BREAKING DOWN CARL SAGAN’S LOGIC ON ABORTION Part 72 “The intent of the Constitution and the will of God are equally invoked. Doubtful arguments are trotted out as certitudes. The contending factions call on science to bolster their positions” Enter in the Humanist E.O.Wilson (My 1995 correspondence with Sagan) CARL SAGAN (11-9-34 to 12-20-96) V. FRANCIS SCHAEFFER (1-30-12 to 5-15-84) 35 years after Schaeffer’s passing

_

Image result for carl sagan humanist of the year 1982

Carl Sagan was the Humanist of the year in 1981 and he made moral decisions based on moral relativism. No wonder he started off his article on abortion with a statement like this:

The intent of the Constitution and the will of God are equally invoked. Doubtful arguments are trotted out as certitudes. The contending factions call on science to bolster their positions

(Francis Schaeffer pictured below)

Image result for francis schaeffer

Francis Schaeffer noted:

With
nothing higher than human opinion upon which to
base judgments and with ethics equaling no ethics,
the justification for seeing crime and cruelty as
disturbing is destroyed.  The very word _crime_ and
even the word _cruelty_ lose meaning.  There is no
final reason on which to forbid anything–
 “If
nothing is forbidden, then anything is possible.

If man is not made in the image of God, nothing then
stands in the way of inhumanity.  There is no good
reason why mankind should be perceived as special.
Human life is cheapened.  We can see this in many
of the major issues being debated in our society
today:  abortion, infanticide, euthanasia, the increase
of child abuse and violence of all kinds,

(Edward O. Wilson in 1944 pictured below)

Image result for edward o wilson

Enter in Dr. Edward O. Wilson of Harvard, who was raised as a Southern Baptist like I was, but unlike me he left the faith and became a humanist like Sagan. I have actually read several of Wilson’s books and he does include several stories from his youth in Alabama. It is obvious that he is a very brilliant writer, but the evidence I have examined shows that the Bible is accurate about our origin and not evolution.

(Edward O. Wilson pictured in 1971)

Image result for edward o wilson 1971

Is the Bible historically accurate? Here are some of the posts I have done in the past on the subject: 1. The Babylonian Chronicleof Nebuchadnezzars Siege of Jerusalem2. Hezekiah’s Siloam Tunnel Inscription. 3. Taylor Prism (Sennacherib Hexagonal Prism), 4. Biblical Cities Attested Archaeologically. 5. The Discovery of the Hittites, 6.Shishak Smiting His Captives, 7. Moabite Stone, 8Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III9A Verification of places in Gospel of John and Book of Acts., 9B Discovery of Ebla Tablets10. Cyrus Cylinder11. Puru “The lot of Yahali” 9th Century B.C.E.12. The Uzziah Tablet Inscription13. The Pilate Inscription14. Caiaphas Ossuary14 B Pontius Pilate Part 214c. Three greatest American Archaeologists moved to accept Bible’s accuracy through archaeology.

(Edward O. Wilson pictured below)

Image result for edward o wilson meaning of human existence

600 × 754Images may be subject to copyright. Learn More

[This book THE MEANING OF HUMAN EXISTENCE by Edward O. Wilson is one of the best books I have ever read by an Humanist and I have read many books by Humanists over the years as I interacted with them. 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   Francisco J. Ayala (1934-),Archie J. Bahm (1907-1996), Nicolaas Bloembergen (1920-2017),   Glenn BranchMatt Cartmill (1943-) , Bette Chambers (1930-), Brian Charlesworth (1945-),  Noam Chomsky (1928-  ), Ray T. Cragun (1976-), Michael A. Crawford (1938-), Daniel Dennett (1942- ), Albert Ellis (1913-2007), Robert L. Erdmann (1929-2006), H. J. Eysenck (1916-1997), Milton Fingerman (1928-), Douglas J. Futuyma (1942- ),Sol Gordon (1923-2008),  Geoff Harcourt (1931-),  Roald Hoffmann (1937-), Gerald Holton (1922-),  John Hospers (1918-2011), Thomas H. Jukes (1906-1999), Christof Koch (1956-  ), Melvin Konner (1946- ), Herbert Kroemer (1928-), Harry Kroto (1939-),  Paul Kurtz (1925-2012), Alan Macfarlane (1941-),  Michael Martin (1932-2015),  Marty E. Martin (1928-), Aron S “Gil” Martin ( 1910-1997), James Terry McCollum (1936-), Ernest Mayr (1904-2005),  Mary Morain (1911-1999), Lloyd Morain (1917-2010), Kevin Padian (1951-), Steven Pinker, (1954-  ), Martin Rees (1942-), Richard Rubenstein (1924-),   Carl Sagan (1934-1996),  Robert Shapiro (1935-2011), John J. Shea (1969-), Quentin Skinner (1940- ), Warren Allen Smith (1921-), Elliott Sober (1948-), Matthew I. Spetter (1921-2012), Gordon Stein (1941-1996) ,  Barbara Marie Tabler (1915-1996),  Renate Vambery (1916-2005),  George Wald (1906-1997),  Edward O. Wilson (1929-), and Lewis Wolpert (1929), ]

Image result for edward o wilson meaning of human existence

-Here is a longer passage from the book WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?:

Image result for francis schaeffer whatever happened to the human race

289-291 (ft note 6 0n page 504)

In sociological law, with the Christian consensus
gone, the courts or some other part of government
arbitrarily make the law.  In the concept of genetic
engineering, with the uniqueness of people as made
in the image of God thrown away, mankind itself is
in danger of being made over arbitrarily into the
image of what some people think mankind ought to
be.  This will overwhelmingly be the case if such
concepts as what has been called “sociobiology” are
widely accepted.

According to these concepts, people do what they do
because of the makeup of the genes, and the genes
(in some mysterious way) know what is best for
keeping the gene pool of the species flourishing.
Regardless of what you think your reasons are for
unselfishness, say the sociobiologists, in reality you
are only doing what your genes know is best to keep
your gene configuration alive and flourishing into

the future.  This happens because evolution has
produced organisms that automatically follow a
mathematical logic:  they calculate the genetic costs
or benefits of helping those who bear many of the
same genes and act to preserve their own image.
Thus, the reason why parents help their children live
is that the genes of the parents make them act to
preserve the future existence of like genetic forms.5

No one tells us how the genes got started doing this.
The how is not known.  And even if the _how_ were
demonstrated, the _why_ would still be in total
darkness.  Yet with neither the _how_ nor the _why_
known, everything human is abandoned.  Maternal
love, friendships, law, and morals are all explained
away.  Those who hold the sociobiological view
believe that conflict both in the family and with
outsiders is the essence of life.  This serves as a
chilling reminder of Hitler’s Germany, which was
built on the social conclusions logically drawn from
the Darwinian concept of the survival of the fittest.

Professor and Curator of Entomology at the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University Edward O Wilson

Image result for museum harvard Edward O. wilson Museum of Comparative Zoology

(Page 290)

Harvard zoologist Edward O. Wilson, who wrote
_Sociobiology:  The New Synthesis_, says on page
562:  “We may find that there is an overestimation
of the nature of our deepest yearnings.”  He calls for
“ethics to be removed temporarily from the hands of
the philosophers and biologized.”6

[The Social Conquest of Earth is another book I read from Edward O. Wilson and I liked the way he used Paul Gauguin’s famous 3 questions. I actually went to Boston to see the famous painting and I blogged about it in several posts such as FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 3 PAUL GAUGUIN’S 3 QUESTIONS: “Where do we come from? What art we? Where are we going? and his conclusion was a suicide attempt” (Feature on artist Mike Kelley Part A and RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 148 K , PAUSING to look at the life of Nicolaas “Nico” Bloembergen, Physicist, Harvard, 3-11-20 to 9-5-17 (Visiting Bloembergen’s Harvard Campus in 2017!!!) This second post tells about
when I visited the Harvard campus and handed out some CD’s of Adrian Rogers sermon on Evolution, (a portion of the CD was a sermon by Bill Elliff ), and the following info seen below. I also enjoyed walking through The Museum of Comparative Zoology.
I had the unique opportunity to spend a large portion of 8-27-17 visiting the Harvard campus. I was glad to get the opportunity to actually tag along with several tours of the campus conducted by current students for the parents of incoming freshmen and their children. This led to opportunities to pass out CD’s and this paperwork you see at this link concerning my past correspondence with famous atheists (many of them Harvard professors of the past and present). ]

Image result for edward o wilson social conquest

The humanistic philosophers tried to make ethics
independent of biblical teaching; the present tragic
result is the loss of humanness on every level.  Now,
Wilson argues, ethics and behavior patterns should
be made independent of these humanistic
philosophers and put into the realm of the purely
mechanical, where ethics reflect only genes fighting
for survival.  This makes ethics equal no ethics.

Time said of sociobiology, “Indeed, few academic
theories have spread so fast with so little hard
proof.”  Why has it spread so fast with no hard
proof?  That is easy to explain:  We have been
prepared for it by all the humanistic materialism of
past years.  A constant barrage of authoritative,
though unproven, statements comes from every side,
and gradually people accept themselves and others
as only machinelike things.  If man is only a product
of chance in an impersonal universe, and that is all
there is, this teaching is a logical extension of that
fact.7

To summarize:  On the one hand, the idea that
mankind is only a collection of the genes which
make up the DNA patterns has naturally led to the
concept of remaking all of humanity with the use of
genetic engineering.  On the other hand, it has led to
the crime and cruelty that now disturb the very
people whose teaching produces the crime and
cruelty in the first place.  Many of these people do

not face the conclusion of their own teaching.  With
nothing higher than human opinion upon which to
base judgments and with ethics equaling no ethics,
the justification for seeing crime and cruelty as
disturbing is destroyed.  The very word _crime_ and
even the word _cruelty_ lose meaning.  There is no
final reason on which to forbid anything–
“If
nothing is forbidden, then anything is possible.

If man is not made in the image of God, nothing then
stands in the way of inhumanity.  There is no good
reason why mankind should be perceived as special.
Human life is cheapened.  We can see this in many
of the major issues being debated in our society
today:  abortion, infanticide, euthanasia, the increase
of child abuse and violence of all kinds,

pornography (and its particular kinds of violence as
evidenced in sadomasochism), the routine torture of
political prisoners in many parts of the world, the
crime explosion, and the random violence which
surrounds us.

(Page 291)

In Communist countries, where materialism and
humanistic thinking have been dominant for over
several generations, a low view of people has been
standard for years.  This is apparent not only in the
early legislation about abortion but also in the
thousands of political prisoners who have been
systematically oppressed, tortured, and killed as part
of the very fabric of Communism.  Now, however,
as humanism dominates the West, we have a low
view of mankind in the West as well.

_________________________

Image result for francis schaeffer young

I am taking time over the next few weeks to take time to look at the work of Francis Schaeffer who died almost exactly 35 years ago today. Francis Schaeffer lived from January 30, 1912 to May 15, 1984 and on May 15, 1994 the 10th anniversary of his passing, I wrote 250 skeptics in academia and sent them a lengthy letter filled with his quotes from various intellectuals on the meaning of life if God was not in the picture. I also included the message by Francis Schaeffer on Ecclesiastes which were conclusions of King Solomon on the same subject and I also told about the musings of three men on the world around them, Carl Sagan in his film Cosmos, Francis Schaeffer in his experience in the 1930’s while on the beach observing an eclipse, and King Solomon in the Book of Ecclesiastes. Then I posed to these academics the question, “Is there a lasting meaning to our lives without God in the picture?”

Francis Schaeffer talked quite a lot about the works of Carl Sagan and that is why I think Carl Sagan took the time to write me back.

_

Image result for carl sagan

_

_

_

Recently I have been revisiting my correspondence in 1995 with the famous astronomer Carl Sagan who I had the privilege to correspond with in 1994, 1995 and 1996. In 1996 I had a chance to respond to his December 5, 1995letter on January 10, 1996 and I never heard back from him again since his cancer returned and he passed away later in 1996. Below is what Carl Sagan wrote to me in his December 5, 1995 letter:

Thanks for your recent letter about evolution and abortion. The correlation is hardly one to one; there are evolutionists who are anti-abortion and anti-evolutionists who are pro-abortion.You argue that God exists because otherwise we could not understand the world in our consciousness. But if you think God is necessary to understand the world, then why do you not ask the next question of where God came from? And if you say “God was always here,” why not say that the universe was always here? On abortion, my views are contained in the enclosed article (Sagan, Carl and Ann Druyan {1990}, “The Question of Abortion,” Parade Magazine, April 22.)

I was introduced to when reading a book by Francis Schaeffer called HE IS THERE AND HE IS NOT SILENT written in 1968. 

Image result for francis schaeffer young

Francis Schaeffer when he was a young pastor in St. Louis pictured above.

Image result for francis schaeffer

Francis Schaeffer and Adrian Rogers

Image result for adrian rogers

(both Adrian Rogers and Francis Schaeffer mentioned Carl Sagan in their books and that prompted me to write Sagan and expose him to their views.


Carl Sagan pictured below:

Image result for carl sagan

_________

Image result for francis schaeffer

Francis Schaeffer

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

Image result for carl sagan and ann druyan

Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan pictured above

 “The Question of Abortion: A Search for Answers”

by Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan

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

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

Image result for carl sagan

Is it wrong to abort a pregnancy? Always? Sometimes? Never? How do we decide? We wrote this article to understand better what the contending views are and to see if we ourselves could find a position that would satisfy us both. Is there no middle ground? We had to weigh the arguments of both sides for consistency and to pose test cases, some of which are purely hypothetical. If in some of these tests we seem to go too far, we ask the reader to be patient with us–we’re trying to stress the various positions to the breaking point to see their weaknesses and where they fail.

In contemplative moments, nearly everyone recognizes that the issue is not wholly one-sided. Many partisans of differing views, we find, feel some disquiet, some unease when confronting what’s behind the opposing arguments. (This is partly why such confrontations are avoided.) And the issue surely touches on deep questions: What are our responses to one another? Should we permit the state to intrude into the most intimate and personal aspects of our lives? Where are the boundaries of freedom? What does it mean to be human?

Of the many actual points of view, it is widely held–especially in the media, which rarely have the time or the inclination to make fine distinctions–that there are only two: “pro-choice” and “pro-life.” This is what the two principal warring camps like to call themselves, and that’s what we’ll call them here. In the simplest characterization, a pro-choicer would hold that the decision to abort a pregnancy is to be made only by the woman; the state has no right to interfere. And a pro-lifer would hold that, from the moment of conception, the embryo or fetus is alive; that this life imposes on us a moral obligation to preserve it; and that abortion is tantamount to murder. Both names–pro-choice and pro-life–were picked with an eye toward influencing those whose minds are not yet made up: Few people wish to be counted either as being against freedom of choice or as opposed to life. Indeed, freedom and life are two of our most cherished values, and here they seem to be in fundamental conflict.

Let’s consider these two absolutist positions in turn. A newborn baby is surely the same being it was just before birth. There ‘s good evidence that a late-term fetus responds to sound–including music, but especially its mother’s voice. It can suck its thumb or do a somersault. Occasionally, it generates adult brain-wave patterns. Some people claim to remember being born, or even the uterine environment. Perhaps there is thought in the womb. It’s hard to maintain that a transformation to full personhood happens abruptly at the moment of birth. Why, then, should it be murder to kill an infant the day after it was born but not the day before?

Image result for carl sagan

As a practical matter, this isn’t very important: Less than 1 percent of all tabulated abortions in the United States are listed in the last three months of pregnancy (and, on closer investigation, most such reports turn out to be due to miscarriage or miscalculation). But third-trimester abortions provide a test of the limits of the pro-choice point of view. Does a woman’s “innate right to control her own body” encompass the right to kill a near-term fetus who is, for all intents and purposes, identical to a newborn child?

We believe that many supporters of reproductive freedom are troubled at least occasionally by this question. But they are reluctant to raise it because it is the beginning of a slippery slope. If it is impermissible to abort a pregnancy in the ninth month, what about the eighth, seventh, sixth … ? Once we acknowledge that the state can interfere at any time in the pregnancy, doesn’t it follow that the state can interfere at all times?

Abortion and the slippery slope argument above

This conjures up the specter of predominantly male, predominantly affluent legislators telling poor women they must bear and raise alone children they cannot afford to bring up; forcing teenagers to bear children they are not emotionally prepared to deal with; saying to women who wish for a career that they must give up their dreams, stay home, and bring up babies; and, worst of all, condemning victims of rape and incest to carry and nurture the offspring of their assailants. Legislative prohibitions on abortion arouse the suspicion that their real intent is to control the independence and sexuality of women…

And yet, by consensus, all of us think it proper that there be prohibitions against, and penalties exacted for, murder. It would be a flimsy defense if the murderer pleads that this is just between him and his victim and none of the government’s business. If killing a fetus is truly killing a human being, is it not the duty of the state to prevent it? Indeed, one of the chief functions of government is to protect the weak from the strong.

If we do not oppose abortion at some stage of pregnancy, is there not a danger of dismissing an entire category of human beings as unworthy of our protection and respect? And isn’t that dismissal the hallmark of sexism, racism, nationalism, and religious fanaticism? Shouldn’t those dedicated to fighting such injustices be scrupulously careful not to embrace another?

Image result for adrian rogers

(Adrian Rogers pictured above in his youth)

Adrian Rogers’ sermon on animal rights refutes Sagan here

There is no right to life in any society on Earth today, nor has there been at any former time… : We raise farm animals for slaughter; destroy forests; pollute rivers and lakes until no fish can live there; kill deer and elk for sport, leopards for the pelts, and whales for fertilizer; entrap dolphins, gasping and writhing, in great tuna nets; club seal pups to death; and render a species extinct every day. All these beasts and vegetables are as alive as we. What is (allegedly) protected is not life, but human life.

Genesis 3 defines being human

And even with that protection, casual murder is an urban commonplace, and we wage “conventional” wars with tolls so terrible that we are, most of us, afraid to consider them very deeply… That protection, that right to life, eludes the 40,000 children under five who die on our planet each day from preventable starvation, dehydration, disease, and neglect.

Those who assert a “right to life” are for (at most) not just any kind of life, but for–particularly and uniquely—human life. So they too, like pro-choicers, must decide what distinguishes a human being from other animals and when, during gestation, the uniquely human qualities–whatever they are–emerge.

The Bible talks about the differences between humans and animals

Despite many claims to the contrary, life does not begin at conception: It is an unbroken chain that stretches back nearly to the origin of the Earth, 4.6 billion years ago. Nor does human life begin at conception: It is an unbroken chain dating back to the origin of our species, hundreds of thousands of years ago. Every human sperm and egg is, beyond the shadow of a doubt, alive. They are not human beings, of course. However, it could be argued that neither is a fertilized egg.

In some animals, an egg develops into a healthy adult without benefit of a sperm cell. But not, so far as we know, among humans. A sperm and an unfertilized egg jointly comprise the full genetic blueprint for a human being. Under certain circumstances, after fertilization, they can develop into a baby. But most fertilized eggs are spontaneously miscarried. Development into a baby is by no means guaranteed. Neither a sperm and egg separately, nor a fertilized egg, is more than a potential baby or a potential adult. So if a sperm and egg are as human as the fertilized egg produced by their union, and if it is murder to destroy a fertilized egg–despite the fact that it’s only potentially a baby–why isn’t it murder to destroy a sperm or an egg?

Hundreds of millions of sperm cells (top speed with tails lashing: five inches per hour) are produced in an average human ejaculation. A healthy young man can produce in a week or two enough spermatozoa to double the human population of the Earth. So is masturbation mass murder? How about nocturnal emissions or just plain sex? When the unfertilized egg is expelled each month, has someone died? Should we mourn all those spontaneous miscarriages? Many lower animals can be grown in a laboratory from a single body cell. Human cells can be cloned… In light of such cloning technology, would we be committing mass murder by destroying any potentially clonable cells? By shedding a drop of blood?

Image result for carl sagan

All human sperm and eggs are genetic halves of “potential” human beings. Should heroic efforts be made to save and preserve all of them, everywhere, because of this “potential”? Is failure to do so immoral or criminal? Of course, there’s a difference between taking a life and failing to save it. And there’s a big difference between the probability of survival of a sperm cell and that of a fertilized egg. But the absurdity of a corps of high-minded semen-preservers moves us to wonder whether a fertilized egg’s mere “potential” to become a baby really does make destroying it murder.

Opponents of abortion worry that, once abortion is permissible immediately after conception, no argument will restrict it at any later time in the pregnancy. Then, they fear, one day it will be permissible to murder a fetus that is unambiguously a human being. Both pro-choicers and pro-lifers (at least some of them) are pushed toward absolutist positions by parallel fears of the slippery slope.

Image result for carl sagan

(Gerard Kuiper and Carl Sagan)

Another slippery slope is reached by those pro-lifers who are willing to make an exception in the agonizing case of a pregnancy resulting from rape or incest. But why should the right to live depend on the circumstances of conception? If the same child were to result, can the state ordain life for the offspring of a lawful union but death for one conceived by force or coercion? How can this be just? And if exceptions are extended to such a fetus, why should they be withheld from any other fetus? This is part of the reason some pro-lifers adopt what many others consider the outrageous posture of opposing abortions under any and all circumstances–only excepting, perhaps, when the life of the mother is in danger.

By far the most common reason for abortion worldwide is birth control. So shouldn’t opponents of abortion be handing out contraceptives and teaching school children how to use them? That would be an effective way to reduce the number of abortions. Instead, the United States is far behind other nations in the development of safe and effective methods of birth control–and, in many cases, opposition to such research (and to sex education) has come from the same people who oppose abortions.continue on to Part 3

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

The attempt to find an ethically sound and unambiguous judgment on when, if ever, abortion is permissible has deep historical roots. Often, especially in Christian tradition, such attempts were connected with the question of when the soul enters the body–a matter not readily amenable to scientific investigation and an issue of controversy even among learned theologians. Ensoulment has been asserted to occur in the sperm before conception, at conception, at the time of “quickening” (when the mother is first able to feel the fetus stirring within her), and at birth. Or even later.

Different religions have different teachings. Among hunter-gatherers, there are usually no prohibitions against abortion, and it was common in ancient Greece and Rome. In contrast, the more severe Assyrians impaled women on stakes for attempting abortion. The Jewish Talmud teaches that the fetus is not a person and has no rights. The Old and New Testaments–rich in astonishingly detailed prohibitions on dress, diet, and permissible words–contain not a word specifically prohibiting abortion. The only passage that’s remotely relevant (Exodus 21:22) decrees that if there’s a fight and a woman bystander should accidentally be injured and made to miscarry, the assailant must pay a fine.

Image result for carl sagan

Neither St. Augustine nor St. Thomas Aquinas considered early-term abortion to be homicide (the latter on the grounds that the embryo doesn’t look human). This view was embraced by the Church in the Council of Vienne in 1312, and has never been repudiated. The Catholic Church’s first and long-standing collection of canon law (according to the leading historian of the Church’s teaching on abortion, John Connery, S.J.) held that abortion was homicide only after the fetus was already “formed”–roughly, the end of the first trimester.

But when sperm cells were examined in the seventeenth century by the first microscopes, they were thought to show a fully formed human being. An old idea of the homunculus was resuscitated–in which within each sperm cell was a fully formed tiny human, within whose testes were innumerable other homunculi, etc., ad infinitum. In part through this misinterpretation of scientific data, in 1869 abortion at any time for any reason became grounds for excommunication. It is surprising to most Catholics and others to discover that the date was not much earlier.

From colonial times to the nineteenth century, the choice in the United States was the woman’s until “quickening.” An abortion in the first or even second trimester was at worst a misdemeanor. Convictions were rarely sought and almost impossible to obtain, because they depended entirely on the woman’s own testimony of whether she had felt quickening, and because of the jury’s distaste for prosecuting a woman for exercising her right to choose. In 1800 there was not, so far as is known, a single statute in the United States concerning abortion. Advertisements for drugs to induce abortion could be found in virtually every newspaper and even in many church publications–although the language used was suitably euphemistic, if widely understood.

But by 1900, abortion had been banned at any time in pregnancy by every state in the Union, except when necessary to save the woman’s life. What happened to bring about so striking a reversal? Religion had little to do with it.Drastic economic and social conversions were turning this country from an agrarian to an urban-industrial society. America was in the process of changing from having one of the highest birthrates in the world to one of the lowest. Abortion certainly played a role and stimulated forces to suppress it.

Image result for carl sagan

One of the most significant of these forces was the medical profession. Up to the mid-nineteenth century, medicine was an uncertified, unsupervised business. Anyone could hang up a shingle and call himself (or herself) a doctor. With the rise of a new, university-educated medical elite, anxious to enhance the status and influence of physicians, the American Medical Association was formed. In its first decade, the AMA began lobbying against abortions performed by anyone except licensed physicians. New knowledge of embryology, the physicians said, had shown the fetus to be human even before quickening.

Their assault on abortion was motivated not by concern for the health of the woman but, they claimed, for the welfare of the fetus. You had to be a physician to know when abortion was morally justified, because the question depended on scientific and medical facts understood only by physicians. At the same time, women were effectively excluded from the medical schools, where such arcane knowledge could be acquired. So, as things worked out, women had almost nothing to say about terminating their own pregnancies. It was also up to the physician to decide if the pregnancy posed a threat to the woman, and it was entirely at his discretion to determine what was and was not a threat. For the rich woman, the threat might be a threat to her emotional tranquillity or even to her lifestyle. The poor woman was often forced to resort to the back alley or the coat hanger.

This was the law until the 1960s, when a coalition of individuals and organizations, the AMA now among them, sought to overturn it and to reinstate the more traditional values that were to be embodied in Roe v. Wade.continue on to Part 4

If you deliberately kill a human being, it’s called murder. If you deliberately kill a chimpanzee–biologically, our closest relative, sharing 99.6 percent of our active genes–whatever else it is, it’s not murder. To date, murder uniquely applies to killing human beings. Therefore, the question of when personhood (or, if we like, ensoulment) arises is key to the abortion debate. When does the fetus become human? When do distinct and characteristic human qualities emerge?

Image result for carl sagan

Section 8 Sperm journey to becoming Human 

We recognize that specifying a precise moment will overlook individual differences. Therefore, if we must draw a line, it ought to be drawn conservatively–that is, on the early side. There are people who object to having to set some numerical limit, and we share their disquiet; but if there is to be a law on this matter, and it is to effect some useful compromise between the two absolutist positions, it must specify, at least roughly, a time of transition to personhood.

Every one of us began from a dot. A fertilized egg is roughly the size of the period at the end of this sentence. The momentous meeting of sperm and egg generally occurs in one of the two fallopian tubes. One cell becomes two, two become four, and so on—an exponentiation of base-2 arithmetic. By the tenth day the fertilized egg has become a kind of hollow sphere wandering off to another realm: the womb. It destroys tissue in its path. It sucks blood from capillaries. It bathes itself in maternal blood, from which it extracts oxygen and nutrients. It establishes itself as a kind of parasite on the walls of the uterus.By the third week, around the time of the first missed menstrual period, the forming embryo is about 2 millimeters long and is developing various body parts. Only at this stage does it begin to be dependent on a rudimentary placenta. It looks a little like a segmented worm.By the end of the fourth week, it’s about 5 millimeters (about 1/5 inch) long. It’s recognizable now as a vertebrate, its tube-shaped heart is beginning to beat, something like the gill arches of a fish or an amphibian become conspicuous, and there is a pronounced tail. It looks rather like a newt or a tadpole. This is the end of the first month after conception.By the fifth week, the gross divisions of the brain can be distinguished. What will later develop into eyes are apparent, and little buds appear—on their way to becoming arms and legs.By the sixth week, the embryo is 13 millimeteres (about ½ inch) long. The eyes are still on the side of the head, as in most animals, and the reptilian face has connected slits where the mouth and nose eventually will be.By the end of the seventh week, the tail is almost gone, and sexual characteristics can be discerned (although both sexes look female). The face is mammalian but somewhat piglike.By the end of the eighth week, the face resembles that of a primate but is still not quite human. Most of the human body parts are present in their essentials. Some lower brain anatomy is well-developed. The fetus shows some reflex response to delicate stimulation.By the tenth week, the face has an unmistakably human cast. It is beginning to be possible to distinguish males from females. Nails and major bone structures are not apparent until the third month.By the fourth month, you can tell the face of one fetus from that of another. Quickening is most commonly felt in the fifth month. The bronchioles of the lungs do not begin developing until approximately the sixth month, the alveoli still later.

So, if only a person can be murdered, when does the fetus attain personhood? When its face becomes distinctly human, near the end of the first trimester? When the fetus becomes responsive to stimuli–again, at the end of the first trimester? When it becomes active enough to be felt as quickening, typically in the middle of the second trimester? When the lungs have reached a stage of development sufficient that the fetus might, just conceivably, be able to breathe on its own in the outside air?

The trouble with these particular developmental milestones is not just that they’re arbitrary. More troubling is the fact that none of them involves uniquely humancharacteristics–apart from the superficial matter of facial appearance. All animals respond to stimuli and move of their own volition. Large numbers are able to breathe. But that doesn’t stop us from slaughtering them by the billions. Reflexes and motion are not what make us human.

Image result for carl sagan

Sagan’s conclusion based on arbitrary choice of the presence of thought by unborn baby

Other animals have advantages over us–in speed, strength, endurance, climbing or burrowing skills, camouflage, sight or smell or hearing, mastery of the air or water. Our one great advantage, the secret of our success, is thought–characteristically human thought. We are able to think things through, imagine events yet to occur, figure things out. That’s how we invented agriculture and civilization. Thought is our blessing and our curse, and it makes us who we are.

Thinking occurs, of course, in the brain–principally in the top layers of the convoluted “gray matter” called the cerebral cortex. The roughly 100 billion neurons in the brain constitute the material basis of thought. The neurons are connected to each other, and their linkups play a major role in what we experience as thinking. But large-scale linking up of neurons doesn’t begin until the 24th to 27th week of pregnancy–the sixth month.

By placing harmless electrodes on a subject’s head, scientists can measure the electrical activity produced by the network of neurons inside the skull. Different kinds of mental activity show different kinds of brain waves. But brain waves with regular patterns typical of adult human brains do not appear in the fetus until about the 30th week of pregnancy–near the beginning of the third trimester. Fetuses younger than this–however alive and active they may be–lack the necessary brain architecture. They cannot yet think.

Acquiescing in the killing of any living creature, especially one that might later become a baby, is troublesome and painful. But we’ve rejected the extremes of “always” and “never,” and this puts us–like it or not–on the slippery slope. If we are forced to choose a developmental criterion, then this is where we draw the line: when the beginning of characteristically human thinking becomes barely possible.

It is, in fact, a very conservative definition: Regular brain waves are rarely found in fetuses. More research would help… If we wanted to make the criterion still more stringent, to allow for occasional precocious fetal brain development, we might draw the line at six months. This, it so happens, is where the Supreme Court drew it in 1973–although for completely different reasons.

Its decision in the case of Roe v. Wade changed American law on abortion. It permits abortion at the request of the woman without restriction in the first trimester and, with some restrictions intended to protect her health, in the second trimester. It allows states to forbid abortion in the third trimester, except when there’s a serious threat to the life or health of the woman. In the 1989 Webster decision, the Supreme Court declined explicitly to overturn Roe v. Wade but in effect invited the 50 state legislatures to decide for themselves.

Image result for carl sagan

What was the reasoning in Roe v. Wade? There was no legal weight given to what happens to the children once they are born, or to the family. Instead, a woman’s right to reproductive freedom is protected, the court ruled, by constitutional guarantees of privacy. But that right is not unqualified. The woman’s guarantee of privacy and the fetus’s right to life must be weighed–and when the court did the weighing’ priority was given to privacy in the first trimester and to life in the third. The transition was decided not from any of the considerations we have been dealing with so far…–not when “ensoulment” occurs, not when the fetus takes on sufficient human characteristics to be protected by laws against murder. Instead, the criterion adopted was whether the fetus could live outside the mother. This is called “viability” and depends in part on the ability to breathe. The lungs are simply not developed, and the fetus cannot breathe–no matter how advanced an artificial lung it might be placed in—until about the 24th week, near the start of the sixth month. This is why Roe v. Wade permits the states to prohibit abortions in the last trimester. It’s a very pragmatic criterion.

If the fetus at a certain stage of gestation would be viable outside the womb, the argument goes, then the right of the fetus to life overrides the right of the woman to privacy. But just what does “viable” mean? Even a full-term newborn is not viable without a great deal of care and love. There was a time before incubators, only a few decades ago, when babies in their seventh month were unlikely to be viable. Would aborting in the seventh month have been permissible then? After the invention of incubators, did aborting pregnancies in the seventh month suddenly become immoral? What happens if, in the future, a new technology develops so that an artificial womb can sustain a fetus even before the sixth month by delivering oxygen and nutrients through the blood–as the mother does through the placenta and into the fetal blood system? We grant that this technology is unlikely to be developed soon or become available to many. But if it were available, does it then become immoral to abort earlier than the sixth month, when previously it was moral? A morality that depends on, and changes with, technology is a fragile morality; for some, it is also an unacceptable morality.

And why, exactly, should breathing (or kidney function, or the ability to resist disease) justify legal protection? If a fetus can be shown to think and feel but not be able to breathe, would it be all right to kill it? Do we value breathing more than thinking and feeling? Viability arguments cannot, it seems to us, coherently determine when abortions are permissible. Some other criterion is needed. Again, we offer for consideration the earliest onset of human thinking as that criterion.

Since, on average, fetal thinking occurs even later than fetal lung development, we find Roe v. Wade to be a good and prudent decision addressing a complex and difficult issue. With prohibitions on abortion in the last trimester–except in cases of grave medical necessity–it strikes a fair balance between the conflicting claims of freedom and life.What do you think? What have others said about Carl Sagan’s thoughts on 

END OF SAGAN’S ARTICLE

Image result for carl sagan and ann druyan
Carl Sagan with his wife Ann in the 1990’s
Image result for adrian rogers francis schaeffer
I grew up in Memphis as a member of Bellevue Baptist Church under our pastor Adrian Rogers and attended ECS High School where the books and films of Francis Schaeffer were taught. Both men dealt with current issues in the culture such as the film series COSMOS by Carl Sagan. I personally read several of Sagan’s books.  (Francis and Edith Schaeffer pictured below in their home at L’ Abri in Switzerland where Francis  taught students for 3 decades.
Image result for francis schaeffer
630 × 414Images may be subject to copyright.

Xxxxxxxxxxxxx 

——

 
 

.

Related posts:

Taking on Ark Times Bloggers on various issues Part F “Carl Sagan’s views on how God should try and contact us” includes film “The Basis for Human Dignity”

April 8, 2013 – 7:07 am

I have gone back and forth and back and forth with many liberals on the Arkansas Times Blog on many issues such as abortion, human rights, welfare, poverty, gun control  and issues dealing with popular culture. Here is another exchange I had with them a while back. My username at the Ark Times Blog is Saline […] By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Francis SchaefferProlife | Edit | Comments (0)

Carl Sagan v. Nancy Pearcey

March 18, 2013 – 9:11 am

On March 17, 2013 at our worship service at Fellowship Bible Church, Ben Parkinson who is one of our teaching pastors spoke on Genesis 1. He spoke about an issue that I was very interested in. Ben started the sermon by reading the following scripture: Genesis 1-2:3 English Standard Version (ESV) The Creation of the […] By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Adrian RogersAtheists ConfrontedCurrent Events | TaggedBen ParkinsonCarl Sagan | Edit | Comments (0)

Review of Carl Sagan book (Part 4 of series on Evolution)

May 24, 2012 – 1:47 am

Review of Carl Sagan book (Part 4 of series on Evolution) The Long War against God-Henry Morris, part 5 of 6 Uploaded by FLIPWORLDUPSIDEDOWN3 on Aug 30, 2010 http://www.icr.org/ http://store.icr.org/prodinfo.asp?number=BLOWA2http://store.icr.org/prodinfo.asp?number=BLOWASGhttp://www.fliptheworldupsidedown.com/blog _______________________ I got this from a blogger in April of 2008 concerning candidate Obama’s view on evolution: Q: York County was recently in the news […] By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Atheists ConfrontedCurrent EventsPresident Obama | EditComments (0)

_

Advertisements

BREAKING DOWN CARL SAGAN’S LOGIC ON ABORTION Part 71 “life does not begin at conception: It is an unbroken chain that stretches back nearly to the origin of the Earth, 4.6 billion years ago [through evolution] (My 1995 correspondence with Sagan) CARL SAGAN (11-9-34 to 12-20-96) V. FRANCIS SCHAEFFER (1-30-12 to 5-15-84) 35 years after Schaeffer’s passing

_

Carl Sagan did not believe in God or creation and he was a humanist who asserted, “life does not begin at conception: It is an unbroken chain that stretches back nearly to the origin of the Earth, 4.6 billion years ago [through evolution] (My 1995 correspondence with Sagan) CARL SAGAN (11-9-34 to 12-20-96) V. FRANCIS SCHAEFFER (1-30-12 to 5-15-84) 35 years after Schaeffer’s passing

Francis Schaeffer noted:

1.  Rejects the doctrine of Creation.
2.  Therefore rejects the idea that there is anything
stable or “given” about human nature.
3.  Sees human nature as part of a long, unfolding
process of development in which everything is
changing.
4.  Casts around for some solution to the problem of
despair that this determinist-evolutionist vision
induces.
5.  Can only find a solution in the activity of the
human will, which– in opposition to its own
system– it hopes can transcend the inexorable flow
of nature and act upon nature.
6.  Therefore encourages manipulation of nature,
including tinkering with people, as the only way of
escaping from nature’s bondage.  But this
manipulation cannot have any certain criteria to
guide it because, with God abolished, the only
remaining criterion is Nature (which is precisely
what humanist man wants to escape from) and
Nature is both noncruel and cruel.

Francis Schaeffer went on to say:
Abusing Genetic Knowledge

Beyond the individual’s cruelty to other individuals,
why should society not make over humanity into
something different if it can do so– even if it results
in the loss of those factors which make human life
worth living?  New genetic knowledge could be
used in a helpful way and undoubtedly will bring
forth many things which are beneficial, but– once
the uniqueness of people as created by God is
removed and mankind is viewed as only one of the
gene patterns which came forth on the earth by
chance– there is no reason not to treat people as

things to be experimented on and to make over the
whole of humanity according to the decisions of a
relatively few individuals.  If people are not unique,
as made in the image of God, the barrier is gone.
Once this barrier is gone there is no reason not to
experiment genetically with humanity to make it into
what someone thinks to be an improvement socially
and economically.  The cost here is overwhelming.
Should the genetic changes once be made in the
individual, these changes will be passed down to his
or her children, and they cannot ever [too strong
-df] be reversed.

Modern humanism has an inherent need to
manipulate and tinker with the natural processes,
including human nature, because humanism:

1.  Rejects the doctrine of Creation.
2.  Therefore rejects the idea that there is anything
stable or “given” about human nature.
3.  Sees human nature as part of a long, unfolding
process of development in which everything is
changing.
4.  Casts around for some solution to the problem of
despair that this determinist-evolutionist vision
induces.
5.  Can only find a solution in the activity of the
human will, which– in opposition to its own
system– it hopes can transcend the inexorable flow
of nature and act upon nature.
6.  Therefore encourages manipulation of nature,
including tinkering with people, as the only way of
escaping from nature’s bondage.  But this
manipulation cannot have any certain criteria to
guide it because, with God abolished, the only
remaining criterion is Nature (which is precisely
what humanist man wants to escape from) and
Nature is both noncruel and cruel.

(Page 289)

This explains why humanism is fascinated with the
manipulation of human nature.

It is not only Christians who are opposed to the
forms of genetic engineering which tinker with the
structure of humanity.  Others such as Theodore
Roszak and Jeremy Rifkin of the People’s Business
Commission rightly see this genetic engineering as
incompatible with democracy.  Christians and other
such people can raise their voices together against
this threat.  That does not, however, change the
realization that the democracy such people are trying
to save is a product of Reformation Christianity, and
without Reformation Christianity the base for that
democracy and its freedom is gone.

_____________________________________

Image result for francis schaeffer young

I am taking time over the next few weeks to take time to look at the work of Francis Schaeffer who died almost exactly 35 years ago today. Francis Schaeffer lived from January 30, 1912 to May 15, 1984 and on May 15, 1994 the 10th anniversary of his passing, I wrote 250 skeptics in academia and sent them a lengthy letter filled with his quotes from various intellectuals on the meaning of life if God was not in the picture. I also included the message by Francis Schaeffer on Ecclesiastes which were conclusions of King Solomon on the same subject and I also told about the musings of three men on the world around them, Carl Sagan in his film Cosmos, Francis Schaeffer in his experience in the 1930’s while on the beach observing an eclipse, and King Solomon in the Book of Ecclesiastes. Then I posed to these academics the question, “Is there a lasting meaning to our lives without God in the picture?”
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-).

Francis Schaeffer talked quite a lot about the works of Carl Sagan and that is why I think Carl Sagan took the time to write me back.

Carl Sagan pictured below

Image result for carl sagan

Recently I have been revisiting my correspondence in 1995 with the famous astronomer Carl Sagan who I had the privilege to correspond with in 1994, 1995 and 1996. In 1996 I had a chance to respond to his December 5, 1995letter on January 10, 1996 and I never heard back from him again since his cancer returned and he passed away later in 1996. Below is what Carl Sagan wrote to me in his December 5, 1995 letter:

Thanks for your recent letter about evolution and abortion. The correlation is hardly one to one; there are evolutionists who are anti-abortion and anti-evolutionists who are pro-abortion.You argue that God exists because otherwise we could not understand the world in our consciousness. But if you think God is necessary to understand the world, then why do you not ask the next question of where God came from? And if you say “God was always here,” why not say that the universe was always here? On abortion, my views are contained in the enclosed article (Sagan, Carl and Ann Druyan {1990}, “The Question of Abortion,” Parade Magazine, April 22.)

I was introduced to when reading a book by Francis Schaeffer called HE IS THERE AND HE IS NOT SILENT written in 1968. 

_

Image result for francis schaeffer

Francis Schaeffer when he was a young pastor in St. Louis pictured above.

Image result for francis schaeffer

Francis Schaeffer and Adrian Rogers

Image result for adrian rogers

(both Adrian Rogers and Francis Schaeffer mentioned Carl Sagan in their books and that prompted me to write Sagan and expose him to their views.


Carl Sagan pictured below:

Image result for carl sagan

_________

Image result for francis schaeffer

Francis Schaeffer

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

Image result for carl sagan

Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan pictured above

 “The Question of Abortion: A Search for Answers”

by Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan

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

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

 

Is it wrong to abort a pregnancy? Always? Sometimes? Never? How do we decide? We wrote this article to understand better what the contending views are and to see if we ourselves could find a position that would satisfy us both. Is there no middle ground? We had to weigh the arguments of both sides for consistency and to pose test cases, some of which are purely hypothetical. If in some of these tests we seem to go too far, we ask the reader to be patient with us–we’re trying to stress the various positions to the breaking point to see their weaknesses and where they fail.

In contemplative moments, nearly everyone recognizes that the issue is not wholly one-sided. Many partisans of differing views, we find, feel some disquiet, some unease when confronting what’s behind the opposing arguments. (This is partly why such confrontations are avoided.) And the issue surely touches on deep questions: What are our responses to one another? Should we permit the state to intrude into the most intimate and personal aspects of our lives? Where are the boundaries of freedom? What does it mean to be human?

Of the many actual points of view, it is widely held–especially in the media, which rarely have the time or the inclination to make fine distinctions–that there are only two: “pro-choice” and “pro-life.” This is what the two principal warring camps like to call themselves, and that’s what we’ll call them here. In the simplest characterization, a pro-choicer would hold that the decision to abort a pregnancy is to be made only by the woman; the state has no right to interfere. And a pro-lifer would hold that, from the moment of conception, the embryo or fetus is alive; that this life imposes on us a moral obligation to preserve it; and that abortion is tantamount to murder. Both names–pro-choice and pro-life–were picked with an eye toward influencing those whose minds are not yet made up: Few people wish to be counted either as being against freedom of choice or as opposed to life. Indeed, freedom and life are two of our most cherished values, and here they seem to be in fundamental conflict.

Let’s consider these two absolutist positions in turn. A newborn baby is surely the same being it was just before birth. There ‘s good evidence that a late-term fetus responds to sound–including music, but especially its mother’s voice. It can suck its thumb or do a somersault. Occasionally, it generates adult brain-wave patterns. Some people claim to remember being born, or even the uterine environment. Perhaps there is thought in the womb. It’s hard to maintain that a transformation to full personhood happens abruptly at the moment of birth. Why, then, should it be murder to kill an infant the day after it was born but not the day before?

As a practical matter, this isn’t very important: Less than 1 percent of all tabulated abortions in the United States are listed in the last three months of pregnancy (and, on closer investigation, most such reports turn out to be due to miscarriage or miscalculation). But third-trimester abortions provide a test of the limits of the pro-choice point of view. Does a woman’s “innate right to control her own body” encompass the right to kill a near-term fetus who is, for all intents and purposes, identical to a newborn child?

We believe that many supporters of reproductive freedom are troubled at least occasionally by this question. But they are reluctant to raise it because it is the beginning of a slippery slope. If it is impermissible to abort a pregnancy in the ninth month, what about the eighth, seventh, sixth … ? Once we acknowledge that the state can interfere at any time in the pregnancy, doesn’t it follow that the state can interfere at all times?

Image result for carl sagan

Abortion and the slippery slope argument above

This conjures up the specter of predominantly male, predominantly affluent legislators telling poor women they must bear and raise alone children they cannot afford to bring up; forcing teenagers to bear children they are not emotionally prepared to deal with; saying to women who wish for a career that they must give up their dreams, stay home, and bring up babies; and, worst of all, condemning victims of rape and incest to carry and nurture the offspring of their assailants. Legislative prohibitions on abortion arouse the suspicion that their real intent is to control the independence and sexuality of women…

And yet, by consensus, all of us think it proper that there be prohibitions against, and penalties exacted for, murder. It would be a flimsy defense if the murderer pleads that this is just between him and his victim and none of the government’s business. If killing a fetus is truly killing a human being, is it not the duty of the state to prevent it? Indeed, one of the chief functions of government is to protect the weak from the strong.

If we do not oppose abortion at some stage of pregnancy, is there not a danger of dismissing an entire category of human beings as unworthy of our protection and respect? And isn’t that dismissal the hallmark of sexism, racism, nationalism, and religious fanaticism? Shouldn’t those dedicated to fighting such injustices be scrupulously careful not to embrace another?

Image result for adrian rogers

(Adrian Rogers pictured above)

Adrian Rogers’ sermon on animal rights refutes Sagan here

There is no right to life in any society on Earth today, nor has there been at any former time… : We raise farm animals for slaughter; destroy forests; pollute rivers and lakes until no fish can live there; kill deer and elk for sport, leopards for the pelts, and whales for fertilizer; entrap dolphins, gasping and writhing, in great tuna nets; club seal pups to death; and render a species extinct every day. All these beasts and vegetables are as alive as we. What is (allegedly) protected is not life, but human life.

Genesis 3 defines being human

And even with that protection, casual murder is an urban commonplace, and we wage “conventional” wars with tolls so terrible that we are, most of us, afraid to consider them very deeply… That protection, that right to life, eludes the 40,000 children under five who die on our planet each day from preventable starvation, dehydration, disease, and neglect.

Those who assert a “right to life” are for (at most) not just any kind of life, but for–particularly and uniquely—human life. So they too, like pro-choicers, must decide what distinguishes a human being from other animals and when, during gestation, the uniquely human qualities–whatever they are–emerge.

The Bible talks about the differences between humans and animals

Despite many claims to the contrary, life does not begin at conception: It is an unbroken chain that stretches back nearly to the origin of the Earth, 4.6 billion years ago. Nor does human life begin at conception: It is an unbroken chain dating back to the origin of our species, hundreds of thousands of years ago. Every human sperm and egg is, beyond the shadow of a doubt, alive. They are not human beings, of course. However, it could be argued that neither is a fertilized egg.

In some animals, an egg develops into a healthy adult without benefit of a sperm cell. But not, so far as we know, among humans. A sperm and an unfertilized egg jointly comprise the full genetic blueprint for a human being. Under certain circumstances, after fertilization, they can develop into a baby. But most fertilized eggs are spontaneously miscarried. Development into a baby is by no means guaranteed. Neither a sperm and egg separately, nor a fertilized egg, is more than a potential baby or a potential adult. So if a sperm and egg are as human as the fertilized egg produced by their union, and if it is murder to destroy a fertilized egg–despite the fact that it’s only potentially a baby–why isn’t it murder to destroy a sperm or an egg?

Hundreds of millions of sperm cells (top speed with tails lashing: five inches per hour) are produced in an average human ejaculation. A healthy young man can produce in a week or two enough spermatozoa to double the human population of the Earth. So is masturbation mass murder? How about nocturnal emissions or just plain sex? When the unfertilized egg is expelled each month, has someone died? Should we mourn all those spontaneous miscarriages? Many lower animals can be grown in a laboratory from a single body cell. Human cells can be cloned… In light of such cloning technology, would we be committing mass murder by destroying any potentially clonable cells? By shedding a drop of blood?

 

All human sperm and eggs are genetic halves of “potential” human beings. Should heroic efforts be made to save and preserve all of them, everywhere, because of this “potential”? Is failure to do so immoral or criminal? Of course, there’s a difference between taking a life and failing to save it. And there’s a big difference between the probability of survival of a sperm cell and that of a fertilized egg. But the absurdity of a corps of high-minded semen-preservers moves us to wonder whether a fertilized egg’s mere “potential” to become a baby really does make destroying it murder.

Opponents of abortion worry that, once abortion is permissible immediately after conception, no argument will restrict it at any later time in the pregnancy. Then, they fear, one day it will be permissible to murder a fetus that is unambiguously a human being. Both pro-choicers and pro-lifers (at least some of them) are pushed toward absolutist positions by parallel fears of the slippery slope.

 

Another slippery slope is reached by those pro-lifers who are willing to make an exception in the agonizing case of a pregnancy resulting from rape or incest. But why should the right to live depend on the circumstances of conception? If the same child were to result, can the state ordain life for the offspring of a lawful union but death for one conceived by force or coercion? How can this be just? And if exceptions are extended to such a fetus, why should they be withheld from any other fetus? This is part of the reason some pro-lifers adopt what many others consider the outrageous posture of opposing abortions under any and all circumstances–only excepting, perhaps, when the life of the mother is in danger.

By far the most common reason for abortion worldwide is birth control. So shouldn’t opponents of abortion be handing out contraceptives and teaching school children how to use them? That would be an effective way to reduce the number of abortions. Instead, the United States is far behind other nations in the development of safe and effective methods of birth control–and, in many cases, opposition to such research (and to sex education) has come from the same people who oppose abortions.continue on to Part 3

Image result for carl sagan

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

The attempt to find an ethically sound and unambiguous judgment on when, if ever, abortion is permissible has deep historical roots. Often, especially in Christian tradition, such attempts were connected with the question of when the soul enters the body–a matter not readily amenable to scientific investigation and an issue of controversy even among learned theologians. Ensoulment has been asserted to occur in the sperm before conception, at conception, at the time of “quickening” (when the mother is first able to feel the fetus stirring within her), and at birth. Or even later.

Different religions have different teachings. Among hunter-gatherers, there are usually no prohibitions against abortion, and it was common in ancient Greece and Rome. In contrast, the more severe Assyrians impaled women on stakes for attempting abortion. The Jewish Talmud teaches that the fetus is not a person and has no rights. The Old and New Testaments–rich in astonishingly detailed prohibitions on dress, diet, and permissible words–contain not a word specifically prohibiting abortion. The only passage that’s remotely relevant (Exodus 21:22) decrees that if there’s a fight and a woman bystander should accidentally be injured and made to miscarry, the assailant must pay a fine.

Neither St. Augustine nor St. Thomas Aquinas considered early-term abortion to be homicide (the latter on the grounds that the embryo doesn’t look human). This view was embraced by the Church in the Council of Vienne in 1312, and has never been repudiated. The Catholic Church’s first and long-standing collection of canon law (according to the leading historian of the Church’s teaching on abortion, John Connery, S.J.) held that abortion was homicide only after the fetus was already “formed”–roughly, the end of the first trimester.

But when sperm cells were examined in the seventeenth century by the first microscopes, they were thought to show a fully formed human being. An old idea of the homunculus was resuscitated–in which within each sperm cell was a fully formed tiny human, within whose testes were innumerable other homunculi, etc., ad infinitum. In part through this misinterpretation of scientific data, in 1869 abortion at any time for any reason became grounds for excommunication. It is surprising to most Catholics and others to discover that the date was not much earlier.

From colonial times to the nineteenth century, the choice in the United States was the woman’s until “quickening.” An abortion in the first or even second trimester was at worst a misdemeanor. Convictions were rarely sought and almost impossible to obtain, because they depended entirely on the woman’s own testimony of whether she had felt quickening, and because of the jury’s distaste for prosecuting a woman for exercising her right to choose. In 1800 there was not, so far as is known, a single statute in the United States concerning abortion. Advertisements for drugs to induce abortion could be found in virtually every newspaper and even in many church publications–although the language used was suitably euphemistic, if widely understood.

But by 1900, abortion had been banned at any time in pregnancy by every state in the Union, except when necessary to save the woman’s life. What happened to bring about so striking a reversal? Religion had little to do with it.Drastic economic and social conversions were turning this country from an agrarian to an urban-industrial society. America was in the process of changing from having one of the highest birthrates in the world to one of the lowest. Abortion certainly played a role and stimulated forces to suppress it.

Image result for carl sagan

One of the most significant of these forces was the medical profession. Up to the mid-nineteenth century, medicine was an uncertified, unsupervised business. Anyone could hang up a shingle and call himself (or herself) a doctor. With the rise of a new, university-educated medical elite, anxious to enhance the status and influence of physicians, the American Medical Association was formed. In its first decade, the AMA began lobbying against abortions performed by anyone except licensed physicians. New knowledge of embryology, the physicians said, had shown the fetus to be human even before quickening.

Their assault on abortion was motivated not by concern for the health of the woman but, they claimed, for the welfare of the fetus. You had to be a physician to know when abortion was morally justified, because the question depended on scientific and medical facts understood only by physicians. At the same time, women were effectively excluded from the medical schools, where such arcane knowledge could be acquired. So, as things worked out, women had almost nothing to say about terminating their own pregnancies. It was also up to the physician to decide if the pregnancy posed a threat to the woman, and it was entirely at his discretion to determine what was and was not a threat. For the rich woman, the threat might be a threat to her emotional tranquillity or even to her lifestyle. The poor woman was often forced to resort to the back alley or the coat hanger.

This was the law until the 1960s, when a coalition of individuals and organizations, the AMA now among them, sought to overturn it and to reinstate the more traditional values that were to be embodied in Roe v. Wade.continue on to Part 4

If you deliberately kill a human being, it’s called murder. If you deliberately kill a chimpanzee–biologically, our closest relative, sharing 99.6 percent of our active genes–whatever else it is, it’s not murder. To date, murder uniquely applies to killing human beings. Therefore, the question of when personhood (or, if we like, ensoulment) arises is key to the abortion debate. When does the fetus become human? When do distinct and characteristic human qualities emerge?

 

Section 8 Sperm journey to becoming Human 

We recognize that specifying a precise moment will overlook individual differences. Therefore, if we must draw a line, it ought to be drawn conservatively–that is, on the early side. There are people who object to having to set some numerical limit, and we share their disquiet; but if there is to be a law on this matter, and it is to effect some useful compromise between the two absolutist positions, it must specify, at least roughly, a time of transition to personhood.

Every one of us began from a dot. A fertilized egg is roughly the size of the period at the end of this sentence. The momentous meeting of sperm and egg generally occurs in one of the two fallopian tubes. One cell becomes two, two become four, and so on—an exponentiation of base-2 arithmetic. By the tenth day the fertilized egg has become a kind of hollow sphere wandering off to another realm: the womb. It destroys tissue in its path. It sucks blood from capillaries. It bathes itself in maternal blood, from which it extracts oxygen and nutrients. It establishes itself as a kind of parasite on the walls of the uterus.By the third week, around the time of the first missed menstrual period, the forming embryo is about 2 millimeters long and is developing various body parts. Only at this stage does it begin to be dependent on a rudimentary placenta. It looks a little like a segmented worm.By the end of the fourth week, it’s about 5 millimeters (about 1/5 inch) long. It’s recognizable now as a vertebrate, its tube-shaped heart is beginning to beat, something like the gill arches of a fish or an amphibian become conspicuous, and there is a pronounced tail. It looks rather like a newt or a tadpole. This is the end of the first month after conception.By the fifth week, the gross divisions of the brain can be distinguished. What will later develop into eyes are apparent, and little buds appear—on their way to becoming arms and legs.By the sixth week, the embryo is 13 millimeteres (about ½ inch) long. The eyes are still on the side of the head, as in most animals, and the reptilian face has connected slits where the mouth and nose eventually will be.By the end of the seventh week, the tail is almost gone, and sexual characteristics can be discerned (although both sexes look female). The face is mammalian but somewhat piglike.By the end of the eighth week, the face resembles that of a primate but is still not quite human. Most of the human body parts are present in their essentials. Some lower brain anatomy is well-developed. The fetus shows some reflex response to delicate stimulation.By the tenth week, the face has an unmistakably human cast. It is beginning to be possible to distinguish males from females. Nails and major bone structures are not apparent until the third month.By the fourth month, you can tell the face of one fetus from that of another. Quickening is most commonly felt in the fifth month. The bronchioles of the lungs do not begin developing until approximately the sixth month, the alveoli still later.

So, if only a person can be murdered, when does the fetus attain personhood? When its face becomes distinctly human, near the end of the first trimester? When the fetus becomes responsive to stimuli–again, at the end of the first trimester? When it becomes active enough to be felt as quickening, typically in the middle of the second trimester? When the lungs have reached a stage of development sufficient that the fetus might, just conceivably, be able to breathe on its own in the outside air?

The trouble with these particular developmental milestones is not just that they’re arbitrary. More troubling is the fact that none of them involves uniquely humancharacteristics–apart from the superficial matter of facial appearance. All animals respond to stimuli and move of their own volition. Large numbers are able to breathe. But that doesn’t stop us from slaughtering them by the billions. Reflexes and motion are not what make us human.

Image result for carl sagan

Sagan’s conclusion based on arbitrary choice of the presence of thought by unborn baby

Other animals have advantages over us–in speed, strength, endurance, climbing or burrowing skills, camouflage, sight or smell or hearing, mastery of the air or water. Our one great advantage, the secret of our success, is thought–characteristically human thought. We are able to think things through, imagine events yet to occur, figure things out. That’s how we invented agriculture and civilization. Thought is our blessing and our curse, and it makes us who we are.

Thinking occurs, of course, in the brain–principally in the top layers of the convoluted “gray matter” called the cerebral cortex. The roughly 100 billion neurons in the brain constitute the material basis of thought. The neurons are connected to each other, and their linkups play a major role in what we experience as thinking. But large-scale linking up of neurons doesn’t begin until the 24th to 27th week of pregnancy–the sixth month.

By placing harmless electrodes on a subject’s head, scientists can measure the electrical activity produced by the network of neurons inside the skull. Different kinds of mental activity show different kinds of brain waves. But brain waves with regular patterns typical of adult human brains do not appear in the fetus until about the 30th week of pregnancy–near the beginning of the third trimester. Fetuses younger than this–however alive and active they may be–lack the necessary brain architecture. They cannot yet think.

Acquiescing in the killing of any living creature, especially one that might later become a baby, is troublesome and painful. But we’ve rejected the extremes of “always” and “never,” and this puts us–like it or not–on the slippery slope. If we are forced to choose a developmental criterion, then this is where we draw the line: when the beginning of characteristically human thinking becomes barely possible.

It is, in fact, a very conservative definition: Regular brain waves are rarely found in fetuses. More research would help… If we wanted to make the criterion still more stringent, to allow for occasional precocious fetal brain development, we might draw the line at six months. This, it so happens, is where the Supreme Court drew it in 1973–although for completely different reasons.

Its decision in the case of Roe v. Wade changed American law on abortion. It permits abortion at the request of the woman without restriction in the first trimester and, with some restrictions intended to protect her health, in the second trimester. It allows states to forbid abortion in the third trimester, except when there’s a serious threat to the life or health of the woman. In the 1989 Webster decision, the Supreme Court declined explicitly to overturn Roe v. Wade but in effect invited the 50 state legislatures to decide for themselves.

Image result for carl sagan

What was the reasoning in Roe v. Wade? There was no legal weight given to what happens to the children once they are born, or to the family. Instead, a woman’s right to reproductive freedom is protected, the court ruled, by constitutional guarantees of privacy. But that right is not unqualified. The woman’s guarantee of privacy and the fetus’s right to life must be weighed–and when the court did the weighing’ priority was given to privacy in the first trimester and to life in the third. The transition was decided not from any of the considerations we have been dealing with so far…–not when “ensoulment” occurs, not when the fetus takes on sufficient human characteristics to be protected by laws against murder. Instead, the criterion adopted was whether the fetus could live outside the mother. This is called “viability” and depends in part on the ability to breathe. The lungs are simply not developed, and the fetus cannot breathe–no matter how advanced an artificial lung it might be placed in—until about the 24th week, near the start of the sixth month. This is why Roe v. Wade permits the states to prohibit abortions in the last trimester. It’s a very pragmatic criterion.

If the fetus at a certain stage of gestation would be viable outside the womb, the argument goes, then the right of the fetus to life overrides the right of the woman to privacy. But just what does “viable” mean? Even a full-term newborn is not viable without a great deal of care and love. There was a time before incubators, only a few decades ago, when babies in their seventh month were unlikely to be viable. Would aborting in the seventh month have been permissible then? After the invention of incubators, did aborting pregnancies in the seventh month suddenly become immoral? What happens if, in the future, a new technology develops so that an artificial womb can sustain a fetus even before the sixth month by delivering oxygen and nutrients through the blood–as the mother does through the placenta and into the fetal blood system? We grant that this technology is unlikely to be developed soon or become available to many. But if it were available, does it then become immoral to abort earlier than the sixth month, when previously it was moral? A morality that depends on, and changes with, technology is a fragile morality; for some, it is also an unacceptable morality.

And why, exactly, should breathing (or kidney function, or the ability to resist disease) justify legal protection? If a fetus can be shown to think and feel but not be able to breathe, would it be all right to kill it? Do we value breathing more than thinking and feeling? Viability arguments cannot, it seems to us, coherently determine when abortions are permissible. Some other criterion is needed. Again, we offer for consideration the earliest onset of human thinking as that criterion.

Since, on average, fetal thinking occurs even later than fetal lung development, we find Roe v. Wade to be a good and prudent decision addressing a complex and difficult issue. With prohibitions on abortion in the last trimester–except in cases of grave medical necessity–it strikes a fair balance between the conflicting claims of freedom and life.What do you think? What have others said about Carl Sagan’s thoughts on 

END OF SAGAN’S ARTICLE

Image result for carl sagan

_

Image result for carl sagan and ann druyan
Carl Sagan with his wife Ann in the 1990’s
Image result for adrian rogers francis schaeffer
I grew up in Memphis as a member of Bellevue Baptist Church under our pastor Adrian Rogers and attended ECS High School where the books and films of Francis Schaeffer were taught. Both men dealt with current issues in the culture such as the film series COSMOS by Carl Sagan. I personally read several of Sagan’s books.  (Francis and Edith Schaeffer pictured below in their home at L’ Abri in Switzerland where Francis  taught students for 3 decades.
Image result for francis schaeffer
630 × 414Images may be subject to copyright.
Image result for francis schaeffer

Xxxxxxxxxxxxx 

 

——

 

 

.

Related posts:

 

Taking on Ark Times Bloggers on various issues Part F “Carl Sagan’s views on how God should try and contact us” includes film “The Basis for Human Dignity”

April 8, 2013 – 7:07 am

I have gone back and forth and back and forth with many liberals on the Arkansas Times Blog on many issues such as abortion, human rights, welfare, poverty, gun control  and issues dealing with popular culture. Here is another exchange I had with them a while back. My username at the Ark Times Blog is Saline […] By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Francis SchaefferProlife | Edit | Comments (0)

Carl Sagan v. Nancy Pearcey

March 18, 2013 – 9:11 am

On March 17, 2013 at our worship service at Fellowship Bible Church, Ben Parkinson who is one of our teaching pastors spoke on Genesis 1. He spoke about an issue that I was very interested in. Ben started the sermon by reading the following scripture: Genesis 1-2:3 English Standard Version (ESV) The Creation of the […] By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Adrian RogersAtheists ConfrontedCurrent Events | TaggedBen ParkinsonCarl Sagan | Edit | Comments (0)

Review of Carl Sagan book (Part 4 of series on Evolution)

May 24, 2012 – 1:47 am

Review of Carl Sagan book (Part 4 of series on Evolution) The Long War against God-Henry Morris, part 5 of 6 Uploaded by FLIPWORLDUPSIDEDOWN3 on Aug 30, 2010 http://www.icr.org/ http://store.icr.org/prodinfo.asp?number=BLOWA2http://store.icr.org/prodinfo.asp?number=BLOWASGhttp://www.fliptheworldupsidedown.com/blog _______________________ I got this from a blogger in April of 2008 concerning candidate Obama’s view on evolution: Q: York County was recently in the news […] By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Atheists ConfrontedCurrent EventsPresident Obama | EditComments (0)

_

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 267 MY 8 POSTCARDS IN 2017 FROM NEW ORLEANS  TO HUGH HEFNER (PART 8) Featured artist is Jon Kessler

_

I started this series on my letters and postcards to Hugh Hefner back in September when I read of the passing of Mr. Hefner. There are many more to come. It is my view that he may have taken time to look at glance at one or two of them since these postcards were short and from one of Hef’s favorite cities!!!!

Feb 7, 2017 letter A Proverbs 7

Xxxxxx

Image result for new orleans postcards mardi gras

        —- February 7, 2017 letter A   Hugh Hefner Playboy Mansion 16236 Charing Cross RoadLos Angeles, CA 90024   Dear Hugh, Today is Feb 7 so I want to quote from Proverbs 7. Good advice today from anyone in New Orleans like me.   1-5 Dear friend, do what I tell you;
    treasure my careful instructions.
Do what I say and you’ll live well.
    My teaching is as precious as your eyesight—guard it!
Write it out on the back of your hands;
    etch it on the chambers of your heart.
Talk to Wisdom as to a sister.
    Treat Insight as your companion.
They’ll be with you to fend off the Temptress—
    that smooth-talking, honey-tongued Seductress. —– Don’t you wish your sons would be faithful to the wife of their youth? It is God’s plan and the best plan by far!!!   Check out Romans 3:23; 5:8; 10:9-10. Best wishes, Everette Hatcher  

___________

I wrote to Hefner in an earlier letter these words:

Don’t you see that Solomon was right  when he observed life UNDER THE SUN without God in the picture and he then concluded  in Ecclesiastes 2:11:

“All was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained 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.” This phrase UNDER THE SUN appears over and over in Ecclesiastes. The Christian Scholar Ravi Zacharias noted, “The key to understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes is the term UNDER THE SUN — What that literally means is you lock God out of a closed system and you are left with only this world of Time plus Chance plus matter.”

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.

Image result for king solomon

________

EDITORSSOCIETY & CULTURE

Hugh Hefner: A Life Wasted

Many hundreds of years ago there reigned a great and powerful King who had all the world at his fingertips. He had built a mighty Kingdom whose capital had become the center of world trade and his borders stretched from one corner of the known world to the next. Lacking in nothing, he truly had it all. A private zoo, a private navy, thousands of horses, immeasurable wealth, and no less than 1000 women to do with as he pleased.

In the end, the King reflected on all that he’d done in his life and concluded, Therefore I hated life; because the work that is wrought under the sun is grievous unto me: for all is vanity and vexation of spirit.”

I am of course describing King Solomon of the Bible and I quite suspect that the recently deceased Hugh Hefner’s life wasn’t all that different in the end.

Indeed, the above could just as well have described Hefner and the life he chose to lead. One that was filled with every pleasure the world can provide, particularly, loads and loads of women. Hefner spent the better portion of his early life building Playboy Magazine, a magazine that would go on to become the premier, “Gentleman’s Magazine” in the world. Featuring pornographic images of young, beautiful women alongside far less erotic editorials and articles covering everything from sports to politics. Hefner flat out stated in his later years that he wished to be remembered as a man who made an impact on sexual values.

In this, he certainly succeeded and not for the better. While Playboy was and is comparably tame next to some of the other magazines and pornographic content one can find on the internet today, it played a vital role in the mainstreaming of pornography and more casual sexual mores in American society. If your coworker is more comfortable talking about their sex life than their salary (and they are) then you have Hugh Hefner to thank. But if you’re also noticing a rising rate of depression amongst young women, increased confusion amongst young people about love and relationships, a declining marriage rate, and a rapidly growing pornography addiction epidemic with real world health consequences, then you also have Hefner to thank.

A major factor in Hefner’s and Playboy’s success was the way in which it marketed itself as a, “Gentleman’s Magazine.” Something read by not just refined men but by mature men. This impact has been felt throughout the world of so-called, “Adult Entertainment” and yet the science tells us that pornography such as that marketed by Hefner, actually has the impact of turning grown men into little more than children. Addiction works by affecting the brain’s reward centers and when we constantly choose to give into our desires in order to get that shot of dopamine running through our minds, we gradually weaken those portions of the frontal lobe responsible for willpower and self control. That is, when a man feels the desire to view pornography or crack open a playboy magazine, if he’s become addicted to it, then his willpower is going to gradually get weaker and weaker over time. Until, like a child, he has no impulse control whatsoever left.

In stark contrast with Solomon who, for all his many flaws, was incredibly wise; Hefner was deeply confused. Making such comments such as, “The major civilizing force in the world is not religion, it is sex.”

Notwithstanding the fact that it was religion which got man to advance beyond his primitive status as a hunter-gatherer, who sometimes might use force to get the sexual mates they’d prefer (quite civilized huh Hugh?) it seemed that for Hefner sex had become life itself. Indeed, it had become his own private religion in a way. Perhaps as a way to fill a gaping void he felt in his own life.

King Solomon eventually grew to hate his life, in spite of his material success and, as many these days tend to do, turned to an addiction in order that he might escape from the gaping emptiness that had grown within his heart. In Solomon’s case, this turned out to be sex. “But King Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites;” (1 Kings 11:1)

Sounds a bit familiar huh? Almost like an eccentric old man who lives in a vast estate, wearing nothing but silk dressing gowns and constantly cavorting around with numerous scantily clad, if not outright nude, women. Perhaps, after his empire had been firmly established in the pop culture of America, old Hugh found that his vast wealth was not bringing him the happiness he imagined. It would certainly explain why he spent the final decades of his life focused entirely on surrounding himself with beautiful women and presumably bedding many of them. But, as Solomon so wisely observed in his own life, this was all but vanity. Just as a drug addict may discover that they can never have enough anymore to truly feel happy, old Hugh perhaps felt that he couldn’t get quite enough sex to be happy.

In the end, Hugh Hefner leaves a legacy just as we all do. Unfortunately, his appears to be that of accelerating the decline of the traditional family in America and the rise of sexual libertinism which has destroyed so many lives. In the end, Hugh Hefner will be, I think, remembered above all else as a man of great talent and vision who squandered his life away in the pursuit of empty vanities and who wrought great destruction on the culture of his day as he did so.

On June 6, 2016, I wrote a letter to Hugh Hefner that included these words:

In the article MAKE LOVE NOT WAR  you asserted, “I had been promoting the basic premises that became the sexual revolution from the very beginning and from early 1960 with the Playboy philosophy…”

Hugh you are an universal man in a way since you have succeeded in business and are recognized throughout the world as a leader in the sexual revolution. However, have you found a lasting meaning?

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

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

We have here the declaration of Solomon’s universality:

1 Kings 4:30-34

English Standard Version (ESV)

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

_________________________

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

Ecclesiastes 1:3

English Standard Version (ESV)

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

Solomon took a look at the meaning of life on the basis of human life standing alone between birth and death “under the sun.” This phrase UNDER THE SUN appears over and over in Ecclesiastes.

__________

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.” 

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

Hugh you have been under the impression that all of your efforts have been an effort to pioneer something new.  But Solomon noted in Ecclesiastes 1:9, “What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.”

Hugh you remind me of Solomon because you are looking for  lasting meaning in your life and you are looking in the same  6 areas that King Solomon did in what I call the 6 big L words. He looked into  learning (1:16-18), laughter, ladies,luxuries,  and liquor (2:1-3, 8, 10, 11), and labor (2:4-6, 18-20)…..HUGH do you agree with fellow universal man Solomon that UNDER THE SUN there is no advantage for man when he toils for the wind? Naked we all came into the world and naked we will leave.

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

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

Playboy founder Hugh Hefner’s life in pictures

Last updated 19:03, September 28 2017

Hugh Hefner shows off a giant birthday cake to celebrate his 75th birthday as seven playmates look on in Cannes in 2001.

REUTERS

Hugh Hefner shows off a giant birthday cake to celebrate his 75th birthday as seven playmates look on in Cannes in 2001.

Hugh Hefner has died at his home in aged 91, Playboy Enterprises said. We look back on the life of the men’s magazine mogul in pictures.

READ MORE:
Playboy founder Hugh Hefner dead
Obituary: Hugh Hefner, visionary editor who created Playboy magazine
Hugh Hefner’s son Cooper Hefner issues statement

Ad Feedback

What is Hugh Hefner’s legacy?

Share your stories, photos and videos.

Hugh Hefner is joined by former girlfriends Barbi Benton (L), and Holly Madison, during a party at the Playboy Mansion ...

REUTERS

Hugh Hefner is joined by former girlfriends Barbi Benton (L), and Holly Madison, during a party at the Playboy Mansion in Beverly Hills, California in 2005.

Hugh Hefner with a Playmate wearing skin-art of the 2002 Grammy Awards.

REUTERS

Hugh Hefner with a Playmate wearing skin-art of the 2002 Grammy Awards.

Hefner's 79th birthday along with his girlfriends, Playboy Playmates (L-R) Kendra Wilkinson, Bridget Marquardt, and ...

REUTERS

Hefner’s 79th birthday along with his girlfriends, Playboy Playmates (L-R) Kendra Wilkinson, Bridget Marquardt, and Holly Madison.

With wife Crystal Harris at Hefner's annual Halloween Party at The Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles in 2012.

REUTERS

With wife Crystal Harris at Hefner’s annual Halloween Party at The Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles in 2012.

Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner and girlfriends Anna Sophia Berglund, left, and Shera Bechard arrive at the Society ...

FRED PROUSER/REUTERS

Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner and girlfriends Anna Sophia Berglund, left, and Shera Bechard arrive at the Society of Singers annual dinner in Beverly Hills.

Hugh Hefner in 2002.

GETTY

Hugh Hefner in 2002.

Hugh Hefner poses with his bride Crystal Harris.

REUTERS

Hugh Hefner poses with his bride Crystal Harris.

Hugh Hefner in his famous hat.

REUTERS

Hugh Hefner in his famous hat.

Hugh Hefner and his Playboy bunnies.

GETTY

Hugh Hefner and his Playboy bunnies.

The late Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner poses for a photograph in this September, 2003 photo.

REUTERS

The late Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner poses for a photograph in this September, 2003 photo.

Hugh Hefner , Playboy magazine founder, and Playboy Playmates and girlfriends arrive at the American Film Institute's ...

REUTERS

Hugh Hefner , Playboy magazine founder, and Playboy Playmates and girlfriends arrive at the American Film Institute’s ‘AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to Sir Sean Connery’ taping in June. 2006.

Hugh Hefner and his fiancee, Playboy Playmate Crystal Harris, at the opening night gala of the 2011 TCM Classic Film ...

REUTERS

Hugh Hefner and his fiancee, Playboy Playmate Crystal Harris, at the opening night gala of the 2011 TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood.

Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner kisses girlfriend Kendra Wilkinson after their arrival for his 80th birthday party ...

REUTERS

Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner kisses girlfriend Kendra Wilkinson after their arrival for his 80th birthday party in a Munich club on May 31, 2006.

Featured artist is Jon Kessler

Jon Kessler was born in 1957 in Yonkers, New York, and lives and works in New York City. Kessler creates multimedia sculptures, which he describes as “chaotic kinetic installations” that critique our highly-surveilled world and dependence on technology. Blending a level of technological tools—virtual-reality headsets, smart phones, live-feed video monitors, robotic mannequins—with kitschy imagery, Kessler’s sculptures are at once playful and anxiety-inducing, tapping into the complex realities of contemporary life and the role that technology plays in it.

Links:
Artist’s website
@jon_kessler on Instagram

Related posts:

Ecclesiastes 2 — The Quest For Meaning and the failed examples of Howard Hughes and Hugh Hefner

June 27, 2013 – 12:49 am

Ecclesiastes 2-3 Published on Sep 19, 2012 Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | September 16, 2012 | Derek Neider _____________________________ I have written on the Book of Ecclesiastes and the subject of the meaning of our lives on several occasions on this blog. In this series on Ecclesiastes I hope to show how secular […] By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Current Events | Edit | Comments (0)

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)

May 4, 2017 – 1:40 am

 Is Love All You Need? Jesus v. Lennon Posted on January 19, 2011 by Jovan Payes 0 On June 25, 1967, the Beatles participated in the first worldwide TV special called “Our World”. During this special, the Beatles introduced “All You Need is Love”; one of their most famous and recognizable songs. In it, John Lennon […] By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Francis Schaeffer | Edit | Comments (0)

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!

April 6, 2017 – 12:25 am

___________________ Something happened to the Beatles in their journey through the 1960’s and although they started off wanting only to hold their girlfriend’s hand it later evolved into wanting to smash all previous sexual standards. The Beatles: Why Don’t We Do It in the Road? _______ Beatle Ringo Starr, and his girlfriend, later his wife, […] By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Current Events | Edit | Comments (0)

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

December 15, 2016 – 7:18 am

__________ Marvin Minsky __ I was sorry recently  to learn of the passing of one of the great scholars of our generation. I have written about Marvin Minsky several times before in this series and today I again look at a letter I wrote to him in the last couple of years. It is my […] By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Adrian RogersFrancis Schaeffer | Edit | Comments (0)

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

June 30, 2016 – 5:35 am

Why was Tony Curtis on the cover of SGT PEPPERS? I have no idea but if I had to hazard a guess I would say that probably it was because he was in the smash hit SOME LIKE IT HOT.  Above from the  movie SOME LIKE IT HOT __ __ Jojo was a man who […] By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Current Events | Edit | Comments (0)

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

March 3, 2016 – 12:21 am

__ Francis Schaeffer did not shy away from appreciating the Beatles. In fact, SERGEANT PEPPER’S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND album was his favorite and he listened to it over and over. I am a big fan of Francis Schaeffer but there are detractors that attack him because he did not have all the degrees that they […] By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Atheists ConfrontedFrancis Schaeffer | Edit | Comments (0)

10 YEARS AGO ADRIAN ROGERS WENT TO GLORY BUT HIS SERMONS ARE STILL SHARING CHRIST LOVE TODAY!!!

November 16, 2015 – 9:33 am

On 11-15-05 Adrian Rogers passed over to glory and since it is the 10th anniversary of that day I wanted to celebrate his life in two ways. First, I wanted to pass on some of the material from Adrian Rogers’ sermons I have sent to prominent atheists over the last 20 years. Second, I wanted […] By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Adrian Rogers | Tagged (Paul Kurtz (1925-2012)Albert Ellis (1913-2007)Archie J. Bahm (1907-1996)Aron S “Gil” Martin ( 1910-1997)Barbara Marie Tabler (1915-1996)Bette Chambers (1930-)Brian Charlesworth (1945-)Carl Sagan (1934-1996)Ernest Mayr (1904-2005)Francisco J. Ayala (1934-) Elliott Sober (1948-)George Wald (1906-1997)Gordon Stein (1941-1996)H. J. Eysenck (1916-1997)John Hospers (1918-2011)John J. Shea (1969-)Kevin Padian (1951-)Lloyd Morain (1917-2010)Mary Morain (1911-1999)Matt Cartmill (1943-)Matthew I. Spetter (1921-2012)Michael A. Crawford (1938-)Michael Martin (1932-).Milton Fingerman (1928-)Milton Friedman (1912-2006)Nicolaas Bloembergen (1920-)Renate Vambery (1916-2005)Robert L. Erdmann (1929-2006)Robert Shapiro (1935-2011)Sol Gordon (1923-2008)Warren Allen Smith (1921-) | Edit | Comments (0)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 65 THE BEATLES ( The 1960’s SEXUAL REVOLUTION was on the cover of Sgt. Pepper’s!) (Featured artist is Pauline Boty)

June 25, 2015 – 7:04 am

Looking back on his life as a Beatle Paul  said at a  certain age you start to think “Wow, I have to get serious. I can’t just be a playboy all of my life.” It is true that the Beatles wrote a lot about girls!!!!!! The Beatles – I Want To Hold your Hand [HD] Although […]

Adrian Rogers quotes Francis Schaeffer “When you vote today, follow 5 principles….”

When you vote today, follow 5 principles….

NOVEMBER 6

“Therefore, to Him that knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” James 4:17

You’re going to vote before long. I trust God every one of you willvote.  Dr. Francis Schaeffer, brilliant mind, one of the foremost Christian thinkers of our time, has given 5 principles to keep in mind when you vote. These principles don’t deal with personalities or parties. They are principles. 

1. The dignity of human life.  

2. The importance of the traditional family.  

3. Religious freedom of speech in schools, both public and private.  

4. Human rights and the need for justice in our world.  

5. The compassionate use of accumulated wealth. 

These five principles ought to be in the heart and mind of every child of God. Pray over these and based on God’s Word make your determination . God will give you wisdom in this matter.  

Pray it from your heart, “God, bless America, and God, give us space to repent.  And may the one of Your choosing be elected President to lead us.”  Remember, “to him that knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it is sin.”  


For more from Love Worth Finding and Pastor Adrian Rogers, please visit www.lwf.org

You can also listen to Adrian Rogers at OnePlace.com.

Watch Adrian Rogers and Love Worth FindingVideo Online.

35th anniversary of Francis Schaeffer’s death MAY 15, 2019 MEGAN BASHAM

—-

35th anniversary of Francis Schaeffer’s death

MAY 14, 2019 MEGAN BASHAMCULTU

MEGAN BASHAM, HOST: Today is Tuesday, May 14th. Thank you for turning to WORLD Radio to help start your day. Good morning. I’m Megan Basham.

NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher. WORLD Magazine started in 1986. Maybe you know that. What you may not know is that WORLD was not the progenitor of the children’s news magazine, God’s World. It was the other way around. 

In fact, it was the success of the children’spublication that led to WORLD. Back in 1983, Christian apologist Francis Schaeffer took note. After reading a few issues of God’s World, he wrote a letter to our founder Joel Belz. 

I’ll just read a little excerpt—quoting now: “I think it is so important … to understand a Christian perspective in all that is around us … and … helping us not to be infiltrated without realizing it. This, too, is the only way to save the church 20 years from now, if Christ does not return, to be a living church as the salt and light in the whole of life. I am truly glad for what you have done with this.”

BASHAM: Schaeffer became well-known for promoting a Christian worldview in all areas of life. He challenged Christians to be active in modern social and political debates. To this day, WORLD continues to use a similar philosophy across all of our platforms.  

EICHER: This week marks the 35th anniversary of Francis Schaeffer’s death. So coming next, another in our occasional series Notable Speeches Past and Present

Francis Schaeffer spoke at the Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The year is 1982. The hour-long lecture comes from one of his last books, “A Christian Manifesto.” In it he describes how the social problems of the era stem from a fundamental change—the move away from a Judeo-Christian consensus to a humanistic one. After spending the first half of speech addressing abortion, secularism, evolution, pornography, and the breakdown of the family, we pick up here with a question Schaeffer poses.

SCHAEFFER: I have a question to ask you, and that is: “Where have the Bible-believing Christians been in the last 40 years?” All of this that I am talking about has only come in the last 80 years…We must recognize that this country is close to being lost. Not, first of all, because of a humanist conspiracy—I believe that there are those who conspire—but that is not the reason this country is almost lost. 

This country is almost lost because the Bible-believing Christians, in the last 40 years, who have said that they know that the final reality is this infinite-personal God who is the Creator and all the rest, have done nothing about it as the consensus has changed. There has been a vast silence!

Christians of this country have simply been silent. Much of the evangelical leadership has not raised a voice. A vast, vast silence.

I wonder what God has to say to us? All these freedoms we have. All the secondary blessings we’ve had out of the preaching of the gospel and we have let it slip through our fingers in the lifetime of most of you here. Not a hundred years ago—it has been in our lifetime, in the last 40 years, that these things have happened.

Now, I come toward the close..when a government commands that which is contrary to the law of God, it abrogates its authority. At a certain point, it is not only the privilege but it is the duty of the Christian to disobey the government. Now that’s what the founding fathers did when they founded this country. That’s what the early church did. That’s what Peter said. You heard it from the Scripture: “Should we obey man… rather than God?” That’s what the early Christians did. 

Occasionally—not, often—people say to me, “But the early church didn’t practice civil disobedience.” Didn’t they? When those Christians that we all talk about so much allowed themselves to be thrown into the arena, when they did that, from their view it was a religious thing. They would not worship anything except the living God. 

But you must recognize from the side of the Roman state, there was nothing religious about it at all—it was purely civil…And when those Christians stood up there and refused to worship Caesar, from the side of the state, they were in civil disobedience and they were thrown to the beasts. 

They were involved in civil disobedience, as much as your brothers and sisters in the Soviet Union are. When the Soviet Union says that, by law, they cannot tell their children, even in their home, about Jesus Christ, they must disobey, and they get sent off to the mental ward or to Siberia.Every appropriate legal and political governmental means must be used. 

But the final bottom line, the early Christians, every one of the reformers, the people of the Reformation, the founding fathers of this country, faced and acted in the realization that if there is no place for disobeying the government, that government has been put in the place of the living God. In such a case, the government has been made a false god.  

Caesar, under some name, thinking of the early church, has been put upon the final throne.The Bible’s answer is ‘no’! Caesar is not to be put in the place of God and we as Christians, in the name of the Lordship of Christ, and all of life, must so think and act on the appropriate level. It should always be on the appropriate level. We have lots of room to move yet with our court cases, with the people we elect—all the things that we can do in this country. If, unhappily, we come to that place, the appropriate level must also include a disobedience to the state.

If you are not doing that, you haven’t thought it through. Jesus is not really on the throne. God is not central. You have made a false god central. Christ must be the final Lord and not society and not Caesar.

BASHAM: That’s 20th century author and Christian thinker Francis Schaeffer. He died 35 years ago this week. 


(Photo/The Gospel Coalition)

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

35 years ago today Francis Schaeffer died (May 15, 1984) BREAKING DOWN CARL SAGAN’S LOGIC ON ABORTION Part 70 “Is it wrong to abort a pregnancy? Always? Sometimes? Never? How do we decide?” (My 1995 correspondence with Sagan) CARL SAGAN (11-9-34 to 12-20-96) V. FRANCIS SCHAEFFER (1-30-12 to 5-15-84) 35 years after Schaeffer’s passing! Schaeffer noted:The Christian consensus gave …a basis for the value of the individual person– whose moral choices proceed from … the infinite-personal God and His teaching in the Bible…Remove that teaching, as humanism has done…and there is no adequate basis for treating people well!

_

Carl Sagan asked, “Is it wrong to abort a pregnancy? Always? Sometimes? Never? How do we decide?”

How does a humanist decide without depending on moral relativism?

Francis Schaeffer noted:

The Christian consensus gave a
basis and a framework for our society to have
freedoms without those freedoms leading to chaos.
There was an emphasis on the value of the
individual person– whose moral choices proceed
from judgments about man and society on the basis
of the existence of the infinite-personal God and His
teaching in the Bible.
The Bible teaches that man is made in the image of
God and therefore is unique.  Remove that teaching,
as humanism has done
on both sides of the Iron Curtain, and there is no
adequate basis for treating people well
.

—-

Francis Schaeffer went on to say:

Sociological Law and Personal Cruelty

Recently a generation has arisen that has taken these
theories out of the lab and classroom and into the
streets.  Its members have carried the reduction of
the value of human beings into everyday life.
Suddenly we find ourselves in a more consistent but
uglier world– more consistent because people are
taking their low view of man to its natural
conclusion, and uglier because humanity is
drastically dehumanized.

To illustrate what it means to practice this low view
of man, let us consider some present realities that
only a few years ago would have been unthinkable–
even on the base provided by a memory of the
Christian consensus, let alone within the Christian
consensus itself.  The Christian consensus gave a
basis and a framework for our society to have
freedoms without those freedoms leading to chaos.
There was an emphasis on the value of the
individual person– whose moral choices proceed
from judgments about man and society on the basis
of the existence of the infinite-personal God and His
teaching in the Bible.

The Bible teaches that man is made in the image of
God and therefore is unique.  Remove that teaching,
as humanism has done
on both sides of the Iron Curtain, and there is no
adequate basis for treating people well
.  Let us now
look at some of those related unthinkable realities.
The loss of the Christian consensus has led to a long
list of inhuman actions and attitudes which may
seem unrelated but actually are not.  They are the
direct result of the loss of the Christian consensus.

First, the whole concept of law has changed.  When
a Christian consensus existed, it gave a base for law.
Instead of this, we now live under arbitrary, or
sociological, law.  Supreme Court Justice Oliver
Wendell Holmes took a big step in the change
toward sociological law.  Holmes said, “Truth is the
majority vote of that nation that could lick all
others.”  In other words, law is only what most of
the people think at that moment of history, and there
is no higher law.  It follows, of course, that the law
can be changed at any moment to reflect what the
majority currently thinks.

More accurately, the law becomes what a few people
in some branch of the government think will
promote the present sociological and economic
good.  In reality the will and moral judgments of the
majority are now influenced by or even overruled by
the opinions of a small group of men and women.
This means that vast changes can be made in the
whole concept of what should and what should not
be done.  Values can be altered overnight and at
almost unbelievable speed.

Consider the influence of the United States Supreme
Court.  Ralph Winter, reviewing _The Memoirs of
Earl Warren_, said in the _Wall Street Journal_ of
July 27, 1977, that a large body of academic
criticism has argued that the Warren Court was
essentially antidemocratic because it paid little heed
to traditional legal criteria and procedures and
rewrote law according to the personal values of its

members.  Winter summed up Supreme Court
Justice Douglas’s concept as, “If the Supreme Court
does it, it’s all right.”  The late Alexander M. Bickel
of Yale said that the Supreme Court was undertaking
“to bespeak the people’s general will when the vote
comes out wrong.”  And Bickel caustically summed
the matter up by saying, “In effect, we must now
amend the Constitution to make it mean what the
Supreme Court says it means.”4

The shift to _sociological law_ can affect everything
in life, including who should live and who should
die.

Those taking the lead in the changes involving who
should live and who should die increasingly rely on
litigation (the courts) rather than legislation and the
election process.  They do this because they can
often accomplish through the courts changes they
could not achieve by the will of the majority, using
the more representative institutions of government.

The Christian consensus held that neither the
majority nor an elite is absolute.  God gives the
standards of value, and His absolutes are binding on
both the ordinary person and those in all places of
authority.

Second, because the Christian consensus has been
put aside, we are faced today with a flood of
personal cruelty.  As we have noted, the Christian
consensus gave great freedoms without leading to
chaos– because society in general functioned within
the values given in the Bible, especially the unique
value of human life.  Now that humanism has taken
over, the former freedoms run riot, and individuals,

acting on what they are taught, increasingly practice
their cruelties without restraint.  And why shouldn’t
they?  If the modern humanistic view of man is
correct and man is only a product of chance in a
universe that has no ultimate values, why should an
individual refrain from being cruel to another
person, if that person seems to be standing in his or
her way?

_________________________

The Christian consensus gave a
basis and a framework for our society to have
freedoms without those freedoms leading to chaos.
There was an emphasis on the value of the
individual person– whose moral choices proceed
from judgments about man and society on the basis
of the existence of the infinite-personal God and His
teaching in the Bible.

Image result for francis schaeffer young

I am taking time over the next few weeks to take time to look at the work of Francis Schaeffer who died EXACTLY 35 years ago today. Francis Schaeffer lived from January 30, 1912 to May 15, 1984 and on May 15, 1994 the 10th anniversary of his passing, I wrote 250 skeptics in academia and sent them a lengthy letter filled with his quotes from various intellectuals on the meaning of life if God was not in the picture. I also included the message by Francis Schaeffer on Ecclesiastes which were conclusions of King Solomon on the same subject and I also told about the musings of three men on the world around them, Carl Sagan in his film Cosmos, Francis Schaeffer in his experience in the 1930’s while on the beach observing an eclipse, and King Solomon in the Book of Ecclesiastes. Then I posed to these academics the question, “Is there a lasting meaning to our lives without God in the picture?”
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-).

Francis Schaeffer talked quite a lot about the works of Carl Sagan and that is why I think Carl Sagan took the time to write me back.

_

Image result for carl sagan

_

_

_

Recently I have been revisiting my correspondence in 1995 with the famous astronomer Carl Sagan who I had the privilege to correspond with in 1994, 1995 and 1996. In 1996 I had a chance to respond to his December 5, 1995letter on January 10, 1996 and I never heard back from him again since his cancer returned and he passed away later in 1996. Below is what Carl Sagan wrote to me in his December 5, 1995 letter:

Thanks for your recent letter about evolution and abortion. The correlation is hardly one to one; there are evolutionists who are anti-abortion and anti-evolutionists who are pro-abortion.You argue that God exists because otherwise we could not understand the world in our consciousness. But if you think God is necessary to understand the world, then why do you not ask the next question of where God came from? And if you say “God was always here,” why not say that the universe was always here? On abortion, my views are contained in the enclosed article (Sagan, Carl and Ann Druyan {1990}, “The Question of Abortion,” Parade Magazine, April 22.)

I was introduced to when reading a book by Francis Schaeffer called HE IS THERE AND HE IS NOT SILENT written in 1968. 

Image result for francis schaeffer young

Francis Schaeffer when he was a young pastor in St. Louis pictured above.

Image result for francis schaeffer

Francis Schaeffer and Adrian Rogers

Image result for adrian rogers

(both Adrian Rogers and Francis Schaeffer mentioned Carl Sagan in their books and that prompted me to write Sagan and expose him to their views.


Carl Sagan pictured below:

Image result for carl sagan

_________

Image result for francis schaeffer

Francis Schaeffer

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

Image result for carl sagan and ann druyan

Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan pictured above

 “The Question of Abortion: A Search for Answers”

by Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan

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

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

Image result for carl sagan

Is it wrong to abort a pregnancy? Always? Sometimes? Never? How do we decide? We wrote this article to understand better what the contending views are and to see if we ourselves could find a position that would satisfy us both. Is there no middle ground? We had to weigh the arguments of both sides for consistency and to pose test cases, some of which are purely hypothetical. If in some of these tests we seem to go too far, we ask the reader to be patient with us–we’re trying to stress the various positions to the breaking point to see their weaknesses and where they fail.

In contemplative moments, nearly everyone recognizes that the issue is not wholly one-sided. Many partisans of differing views, we find, feel some disquiet, some unease when confronting what’s behind the opposing arguments. (This is partly why such confrontations are avoided.) And the issue surely touches on deep questions: What are our responses to one another? Should we permit the state to intrude into the most intimate and personal aspects of our lives? Where are the boundaries of freedom? What does it mean to be human?

Of the many actual points of view, it is widely held–especially in the media, which rarely have the time or the inclination to make fine distinctions–that there are only two: “pro-choice” and “pro-life.” This is what the two principal warring camps like to call themselves, and that’s what we’ll call them here. In the simplest characterization, a pro-choicer would hold that the decision to abort a pregnancy is to be made only by the woman; the state has no right to interfere. And a pro-lifer would hold that, from the moment of conception, the embryo or fetus is alive; that this life imposes on us a moral obligation to preserve it; and that abortion is tantamount to murder. Both names–pro-choice and pro-life–were picked with an eye toward influencing those whose minds are not yet made up: Few people wish to be counted either as being against freedom of choice or as opposed to life. Indeed, freedom and life are two of our most cherished values, and here they seem to be in fundamental conflict.

Let’s consider these two absolutist positions in turn. A newborn baby is surely the same being it was just before birth. There ‘s good evidence that a late-term fetus responds to sound–including music, but especially its mother’s voice. It can suck its thumb or do a somersault. Occasionally, it generates adult brain-wave patterns. Some people claim to remember being born, or even the uterine environment. Perhaps there is thought in the womb. It’s hard to maintain that a transformation to full personhood happens abruptly at the moment of birth. Why, then, should it be murder to kill an infant the day after it was born but not the day before?

Image result for carl sagan

As a practical matter, this isn’t very important: Less than 1 percent of all tabulated abortions in the United States are listed in the last three months of pregnancy (and, on closer investigation, most such reports turn out to be due to miscarriage or miscalculation). But third-trimester abortions provide a test of the limits of the pro-choice point of view. Does a woman’s “innate right to control her own body” encompass the right to kill a near-term fetus who is, for all intents and purposes, identical to a newborn child?

We believe that many supporters of reproductive freedom are troubled at least occasionally by this question. But they are reluctant to raise it because it is the beginning of a slippery slope. If it is impermissible to abort a pregnancy in the ninth month, what about the eighth, seventh, sixth … ? Once we acknowledge that the state can interfere at any time in the pregnancy, doesn’t it follow that the state can interfere at all times?

Abortion and the slippery slope argument above

This conjures up the specter of predominantly male, predominantly affluent legislators telling poor women they must bear and raise alone children they cannot afford to bring up; forcing teenagers to bear children they are not emotionally prepared to deal with; saying to women who wish for a career that they must give up their dreams, stay home, and bring up babies; and, worst of all, condemning victims of rape and incest to carry and nurture the offspring of their assailants. Legislative prohibitions on abortion arouse the suspicion that their real intent is to control the independence and sexuality of women…

And yet, by consensus, all of us think it proper that there be prohibitions against, and penalties exacted for, murder. It would be a flimsy defense if the murderer pleads that this is just between him and his victim and none of the government’s business. If killing a fetus is truly killing a human being, is it not the duty of the state to prevent it? Indeed, one of the chief functions of government is to protect the weak from the strong.

If we do not oppose abortion at some stage of pregnancy, is there not a danger of dismissing an entire category of human beings as unworthy of our protection and respect? And isn’t that dismissal the hallmark of sexism, racism, nationalism, and religious fanaticism? Shouldn’t those dedicated to fighting such injustices be scrupulously careful not to embrace another?

Image result for adrian rogers

(Adrian Rogers pictured above in his youth)

Adrian Rogers’ sermon on animal rights refutes Sagan here

There is no right to life in any society on Earth today, nor has there been at any former time… : We raise farm animals for slaughter; destroy forests; pollute rivers and lakes until no fish can live there; kill deer and elk for sport, leopards for the pelts, and whales for fertilizer; entrap dolphins, gasping and writhing, in great tuna nets; club seal pups to death; and render a species extinct every day. All these beasts and vegetables are as alive as we. What is (allegedly) protected is not life, but human life.

Genesis 3 defines being human

And even with that protection, casual murder is an urban commonplace, and we wage “conventional” wars with tolls so terrible that we are, most of us, afraid to consider them very deeply… That protection, that right to life, eludes the 40,000 children under five who die on our planet each day from preventable starvation, dehydration, disease, and neglect.

Those who assert a “right to life” are for (at most) not just any kind of life, but for–particularly and uniquely—human life. So they too, like pro-choicers, must decide what distinguishes a human being from other animals and when, during gestation, the uniquely human qualities–whatever they are–emerge.

The Bible talks about the differences between humans and animals

Despite many claims to the contrary, life does not begin at conception: It is an unbroken chain that stretches back nearly to the origin of the Earth, 4.6 billion years ago. Nor does human life begin at conception: It is an unbroken chain dating back to the origin of our species, hundreds of thousands of years ago. Every human sperm and egg is, beyond the shadow of a doubt, alive. They are not human beings, of course. However, it could be argued that neither is a fertilized egg.

In some animals, an egg develops into a healthy adult without benefit of a sperm cell. But not, so far as we know, among humans. A sperm and an unfertilized egg jointly comprise the full genetic blueprint for a human being. Under certain circumstances, after fertilization, they can develop into a baby. But most fertilized eggs are spontaneously miscarried. Development into a baby is by no means guaranteed. Neither a sperm and egg separately, nor a fertilized egg, is more than a potential baby or a potential adult. So if a sperm and egg are as human as the fertilized egg produced by their union, and if it is murder to destroy a fertilized egg–despite the fact that it’s only potentially a baby–why isn’t it murder to destroy a sperm or an egg?

Hundreds of millions of sperm cells (top speed with tails lashing: five inches per hour) are produced in an average human ejaculation. A healthy young man can produce in a week or two enough spermatozoa to double the human population of the Earth. So is masturbation mass murder? How about nocturnal emissions or just plain sex? When the unfertilized egg is expelled each month, has someone died? Should we mourn all those spontaneous miscarriages? Many lower animals can be grown in a laboratory from a single body cell. Human cells can be cloned… In light of such cloning technology, would we be committing mass murder by destroying any potentially clonable cells? By shedding a drop of blood?

Image result for carl sagan

All human sperm and eggs are genetic halves of “potential” human beings. Should heroic efforts be made to save and preserve all of them, everywhere, because of this “potential”? Is failure to do so immoral or criminal? Of course, there’s a difference between taking a life and failing to save it. And there’s a big difference between the probability of survival of a sperm cell and that of a fertilized egg. But the absurdity of a corps of high-minded semen-preservers moves us to wonder whether a fertilized egg’s mere “potential” to become a baby really does make destroying it murder.

Opponents of abortion worry that, once abortion is permissible immediately after conception, no argument will restrict it at any later time in the pregnancy. Then, they fear, one day it will be permissible to murder a fetus that is unambiguously a human being. Both pro-choicers and pro-lifers (at least some of them) are pushed toward absolutist positions by parallel fears of the slippery slope.

Image result for carl sagan

(Gerard Kuiper and Carl Sagan)

Another slippery slope is reached by those pro-lifers who are willing to make an exception in the agonizing case of a pregnancy resulting from rape or incest. But why should the right to live depend on the circumstances of conception? If the same child were to result, can the state ordain life for the offspring of a lawful union but death for one conceived by force or coercion? How can this be just? And if exceptions are extended to such a fetus, why should they be withheld from any other fetus? This is part of the reason some pro-lifers adopt what many others consider the outrageous posture of opposing abortions under any and all circumstances–only excepting, perhaps, when the life of the mother is in danger.

By far the most common reason for abortion worldwide is birth control. So shouldn’t opponents of abortion be handing out contraceptives and teaching school children how to use them? That would be an effective way to reduce the number of abortions. Instead, the United States is far behind other nations in the development of safe and effective methods of birth control–and, in many cases, opposition to such research (and to sex education) has come from the same people who oppose abortions.continue on to Part 3

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

The attempt to find an ethically sound and unambiguous judgment on when, if ever, abortion is permissible has deep historical roots. Often, especially in Christian tradition, such attempts were connected with the question of when the soul enters the body–a matter not readily amenable to scientific investigation and an issue of controversy even among learned theologians. Ensoulment has been asserted to occur in the sperm before conception, at conception, at the time of “quickening” (when the mother is first able to feel the fetus stirring within her), and at birth. Or even later.

Different religions have different teachings. Among hunter-gatherers, there are usually no prohibitions against abortion, and it was common in ancient Greece and Rome. In contrast, the more severe Assyrians impaled women on stakes for attempting abortion. The Jewish Talmud teaches that the fetus is not a person and has no rights. The Old and New Testaments–rich in astonishingly detailed prohibitions on dress, diet, and permissible words–contain not a word specifically prohibiting abortion. The only passage that’s remotely relevant (Exodus 21:22) decrees that if there’s a fight and a woman bystander should accidentally be injured and made to miscarry, the assailant must pay a fine.

Image result for carl sagan

Neither St. Augustine nor St. Thomas Aquinas considered early-term abortion to be homicide (the latter on the grounds that the embryo doesn’t look human). This view was embraced by the Church in the Council of Vienne in 1312, and has never been repudiated. The Catholic Church’s first and long-standing collection of canon law (according to the leading historian of the Church’s teaching on abortion, John Connery, S.J.) held that abortion was homicide only after the fetus was already “formed”–roughly, the end of the first trimester.

But when sperm cells were examined in the seventeenth century by the first microscopes, they were thought to show a fully formed human being. An old idea of the homunculus was resuscitated–in which within each sperm cell was a fully formed tiny human, within whose testes were innumerable other homunculi, etc., ad infinitum. In part through this misinterpretation of scientific data, in 1869 abortion at any time for any reason became grounds for excommunication. It is surprising to most Catholics and others to discover that the date was not much earlier.

From colonial times to the nineteenth century, the choice in the United States was the woman’s until “quickening.” An abortion in the first or even second trimester was at worst a misdemeanor. Convictions were rarely sought and almost impossible to obtain, because they depended entirely on the woman’s own testimony of whether she had felt quickening, and because of the jury’s distaste for prosecuting a woman for exercising her right to choose. In 1800 there was not, so far as is known, a single statute in the United States concerning abortion. Advertisements for drugs to induce abortion could be found in virtually every newspaper and even in many church publications–although the language used was suitably euphemistic, if widely understood.

But by 1900, abortion had been banned at any time in pregnancy by every state in the Union, except when necessary to save the woman’s life. What happened to bring about so striking a reversal? Religion had little to do with it.Drastic economic and social conversions were turning this country from an agrarian to an urban-industrial society. America was in the process of changing from having one of the highest birthrates in the world to one of the lowest. Abortion certainly played a role and stimulated forces to suppress it.

Image result for carl sagan

One of the most significant of these forces was the medical profession. Up to the mid-nineteenth century, medicine was an uncertified, unsupervised business. Anyone could hang up a shingle and call himself (or herself) a doctor. With the rise of a new, university-educated medical elite, anxious to enhance the status and influence of physicians, the American Medical Association was formed. In its first decade, the AMA began lobbying against abortions performed by anyone except licensed physicians. New knowledge of embryology, the physicians said, had shown the fetus to be human even before quickening.

Their assault on abortion was motivated not by concern for the health of the woman but, they claimed, for the welfare of the fetus. You had to be a physician to know when abortion was morally justified, because the question depended on scientific and medical facts understood only by physicians. At the same time, women were effectively excluded from the medical schools, where such arcane knowledge could be acquired. So, as things worked out, women had almost nothing to say about terminating their own pregnancies. It was also up to the physician to decide if the pregnancy posed a threat to the woman, and it was entirely at his discretion to determine what was and was not a threat. For the rich woman, the threat might be a threat to her emotional tranquillity or even to her lifestyle. The poor woman was often forced to resort to the back alley or the coat hanger.

This was the law until the 1960s, when a coalition of individuals and organizations, the AMA now among them, sought to overturn it and to reinstate the more traditional values that were to be embodied in Roe v. Wade.continue on to Part 4

If you deliberately kill a human being, it’s called murder. If you deliberately kill a chimpanzee–biologically, our closest relative, sharing 99.6 percent of our active genes–whatever else it is, it’s not murder. To date, murder uniquely applies to killing human beings. Therefore, the question of when personhood (or, if we like, ensoulment) arises is key to the abortion debate. When does the fetus become human? When do distinct and characteristic human qualities emerge?

Image result for carl sagan

Section 8 Sperm journey to becoming Human 

We recognize that specifying a precise moment will overlook individual differences. Therefore, if we must draw a line, it ought to be drawn conservatively–that is, on the early side. There are people who object to having to set some numerical limit, and we share their disquiet; but if there is to be a law on this matter, and it is to effect some useful compromise between the two absolutist positions, it must specify, at least roughly, a time of transition to personhood.

Every one of us began from a dot. A fertilized egg is roughly the size of the period at the end of this sentence. The momentous meeting of sperm and egg generally occurs in one of the two fallopian tubes. One cell becomes two, two become four, and so on—an exponentiation of base-2 arithmetic. By the tenth day the fertilized egg has become a kind of hollow sphere wandering off to another realm: the womb. It destroys tissue in its path. It sucks blood from capillaries. It bathes itself in maternal blood, from which it extracts oxygen and nutrients. It establishes itself as a kind of parasite on the walls of the uterus.By the third week, around the time of the first missed menstrual period, the forming embryo is about 2 millimeters long and is developing various body parts. Only at this stage does it begin to be dependent on a rudimentary placenta. It looks a little like a segmented worm.By the end of the fourth week, it’s about 5 millimeters (about 1/5 inch) long. It’s recognizable now as a vertebrate, its tube-shaped heart is beginning to beat, something like the gill arches of a fish or an amphibian become conspicuous, and there is a pronounced tail. It looks rather like a newt or a tadpole. This is the end of the first month after conception.By the fifth week, the gross divisions of the brain can be distinguished. What will later develop into eyes are apparent, and little buds appear—on their way to becoming arms and legs.By the sixth week, the embryo is 13 millimeteres (about ½ inch) long. The eyes are still on the side of the head, as in most animals, and the reptilian face has connected slits where the mouth and nose eventually will be.By the end of the seventh week, the tail is almost gone, and sexual characteristics can be discerned (although both sexes look female). The face is mammalian but somewhat piglike.By the end of the eighth week, the face resembles that of a primate but is still not quite human. Most of the human body parts are present in their essentials. Some lower brain anatomy is well-developed. The fetus shows some reflex response to delicate stimulation.By the tenth week, the face has an unmistakably human cast. It is beginning to be possible to distinguish males from females. Nails and major bone structures are not apparent until the third month.By the fourth month, you can tell the face of one fetus from that of another. Quickening is most commonly felt in the fifth month. The bronchioles of the lungs do not begin developing until approximately the sixth month, the alveoli still later.

So, if only a person can be murdered, when does the fetus attain personhood? When its face becomes distinctly human, near the end of the first trimester? When the fetus becomes responsive to stimuli–again, at the end of the first trimester? When it becomes active enough to be felt as quickening, typically in the middle of the second trimester? When the lungs have reached a stage of development sufficient that the fetus might, just conceivably, be able to breathe on its own in the outside air?

The trouble with these particular developmental milestones is not just that they’re arbitrary. More troubling is the fact that none of them involves uniquely humancharacteristics–apart from the superficial matter of facial appearance. All animals respond to stimuli and move of their own volition. Large numbers are able to breathe. But that doesn’t stop us from slaughtering them by the billions. Reflexes and motion are not what make us human.

Image result for carl sagan

Sagan’s conclusion based on arbitrary choice of the presence of thought by unborn baby

Other animals have advantages over us–in speed, strength, endurance, climbing or burrowing skills, camouflage, sight or smell or hearing, mastery of the air or water. Our one great advantage, the secret of our success, is thought–characteristically human thought. We are able to think things through, imagine events yet to occur, figure things out. That’s how we invented agriculture and civilization. Thought is our blessing and our curse, and it makes us who we are.

Thinking occurs, of course, in the brain–principally in the top layers of the convoluted “gray matter” called the cerebral cortex. The roughly 100 billion neurons in the brain constitute the material basis of thought. The neurons are connected to each other, and their linkups play a major role in what we experience as thinking. But large-scale linking up of neurons doesn’t begin until the 24th to 27th week of pregnancy–the sixth month.

By placing harmless electrodes on a subject’s head, scientists can measure the electrical activity produced by the network of neurons inside the skull. Different kinds of mental activity show different kinds of brain waves. But brain waves with regular patterns typical of adult human brains do not appear in the fetus until about the 30th week of pregnancy–near the beginning of the third trimester. Fetuses younger than this–however alive and active they may be–lack the necessary brain architecture. They cannot yet think.

Acquiescing in the killing of any living creature, especially one that might later become a baby, is troublesome and painful. But we’ve rejected the extremes of “always” and “never,” and this puts us–like it or not–on the slippery slope. If we are forced to choose a developmental criterion, then this is where we draw the line: when the beginning of characteristically human thinking becomes barely possible.

It is, in fact, a very conservative definition: Regular brain waves are rarely found in fetuses. More research would help… If we wanted to make the criterion still more stringent, to allow for occasional precocious fetal brain development, we might draw the line at six months. This, it so happens, is where the Supreme Court drew it in 1973–although for completely different reasons.

Its decision in the case of Roe v. Wade changed American law on abortion. It permits abortion at the request of the woman without restriction in the first trimester and, with some restrictions intended to protect her health, in the second trimester. It allows states to forbid abortion in the third trimester, except when there’s a serious threat to the life or health of the woman. In the 1989 Webster decision, the Supreme Court declined explicitly to overturn Roe v. Wade but in effect invited the 50 state legislatures to decide for themselves.

Image result for carl sagan

What was the reasoning in Roe v. Wade? There was no legal weight given to what happens to the children once they are born, or to the family. Instead, a woman’s right to reproductive freedom is protected, the court ruled, by constitutional guarantees of privacy. But that right is not unqualified. The woman’s guarantee of privacy and the fetus’s right to life must be weighed–and when the court did the weighing’ priority was given to privacy in the first trimester and to life in the third. The transition was decided not from any of the considerations we have been dealing with so far…–not when “ensoulment” occurs, not when the fetus takes on sufficient human characteristics to be protected by laws against murder. Instead, the criterion adopted was whether the fetus could live outside the mother. This is called “viability” and depends in part on the ability to breathe. The lungs are simply not developed, and the fetus cannot breathe–no matter how advanced an artificial lung it might be placed in—until about the 24th week, near the start of the sixth month. This is why Roe v. Wade permits the states to prohibit abortions in the last trimester. It’s a very pragmatic criterion.

If the fetus at a certain stage of gestation would be viable outside the womb, the argument goes, then the right of the fetus to life overrides the right of the woman to privacy. But just what does “viable” mean? Even a full-term newborn is not viable without a great deal of care and love. There was a time before incubators, only a few decades ago, when babies in their seventh month were unlikely to be viable. Would aborting in the seventh month have been permissible then? After the invention of incubators, did aborting pregnancies in the seventh month suddenly become immoral? What happens if, in the future, a new technology develops so that an artificial womb can sustain a fetus even before the sixth month by delivering oxygen and nutrients through the blood–as the mother does through the placenta and into the fetal blood system? We grant that this technology is unlikely to be developed soon or become available to many. But if it were available, does it then become immoral to abort earlier than the sixth month, when previously it was moral? A morality that depends on, and changes with, technology is a fragile morality; for some, it is also an unacceptable morality.

And why, exactly, should breathing (or kidney function, or the ability to resist disease) justify legal protection? If a fetus can be shown to think and feel but not be able to breathe, would it be all right to kill it? Do we value breathing more than thinking and feeling? Viability arguments cannot, it seems to us, coherently determine when abortions are permissible. Some other criterion is needed. Again, we offer for consideration the earliest onset of human thinking as that criterion.

Since, on average, fetal thinking occurs even later than fetal lung development, we find Roe v. Wade to be a good and prudent decision addressing a complex and difficult issue. With prohibitions on abortion in the last trimester–except in cases of grave medical necessity–it strikes a fair balance between the conflicting claims of freedom and life.What do you think? What have others said about Carl Sagan’s thoughts on 

END OF SAGAN’S ARTICLE

Image result for carl sagan and ann druyan
Carl Sagan with his wife Ann in the 1990’s
Image result for adrian rogers francis schaeffer
I grew up in Memphis as a member of Bellevue Baptist Church under our pastor Adrian Rogers and attended ECS High School where the books and films of Francis Schaeffer were taught. Both men dealt with current issues in the culture such as the film series COSMOS by Carl Sagan. I personally read several of Sagan’s books.  (Francis and Edith Schaeffer pictured below in their home at L’ Abri in Switzerland where Francis  taught students for 3 decades.
Image result for francis schaeffer
630 × 414Images may be subject to copyright.

Xxxxxxxxxxxxx 

——

 
 

.

Related posts:

Taking on Ark Times Bloggers on various issues Part F “Carl Sagan’s views on how God should try and contact us” includes film “The Basis for Human Dignity”

April 8, 2013 – 7:07 am

I have gone back and forth and back and forth with many liberals on the Arkansas Times Blog on many issues such as abortion, human rights, welfare, poverty, gun control  and issues dealing with popular culture. Here is another exchange I had with them a while back. My username at the Ark Times Blog is Saline […] By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Francis SchaefferProlife | Edit | Comments (0)

Carl Sagan v. Nancy Pearcey

March 18, 2013 – 9:11 am

On March 17, 2013 at our worship service at Fellowship Bible Church, Ben Parkinson who is one of our teaching pastors spoke on Genesis 1. He spoke about an issue that I was very interested in. Ben started the sermon by reading the following scripture: Genesis 1-2:3 English Standard Version (ESV) The Creation of the […] By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Adrian RogersAtheists ConfrontedCurrent Events | TaggedBen ParkinsonCarl Sagan | Edit | Comments (0)

Review of Carl Sagan book (Part 4 of series on Evolution)

May 24, 2012 – 1:47 am

Review of Carl Sagan book (Part 4 of series on Evolution) The Long War against God-Henry Morris, part 5 of 6 Uploaded by FLIPWORLDUPSIDEDOWN3 on Aug 30, 2010 http://www.icr.org/ http://store.icr.org/prodinfo.asp?number=BLOWA2http://store.icr.org/prodinfo.asp?number=BLOWASGhttp://www.fliptheworldupsidedown.com/blog _______________________ I got this from a blogger in April of 2008 concerning candidate Obama’s view on evolution: Q: York County was recently in the news […] By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Atheists ConfrontedCurrent EventsPresident Obama | EditComments (0)

_

Francis Schaeffer died 35 years ago today (May 15, 1984) Here is one of my favorite posts inspired by him!! FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 187 Woodstock Part B, Featured artist is Henri Gaudier-Brzeska

 

Francis Schaeffer

Image result for francis schaeffer

 

__

WOODSTOCK ’69 FRIDAY Part 1

Published on May 22, 2015

Beschreibung Woodstock ’69 FRIDAY Part 1

With A Little Help Of My Friends Joe Cocker

Woodstock (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Woodstock
WoodstockFilmPoster.jpg

Directed by Michael Wadleigh
Produced by Bob Maurice
Edited by Michael Wadleigh
Martin Scorsese
Stan Warnow
Yeu-Bun Yee
Jere Huggins
Thelma Schoonmaker
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release date
  • March 26, 1970
Running time
185 minutes[1]
225 minutes (1994 director’s cut)
Country United States
Language English
Budget $600,000
Box office $50 million[2]

Woodstock is a 1970 documentary film of the watershed counterculture Woodstock Festival which took place in August 1969 near Bethel, New York. Entertainment Weekly called this film the benchmark of concert movies and one of the most entertaining documentaries ever made.[3]

The film was directed by Michael Wadleigh. Seven editors are credited, including Thelma Schoonmaker, Martin Scorsese, and Wadleigh. Woodstock was a great commercial and critical success. It received the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. Schoonmaker was nominated for the Academy Award for Film Editing, a rare distinction for a documentary.[4] Dan Wallin and L. A. Johnson were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Sound.[5][6] The film was screened at the 1970 Cannes Film Festival, but wasn’t entered into the main competition.[7]

The 1970 theatrical release of the film ran 185 minutes. A director’s cut spanning 225 minutes was released in 1994. Both cuts take liberties with the timeline of the festival. However, the opening and closing acts are the same in the film as in real life; Richie Havens opens the show and Jimi Hendrix closes it.

Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock was also released separately on DVD and Blu-ray.

In 1996, Woodstock was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”. An expanded 40th Anniversary Edition of Woodstock, released on June 9, 2009 in Blu-ray and DVD formats, features additional performances not before seen in the film, and also includes lengthened versions of existing performances featuring Creedence Clearwater Revival and others.[8]

Artists[edit]

Artists by appearance[edit]

No. Group / Singers Title
1.* Crosby, Stills & Nash “Long Time Gone”
2.* Canned Heat Going Up the Country
3.* Crosby, Stills & Nash Wooden Ships
4. Richie Havens “Handsome Johnny”
5. Freedom” / “Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child
6. Canned Heat A Change Is Gonna Come” **
7. Joan Baez Joe Hill
8. Swing Low Sweet Chariot
9. The Who We’re Not Gonna Take It” / “See Me, Feel Me
10. Summertime Blues
11. Sha-Na-Na At the Hop
12. Joe Cocker and the Grease Band With a Little Help from My Friends
13. Audience “Crowd Rain Chant”
14. Country Joe and the Fish “Rock and Soul Music”
15. Arlo Guthrie “Coming Into Los Angeles”
16. Crosby, Stills & Nash Suite: Judy Blue Eyes
17. Ten Years After “I’m Going Home”
18. Jefferson Airplane “Saturday Afternoon” / “Won’t You Try” **
19. “Uncle Sam’s Blues” **
20. John Sebastian “Younger Generation”
21. Country Joe McDonald FISH Cheer / Feel-Like-I’m-Fixing-to-Die-Rag
22. Santana Soul Sacrifice
23. Sly and the Family Stone Dance to the Music” / “I Want to Take You Higher
24. Janis Joplin Work Me, Lord” **
25. Jimi Hendrix Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” (credited as “Voodoo Chile” in the film) **
26. The Star-Spangled Banner
27. Purple Haze
28. “Woodstock Improvisation” **
29. “Villanova Junction”
30.* Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young Woodstock” / “Find the Cost of Freedom” **

* studio recording from an album by the artist
** director’s cut only, not in the original theatrical release

Artists omitted[edit]

Reception[edit]

Woodstock received universal acclaim from newspaper and magazine critics in 1970. It was also an enormous box office smash. The May 20, 1970 edition of Variety reported it was doing well in its third week in Chicago and San Francisco.[9] (The trade paper used the insider term “lap” to mean “week” in the headline that cited Woodstock’s $52,000 profit in Chicago.)[9] In each of those metropolitan areas the movie played at only one cinema during that week, but many thousands showed up.[10] Eventually, after it branched out to more cinemas including more than one per metropolitan area, it grossed $50 million in the United States. The budget for its production was just $600,000,[2] making it not only the sixth highest-grossing film of 1970 but one of the most profitable movies of that year as well.

Decades after its initial release, the film earned a 100% “Fresh” rating on the review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes.[11]

Roger Ebert added Woodstock to his “Great Movies” list in 2005.[12]

Subsequent editions[edit]

25th Anniversary “Director’s Cut” (1994)[edit]

Woodstock Generation
19**–20**
R.I.P.
it up
Tear it up
have a Ball

Woodstock (director’s cut) closing credits

Upon the festival’s 25th anniversary, in 1994, a director’s cut of the film — subtitled 3 Days of Peace & Music — was released. It added over 40 minutes and included additional performances by Canned Heat, Jefferson Airplane and Janis Joplin. Jimi Hendrix‘s set at the end of the film was also extended with two additional numbers. Some of the crowd scenes in the original film were replaced by previously unseen footage.

After the closing credits — featuring Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young‘s “Find the Cost of Freedom”[13] — a list of prominent people from the “Woodstock Generation” who had died is shown, including John F. Kennedy, Malcolm X, Che Guevara, Martin Luther King, Jr., Mama Cass Elliot, Jim Morrison, John Lennon, Max Yasgur, Roy Orbison, Abbie Hoffman, Paul Butterfield, Keith Moon, Bob Hite, Richard Manuel, Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix. It ends with the epitaph to the right:

40th Anniversary edition (2009)[edit]

On June 9, 2009 a remastered 40th-anniversary edition was released on both Blu-ray and DVD, available as both a two-disc “Special Edition” and a three-disc “Ultimate Collector’s Edition”. The film was newly remastered and provided a new 5.1 audio mix. Among the special features are two extra hours consisting of 18 never-before-seen performances from artists such as Joan Baez, Country Joe McDonald, Santana, The Who, Jefferson Airplane, Canned Heat and Joe Cocker; five of the artists from this group (Paul Butterfield, Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Grateful Dead, Johnny Winter and Mountain) played at Woodstock but had never appeared in any film version.[14]

Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace & Music – The Director’s Cut, 40th Anniversary Revisited (2014)[edit]

Same version of the main movie, but some of the bonus items now in HD on Blu-ray. Also contains exclusive bonus tracks only available from special retailer versions from the last edition.[15]

Cultural references[edit]

In the science fiction thriller The Omega Man (1971), Colonel Robert Neville (played by Charlton Heston) is seen traveling to a movie theatre in Los Angeles to screen the film for himself alone. Woodstock had been a recent film debuting prior to release of The Omega Man, and had been held over (continuously run) in some theaters for months. Neville darkly remarks the film is so popular it was “held over for the third straight year”. As he repeats some of the dialogue verbatim, it is clear that Neville has repeated the ritual many times during the two years that he has believed himself to be the last man alive on Earth. Referencing the ground breaking, never before made, nature of the film Neville wryly reverses it to “they don’t make films like that any more”, a platitude common because of a new style of films emerging at the time.

 

Image result for francis schaeffer

The peak of the drug culture of the hippie movement was well symbolized by the movie Woodstock. Woodstock was a rock festival held in northeastern United States in the summer of 1969. The movie about that rock festival was released in the spring of 1970. Many young people thought that Woodstock was the beginning of a new and wonderful age.

Jimi Hendrix (1942–1970himself was soon to become a symbol of the end. Black, extremely talented, inhumanly exploited, he overdosed in September 1970 and drowned in his own vomit, soon after the claim that the culture of which he was a symbol was a new beginning. In the late sixties the ideological hopes based on drug-taking died.

After Woodstock two events “ended the age of innocence,” to use the expression of Rolling Stone magazine. The first occurred at Altamont, California, where the Rolling Stones put on a festival and hired the Hell’s Angels (for several barrels of beer) to police the grounds. Instead, the Hell’s Angels killed people without any cause, and it was a bad scene indeed. But people thought maybe this was a fluke, maybe it was just California! It took a second event to be convincing. On the Isle of Wight, 450,000 people assembled, and it was totally ugly. A number of people from L’Abri were there, and I know a man closely associated with the rock world who knows the organizer of this festival. Everyone agrees that the situation was just plain hideous.

(How Should We Then Live, pp. 209-210)

___

Featured artist is Henri Gaudier-Brzeska

Henri Gaudier-Brzeska at London’s Modern and Post-War British Art Sale

 

Henri Gaudier-Brzeska

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Henri Gaudier-Brzeska
Henri Gaudier-Brzeska self portrait.jpg

Self-portrait, 1913
Born Henri Gaudier
4 October 1891
St Jean de Braye, near Orléans, France
Died 5 June 1915 (aged 23)
Neuville-Saint-Vaast France
Nationality French
Known for
  • Sculpture
  • Painting
  • Drawing
Movement Vorticism

Henri Gaudier-Brzeska (4 October 1891 – 5 June 1915)[1] was a French artist and sculptor who developed a rough-hewn, primitive style of direct carving.

Biography[edit]

Henri Gaudier was born in Saint-Jean-de-Braye near Orléans. In 1910, he moved to London to become an artist, even though he had no formal training. With him came Sophie Brzeska,[2] a Polish writer over twice his age whom he had met at the Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève in Paris, and with whom he began an intense relationship, annexing her surname although they never married. (According to Jim Ede the linking of their names was never more than a personal arrangement.) During this time his conflicting attitudes towards art are exemplified in what he wrote to Dr. Uhlmayr, with whom he had lived the previous year:[1]

“When I face the beauty of nature, I am no longer sensitive to art, but in the town I appreciate its myriad benefits—the more I go into the woods and the fields the more distrustful I become of art and wish all civilization to the devil; the more I wander about amidst filth and sweat the better I understand art and love it; the desire for it becomes my crying need.”

Self-portrait, 1909

He resolved these reservations by taking up sculpture, having been inspired by his carpenter father. Once in England Gaudier-Brzeska fell in with the Vorticism movement of Ezra Pound and Wyndham Lewis, becoming a founding member of the London Group. After coming under the influence of Jacob Epstein in 1912, he began to believe that sculpture should leave behind the highly finished, polished style of ancient Greece and embrace a more earthy direct carving, in which the tool marks are left visible on the final work as a fingerprint of the artist. Abandoning his early fascination for Auguste Rodin, he began to study instead extra-European artworks located in the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum. As he was unable to afford the raw materials necessary to attempt projects on the scale of Epstein’s Indian and Assyrian influenced pieces, he concentrated initially on miniaturist sculpture genres such as Japanese netsuke before developing an interest in work from West Africa and the Pacific Islands.[3]

Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, 1914, Boy with a Coney (Boy with a rabbit), marble

Seated Figure, The Singer, Caritas, Head of Ezra Pound

In 1913, he assisted with the illustrations of Haldane Macfall‘s book The Splendid Wayfaring along with Claud Lovat Fraser and Edward Gordon Craig. In 1913 Henri Gaudier-Brzeska met Alfred Wolmark, the Jewish artist and modelled a bronze bust of the young artist, and the two remained close friends.

Gaudier-Brzeska’s drawing style was influenced by the Chinese calligraphy and poetry which he discovered at the “Ezuversity”, Ezra Pound’s unofficial locus of teaching. Pound’s interaction with Ernest Fenollosa‘s work on the Chinese brought the young sculptor to the galleries of Eastern art, where he studied the ideogram and applied it to his art. Gaudier-Brzeska had the ability to imply, with a few deft strokes, the being of a subject. His drawings also show the influence of Cubism.

At the start of the First World War, Gaudier-Brzeska enlisted with the French army. He appears to have fought with little regard for his own safety, receiving a decoration for bravery before being killed in the trenches at Neuville-St.-Vaast. During his time in the army, he sculpted a figure out of the butt of a rifle taken from a German soldier, “to express a gentler order of feeling”[4]

Relationship with Sophie Brzeska[edit]

Gaudier met Sophie Brzeska, a Polish ex-governess twice his age when he was only 18. Gaudier was an artist and Brzeska a novelist. Several books about Gaudier’s work have been produced, but only the book Savage Messiah by H. S. Ede (Jim Ede) focuses on the relationship. Brzeska was more a companion and her relationship with Gaudier resembled a co-dependency, since both suffered from clear mental health issues. Henri was devoted to Sophie, even taking her last name as his, but Sophie was often dismissive and cold towards Henri’s romantic overtures (indeed, according to Ede they either never had sex, only once or twice, or rarely). They were often apart and Sophie would buy Henri prostitutes for his enjoyment instead of having relations with him.

Brzeska is often left out of accounts of Gaudier’s life. Even Savage Messiah itself focuses on the artist and Brzeska is regarded with very little interest. Ken Russell’s 1972 film of the book, however, changes the focus to Sophie and Henri Gaudier’s relationship.

Following his death Sophie Brzeska became distraught, eventually dying in an asylum in 1925.

Legacy[edit]

Jim Ede bought a sizeable portion of Gaudier-Brzeska’s work with Sophie Brzeska’s estate after she died intestate. Her estate included numerous letters sent between Henri and Sophie. Ede used these as the basis for his book Savage Messiah on the life and work of Gaudier-Brzeska, which in turn became the basis of Ken Russell‘s film of the same name. The conclusion of the film peruses many of his sculptures and fully demonstrates what great art he produced in his short lifetime.

Despite the fact that he had only four years to develop his art, Gaudier-Brzeska has had a surprisingly strong influence on 20th-century modernist sculpture in England and France. His work can be seen at the Tate Gallery, Kettle’s Yard, the Musée National d’Art Moderne in Paris and the Musée des Beaux-Arts d’Orléans. The Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University held an exhibition entitled The Vorticists: Rebel Artists in London and New York, 1914–18 from 30 September 2010 through 2 January 2011, which included his work.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jump up to:a b Ede, H.S. (1931). Savage Messiah. London: Heinemann. OCLC 1655358.
  2. Jump up^ Sophie Retrieved October 20, 2010
  3. Jump up^ Arrowsmith, Rupert Richard (2010). Modernism and the Museum: Asian, African, and Pacific Art and the London Avant-Garde. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-959369-9 passim.
  4. Jump up^ Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, “Vortex (Written from the Trenches)”, in BLAST; 2 (1915), p. 34.
  5. Jump up^ Nasher Museum Retrieved 17 September 2010

Sources[edit]

  • Pound, Ezra, Gaudier-Brzeska: A Memoir (London: John Lane, 1916; rpt. New York: New Directions, 1970 ISBN 0-8112-0527-4)—memoir of Pound’s time with Gaudier-Brzeska, including letters and photos of sculpture
  • “We the Moderns”: Gaudier-Brzeska and the Birth of Modern Sculpture (Cambridge: Kettle’s Yard, 2007 ISBN 1-904561-22-5)—catalogue of an exhibition of the same name

External links[edit]

__

Related posts:

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 10 “Final Choices” (Schaeffer Sundays)

E P I S O D E 1 0   Dr. Francis Schaeffer – Episode X – Final Choices 27 min FINAL CHOICES I. Authoritarianism the Only Humanistic Social Option One man or an elite giving authoritative arbitrary absolutes. A. Society is sole absolute in absence of other absolutes. B. But society has to be […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 9 “The Age of Personal Peace and Affluence” (Schaeffer Sundays)

E P I S O D E 9 Dr. Francis Schaeffer – Episode IX – The Age of Personal Peace and Affluence 27 min T h e Age of Personal Peace and Afflunce I. By the Early 1960s People Were Bombarded From Every Side by Modern Man’s Humanistic Thought II. Modern Form of Humanistic Thought Leads […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 8 “The Age of Fragmentation” (Schaeffer Sundays)

E P I S O D E 8 Dr. Francis Schaeffer – Episode VIII – The Age of Fragmentation 27 min I saw this film series in 1979 and it had a major impact on me. T h e Age of FRAGMENTATION I. Art As a Vehicle Of Modern Thought A. Impressionism (Monet, Renoir, Pissarro, Sisley, […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 7 “The Age of Non-Reason” (Schaeffer Sundays)

E P I S O D E 7 Dr. Francis Schaeffer – Episode VII – The Age of Non Reason I am thrilled to get this film series with you. I saw it first in 1979 and it had such a big impact on me. Today’s episode is where we see modern humanist man act […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 6 “The Scientific Age” (Schaeffer Sundays)

E P I S O D E 6 How Should We Then Live 6#1 Uploaded by NoMirrorHDDHrorriMoN on Oct 3, 2011 How Should We Then Live? Episode 6 of 12 ________ I am sharing with you a film series that I saw in 1979. In this film Francis Schaeffer asserted that was a shift in […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 5 “The Revolutionary Age” (Schaeffer Sundays)

E P I S O D E 5 How Should We Then Live? Episode 5: The Revolutionary Age I was impacted by this film series by Francis Schaeffer back in the 1970′s and I wanted to share it with you. Francis Schaeffer noted, “Reformation Did Not Bring Perfection. But gradually on basis of biblical teaching there […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 4 “The Reformation” (Schaeffer Sundays)

Dr. Francis Schaeffer – Episode IV – The Reformation 27 min I was impacted by this film series by Francis Schaeffer back in the 1970′s and I wanted to share it with you. Schaeffer makes three key points concerning the Reformation: “1. Erasmian Christian humanism rejected by Farel. 2. Bible gives needed answers not only as to […]

“Schaeffer Sundays” Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 3 “The Renaissance”

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 3 “The Renaissance” Francis Schaeffer: “How Should We Then Live?” (Episode 3) THE RENAISSANCE I was impacted by this film series by Francis Schaeffer back in the 1970′s and I wanted to share it with you. Schaeffer really shows why we have so […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 2 “The Middle Ages” (Schaeffer Sundays)

  Francis Schaeffer: “How Should We Then Live?” (Episode 2) THE MIDDLE AGES I was impacted by this film series by Francis Schaeffer back in the 1970′s and I wanted to share it with you. Schaeffer points out that during this time period unfortunately we have the “Church’s deviation from early church’s teaching in regard […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 1 “The Roman Age” (Schaeffer Sundays)

Francis Schaeffer: “How Should We Then Live?” (Episode 1) THE ROMAN AGE   Today I am starting a series that really had a big impact on my life back in the 1970′s when I first saw it. There are ten parts and today is the first. Francis Schaeffer takes a look at Rome and why […]

By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Francis Schaeffer | Edit | Comments (0)

Francis Schaeffer died 35 years ago today (May 15, 1984) Here is one of my favorite posts inspired by him!!Is a optimistic humanism possible?

_______________

Is a optimistic humanism possible?

Here below is the song DUST IN THE WIND performed by the rock group KANSAS and was written by Kerry Ligren in 1978. I challenge anyone to  read these words of that song given below and refute the idea that accepting naturalistic evolution with the exclusion of God must lead to the nihilistic message of the song!

 

DUST IN THE WIND:

I close my eyes only for a moment, and the moment’s gone

All my dreams pass before my eyes, a curiosity

Dust in the wind, all they are is dust in the wind

Same old song, just a drop of water in an endless sea

All we do crumbles to the ground, though we refuse to see

Dust in the wind, all we are is dust in the wind

Now, don’t hang on, nothing lasts forever but the earth and sky

It slips away, and all your money won’t another minute buy

_________________________________

Kansas – Dust In The Wind

Uploaded on Nov 7, 2009

Music video by Kansas performing Dust In The Wind. (c) 2004 Sony Music Entertainment Inc.

_________________________________

Humans have always wondered about the meaning of life…life has no higher purpose than to perpetuate the survival of DNA…life has no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind pitiless indifference. —Richard Dawkins

______________

The vast majority of people believe there is a design or force in the universe; that it works outside the ordinary mechanics of cause and effect; that it is somehow responsible for both the visible and the moral order of the world. Modern biology has undermined this assumption…But beginning with Darwin, biology has undermined that tradition. Darwin in effect asserted that all living organisms had been created by a combination of chance and necessity–natural selection… First, God has no role in the physical world…Second, except for the laws of probability and cause and effect, there is no organizing principle in the world, and no purpose.  (William B. Provine, “The End of Ethics?” in HARD CHOICES ( a magazine companion to the television series HARD CHOICES, Seattle: KCTS-TV, channel 9, University of Washington, 1980, pp. 2-3).

That Man is the product of causes which had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms; …that all the labors of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and that the whole temple of Man’s achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins—all these things, if not quite beyond dispute, are yet so nearly certain, that no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand. Bertrand Russell

 

The British humanist H. J. Blackham (1903-2009) put it very plainly: On humanist assumptions, life leads to nothing, and every pretense that it does not is a deceit. If there is a bridge over a gorge which spans only half the distance and ends in mid-air, and if the bridge is crowded with human beings pressing on, one after the other they fall into the abyss. The bridge leads nowhere, and those who are pressing forward to cross it are going nowhere….It does not matter where they think they are going, what preparations for the journey they may have made, how much they may be enjoying it all. The objection merely points out objectively that such a situation is a model of futility“( H. J. Blackham, et al., Objections to Humanism (Riverside, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1967).

 

In the 1986 debate on the John Ankerberg show between Paul Kurtz (1925-2012) and Norman Geisler, Kurtz reacted to the point Blackham was making by asserting:

 

I think you may be quoting Blackham out of context because I’ve heard Blackham speak, and read much of what he said, but Blackham has argued continuously that life is full of meaning; that there are points. The fact that one doesn’t believe in God does not deaden the appetite or the lust for living. On the contrary; great artists and scientists and poets and writers have affirmed the opposite.

 

I read the book FORBIDDEN FRUIT by Paul Kurtz and I had the opportunity to correspond with him but I still reject his view that optimistic humanism withstand the view of nihilism if one accepts there is no God. Christian philosopher R.C. Sproul put it best:

 

Nihilism has two traditional enemies–Theism and Naive Humanism. The theist contradicts the nihilist because the existence of God guarantees that ultimate meaning and significance of personal life and history. Naive Humanism is considered naive by the nihilist because it rhapsodizes–with no rational foundation–the dignity and significance of human life. The humanist declares that man is a cosmic accident whose origin was fortuitous and entrenched in meaningless insignificance. Yet in between the humanist mindlessly crusades for, defends, and celebrates the chimera of human dignity…Herein is the dilemma: Nihilism declares that nothing really matters ultimately…In my judgment, no philosophical treatise has ever surpassed or equaled the penetrating analysis of the ultimate question of meaning versus vanity that is found in the Book of Ecclesiastes. 

________________

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

Kerry Livgren is the writer of the song “Dust in the Wind” and he said concerning that song in 1981 and then in 2006:

 1981: “When I wrote “Dust in the Wind” I was  writing about a yearning emptiness that I felt which millions of people identified with because the song was very popular.” 2006:“Dust In the Wind” was certainly the most well-known song, and the message was out of Ecclesiastes. I never ceased to be amazed at how the message resonates with people, from the time it came out through now. The message is true and we have to deal with it, plus the melody is memorable and very powerful. It disturbs me that there’s only part of the [Christian] story told in that song. It’s about someone yearning for some solution, but if you look at the entire body of my work, there’s a solution to the dilemma.”

Ecclesiastes reasons that chance and time have determined the past and will determine the future (9:11-13), and power reigns in this life and the scales are not balanced(4:1). Is that how you see the world? Solomon’s experiment was a search for meaning to life “under the sun.” Then in last few words in Ecclesiastes he looks above the sun and brings God back into the picture: “The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: Fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment.”

You can hear DAVE HOPE and Kerry Livgren’s stories from this youtube link:

(part 1 ten minutes)

(part 2 ten minutes)

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

______________

Related posts:

The Secular Attack on Christianity By: Dr. Paul Kurtz, Dr. Norman Geisler; ©1986

___________________ I really enjoyed this program when I saw it in 1986. The Secular Attack on Christianity/Program 6 < The Secular Attack on Christianity By: Dr. Paul Kurtz, Dr. Norman Geisler; ©1986 How could anybody challenge me to perform something self-sacrificing, ever, if I believe that I am the product of chance, plus time, plus the impersonal, […]

Debating with the gentleman Paul Kurtz Part 4

I  understand that Dr. Paul Kurtz passed away at age 86 on October 20, 2012. He was fine gentleman that I had a chance to correspond with and I read several of his books (Forbidden Fruit was his best effort). I did not agree with his secular humanist view but I did find that he […]

Debating with the gentleman Paul Kurtz Part 3

I  understand that Dr. Paul Kurtz passed away at age 86 on October 20, 2012. He was fine gentleman that I had a chance to correspond with and I read several of his books (Forbidden Fruit was his best effort). I did not agree with his secular humanist view but I did find that he […]

Debating with the gentleman Paul Kurtz Part 2

I understand that Dr. Paul Kurtz passed away at age 86 on October 20, 2012. He was fine gentleman that I had a chance to correspond with and I read several of his books (Forbidden Fruit was his best effort). I did not agree with his secular humanist view but I did find that he […]

Debating with the gentleman Paul Kurtz Part 1

I understand that Dr. Paul Kurtz passed away at age 86 on October 20, 2012. He was fine gentleman that I had a chance to correspond with and I read several of his books (Forbidden Fruit was his best effort). I did not agree with his secular humanist view but I did find that he […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 18 “Michelangelo’s DAVID is the statement of what humanistic man saw himself as being tomorrow” (Feature on artist Paul McCarthy)

In this post we are going to see that through the years  humanist thought has encouraged artists like Michelangelo to think that the future was extremely bright versus the place today where many artist who hold the humanist and secular worldview are very pessimistic.   In contrast to Michelangelo’s DAVID when humanist man thought he […]

Part of the reason Antony Flew left atheism can be found in this Paul Davies’ quote “Science can proceed only if the scientist adopts an essentially theological worldview!”

  Conversation with John Barrow Published on Jun 16, 2012 Templeton Prize 2006, Gifford Lectures 1988 British Academy, 1 June 2012 _______ Many Christians are involved in science and John D. Barrow is one of the leaders of science today. Here is his bio: John D Barrow John D. Barrow was born in London in […]

Is a optimistic humanism possible?

_______________ Is a optimistic humanism possible? Here below is the song DUST IN THE WIND performed by the rock group KANSAS and was written by Kerry Ligren in 1978. I challenge anyone to  read these words of that song given below and refute the idea that accepting naturalistic evolution with the exclusion of God must lead […]

CSICOP experts commented 15 years ago on a lie-detector’s ability to detect one’s repressed belief in God!!!!

In the book, THE DEMON-HAUNTED WORLD: Science as a Candle in the Dark by Carl Sagan.  Sagan writes: The Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal is an organization of scientists, academics, magicians, and others dedicated to skeptical scrutiny of emerging or full-blown pseudo-sciences. It was founded by the University of Buffalo philosopher Paul […]

THE DEMON-HAUNTED WORLD: Science as a Candle in the Dark by Carl Sagan. New York: Random House, 1995. 457 pages, extensive references, index. Hardcover; $25.95. PSCF 48 (December 1996): 263.

_____________ THE DEMON-HAUNTED WORLD: Science as a Candle in the Dark by Carl Sagan. New York: Random House, 1995. 457 pages, extensive references, index. Hardcover; $25.95. PSCF 48 (December 1996): 263. Sagan is the David Duncan Professor of Astronomy and Space Sciences at Cornell University. He is author of many best sellers, including Cosmos, which […]

Francis Schaeffer died 35 years ago today (May 15, 1984) Here is one of my favorite posts inspired by him!!FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 17 Francis Schaeffer discusses quotes of Andy Warhol from “The Observer June 12, 1966” Part C (Feature on artist David Hockney plus many pictures of Warhol with famous friends)

________________

______________________________________________________________________________
Dali and Warhol below:

________-

__________________

Francis Schaeffer with his son Franky pictured below. Francis and Edith (who passed away in 2013) opened L’ Abri in 1955 in Switzerland.

프란시스 쉐퍼 – 그러면 우리는 어떻게 살 것인가 introduction (Episode 1)

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

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

The clip above is from episode 9 THE AGE OF PERSONAL PEACE AND AFFLUENCE

10 Worldview and Truth

In above clip Schaeffer quotes Paul’s speech in Greece from Romans 1 (from Episode FINAL CHOICES)

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

A Christian Manifesto Francis Schaeffer

Francis Schaeffer has written extensively on art and culture spanning the last 2000 years 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 a philosopher—was often criticized for the way his work oversimplified intellectual history and philosophy.” To those critics I say take a chill pill because Schaeffer was introducing millions into the fields of art and culture!!!! !!! More people need to read his works and blog about them because they show how people’s worldviews affect their lives!

J.I.PACKER WROTE OF SCHAEFFER, “His communicative style was not thaof a cautious academiwho labors foexhaustive 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 and they 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 our western society was heading and he knew that abortion, infanticide and youth enthansia were  moral boundaries we would be crossing  in the coming decades because 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 as Schaeffer pointed out in episode 5 of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACEThere is a basis then for faith in Christ alone for our eternal hope. This link shows 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.” 

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.

Here is what Francis Schaeffer wrote about Andy Warhol’s art and interviews:

The Observer June 12, 1966 does a big spread on Warhol.

Andy Warhol, “It doesn’t matter what anyone does. I wish I were a computer.”

He is really telling you what is in his head. There is no difference between this and other forms of absurdity. Here you have a man who has taken absurdity and projected it commercially, and what it really is, is an absurd statement with absurd means. Not everyone understands it, but it has it’s impact. Billy Link is the forman of the factory. “Warhol does practically nothing, but he does it very well and that is all he has to do.”

These people are not dummies. Warhol calls his nightclub “The Plastic Inevitable.I think this he really understands. If you get away from nature and away from reality and if you are going to build these things then it is better to just build them in plastic.

Warhol says, “My work won’t last anyway. I was using cheap paint.” I think he has a purpose.  Don’t think those men don’t understand. the imitators don’t understand, but the people who do it do understand.

________________

Warhol said, “I love Los Angeles. I love Hollywood. They’re beautiful. Everybody’s plastic, but I love plastic. I want to be plastic.”

_____________________-

_______________________

Ali and Warhol pictured together below:

____
Sam Bolton, Dolly Parton and Warhol pictured below:

_____________

Dolly Parton with Andy Warhol below

 

________________________
Liza Minnelli, Bianca Jagger and Andy Warhol pictured below:
__________________________________________

_______________

_______________________

Artists Behaving Strangely

November 13, 2012 By  15 Comments

Why do so many artists behave so strangely? If their odd-looking work isn’t enough to make us scratch our heads, their weird behavior confirms our suspicions that they are charlatans, getting away with artistic murder in a laissez-faire and degenerate art world in which personality and image are more important than the quality of their work. No one resembles this portrait of the strangely behaving artist better than Andy Warhol (1928-1987). Everything about him, from his odd appearance, aloof personality, enigmatic statements, and strange collection of friends and associates gives the impression that “Warhol” was a fabrication for media consumption, an act, a ruse. Either he was a creative genius—brilliantly creative beyond our comprehension—or a marketing genius—brilliantly entrepreneurial of the P.T. Barnum variety.

But perhaps Warhol’s and other artists’ strange behavior is not due to their creative or marketing genius but a profoundly human response to a serious problem that all artists, in one way or another, face on a daily basis.

The Anxiety of the Art World

A painting is a weak and vulnerable thing because it is just not necessary. Smelly oil paint smeared across a canvas cannot be justified in this conditional, transactional world. Yet vast, complex institutions and networks have emerged to do just that, whether through the auction house (art as priceless luxury item), the museum tour (education), or the local chamber of commerce (art as community service, cultural tourism, or urban revival). That art is ultimately gratuitous, that its existence is a gift to the world, creates anxiety and insecurity in the art world. Everyone involved, from art collectors and dealers to critics and curators have to justify their interest in this seemingly “useless” activity—and justify the money they make or spend on its behalf. Art simply cannot be justified.

What makes matters worse is that no one knows what makes a great work of art great anyway, or if that work or this work is great. Even the experts don’t agree. Moreover, the art collectors, the millionaires and billionaires who drive the art world and whose own pursuit of art is powerful form of self-justication, are the most anxious and most confused of the whole lot. And so collectors must rely on their retinue of dealers, curators, and critics for confirmation. If a collector is going to spend several hundred thousand dollars on dirt and pigment smeared on a canvas, she better feel comfortable in her “investment.” And so curators, critics, and dealers are desperately looking for markers other than the painting itself  to assuage the collector’s insecurity.

The Artist

Yet for an artist to make a living, these smeared canvases need to be shown, written about, and purchased. In short, these precarious, vulnerable, useless artifacts, which no one is really sure have any “objective” value, or are any good, need to operate as currency in a conditional world, a transactional economy. Yet the work the artist produces operates in direct contradiction to this “reality.”

Artists know this precarious situation. It is they who realize, consciously or not, that the works they produce in their studios are vulnerable out in the world, wonder whether the work they do is any good or possesses any lasting value. And this is especially so for those artists whose work is represented by the world’s top dealers, shown at the world’s most important museums, written about in the world’s most important art magazines, and in the collections of the world’s most powerful art collectors. These are the artists, I would suggest, who feel the insignificance of their work most acutely and the pressure of the conditionality of the art world most strongly.

Their work needs help. And so many artists cultivate a certain kind of behavior—craft a social role—that simultaneously justifies and protects their work, offering a marker for art collectors, curators, dealers, and critics, while releasing them of the burden to have to explain or defend each work they produce. This is not, however, a new development. It has been a part of the western artistic tradition since the Renaissance, when painters began to claim that art belonged to the “liberal arts” (philosophy, theology, poetry) and not the “mechanical arts” (trades). The intellectual; the businessman; the scientist; the engineer; the prophet or priest; the entertainer or rock star are just a few of the myriad of social roles that artists have adopted throughout the history of art. These roles, which require tremendous effort by artists to develop and maintain, help legitimate the work by generating a justifying “aura,” providing art collectors, curators, and dealers sufficient validation to pay attention to the work they produce. Sometimes they work. Yet sometimes they don’t.

In this prison house of creative self-expression called the art world, where, following Sartre, everyone is “condemned to freedom,” the artist must wear a mask and engage in a game of high stakes poker, appearing resistant and transcendent in the face of the contingent, transactional, and conditional nature of the art world.

Yet appearances, as Warhol knew so well, deceive. Behind the aloof, ironic, and “underground” Warhol mask was the weak and vulnerable Andrej Varchola, Jr., the Pittsburgh native, the son of a working class family who emigrated from Slovakia; a lifelong Byzantine Catholic who struggled with his faith in light of his sexual identity; a well-respected commercial designer who became a fine artist because of his interest in revealing and exploring this Andrej Varchola in his work; and a devoted friend and selfless promoter of young artists, like Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground. This Andrej Varchola miraculously survived an attempted murder in 1968—a gunshot wound to the chest—the physical and psychological effects with which he struggled the remainder of his life, “gnawed within and scorched without,” as Melville describes Ahab. Warhol’s work, like his life, revealed the constant presence and judgment of death lurking around every corner in a culture that idolized youth, fame, freedom.  Warhol and Varchola died of cardiac arrest in 1986 after a routine gall bladder surgery, a surgery he put off because of his fear of doctors and hospitals after the trauma of his gunshot wound.

Warhol and You (and Me)

Warhol is a lot like you and me. He wasn’t a genius or a fake. He was profoundly, utterly human, justifying his work and his existence through the means available to him, and deeply insecure about its value in one of our culture’s most fickle, unpredictable, and insecure institutions: the contemporary art world.

So, when you are tempted to dismiss the contemporary art world as irrelevant because of the strange behavior of its artists, remember that their behavior is an admission that their work—what they spend their lives making and to which they are profoundly devoted and committed—is weak and vulnerable. And their personas are not only masks but the armor and weaponry that they are using in this suffocating art world to fight for it.

What masks do we wear, what armor do we put on, what social roles do we craft, and strange behavior do we cultivate to justify our own weak and vulnerable work?

______________

____________

_______________________

___________

___________

_______________

_______________________________

________________

Andy Warhol, Henry Geldzahler, David Hockney, and David Goodman, 1963 (Pictured below)

__________________

Today I am going to feature the artist David Hockney who was a good friend of Andy Warhol and you can see them pictured together above.

This painting depicts a splash in a Californian swimming pool. Hockney first visited Los Angeles in 1963, a year after graduating from the Royal College of Art, London. He returned there in 1964 and remained, with only intermittent trips to Europe, until 1968 when he came back to London. In 1976 he made a final trip back to Los Angeles and set up permanent home there. He was drawn to California by the relaxed and sensual way of life. He commented: ‘the climate is sunny, the people are less tense than in New York … When I arrived I had no idea if there was any kind of artistic life there and that was the least of my worries.’ (Quoted in Kinley, [p.4].) In California, Hockney discovered, everybody had a swimming pool. Because of the climate, they could be used all year round and were not considered a luxury, unlike in Britain where it is too cold for most of the year. Between 1964 and 1971 he made numerous paintings of swimming pools. In each of the paintings he attempted a different solution to the representation of the constantly changing surface of water. His first painted reference to a swimming pool is in the painting California Art Collector 1964 (private collection). Picture of a Hollywood Swimming Pool 1964 (private collection) was completed in England from a drawing. While his later swimming pools were based on photographs, in the mid 1960s Hockney’s depiction of water in swimming pools was consciously derived from the influences of his contemporary, the British painter Bernard Cohen (born 1933), and the later abstract paintings by French artist Jean Dubuffet (1901-85). At this time he also began to leave wide borders around the paintings unpainted, a practice developed from his earlier style of keeping large areas of the canvas raw. At the same time, he discovered fast-drying acrylic paint to be more suited to portraying the sun-lit, clean-contoured suburban landscapes of California than slow drying oil paint.

A Bigger Splash was painted between April and June 1967 when Hockney was teaching at the University of California at Berkeley. The image is derived in part from a photograph Hockney discovered in a book on the subject of building swimming pools. The background is taken from a drawing he had made of Californian buildings. A Bigger Splash is the largest and most striking of three ‘splash’ paintings. The Splash (private collection) and A Little Splash (private collection) were both completed in 1966. They share compositional characteristics with the later version. All represent a view over a swimming pool towards a section of low-slung, 1960s modernist architecture in the background. A diving board juts out of the margin into the paintings’ foreground, beneath which the splash is represented by areas of lighter blue combined with fine white lines on the monotone turquoise water. The positioning of the diving board – coming at a diagonal out of the corner – gives perspective as well as cutting across the predominant horizontals. The colours used in A Larger Splash are deliberately brighter and bolder than in the two smaller paintings in order to emphasise the strong Californian light. The yellow diving board stands out dramatically against the turquoise water of the pool, which is echoed in the intense turquoise of the sky. Between sky and water, a strip of flesh-coloured land denotes the horizon and the space between the pool and the building. This is a rectangular block with two plate glass windows, in front of which a folding chair is sharply delineated. Two palms on long, spindly trunks ornament the painting’s background while others are reflected in the building’s windows. A frond-like row of greenery decorates its front. The blocks of colour were rollered onto the canvas and the detail, such as the splash, the chair and the vegetation, painted on later using small brushes. The painting took about two weeks to complete, providing an interesting contrast with his subject matter for the artist. Hockney has explained: ‘When you photograph a splash, you’re freezing a moment and it becomes something else. I realise that a splash could never be seen this way in real life, it happens too quickly. And I was amused by this, so I painted it in a very, very slow way.’ (Quoted in Kinley, [p.5].) He had rejected the possibility of recreating the splash with an instantaneous gesture in liquid on the canvas. In contrast with several of his earlier swimming pool paintings, which contain a male subject, often naked and viewed from behind, the ‘splash’ paintings are empty of human presence. However, the splash beneath the diving board implies the presence of a diver.

Further reading:
David Hockney: Paintings, Prints and Drawings 1960-1970, exhibition catalogue, Whitechapel Gallery, London 1970
Stephanie Barron, Maurice Tuchman, David Hockney: A Retrospective, exhibition catalogue, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and Tate Gallery, London 1988, p.38, reproduced p.158, pl.37 in colour and p.39, fig.24 (detail)
Catherine Kinley, David Hockney: Seven Paintings, exhibition brochure, Tate Gallery, London 1992, [p.5], reproduced [p.5] in colour

Stephanie Barron, Maurice Tuchman,
February 1992/March 2003

_____________

David Hockney painting The Road to Thwing, Late Spring. © David Hockney/Photograph by Jean-Pierre Gonçalves de Lima/Thames & Hudson

The Shock of the New – Ep 7 – Culture as Nature

July 18th, 2007
David Hockney

The Colors of Music

One of the best-known artists of the twentieth century, David Hockney is renowned for his prolific production, high level of technical skill, and extreme versatility. He has achieved renown in a wide variety of media including pen-and-ink drawing, painting, printmaking, and photography. Alongside the quality of his work, his round face and owlish glasses have made him one of the most recognizable artists working today.

Hockney was born on July 9, 1937 in the industrial town of Bradford, in Yorkshire, England, to a working-class but politically radical family. Although his father, Kenneth, ran an accounting business, he was also an antiwar activist who wrote letters of protest to world leaders. David was the fourth of five children. His mother, Laura, was a shop assistant and a strict vegetarian.

By the time he was 11, Hockney had already decided to become an artist. He studied at the local Bradford School of Art from 1953 to 1957, where he acquired an early reputation as a skilled draftsman. After fulfilling his National Service duties as a conscientious objector by working in a hospital for two years, Hockney enrolled at the London College of Art in 1959. He excelled there as well, both socially — his outgoing, gregarious personality won him a number of friends, most notably the painter R. B. Kitaj — and professionally — he discovered modernism, his work in the Young Contemporaries show in 1961 led critics to dub him one of the rising stars of the pop movement, and he won the College’s Gold Medal in 1962. Academically he lagged, though, flunking out twice before the school finally allowed him to graduate.

Hockney’s early work was characterized by a sort of false amateurism (”faux-naif”), in which he mixed sophisticated, highly skilled technique with intentionally crude folk-art styles. He often scrawled lines of poetry or other text over his works that related to their meaning. His influences throughout this period included Jean Dubuffet and Pablo Picasso, and Hockney’s own homosexuality (for example, a series of paintings in 1960-61 titled We Two Boys Together Clinging takes its name from the Walt Whitman poem). His 1962 seriesDemonstrations of Versatility was a dazzling collection of paintings, each in a different style, that showcased Hockney’s skill and creativity.

Hockney was an avid lithographer as well; some of his best-known work from this period includes 1961’sMyself and My Heroes, in which he appears alongside Mahatma Gandhi and Walt Whitman, and his 1961-63The Rake’s Progress, an updated version of a series of William Hogarth prints from 1732-33. In 1975, Hockney designed the sets for a production of the opera inspired by the prints at the Glyndenbourne Festival in Australia.

Unlike most of his contemporaries, upon graduation from art school Hockney had already established himself well enough professionally that he didn’t have to take a teaching position and could work full-time as an artist. In 1963 he moved to California. Settling in Santa Monica, he began working with acrylic paints instead of oils and adopted a more realistic style, winning acclaim for a series of rich, colorful paintings of swimming pools. Hockney fell in love with California’s sunny weather, its cleanness and spare beauty, its social freedom, and the beauty of its inhabitants. Many of his works during this period were “snapshots” of men in casual poses, engaged in activities such as swimming; Neil Simon’s 1978 film California Suite used a number of them in its opening credits. During this period Hockney also painted several critically acclaimed portraits of his friends; one of these, Mr. and Mrs. Clark and Percy, is considered by authorities at the Tate Museum to be the most popular painting in the museum’s collection.

In 1966 he met native Californian Peter Schlesinger, who became his romantic partner and frequently modeled for him. The two moved back to London together, but broke up in 1970. In 1973 Hockney moved to Paris briefly, where he spent part of his sojourn living in an apartment in the Quartier Latin formerly owned by the painter Balthus. While in Paris he produced a series of etchings in memory of his idol Picasso, who had died that year, and produced a 1974 exhibition at the Musée des Artes Decoratifs with the help of two of Picasso’s master printers, Aldo and Piero Crommelynck.

Throughout this period Hockney continued to explore other media besides painting, most notably photography. From 1982-86, he created some of his best-known and most iconographic work — his “joiners,” large composite landscapes and portraits made up of hundreds or thousands of individual photographs. Hockney initially used a Polaroid camera for the photos, switching to a 35 mm camera as the works grew larger and more complex. In interviews, Hockney related the “joiners” to cubism, pointing out that they incorporate elements that a traditional photograph does not possess — namely time, space, and narrative.

Always willing to adopt new techniques, in 1986 Hockney began producing art with color photocopiers. He has also incorporated fax machines (faxing art to an exhibition in Brazil, for example) and computer-generated images (most notably Quantel Paintbox, a computer system often used to make graphics for television shows) into his work.

In 2001 Hockney set off controversy in the art world with his film Secret Knowledge, in which he advances a theory that many Old Masters (particularly Jeane-August-Dominique Ingres, but others as well) achieved the extreme realism of their works through the use of a “camera lucida” (a series of lenses and prisms), projecting an image of their model onto the canvas and then tracing around it. This theory has not drawn much support among art historians, however.

Hockney also has a long history in stage design, particularly for operas and the dramatic theater. He designed the set for the Royal Court Theatre’s production of Alfred Jarry’s play UBU ROI in 1966, and has done design work for the Metropolitan Opera in New York City as well as operas in Philadelphia and Los Angeles.

Hockney currently divides his time between the Hollywood Hills and Malibu.

– Brian Kennedy

Brian Kennedy is a freelance writer living in Brooklyn.

Culture as Nature

Episode 7 of 8

Duration: 1 hour

Robert Hughes goes Pop when he examines the art that referred to the man-made world that fed off culture itself via works by Rauchenberg, Warhol and Lichtenstein.

______________________

Stylish artist can still make a splash

Written By: Tribune web editor
Published: July 13, 2009 Last modified: July 17, 2009

Television

BBC1
“Scratch the tinsel in Hollywood to find the real tinsel”. The words bring a wonderful throaty laugh from a Yorkshireman in Los Angeles, mythologised as a playboy painter, hedonist, liberated gay, fashion icon and a truly gifted artist.
In Imagine: David Hockney – A Bigger Picture, Bruno Wolheim’s intimate and engrossing documentary, made over a three-year period, David Hockney sits in his Californian home and speaks directly to the camera, after four decades living in America, as he approaches his 70th birthday. “I felt quite alone really”, he says in a sombre, hangdog way. “I just suddenly thought I’ll go back for a while. I’m feeling very empty here.”
Cut to a quiet road in the east Yorkshire countryside and Hockney is looking out onto a splendid English rural scene. He has a large canvas balanced on an easel, a slanting table with painting accessories on it, one hand in his pocket and the other controlling his personal magic wand, a paintbrush. He has come back to his roots to revitalise his artistic energies by getting out into the world and experiencing the weather and cloud changes as he paints almost a canvas a day.
Hockney looks like a stereotypical painter and decorator as he goes about his business – with flat cap, splattered overalls and cigarette – and demonstrates a remarkable work ethic. He absorbs the scenery and is emphatic in his conviction that painting is far more perceptive and accurate than photography when capturing such images. Photography, he concludes, simply just cannot compete with painting at all.
In order to prove his point, he agreed to be filmed while he is working, confident that what appears on his final canvases would be far superior to the filmed images on television.
Having been a passionate photographer in his remarkable career, Hockney has now moved away from wanting to see the world through a lens and witnessing things through a “window”, to needing to be actually in it – to be part of it physically and in all seasons. He seems particularly obsessed with roads, lanes and tracks as they meander into the distance, suggesting loneliness and mystery. The landscape of Yorkshire clearly invigorates him, geographically and artistically distant from his decades painting LA swimming pools, naked men and sunshine.

Imagine: David Hockney – A Bigger Picture

BBC1

“Scratch the tinsel in Hollywood to find the real tinsel”. The words bring a wonderful throaty laugh from a Yorkshireman in Los Angeles, mythologised as a playboy painter, hedonist, liberated gay, fashion icon and a truly gifted artist.

In Imagine: David Hockney – A Bigger Picture, Bruno Wolheim’s intimate and engrossing documentary, made over a three-year period, David Hockney sits in his Californian home and speaks directly to the camera, after four decades living in America, as he approaches his 70th birthday. “I felt quite alone really”, he says in a sombre, hangdog way. “I just suddenly thought I’ll go back for a while. I’m feeling very empty here.”

Cut to a quiet road in the east Yorkshire countryside and Hockney is looking out onto a splendid English rural scene. He has a large canvas balanced on an easel, a slanting table with painting accessories on it, one hand in his pocket and the other controlling his personal magic wand, a paintbrush. He has come back to his roots to revitalise his artistic energies by getting out into the world and experiencing the weather and cloud changes as he paints almost a canvas a day.

Hockney looks like a stereotypical painter and decorator as he goes about his business – with flat cap, splattered overalls and cigarette – and demonstrates a remarkable work ethic. He absorbs the scenery and is emphatic in his conviction that painting is far more perceptive and accurate than photography when capturing such images. Photography, he concludes, simply just cannot compete with painting at all.

In order to prove his point, he agreed to be filmed while he is working, confident that what appears on his final canvases would be far superior to the filmed images on television.

Having been a passionate photographer in his remarkable career, Hockney has now moved away from wanting to see the world through a lens and witnessing things through a “window”, to needing to be actually in it – to be part of it physically and in all seasons. He seems particularly obsessed with roads, lanes and tracks as they meander into the distance, suggesting loneliness and mystery. The landscape of Yorkshire clearly invigorates him, geographically and artistically distant from his decades painting LA swimming pools, naked men and sunshine.

He reckons there is “a fabulous lot to look at” in nature and it is always available to replenish the artist’s imagination, because “you can’t think it up.” He holds the strong belief that a painter needs the hand, eye and heart to succeed. He talks with authority and warmth, an occasional chuckle and a self-deprecation that belies his genius but enhances his normality and connection with the real world. Family and roots are still important to him.

The film took us on a journey towards the completion and exhibition of Hockney’s epic creation Bigger Trees Near Water, a compilation of 50 canvases, assembled into a 40 feet wide by 15 feet high centrepiece for the Royal Academy’s 2007 Summer Exhibition. It was a joy to behold, a wondrous artwork to cherish and a statement of intent that there is still much life and vigour in this outstanding painter.

It would be too easy to see such a work as a kind of swansong, but Hockney has little interest in considering his legacy. “I don’t think too much of the morrow”, he mused with his cheeky grin. “I wouldn’t bother about my legacy. Somebody will look after it or, if they don’t think it’s that interesting, they won’t.”  Of course, somebody should and somebody will.

This was excellent television, beautifully produced, interesting, informative and entertaining. Now there’s a manifesto to reinvigorate the goggle box

Joe Cushnan

David Hockney’s Restless Decade

New exhibit at San Francisco’s de Young Museum examines 76-year-old artist’s burst of productivity

By

Ellen Gamerman

connect

Oct. 17, 2013 3:00 p.m. ET

The artist in front of “Woldgate Woods,” a film installation © Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

David Hockney looks pale next to the new batch of vibrant paintings stacked along the walls of his Hollywood Hills studio. It has been a brutal year for the 76-year-old British native whose taffy-colored pictures of sun-kissed L.A. swimming pools, semi-naked men and hearty English landscapes have always seemed to defy sadness. He suffered a small stroke and lost a beloved tree featured in his work to chainsaw-wielding vandals. He mourned the death of a studio assistant and watched as an inquiry into that fatal night exposed drug use in his home.

David Hockney’s Burst of Productivity

‘More Felled Trees on Woldgate,’ 2008. See more images from David Hockney’s San Francisco’s de Young Museum exhibit. © David Hockney/Richard Schmidt (photo)

The artist, who is battling deafness and wears hearing aids in both ears and a hearing device around his neck, doesn’t talk while he works and plays no music. He stands at his easel for about five hours most days, tearing through his work, lately a series of acrylic portraits of close friends and associates. He has done 18 paintings in three months.

“There might come a time when I can’t work, but I can,” he says during a recent interview at his studio, his Camel cigarette burning between paint-smeared knuckles. “And I’m happy doing it, as much as I get happy, perhaps.”

Mr. Hockney hasn’t shied away from work with age—in fact, he’s done the opposite. The last decade, one of the most productive of his career, is the subject of “David Hockney: A Bigger Exhibition” opening Oct. 26 at the de Young museum in San Francisco. It is the biggest exhibit in the museum’s history, featuring so many paintings, prints, drawings, watercolors and digital works that officials can’t tally exactly how many pieces are in the show.

“Basically, there won’t be any empty wall space when we’re finished,” says museum deputy director Richard Benefield, adding that Mr. Hockney weighed in on everything from the color of the walls to the placement of the works. “We hold something on the wall and he goes, ‘Yeah, that looks about right.'”

An art-world boy wonder in his youth, Mr. Hockney cut a glam profile as he ushered in the pop art era alongside celebrity friends like Andy Warhol. His lifestyle is more subdued now, his old bottle-blond bowl cut faded to gray. But the artist, whose paintings sell for between $850,000 and $8 million, is still restless. The de Young will feature a hastily assembled gallery of the new portraits he completed after the exhibit catalog went to print.

Mr. Hockney says he’s fully recovered from a medical scare last October, when his longtime friend and curator, Gregory Evans, noticed the artist was having trouble ending sentences. Tests revealed he’d suffered a minor stroke. His first subject when he returned to work was what he has dubbed his “totem tree”—a tall tree trunk that starred in some of his kaleidoscopic landscapes and became a landmark for Hockney fans.

In attacks in the woods of East Yorkshire last fall, vandals scrawled an obscenity on the trunk with pink spray paint and later, as Mr. Hockney was in the hospital recovering from his stroke, reduced it to a heap with a chain saw. Mr. Hockney took to his bed for two days after the tree was cut down. “I would think that cutting it down brought out all kinds of feelings about his own situation and his own close call with death,” says Lawrence Weschler, a friend who has written extensively about the artist. The act was taken as a national insult: The Guardian put a Hockney drawing of the mangled stump on its front page.

His art changed in that period. “It got more intense,” Mr. Hockney says of the highly detailed charcoal drawings he pursued in the wake of his illness. “It’s the touch in charcoal, how you put pressure on it and all the subtle things you can do about smoothing it and rubbing it. I’ve not done anything like this before and I probably won’t do it again.”

Spring was just returning to the countryside last March and Mr. Hockney was busy at work on a new charcoal series when a flame-haired, 23-year-old studio assistant named Dominic Elliott died after an episode at the artist’s English seaside home when he ingested drugs, alcohol and household drain cleaner, an inquest by the Hull coroner’s court in East Yorkshire determined later.

At the proceedings in August, witnesses said the young man had been partying with Mr. Hockney’s former longtime boyfriend, John Fitzherbert, one of several men living with the artist in his redbrick home in the town of Bridlington. A statement read at the inquest on Mr. Hockney’s behalf said he was asleep in a separate bedroom and learned about the incident from an assistant when he woke the next morning. A coroner ruled it an unintentional death without a crime. Representatives for Mr. Hockney said the artist doesn’t want to comment on the subject.

After the assistant’s death, Mr. Hockney abandoned “The Arrival of Spring in 2013,” a series of East Yorkshire landscapes in charcoal. “We were very down then,” he says. But he believed in the series charting the return of life to barren woods, a subject he believes other artists would have found boring or ignored. Eventually, he pushed himself to finish it. “Something told me ‘No. Do it. Do it.’ It was a tough time and I’m glad I did it.”

Back at his Southern California home not far from the Hollywood sign, he is busy with portraiture, another constant in his career and a genre that friends say he turns to after periods of loss. He spends three hours on the sitter’s face—he describes himself “groping, groping” to find it—and keeps his subject posing for about three days as he studies them and paints.

The countless brushes and tubes of paint filling his studio seem old school compared with the high-tech mediums Mr. Hockney has been famous for embracing in recent years.

Few artists get calls from Apple because of the work they do—Mr. Hockney is the exception. The de Young will use eight screens with rotating displays of hundreds of works he created on an iPhone and iPad, images he made with his right thumb using the Brushes app. (Friends say he distractedly wipes his hand on his clothes afterward as if it’s covered in real paint.)

The exhibit will also feature his iPad drawings of Yosemite National Park with towering 12-foot-tall prints.

Asked if he had any digital works currently sitting on his devices, Mr. Hockney pulled out his iPhone and opened a picture he’d taken from his bedroom window a few days before, an impossible multi-perspective shot of the sunrise for which he used an app, Juxtaposer, to stitch together four separate images. Back when photocopiers and fax machines were new, he made art using those machines.

More recently, he has been creating “cubist movies,” digital films employing as many as 18 cameras tilted at different angles to subtly distort a scene as it plays across multiple screens.

His fascination with technology sparked an art brawl in 2001 with the release of his book, “Secret Knowledge: Rediscovering the Lost Techniques of the Old Masters.” In it he wrote that some early Renaissance artists such as Jan van Eyck used optical devices like concave mirrors to make pictures that were too perfect to be explained by talent alone. Critics said he was accusing the Old Masters of cheating.

In the de Young exhibit’s catalog, Mr. Hockney writes about “a fundamental change in picture making” now taking place as new technologies change the way artists see the world. He sounds happy about it, too: “It will mark the end of the old order,” he writes, “which is no bad thing.”

In an interview at his Hollywood Hills studio recently, he discussed the roots of his creativity, how encroaching deafness changes his vision and whether he’s ever lost a masterpiece to a dead battery. Below, an edited transcript:

What explains your burst of productivity in the last 10 years?

All artists work. That’s what keeps you going.

What about this new series of portraits you’re working on now?

The recent burst of activity was just because, in a way, I went back to acrylic paint, which is a bit like a new medium for me. I’ve not worked in acrylic for 20 years and it has changed a bit. That gives you a boost. I’m just going to go on and do [these portraits] after San Francisco, probably until the spring. I might do 25, 30.

You work quickly compared to other artists. Do you consider speed part of your process?

I often think some of my best work is done at speed. Portraits, you have to work quite quickly—the expression is going to change. You do want the person there. When they’re not there you stop painting. The shoes or anything—they have to be there.

Do you paint people because of your relationship to them or is there something you see in their faces?

It might be the face, it could be their character, it could be just be they’re a friend. [He gestures to a portrait of a smiling man in tangerine pants.] He said it was the greatest day of his life. He has this look on his face and I realize it might have been, actually, because I have painted him.

Some see a sense of mortality in your recent charcoal drawings. Do you agree?

I mean, I’m aware of my own mortality. I smoke. [He lights a cigarette.]

When you go through a painful time, do you channel your grief into your art?

Maybe. My life goes into it. So, I mean, it does actually, in a way. It does. I thought it was very worthwhile doing [the charcoal landscapes] because nobody else would do it. It’s a very worthwhile theme and thing to do.

Were you deliberately trying to get back to a low-tech medium after your iPad drawings?

It’s all drawing. It’s a new medium for drawing, the iPad, it’s like an endless sheet of paper. You can’t overwork a drawing because you’re not drawing on a surface, really, you’re just drawing on a piece of glass.

Have you ever lost work to a dead battery or it didn’t save?

No. I see the point. All the iPad and iPhone drawings were all printed out because they can be lost. I mean, loads of things are going to get lost on the computer, aren’t they? Knowledge has been lost in the past and it will be today and it will be in the future.

Has Apple ever contacted you about these works?

Yes, but I just didn’t react. I prefer to do it my way all the time. I just keep a little distance from it. I’m sure I must have sold some of their stuff for them.

What did they want?

I think they were just interested in what I’d done on it. People can do some things crudely but not many people can be very subtle with it. I see that now. It’s a new medium.

Is there a medium you want to try that you haven’t used yet?

I got interested a bit in videos, but different videos with 18 cameras. I now see how you can open up things. [Mr. Hockney’s movies feature the same subject filmed from many angles, so the viewer has the sensation of experiencing a single scene from different points of view.] With one camera everybody’s seeing the same thing always, always, always—but we don’t always see the same things in real life, even when we’re looking at the same thing, because memories are different, aren’t they? It’s playing with time, that’s what it’s doing. I can see that it opens up new storytelling methods.

Why did you embrace the iPad and iPhone when younger artists didn’t?

I’ve always been interested in the technology of picture making. I quickly discovered the drawing app and started sending pictures out to people who liked getting them, and I’d done 300 or 400 drawings on an iPhone. Then when the iPad came out, I got one straight away and I thought, “Well, drawing on this will be better because it’s a bit bigger.” We’ve printed some drawings nine-feet high from iPads.

Do you see yourself as young at heart?

My attitude is this—this is why I smoke—life is a killer, we all get a lifetime and there’s only now. I believe that it’s not so easy to live in the now. I mean, most people live in the past, don’t they? Monet died at age 86. So it didn’t matter if he smoked or drank or whatever, he had something to do and he’s going to do it. Well, I have something to do and I’m going to do it.

I do think that. I think as my hearing has gotten worse I see space clearer. I mean, a blind person uses sound to locate themselves in space. I once pointed out about Picasso that the one art he didn’t care for was music, so I assume he was tone deaf. But he wasn’t tone blind. And I thought, yes, he saw more tones than anybody else and probably heard fewer tones.

What other kinds of art are you interested in—do you love opera?

I don’t go now much because of my hearing. I don’t go to the theater much now. I don’t watch television even. I don’t go to the cinema now. Deafness is a big thing. It’s why I’m very unsocial now. There’s nothing I can do about it. It will get worse, I’m told. You’ve just got to accept it. But as long as I’ve got my eyes and my hand, I’m all right.

What misperceptions do you think people have about you?

I don’t mind them having them, actually. I remember once I had lunch with [art critic] Mario Amaya and we met Man Ray in the street in Paris. [Mr. Amaya] said he’d written a book about Man Ray, and he’d like to send him a copy so then he could correct any mistakes. And Man Ray said, “Correct the mistakes? I’ll add some more.” And I thought, “Oh, that’s very good.” I mean, people think I’m a big partygoer. I don’t mind. I don’t care. But you know, I live very quietly actually, very quietly.

Write to Ellen Gamerman at ellen.gamerman@wsj.com

__________________

They are produced in a similar sort of way to how we are making our collaged figures, except rather than photographing the sections, we have cropped parts of the images Laura photographed in the shoots, and are using a wide variety of shapes to create unusual body shapes.
___________
I’m currently loving David Hockney’s “Portrait of Mother III,” the simplicity of line and color fascinates me. This print is a lithograph; keep in mind that each color is printed from a separate drawing, and has to be meticulously lined up on the press to make sure it overlaps in all the right places.  I’ve featured Hockney’s work for Print of the Week before, in case you want to see another excellent print of his.
___________

David Hockney 2009, A Bigger Picture

___________

In the video above at the 38:39 mark Hockney states:

We are all on our own….You do begin to see that we are just a tiny part of nature… A lot of things in nature live a lot longer than we do and a lot of things less. I am quite aware of my own mortality. How much longer will I live? 5 years or 10 years? I don’t know. I really don’t care. I am not going to spend too much time pondering that. I got too much to do. Some people have more of a life force in them than others. I think I have quite a lot of it. I have quite a lot of energy still for my age. I am almost 70. Three score and ten. It is what they suggested in the Bible isn’t it. So everything else is a bit of an bonus. I have always seen life as a rather big gift that I have valued. I see it that way. There might be another life afterwards since this life is such a mystery. I think so. Okay this is such a mystery then why can’t there be another?

ARE YOU THINKING OF YOUR LEGACY?

“Don’t think too much of the morrow” isn’t that an Biblical injunction? my mother would say. Perhaps on the other hand my mother said, you have to be a wee bit selfish to be an artist.

(At the 51:30 mark) Never believe what an artist says, only what they do . I think Van Gogh had said this, he had lost the faith of his father but he had found another in the infinity of nature. I think it is there if you get into it…It is an interesting life. My mind is occupied. That is what you want at my age, but I always wanted that and I am greedy for it.

____________

Let me respond to some of the points that David Hockney makes above.

FIRST:

Is there another life after this one? You should know the answer from the Biblical wisdom that your 99 year old mother passed down to you. The Bible clearly states in Hebrews 9:27 in the Amplified Bible version, “ And just as it is appointed for [all] men once to die, and after that the [certain] judgment.”

SECOND:

2. David you quoted  Proverbs 27:1 but you only quoted the first part of the verse and the context was lost that way.

Proverbs 27:1 says “Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.”

This verse was cross referenced to a parable that Christ told in Luke 12.

16 And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:

17 And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?

18 And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.

19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.

20 But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?

21 So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.

_____________

This obvious point is that we should think about where we are now in our relation to God!!! This brings us full circle back to what Andy Warhol said at the beginning of this post: ” “It doesn’t matter what anyone does…My work won’t last anyway. I was using cheap paint.” Francis Schaeffer commented, “These people are not dummies. Warhol calls his nightclub The Plastic Inevitable. I think this he really understands. If you get away from nature and away from reality and if you are going to build these things then it is better to just build them in plastic.”

That is exactly what Christ is teaching in this parable. No matter how much money you save in this life in the end your relationship to God is what matters!!!

THIRD:

David, I am sure you want to see your mother again and she was a follower of Christ, so according to the Bible it is very simple on how to go to heaven and it does not involve working your way to heaven.

___________

The Bible is very clear on how to  go to heaven  (this material is from Campus Crusade for Christ).

Just as there are physical laws that govern

the physical universe, so are there spiritual laws
that govern your relationship with God.

Law 1

God loves you and offers a wonderful plan for your life.

God’s Love
“God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever
believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16, NIV).

God’s Plan
[Christ speaking] “I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly”
[that it might be full and meaningful] (John 10:10).

Why is it that most people are not experiencing that abundant life?

Because…

Law 2

Man is sinful and separated from God.
Therefore, he cannot know and experience
God’s love and plan for his life.

Man is Sinful
“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

Man was created to have fellowship with God; but, because of his own stubborn
self-will, he chose to go his own independent way and fellowship with God was broken.
This self-will, characterized by an attitude of active rebellion or passive indifference,
is an evidence of what the Bible calls sin.

Man Is Separated
“The wages of sin is death” [spiritual separation from God] (Romans 6:23).

Separation This diagram illustrates that God isholy and man is sinful. A great gulf separates the two. The arrows illustrate that man is continually trying to reach God and the abundant life through his own efforts, such as a good life, philosophy, or religion
-but he inevitably fails.The third law explains the only way to bridge this gulf…

Law 3

Jesus Christ is God’s only provision for man’s sin.
Through Him you can know and experience
God’s love and plan for your life.

He Died In Our Place
“God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners,
Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

He Rose from the Dead
“Christ died for our sins… He was buried… He was raised on the third day,
according to the Scriptures… He appeared to Peter, then to the twelve.
After that He appeared to more than five hundred…” (1 Corinthians 15:3-6).

He Is the Only Way to God
“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life, no one comes to
the Father but through Me’” (John 14:6).

Bridge The Gulf This diagram illustrates that God has bridged the gulf that separates us from Him by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross in our place to pay the penalty for our sins.It is not enough just to know these three laws…

Law 4

We must individually receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord;
then we can know and experience God’s love and plan for our lives.

We Must Receive Christ
“As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children
of God, even to those who believe in His name” (John 1:12).

We Receive Christ Through Faith
“By grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves,
it is the gift of God; not as result of works that no one should boast” (Ephesians 2:8,9).

When We Receive Christ, We Experience a New Birth
(Read John 3:1-8.)

We Receive Christ Through Personal Invitation
[Christ speaking] “Behold, I stand at the door and knock;
if any one hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him” (Revelation 3:20).

Receiving Christ involves turning to God from self (repentance) and trusting
Christ to come into our lives to forgive our sins and to make us what He wants us to be.
Just to agree intellectually that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He died on the cross
for our sins is not enough. Nor is it enough to have an emotional experience.
We receive Jesus Christ by faith, as an act of the will.

These two circles represent two kinds of lives:

Circles

Self-Directed Life
S-Self is on the throne
wpe463.jpg (790 bytes)-Christ is outside the life
wpe464.jpg (719 bytes)-Interests are directed by self, often
resulting in discord and frustration
Christ-Directed Life
wpe463.jpg (790 bytes)-Christ is in the life and on the throne
S-Self is yielding to Christ,
resulting in harmony with God’s plan
wpe464.jpg (719 bytes)-Interests are directed by Christ,
resulting in harmony with God’s plan

Which circle best represents your life?
Which circle would you like to have represent your life?


The following explains how you can receive Christ:

You Can Receive Christ Right Now by Faith Through Prayer
(Prayer is talking with God)

God knows your heart and is not so concerned with your words as He is with the attitude
of your heart. The following is a suggested prayer:

Lord Jesus, I need You. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive You as my Savior and Lord. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life.
Take control of the throne of my life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be.

Does this prayer express the desire of your heart? If it does, I invite you to pray this
prayer right now, and Christ will come into your life, as He promised.

Now that you have received Christ

On this web site:
Copyrighted 2007 by Bright Media Foundation and Campus Crusade for Christ.
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

___________________________

Related posts:

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 10 “Final Choices” (Schaeffer Sundays)

E P I S O D E 1 0   Dr. Francis Schaeffer – Episode X – Final Choices 27 min FINAL CHOICES I. Authoritarianism the Only Humanistic Social Option One man or an elite giving authoritative arbitrary absolutes. A. Society is sole absolute in absence of other absolutes. B. But society has to be […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 9 “The Age of Personal Peace and Affluence” (Schaeffer Sundays)

E P I S O D E 9 Dr. Francis Schaeffer – Episode IX – The Age of Personal Peace and Affluence 27 min T h e Age of Personal Peace and Afflunce I. By the Early 1960s People Were Bombarded From Every Side by Modern Man’s Humanistic Thought II. Modern Form of Humanistic Thought Leads […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 8 “The Age of Fragmentation” (Schaeffer Sundays)

E P I S O D E 8 Dr. Francis Schaeffer – Episode VIII – The Age of Fragmentation 27 min I saw this film series in 1979 and it had a major impact on me. T h e Age of FRAGMENTATION I. Art As a Vehicle Of Modern Thought A. Impressionism (Monet, Renoir, Pissarro, Sisley, […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 7 “The Age of Non-Reason” (Schaeffer Sundays)

E P I S O D E 7 Dr. Francis Schaeffer – Episode VII – The Age of Non Reason I am thrilled to get this film series with you. I saw it first in 1979 and it had such a big impact on me. Today’s episode is where we see modern humanist man act […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 6 “The Scientific Age” (Schaeffer Sundays)

E P I S O D E 6 How Should We Then Live 6#1 Uploaded by NoMirrorHDDHrorriMoN on Oct 3, 2011 How Should We Then Live? Episode 6 of 12 ________ I am sharing with you a film series that I saw in 1979. In this film Francis Schaeffer asserted that was a shift in […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 5 “The Revolutionary Age” (Schaeffer Sundays)

E P I S O D E 5 How Should We Then Live? Episode 5: The Revolutionary Age I was impacted by this film series by Francis Schaeffer back in the 1970′s and I wanted to share it with you. Francis Schaeffer noted, “Reformation Did Not Bring Perfection. But gradually on basis of biblical teaching there […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 4 “The Reformation” (Schaeffer Sundays)

Dr. Francis Schaeffer – Episode IV – The Reformation 27 min I was impacted by this film series by Francis Schaeffer back in the 1970′s and I wanted to share it with you. Schaeffer makes three key points concerning the Reformation: “1. Erasmian Christian humanism rejected by Farel. 2. Bible gives needed answers not only as to […]

“Schaeffer Sundays” Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 3 “The Renaissance”

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 3 “The Renaissance” Francis Schaeffer: “How Should We Then Live?” (Episode 3) THE RENAISSANCE I was impacted by this film series by Francis Schaeffer back in the 1970′s and I wanted to share it with you. Schaeffer really shows why we have so […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 2 “The Middle Ages” (Schaeffer Sundays)

  Francis Schaeffer: “How Should We Then Live?” (Episode 2) THE MIDDLE AGES I was impacted by this film series by Francis Schaeffer back in the 1970′s and I wanted to share it with you. Schaeffer points out that during this time period unfortunately we have the “Church’s deviation from early church’s teaching in regard […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 1 “The Roman Age” (Schaeffer Sundays)

Francis Schaeffer: “How Should We Then Live?” (Episode 1) THE ROMAN AGE   Today I am starting a series that really had a big impact on my life back in the 1970′s when I first saw it. There are ten parts and today is the first. Francis Schaeffer takes a look at Rome and why […]

By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Francis Schaeffer | Edit | Comments (0)

____________

 

 

Francis Schaeffer died 35 years ago today (May 15, 1984) Here is one of my favorite posts inspired by him!! The Glaring Weakness of the Humanist Manifestos (Plus video of Ricky Gervais on the lack of an afterlife)

 

Ricky Gervais act outs atheist bewilderment and frustration in the face of nice Christian nonsense

Carl Sagan – Parents

Carl Sagan said that he missed his parents terribly and he wished he could believe in the afterlife but he was not convinced because of the lack of proof. I had the opportunity to correspond back and forth with Carl Sagan.  I presented him evidence that the Bible was true and there was an afterlife,  but he would not accept the evidence.

Today I want to take another approach to the issue of the afterlife and that is the pure and simple fact that without an enforcement factor people can do what they want in this life and get away with it. This is a big glaring weakness in the Humanist Manifestos that have been published so far. All three of them do not recognize the existence of God who is our final judge. (I am not claiming that this is evidence that points to an afterlife, but this post will demonstrate that atheists many times have not thought through the full ramifications of their philosophy of life.)

I had the unique opportunity to discuss this very issue with Robert Lester Mondale and his wife Rosemary  on April 14, 1996 at his cabin in Fredricktown, Missouri , and my visit was very enjoyable and informative. Mr. Mondale had the distinction of being the only person to sign all three of the Humanist Manifestos in 1933, 1973 and 2003. I asked him which signers of Humanist Manifesto Number One did he know well and he said that Raymond B. Bragg, and Edwin H. Wilson  and him were known as “the three young radicals of the group.”  Harold P. Marley used to have a cabin near his and they used to take long walks together, but Marley’s wife got a job in Hot Springs, Arkansas and they moved down there.

Roy Wood Sellars was a popular professor of philosophy that he knew. I asked if he knew John Dewey and he said he did not, but Dewey did contact him one time to ask him some questions about an article he had written, but Mondale could not recall anything else about that. 

Mondale told me some stories about his neighbors and we got to talking about some of his church members when he was an Unitarian pastor. Once during the 1930’s he was told by one of his wealthier Jewish members that he shouldn’t continue to be critical of the Nazis. This member had just come back from Germany and according to him Hitler had done a great job of getting the economy moving and things were good.

Of course, just a few years later after World War II was over Mondale discovered on a second hand basis what exactly had happened over there when he visited with a Lutheran pastor friend who had just returned from Germany. This Lutheran preacher was one of the first to be allowed in after the liberation of the concentration camps in 1945, and he told Mondale what level of devastation and destruction of  innocent lives went on inside these camps. As Mondale listened to his friend he could feel his own face turning pale.

I asked, “If those Nazis escaped to Brazil or Argentina and lived out their lives in peace would they face judgment after they died?”

Mondale responded, “I don’t think there is anything after death.”

I told Mr. Mondale that there is sense in me that says  justice will be given eventually and God will judge those Nazis even if they evade punishment here on earth. I did point out that in Ecclesiastes 4:1 Solomon did note that without God in the picture  the scales may not be balanced in this life and power could reign, but at the same time the Bible teaches that all  must face the ultimate Judge.

Then I asked him if he got to watch the O.J. Simpson trial and he said that he did and he thought that the prosecution had plenty of evidence too. Again I asked Mr. Mondale the same question concerning O.J. and he responded, “I don’t think there is a God that will intervene and I don’t believe in the afterlife.”

Dan Guinn posted on his blog at http://www.francisschaefferstudies.org concerning the Nazis and evolution: As Schaeffer points out, “…these ideas helped produce an even more far-reaching yet logical conclusion: the Nazi movement in Germany. Heinrich Himmler (1900-1945), leader of the Gestapo, stated that the law of nature must take its course in the survival of the fittest. The result was the gas chambers. Hitler stated numerous times that Christianity and its notion of charity should be “replaced by the ethic of strength over weakness.” Surely many factors were involved in the rise of National Socialism in Germany. For example, the Christian consensus had largely been lost by the undermining from a rationalistic philosophy and a romantic pantheism on the secular side, and a liberal theology (which was an adoption of rationalism in theological terminology) in the universities and many of the churches. Thus biblical Christianity was no longer giving the consensus for German society. After World War I came political and economic chaos and a flood of moral permissiveness in Germany. Thus, many factors created the situation. But in that setting the theory of the survival of the fittest sanctioned what occurred. ” 

Francis Schaeffer notes that this idea ties into today when we are actually talking about making infanticide legal in some academic settings. Look at what these three humanist scholars have written:

 

  • Peter Singer, who recently was seated in an endowed chair at Princeton’s Center for Human Values, said, “Killing a disabled infant is not morally equivalent to killing a person. Very often it is not wrong at all.”
  • In May 1973, James D. Watson, the Nobel Prize laureate who discovered the double helix of DNA, granted an interview to Prism magazine, then a publication of the American Medical Association. Time later reported the interview to the general public, quoting Watson as having said, “If a child were not declared alive until three days after birth, then all parents could be allowed the choice only a few are given under the present system. The doctor could allow the child to die if the parents so choose and save a lot of misery and suffering. I believe this view is the only rational, compassionate attitude to have.”
  • In January 1978, Francis Crick, also a Nobel laureate, was quoted in the Pacific News Service as saying “… no newborn infant should be declared human until it has passed certain tests regarding its genetic endowment and that if it fails these tests it forfeits the right to live.”

Woody Allen’s 1989 movie, CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS , was on this very subject of the Nazis that Lester Mondale and I discussed on that day in 1996 at Mondale’s cabin in Missouri.  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 and 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. CAN A MATERIALIST OR A HUMANIST THAT DOES NOT BELIEVE IN AN AFTERLIFE GIVE JUDAH ONE REASON WHY HE SHOULDN’T HAVE HIS MISTRESS KILLED?

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)

On the April 13, 2014 episode of THE GOOD WIFE called “The Materialist,” Alicia in a custody case asks the father Professor Mercer some questions about his own academic publications. She reads from his book that he is a “materialist and he believes that “free-will is just an illusion,” and we are all just products of the physical world and that includes our thoughts and emotions and there is no basis for calling anything right or wrong. Sounds like to me the good professor would agree wholeheartedly with the humanist Abigail Ann Martin’s assertion concerning Hitler’s morality too! Jean-Paul Sartre noted, “No finite point has meaning without an infinite reference point.”

Christians 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, and  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)

Josef Mengele tortured and murdered many Jews and then lived the rest of his long life out in South America in peace. Will he ever face judgment for his actions?

The ironic thing is that at the end of our visit I that pointed out to Mr. Mondale that Paul Kurtz had said  in light of the horrible events in World War II that Kurtz witnessed himself in the death camps (Kurtz entered a death camp as an U.S. Soldier to liberate it) that it was obvious that Humanist Manifesto I was way too optimistic and it was necessary to come up with another one.  I thought that might encourage  Mr. Mondale to comment further on our earlier conversion concerning evil deeds, but he just said, “That doesn’t surprise me that Kurtz would say something like that.”

I noticed in Wikipedia:

The second Humanist Manifesto was written in 1973 by Paul Kurtz and Edwin H. Wilson, and was intended to update the previous one. It begins with a statement that the excesses of Nazism and world war had made the first seem “far too optimistic”, and indicated a more hardheaded and realistic approach in its seventeen-point statement, which was much longer and more elaborate than the previous version. Nevertheless, much of the unbridled optimism of the first remained, with hopes stated that war would become obsolete and poverty would be eliminated.

_________________

This is Lester Mondale’s obituary from the American Humanist Association:

R. Lester Mondale of Fredricktown, Missouri died on August 19, 2003, he was ninety-nine years old. Mondale was the last living signer of Humanist Manifesto I (he was the youngest to sign in 1933). He was also the only person to sign all three manifestos.

An AHA member perhaps since the organization’s founding, he received the AHA’s Humanist Pioneer award in 1973 and the Humanist Founder award in 2001. Mondale became a Unitarian minister after being raised a Methodist.

He was very active with the American Humanist Association, the American Ethical Union and served as president of the Fellowship of Religious Humanists in the 60’s and 70’s. Humanists Vice President Sarah Oelberg says that Mondale’s death marks “truly the end of an era” and AHA Director of Planned Giving Bette Chambers calls him “a great man, a great Humanist.”

Lester is survived by his wife, Rosemary, and four daughters: Karen Mondale of St. Louis, Missouri; Julia Jensen of St. Cloud, Minnesota; Tarrie Swenstad of Odin, Minnesota; and Ellen Mondale of Bethesda, Maryland. Also surviving him are his three brothers: Walter Mondale, former vice president of the United States, Pete Mondale, and Morton Mondale. Lester Mondale was also a proud grandparent of seven and a great-grandparent.

 

The Mondale siblings: Lester, Walter, Mort, Pete, and Clifford and Eleanor Archer (adopted sister); credit: University of Minnesota Law Library Archives

______________

Crimes and Misdemeanors: A Discussion: Part 1

Uploaded by  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

________________________

Crimes and Misdemeanors: A Discussion: Part 2

Crimes and Misdemeanors: A Discussion: Part 3

Is the Bible historically accurate? Here are some of the posts I have done in the past on the subject: 1. The Babylonian Chronicleof Nebuchadnezzars Siege of Jerusalem2. Hezekiah’s Siloam Tunnel Inscription. 3. Taylor Prism (Sennacherib Hexagonal Prism)4. Biblical Cities Attested Archaeologically. 5. The Discovery of the Hittites6.Shishak Smiting His Captives7. Moabite Stone8Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III9A Verification of places in Gospel of John and Book of Acts., 9B Discovery of Ebla Tablets10. Cyrus Cylinder11. Puru “The lot of Yahali” 9th Century B.C.E.12. The Uzziah Tablet Inscription13. The Pilate Inscription14. Caiaphas Ossuary14 B Pontius Pilate Part 214c. Three greatest American Archaeologists moved to accept Bible’s accuracy through archaeology.

 

The Bible and Archaeology (2/5)

___________________

Related posts:

Former atheist Antony Flew pointed out that natural selection can’t explain the origin of first life and in every other case, information necessarily points to an intelligent source!

______________ Does God Exist? Thomas Warren vs. Antony Flew Published on Jan 2, 2014 Date: September 20-23, 1976 Location: North Texas State University Christian debater: Thomas B. Warren Atheist debater: Antony G.N. Flew For Thomas Warren: http://www.warrenapologeticscenter.org/ ______________________ Antony Flew and his conversion to theism Uploaded on Aug 12, 2011 Antony Flew, a well known spokesperson […]

DARWINISM RECONSIDERED article from 2005 quotes Antony Flew, Richard Dawkins, Jonathan Miller, and Phillip Johnson

______________ William Lane Craig versus Eddie Tabash Debate Uploaded on Feb 6, 2012 Secular Humanism versus Christianity, Lawyer versus Theologian. Evangelical Christian apologist William Lane Craig debates humanist atheist lawyer Eddie Tabash at Pepperdine University, February 8, 1999. Visithttp://www.Infidels.org and http://www.WilliamLaneCraig.com ________________ Antony Flew on God and Atheism Published on Feb 11, 2013 Lee Strobel […]

Antony Flew interviewed by Benjamin Wiker and the two reasons Flew left atheism!!!

_______________________ Discussion (1 of 3): Antony Flew, N.T. Wright, and Gary Habermas Uploaded on Sep 22, 2010 A discussion with Antony Flew, N.T. Wright, and Gary Habermas. This was held at Westminster Chapel March, 2008 Debate – William Lane Craig vs Christopher Hitchens – Does God Exist? Uploaded on Jan 27, 2011 April 4, 2009 – Craig […]

Kyle Butt notes that Antony Flew left Atheism but fell short of making a profession of faith during his lifetime

_________________ Antony Flew – World’s Most Famous Atheist Accepts Existence of God Uploaded on Nov 28, 2008 Has Science Discovered God? A half-century ago, in 1955, Professor Antony Flew set the agenda for modern atheism with his Theology and Falsification, a paper presented in a debate with C.S. Lewis. This work became the most widely […]

Gary Habermas explains the reasons for Antony Flew’s change of mind

_____________   Antony Flew on God and Atheism Published on Feb 11, 2013 Lee Strobel interviews philosopher and scholar Antony Flew on his conversion from atheism to deism. Much of it has to do with intelligent design. Flew was considered one of the most influential and important thinker for atheism during his time before his […]

The finest article on Antony Flew’s long path from Atheism to Theism!!

___________________    This is the finest article yet I have read that traces Antony Flew’s long path from atheism to theism. How Anthony Flew – Flew to God Among the world’s atheists there was hardly any with the intellectual stature of Anthony Flew.  He was a contemporary with C.S. Lewis and has been a thorn in […]

Antony Flew incorrectly wrote that George Wald later abandoned atheism!!!

  Making Sense of Faith and Science Uploaded on May 16, 2008 Dr. H. Fritz Schaefer confronts the assertion that one cannot believe in God and be a credible scientist. He explains that the theistic world view of Bacon, Kepler, Pascal, Boyle, Newton, Faraday and Maxwell was instrumental in the rise of modern science itself. Presented […]

Antony Flew opened himself up to the possibility of accepting Christian teachings although never making a public profession of faith

Discussion (2 of 3): Antony Flew, N.T. Wright, and Gary Habermas ______________ Atheist Lawrence Krauss loses debate to wiser Christian Published on Sep 13, 2013 http://www.reasonablefaith.org More of this here The Bible and Science (Part 02) The Kalam Cosmological Argument (Scientific Evidence) (Henry Schaefer, PhD) Published on Jun 11, 2012 Scientist Dr. Henry “Fritz” Schaefer gives a lecture […]

Part of the reason Antony Flew left atheism can be found in this Paul Davies’ quote “Science can proceed only if the scientist adopts an essentially theological worldview!”

  Conversation with John Barrow Published on Jun 16, 2012 Templeton Prize 2006, Gifford Lectures 1988 British Academy, 1 June 2012 _______ Many Christians are involved in science and John D. Barrow is one of the leaders of science today. Here is his bio: John D Barrow John D. Barrow was born in London in […]

Antony Flew, “I was particularly impressed with Gerry Schroeder’s point-by-point refutation of what I call the MONKEY THEOREM” or the “the possibility of life arising by chance using the analogy of a multitude of monkeys banging away on computer keyboards and eventually ending up writing a Shakespearean sonnet!”

____________   Discussion (1 of 3): Antony Flew, N.T. Wright, and Gary Habermas Uploaded on Sep 22, 2010 A discussion with Antony Flew, N.T. Wright, and Gary Habermas. This was held at Westminster Chapel March, 2008 ___________   __________ Antony Flew, “I was particularly impressed with Gerry Schroeder’s point-by-point refutation of what I call the MONKEY […]