How Allen’s film “Crimes and Misdemeanors makes the point that hell is necessary […]

Woody Allen on the Emptiness of Life by Toby Simmons

I have spent alot of time talking about Woody Allen films on this blog and looking at his worldview. He has a hopeless, meaningless, nihilistic worldview that believes we are going to turn to dust and there is no afterlife. Even though he has this view he has taken the opportunity to look at the weaknesses of […]

“Woody Wednesday” Discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie “Crimes and Misdemeanors” (Part 4)

Crimes and Misdemeanors: A Discussion: Part 1 Uploaded by camdiscussion on Sep 23, 2007 Part 1 of 3: ‘What Does Judah Believe?’ A discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie, perhaps his finest. By Anton Scamvougeras. http://camdiscussion.blogspot.com/ antons@mail.ubc.ca _____________ One of my favorite films is this gem by Woody Allen “Crimes and Misdemeanors”: Film Review By […]

“Woody Wednesday” Discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie “Crimes and Misdemeanors” (Part 3)

Crimes and Misdemeanors: A Discussion: Part 3 Uploaded by camdiscussion on Sep 23, 2007 Part 3 of 3: ‘Is Woody Allen A Romantic Or A Realist?’ A discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie, Crimes and Misdemeanors, perhaps his finest. By Anton Scamvougeras. http://camdiscussion.blogspot.com/ antons@mail.ubc.ca ______________ One of my favorite Woody Allen movies and I reviewed […]

“Woody Wednesday” Discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie “Crimes and Misdemeanors” (Part 2)

Crimes and Misdemeanors: A Discussion: Part 2 Uploaded by camdiscussion on Sep 23, 2007 Part 2 of 3: ‘What Does The Movie Tell Us About Ourselves?’ A discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie, perhaps his finest. By Anton Scamvougeras. http://camdiscussion.blogspot.com/ antons@mail.ubc.ca _________________- One of my favorite Woody Allen movies and I reviewed it earlier but […]

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