Tag Archives: H. J. Eysenck (1916-1997)

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 62 Dr.Yujin Nagasawa of Birmingham “…why we don’t live in this kind of environment where we are not tempted to perform morally wrong?”

 

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

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

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

Harry Kroto

_________________

Below you have picture of Dr. Harry Kroto:

3063098-4x3-700x525

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Yujin Nagasawa
 is Professor of Philosophy and Co-Director of the John Hick Centre for Philosophy of Religion at the University of Birmingham. He was educated as an undergraduate at the State University of New York at Stony Brook and received his PhD from the Australian National University (ANU) in 2004. From 2004 to 2005 he was Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Alberta, Canada and Research Fellow at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics (CAPPE) at ANU. He was awarded the Philosophical Quarterly Essay Prize in 2007, the John Templeton Award for Theological Promise in 2008, and the Excellence in Philosophy of Religion Prize in 2011.

 _____________________________

In  the third video below in the 1o3rd clip in this series are his words and  my response is below them. 

50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1)

Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2)

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

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Quote from Yujin Nagasawa:

They might say that heaven is different from earth because in heaven the environment is different so maybe people are not tempted to commit sin in heaven, but then you wonder why on earth is not like that, why we don’t live in this kind of environment where we are not tempted to perform morally wrong.

March 12, 2015

Professor Yujin Nagasawa,  ERI Building 147, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT, UK

Dear Dr.Nagasawa,

As you can tell from reading this letter I am an evangelical Christian and I have made it a hobby of mine to correspond with scientists or academics like yourself over the last 25 years. Some of those who corresponded back with me have been  Ernest Mayr (1904-2005), George Wald (1906-1997), Carl Sagan (1934-1996),  Robert Shapiro (1935-2011), Nicolaas Bloembergen (1920-),  Brian Charlesworth (1945-),  Francisco J. Ayala (1934-) Elliott Sober (1948-), Kevin Padian (1951-), Matt Cartmill (1943-) , Milton Fingerman (1928-), John J. Shea (1969-), , Michael A. Crawford (1938-), Paul Kurtz (1925-2012), Sol Gordon (1923-2008), Albert Ellis (1913-2007), Barbara Marie Tabler (1915-1996), Renate Vambery (1916-2005), Archie J. Bahm (1907-1996), Aron S “Gil” Martin ( 1910-1997), Matthew I. Spetter (1921-2012), H. J. Eysenck (1916-1997), Robert L. Erdmann (1929-2006), Mary Morain (1911-1999), Lloyd Morain (1917-2010),  Warren Allen Smith (1921-), Bette Chambers (1930-),  Gordon Stein (1941-1996) , Milton Friedman (1912-2006), John Hospers (1918-2011), Michael Martin (1932-), John R. Cole  (1942-),   Wolf Roder,  Susan Blackmore (1951-),  Christopher C. French (1956-)  Walter R. Rowe Thomas Gilovich (1954-), Paul QuinceyHarry Kroto (1939-), Marty E. Martin (1928-), Richard Rubenstein (1924-), James Terry McCollum (1936-), Edward O. WIlson (1929-), Lewis Wolpert (1929), Gerald Holton (1922-), Martin Rees (1942-), Alan Macfarlane (1941-),  Roald Hoffmann (1937-), Herbert Kroemer (1928-), Thomas H. Jukes (1906-1999), Glenn BranchGeoff Harcourt (1931-) and  Ray T. Cragun (1976-). I would consider it an honor to add you to this very distinguished list. 

I just finished reading the online addition of the book Darwin, Francis ed. 1892. Charles Darwin: his life told in an autobiographical chapter, and in a selected series of his published letters [abridged edition]. London: John Murray. There are several points that Charles Darwin makes in this book that were very wise, honest, logical, shocking and some that were not so wise. The Christian Philosopher Francis Schaeffer once said of Darwin’s writings, “Darwin in his autobiography and in his letters showed that all through his life he never really came to a quietness concerning the possibility that chance really explained the situation of the biological world. You will find there is much material on this [from Darwin] extended over many many years that constantly he was wrestling with this problem.”

Here is a quote I ran across from you recently:

They might say that heaven is different from earth because in heaven the environment is different so maybe people are not tempted to commit sin in heaven, but then you wonder why on earth is not like that, why we don’t live in this kind of environment where we are not tempted to perform morally wrong.

The problem of evil and suffering hit this world in a big way because of Adam and what happened in Genesis Chapter 3, and even though Adam and Eve were in a great environment they chose to rebel against God and fell morally and spiritually. Christians know that God can use all things for His glory and his purpose (Romans 8:28).

On February 15, 2015 at our church service at FELLOWSHIP BIBLE CHURCH in Little Rock, Arkansas, our teaching pastor Brandon Barnard told the story of my good friends Roger and Terrie Cheuvront  and the tragic death of their 19 year daughter Danaea on April 15, 2007 in a traffic accident. I was at the Funeral Home when the minister came in that very day, and I found the words of the pastor as a great comfort because we knew Danaea was in heaven. The sermon on 2-15-15 was about the time that Jesus wept at sight of his friend Lazarus’ tomb, and this 11th chapter of John had comforted Terrie Cheuvront because she knew that Jesus had felt the same pain that we have and he will eventually raise us too from the dead and her daughter Danaea is even now in heaven with Christ.

Rev Barnard actually read these words from Terri at our service: “God never intended us to experience sin and death, but sin brought about this consequence. I could be mad at death and all that it meant but the amazing thing was when I realized God’s plan then God took the anger and replaced it with His grace. It made me realize at a deeper level what God had truly done for me on the cross. He conquered sin and death for me. What amazing glorious hope he gives us. We live because He lives. Yes I am separated from my daughter now but there will be a glorious reunion.”

Let me make three points concerning the problem of evil and suffering. First, the problem of evil and suffering hit this world in a big way because of Adam and what happened in Genesis Chapter 3. Second, if there is no God then there is no way to distinguish good from evil and there will be no ultimate punishment for Hitler and Josef Mengele. (By the way Mengele never faced punishment and lived his long life out in peace.) Third. Christ came and suffered and will destroy all evil from this world eventually forever.

CHARLES DARWIN ALSO SPENT A LOT OF TIME TALKING ABOUT THIS ISSUE OF EVIL AND SUFFERING. When I read the book  Charles Darwin: his life told in an autobiographical chapter, and in a selected series of his published letters, I also read  a commentary on it by Francis Schaeffer and I wanted to both  quote some of Charles Darwin’s own words to you and then include the comments of Francis Schaeffer on those words. I have also enclosed a CD with two messages from Adrian Rogers and Bill Elliff concerning Darwinism.

Darwin, C. R. to Doedes, N. D.2 Apr 1873

“I am sure you will excuse my writing at length, when I tell you that I have long been much out of health, and am now staying away from my home for rest. It is impossible to answer your question briefly; and I am not sure that I could do so, even if I wrote at some length. But I may say that the impossibility of conceiving that this grand and wondrous universe, with our conscious selves, arose through chance, seems to me the chief argument for the existence of God; but whether this is an argument of real value, I have never been able to decide…....Nor can I overlook the difficulty from the immense amount of suffering through the world.”

Francis Schaeffer observed:

This of course is a valid problem. The only answer to the problem of evil is the biblical answer of the fall. Darwin has a problem because he never had a high view of revelation, so he doesn’t have the answer any more than the liberal theologian has the answer. If you don’t have a space-time fall then you don’t have an answer to suffering. If you have a very, very significant man at the beginning, Darwin did not have that, but if you had a very significant, wonderful man at the beginning and can change history then the fall is the possible answer that can be given to Darwin’s 2nd argument.

The passages which here follow are extracts, somewhat abbreviated, from a part of the Autobiography, written in 1876, in which my father gives the history of his religious views:—

But passing over the endless beautiful adaptations which we everywhere meet with, it may be asked how can the generally beneficent arrangement of the world be accounted for? Some writers indeed are so much impressed with the amount of suffering in the world, that they doubt, if we look to all sentient beings, whether there is more of misery or of happiness; whether the world as a whole is a good or a bad one. According to my judgment happiness decidedly prevails, though this would be very difficult to prove.”

Francis Schaeffer commented:

We come now to a funny situation where Darwin is arguing there is more happiness than sorry in the world. In this I think he is right. What he is saying if you could have a balance of 51% of happiness then it would open the door to thinking God is good, but I would never argue this way because it is not 51% of happiness versus 49% of unhappiness in the universe but how could a good God make unhappiness at all. The answer is in the [space time fall in Genesis].

Darwin continued:

“If the truth of this conclusion be granted, it harmonizes well with the effects which we might expect from natural selection. If all the individuals of any species were habitually to suffer to an extreme degree, they would neglect to propagate their kind; but we have no reason to believe that this has ever, or at least often occurred. Some other considerations, moreover, lead to the belief that all sentient begins have been formed so as to enjoy, as a general rule, happiness. Every one who believes, as I do, that all the corporeal and mental organs (excepting those which are neither advantageous nor disadvantageous to the possessor) of all beings have been developed through natural selection, or the survival of the fittest, together with use or habit, will admit that these organs have been formed so that their possessors may compete successfully with other beings, and thus increase in number.”

Francis Schaeffer noted:

What he is saying here is that from his own view he needs to hold that suffering is less than happiness otherwise what would drive the creatures on toward natural selection. The Christian of course does not have this problem. The Christian says everything is in agony because the whole has been thrown out of joint and there has been an reordering of the universe because of the fall. We don’t have to find such a balance as he was grappling with here.

From Darwin’s section on religion:

“The sum of such pleasures as these, which are habitual or frequently recurrent, give, as I can hardly doubt, to most sentient beings an excess of happiness over misery, although many occasionally suffer much. Such suffering is quite compatible with the belief in Natural Selection, which is not perfect in its action, but tends only to render each species as successful as possible in the battle for life with other species, in wonderfully complex and changing circumstances.  That there is much suffering in the world no one disputes. Some have attempted to explain this with reference to man by imagining that it serves for his moral improvement. But the number of men in the world is as nothing compared with that of all other sentient beings, and they often suffer greatly without any moral improvement. This very old argument from the existence of suffering against the existence of an intelligent First Cause seems to me a strong one; whereas, as just remarked, the presence of much suffering agrees well with the view that all organic beings have been developed through variation and natural selection.”

Francis Schaeffer :

He has to argue this otherwise what drove the creatures on. He has to have a 51% or 52% happiness. Then he says what does this do to God. We would answer if there is no space time fall it makes God if He exists the devil, on the other hand with a space time fall you have another answer.

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Here is a portion of the text from the CD I sent you today on DARWINISM from Adrian Rogers:

I was in Israel, I was a guest, there, of the Israeli government. They gave me the best guide that they had in Israel. And, that man in Israel—I’ll not call his name, because, thank God, I believe he listens to this program; and, I’m grateful he does, because I’m still trying to witness to him—but this man—a brilliant man, the curator of the Rockefeller Museum there—became a friend. We sat up, one night, late, talking. I said, “Sir, do you believe in God?” He said, “No, I do not.” I said, “Why don’t you believe—why don’t you believe—in God?” He said, “The Holocaust. What kind of a God would allow that to happen?” That deals with the message I preached this morning.

Because of the Holocaust. I said, “Then Hitler has caused you not to believe in God?” He said, “Yes, I detest Hitler.” I said, “Well, you’re on the same side as Hitler. Hitler didn’t believe in God, as such; you don’t believe in God. Hitler believed in evolution; you believe in evolution. Evolution is the survival of the fittest; you believe in the survival of the fittest. And, Hitler had his gas ovens, because he thought that the Aryan race was superior to your people, sir. You’ve become very much like the thing that you fight.” It’s only a short step from believing in evolution to the gas ovens, or whatever.

You see, folks, if there is no God, you can choose what you want. I said to this man, “Sir, if you don’t believe in God, then let me give you a proposition: If there’s a sick baby and a healthy dog, which one would you choose?” In a moment of honesty, he said, “If it were my dog, I would choose the dog.” Let the baby die; let the dog live—why? There’s no God, no creation. Man is not distinct from the animals. All we are is an animal with a thumb juxtaposed to five fingers, with a knee that causes him to stand upright, with the ability to articulate and to think abstractly. If that’s all the difference there is, I submit to you, the man was right. And, who can say what is right, or who can say what is wrong?

Therefore, I reject—I reject—evolution on the moral basis. And, I want to tell you, folks, the battle lines are being drawn today. Over what? Euthanasia. Over what? Genetic engineering. Over what? Abortion. Over what? A basic sense of right or wrong. Now, if evolution is true, then all of these things are up for grabs. We have morality by majority—whatever a person wishes to believe or think. Self-autonomous man wants to have it his way.

I reject evolution for moral reasons—for moral reasons. Now, there were two atheists, who lived in the time of Darwin, who believed Darwin’s teaching and locked onto it. One was a man named Nietzsche, and the other was a man named Karl Marx. From Nietzsche we got Nazism. Hitler was a student of Nietzsche, who was a student of Charles Darwin. The other was Karl Marx. Karl Marx was the father of Communism—also a student of Darwin. And, you see, it’s easy to understand, if there is no God, how something like Communism, which is based on Godlessness, and Nazism, which is based on raw brutality, could come. People talk about all those who’ve died in religious wars—and many have, and that’s tragic. But, I want to say that far more—multiplied many more; millions, and millions, and multiplied millions—have died—not because of religion, but because of anti-godly evolution.

You think of those who were destroyed by Nazi Germany. Think of the gas camps. Think of the multiplied millions that were put to death under Stalin and the others, the atrocity of Communism. Well, why that? Why these immoral things? Well, if you believe that you came from animals, if you believe that everything is an accident, ultimately, there can be no standard of right or wrong. You teach people that they’ve come from animals; and, after a while, they’ll begin to live like animals. It follows as night follows day. What do animals live for? Self-gratification, self-preservation, self-propagation. And, that’s what the average American is living for.

Peter Singer, who is an ethicist—so-called—at Princeton, believes that we ought to be able to kill little babies, if we don’t like them, if they’re not perfect enough for us. Now, I’m not talking about babies in the womb; I’m talking about pure infanticide. He believes that a live chimpanzee is of more value, if that chimpanzee is healthy, than an unhealthy baby.

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FINALLY WE MUST ADMIT IF WE WERE NOT CREATED BY GOD THEN WE HAVE NO HOPE FOR OUR ETERNAL FUTURES.  I sent you a CD that starts off with the song DUST IN THE WIND by Kerry Livgren of the group KANSAS which was a hit song in 1978 when it rose to #6 on the charts because so many people connected with the message of the song. It included these words, “All we do, crumbles to the ground though we refuse to see, Dust in the Wind, All we are is dust in the wind, Don’t hang on, Nothing lasts forever but the Earth and Sky, It slips away, And all your money won’t another minute buy.”

Kerry Livgren himself said that he wrote the song because he saw where man was without a personal God in the picture. Solomon pointed out in the Book of Ecclesiastes that those who believe that God doesn’t exist must accept three things. FIRST, death is the end and SECOND, chance and time are the only guiding forces in this life.  FINALLY, power reigns in this life and the scales are never balanced. The Christian can  face death and also confront the world knowing that it is not determined by chance and time alone and finally there is a judge who will balance the scales.

Both Kerry Livgren and the bass player Dave Hope of Kansas became Christians eventually. Kerry Livgren first tried Eastern Religions and Dave Hope had to come out of a heavy drug addiction. I was shocked and elated to see their personal testimony on The 700 Club in 1981 and that same  interview can be seen on You Tube today. Livgren lives in Topeka, Kansas today where he teaches “Diggers,” a Sunday school class at Topeka Bible ChurchDAVE HOPE is the head of Worship, Evangelism and Outreach at Immanuel Anglican Church in Destin, Florida.

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

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

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

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.

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

(part 1 ten minutes)

(part 2 ten minutes)

Kansas – Dust in the Wind (Official Video)

Uploaded on Nov 7, 2009

Pre-Order Miracles Out of Nowhere now at http://www.miraclesoutofnowhere.com

About the film:
In 1973, six guys in a local band from America’s heartland began a journey that surpassed even their own wildest expectations, by achieving worldwide superstardom… watch the story unfold as the incredible story of the band KANSAS is told for the first time in the DVD Miracles Out of Nowhere.

_____________________________

Adrian Rogers on Darwinism

Related posts:

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The John Lennon and the Beatles really were on a long search for meaning and fulfillment in their lives  just like King Solomon did in the Book of Ecclesiastes. Solomon looked into learning (1:12-18, 2:12-17), laughter, ladies, luxuries, and liquor (2:1-2, 8, 10, 11), and labor (2:4-6, 18-20). He fount that without God in the picture all […]

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RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 60 Dr. Peter Millican of Oxford on the PROBLEM OF EVIL

 

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

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

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

Harry Kroto

_________________

Below you have picture of Dr. Harry Kroto:

____________

Debate – Does God Exist? William Lane Craig vs Peter Millican (Birmingham University, October 2011)

Peter Millican

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Peter Millican

Peter Millican (born 1 March 1958) is Gilbert Ryle Fellow and Professor of Philosophy at Hertford College, University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. His primary interests include the philosophy of David Hume, philosophy of religion, philosophy of language, epistemology, and moral philosophy. Millican is particularly well known for his work on David Hume, and from 2005 until 2010 was co-editor of the journal Hume Studies. He is also anInternational Correspondence Chess Grandmaster, and has a strong interest in the field of Computing and its links with Philosophy. Recently he has developed a new degree programme at Oxford University, in Computer Science and philosophy, which accepted its first students in 2012.[1]

Education[edit]

Peter Millican attended Borden Grammar School in Kent, United Kingdom. He read Mathematics and then Philosophy and Theology at Lincoln College, Oxford from 1976–1980. Staying at Lincoln College, Millican took the Philosophy B.Phil in 1982 (with a thesis in Philosophical Logic). Millican later obtained his PhD with a thesis on Hume, Induction and Probability, and also a research MSc in Computer Science, while employed at Leeds.[2]

Academic career[edit]

After teaching at the University of Glasgow from 1983, Millican was appointed in 1985 to a permanent Lectureship at Leeds University, teaching both Computing and Philosophy. After 20 years at Leeds, in 2005 Millican was appointed as Gilbert Ryle Fellow in Philosophy at Hertford College, Oxford, promoted to Reader in Early Modern Philosophy in 2007, and Professor of Philosophy in 2010.[2] In 2009, he was appointed as the first “David Hume Illumni Fellow” at Edinburgh University, a visiting position that he occupied during 2010–11.[3]

Research[edit]

Millican is best known for his research on David Hume, notably on the development of Hume’s philosophy, and on the interpretation of his writings on induction and causation. In a 1995 paper,[4] Millican gave a detailed analysis of Hume’s famous argument concerning induction, aiming to reconcile its apparent sceptical thrust with Hume’s clear endorsement of inductive science: the previous interpretations that he was attacking had either condemned Hume as an inconsistent sceptic, or denied the scepticism entirely. His 2002 collection included a paper refining his analysis, and arguing against recent revisionary non-sceptical interpretations (particularly those proposed by Don Garrett and David Owen)—this debate is still ongoing in his 2012 paper. The collection also emphasised the distinctive importance of Hume’s work in the 1748 Enquiry,[5] with the controversial implication that the Enquiry, rather than the Treatise, should be taken as presenting Hume’s definitive perspective on the main topics that it covers.

More recently, Millican has published a series of substantial papers with the aim of deciding the so-called “New Hume” debate, which has been the most prominent controversy in Hume scholarship over the last 20 years (“New Humeans” take Hume to be a believer in a form of causation that goes beyond the constraints of his famous “two definitions of cause”). The first of these appeared in a 2007 collection on the debate,[6] the second in the July 2009 issue of Mind, and the third (responding to replies) in a 2010 collection on causation.[7] The Mind paper concludes that “the New Hume interpretation is not just wrong in detail—failing in the many ways documented above—but fundamentally misrepresents the basis, core, point and spirit of Hume’s philosophy of causation”.[8] A reviewer of the third paper judges that “Millican convincingly argues that none of his opponents’ attempts to

is plausible. I am not alone in thinking the New Hume debate has run its course; as Millican says at the end of his essay, ‘it is time to call it a day’ (p. 158).”

Much of Millican’s other research, while not itself historical, has focused on Humean topics such as induction, probability, and philosophy of religion, but also on philosophy of language. His most significant non-Humean papers are on the logic of definite descriptions (1990), the morality of abortion (1992), and Anselm’s Ontological Argument (2004).”.[9]

Philosophy and computing[edit]

As an educator, Millican’s most distinctive contributions have been on the interface between Computing and philosophy, devoting most of his career at Leeds to developing the teaching of Computer Science and programming to students in the Humanities.[2] More recently, he has championed a new degree in Computer Science and Philosophy at Oxford University (see Degrees of the University of Oxford), which started in 2012. To encourage students in the Humanities to get involved in Computing, Millican developed a number of user-friendly software teaching systems.

Barack Obama autobiography[edit]

In 2008 and 2009, some Republican commentators advanced claims that US President Barack Obama‘s autobiography, Dreams from My Father was written or ghost-written by Bill Ayers. In a series of articles in American Thinker and WorldNetDaily, authorJack Cashill claimed that his own analysis of the book showed Ayers’ writing style, and backed this up citing analyses by American researchers using Millican’s Signature software. In late October 2008, shortly before the US Presidential election, US Congressman Chris Cannon and his brother-in-law attempted to hire Millican to prove Ayers’ authorship using computer analysis. Millican refused after they would not assure him in advance that his results would be published regardless of the outcome.[10][11][12][13] After some analysis Millican later criticised the claim, saying variously that he had “found no evidence for Cashill’s ghostwriting hypothesis”, that it was “unlikely”[14] and that he felt “totally confident that it is false”.[12]

Chess career[edit]

Millican played chess over-the-board in his youth, and captained Oxford University to victory in the National Chess Club Championship in 1983.[15] He later turned to correspondence chess, becoming British Champion in 1990.[16] This brought him the British Master title, and he then became an International Master in 1993 by winning his Semi-final group in the 19th World Correspondence Championship. With an international rating of 2610 (ranked 31 in the world), Millican was invited to play in the NPSF-50 “super tournament” (the first-ever Category 15 tournament, with an average rating over 2600).[17] By coming fifth—after Ulf Andersson, Gert Jan Timmerman, Joop van Oosterom, and Hans-Marcus Elwert, Millican qualified in 1997 as anInternational Correspondence Chess Grandmaster.[18] He analysed the Double Muzio chess opening in detail, asserting equality.[19]

_____________________________________________

In  the third video below in the 105th clip in this series are his words and  my response is below them. 

50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1)

Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2)

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

Quote from Peter Millican:

“If God is an omnipotent omniscient agent he can do what he likes. Okay, so what kind of world world would you expect Him to create/ What is the kind of evidence that would indicate that one kind of divine being is at work rather than another? Well its the goodness. That is the crucial thing. The problem of evil shouldn’t be called the problem of evil, but the problem of the empirical evidence. The world doesn’t match up to what you would expect from a perfect God.”

Below is my response to Dr. Millican: 

October 9, 2015

Dr. Peter Millican, c/o Faculty of Philosophy, Radcliffe Humanities,

Dear Dr. Millican,

I really enjoyed your debate with William Craig and I noticed you make this assertion in that debate:

“If God is an omnipotent omniscient agent he can do what he likes. Okay, so what kind of world world would you expect Him to create/ What is the kind of evidence that would indicate that one kind of divine being is at work rather than another? Well its the goodness. That is the crucial thing. The problem of evil shouldn’t be called the problem of evil, but the problem of the empirical evidence. The world doesn’t match up to what you would expect from a perfect God.”

How can a good God allow evil and suffering?

Their thinking is that either God is not powerful enough to prevent evil or else God is not good. He is often blamed for tragedy. “Where was God when I went through this, or when that happened.”  God is blamed for natural disasters, Even my insurance company describes them as “acts of God.” How to handle this one-  (O.N.E.)
a. Origin of evil— man’s choice- God created a perfect world…
b. Nature of God—He forgives, I John 1:9—He uses tragedy to bring us to Himself, C.S. Lewis, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains:  it is His megaphone to arouse a deaf world.”
c. End of it all—Bible teaches that God will one day put an end to all evil, and pain and death. “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying.  There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Rev. 21:4).As Christians we have this hope of Heaven and eternity. Share how it has made a tremendous difference in your life and that you know for sure that when you die you are going to spend eternity in Heaven. Ask the person, “May I ask you a question? Do you have this hope? Do you know for certain that when you die you are going to Heaven, or is that something you would say you’re still working on?”How could a loving God send people to Hell?
(O.N.E.)
a. Origin of hell—never intended for people. Created for Satan and his demons. Jesus said, “Depart from Me, you cursed, into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matt 25:41). Man chooses to sin and ignore God. The penalty is death (eternal separation from God) and, yes, Hell. But God doesn’t send anyone to Hell, we choose it by refusing or ignoring God in attitude and action. b. Nature of God—“ God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). He is so loving that He sent His own Son to die and pay the penalty for our sin so that we could avoid Hell and have the assurance of Heaven. No one in Hell will be able to blame God. He doesn’t send people there, it’s our own choice. We must choose to repent, to stop ignoring God in attitude and action, accepting His salvation and yielding to His leadership.c. End of it all—Bible teaches that God will one day put an end to all evil, pain, death, and penalty of Hell. “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying.  There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Rev. 21:4).As Christians , we need not worry about Hell. The Bible says, “these things have been written . . . so that you may know you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13).  I have complete confidence that when I die, I’m going to Heaven.  

_________________________________________

In his article “A Conversation with an Atheist,” Rick Wade notes:

The problem of evil is a significant moral issue in the atheist’s arsenal. We talk about a God of goodness, but what we see around us is suffering, and a lot of it apparently unjustifiable. Stephanie said, “Disbelief in a personal, loving God as an explanation of the way the world works is reasonable–especially when one considers natural disasters that can’t be blamed on free will and sin.”{17}

One response to the problem of evil is that God sees our freedom to choose as a higher value than protecting people from harm; this is the freewill defense. Stephanie said, however, that natural disasters can’t be blamed on free will and sin. What about this? Is it true that natural disasters can’t be blamed on sin? I replied that they did come into existence because of sin (Genesis 3). We’re told in Romans 8 that creation will one day “be set free from its slavery to corruption,” that it “groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.” The Fall caused the problem, and, in the consummation of the ages, the problem will be fixed.

Second, I noted that on a naturalistic basis, it’s hard to even know what evil is. But the reality of God explains it. As theologian Henri Blocher said,

The sense of evil requires the God of the Bible. In a novel by Joseph Heller, “While rejecting belief in God, the characters in the story find themselves compelled to postulate his existence in order to have an adequate object for their moral indignation.” . . . When you raise this standard objection against God, to whom do you say it, other than this God? Without this God who is sovereign and good, what is the rationale of our complaints? Can we even tell what is evil? Perhaps the late John Lennon understood: “God is a concept by which we measure our pain,” he sang. Might we be coming to the point where the sense of evil is a proof of the existence of God?{18}

So,… if there is no God, there really is no problem of evil. Does the atheist ever find herself shaking her fist at the sky after some catastrophe and demanding an explanation? If there is no God, no one is listening.

________________________________________

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

ARGUMENTS FOR GOD

William Lane Craig vs. Peter Millican- Thoughts and Links

Theistic philosopher of religion William Lane Craig recently debated Atheistic Philosopher Peter Millican on the topic “Does God exist?” I daresay this was one of the most interesting debates I’ve heard. Millican came in with a clear strategy, and the debate covered an extreme range of topics. The friendly nature of the debate was also quite rewarding to hear. Clearly, we can have such discussions without attacking each other. Anyway, to the outline and analysis.

Craig Opening

Craig began by outlining the topic: Does God exist? The topic can be answered as yes or no. Craig argued for the former, and left the latter to Millican.

First, he argued philosophically against an infinite past. This argument would become quite important throughout the debate so I’ll outline it briefly. If we had an infinite number of coins, each with a number upon them, and took away ten, the number of coins would still be infinite. If we took away all the even coins, we’d have subtracted an infinite number of coins, and still, there would be an infinite number of coins. If, however, we subtracted all the coins above 3, we’d have subtracted infinite from infinite, and be left with 3 coins, not infinite coins. Craig argued that this is obviously a contradiction because despite subtracting the same amount (or different amounts) we can come up with two different answers (or the same answer). Therefore the past cannot be infinite.

Craig also argued scientifically that the universe began by bringing up the Borde, Guth, and Vilenkin theory which shows that irregardless of theories about the multiverse, bubble universes, and the like, the universe had a beginning.

He then presented the Kalam cosmological argument, though with a slight twist. He instead presented it as “The universe began to exist; if the universe began to exist, then it has a transcendent cause; therefore, the universe has a transcendent cause.”

He then argued the fine-tuning argument. There are a number of conditions of the universe which have been fine-tuned within a narrow range for the existence of life. Because of this, argued Craig, we can conclude the universe was designed.

Objective morality also necessitates the existence of God, argued Craig. The argument was based upon two major conditions: that objective morals exist, and that they cannot if there is no God. He quoted atheist philosopher Michael Ruse who said (in part): “morality is just an aid to survival” on naturalism.

Yet our moral experience leads us to believe that morality is indeed objective, and we know that, on naturalism, there is no ontological basis for morals. Thus, God exists.

Three facts must be explained by those who argue Jesus did not rise from the dead, and any theory must answer all of them: 1) the empty tomb; 2) on different occasions and settings to different people, Jesus appeared alive; 3) disciples showed a sudden belief that Jesus had risen, despite every predisposition to the contrary.

Craig noted that these three facts are agreed upon by New Testament scholars–both theists and non.

Finally, Craig argued for the experiential awareness of God.

Millican Opening

Millican used a different strategy here. Rather than immediately rebutting Craig’s arguments, as most have done in debates with Craig (although, notably, Stephen Law did not either in his debate with Craig), Millican argued against the method used first.

Christianity, he stated, is a hypothesis about reality. It makes a claim about what reality is. Therefore, the burden of proof lands squarely upon the theist.

He argued that people are primed for belief in gods. They have a “permiscuous teleology” which seeks for design. Furthermore, the dominant determinant of religious orientation is place of birth.

Before one could accuse Millican of the genetic fallacy (I actually wrote this on the side of my notes), he stated that he was not arguing these disprove God. Rather, he argued that if a method leads to variant beliefs, then it should discredit the method.

He then turned to rebutting Craig’s arguments. He said that quantum mechanics has shown that particles can come into existence out of nothing (note that he did indeed use the word “nothing” here). He furthermore argued that in our experience, we only see physical things being rearranged, not coming into existence ex nihilo. He argued that our experience must establish these truths.

He also cited Vilenkin, in a letter, stating that his theorem did not show the universe had a beginning.

Regarding the moral argument, he asked “what is objective?” He said that based upon how one defines this, one could have different answers about objective morality.

Craig First Rebuttal

Craig noted that Millican’s attempt to put all burden of proof on the theist didn’t work, because they also make a claim about reality: “There is no God.” This claim needs support as well, and Millican did not support it.

Regarding Millican’s claim about method, Craig responded that his method is logic, evidence, and personal experience–the same things which the scientific method relies upon. Thus, if the method yields God’s existence, it is not to be distrusted but embraced by those who value the latter method.

Not only that, but Millican’s argument seemed to suggest that religions all used the same methodology in reaching their truth claims, which is highly contentious and definitely untrue. Religions use a broad array of methods in how they discover truth.

Craig argued that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Only if we should expect more proof than there is should we be in doubt of the existence of something due to absence of evidence. Furthermore, argued Craig, he presented a great wealth of evidence already.

Craig then quoted Vilenkin’s letter in context. Vilenkin wrote that the beginning could be avoided only if one allowed for a contracting universe, but that this was highly unlikely and would have prevented the expansion of the universe. Thus, Vilenkin said, if he were to give a short answer to the question “Does your theory imply the beginning of the universe?” the answer would be yes. I should note that Millican dropped Vilenkin faster than Dawkins runs from Craig after this quote was read.

Craig then argued that the unembodied mind is hinted at our own experience. Furthermore, epiphenominalism simply cannot ground reality as we experience it.

Finally, regarding the moral argument, Craig asked why we should value humans and not chimps.

Millican First Rebuttal

Millican responded to the fine-tuning argument by saying that perhaps we may explain these evidences later. Further, we can’t base it all upon current physics, which may change. He also argued that there is difficulty with using the probability argument because our only sample is our current universe. God, argued Millican, would have been greatly inefficient if he made the universe as he did.

He briefly touched on the evil god thesis (as seen in the Law debate) and argued that the evidences could work for an evil deity.

Millican also suggested we should expect more evidence–why can’t there be more evidence for the existence of God?

Regarding the philosophical argument about the beginning of the universe, Millican noted that transfinite math does not allow for subtraction or addition because it yields diverse answers. Thus, he stated, Craig’s argument is confused.

He also conceded that the quantum vaccuum is not nothing, which was interesting considering he had literally used that word for it in his opening statement. He pressed his point, however, by stating that it is the closest we can come to nothing in our experience.

Unfortunately, Millican ran short on time and couldn’t respond to all Craig’s points.

Craig Second Rebuttal

Craig argued there are still no good reasons to support the contention “there is no God.” Furthermore, Millican’s response to the “absence of evidence” argument was just a personal opinion: ‘I think there should be more.’

God’s ‘inefficiency’ presupposes a God-as-engineer, argued Craig. One would have to be limited on time or resources in order to be compelled towards efficiency–limits God obviously does not have. God might be better compared to an artist or chef–enjoying the creation and beauty as he designed the universe.

The philosophical argument about infinites is problematic for Millican, argued Craig. The reason is because while we can slap the hand of a mathematician who tries to do so with abstract math, we can’t do the same thing in real life. If we literally had infinite coins, we couldn’t prevent someone from taking one away, and leading to the absurdities. In fact, Millican essentially demonstrated the point: such things are excluded in transfinite math because they are absurd, and so can’t happen in the real world.

Millican’s argument that the fine-tuning argument depends only on current physics illustrates Craig’s point exactly, countered Craig. Namely, that current physics supports the existence of God.

Millican Second Rebuttal

Millican argued that it doesn’t follow that if epiphenominalism is false, dualism is true. I think it’s really unfortunate the debate was so short–it would be interesting to see their views on this matter face off. He argued statistically that there are many moral realists who are not theists.

Why shouldn’t an atheist believe in objective moral values? asked Millican. There’s no good reason they can’t detect them and experience them. Further, we can value humans because they’re rational, and the same species.

Finally, he argued that scholars like Bart Ehrman had undermined the evidence for the resurrection by showing that the Gospels weren’t independent and unreliable.

Craig Conclusion

Craig noted there still was no good argument for atheism and that he’d presented good arguments for theism.

Bart Ehrman and the others Millican cited actually agree with the three facts Craig used to support the resurrection, so there was still no counter to that argument.

Craig noted that rationality doesn’t serve as an objective cut off point for morals. Sam Harris argued that sentience is. On atheism, argued Craig, there is no non-arbitrary line at which to base morality. Why should we value rationality? Why value humans more than chimps? Again, the line is arbitrary. The fact that many atheistic philosophers believe in realism of morality doesn’t show that it has grounds ontologically in atheism.

Millican Conclusion

Millican said there are many theories of how objective reality can be established on atheism.

He argued that physics may change and so we can’t base the existence of God upon current physics.

Finally, regarding evil, Millican said that our empirical evidence should lead us to doubt whether God exists. What should we see if there is a God? Certainly not this much suffering.

[Millican also argued throughout that there is no experiential evidence for things coming into being out of nothing, so that the causal premise of the Kalam is undermined. I forgot to write down where he started this argument, but wanted to make note of it here.]

Analysis

The debate was great. There were so many topics covered, it was a whirlwind.

Millican’s refutations of the Kalam were dramatically undercut by Craig. His citation of Vilenkin was just utterly demolished when Craig read the rest of the passage. His arguments about how we can’t add or subtract from infinity merely demonstrated Craig’s point: that it is absurd to suppose actual infinites exist. Regarding the causal premise, Craig argued in the debate that Millican would have to hold there was no essential or material cause for the universe, an argument to which Millican never had a response. To be fair, this may have been due to time.

I thought Millican’s response the fine-tuning argument was quite strange. Certainly, physics may change, but that doesn’t mean we can’t trust what we know now. As Craig argued, physicists today are quite convinced of the trustworthiness of physics. Further, Craig responded to the probabilistic argument by showing that we do indeed know the probability–despite the sample size. There is simply a life-permitting range for the values cited, so we can be justified in holding the fine-tuning argument to be true.

The moral argument was another point of contention. I don’t think Millican really undermined it. He merely referenced that atheists think they can have objective moral values, and questioned the meaning of the word “objective.” Interestingly, in the Q&A, Craig responded to Millican’s confusion: “That’s why I defined it.”

The resurrection definitely didn’t get defeated. Millican’s deferment to Ehrman and the like actually justified Craig’s 3 facts approach, because the scholars he cited affirmed the three facts.

Overall, I think Millican did much better than Law and definitely better than Harris or Krauss in those debates which I reviewed. That said, Craig still established the existence of God–at least as best can be done in under an hour to speak. Millican’s objections were interesting, but ultimately defeated by Craig. I think it’s fair to say that this debate showed, once more, that in the forum of rational inquiry, theism has an upper hand.

Links

Check out the audio of the debate at Apologetics 315. Also see their awesome feed which features tons of Craig’s debates.

See Wintery Knight’s summary of the debate.

SDG.

——

How Atheists Take Alexander Vilenkin (& the BVG Theorem) Out Of Context – William Lane Craig

Uploaded on Dec 28, 2011

http://reasonablefaith.org – It seems that some atheists are doing everything they can to prove the universe had NO beginning – even if it means taking someone out of context! The Borde-Guth-Vilenkin Theorem has proven the universe had a beginning NO MATTER WHAT KIND OF SCIENTIFIC MODEL ONE PROPOSES (which include oscillating models, multiverses, etc.). In an effort to scramble for a refutation, atheists (like Peter Millican) have claimed that Alexander Vilenkin (a co-author of the BVG Theorem) himself said there is a way to undermine his theorem. William Lane Craig has shown that Peter Millican actually took Vilenkin out of context. Furthermore, Alan Guth (another co-author of the BVG Theorem) said that there is an actual and unique beginning to the universe.

The BVG Theorem:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ub6vKr…
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1yxqrB…

The BVG Theorem and Quantum Tunneling:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qn1pab…

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_________________

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The Great Debate – Can Science Tell Us Right From Wrong? (FULL)

Patricia Churchland

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Patricia Smith Churchland
Patricia Churchland at STEP 2005 a.jpg
Born July 16, 1943 (age 72)
Oliver, British Columbia, Canada
Era 21st-century philosophy
Region Western Philosophy
School Analytic Philosophy
Main interests
Neurophilosophy
Philosophy of mind
Philosophy of science
Medical and environmental ethics
Notable ideas
Neurophilosophy, Eliminative Materialism

Patricia Smith Churchland (born July 16, 1943) is a Canadian-American philosopher noted for her contributions to neurophilosophy and the philosophy of mind. She is UC President’s Professor of Philosophy Emerita at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), where she has taught since 1984. She has also held an adjunct professorship at theSalk Institute for Biological Studies since 1989.[1] In 2015, she was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.[2] Educated at the University of British Columbia, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Oxford, she taught philosophy at the University of Manitoba from 1969 to 1984 and is married to the philosopher Paul Churchland.[3] The New Yorker magazine observed regarding the philosophical couple that, “Their work is so similar that they are sometimes discussed, in journals and books, as one person.”.[4]

Biography[edit]

Early life and education[edit]

Churchland was born Patricia Smith in Oliver, British Columbia,[citation needed] and raised on a farm in the South Okanagan valley.[5][6] Both of her parents lacked a high-school education; her father and mother left school after grades 6 and 8 respectively. Her mother was a nurse and her father worked in newspaper publishing in addition to running the family farm. In spite of their limited education, Churchland has described her parents as interested in the sciences, and the worldview they instilled in her as a secular one. She has also described her parents as eager for her to attend college, and though many farmers in their community thought this “hilarious and a grotesque waste of money”, they saw to it that she did so.[6] She took her undergraduate degree at the University of British Columbia, graduating with honors in 1965.[3] She received a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship to study at the University of Pittsburgh, where she took an M.A. in 1966.[3][7] Thereafter she studied at Oxford University as a British Council and Canada Council Fellow, obtaining a B. Phil in 1969.[3]

Academic career[edit]

Churchland’s first academic appointment was at the University of Manitoba, where she was an assistant professor from 1969 to 1977, an associate professor from 1977 to 1982, and promoted to a full professorship in 1983.[3] It was here that she began to make a formal study of neuroscience with the help and encouragement of Larry Jordan, a professor with a lab in the Department of Physiology there.[5][6][8] From 1982-1983 she was a Visiting Member in Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.[9] In 1984, she was invited to take up a professorship in the department of philosophy at UCSD, and relocated there with her husband Paul, where both have remained since.[10] Since 1989, she has also held an adjunct professorship at the Salk Institute adjacent to UCSD’s campus, where she became acquainted with Jonas Salk[1][5] whose name the Institute bears. Describing Salk, Churchland has said that he “liked the idea of neurophilosophy, and he gave me a tremendous amount of encouragement at a time when many other people thought that we were, frankly, out to lunch.”[6] Another important supporter Churchland found at the Salk Institute was Francis Crick.[5][6] At the Salk Institute, Churchland has worked with Terrence Sejnowski‘s lab as a research collaborator.[11] Her collaboration with Sejnowski culminated in a book, The Computational Brain (MIT Press, 1993), co-authored with Sejnowski. Churchland was named the UC President’s Professor of Philosophy in 1999, and served as Chair of the Philosophy Department at UCSD from 2000-2007.[3]

She attended and was a speaker at the secularist Beyond Belief symposia in 2006, 2007, and 2008.[12][13][14]

Personal life[edit]

Churchland first met her husband, the philosopher Paul Churchland, while they were both enrolled in a class on Plato at the University of Pittsburgh,[6] and they were married after she completed her B.phil at Oxford University.[5] Their children are Mark M. Churchland (born 1972) and Anne K. Churchland (born 1974), both of whom are neuroscientists.[15][16]

Philosophy[edit]

Churchland has focused on the interface between neuroscience and philosophy. According to her, philosophers are increasingly realizing that to understand the mind one must understand the brain. She is associated with a school of thought called eliminative materialism, which argues that commonsense, immediately intuitive, or “folk psychological” concepts such as thought, free will, and consciousness will likely need to be revised in a physically reductionistic way as neuroscientists discover more about the nature of brain function.[17] 2014 saw a brief exchange of views on these topics with Colin McGinn in the pages of the New York Review Of Books.[18]

Awards and honors[edit]

Works[edit]

As sole author[edit]

  • _____________

Pat Churchland on celebrating secularly!

In  the second video below in the 80th clip in this series are her words and  my response is below them. 

50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1)

Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2)

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

I grew up at Bellevue Baptist Church under the leadership of our pastor Adrian Rogers and I read many books by the Evangelical Philosopher Francis Schaeffer and have had the opportunity to contact many of the evolutionists or humanistic academics that they have mentioned in their works. Many of these scholars have taken the time to respond back to me in the last 20 years and some of the names  included are  Ernest Mayr (1904-2005), George Wald (1906-1997), Carl Sagan (1934-1996),  Robert Shapiro (1935-2011), Nicolaas Bloembergen (1920-),  Brian Charlesworth (1945-),  Francisco J. Ayala (1934-) Elliott Sober (1948-), Kevin Padian (1951-), Matt Cartmill (1943-) , Milton Fingerman (1928-), John J. Shea (1969-), , Michael A. Crawford (1938-), Paul Kurtz (1925-2012), Sol Gordon (1923-2008), Albert Ellis (1913-2007), Barbara Marie Tabler (1915-1996), Renate Vambery (1916-2005), Archie J. Bahm (1907-1996), Aron S “Gil” Martin ( 1910-1997), Matthew I. Spetter (1921-2012), H. J. Eysenck (1916-1997), Robert L. Erdmann (1929-2006), Mary Morain (1911-1999), Lloyd Morain (1917-2010),  Warren Allen Smith (1921-), Bette Chambers (1930-),  Gordon Stein (1941-1996) , Milton Friedman (1912-2006), John Hospers (1918-2011), Michael Martin (1932-), John R. Cole  (1942-),   Wolf Roder,  Susan Blackmore (1951-),  Christopher C. French (1956-)  Walter R. Rowe Thomas Gilovich (1954-), Paul QuinceyHarry Kroto (1939-), Marty E. Martin (1928-), Richard Rubenstein (1924-), James Terry McCollum (1936-), Edward O. WIlson (1929-), Lewis Wolpert (1929), Gerald Holton (1922-), Martin Rees (1942-), Alan Macfarlane (1941-),  Roald Hoffmann (1937-), Herbert Kroemer (1928-), Thomas H. Jukes (1906-1999), Glenn BranchGeoff Harcourt (1931-), and  Ray T. Cragun (1976-).

___________

Quote from Patricia Churchland:

The way the data are now, it’s pretty clear there is only the physical brain. That we think and feel and make decisions is a result of physical processes in the brain. There is no, in addition to the physical brain, there is no non-physical mind, or soul, or spookie stuff of the kind that might for example survive the death of the brain. So when I think of naturalization of the mind, I think about trying to understand the nature of mental processes, mental diseases and so forth in terms of brain function. 

_______

Let me respond  first by saying that Dr. Churchland has made the assertion that when the brain dies there is no afterlife or “non-physical mind, or soul, or spookie stuff of the kind that might for example survive the death of the brain.” However, she has not provided any evidence to disprove the idea of the afterlife. Later in this post I provide evidence that seems to indicate that the Bible is historically accurate and the Bible does claim also that there an afterlife.

Second, Dostoevsky righly noted, “If God does not exist, everything is permitted.” Woody Allen brilliantly demonstrated that in his 1989 movie CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS and I further develop that in this letter below to Dr. Churchland:

 

Patricia S. Churchland, Department of Philosophy, University of California,

May 30, 2014

Dear Dr. Churchland,

I read some of your material  about the FREE WILL issue then I saw the April 13, 2014  episode of THE GOOD WIFE called “The Materialist,”  and 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. That ties into what I am writing you about today.  First, I wanted to demonstrate to you how weak a philosophy humanism is through an illustration given in a Woody Allen movie. Second, I wanted to point out some scientific evidence that caused Antony Flew to switch from an atheist (as you are now) to a theist. Twenty years I had the opportunity to correspond with two individuals that were regarded as two of the most famous atheists of the 20th Century, Antony Flew and Carl Sagan. (I have enclosed some of those letters between us.) I had read the books and seen the films of the Christian philosopher Francis Schaeffer and he had discussed the works of both of these men. I sent both of these gentlemen philosophical arguments from Schaeffer in these letters and in the first letter I sent a cassette tape of my pastor’s sermon IS THE BIBLE TRUE? (CD is enclosed also.) You may have noticed in the news a few years ago that Antony Flew actually became a theist in 2004 and remained one until his death in 2010. Carl Sagan remained a skeptic until his dying day in 1996.

You will notice in the enclosed letter from June 1, 1994 that Dr. Flew commented, “Thank you for sending me the IS THE BIBLE TRUE? tape to which I have just listened with great interest and, I trust, profit.” It would be a great honor for me if you would take time and drop me a note and let me know what your reaction is to this same message.

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.

___

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

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 – Is the Bible from God? (Kyle Butt 42 min)

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_________________

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

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

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

Harry Kroto

_________________

Below you have picture of Dr. Harry Kroto:

The Death of Victor J. Stenger – William Lane Craig, PhD

Victor J. Stenger

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Victor J. Stenger
VicHead2011.jpg

Victor J. Stenger in 2011
Born January 29, 1935
Bayonne, New Jersey
Died August 25, 2014 (aged 79)
Hawaii
Citizenship United States of America
Nationality American
Fields physics, philosophy
Alma mater UCLA (M.S., 1959) (Ph.D, 1963)
Spouse Phylliss Stenger (m. 1962)[1]
Children 2 [1]
Website
http://www.colorado.edu/philosophy/vstenger/

Does God Exist? William Lane Craig vs Victor J. Stenger (Oregon State University, 2010)

Victor John Stenger (January 29, 1935 – August 25, 2014) was an American particle physicist, philosopher, author, and religious skeptic.

Following a career as a research scientist in the field of particle physics, Stenger was associated with New Atheism and he also authored popular science books. He published twelve books for general audiences on physics, quantum mechanics, cosmology, philosophy, religion, atheism, and pseudoscience, including the 2007 best-seller God: The Failed Hypothesis: How Science Shows That God Does Not Exist. His final book was God and the Multiverse: Humanity’s Expanding View of the Cosmos (September 9, 2014). He was also a regular featured science columnist for the Huffington Post.[2]

He was a strong advocate for removing the influence of religion from scientific research, commercial activity, and the political decision process,[3] and he coined the popular phrase “Science flies you to the moon. Religion flies you into buildings”.[4]

Victor J. Stenger was born on January 29, 1935 and raised in a working-class neighborhood of Bayonne, New Jersey. His father was a Lithuanian immigrant and his mother was the daughter of Hungarianimmigrants.[1] He died in August 2014 at the age of 79.[5]

Victor Stenger (1935-2014) – Arguing God from Natural Theology?

_____________________________

Is There a God? William Lane Craig vs. Victor J. Stenger

In  the second video below in the 89th clip in this series are his words and  my response is below them. 

50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1)

Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2)

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

I grew up at Bellevue Baptist Church under the leadership of our pastor Adrian Rogers and I read many books by the Evangelical Philosopher Francis Schaeffer and have had the opportunity to contact many of the evolutionists or humanistic academics that they have mentioned in their works. Many of these scholars have taken the time to respond back to me in the last 20 years and some of the names  included are  Ernest Mayr (1904-2005), George Wald (1906-1997), Carl Sagan (1934-1996),  Robert Shapiro (1935-2011), Nicolaas Bloembergen (1920-),  Brian Charlesworth (1945-),  Francisco J. Ayala (1934-) Elliott Sober (1948-), Kevin Padian (1951-), Matt Cartmill (1943-) , Milton Fingerman (1928-), John J. Shea (1969-), , Michael A. Crawford (1938-), Paul Kurtz (1925-2012), Sol Gordon (1923-2008), Albert Ellis (1913-2007), Barbara Marie Tabler (1915-1996), Renate Vambery (1916-2005), Archie J. Bahm (1907-1996), Aron S “Gil” Martin ( 1910-1997), Matthew I. Spetter (1921-2012), H. J. Eysenck (1916-1997), Robert L. Erdmann (1929-2006), Mary Morain (1911-1999), Lloyd Morain (1917-2010),  Warren Allen Smith (1921-), Bette Chambers (1930-),  Gordon Stein (1941-1996) , Milton Friedman (1912-2006), John Hospers (1918-2011), Michael Martin (1932-), John R. Cole  (1942-),   Wolf Roder,  Susan Blackmore (1951-),  Christopher C. French (1956-)  Walter R. Rowe Thomas Gilovich (1954-), Paul QuinceyHarry Kroto (1939-), Marty E. Martin (1928-), Richard Rubenstein (1924-), James Terry McCollum (1936-), Edward O. WIlson (1929-), Lewis Wolpert (1929), Gerald Holton (1922-), Martin Rees (1942-), Alan Macfarlane (1941-),  Roald Hoffmann (1937-), Herbert Kroemer (1928-), Thomas H. Jukes (1906-1999), Glenn BranchGeoff Harcourt (1931-), and  Ray T. Cragun (1976-).

QUOTE FROM VICTOR STENGER:

On the video “Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2),” and in the article, “Scientists and Religion,” 05/15/2012 12:07 pm, Victor Stenger noted:

Teams of scientists from three highly respected institutions — the Mayo Clinic and Harvard and Duke Universities — have performed carefully controlled experiments on the medical efficacy of blind, intercessory prayer and published their results in peer-reviewed journals. These experiments found no evidence that such prayers provide any health benefit. But, they could have.

Obviously they were hoping to demonstrate that God existed by showing that prayer worked, but it could have and the point is it could have. The people who say that science has nothing to say about God are just wrong. The theist God (Stenger defines this God as a God that acts in the world in contrast to the deist God that does not) should have been detected by now and that is the statement I tried to make and the proper position science should take, but we are ready to hear the evidence to the contrary.

Let me make two points concerning Dr. Stenger’s assertions above. First, back in the 1990’s I wrote 2 letters to Dr. Stenger and in those letters I provided him with evidence that shows that God has taken an active role in the historical events in the past. LET ME COMMEND DR. STENGER ON AN IMPORTANT PORTION OF HIS STATEMENT AND IT IS THIS PART, “The people who say that science has nothing to say about God are just wrong. The theist God (Stenger defines this God as a God that acts in the world in contrast to the deist God that does not) should have been detected by now and that is the statement I tried to make and the proper position science should take, but we are ready to hear the evidence to the contrary.” I TOOK STENGER AT HIS WORD AND PROVIDED HIM WITH PLENTY OF EVIDENCE AND AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST YOU WILL FIND EVEN MORE. Below are some of the type evidence that presented to Dr. Stenger in my numerous letters from the middle 1990’s until last year:

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 – Is the Bible from God? (Kyle Butt 42 min)

Second, there are such people as atheists. I made this point with him both in the 1990’s and in 2014 because I corresponded with him since he was on the board of an organization called CSICOP and I explain more in the letter below:

Letter below that I wrote to Dr. Stenger in 2014:

Dr. Victor Stenger, Adjunct Professor of Philosophy, University of Colorado, 914 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80302

June 19, 2014

Dear Dr. Stenger,

I watched your 49 minute talk on You Tube at an Unitarian Church and since I am an evangelical Christian I did not agree with a lot you had to say. However, you hit the nail on the head when you said evangelicals understand the conflict between Evolution and the Bible. I grew up in Memphis and was a member of Bellevue Baptist where Adrian Rogers was our pastor and he put it this way:

I reject evolution not only for logical reasons, and not only for moral reasons, but I reject evolution for theological reasons. Now, this may not apply to others, but friend, it applies to me, because the Bible doesn’t teach it, and I believe the Bible. And, you cannot have it both ways. There are some people who say, “Well, I believe the Bible, and I believe in evolution.” Well, you can try that if you want, but you have pudding between your ears. You can’t have it both ways.

H. G. Wells, the brilliant historian who wrote The Outlines of History, said this—and I quote: “If all animals and man evolved, then there were no first parents, and no Paradise, and no Fall. If there had been no Fall, then the entire historic fabric of Christianity, the story of the first sin, and the reason for the atonement, collapses like a house of cards.” H. G. Wells says—and, by the way, I don’t believe that he did believe in creation—but he said, “If there’s no creation, then you’ve ripped away the foundation of Christianity.”

Now, the Bible teaches that man was created by God and that he fell into sin. The evolutionist believes that he started in some primordial soup and has been coming up and up. And, these two ideas are diametrically opposed. What we call sin the evolutionist would just call a stumble up. And so, the evolutionist believes that all a man needs—he’s just going up and up, and better and better—he needs a boost from beneath. The Bible teaches he’s a sinner and needs a birth from above. And, these are both at heads, in collision.

__________________

Now on to the other topics I wanted to discuss with you today. I wanted to write you today for two reasons. First, is there a good chance that deep down in your conscience you have repressed the belief in your heart that God does exist and is there a possibility  this deep belief of yours  could be shown through a lie-detector? (Back in the late 1990’s I had the opportunity to correspond with over a dozen members of CSICOP on just this very issue.)

Second, I wanted to point out some scientific evidence that caused Antony Flew to switch from an atheist (as you are now) to a theist. Twenty years I had the opportunity to correspond with two individuals that were regarded as two of the most famous atheists of the 20th Century, Antony Flew and Carl Sagan. (I have enclosed some of those letters between us.) I had read the books and seen the films of the Christian philosopher Francis Schaeffer and he had discussed the works of both of these men. I sent both of these gentlemen philosophical arguments from Schaeffer in these letters and in the first letter I sent a cassette tape of my pastor’s sermon IS THE BIBLE TRUE? (CD is enclosed also.) You may have noticed in the news a few years ago that Antony Flew actually became a theist in 2004 and remained one until his death in 2010. Carl Sagan remained a skeptic until his dying day in 1996.

You will notice in the enclosed letter from June 1, 1994 that Dr. Flew commented, “Thank you for sending me the IS THE BIBLE TRUE? tape to which I have just listened with great interest and, I trust, profit.” It would be a great honor for me if you would take time and drop me a note and let me know what your reaction is to this same message.

I have a good friend who is a street preacher who preaches on the Santa Monica Promenade in California and during the Q/A sessions he does have lots of atheists that enjoy their time at the mic. When this happens he  always quotes Romans 1:18-19 (Amplified Bible) ” For God’s wrath and indignation are revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who in their wickedness REPRESS and HINDER the truth and make it inoperative. For that which is KNOWN about God is EVIDENT to them and MADE PLAIN IN THEIR INNER CONSCIOUSNESS, because God  has SHOWN IT TO THEM,”(emphasis mine). Then he  tells the atheist that the atheist already knows that God exists but he has been suppressing that knowledge in unrighteousness. This usually infuriates the atheist.

My friend draws some large crowds at times and was thinking about setting up a lie detector test and see if atheists actually secretly believe in God. He discussed this project with me since he knew that I had done a lot of research on the idea about 20 years ago.

Nelson Price in THE EMMANUEL FACTOR (1987) tells the story about Brown Trucking Company in Georgia who used to give polygraph tests to their job applicants. However, in part of the test the operator asked, “Do you believe in God?” In every instance when a professing atheist answered “No,” the test showed the person to be lying. My pastor Adrian Rogers used to tell this same story to illustrate Romans 1:19 and it was his conclusion that “there is no such thing anywhere on earth as a true atheist. If a man says he doesn’t believe in God, then he is lying. God has put his moral consciousness into every man’s heart, and a man has to try to kick his conscience to death to say he doesn’t believe in God.”

It is true that polygraph tests for use in hiring were banned by Congress in 1988.  Mr and Mrs Claude Brown on Aug 25, 1994  wrote me a letter confirming that over 15,000 applicants previous to 1988 had taken the polygraph test and EVERYTIME SOMEONE SAID THEY DID NOT BELIEVE IN GOD, THE MACHINE SAID THEY WERE LYING.

It had been difficult to catch up to the Browns. I had heard about them from Dr. Rogers’ sermon but I did not have enough information to locate them. Dr. Rogers referred me to Dr. Nelson Price and Dr. Price’s office told me that Claude Brown lived in Atlanta. After writing letters to all 9 of the entries for Claude Brown in the Atlanta telephone book, I finally got in touch with the Browns.

Adrian Rogers also pointed out that the Bible does not recognize the theoretical atheist.  Psalms 14:1: The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”  Dr Rogers notes, “The fool is treating God like he would treat food he did not desire in a cafeteria line. ‘No broccoli for me!’ ” In other words, the fool just doesn’t want God in his life and is a practical atheist, but not a theoretical atheist. Charles Ryrie in the The Ryrie Study Bible came to the same conclusion on this verse.

Here are the conclusions of the experts I wrote in the secular world concerning the lie detector test and it’s ability to get at the truth:

Professor Frank Horvath of the School of Criminal Justice at Michigan State University has testified before Congress concerning the validity of the polygraph machine. He has stated on numerous occasions that “the evidence from those who have actually been affected by polygraph testing in the workplace is quite contrary to what has been expressed by critics. I give this evidence greater weight than I give to the most of the comments of critics” (letter to me dated October 6, 1994).

There was no better organization suited to investigate this claim concerning the lie detector test than the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP). This organization changed their name to the Committe for Skeptical Inquiry in 2006. This organization includes anyone who wants to help debunk the whole ever-expanding gamut of misleading, outlandish, and fraudulent claims made in the name of science. I AM WRITING YOU TODAY BECAUSE YOU ARE ASSOCIATED WITH CSICOP.

I read The Skeptical Review(publication of CSICOP) for several years during the 90’s and I would write letters to these scientists about taking this project on and putting it to the test.  Below are some of  their responses (15 to 20 years old now):

1st Observation: Religious culture of USA could have influenced polygraph test results.
ANTONY FLEW  (formerly of Reading University in England, now deceased, in a letter to me dated 8-11-96) noted, “For all the evidence so far available seems to be of people from a culture in which people are either directly brought up to believe in the existence of God or at least are strongly even if only unconsciously influenced by those who do. Even if everyone from such a culture revealed unconscious belief, it would not really begin to show that — as Descartes maintained— the idea of God is so to speak the Creator’s trademark, stamped on human souls by their Creator at their creation.”

2nd Observation: Polygraph Machines do not work. JOHN R. COLE, anthropologist, editor, National Center for Science Education, Dr. WOLF RODER, professor of Geography, University of Cincinnati, Dr. SUSAN BLACKMORE,Dept of Psychology, University of the West of England, Dr. CHRISTOPHER C. FRENCH, Psychology Dept, Goldsmith’s College, University of London, Dr.WALTER F. ROWE, The George Washington University, Dept of Forensic Sciences, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

3rd Observation: The sample size probably was not large enough to apply statistical inference. (These gentlemen made the following assertion before I received the letter back from Claude Brown that revealed that the sample size was over 15,000.) JOHN GEOHEGAN, Chairman of New Mexicans for Science and Reason, Dr. WOLF RODER, and Dr WALTER F. ROWE (in a letter dated July 12, 1994) stated, “The polygraph operator for Brown Trucking Company has probably examined only a few hundred or a few thousand job applicants. I would surmise that only a very small number of these were actually atheists. It seems a statistically insignificant (and distinctly nonrandom) sampling of the 5 billion human beings currently inhabiting the earth. Dr. Nelson Price also seems to be impugning the integrity of anyone who claims to be an atheist in a rather underhanded fashion.”

4th Observation: The question (Do you believe in God?)  was out of place and it surprised the applicants. THOMAS GILOVICH, psychologist, Cornell Univ., Dr. ZEN FAULKES, professor of Biology, University of Victoria (Canada), ROBERT CRAIG, Head of Indiana Skeptics Organization, Dr. WALTER ROWE, 
 
5th Observation: Proof that everyone believes in God’s existence does not prove that God does in fact exist. PAUL QUINCEY, Nathional Physical Laboratory,(England), Dr. CLAUDIO BENSKI, Schneider Electric, CFEPP, (France),
6th Observation: Both the courts and Congress recognize that lie-detectors don’t work and that is why they were banned in 1988.  (Governments and the military still use them.)
Dr WALTER ROWE, KATHLEEN M. DILLION, professor of Psychology, Western New England College.
7th Observation:This information concerning Claude Brown’s claim has been passed on to us via a tv preacher and eveybody knows that they are untrustworthy– look at their history. WOLF RODER.
______________
Solomon wisely noted in Ecclesiastes 3:11 “God has planted eternity in the heart of men…” (Living Bible). No wonder Bertrand Russell wrote in his autobiography, “It is odd, isn’t it? I feel passionately for this world and many things and people in it, and yet…what is it all? There must be something more important, one feels, though I don’t believe there is. I am haunted. Some ghosts, for some extra mundane regions, seem always trying to tell me something that I am to repeat to the world, but I cannot understand that message.”
Gene Emery, science writer for Providence Journal-Bulletin is a past winner of the CSICOP “Responsibility in Journalism Award” and he had the best suggestion of all when he suggested, “Actually, if you want to make a good case about whether Romans 1:19 is true, arrange to have a polygraph operator (preferably an atheist or agnostic) brought to the next CSICOP meeting. (I’m not a member of CSICOP, by the way, so I can’t give you an official invitation or anything.) If none of the folks at that meeting can convince the machine that they truly believe in God, maybe there is, in fact, an innate willingness to believe in God.”

DO YOU HAVE ANY REACTIONS TO ADD TO THESE 7 OBSERVATIONS THAT I GOT 15 YEARS AGO? 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

___________

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

TRUTH AND HISTORY (chapter 5 of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?, under footnote #95)

Two things should be mentioned about the time of Moses in Old Testament history.

First, consider the archaeological evidence that relates to the period. True, it is not of the same explicitness that we have found, say, in relation to the existence of Ahab or Jehu or Jehoiakim. We have no inscription from Egypt which refers to Moses being taken out of the bulrushes and removed from the waterproof basket his mother had made him. But this does not mean that the Book of Exodus is a fictitious account, as some critics has suggested. Some say it is simply an idealized reading-back into history by the Jews under the later monarchy. There is not a reason why these “books of Moses,” as they are called, should not be treated as history, just as we have been forced to treat the Books of Kings and Chronicles dating 500 years later.

There is ample evidence about the building projects of the Egyptian kings, and the evidence we have fits well with Exodus. There are scenes of brick-making (for example, Theban Tomb 100 of Rekhmire). Contemporary parchments and papyri tell of production targets which had to be met. One speaks of a satisfied official report of his men as “making their quota of bricks daily” (Papyrus Anastasi III vso, p.3, in the British Museum. Also Louvre Leather Roll in the Louvre, Paris, col ii, mentions quotes of bricks and “taskmasters”). Actual bricks found show signs of straw which had to be mixed in with the clay, just as Exodus says. This matter of bricks and straw is further affirmed by the record that one despairing official complained, “There are no men to make bricks nor straw in my area.”

We know from contemporary discoveries that Semites were found at all levels of Egypt’s cosmopolitan society. (Brooklyn Museum, New York, no. 35, 1446. Papyrus Brooklyn). There is nothing strange therefore about Joseph’s becoming so important in the pharaoh’s court.

The store cities of Pithom and Raamses (Rameses) mentioned in Exodus 1:11 are well known in Egyptian inscriptions. Raamses was actually in the east-Delta capital, Pi-Ramses (near Goshen), where the Israelites would have had ample experience of agriculture. Thus, the references to agriculture found in the law of Moses would not have been strange to the Israelites even though they were in the desert at the time the law was given. Certainly there is no reason to say, as some critics do, that these sections on agriculture were an indication of a reading-back from a latter period when the Jews were settled in Canaan.

The form of the covenant made at Sinai has remarkable parallels with the covenant forms of other people at that time. (On covenants and parties to a treaty, the Louvre; and Treaty Tablet from Boghaz Koi (i.e., Hittite) in Turkey, Museum of Archaeology in Istanbul.) The covenant form at Sinai resembles just as the forms of letter writings of the first century after Christ (the types of introductions and greetings) are reflected in the letters of the apostles in the New Testament, it is not surprising to find the covenant form of the second millennium before Christ reflected in what occurred at Mount Sinai. God has always spoken to people within the culture of their time, which does not mean that God’s communication is limited by that culture. It is God’s communication but within the forms appropriate to the time.

The Pentateuch tells us that Moses led the Israelites up the east side of the Dead Sea after their long stay in the desert. There they encountered the hostile kingdom of Moab. We have firsthand evidence for the existence of this kingdom of Moab–contrary to what has been said by critical scholars who have denied the existence of Moab at this time. It can be found in a war scene from a temple at Luxor (Al Uqsor). This commemorates a victory by Ramses II over the Moabite nation at Batora (Luxor Temple, Egypt).

Also the definite presence of the Israelites in west Palestine (Canaan) no later than the end of the thirteenth century B.C. is attested by a victory stela of Pharaoh Merenptah (son and successor of Ramses II) to commemorate his victory over Libya (Israel Stela, Cairo Museum, no. 34025). In it he mentions his previous success in Canaan against Aschalon, Gize, Yenom, and Israel; hence there can be no doubt the nation of Israel was in existence at the latest by this time of approximately 1220 B.C. This is not to say it could not have been earlier, but it cannot be later than this date.

D. The Moabite Stone (Stela of Mesha) discovered at Dibon

Click to View
  1. The Moabite Stone was discovered by by Klein 1868 BC at the ancient city of Dibon.
  2. Before it could be fully documented, Muslims had smashed it to pieces because they superstitiously thought the black basalt stone had magical powers to protect their granaries. The Black stone in the Kabba at Mecca is a meteorite thought to have similar qualities which Muslims on their Hajj constantly kiss as they make their 7 counter-clockwise circles around the Black stone. (They only thought there were seven planets in 640 AD.)
  3. Only a fraction was found and put back together. It is presently housed in the Louvre in Paris, France.
  • The story on the Moabite Stone is a spectacular proof that the Bible is true history as told in 2 Kings 1:1; 3:4-27 “Now Mesha king of Moab was a sheep breeder, and used to pay the king of Israel 100,000 lambs and the wool of 100,000 rams.”2 Ki 3:4
  • Mesha King of Moab, wrote the Moabite stone in about 900 BC.
  • The Stele is the oldest known evidence of the Tetragrammaton YHWH (Yahweh) as the personal name God revealed to Moses. It also references the tribe of Gad. It also references two known kings from the Bible: Omri the king of Israel and Mesha King of Moab. It also harmonizes with the Bible in that the King of Moab paid tribute to Omri. There are also references to building many cisterns for water which is possibly a reference to the miracle of water God used to defeat the Moabites.
  • Translation of the Moabite Stone: “I am Mesha, the son of Kemoš-yatti, the king of Moab, from Dibon. My father was king over Moab for thirty years, and I was king after my father. And in Karchoh I made this high place for Kemoš […] because he has delivered me from all kings, and because he has made me look down on all my enemies. Omri was the king of Israel, and he oppressed Moab for many days, for Kemoš was angry with his land. And his son succeeded him, and he said -he too- “I will oppress Moab!” In my days he did so, but I looked down on him and on his house, and Israel has gone to ruin, yes, it has gone to ruin for ever! Omri had taken possession of the whole land of Medeba (Madaba) and he lived there in his days and half the days of his son, forty years, but Kemoš restored it in my days. And I built Baal Meon, and I made in it a water reservoir, and I built Kiriathaim. And the men of Gad lived in the land of Ataroth from ancient times, and the king of Israel built Ataroth for himself, and I fought against the city, and I captured, and I killed all the people from the city as a sacrifice for Kemoš and for Moab, and I brought back the fire-hearth of his Uncle from there, and I hauled it before the face of Kemoš in Kerioth, and I made the men of Sharon live there, as well as the men of Maharith. And Kemoš said to me: “Go, take Nebo from Israel!” And I went in the night, and I fought against it from the break of dawn until noon, and I took it, and I killed its whole population, seven thousand male citizens and aliens, female citizens and aliens, and servant girls; for I had put it to the ban of Aštar Kemoš. And from there, I took the vessels of YHWH, and I hauled them before the face of Kemoš. And the king of Israel had built Jahaz, and he stayed there during his campaigns against me, and Kemoš drove him away before my face, and I took two hundred men from Moab, all its division, and I led it up to Jahaz. And I have taken it in order to add it to Dibon. I have built Karchoh, the wall of the woods and the wall of the citadel, and I have built its gates, and I have built its towers, and I have built the house of the king, and I have made the double reservoir for the spring, in the innermost of the city. Now, there was no cistern in the innermost of the city, in Karchoh, and I said to all the people: “Make, each one of you, a cistern in his house.” And I cut out the moat for Karchoh by means of prisoners from Israel. I have built Aroer, and I made the military road in the Arnon. I have built Beth Bamoth, for it had been destroyed. I have built Bezer, for it lay in ruins. And the men of Dibon stood in battle-order, for all Dibon, they were in subjection. And I am the king over hundreds in the towns which I have added to the land. And I have built the House of Medeba and the House of Diblathaim, and the House of Baal Meon, and I brought there […] the flocks of the land. And Horonaim, there lived […]. And Kemoš said to me: “Go down, fight against Horonaim!” I went down […] and Kemoš restored it in my days. And […] from there […] And I […]”

Does the Merneptah Stele Contain the First Mention of Israel?

Scholars Manfred Görg, Peter van der Veen and Christoffer Theis say maybe not

Does the Merneptah Stele Contain the First Mention of Israel?

The Merneptah Stele has long been touted as the earliest extrabiblical reference to Israel.* The ancient Egyptian inscription dates to about 1205 B.C.E. and recounts the military conquests of the pharaoh Merneptah. Near the bottom of the hieroglyphic inscription, a people called “Israel” is said to have been wiped out by the conquering pharaoh. This has been used by some experts as evidence of the ethnogenesis of Israel around that time.

But a new publication by Egyptologists and Biblical scholars Manfred Görg, Peter van der Veen and Christoffer Theis suggests that there may be an even earlier reference to Israel in the Egyptian record. Manfred Görg discovered a broken statue pedestal containing hieroglyphic name-rings in the Egyptian Museum of Berlin and, after studying it with colleagues Peter van der Veen and Christoffer Theis, they suggest that one of the name-rings should be read as “Israel.” Not all scholars agree with their reading because of slight differences in spelling, but Görg, van der Veen and Theis offer strong arguments, including supportive parallels in the Merneptah Stele itself. This newly rediscovered inscription is dated to around 1400 B.C.E.—about 200 years earlier than the Merneptah Stele. If Görg, van der Veen and Theis are right, their discovery will shed important light on the beginnings of ancient Israel.

As the point where three of the world’s major religions converge, Israel’s history is one of the richest and most complex in the world. Sift through the archaeology and history of this ancient land in the free eBook Israel: An Archaeological Journey, and get a view of these significant Biblical sites through an archaeologist’s lens.

Notes

* See Frank J. Yurco, “3,200-Year-Old Pictures of Israelites Found in Egypt,” Biblical Archaeology Review, September/October 1990.


For more about the discovery of a possible first mention of Israel before the Merneptah Stele by scholars Manfred Görg, Peter van der Veen and Christoffer Theis, see “When Did Ancient Israel Begin?” in Biblical Archaeology Review, January/February 2012.

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

Harry Kroto

_________________

Below you have picture of Dr. Harry Kroto:

____________

Dawkins and Bruce Hood – Vitalism in Children

Bruce M. Hood – Why We Believe in the Unbelievable | For Good Reason

Bruce Hood (psychologist)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Bruce Hood
BruceHoodAtQEDcon2015-1.jpg

Bruce Hood giving his Why We Fail to Reason & How to Speak Easily talk at QED 2015
Born Toronto, Canada
Citizenship British
Nationality British
Institutions University of Bristol, University of Cambridge, University of Dundee,Harvard University,Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Thesis Development of visual selective attention (1991)
Website
brucemhood.wordpress.com

Bruce MacFarlane Hood is a Canadian-born British experimental psychologist who specialises in developmental cognitive neuroscience. He is currently based at the University of Bristol and his major research interests include the cognitive processes behind adult magical thinking.

Biography[edit]

Bruce Hood completed undergraduate studies in psychology, then received a Master of Arts and a Master of Philosophy from the University of Dundee.[1] He received a PhD fromUniversity of Cambridge in 1991, studying the visual development of infants.[2] After moving to the USA he took a place as a visiting professor at MIT and faculty professor atHarvard University.[3] He is currently a professor at the University of Bristol, where he conducts research at the School of Experimental Psychology and teaches the Developmental Psychology modules.[4]

Work[edit]

Cognitive development in childhood[edit]

In his research, Hood investigates various aspects of cognitive development in children. He is most known for looking at the origins of superstitious beliefs in children. Most notably, his research showed that children inherently prefer ‘their’ individual objects over duplicated ones,[5] a behaviour which persists into adulthood.[6]

Further, he investigates how children use the gaze to infer about the mental states of humans they are interacting with.[7][8] Hood also studies how children form theories, for example about gravity[9] and spatial representations.[10]

Public engagement[edit]

Hood has been engaging in science outreach since the beginning of his career. In 2006, he appeared on the BBC Radio 4 show Material World[11] and also presented his research at the British Science Association Science Festival later in the same year.[12] Hood argues that humans evolved to “detect patterns in the world” and defines the supersense as the “inclination to infer that there are hidden forces that create the patterns that we think we detect”.[13]

He reappeared at the same event three years later in 2009[14] and published his popular science book SuperSense: Why We Believe in the Unbelievable in the same year. The book tackles how the human brain generates superstitious beliefs.[15]

In 2011, Hood appeared on BBC Radio 4‘s The Infinite Monkey Cage show to talk about the science of superstition[16][17] and also participated in the live performance event Uncaged Monkeys in Bristol.[18] Later the same year, he held the prestigious Royal Institution Christmas Lectures titled ‘Meet Your Brain’.[19][20] Organized in three parts, they explored the structure of the brain, how the brain controls behaviours and thoughts and how brains allow humans to function in a social context.[21]

In 2012, Hood published his second popular science book The Self Illusion: Why there is no ‘you’ inside your head (published under the alternative title The Self Illusion: How the social brain creates identity in America). In this book, he argues that the human sense of self is a construct of the brain which facilitates experiencing and interacting with the world.[22] Later the same year, Hood devised the world’s largest simultaneous memory experiment for the Society of Biology involving 2000 participants to demonstrate the phenomenon of false memories.[23] This was officially recognised by the Guinness Book of Records in 2013.[24]

Hood’s third popular science book, The Domesticated Brain, was published in 2014 and explores the neuro-cognitive origins and consequences of social behaviour in humans. The book’s thesis is that “over the most recent evolution, the last 20,000 years”, humans have been “selecting each other for prosocial behaviour and that has changed our brains and the way we’ve become more codependent”.[25] He presented this topic at The Royal Society of Arts,[26] The Royal Society[27] and the 2014 Cheltenham Science Festival.[28]

Skepticism[edit]

Professor Bruce Hood at the QED conference in Manchester 2011

Hood played a key part in exposing the ADE 651 bogus bomb detector and similar devices in January 2010. He got involved in exposing the scam upon realising that the devices were produced locally in Somerset (UK) and challenged the creator of the devices, Jim McCormick, to demonstrate their validity. Even though McCormick initially agreed to this, the demonstration was then delayed and McCormick later required Hood to sign a non-disclosure statement concerning their meeting. Hood had also contacted the BBC about McCormick and his fraudulent products, which ultimately resulted in the production of a BBC Newsnight documentary about ADE 651 and a related device, the GT200.[29][30] In this documentary, Hood demonstrates that the perceived effect of the devices can be explained by the ideomotor phenomenon, which had fooled naive users.[31]

Contrary to prominent skeptics such as Richard Dawkins, Hood is convinced that superstitious beliefs are inevitable and even beneficial to humans. For instance, he argues thatessentialism is beneficial to social interactions, since it allows humans to overcome objectification and attribute uniqueness to other humans. However, Hood clearly differentiates between secular and religious beliefs, where secular supernatural beliefs are universally applicable across cultures and religious beliefs are culturally specific. He also argues that secular superstitious beliefs do predispose humans to religious beliefs.[32]

Speakezee[edit]

The home page of Speakezee.org

In 2015 Hood founded Speakezee,[33] an academic speaking platform which can be used by institutions and organisations to find speakers for their events and vice versa.

“I got the idea after being invited to give too many talks than I could possibly accept, so this system should make it easier to find others who are just as good”.[34]

Speakers are able to create profiles detailing their subject expertise and speaking experience. Organisers are then able to find and short list speakers and contact them directly to discuss speaking at their event.[33] It also allows academics to advertise their specialist talks to other academics who organise departmental seminars.[35]

“At its heart is the desire to help more academics engage with the public and to make it easier for organisers to find relevant experts to talk at their event, whatever the size.”[33]

A platform that is free to use, Speakezee is currently in its first phase and primarily focused in the UK. More functionality and new features are planned for the future, making it more useful for a wider audience and with a view to ultimately expanding the site’s use internationally.[33][34] Hood hopes “it will stimulate a café culture of intellectual exchange”.[25]

Awards and recognition[edit]

He was awarded a Sloan Fellowship in neuroscience in 1997,[36] a Young Investigator Award from the International Society for Infant Studies and the Robert L. Fantz prize in 1999.[37]He was also elected to fellow status by the American Psychological Association and is a fellow of The Society for Biology and The Royal Institution of Great Britain.[38][39]

He won the 2011/12 University of Bristol individual engagement award, specifically for his local science engagement activity with the group At-Bristol.[40] In 2013, Hood received the Public Engagement and Media Awards from The British Psychological Society for his commitment to public engagement through public lectures, media appearances, pub events and science festivals.[41]

Bruce Hood: think you don’t believe in the supernatural? Think again – Full WIRED2014 talk

Published on Nov 3, 2014

In  the second video below in the 68th clip in this series are his words and  my response is below them. 

50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1)

Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2)

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

I grew up at Bellevue Baptist Church under the leadership of our pastor Adrian Rogers and I read many books by the Evangelical Philosopher Francis Schaeffer and have had the opportunity to contact many of the evolutionists or humanistic academics that they have mentioned in their works. Many of these scholars have taken the time to respond back to me in the last 20 years and some of the names  included are  Ernest Mayr (1904-2005), George Wald (1906-1997), Carl Sagan (1934-1996),  Robert Shapiro (1935-2011), Nicolaas Bloembergen (1920-),  Brian Charlesworth (1945-),  Francisco J. Ayala (1934-) Elliott Sober (1948-), Kevin Padian (1951-), Matt Cartmill (1943-) , Milton Fingerman (1928-), John J. Shea (1969-), , Michael A. Crawford (1938-), Paul Kurtz (1925-2012), Sol Gordon (1923-2008), Albert Ellis (1913-2007), Barbara Marie Tabler (1915-1996), Renate Vambery (1916-2005), Archie J. Bahm (1907-1996), Aron S “Gil” Martin ( 1910-1997), Matthew I. Spetter (1921-2012), H. J. Eysenck (1916-1997), Robert L. Erdmann (1929-2006), Mary Morain (1911-1999), Lloyd Morain (1917-2010),  Warren Allen Smith (1921-), Bette Chambers (1930-),  Gordon Stein (1941-1996) , Milton Friedman (1912-2006), John Hospers (1918-2011), Michael Martin (1932-), John R. Cole  (1942-),   Wolf Roder,  Susan Blackmore (1951-),  Christopher C. French (1956-)  Walter R. Rowe Thomas Gilovich (1954-), Paul QuinceyHarry Kroto (1939-), Marty E. Martin (1928-), Richard Rubenstein (1924-), James Terry McCollum (1936-), Edward O. WIlson (1929-), Lewis Wolpert (1929), Gerald Holton (1922-), Martin Rees (1942-), Alan Macfarlane (1941-),  Roald Hoffmann (1937-), Herbert Kroemer (1928-), Thomas H. Jukes (1906-1999), Glenn BranchGeoff Harcourt (1931-), and  Ray T. Cragun (1976-).

QUOTE FROM Bruce Hood:

“The idea of the mind being separate from the body, technically we call this mind/body dualism and this is something that most people assume without ever questioning it. They assume the mind is somewhat independent of the body. They experience that everyday. We have a thought about having a cup of coffee, then we move our hand to pick it up. We never really question that idea of how somehow the mind can control a physical system. So mind/body dualism is a fascinating area both in science and in philosophy. This assumption that the mind is separate from the body is something that children at 4 or 5 years of age will spontaneously think about, but if you then make that assumption then that means the mind is not constrained by the same laws that constrain the physical body which then allows for the possibility of an afterlife, the mind somehow existing once the body is gone. So you can see very easily how that kind of notion could underpin notions of the afterlife, ghosts and spirits and so forth.”

 My response was in this letter below:

October 12, 2015

Dr. Bruce Hood, Professor of Developmental Psychology in Society, University of Bristol,

Dear Dr. Hood,

In the popular You Tube video “Renowned Academics Speaking About God” you made the following statement:

“The idea of the mind being separate from the body, technically we call this mind/body dualism and this is something that most people assume without ever questioning it. They assume the mind is somewhat independent of the body. They experience that everyday. We have a thought about having a cup of coffee, then we move our hand to pick it up. We never really question that idea of how somehow the mind can control a physical system. So mind/body dualism is a fascinating area both in science and in philosophy. This assumption that the mind is separate from the body is something that children at 4 or 5 years of age will spontaneously think about, but if you then make that assumption then that means the mind is not constrained by the same laws that constrain the physical body which then allows for the possibility of an afterlife, the mind somehow existing once the body is gone. So you can see very easily how that kind of notion could underpin notions of the afterlife, ghosts and spirits and so forth.”

J.P. Moreland concludes that if you are right about physicalism then three things must follow:

First, if physicalism is true, then consciousness doesn’t really exist, because there would be no such thing as conscious states that must be described from a first-person point of view…The second implication is that there would be no free will….Third, if physicalism were true, there would be no disembodied intermediate state. According to Christianity, when we die, our souls leave our bodies and await the later resurrection of our bodies from the dead. We don’t cease to exist when we die.

Here is a portion of the article where I got that quote from, “Do We Have Souls? Lee Strobel interviews Dr. J.P. Moreland:”

Lee Strobel comments first on J.P. Moreland:

Moreland’s science training came at the University of Missouri, where he received a degree in chemistry. He was subsequently awarded the top fellowship for a doctorate in nuclear chemistry at the University of Colorado but declined the honor to pursue a different career path. He then earned a master’s degree in theology at Dallas Theological Seminary and a doctorate in philosophy at the University of Southern California. Moreland developed an early interest in issues relating to human consciousness, returning to that theme time after time in his various books….As we began our interview, I thought it would be a good idea to get straight on some key definitions—something that’s not always easy when discussing consciousness.

WHAT FOLLOWS IS A PORTION OF THE INTERVIEW:

 REGAINING CONSCIOUSNESS

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart once said it may be difficult to define pornography, “but I know it when I see it” (Justice Potter Stewart [concurring], Jacobellis v. Ohio, 378 U.S. 198,1964). Similarly, consciousness can be a challenging concept to describe, even though our own conscious thoughts are quite tangible to ourselves. As J. R. Smythies of the University of Edinburgh put it: “The consciousness of other people may be for me an abstraction, but my own consciousness is for me a reality” (J. R. Smythies, “Some Aspects of Consciousness,” in Arthur Koestler and J. R. Smythies, editors, Beyond Reductionism. London: Hutchinson, 1969, 235, quoted in Arthur C. Custance, The Mysterious Matter of Mind, 35).

“What is consciousness?” Moreland said, echoing the opening question that I had just posed to him. “Well, a simple definition is that consciousness is what you’re aware of when you introspect. When you pay attention to what’s going on inside of you, that’s consciousness.” He looked at me and apparently could see from my expression that I needed a fuller description. “Think of it like this,” he continued. “Suppose you were having an operation on your leg, and suddenly you begin to be aware of people talking about you. Someone says, ‘I think he’s recovering.’ You start to feel an ache in your knee. You say to yourself, ‘Where am I? What’s going on?’ And you start to remember you were operated on. What you’re doing is regaining consciousness. In short, consciousness consists of sensations, thoughts, emotions, desires, beliefs, and free choices that make us alive and aware.”

“What if consciousness didn’t exist in the world?” I asked. “I’ll give you an example,” Moreland replied. “Apples would still be red, but there would be no awareness of red or any sensations of red.” “What about the soul?” I asked. “How would you define that?” “The soul is the ego, the ‘I,’ or the self, and it contains our consciousness. It also animates our body. That’s why when the soul leaves the body, the body becomes a corpse. The soul is immaterial and distinct from the body.” “At least,” I observed, “that’s what the Bible teaches.” “Yes, Christians have understood this for twenty centuries,” he said. “For example, when Jesus was on the cross, he told the thief being crucified next to him that he would be with Jesus immediately after his death and before the final resurrection of his body (Luke 23:43: “Today you will be with me in paradise”).

Jesus described the body and soul as being separate entities when he said, ‘Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul’ (Matthew 10:28). The apostle Paul says that “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8).

I was curious about whether belief in the soul is a universal phenomenon. “What about beyond Christianity?” I asked. “Is this concept present in other cultures as well?” “We know that dualism was taught by the ancient Greeks, although, unlike Christians, they believed the body and soul were alien toward each other,” he explained. “In contemporary terms, I’d agree with physicalist Jaegwon Kim, who acknowledged that ‘something like this dualism of personhood, I believe, is common lore shared across most cultures and religious traditions’” (Jaegwon Kim, “Lonely Souls: Causality and Substance Dualism,” in Kevin Corcoran, editor, Soul, Body, and Survival. Ithica, NY: Cornell Univ. Press, 2001).

Still, there are those who deny dualism and instead believe we are solely physical beings who are, as geneticist Francis Crick said, “no more than the behavior of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules” (Francis Crick, The Astonishing Hypothesis. New York: Scribner’s, 1994, 3). To explore this issue, I decided to take an unusual approach in my interview with Moreland by asking him to imagine—for just a few minutes—that these physicalists are right.

 WHAT IF PHYSICALISM IS TRUE?

“Let’s face it,” I said, “some people flatly deny that we have an immaterial soul. John Searle said, ‘In my worldview, consciousness is caused by brain processes’ (“What Is Consciousness?” in Closer to Truth).  In other words, they believe consciousness is purely a product of biology. As brain scientist Barry Beyerstein said, just as the kidneys produce urine, the brain produces consciousness” (“Do Brains Make Minds?” onCloser to Truth).

Moreland was listening carefully as I spoke, his head slightly cocked. I continued by saying, “Do me a favor, J. P. —assume for a moment that the physicalists are right. What are the logical implications if physicalism is true?” His eyes widened. “Oh, there would be several key ones,” he replied.

“Give me three,” I said. Moreland was more than willing. “First, if physicalism is true, then consciousness doesn’t really exist, because there would be no such thing as conscious states that must be described from a first-person point of view,” he said. “You see, if everything were matter, then you could capture the entire universe on a graph—you could locate each star, the moon, every mountain, Lee Strobel’s brain, Lee Strobel’s kidneys, and so forth. That’s because if everything is physical, it could be described entirely from a third-person point of view. And yet we know that we have first-person, subjective points of view—so physicalism can’t be true.” Clearly, Moreland was warming up to this exercise.

“The second implication,” he continued, “is that there would be no free will. That’s because matter is completely governed by the laws of nature. Take any physical object,” he said as he glanced out the window, where the fog was breaking up. “For instance, a cloud,” he said. “It’s just a material object, and its movement is completely governed by the laws of air pressure, wind movement, and the like. So if I’m a material object, all of the things I do are fixed by my environment, my genetics, and so forth. “That would mean I’m not really free to make choices. Whatever’s going to happen is already rigged by my makeup and environment. So how could you hold me responsible for my behavior if I wasn’t free to choose how I would act? This is one of the reasons we lost the Vietnam War.” I was following him until that last statement, which seemed oddly incongruous to me. “What has this got to do with Vietnam?” I asked. Moreland explained: “I heard a former advisor to the president say that B. F. Skinner’s behaviorism influenced the Pentagon’s strategy. Skinner believed that we’re just physical objects, so you can condition people, just like you can condition a laboratory animal by applying electric shocks. Keep doing certain things over and over, and you can change behavior. So in Vietnam, we bombed, we came back, we bombed, we came back, we bombed, and so forth. We assumed that after we gave the North Vietnamese shock after shock, pretty soon we could manipulate their behavior. After all, they’re just physical objects responding to stimuli. Eventually they had to give in.” “But they didn’t,” I said. “That’s right. It didn’t work.” “Why?” “Because there was more to the Vietnamese than their physical brains responding to stimuli. They have souls, desires, feelings, and beliefs, and they could make free choices to suffer and to stand firm for their convictions despite our attempt to condition them by our bombing.

“So if the materialists are right, kiss free will good-bye. In their view, we’re just very complicated computers that behave according to the laws of nature and the programming we receive. But, Lee, obviously they’re wrong—we do have free will. We all know that deep down inside. We’re more than just a physical brain.

“Third, if physicalism were true, there would be no disembodied intermediate state. According to Christianity, when we die, our souls leave our bodies and await the later resurrection of our bodies from the dead. We don’t cease to exist when we die. Our souls are living on. “This happens in near-death experiences. People are clinically dead, but sometimes they have a vantage point from above, where they look down at the operating table that their body is on. Sometimes they gain information they couldn’t have known if this were just an illusion happening in their brain. One woman died and she saw a tennis shoe that was on the roof of the hospital. How could she have known this? “If I am just my brain, then existing outside the body is utterly impossible. When people hear of near-death experiences, they don’t think that if they looked up at the hospital ceiling, they’d see a pulsating brain with a couple of eyeballs dangling down, right? When people hear near-death stories, Lee, they are intuitively attributing to that person a soul that could leave the body. And clearly these stories make sense, even if we’re not sure they’re true. We’ve got to be more than our bodies or else these stories would be ludicrous to us.” Moreland seemed to be sidestepping this issue a bit. “How about you personally?” I asked. “Do you think near-death experiences are true?” “We have to be careful with the data and not overstate things, but I do think they provide at least a minimalist case for consciousness surviving death,” he said. “In fact, as far back as 1965, psychologist John Beloff wrote in The Humanist that the evidence of near-death experiences already indicates ‘a dualistic world where mind or spirit has an existence separate from the world of material things.’ He conceded that this could ‘present a challenge to humanism as profound in its own way as that which Darwinian evolution did to Christianity a century ago.’ ” (Cited in David Winter, Hereafter: What Happens after Death? Wheaton, Ill.: Harold Shaw, 1972, 33–34).

Moreland paused before adding one other comment. “Regardless of what anyone thinks about near-death experiences, we do have confirmation that Jesus was put to death and was later seen alive by credible eyewitnesses,” he said. “Not only does this provide powerful historical corroboration that it’s possible to survive after the death of our physical body, but it also gives Jesus great credibility when he teaches that we have both a body and an immaterial spirit” (For a short description of the evidence for the Resurrection, see Gary R. Habermas and J. P. Moreland, Beyond Death, 111–54).

THE REALITY OF THE SOUL

For centuries, the human soul has enchanted poets, intrigued theologians, challenged philosophers, and dumbfounded scientists. Mystics, like Teresa of Åvila in the sixteenth century, have described it eloquently: “I began to think of the soul as if it were a castle made of a single diamond or of very clear crystal, in which there are many rooms, just as in heaven there are many mansions” (Mark Water, compiler, The New Encyclopedia of Christian Quotations.Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker, 2000), 972. Teresa’s reference to mansions is an allusion to John 14:2).

Moreland was understandably more precise in analyzing the soul, though unfortunately less poetic. He had already clarified that the soul contains our consciousness. Still, he hadn’t offered any reason to believe that the soul is an actual entity. It was time, I felt, to press him on this
issue. “What makes you think that the soul is real?” I asked….I remember the time when my daughter was in the fifth grade and we were having family prayers. She said, ‘Dad, if I could see God, it would help me believe in him.’ I said, ‘Well, honey, the problem isn’t that you’ve never seen God. The problem is that you’ve never seen your mother.’ And her mother was sitting right next to her! “My daughter said, ‘What do you mean, Dad?’ I said, ‘Suppose without hurting your mom, we were able to take her apart cell by cell and peek

inside each one of them. We would never come to a moment where we would say, ‘Look—here’s what Mommy’s thinking about doing the rest of the day.’ Or ‘Hey, this cell contains Mommy’s feelings.’ Or ‘So this is what Mom believes about pro football.’ We couldn’t find Mommy’s thoughts, beliefs, desires, or her feelings. “‘Guess what else we would never find? We’d never find Mommy’s ego or her self. We would never say, ‘Finally, in this particular brain cell, there’s Mommy. There’s her ego, or self.’ That’s because Mommy is a person, and persons are invisible. Mommy’s ego and her conscious life are invisible. Now, she’s small enough to have a body, while God is too big to have a body—so let’s pray!’ “The point is this, Lee: I am a soul, and I have a body. We don’t learn about people by studying their bodies. We learn about people by finding out how they feel, what they think, what they’re passionate about, what their worldview is, and so forth. Staring at their body might tell us whether they like exercise, but that’s not very helpful. That’s why we want to get ‘inside’ people to learn about them. “So my conclusion is that there’s more to me than my conscious life and my body. In fact, I am a ‘self,’ or an ‘I,’ that cannot be seen or touched unless I manifest myself through my behavior or my talk. I have free will because I’m a ‘self,’ or a soul, and I’m not just a brain.”

CONSCIOUSNESS AND EVOLUTION

Moreland had made a cogent case for consciousness and the soul being independent of our brain and body. “How does this present a problem for Darwinists?” I asked. Moreland glanced down at some notes he had brought along. “As philosopher Geoffrey Medell said, ‘The emergence of consciousness, then, is a mystery, and one to which materialism fails to provide an answer.’ Atheist Colin McGinn agrees. He asks, ‘How can mere matter originate consciousness? How did evolution convert the water of biological tissue into the wine of consciousness? Consciousness seems like a radical novelty in the universe, not prefigured by the aftereffects of the Big Bang. So how did it contrive to spring into being from what preceded it?’ ”

Moreland looked squarely at me. “Here’s the point: you can’t get something from nothing,” he declared. “It’s as simple as that. If there were no God, then the history of the entire universe, up until the appearance of living creatures, would be a history of dead matter with no consciousness. You would not have any thoughts, beliefs, feelings, sensations, free actions, choices, or purposes. There would be simply one physical event after another physical event, behaving according to the laws of physics and chemistry.”

Moreland stopped for a moment to make sure this picture was vivid in my mind. Then he leaned forward and asked pointedly: “How, then, do you get something totally different—conscious, living, thinking, feeling, believing creatures—from materials that don’t have that? That’s getting something from nothing! And that’s the main problem. “If you apply a physical process to physical matter, you’re going to get a different arrangement of physical materials. For example, if you apply the physical process of heating to a bowl of water, you’re going to get a new product—steam—which is just a more complicated form of water, but it’s still physical. And if the history of the universe is just a story of physical processes being applied to physical materials, you’d end up with increasingly complicated arrangements of physical materials, but you’re not going to get something that’s completely nonphysical. That is a jump of a totally different kind. “At the end of the day, as Phillip Johnson put it, you either have ‘In the beginning were the particles,’ or ‘In the beginning was the Logos,’ which means ‘divine mind.’ If you start with particles, and the history of the universe is just a story about the rearrangement of particles, you may end up with a more complicated arrangement of particles, but you’re still going to have particles. You’re not going to have minds or consciousness.

“However—and this is really important—if you begin with an infinite mind, then you can explain how finite minds could come into existence. That makes sense. What doesn’t make sense—and which many atheistic evolutionists are conceding—is the idea of getting a mind to squirt into existence by starting with brute, dead, mindless matter. That’s why some of them are trying to get rid of consciousness by saying it’s not real and that we’re just computers.” He smiled after that last statement, then added: “However, that’s a pretty difficult position to maintain while you’re conscious!”

___________________

Let me respond further with the words of Francis Schaeffer from his book HE IS THERE AND HE IS NOT SILENT (the chapter is entitled, “Is Propositional Revelation Nonsense?”

Of course, if the infinite uncreated Personal communicated to the finite created personal, he would not exhaust himself in his communication; but two things are clear here:
 
1. Even communication between once created person and another is not exhaustive, but that does not mean that for that reason it is not true. 
 
2. If the uncreated Personal really cared for the created personal, it could not be thought unexpected for him to tell the created personal things of a propositional nature; otherwise as a finite being the created personal would have numerous things he could not know if he just began with himself as a limited, finite reference point. In such a case, there is no intrinsic reason why the uncreated Personal could communicate some vaguely true things, but could not communicate propositional truth concerning the world surrounding the created personal – for fun, let’s call that science. Or why he could not communicate propositional truth to the created personal concerning the sequence that followed the uncreated Personal making everything he made – let’s call that history. There is no reason we could think of why he could not tell these two types of propositional things truly. They would not be exhaustive; but could we think of any reason why they would not be true? The above is, of course, what the Bible claims for itself in regard to propositional revelation.
DOES THE BIBLE ERR IN THE AREA OF SCIENCE AND HISTORY? The Bible is true from cover to cover and can be trusted. Charles Darwin himself longed for evidence to come forward from the area of  Biblical Archaeology  but so much has  advanced  since Darwin wrote these words in the 19th century! Here are some of the posts I have done in the past on the subject and if you like you could just google these subjects: 1. The Babylonian Chronicleof Nebuchadnezzars Siege of Jerusalem, 2. Hezekiah’s Siloam Tunnel Inscription.13. The Pilate Inscription14. Caiaphas Ossuary14 B Pontius Pilate Part 214c. Three greatest American Archaeologists moved to accept Bible’s accuracy through archaeology.

Recently I had the opportunity to come across a very interesting article by Michael Polanyi,LIFE TRANSCENDING PHYSICS AND CHEMISTRY, in the magazine CHEMICAL AND ENGINEERING NEWS, August 21, 1967, and I also got hold of a 1968 talk by Francis Schaeffer based on this article. Polanyi’s son John actually won the 1986 Nobel Prize for Chemistry. This article by Michael Polanyi concerns Francis Crick and James Watson and their discovery of DNA in 1953. Polanyi noted:

Mechanisms, whether man-made or morphological, are boundary conditions harnessing the laws of in
animate nature, being themselves irreducible to those laws. The pattern of organic bases in DNA which functions as a genetic code is a boundary condition irreducible to physics and chemistry. Further controlling principles of life may be represented as a hierarchy of boundary conditions extending, in the case of man, to consciousness and responsibility.

I would like to send you a CD copy of this talk because I thought you may find it very interesting. It includes references to not only James D. Watson, and Francis Crick but also  Maurice Wilkins, Erwin Schrodinger, J.S. Haldane (his son was the famous J.B.S. Haldane), Peter Medawar, and Barry Commoner. I WONDER IF YOU EVER HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO RUN ACROSS THESE MEN OR ANY OF THEIR FORMER STUDENTS?

Below is a portion of the transcript from the CD and Michael Polanyi’s words are in italics while Francis Schaeffer’s words are not:

During the past 15 years, I have worked on these questions, achieving gradually stages of the argument presented in this paper. These are:

  1. Machines are not formed by physical and chemical equilibration. 
  2. The functional terms needed for characterizing a machine cannot for defined in terms of physics and chemistry. 

Polanyi is talking about specific machines but I would include the great cause and effect machine of the external universe that functions on a cause and effect basis. So if this is true of the watch,  then you have to ask the same question about the total machine that Sartre points out that is there, and that is the cause and effect universe.Polanyi doesn’t touch on this and he doesn’t have an answer, and I know people who know him. Yet nevertheless he sees the situation exactly as it is. And I would point out what  Alfred North Whitehead (1861–1947) and J. Robert Oppenheimer (1904–1967) said and that it needed a Christian consensus to produce modern science because it was the Christian consensus that gave the concept that the world being created by a reasonable God and that it could be found out and discovered by reason. So the modern science when it began with Copernicus and Galileo and all these men conceived that the cause and effect system of the universe would be there on the basis that it was created by a reasonable God, and that is Einstein’s big dilemma and that is why he became a mystic at the end of life…What Polanyi says here can be extended to the watch, and the bridge and the automobile but also to the big cause and effect universe.You have to give some kind of answer to this too and I would say this to Michael Polanyi if Iever have a chance to talk to him.You need another explanation too Polanyi.

3. No physical chemical topography will tell us that we have a machine before us and what its functions are. 

In other words, if you only know the chemicals and the physics you don’t know if you have a machine. It may just be junk. So nobody in the world could tell if it was a machine from merely the “physical chemical-topography.” You have to look at the machineness of the machine to say it is a machine. You could take an automobile and smash it into a small piece of metal with a giant press and it would have the same properties of the automobile, but the automobile would have disappeared. The automobile-ness of the automobile is something else than the physical chemical-topography.

4. Such a topography can completely identify one particular specimen of a machine, but can tell us nothing about a class of machines. 

5. And if we are asked how the same solid system can be subject to control by two independent principles, the answer is: The boundary conditions of the system are free of control by physics and can be controlled therefore by nonphysical, purely technical, principles. 

In other words you have to explain the engineering by something other than merely physical principles and of course it is. You can’t explain the watchness of the watch merely by this. You can explain it on the basis of engineering principles in which the human mind conceives of a use for the machine and produces the machine. But notice where Polanyi is and that is in our argument of a need of personality in the universe though Polanyi doesn’t draw this final conclusion, though I thought that is the only explanation.

If you look at the watch a man has made it for the purpose of telling time. When you see the automobile a man has made it for the purpose of locomotion and the explanation of the difference is not in the chemical and physical properties but in the personality of a man to make these two different machines for two different purposes out of the same material. So what you are left here is the need of personality in the universe.

____

Thank you for your time. I know how busy you are and I want to thank you for taking the time to read this letter.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher,

P.O. Box 23416, Little Rock, AR 72221, United States, cell ph 501-920-5733, everettehatcher@gmail.com

______

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hezekiah’s Tunnel

Gihon Spring

The Gihon Spring

The only spring in Jerusalem, the Gihon is a siphonic, karstic spring, and its name means “gushing”; it surges and the sound can be easily heard. It is estimated that the Gihon could have supported a population of about 2,500. The cave is a natural one, but it has been widened. Solomon was anointed at the Gihon Spring while his brother, Adonijah, was attempting to take the throne through a surreptitious coronation at En Rogel (1 Kgs 1).

The Tunnel

A 1750-foot (530m) tunnel carved during the reign of Hezekiah to bring water from one side of the city to the other, Hezekiah’s Tunnel together with the 6th c. tunnel of Euphalios in Greece are considered the greatest works of water engineering technology in the pre-Classical period.  Had it followed a straight line, the length would have been 1070 ft (335m) or 40% shorter.

Hezekiah's Tunnel

Hezekiah's Tunnel

The Construction

2 Kings 20:20 “As for the other events of Hezekiah’s reign, all his achievements and how he made the pool and the tunnel by which he brought water into the city…”

2 Chr 32:30 “It was Hezekiah who blocked the upper outlet of the Gihon spring and channeled the water down to the west side of the City of David.”

The Meeting Point

Why is the tunnel S-shaped?

R. A. S. Macalister said the tunnel was a “pathetically helpless piece of engineering.”

Henry Sulley in 1929 first suggested that Hezekiah’s tunnel followed a natural crack in the rock.

Dan Gill argues that the two crews of diggers followed a natural karstic dissolution channel.

Hezekiah's Tunnel meeting point

Place of Siloam Inscription in Hezekiah's Tunnel

The Location of the Siloam Inscription

“[…when] (the tunnel) was driven through.  And this was the way in which it was cut through:  While […] (were) still […] axe(s), each man toward his fellow, and while there were still three cubits to be cut through, [there was heard] the voice of a man calling to his fellows, for there was an overlap in the rock on the right [and on the left].  And when the tunnel was driven through, the quarrymen hewed (the rock), each man toward his fellow, axe against axe; and the water flowed from the spring toward the reservoir for 1200 cubits, and the height of the rock above the head(s) of the quarrymen was 100 cubits.”

____

 

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RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 55 Baroness Susan Greenfield “. Everything is rooted finally in our brain, if anything exists in a physical sense beyond that then I myself can not buy into that new kind of physics!”

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

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

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

Harry Kroto

_________________

Fig 9. The Sussex team from left: (back) Ala’a Abdul Sada and Jon Hare (front) HK, Roger Taylor and David Walton and Dr. Harry Kroto is the 1996 Chemistry Nobel Prize Winner and he is seen the photo below on the left seated:

________________

Susan Greenfield, Baroness Greenfield

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Baroness Greenfield
Baronesssusangre1.jpeg
Born 1 October 1950 (age 65)
Hammersmith, London, England, UK
Nationality British
Institutions
Alma mater St Hilda’s College, Oxford
Thesis Origins of acetylcholinesterase in cerebrospinal fluid (1977)
Doctoral advisor Anthony David Smith[1]
Notable awards CBE

Chevalier Légion d’honneur

Spouse Peter Atkins (m. 1991–2005)
Website
www.susangreenfield.com
Susan Greenfield’s voice
MENU
0:00
Recorded February 2011 from the BBC Radio 4 programme Four Thought

Susan Adele Greenfield, Baroness Greenfield, CBE,[2] HonFRCP (born 1 October 1950) is a British scientist, writer, broadcaster, and member of the House of Lords. Her research has focused on the treatment of Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. She is also interested in the neuroscience of consciousness [3] and the impact of technology on the brain.[4]

Greenfield is Senior Research Fellow at Lincoln College, Oxford University [5] and was Professor of Synaptic Pharmacology.[citation needed] From 2005 to 2012, she was also Chancellor of Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh between 2005 and 2013.[6] From 1998 to 2010, she was director of the Royal Institution of Great Britain.[7] In September 2013, she co-founded the biotech company Neuro-bio Ltd, where she is Chief Executive Officer.[8][9]

Education[edit]

Susan Adele Greenfield was born to a Jewish father[10] and a Christian mother in Hammersmith, London. Her mother, Doris (née Thorp), was a dancer, and her father, Reginald Myer Greenfield, was an electrician.[11]

She attended the Godolphin and Latymer School, where she took A levels in Latin, Greek and ancient history, and maths. The first member of her immediate family to go on to university, she was initially admitted to St Hilda’s College to read Philosophy, Psychology and Psychiatry, graduated with a first degree in experimental psychology.[11][12] As a Senior Scholar at St Hugh’s College, Oxford,[13] she completed her DPhil degree in 1977 under the supervision of Anthony David Smith on the Origins of acetylcholinesterase incerebrospinal fluid.[1] She then held a junior research fellowship at Green College, Oxford between 1981 – 1984.[14]

Career[edit]

Greenfield’s research is focused on brain physiology, particularly on the brain mechanisms of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, but she is also known as a populariser of science. Greenfield has written a range of books about the brain, regularly gives public lectures, and appears on radio and television.[15]

Since 1976, Greenfield has published some 200 papers in peer-reviewed journals, including studies on the basic brain mechanisms involved in addiction and reward,[16][17][18][19][20]i.e. relating to dopamine systems and related neurochemicals.[21][22] She investigated the brain mechanisms underlying ADHD[22][23] as well as the impact of environmental enrichment.[24]

In 1994, she was invited to be the first woman to give the Royal Institution Christmas Lecture, then sponsored by the BBC. Her lecture was titled “Journey to the centre of the brain”.[25] She was appointed Director of the Royal Institution in 1998,.[26] The post was abolished in 2010.[27] The Royal Institution had found itself in a financial crisis following a £22m development programme led by Greenfield and the Board. The project ended £3 million in debt.[28][29] Greenfield subsequently announced that she would be taking her employers to an employment tribunal and her claim would include discrimination,[30] but the case was settled out of court.[31]

Greenfield’s two main posts at Oxford were as Tutorial Fellow in Medicine at Lincoln College Oxford,[5] and Professor of Synaptic Pharmacology.[citation needed] From 1995 to 1999, she gave public lectures as Gresham Professor of Physic in London. Greenfield was Adelaide‘s Thinker in Residence for 2004 and 2005.[32] As a result of her recommendations, South Australian Premier Mike Rann made a major funding commitment, backed by the State and Federal Governments and the private sector, to establish the Royal Institution of Australia and the Australian Science Media Centre in Adelaide.[33]

She has explored the relevance of neuroscience knowledge to education[34] and has introduced the concept of “mind change”,[35] an umbrella term comparable to “climate change”, encompassing the diverse issues involved in the impact of the 21st-century environment on the brain.[36]

Politics[edit]

Baroness Greenfield sits in the Parliament of the United Kingdom in the House of Lords as a crossbencher, having no formal political affiliation.[37] Records of Baroness Greenfield’s activity in the House of Lords indicate abstention on a range of issues.[38] She has spoken on a variety of topics,[39] including education, drugs, and economic empowerment for women.[40]

Books[edit]

In 1995 Greenfield published her own theory of consciousness in Journey to the Centres of the Mind (1995), which was developed substantially in The Private Life of the Brain (2000). Her book The Human Brain: A Guided Tour (1997) was followed byTomorrow’s People (2003), which explored human nature and its potential vulnerability in an age of technology. These ideas were expanded in her later book, ID (2009). The theme of unprecedented changes to contemporary human cognition was briefly explored in a monograph You and Me (2011), and has was later developed further in an in-depth exploration of the impact of technology on the brain inMind Change published in 2014 by Random House. A further book A Day in the Life of the Brain is due to be published by Penguin in early 2016.[citation needed]

In 2013 Greenfield published a dystopian science-fiction novel, 2121: A Tale from the Next Century, telling the story of videogame-playing hedonists and their conflict with “Neo-Puritans”.[41]

Impact of digital technology controversy[edit]

In press interviews, at public speaking events,[42] as well as in her writing,[43] Greenfield has expressed concerns that modern technology, and in particular social networking sites and video games,[42] may have a significant impact on child development as a factor in autistic-like behaviour.[42][44][45][46] She noted[citation needed] that Public Health England had related social networking and multiplayer online games to “lower levels of wellbeing”, and believed that evidence pointed to a “dose-response” relationship, “where each additional hour of viewing increases the likelihood of experiencing socio-emotional problems”.[47] She believed this raised questions about where to draw the boundaries between beneficial and harmful use of such technology, saying that “it would be surprising if many hours per day of screen activity did not influence this neuroplasticity”.[48]

Greenfield has been criticised for explicitly linking the increase in internet usage to a rise in autism. In an 2015 article in the BMJ, clinical psychologist Vaughan Bell, developmental psychologist Dorothy Bishop and psychologist Andrew Przybylski took Greenfield to task for her statements, writing that Greenfield’s notion had “no basis in scientific evidence” and was “entirely implausible in light of what we know of autism as a neurodevelopmental condition”. They expressed concern that her work could be misleading to parents.[49]

Greenfield had already been criticised for failing to publish any research into her theories of technology’s impact on child development. Ben Goldacre suggested that “A scientist with enduring concerns about a serious widespread risk would normally set out their concerns clearly, to other scientists, in a scientific paper.”[42]

Honours[edit]

Greenfield has 32 honorary degrees,[50] and has received awards including the Royal Society‘s Michael Faraday Prize. She has been elected to an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians[51] and the LondonScience Museum.[52] In 2006 she was made an Honorary Fellow of the British Science Association[53] and was the Honorary Australian of the Year.

In January 2000, Greenfield received the CBE[54] for her contribution to the public understanding of science.[2] Later that year, she was named Woman of the Year by The Observer. In 2001, she became a Life Peer under the via the House of Lords Appointments Commission system,[55] as Baroness Greenfield, of Ot Moor in the County of Oxfordshire.[2][56]

In 2003, she was appointed a Chevalier of the Légion d’Honneur by the French Government.[51] In 2010 she was awarded the Australian Society for Medical Research Medal.[57] She also received the British Inspiration award for Science and Technology in 2010.[58]

Patronage[edit]

She is a patron of the Alzheimer’s Research UK[59] and of Dignity in Dying.[60] She is a founder and trustee of the charity Science for Humanity, a network of scientists, researchers and technologists that collaborates with non-profits to create practical solutions to the everyday problems of developing communities.[61]

Personal life[edit]

Greenfield was married to University of Oxford Professor Peter Atkins from 1991 until their divorce in 2003.[62]

_____________________________

In  the third video below in the 129th clip in this series are her words and  my response is below them. 

50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1)

Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2)

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

I grew up at Bellevue Baptist Church under the leadership of our pastor Adrian Rogers and I read many books by the Evangelical Philosopher Francis Schaeffer and have had the opportunity to contact many of the evolutionists or humanistic academics that they have mentioned in their works. Many of these scholars have taken the time to respond back to me in the last 20 years and some of the names  included are  Ernest Mayr (1904-2005), George Wald (1906-1997), Carl Sagan (1934-1996),  Robert Shapiro (1935-2011), Nicolaas Bloembergen (1920-),  Brian Charlesworth (1945-),  Francisco J. Ayala (1934-) Elliott Sober (1948-), Kevin Padian (1951-), Matt Cartmill (1943-) , Milton Fingerman (1928-), John J. Shea (1969-), , Michael A. Crawford (1938-), Paul Kurtz (1925-2012), Sol Gordon (1923-2008), Albert Ellis (1913-2007), Barbara Marie Tabler (1915-1996), Renate Vambery (1916-2005), Archie J. Bahm (1907-1996), Aron S “Gil” Martin ( 1910-1997), Matthew I. Spetter (1921-2012), H. J. Eysenck (1916-1997), Robert L. Erdmann (1929-2006), Mary Morain (1911-1999), Lloyd Morain (1917-2010),  Warren Allen Smith (1921-), Bette Chambers (1930-),  Gordon Stein (1941-1996) , Milton Friedman (1912-2006), John Hospers (1918-2011), Michael Martin (1932-), John R. Cole  (1942-),   Wolf Roder,  Susan Blackmore (1951-),  Christopher C. French (1956-)  Walter R. Rowe Thomas Gilovich (1954-), Paul QuinceyHarry Kroto (1939-), Marty E. Martin (1928-), Richard Rubenstein (1924-), James Terry McCollum (1936-), Edward O. WIlson (1929-), Lewis Wolpert (1929), Gerald Holton (1922-), Martin Rees (1942-), Alan Macfarlane (1941-),  Roald Hoffmann (1937-), Herbert Kroemer (1928-), Thomas H. Jukes (1906-1999), Glenn BranchGeoff Harcourt (1931-), and  Ray T. Cragun (1976-).

___________

In the popular You Tube video “Renowned Academics Speaking About God” Dr. Greenfield made the following statement:

“I think what is more important is to realize we are individuals. Everything is rooted finally in our brain. My own view is that. If anything exists in a physical sense beyond that then I myself can not buy into that new kind of physics. If people believe that and it comforts them then who am I to say…”

Let me respond first by saying that Dr. Greenfield’s assertion is that when the brain dies we die too, but is there evidence that there is a life after death as the Bible claims? WHAT IF THERE WAS EVIDENCE THAT THE BIBLE IS TRUE HISTORICALLY? IF THAT COULD BE SHOWN THEN WOULD DR. GREENFIELD BELIEVE WHAT IT SAYS ABOUT THE AFTERLIFE? 

Let me further respond with the words of Francis Schaeffer from his book HE IS THERE AND HE IS NOT SILENT (the chapter is entitled, “Is Propositional Revelation Nonsense?”

Of course, if the infinite uncreated Personal communicated to the finite created personal, he would not exhaust himself in his communication; but two things are clear here:
 
1. Even communication between once created person and another is not exhaustive, but that does not mean that for that reason it is not true. 
 
2. If the uncreated Personal really cared for the created personal, it could not be thought unexpected for him to tell the created personal things of a propositional nature; otherwise as a finite being the created personal would have numerous things he could not know if he just began with himself as a limited, finite reference point. In such a case, there is no intrinsic reason why the uncreated Personal could communicate some vaguely true things, but could not communicate propositional truth concerning the world surrounding the created personal – for fun, let’s call that science. Or why he could not communicate propositional truth to the created personal concerning the sequence that followed the uncreated Personal making everything he made – let’s call that history. There is no reason we could think of why he could not tell these two types of propositional things truly. They would not be exhaustive; but could we think of any reason why they would not be true? The above is, of course, what the Bible claims for itself in regard to propositional revelation.
DOES THE BIBLE ERR IN THE AREA OF SCIENCE AND HISTORY? The Bible is true from cover to cover and can be trusted. Charles Darwin himself longed for evidence to come forward from the area of  Biblical Archaeology  but so much has  advanced  since Darwin wrote these words in the 19th century! Here are some of the posts I have done in the past on the subject and if you like you could just google these subjects: 1. The Babylonian Chronicleof Nebuchadnezzars Siege of Jerusalem, 2. Hezekiah’s Siloam Tunnel Inscription.13. The Pilate Inscription14. Caiaphas Ossuary14 B Pontius Pilate Part 214c. Three greatest American Archaeologists moved to accept Bible’s accuracy through archaeology.
Here is a letter I sent to Dr. Greenfield below:

October 5, 2015

Professor Susan Greenfield
Director
Institute for the Future of the Mind

Dear Dr. Greenfield,

I really enjoyed your TED TALK and I also got to hear another TED TALK the other day by Nobel Prize Winner John Polanyi whose father I am writing you about later in this letter. You might want to check that out on You Tube too.

I read in Wikipedia concerning you:

Baroness Greenfield sits in the Parliament of the United Kingdom in the House of Lords as a crossbencher, having no formal political affiliation.[35] Records of Baroness Greenfield’s activity in the House of Lords indicate abstention on a range of issues.[36]

That intrigued me because I recently got involved in politics too and was elected Justice of the Peace in the 4th largest county in Arkansas and my wife Jill has served several years on the City Council in Shannon Hills.

It has been many years since I first visited Parliament but I have been watching many of their sessions on television and reading about them. Recently I read about the amazing career of Dominick Geoffrey Edward Browne. I wonder if you ever got to know him and did you know that he was mentioned indirectly in what I think is the most famous Beatles song of all-time.

What is the best Beatles song of all time? It is my opinion that is the song A DAY IN THE LIFE, and that is also the conclusion of Elvis Costello in his article “100 Greatest Beatles Songs,” September 19, 2011.

It is a song that takes a long look at the issue of death. It starts off telling the story of Tara Browne who “had made the grade” but then gets blow up in a car. Browne’s father was Dominick Geoffrey Edward Browne and that is why the Beatles noted,Nobody was really sure
If he was from the House of Lords.” 

It is true that Tara Browne was a very wealthy friend of the Beatles and unfortunately he sped through a red-light in London going 100 miles per hour and ended his life.King Solomon noted, “No one knows when their hour will come: As fish are caught in a cruel net, or birds are taken in a snare, so people are trapped by evil times  that fall unexpectedly upon them.”

Beatles – A Day In The Life Lyrics

I read the news today, oh boy
About a lucky man who made the grade
And though the news was rather sad
Well I just had to laugh
I saw the photograph.He blew his mind out in a car
He didn’t notice that the lights had changed
A crowd of people stood and stared
They’d seen his face before
Nobody was really sure
If he was from the House of Lords.I saw a film today, oh boy
The English army had just won the war
A crowd of people turned away
But I just had to look
Having read the book
I’d love to turn you on.Woke up, fell out of bed,
Dragged a comb across my head
Found my way downstairs and drank a cup,
And looking up I noticed I was late.Found my coat and grabbed my hat
Made the bus in seconds flat
Found my way upstairs and had a smoke,
Somebody spoke and I went into a dream.I read the news today oh boy
Four thousand holes in Blackburn, Lancashire
And though the holes were rather small
They had to count them all
Now they know how many holes it takes to fill the Albert Hall.
I’d love to turn you on.
Songwriters: LENNON, JOHN WINSTON / MCCARTNEY, PAUL JAMES
____________________________
The article below explains the meaning of these words from the song:
“They’d seen his face before
Nobody was really sure
If he was from the House of Lords.”
12:03AM BST 10 Aug 2002

The 4th Lord Oranmore and Browne, who has died aged 100, is believed to hold the record as the longest-serving member of the House of Lords, having taken his seat in 1927 and been evicted under the Government’s reforms of 1999.

He earned the unspoken admiration of many by never speaking in the chamber, and was better known for his three marriages, particularly to the heiress Oonagh Guinness and to the actress Sally Gray.

It was also his misfortune to be associated in the public memory with the tragic deaths in traffic accidents of first his parents in 1927, and then of his son Tara Browne, an icon of the Swinging Sixties, almost 40 years later.

Dominick Geoffrey Edward Browne was born in Dublin on October 21 1901, heir to the Irish peerages of Oranmore and Browne of Carrabrowne Castle, Co Galway, and Castle Mac Garrett, Co Mayo.

Oranmore and Browne married three times, first Mildred Helen, daughter of Thomas Egerton, a cousin of the Duke of Sutherland; they had two sons and three daughters (one of whom died aged 13). They divorced in 1936, so he could marry Oonagh Guinness, one of the “Golden Guinness girls”; she was a considerable heiress in her own right and the owner of Luggala, a fairytale Gothic lodge in the Wicklow mountains.

They had three sons, the eldest of whom is Garech Browne, the pony-tailed squire of Luggala, a guardian of Irish lore and founder of The Chieftains. The second son died after a week. The third was Tara Browne, a friend of John Lennon who drove his Lotus Elan into a lamp-post in Redcliffe Square, London, in 1966. Tara was the subject of the Beatles’ song A Day in the Life, which contained the verse:

He blew his mind out in a car
He didn’t notice that the lights had changed
A crowd of people stood and stared
They’d seen his face before,
Nobody was really sure if he was from the House of Lords.

A Day in the Life

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 “A Day in the Life” is the final song on the BeatlesSgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album. Credited to Lennon–McCartney, the song comprises distinct sections written independently by John Lennonand Paul McCartney, with orchestral additions. While Lennon’s lyrics were inspired by contemporary newspaper articles, McCartney’s were reminiscent of his youth. The decisions to link sections of the song with orchestral glissandos and to end the song with a sustained piano chord were made only after the rest of the song had been recorded.

The supposed drug reference in the line “I’d love to turn you on” resulted in the song initially being banned from broadcast by the BBC. Since its original album release, “A Day in the Life” has been released as aB-side, and also on variouscompilation albums. It has been covered by other artists, and since 2008, by McCartney in his live performances. It was ranked the 28th greatest song of all time by Rolling Stonemagazine.[5] The magazine also ranked it as the greatest Beatles song.[6]

Composition[edit]

According to Lennon, the inspiration for the first two verses was the death of Tara Browne, the 21-year-old heir to the Guinness fortune who had crashed his Lotus Elan on 18 December 1966 in Redcliffe Gardens, Earls Court. Browne had been a friend of Lennon and McCartney,[7] and had, earlier in 1966, instigated McCartney’s first experience with LSD.[8] Lennon’s verses were adapted from a story in the 17 January 1967 edition of the Daily Mail, which reported the ruling on a custody action over Browne’s two young children:

Guinness heir Tara Browne’s two children will be brought up by their 56-year-old grandmother, the High Court ruled yesterday. It turned down a plea by their mother, Mrs. Nicky Browne, 24, that she should have them …This, she said, happened after Mr. Browne, 21, from whom she was estranged, had taken them for a holiday in County Wicklow [Ireland] with his mother.

Mrs. Browne began an action for their return in October [1966], naming Mr. Browne and his mother as defendants. The action, held in private, was part way through when Mr. Browne died in a crash in his Lotus Elan car in South Kensington a week before Christmas.[9]

“I didn’t copy the accident,” Lennon said. “Tara didn’t blow his mind out, but it was in my mind when I was writing that verse. The details of the accident in the song—not noticing traffic lights and a crowd forming at the scene—were similarly part of the fiction.”[10]

____

Tara Browne in 1966

Suki Poitier (centre) and Tara Browne (right), 1966

_________________

keith suki brian and mick. suki would later survive a car(Lotus Elan) crash driven by Tara Browne- heir to the Guinness fortune. The driver perished(blew his mind out in a car, he didn’t notice that the lights had changed) made famous by a Beatles song.

_____________________

In the popular You Tube video “Renowned Academics Speaking About God” you made the following statement:

“I think what is more important is to realize we are individuals. Everything is rooted finally in our brain. My own view is that. If anything exists in a physical sense beyond that then I myself can not buy into that new kind of physics. If people believe that and it comforts them then who am I to say…”

WHAT IF THERE WAS EVIDENCE THAT THE BIBLE IS TRUE HISTORICALLY? IF THAT COULD BE SHOWN THEN WOULD YOU BELIEVE WHAT IT SAYS ABOUT THE AFTERLIFE? 

Let me further respond with the words of Francis Schaeffer from his book HE IS THERE AND HE IS NOT SILENT (the chapter is entitled, “Is Propositional Revelation Nonsense?”

Of course, if the infinite uncreated Personal communicated to the finite created personal, he would not exhaust himself in his communication; but two things are clear here:
 
1. Even communication between once created person and another is not exhaustive, but that does not mean that for that reason it is not true. 
 
2. If the uncreated Personal really cared for the created personal, it could not be thought unexpected for him to tell the created personal things of a propositional nature; otherwise as a finite being the created personal would have numerous things he could not know if he just began with himself as a limited, finite reference point. In such a case, there is no intrinsic reason why the uncreated Personal could communicate some vaguely true things, but could not communicate propositional truth concerning the world surrounding the created personal – for fun, let’s call that science. Or why he could not communicate propositional truth to the created personal concerning the sequence that followed the uncreated Personal making everything he made – let’s call that history. There is no reason we could think of why he could not tell these two types of propositional things truly. They would not be exhaustive; but could we think of any reason why they would not be true? The above is, of course, what the Bible claims for itself in regard to propositional revelation.
DOES THE BIBLE ERR IN THE AREA OF SCIENCE AND HISTORY? The Bible is true from cover to cover and can be trusted. Charles Darwin himself longed for evidence to come forward from the area of  Biblical Archaeology  but so much has  advanced  since Darwin wrote these words in the 19th century! Here are some of the posts I have done in the past on the subject and if you like you could just google these subjects: 1. The Babylonian Chronicleof Nebuchadnezzars Siege of Jerusalem, 2. Hezekiah’s Siloam Tunnel Inscription.13. The Pilate Inscription14. Caiaphas Ossuary14 B Pontius Pilate Part 214c. Three greatest American Archaeologists moved to accept Bible’s accuracy through archaeology.

Recently I had the opportunity to come across a very interesting article by Michael Polanyi, LIFE TRANSCENDING PHYSICS AND CHEMISTRY, in the magazine CHEMICAL AND ENGINEERING NEWS, August 21, 1967, and I also got hold of a 1968 talk by Francis Schaeffer based on this article. Polanyi’s son John actually won the 1986 Nobel Prize for Chemistry. This article by Michael Polanyi concerns Francis Crick and James Watson and their discovery of DNA in 1953. Polanyi noted:

Mechanisms, whether man-made or morphological, are boundary conditions harnessing the laws of in
animate nature, being themselves irreducible to those laws. The pattern of organic bases in DNA which functions as a genetic code is a boundary condition irreducible to physics and chemistry. Further controlling principles of life may be represented as a hierarchy of boundary conditions extending, in the case of man, to consciousness and responsibility.

I would like to send you a CD copy of this talk because I thought you may find it very interesting. It includes references to not only James D. Watson, and Francis Crick but also  Maurice Wilkins, Erwin Schrodinger, J.S. Haldane (his son was the famous J.B.S. Haldane), Peter Medawar, and Barry Commoner. I WONDER IF YOU EVER HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO RUN ACROSS THESE MEN OR ANY OF THEIR FORMER STUDENTS?

Below is a portion of the transcript from the CD and Michael Polanyi’s words are in italics while Francis Schaeffer’s words are not:

During the past 15 years, I have worked on these questions, achieving gradually stages of the argument presented in this paper. These are:

  1. Machines are not formed by physical and chemical equilibration. 
  2. The functional terms needed for characterizing a machine cannot for defined in terms of physics and chemistry. 

Polanyi is talking about specific machines but I would include the great cause and effect machine of the external universe that functions on a cause and effect basis. So if this is true of the watch,  then you have to ask the same question about the total machine that Sartre points out that is there, and that is the cause and effect universe. Polanyi doesn’t touch on this and he doesn’t have an answer, and I know people who know him. Yet nevertheless he sees the situation exactly as it is. And I would point out what  Alfred North Whitehead (1861–1947) and J. Robert Oppenheimer (1904–1967) said and that it needed a Christian consensus to produce modern science because it was the Christian consensus that gave the concept that the world being created by a reasonable God and that it could be found out and discovered by reason. So the modern science when it began with Copernicus and Galileo and all these men conceived that the cause and effect system of the universe would be there on the basis that it was created by a reasonable God, and that is Einstein’s big dilemma and that is why he became a mystic at the end of life…What Polanyi says here can be extended to the watch, and the bridge and the automobile but also to the big cause and effect universe. You have to give some kind of answer to this too and I would say this to Michael Polanyi if I ever have a chance to talk to him. You need another explanation too Polanyi.

3. No physical chemical topography will tell us that we have a machine before us and what its functions are. 

In other words, if you only know the chemicals and the physics you don’t know if you have a machine. It may just be junk. So nobody in the world could tell if it was a machine from merely the “physical chemical-topography.” You have to look at the machineness of the machine to say it is a machine. You could take an automobile and smash it into a small piece of metal with a giant press and it would have the same properties of the automobile, but the automobile would have disappeared. The automobile-ness of the automobile is something else than the physical chemical-topography.

4. Such a topography can completely identify one particular specimen of a machine, but can tell us nothing about a class of machines. 

5. And if we are asked how the same solid system can be subject to control by two independent principles, the answer is: The boundary conditions of the system are free of control by physics and can be controlled therefore by nonphysical, purely technical, principles. 

In other words you have to explain the engineering by something other than merely physical principles and of course it is. You can’t explain the watchness of the watch merely by this. You can explain it on the basis of engineering principles in which the human mind conceives of a use for the machine and produces the machine. But notice where Polanyi is and that is in our argument of a need of personality in the universe though Polanyi doesn’t draw this final conclusion, though I thought that is the only explanation.

If you look at the watch a man has made it for the purpose of telling time. When you see the automobile a man has made it for the purpose of locomotion and the explanation of the difference is not in the chemical and physical properties but in the personality of a man to make these two different machines for two different purposes out of the same material. So what you are left here is the need of personality in the universe.

____

Thank you for your time. I know how busy you are and I want to thank you for taking the time to read this letter.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher,

P.O. Box 23416, Little Rock, AR 72221, United States, cell ph 501-920-5733, everettehatcher@gmail.com

 

 

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RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 54 Dr. Raymond Tallis of Manchester is an atheist because rejects a God who is “omniscient, omnipotent and good and yet so constrained as to be unable or unwilling to create a world without evil!”

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

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

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

Harry Kroto

_________________

Below you have picture of 1996 Chemistry Nobel Prize Winner Dr. Harry Kroto (on right and  Reg Colin on left):

___________________

 

Raymond Tallis

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Raymond C. Tallis
Born 1946 (age 68–69)
Liverpool, Lancashire, England,UK
Citizenship British
Fields Medicine, Geriatrics, Philosophy of Mind
Institutions University of Manchester
Alma mater University of Oxford

Raymond C. Tallis F.Med.Sci., FRCP, FRSA (born 10 October 1946[1] in Liverpool, Lancashire) is a philosopher, poet, novelist, cultural critic and a retired medical physician andclinical neuroscientist.[2] Specialising in geriatrics, Tallis served on several UK commissions on medical care of the aged and was an editor or major contributor to two key textbooks in the field, The Clinical Neurology of Old Age and Textbook of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology.

Medical career[edit]

Keble College, Oxford

On leaving Liverpool College, Tallis gained an Open Scholarship to Keble College, Oxford, where he completed a degree in animal physiology in 1967. He completed his medical degreein 1970 at the University of Oxford and St Thomas’ Hospital in London. From 1996 to 2000, he was Consultant Adviser in Care of the Elderly to the Chief Medical Officer. In 1999–2000, he was Vice-Chairman of the Stroke Task Force of the Advisory Group developing the National Service Framework for Older People. He has been on the Standing Medical Advisory Committee and the Council of the Royal College of Physicians and was secretary of the Joint Specialist Committee of the Royal College on Health Care of the Elderly between 1995 and 2003. He was a member of the Joint Task Force on Partnership in Medicine Taking, established by Alan Milburn, the Secretary of State for Health, in 2001. For three years he was a member of one of the appraisal panels of the National Institute of Clinical Excellence. He retired in 2006 as Emeritus Professor of Geriatric Medicine at the University of Manchester.[3]

Philosophical works[edit]

Tallis attacked post-structuralism in books such as Not Saussure,[4] Theorrhoea and After[5] and rejected the assumptions of much artificial intelligence research in his book Why the Mind is Not a Computer: A Pocket Dictionary on Neuromythology.[6] He denies that our appreciation of art and music can be reduced to scientific terms.[7] His philosophical writings supply an anthropology that acknowledges what is distinctive – and remarkable – about human beings. To this end he has written a trilogy of books entitled The Hand;[8] I Am: A Philosophical Inquiry into First-Person Being;[9] and The Knowing Animal.[10] He has also written extensively about the misuse of scientific language and concepts to explain human experiences.[11]

In 2007 Tallis published Unthinkable Thought: The Enduring Significance of Parmenides. His book The Kingdom of Infinite Space: A Fantastical Journey Around Your Head, which explores the range of activities that go on inside the human head, was published in April 2008.[12] and Michelangelo’s Finger: An Exploration of Everyday Transcendence was published in 2010.[13]

Aping Mankind: Neuromania, Darwinitis and the Misrepresentation of Humanity was published in 2011.[14] In Defence of Wonder and Other Philosophical Reflections, a collection of essays from The Reader and elsewhere, was published in April 2012.[15]

Other work[edit]

Tallis is among the Distinguished Supporters of the British Humanist Association.[16] Tallis is also a Patron of Dignity in Dying. On 15 September 2010, Tallis, along with 54 other public figures, signed an open letter published inThe Guardian, stating their opposition to Pope Benedict XVI‘s state visit to the UK.[17] In a 2010 interview with author Jesse Horn, Tallis declared that he is an optimistic humanist and an atheist. “Given that I was born a few months after Auschwitz was liberated, it is hardly surprising that I have a strong sense of the evil that humans – individually and collectively – do. My position is that of cautious and chastened optimism, a belief that, if we are ourselves well-treated by others, we will usually treat others reasonably well.”[18]

_____________________________

In  the third video below in the 137th clip in this series are his words and  my response is below them. 

50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1)

Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2)

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

I grew up at Bellevue Baptist Church under the leadership of our pastor Adrian Rogers and I read many books by the Evangelical Philosopher Francis Schaeffer and have had the opportunity to contact many of the evolutionists or humanistic academics that they have mentioned in their works. Many of these scholars have taken the time to respond back to me in the last 20 years and some of the names  included are  Ernest Mayr (1904-2005), George Wald (1906-1997), Carl Sagan (1934-1996),  Robert Shapiro (1935-2011), Nicolaas Bloembergen (1920-),  Brian Charlesworth (1945-),  Francisco J. Ayala (1934-) Elliott Sober (1948-), Kevin Padian (1951-), Matt Cartmill (1943-) , Milton Fingerman (1928-), John J. Shea (1969-), , Michael A. Crawford (1938-), Paul Kurtz (1925-2012), Sol Gordon (1923-2008), Albert Ellis (1913-2007), Barbara Marie Tabler (1915-1996), Renate Vambery (1916-2005), Archie J. Bahm (1907-1996), Aron S “Gil” Martin ( 1910-1997), Matthew I. Spetter (1921-2012), H. J. Eysenck (1916-1997), Robert L. Erdmann (1929-2006), Mary Morain (1911-1999), Lloyd Morain (1917-2010),  Warren Allen Smith (1921-), Bette Chambers (1930-),  Gordon Stein (1941-1996) , Milton Friedman (1912-2006), John Hospers (1918-2011), Michael Martin (1932-), John R. Cole  (1942-),   Wolf Roder,  Susan Blackmore (1951-),  Christopher C. French (1956-)  Walter R. Rowe Thomas Gilovich (1954-), Paul QuinceyHarry Kroto (1939-), Marty E. Martin (1928-), Richard Rubenstein (1924-), James Terry McCollum (1936-), Edward O. WIlson (1929-), Lewis Wolpert (1929), Gerald Holton (1922-), Martin Rees (1942-), Alan Macfarlane (1941-),  Roald Hoffmann (1937-), Herbert Kroemer (1928-), Thomas H. Jukes (1906-1999), Glenn BranchGeoff Harcourt (1931-), and  Ray T. Cragun (1976-).

Quote from Raymond Tallis

In the You Tube video “A Further 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 3),” Dr. Tallis asserted:

My main reason for being an atheist is that the concept of God is totally illogical. Any attempt to bring together all the qualities that are ascribed to God lead to contradictions. For example, God is separate from His creation but is also infinite and boundless which is contradiction number 1. 

There is the obvious contradiction that people have often talked about is that He is omnipotent and all-good and yet allows a world in which terrible things happen. Whatever way you square it the concept of God is a logical impossibility. 

On December 19, 2010  vjtorley posted the article, “Professor Raymond Tallis on good and bad arguments for atheism,” and he noted:

Professor Tallis’s other main argument for atheism is that “God is a logically impossible object,” as he puts it in his provocatively titled article, In search of the G-spot. What he particularly objects to, as he writes in his article, “Why I am an atheist,” is the notion of a God who combines in His Being both the unbounded and the specific:

… the notion of a God who is infinite but has specific characteristics; unbounded, but distinct in some sense from His creation; who is a Being that has not been brought into being; who is omniscient, omnipotent and good and yet so constrained as to be unable or unwilling to create a world without evil; who is intelligent and yet has little in common with intelligent beings as we understand them; and so on.

_____________

Dr.Tallis brings up the problem of evil and lays it at the foot of God. In the letter below I answer this objection. Since Dr. Tallis is a secular man and rejects the idea of “blind faith” I have put forth some evidence below that seems to indicate that the Bible is historically accurate.

 

September 30, 2015

Dr. Raymond Tallis, Emeritus Professor of Geriatric Medicine, The University of Manchester,

Dear Dr. Tallis,

In the article, “Professor Raymond Tallis on good and bad arguments for atheism,” December 19, 2010, posted by vjtorley under Intelligent Design, I read these comments about you:

Having cleared the table, Tallis puts forward what he considers to be the two best arguments for atheism:first, if a personal God exists, He is a morally capricious Being, which makes His existence implausible; and second, the concept of God is self-contradictory.

On April 28, 2014 I woke up and found out that a family we used to go to church with several years ago  had just lost their two oldest daughters and their father the night before in the EF-4 tornado that hit near Little Rock, Arkansas. Actually I coached their oldest daughter in basketball back when she was in the 5th grade in our Upwards Basketball League at Fellowship Bible Church in Little Rock. Later in the day my son Hunter who is in the National Guard told me about his visit in the hospital with his army buddy who was going into surgery and his daughter was also in the hospital and his home was destroyed in Vilonia, Arkansas.  After I heard these two pieces of news I turned on the radio and heard the testimony of Kathy Sanders who told of the loss of her two grandchildren Chase and Colton at the Oklahoma City bombing, and that reminded me of my correspondence with 3 signers of Humanist Manifesto 2 back in 1995 after Billy Graham spoke at the Memorial Service in Oklahoma City.

I wanted to write you today for two reasons. First, I wanted to talk to you about the problem of evil since it is probably the number one reason that atheists like you do not consider believing in God. Second, I wanted to point out some scientific evidence that caused Antony Flew to switch from an atheist (as you are now) to a theist. Twenty years I had the opportunity to correspond with two individuals that were regarded as two of the most famous atheists of the 20th Century, Antony Flew and Carl Sagan. (I have enclosed some of those letters between us.) I had read the books and seen the films of the Christian philosopher Francis Schaeffer and he had discussed the works of both of these men. I sent both of these gentlemen philosophical arguments from Schaeffer in these letters and in the first letter I sent a cassette tape of my pastor’s sermon IS THE BIBLE TRUE? (CD is enclosed also.) You may have noticed in the news a few years ago that Antony Flew actually became a theist in 2004 and remained one until his death in 2010. Carl Sagan remained a skeptic until his dying day in 1996.

You will notice in the enclosed letter from June 1, 1994 that Dr. Flew commented, “Thank you for sending me the IS THE BIBLE TRUE? tape to which I have just listened with great interest and, I trust, profit.” It would be a great honor for me if you would take time and drop me a note and let me know what your reaction is to this same message.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Crimes? What Crimes?

The Grand ‘Sez Who’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

_____________

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

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

SO WHAT?

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

About the Author
Rusty Wright, former associate speaker and writer with Probe Ministries, is an international lecturer, award-winning author, and journalist who has spoken on six continents. He holds Bachelor of Science (psychology) and Master of Theology degrees from Duke and Oxford universities, respectively. http://www.rustywright.com/
At my church in Little Rock which is Fellowship Bible our Teaching Pastor Bill Parkinson in his sermon on 4-19-09 noted:
Jesus told his disciples, “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” If there is one thing that Jesus’ life teaches us it is that life is hard and God is good. Life is hard if the only sinless perfect man can be crucified, but if God can take that crucifixion and bring resurrection not only for Him, but take hundreds of millions out of that into a personal relationship with Him then God is good. Jesus says to take heart in knowing that I have overcome the world and I have given you promises that help you overcome the world as well. Romans 8:28 says, “All things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose.” God causes everything that is allowed into your life to work for good IF you are called according to his purpose. That purpose is in verse 29 “to become conformed to the image of His Son (Jesus Christ).”
Thank you so much for taking time to read my letter because  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

 

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 – Is the Bible from God? (Kyle Butt 42 min)

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

TRUTH AND HISTORY (chapter 5 of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?, under footnote #96)

Now we should Now we should turn to one of the most spectacular of modern archaeological discoveries, Ebla. While digging on an extensive mound forty-four miles south of Aleppo in Syria in 1974/75, an Italian archaeological expedition came across another of the vast libraries to which we referred earlier. A small room within the palace suddenly yielded up a thousand tablets and fragments, while another not far away a further fourteen thousand. There lay row upon row, just where they had fallen from the burning wooden shelves when the palace was destroyed about 2250 B.C.

What secrets did these tablets reveal? Without wishing to seem unnecessarily repetitive, we can say immediately that Ebla represents yet another discovery from the ancient past which does not make it harder for us to believe the Bible, but quite the opposite. And remember, these tablets date from well before the time of Abraham. The implications of this discovery will not be exhausted by even the turn of this century. The translation and publication of such a vast number of tablets will take years and years. It is important to understand that the information we now have from Ebla does not bear directly upon the Bible. As far as has been discovered, there is no certain reference to individuals mentioned in the Bible, though many names are similar, for example, Ishmael, Israel, and so forth. Biblical place names like Megiddo, Hazor, Lachish are also referred to. What is clear, however, is that certain individuals outside the Bible who previously had been considered fictitious by the critical scholars, simply because of their antiquity, are now quite definitely historic characters.

For example, the Assyrian King Tudiya (approximately 2500 B.C.) had already been known from the Assyrian king list composed about 1000 B.C. His name appeared at the head of the list, but his reality was dismissed by many scholars as “free invention, or a corruption.”  In fact, he was very much a real king of Ebla. Thus, the genealogical tradition of the earlier parts of the Assyrian king list has been vindicated. It preserves faithfully, over a period of 1,500 years, the memory of real, early people who were Assyrian rulers. What we must learn from this is that when we find similar material in the Old Testament, such as the genealogical list in Genesis 7 or the patriarchal stories, we should be careful not to reject them out of hand, as the scholars have so often done. We must remember that these ancient cultures were just as capable of recording their histories as we are.

The most important aspect of the Ebla discoveries is undoubtedly their language. This has been found to be ancient West-Semitic language to which such languages as Hebrew, Canaanite, Ugaritic, Aramaic, and Moabite are related. Thus we have now, for the first time, the whole “tradition” of West-Semitic language stretching over 2,500 years–something which was previously true only of Egyptian and Akkadian, to which Babylonian and Assyrian belong.

Up until quite recently, therefore, this meant that scholars could argue that many words which appeared in the Hebrew Old Testament were what they called “late.” What they meant by this was that these words indicated a much later authorship than the time stated by the text itself. It would be as if one of us pretended to write a sixteenth-century  book using such modern words as AUTOMOBILE and COMPUTER. In the case of the Pentateuch, for example, this was one of the arguments which led some scholars to suggest that it was not Moses who wrote these books, as the Bible says, but anonymous scribes from approximately 1,000 years later. The discoveries at Ebla have shown that many of these words were not late, but very early. Here is yet another example of a claimed “scientific” approach that merely reflects the philosophical prejudices of the scholars involved.

 
Archaeology Confirms The Biblical Account

        Oftentimes people are not told about the archaeological discoveries that document the truths written in the Bible. We are told that science and the Bible disagree. But as is really the case: True science and the Bible do not contradict each other. We supply many short articles which show that archaeology confirms God’s Written Word, The Bible.

        The below articles are excerpted from various Archaeological trade journals and publications including Light on Archaeology magazine, and Associates for Biblical Research.

Archaeology: The study of human antiquities – usually as
discovered by excavation.  (Chambers English Dictionary)

Below we supply articles from the Associates for Biblical Research and Light on Archaeology to point the reader to the wealth of information that has literally been unearthed by the spades of patient, dedicated people which helps to confirm the historical accuracy of the Bible – God’s Word. Many sights exist in the lands mentioned in the Bible where artifacts of many kinds reveal the life and customs of the people who lived there many centuries earlier.

The Bible has been ridiculed and dismissed in recent times as inaccurate and unreliable. However, students of Biblical Archaeology have found that as the science of archaeology becomes more sophisticated, much more evidence is coming to light regularly that says just the opposite! Finds have been made that show us how historically accurate God’s Word really is.

For those of us who have been privileged to visit Israel – God’s Land, it is thrilling to look down and examine the shaft that Joab climbed up to take the city of Jebus (later Jerusalem) for King David.[2 Sam 5.7-9 : 1 Chron 11.5-7] It is exciting to wade through King Hezekiah’s tunnel, from the spring of Gihon to the pool of Siloam (Silwan). [2 Kings 20.20] It is fascinating to examine the actual scrolls found at Qumram by the Dead Sea and to walk around the Citadel of Jerusalem; the remains of Herod’s fortress palace where Christ was paraded, mocked and then condemned by Pilate.[ Luke 23.1-25] All of these places give us visible evidence of the accuracy of the Biblical record.

The following series of articles are only a small sample of the information available, but, hopefully, the object will be achieved to direct the reader to further studies of the deeper truths revealed in the Bible.

So with your Bible in hand, you are invited to examine the evidence to see whether the work of the archaeologist confirms or denies God’s Word.

NOTE:  We supply the below articles with the gracious permission of Bible Archeology.  They also provide a free magazine as well, the address for signing up for that is supplied at the end of this study. 

TEL MARDIKH: Have you heard of the Empire of Ebla? It is not surprising if you have not – for modern history text books make no references to this kingdom, which existed from approximately 2,300 B.C. to 1,700 B.C.

In fact, only students of ancient Middle East history are likely to have come across the name of Ebla, and even then, only in passing – not realizing the extent and power of this empire which stretched around the shores of the eastern Mediterranean for nearly 600 years. Now the re-writing of our history books will again be necessary to fill the gaps in our knowledge of the past; for there has been a remarkable archaeological discovery in Syria between Aleppo and Damascus, on the site of Tel Mardikh.

On this site of a 4,000 year old fortification, perhaps the most remarkable ‘find’ of the century has been uncovered – 18,000 fired clay and rock tablets relating to the economy, administration and international dealings of this once great empire of Ebla.

Popular history of the third millennium B.C. is taught with little regard for the Biblical account of the customs, manners, social behavior and level of education of the people of this period.

Now for the first time it appears that there exists a record contemporary with the Biblical account of the times, and so different is the picture it reveals from that of accepted historical suppositions, that the linguist in charge of the tablets, Dr Pettinato, has claimed that this discovery calls for a fundamental revision of third millennium B.C. culture and history.

The tablets were discovered in some out-buildings of a palace situated within the vast fortifications around the top of the tel. Many of the buildings, due to their solid roofs of some two feet in thickness, are intact and free of debris. Most of the walls are plastered a gray-green color, with murals in good condition. The two rooms in which the tablets were discovered had been shelved with wood but, due to time and the weight of the tablets, this shelving had collapsed with some breakages; but the tablets, many containing 3,000 lines of cuneiform writing, are in readable condition.

The tablets tell of an ’empire’ and names many areas under the control of Ebla, such as Sinai, Assyria, Lebanon, Cyprus, Carchemish, Lachish, Gaza, Hazor and others. Bible students will readily recognize that many of these names appear in the Old Testament record and it is interesting to note that of the three languages of the tablets, an hitherto unknown tongue, closely resembling Hebrew is prevalent and many common names recorded by the people of Ebla are easily recognizable to Bible readers.

  • AB-RA-MU – (ABRAM)
  • E-SA-UM – (ESAU)
  • IS-MA-EL – (ISHMAEL)
  • IS-RA-EL – (ISRAEL)
  • MI-KA-EL – (MICHAEL)
  • MI-KA-YAH – (MICAIAH)
  • YE-RU-SA-LU-UM – (JERUSALEM)

Further, many common Ebla words are the same as Hebrew, such as ‘and’ (WA), ‘perfect’ (TAMMIN), ‘fall’ (NAPAL) and ‘good’ (TOB).

But perhaps most interesting of all are the quite extensive descriptions of the Creation and of the Flood, so often derided by modern historians.

The tablets are being translated and published and their contents will be invaluable in enlarging our understanding of the world of 2,000 BC; for they reveal a sophisticated system of international and civil law, including treaties of trade between Ebla and her neighbors within the framework of political agreements. These have been likened to the present-day Treaty of Rome between the EC members.

In addition, long lists of zoological, geographic and mathematical material have been found and there are weather forecasts in some meteorological texts. Records were made of visiting Mesopotamian scribes and mathematicians.

Proverbs and literary works are also preserved, including a set of bilingual tablets for the purpose of teaching translation, besides thousands of matching words. There seems no doubt that the tablets of Tel Mardikh contain the worlds oldest vocabulary lists – a source of no little consternation to students of ancient languages; for it is widely held that Biblical Hebrew is an evolved language, used during the first millennium BC Isaiah, the Hebrew prophet however, had indicated that his language was ‘the language of Canaan’, [Isaiah 19v18] and the Tel Mardikh tablets now support the Biblical reference – Hebrew has now to be recognized as one of the world’s oldest languages (and perhaps the language spoken by Noah, Canaan being the grandson of Noah through Ham). [ Genesis 10v6]

Interesting for Bible students is the fact that the Bible records that Abram, together with his father Terah, left the city of Ur in southern Mesopotamia to go into Canaan. They traveled as far as Haran and dwelt there. [Genesis 11v31,32] Haran was some 300 miles north east from the site at Tell Mardikh and appears to be named after Haran, Abram’s brother. [ Genesis 11v27 ] On his journey to Canaan, Abram in all probability, passed through Tel Mardikh, the then centre of trade and commerce, and of course, the language of Abram would be that of Ebla and of Canaan.

The other two languages written in cuneiform and discovered at Tel Mardikh are Sumerian and Akkadian. It had previously been assumed that the earliest cuneiform languages, were these two languages, developed in east and south Mesopotamia and the possibility that Syrian and Canaanite communications existed in cuneiform had been ruled out (with the exception of Ugaritic texts). But the Tel Mardikh tablets now reveal Sumerian scripts pre-dating those found in eastern Mesopotamia – throwing accepted theories of language origins to the winds. The Akkadian scripts found at Tel Mardikh refer mainly to the later period of the history of Ebla. One of the deities worshipped at Mardikh was Marduk or the Merodak of the Bible. It appears to be basically the same name as Nimrod, the ‘mighty hunter before the Lord’ mentioned in Genesis 10v9 Nimrod, who founded the city of Babel, appears to have been deified and the cult continued long after Ebla had ceased. The main consonants of Nimrod are M R D, hence:

  • N i M R o D
  • M a R D ikh
  • M e R o D ak

Tel Mardikh was then the place of worship for Mardikh.

The finds of Tel Mardikh and the Empire of Ebla, so far have only revealed confirmation of the scriptural narrative.

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  The Beatles in a press conference after their Return from the USA Uploaded on Nov 29, 2010 The Beatles in a press conference after their Return from the USA. The Beatles:   I have dedicated several posts to this series on the Beatles and I don’t know when this series will end because Francis […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 50 THE BEATLES (Part B, The Psychedelic Music of the Beatles) (Feature on artist Peter Blake )

__________________   Beatles 1966 Last interview I have dedicated several posts to this series on the Beatles and I don’t know when this series will end because Francis Schaeffer spent a lot of time listening to the Beatles and talking and writing about them and their impact on the culture of the 1960’s. In this […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 49 THE BEATLES (Part A, The Meaning of Stg. Pepper’s Cover) (Feature on artist Mika Tajima)

_______________ The Beatles documentary || A Long and Winding Road || Episode 5 (This video discusses Stg. Pepper’s creation I have dedicated several posts to this series on the Beatles and I don’t know when this series will end because Francis Schaeffer spent a lot of time listening to the Beatles and talking and writing about […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE PART 48 “BLOW UP” by Michelangelo Antonioni makes Philosophic Statement (Feature on artist Nancy Holt)

_______________ Francis Schaeffer pictured below: _____________________ I have included the 27 minute  episode THE AGE OF NONREASON by Francis Schaeffer. In that video Schaeffer noted,  ” Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band…for a time it became the rallying cry for young people throughout the world. It expressed the essence of their lives, thoughts and their feelings.” How Should […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 47 Woody Allen and Professor Levy and the death of “Optimistic Humanism” from the movie CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS Plus Charles Darwin’s comments too!!! (Feature on artist Rodney Graham)

Crimes and Misdemeanors: A Discussion: Part 1 ___________________________________ Today I will answer the simple question: IS IT POSSIBLE TO BE AN OPTIMISTIC SECULAR HUMANIST THAT DOES NOT BELIEVE IN GOD OR AN AFTERLIFE? This question has been around for a long time and you can go back to the 19th century and read this same […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE PART 46 Friedrich Nietzsche (Featured artist is Thomas Schütte)

____________________________________ Francis Schaeffer pictured below: __________ Francis Schaeffer has written extensively on art and culture spanning the last 2000years and here are some posts I have done on this subject before : Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 10 “Final Choices” , episode 9 “The Age of Personal Peace and Affluence”, episode 8 […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 45 Woody Allen “Reason is Dead” (Feature on artists Allora & Calzadilla )

Love and Death [Woody Allen] – What if there is no God? [PL] ___________ _______________ How Should We then Live Episode 7 small (Age of Nonreason) #02 How Should We Then Live? (Promo Clip) Dr. Francis Schaeffer 10 Worldview and Truth Two Minute Warning: How Then Should We Live?: Francis Schaeffer at 100 Francis Schaeffer […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 44 The Book of Genesis (Featured artist is Trey McCarley )

___________________________________ Francis Schaeffer pictured below: ____________________________ Francis Schaeffer “BASIS FOR HUMAN DIGNITY” Whatever…HTTHR Dr. Francis schaeffer – The flow of Materialism(from Part 4 of Whatever happened to human race?) Dr. Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical flow of Truth & History (intro) Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical Flow of History & Truth (1) Dr. Francis Schaeffer […]

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 53 One politician who knows science responds to Lisa Randall of Harvard!

 

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

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

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

Harry Kroto

____________________

Below you have picture of 1996 Chemistry Nobel Prize Winner Dr. Harry Kroto:

_________________________________

Lisa Randall

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Lisa Randall
Lisa-randall-at-ted-cropped.jpg

Lisa Randall at TED
Born June 18, 1962 (age 53)
Queens, New York City, New York, United States
Residence Massachusetts, United States
Nationality American
Fields Physics
Institutions Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory
University of California, Berkeley
Princeton University
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Harvard University
Alma mater Stuyvesant High School
Harvard University
Doctoral advisor Howard Georgi
Doctoral students Csaba Csáki, Eric Sather, Witold Skiba, Shu-fang Su, Emanuel Katz, Matthew Schwartz, Shiyamala Thambyahpillai, Liam Fitzpatrick, David Simmons-Duffin, Brian Shuve
Known for Randall–Sundrum model
Warped Passages
Notable awards Klopsteg Memorial Award (2006)
Lilienfeld Prize (2007)
Andrew Gemant Award (2012)

Lisa Randall (born June 18, 1962) is an American theoretical physicist and leading expert on particle physics and cosmology. She is the Frank B. Baird, Jr. Professor of Science on the physics faculty of Harvard University.[1] Her research includes elementary particles and fundamental forces and she has developed and studied a wide variety of models, the most recent involving extra dimensions of space. She has advanced the understanding and testing of the Standard Model, supersymmetry, possible solutions to the hierarchy problem concerning the relative weakness of gravity, cosmology of extra dimensions, baryogenesis, cosmological inflation, and dark matter.[2] Her best-known contribution is theRandall–Sundrum model, first published in 1999 with Raman Sundrum.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Randall was born in Queens in New York City. She is an alumna of Hampshire College Summer Studies in Mathematics and graduated from Stuyvesant High School in 1980,[4]where she was a classmate of fellow physicist and science popularizer Brian Greene.[4][5] She won first place in the 1980 Westinghouse Science Talent Search at the age of 18. Randall earned at Harvard both an A.B. in 1983, and in 1987 a Ph.D. in particle physics under the direction of Howard Georgi.[1]

Academia[edit]

Randall researches particle physics and cosmology at Harvard, where she is a professor of theoretical physics. Her research concerns elementary particles and fundamental forces, and has involved the study of a wide variety of models, the most recent involving extra dimensions of space. She has also worked on supersymmetry, Standard Model observables, cosmological inflation, baryogenesis, grand unified theories, and general relativity. Randall’s books Warped Passages: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Universe’s Hidden Dimensions and Knocking on Heaven’s Door: How Physics and Scientific Thinking Illuminate the Universe and the Modern World have both been on New York Times 100 notable books lists.[1]

After her graduate work at Harvard, Randall held professorships at MIT and Princeton University before returning to Harvard in 2001.[6] Professor Randall was the first tenured woman in the Princeton physics department and the first tenured female theoretical physicist at Harvard. (However, this should not be misconstrued to believe that she was the first tenured woman in the Harvard physics department. Melissa Franklin was the first to earn that accolade.)[7] She has also written two popular science books and the libretto of anopera.[8] She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2004) and the National Academy of Sciences (2008),[2] a fellow of the American Physical Society, and is a past winner of an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Research Fellowship, a National Science Foundation Young Investigator Award in 1992, and a DOE Outstanding Junior Investigator Award. In 2003, she received the Premio Caterina Tomassoni e Felice Pietro Chisesi Award, from the Sapienza University of Rome. In autumn 2004, she was the most cited theoretical physicist of the previous five years. In 2006, she received the Klopsted Award from the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT). Professor Randall was featured in Seed magazine’s “2005 Year in Science Icons ” and in Newsweeks “Who’s Next in 2006” as “one of the most promising theoretical physicists of her generation.” She has helped organize numerous conferences and has been on the editorial board of several major theoretical physics journals.[1][6]

Randall at TED 2006

Personal life[edit]

Randall’s sister, Dana Randall, is a professor of computer science at Georgia Tech.[9]

In 2007, Randall was named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People (Time 100) under the section for “Scientists & Thinkers”. Randall was given this honor for her work regarding the evidence of a higher dimension.[10]

Randall has written the libretto for an opera, Hypermusic Prologue: A Projective Opera in Seven Planes, in collaboration with the composer Hèctor Parra.[11]

In  the third video below in the 120th clip in this series are her words and  my response is below them. 

50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1)

Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2)

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

__________

QUOTE FROM LISA RANDALL:

Today’s politicians seem more comfortable invoking God and religion than they do presenting facts or numbers. Now that is odd. It’s not like they can’t talk about the former but it’s like they have to talk about the former where as talking about science is going to harm you and I actually think we are going to have to get past that if we are going to make progress in some of the big issues we have today.

________

Let me respond by saying that I can’t speak for all politicians but I can say that I can speak for myself since I am politician since I was elected in November of 2014 as Justice of the Peace in the 4th largest county in Arkansas. In my case I have corresponded on scientific issues with dozens of scientists for over 20 years now. You are employed by Harvard so I am sure you are familiar with some of the scientists were kind enough to take time out of their busy schedule and write me back. Those names include  Ernest Mayr (1904-2005), Gerald Holton (1922-), Edward O. Wilson(1929-), and Nobel Prize winners George Wald (1906-1997), and Nicolaas Bloembergen (1920-). Some other scientists I have corresponded are not from Harvard but none the less are very note worthy such as   Carl Sagan (1934-1996),  Robert Shapiro (1935-2011),   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-),   Harry Kroto (1939-),   Lewis Wolpert (1929),  Martin Rees (1942-), Alan Macfarlane (1941-),  Roald Hoffmann (1937-), Herbert Kroemer (1928-), and  Thomas H. Jukes (1906-1999). As you will notice several of these men have won Nobel Prizes.

Reading Dr. Randall’s quote  inspired me to write her a letter (which was mailed on September 21, 2015) about a scientist that my favorite philosopher Francis Schaeffer loved to quote. Michael Polanyi took on Harvard’s James D. Watson  and the British scientist Francis Crick concerning their reduction-ism and he knocked it out of the park. By the way Polanyi’s son John won the 1986 Nobel Prize for Chemistry. Below is my letter to Dr. Randall and I am hoping she gets some time to respond to me (a politician) about this scientific matter.

 

September 21, 2015

Dr. Lisa Randall, Professor of Science, Harvard University,

Dear Dr. Randall,

Like you the first time I got to vote in the Presidential Election was in 1980 and there were very interesting candidates including a born and raised New Yorker like you named Barry Commoner. The thing I remember most about Barry was that he had profanity in his radio advertisements. Recently I had the opportunity to come across a very interesting article by Michael Polanyi, LIFE TRANSCENDING PHYSICS AND CHEMISTRY, in the magazine CHEMICAL AND ENGINEERING NEWS, August 21, 1967, and it talks a lot about Barry Commoner.  I also got hold of a 1968 talk by Francis Schaeffer based on this article. Polanyi’s son John actually won the 1986 Nobel Prize for Chemistry. This article by Michael Polanyi concerns Francis Crick and James Watson and their discovery of DNA in 1953. Polanyi noted:

Mechanisms, whether man-made or morphological, are boundary conditions harnessing the laws of in
animate nature, being themselves irreducible to those laws. The pattern of organic bases in DNA which functions as a genetic code is a boundary condition irreducible to physics and chemistry. Further controlling principles of life may be represented as a hierarchy of boundary conditions extending, in the case of man, to consciousness and responsibility.

I would like to send you a CD copy of this talk because I thought you may find it very interesting. It includes references to not only James D. Watson, and Francis Crick but also  Maurice Wilkins, Erwin Schrodinger, J.S. Haldane (his son was the famous J.B.S. Haldane), Peter Medawar, and Barry Commoner. I WONDER IF YOU EVER HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO RUN ACROSS THESE MEN OR ANY OF THEIR FORMER STUDENTS?

Below is a portion of the transcript from the CD and Michael Polanyi’s words are in italics while Francis Schaeffer’s words are not:

Francis Schaeffer in the fall of 1968 examined an article by Michael Polanyi on Francis Crick and James D. Watson and their views on the ramifications of their DNA discovery.

It deals with Michael Polanyi’s evaluation of Francis Crick and James D. Watson’s concepts of DNA. I will read from NEWSWEEK Feb 26, 1968, a summary, a review of James D. Watson’s book THE DOUBLE HELIX, 226 pages, $5.95, which Watson who was one of the men working with Crick has written this book and this is the review of it. The letters DNA…is the genetic material, the stuff of life that predetermines nearly everything about the nature of individual cells and entire organisms. To know how DNA works is to understand what life is.

I am not going to explain this but I am going to assume that you understand.

In 1953 James D. Watson with two British scientists discovered the three dimensional structure of DNA and the world took a giant step forward towards such knowledge. In the decade that followed, Watson, Crick and Maurice Wilkins were awarded the Nobel Prize in 1962 and molecular biology came of age and surpassed even physics as the most glamorous of the sciences. Whether or not the discovery of DNA’s double helical strands is as important a breakthrough as Newton’s discovery of gravity…”

Here you have the story of DNA with Watson and Crick being the principle ones to work it out.  I know men who have worked with Crick and the men who have worked with Crick say he has a simple propitiation. He is completely atheistic and as such his work is all committed to an end. He wants to reduce a simple form of life to a mechanical, deterministic situation within the philosophic concept that if this can be true of a small morsel of life then it would be true of all of life. Then life could be explained by just physics and chemistry and the mechanical.

This is an article by Michael Polanyi, LIFE TRANSCENDING PHYSICS AND CHEMISTRY, in the magazine CHEMICAL AND ENGINEERING NEWS, August 21, 1967, just a year ago.

For most people Michael Polanyi is an unknown name, which Francis Crick is known by almost everybody. Polanyi is almost unknown except among scholars and I have never known a scholar in any of these related areas that didn’t know Polanyi. Polanyi is a tremendous force in the current intellectual world.

This article is the climax of 15 years of Polanyi’s work. 

This article by Polanyi is somewhat technical and I’m sorry for anyone who gets lost. Having said that however, it is worthwhile struggling through. I will only read parts of the article but I will be fair to the article and what I have left out is largely the most technical parts that would add nothing except depth.

The discovery by James D. Watson and Francis Crick of the genetic function of DNA combined with the evidence these scientists provided for the self-duplication of DNA, is widely held to prove that living beings can be interpreted at least in principles, by the laws of physic and chemistry.

This is the principle of Crick and Watson that Polanyi will argue against. Now if their position is right then all human life is reduced to chemicals and physics and you would come to the final deterministic argument.

(On page 55 of the article) Barry Commoner has queried this view by citing evidence to show that the self-duplication of DNA is not proven (“Science and Survival”). 

If that would hold then it would destroy the position of Crick, Watson and I would add Peter Medawar. Especially for the British the name Medawar is very important in this discussion.

(On page 55 of the article) But the latter point though important, is not in fact decisive. For even if we granted the self-duplication of DNA, this would not show that living beings can be represented in terms of physics and chemistry. It would, for example, not offer a possible physical-chemical explanation of human consciousness. 

It becomes very interesting. What he is talking about here is the very thing that I constantly in my arguments would discuss under the term “the mannishness of man.” And he says it doesn’t explain this and the rest of his article goes on and explains his proposition.

For my part, I differ–from Commoner and from most biologists, by holding that no mechanism–be it a machine or a machine like feature of an organism–can be represented in terms of physics and chemistry. 

Now he says Commoner would accept that a machine could be explained in terms of chemical and physical laws, but Commoner would not accept that human consciousness could be. But Polanyi says that I differ because you can’t explain the machine either. This is the heart of his argument and I think it is titanic and when I first ran into Polanyi’s argument I must say I was overwhelmed because I had never heard anyone on the dilemma of explaining the machine on the basis of chemical and physical properties and laws. So constantly you know in my lectures that I say that modern science back to Galileo and these other early scientists that they thought of two parts of the universe, the machine portion which follows on the basis of cause and effect and then man, and those I would put under the term of modern scientists, the originators of modern science in contrast to modern, modern science, that they always had two parts of the universe, the machine,  it functions on the basis of cause and effect and then man. I point out in my lectures that modern modern science has included everything in the machine. So there is no place for God and no place for man. God disappears and man is included in the machine. So the distinction between modern science, Copernicus, Newton and those before them and modern modern science definition is that modern science had a place for God and man because they were not included in the machine, but modern modern science by also putting the social sciences and psychology on the basis of mechanism this being the case, these are now included in the machine. I would say that you might explain the machines in certain ways but what you could not explain was man, but Polanyi is carrying the argument a step more profoundly and saying you can’t explain the machine either on the basis on mere chemistry and physics. I must say I think Polanyi wins and Crick, Watson and Medawar are stymied by Polanyi’s argument. As far as I know and I have listened and listened and all the arguments I have ever heard about Polanyi, no one has ever been able to disprove his proposition. It is one of the great  propositions of the second half of the 20th century.

My account of the situation will seem to oscillate in several directions, and I shall set out, therefore, its stages in order. 

I shall show that:

  1. Commoner’s criteria of irreducibility to physics and chemistry are incomplete; they are necessary but not sufficient conditions of it. 
  2. Machines are irreducible to physics and chemistry. 
  3. By virtue of the principle of boundary control, mechanistic structures of living beings appear to be likewise irreducible. 

You have to understand his terminology and “boundary control” means a place where you enter a qualitative new condition. Please listen or you wouldn’t understand the rest of the article… Remember what that means. He has said that machines can not be reduced to physics and chemistry and now he says by the virtue of the principle of boundary control mechanistic structures of living beings, the mechanistic part of living beings including man likewise can not be reduced to physics and chemistry. Polanyi is going to say the argument is not only good for the consciousness of man (or what I call the “mannishness of man”), but also for the biological component parts or machine parts of the organism.

We would say that man has two parts, he is partially a machine and something more than a machine, the spirit or the mannishness of man…Of course, you must understand that the heart is a pump, and when this concept was first put forth it shocked people. People didn’t want to think of the heart as a pump…So when Harvey first put forth the concept of the heart as a pump he really shook the world...Polanyi is not a Christian and I don’t think he is consistent at the end of his argument. He doesn’t draw what I think is the only possible conclusion. Nevertheless, what Polanyi is saying is what if the heart is a pump, are we really reduced to chemical laws and physics. So any of you who have had any discussion on this realizes that this touches on a tremendous factor and it is usually accepted today without debate and it is a part of the implicit faith of modern man and that is the uniformity of natural causes in a closed system and that man is reducible to some form of determinism and certainly the physical parts of man can be reducible to physics and chemistry and Crick, Watson, and Medawar have pushed this to it’s tremendous conclusion in the last few years. It is part of this intellectual discussion and incidentally the death of man.

4. The structure of DNA, which according to Watson and Crick controls heredity, is not explicable by physics and chemistry. 

5. Assuming that morphological differentiation reflects the information content of DNA, we can prove that the morphology of living beings forms a boundary condition which, as such, is not explicable by physics and chemistry (the suggestion arrived at in the third item). 

________

Thank you for your time. I know how busy you are and I want to thank you for taking the time to read this letter.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher,

P.O. Box 23416, Little Rock, AR 72221, United States, cell ph 501-920-5733, everettehatcher@gmail.com

___________________

If you want to hear a politician like me talk about facts then let me leave you two.

1. Evolution can’t explain 4 things that we can have to know

In the video below Adrian Rogers notes four facts about the theory of Evolution:

1. Four Bridges that the Evolutionist Cannot Cross

a. The Origin of Life
The first bridge the evolutionists cannot logically cross is the origin of life—the origin of life. Now, whence came life?

(George Wald  is pictured above and I had the opportunity to correspond with him)

Let me tell you something: Dr. George Wald–Professor Emeritus of Biology at Harvard University—he won the Nobel Prize in Biology in 1971—writing in Scientific American on the origin of life, has said this—and I want you to listen carefully: “There are only two possibilities as to how life arose: One is spontaneous generation arising to evolution. The other is a supernatural creative act of God. There is no third possibility.” And, we would all say amen. Either God did it, or it just happened accidentally. All right. But now, let’s go on. So far, he’s doing good. He said there’s no third possibility. “Spontaneous generation, that life arose from nonliving matter, was scientifically disproved 120 years ago”—that was 120 years from when he made this statement—“by Louis Pasteur and others. That leaves us with only one possible conclusion: that life arose as a supernatural creative act of God.”So far, so good. But now, tune your ears, and don’t miss this. I want you to hear what this Nobel Prize winning scientist, Professor Emeritus of Biology at Harvard, said. Now remember, he said there are only two possibilities: Either there’s a creative act of God, or it is spontaneous generation that arises or moves to evolution. He said—and I’m continuing to quote: “I will not accept that…”—what that is he referring to? That it is a supernatural creative act of God—“I will not accept that philosophically, because I do not want to believe in God. Therefore, I choose to believe what I know is scientifically impossible: spontaneous generation arising to evolution.”

b. The Fixity of the Species
The second bridge the evolutionist cannot cross is the steadfastness, the fixity, of the species—that is, “the basic categories of life.”  We don’t have any evolutionary fossilized remains, missing links.

c. The Second Law of Thermodynamics
The third bridge that the evolutionist cannot logically cross is the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Now, what is the Second Law of Thermodynamics? This law says that energy is never destroyed. Everything tends to wear out, to run down, to disintegrate, and, ultimately, to die, but energy just moves to some other form. All processes, by definition, involve change, but the change—now, listen very carefully—is not in the upward direction of complexity, as the evolutionist declares. But, change left to itself is always in disintegration, not in integration. Now, that’s the Second Law of Thermodynamics. It’s called…—to itself, everything collapses, deteriorates, grows old, and dies, sooner or later—it’s called entropy.

d. The Non-Physical Properties Found in Creation
Now, here’s the fourth bridge that the evolutionists cannot logically cross, and that is the non-physical properties found in creation. Now, what do I mean by the non-physical properties found in creation? Music, The love of music, art, beauty, a hunger for God, worship. What is there in the survival of the fittest—what is there in the evolutionary process—that would produce these things? How can they be accounted for under the survival of the fittest? Where do these things come from? Genesis 1, verse 26: “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…” (Genesis 1:26). You see, we have these inner things—this love for beauty, for art, for truth, for eternity. That didn’t come from some primordial ooze; that came from the God who created us.

Adrian Rogers on Darwinism

2. There is evidence that indicates the Bible is true.

Scientists insist on evidence and don’t want to be encouraged to believe anything on “blind faith.” Therefore, I have included some evidence below that seems to confirm the Biblical accounts. Check it out.

The Bible and Archaeology – Is the Bible from God? (Kyle Butt 42 min)

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

TRUTH AND HISTORY (chapter 5 of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?, under footnote #96)

We should take one last step back into the history of the Old Testament. In the previous note we looked first at the Dead Sea Scrolls, dating to around 100 B.C. Then we went back to the period of the Late Monarchy and looked first at the siege of Hezekiah in Jerusalem by Sennacherib in 701 B.C. and also at the last years of Judah down to about 600 B.C. Then we went further back to about 850 B.C., to Ahab and Jezebel, the ivory house, the Black Obelisk, the Moabite Stone and so on–then back again to about 950 B.C., to the time of Solomon and his son Rehoboam and the campaign by Shishak, the Egyptian pharaoh.

This should have built up in our minds a vivid impression of the historic reliability of the biblical text, including even the seemingly obscure details such as the ration tablets in Babylon. We saw, in other words, not only that the Bible gives us a marvelous world view that ties in with the nature of reality and answers the basic problems which philosophers have asked down through the centuries, but also that the Bible is completely reliable, EVEN ON THE HISTORICAL LEVEL.

The previous notes looked back to the time of Moses and Joshua, the escape from Egypt, and the settlement in Canaan. Now we will go back further–back as far as Genesis 12, near the beginning of the Bible.

Do we find that the narrative fades away to a never-never land of myths and legends? By no means. For we have to remind ourselves that although Genesis 12 deals with events a long time ago from our moment of history (about 2000 B.C. or a bit later), the civilized world was already not just old but ancient when Abram/Abraham left “Ur of the Chaldeans” (see Genesis 11:31).

Ur itself was excavated some fifty years ago. In the British Museum, for example, one can see the magnificent contents of a royal burial chamber from Ur. This includes a gold headdress still in position about the head of a queen who died in Ur about 2500 B.C. It has also been possible to reconstruct from archaeological remains what the streets and buildings must have been like at the time.

Like Ur, the rest of the world of the patriarchs (that is, of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) was firm reality. Such places as Haran, where Abraham went first, have been discovered. So has Shechem from this time, with its Canaanite stone walls, which are still standing, and its temple.

Genesis 12:5-9New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his nephew, and all their possessions which they had accumulated, and the [a]persons which they had acquired in Haran, and they [b]set out for the land of Canaan; thus they came to the land of Canaan. Abram passed through the land as far as the site of Shechem, to the[c]oak of Moreh. Now the Canaanite was then in the land. The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your [d]descendants I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the Lord who had appeared to him. Then he proceeded from there to the mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; and there he built an altar to the Lord andcalled upon the name of the Lord. Abram journeyed on, continuing toward the[e]Negev.

Haran and Shechem may be unfamiliar names to us but the Negrev (or Negeb) is a name we have all read frequently in the news accounts of our own day. 

Negev Nuclear Research Center – Israel

The Negev – Israel’s Desert

This article was first published in the Spring 2005 issue of Bible and Spade.
“If the full meaning of a passage [in the Bible] is to be grasped, the context of the passage needs to be appropriately developed” (Greenwold 2004: 72). In his pithy study of Luke’s Gospel account of Elizabeth and Zachariah, Greenwold gives an example of what he means: “All too often in our church lifetime, we end up being given many theological and doctrinal factual ornaments, but seldom are we shown the tree upon which to hang them. It’s as if we have been handed dozens of pieces to a puzzle, but have never seen what the finished picture on the top of the puzzle box looks like” (2004: 73). I think that Greenwold has it right.
Jesus and the woman at Jacob’s well in John 4 is an excellent case in point. The story takes place near the Old Testament city of Shechem. Shechem is mentioned 60 times in the Old Testament. The city had been abandoned by New Testament times, but Stephen reiterates its importance in his speech in Acts 7:16. A small village, Sychar, was near the ruins of Shechem in New Testament times and is mentioned in the John 4 account (Jn 4:5). Unfortunately, most Bible studies of events at or near Shechem, and commentaries on the Book of John, omit Shechem’s pivotal role in Bible history and how it fit into God’s salvation plan.
 
The narrow pass where ancient Shechem is located at the modern city of Nablus, view west. Mt. Gerizim is on the left and Mt. Ebal on the right. Dr. James C. Martin.
Archaeological investigations have corroborated much of what the Bible has to say about Shechem’s physical and cultural aspects. Archaeology has confirmed Shechem’s location, its history, and many Biblical details. In this article I will integrate what archaeology has illuminated about this important place and its geographical importance with a macro look at Shechem’s place in revealing God’s promise and plan to restore believers to Him.1
Map of Shechem area showing the location of Tell Balata (ancient Shechem), Joseph’s tomb and Jacob’s Well. ASOR, 2002.
Location and Exploration
About 30 mi (49 km) north of Jerusalem is a low, 15-acre mound, known as Tell Balata. This nondescript ruin covers what was ancient Shechem. The tell rests in a long, narrow, east-west valley with the two highest mountains in central Palestine towering over it, Mt. Ebal on the north and Mt. Gerizim on the south. The Hebrew word shekemmeans “back” or “shoulder,” which probably refers to Shechem’s placement between the two mountains. Coming from the south, the major road from Beersheba, Hebron and Jerusalem splits here. One branch goes east, around Mt. Ebal, and provides access to the Jordan Valley and cities like Beth Shan. The western arm leads to the coastal plain and cities to the north such as Samaria and Dothan. Thus, ancient Shechem and its modern counterpart, Nablus, are in a very strategic location along the watershed road between Judah, the Jordan Valley, Transjordan, and the Galilee.2
In 1903, a group of German scholars under the direction of H. Tiersch examined Tell Balata and concluded it was ancient Shechem. Until that time there had been controversy over whether Tell Balata, or the modern city of Nablus nearby, was the location of ancient Shechem. Tiersch’s identification has never been seriously questioned.
E. Sellin led an Austro-German excavation team to Tell Balata in 1913 and 1914. His work was interrupted by World War I. Sellin began work again in 1926 and continued until 1936. Work was resumed in 1956 by an American team under the direction of G. E. Wright and B. W. Anderson. The latest season of excavations at Tell Balata was in 1973 under the direction of W. G. Dever (Campbell 1993: 1347; Seger 1997:21).
Aerial view of the ruins of Shechem. On the right is the Middle Bronze fortification wall and in the upper center the “Migdal,” or fortress, temple. Holy Land Satellite Atlas, 1999, p. 100.
Abram at Shechem
The first mention of Shechem in the Bible is Genesis 12:6, when Abram first entered Canaan. It is succinctly described: “Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem.” At that time, God promised Abram, “To your offspring I will give this land” (Gn 12:7). The next mention of Shechem is 11 chapters, and about 200 years, later, when the Bible records that Jacob, Abram’s grandson, “camped within sight of the city” (Gn 33:18).
Assuming a conservative dating for the Patriarchal events in the Bible,3 note that Abram camped in Canaan about 2090 BC and there is no mention of a city. However, when Jacob arrived 200 hundred years later, around 1890 BC, the Bible notes that he “camped within sight of the city [Shechem].” In the original Hebrew, the word translated in our English Bible as “city” meant a permanent, walled settlement (Hansen 2003:81, Wood 1999:23). Genesis 34:20 and 24 report that Shechem had a city gate; therefore it was fortified.
Can archaeology clarify if there was or was not a city? Yes. The absence of a “city” and walls at Tell Balata when Abram came through and the existence of a city in the time of Jacob is in complete agreement with what the Bible indicates is Shechem’s early history.
Excavations have revealed that the earliest urbanization at Tell Balata was in MB I (Levels XXII-XXI), about 1900–1750 BC. MB I was when Jacob lived by the city of Shechem. Prior to MB I, in the time of Abram’s visit, archaeology has demonstrated that there was a gap in settlement and an absence of fortification walls. Thus, there was no “city” for Abram to reference, as the Bible correctly infers (Campbell 1993: 1347).
Jacob and Joseph at Shechem
What was the city like when Jacob settled there? Archaeologists have revealed that Tell Balata in MB I had structures with mudbrick walls on stone foundations and they have found an abundance of artifacts typical of domestic living (Toombs 1992: 1179). The Bible records that during Jacob’s stay he purchased land near Shechem. This parcel would become the place where his son, Joseph, would later be entombed (Jos 24:32). The tumultuous Dinah affair also occurred during Jacob’s stay at Shechem. Its aftermath resulted in the murder of Shechem’s male population by two of Jacob’s sons (Gn 33–34). Subsequently, God told Jacob to move to Bethel (Gn 35:1) and then on to Hebron (Gn 35:7).
The next Biblical mention of Shechem is in connection with the story of 17-year-old Joseph, Jacob’s son, who was sold into slavery by his jealous brothers (Gn 37). In the account, Joseph’s brothers were grazing the family’s flocks near Shechem when Jacob sent Joseph to inquire of them. After looking for them at Shechem, he found them a short distance north at Dothan. There, the brothers conspired to sell Joseph into slavery, setting the stage for the subsequent accounts of Joseph’s rise to power, Jacob and his family moving to Egypt and, later, Israel’s oppression by Egyptian Pharaohs.
The earliest known extra-Biblical written record of Shechem comes from the Middle Bronze period. It is an inscription on a stele (an upright standing stone) of an Egyptian, Khu-Sebek, who was a nobleman in the court of Sesostris III (ca. 1880–1840 BC). It was found in 1901 by the renowned archaeologist J. Garstang at Abydos, Egypt. King Sesostris III became ruler shortly after Jacob was at Shechem, and he was probably the king when Jacob died in Egypt. Khu-Sebek’s stele describes how the king’s army campaigned in a foreign country named Sekmem (Shechem) and how “Sekmem fell” (Toombs 1992: 1179). W. Shea believes that the campaign on Khu-Sebek’s stele is none other than the Egyptians’ account of the military encounters experienced by the entourage accompanying Joseph when Jacob’s embalmed body was brought to Canaan for entombment at Machpelah (Gn 50:12–14) (Shea 1992: 38 ff.).
Khu-Sebek’s stele reveals that as early as the 19th century BC, Shechem was an important strategic location and a place worthy of mention in a notable Egyptian’s biography.
Stela of Khu-Sebek. He is shown seated, accompanied by members of his family, his nurse, and the superintendent of the cabinet. Discovered by British archaeologist John Garstang at Abydos, Egypt, in 1901, the stela is now on display in the museum of the University of Manchester, England. Mike Luddeni.
Joshua at Shechem
A little over 400 years later, God rescued the Israelites from Egyptian bondage and led them through the desert wilderness for 40 years. Near the end of this sojourn, their leader Moses said that once they entered the land God had promised them (at Shechem, see Gn 12:7!), they were to erect an altar on Mt. Ebal (Dt 27:4) and read portions of the Law while the people were assembled before Mounts Ebal and Gerizim (Dt 11:26–30; 27:12, 13).
As I noted above, the mountains of Ebal and Gerizim overlook the valley wherein lay Shechem. The mountains form a natural amphitheater in which the recitation of the Law could easily be heard. Despite the mountains’ heights (Ebal is 3,083 ft [940 m] and Gerizim is 2,890 ft [881 m]), there are many contemporary accounts of people speaking from the slopes of the mountains and being heard in the valley below. Even with the noise of the busy modern city of Nablus, I myself have been in the park at the top of Gerizim and clearly heard the voices of children playing in the Balata refugee camp at Gerizim’s base.
Joshua fulfilled Moses’ instructions and led the people directly to Gerizim and Ebal after defeating the stronghold at Ai (Jos 7–8). Assuming an “early Exodus” date (1446 BC), the Israelite entry into Canaan, after 40 years in the wilderness, was approximately 1406 BC, in the Late Bronze (LB) IB period.4 LB IB corresponds with Tell Balata’s Level XIV (Campbell 1993: 1347; Toombs 1992: 1178). During the 350 years of the previous MB period, the city had been fortified with earthen embankments and cyclopean wall fortifications. However, Shechem was destroyed around 1540 BC. The ferocity of the destruction resulted in debris covering the city up to a depth of 5.25 ft (1.6 m). It is surmised that the Egyptian armies of Ahmose I or Amenhotep I were the aggressors (Toombs 1992: 1182).
About 90 years after that catastrophe the city was rebuilt early in the LB I period, around 1450 BC. Level XIV corresponds to this date and is noted for the reconstruction of the city’s defensive walls, homes, and a well built, fortress-type, temple. This Level XIV occupation was the city at which Joshua and the Israelites arrived to fulfill Moses’ orders to read the Law before Ebal and Gerizim around 1406 BC.
The Book of Joshua makes an interesting observation about that visit:
All Israel, aliens and citizens alike…. were standing on both sides of the ark of the covenant of the LORD, facing those who carried it…. There was not a word of all that Moses had commanded that Joshua did not read to the whole assembly of Israel, including the women and children, and the aliens who lived among them (Jos 8:33, 35).
It appears that the crowd who heard the words of the Law that day was composed of both Israelites and native Shechemites (aliens)! The Bible implies that both Shechemites and Israelites co-existed at Shechem. This unusual situation can be further confirmed by the fact that Shechem became one of only three Israelite Cities of Refuge on the west side of the Jordan River, as well as being a city of the Levitical priesthood (Jos 20:7; 21:21). All this occurred even though there is no record in the Bible of it being taken in battle.5
Years later, Joshua again gathered the Israelites at Shechem (Jos 24). He reminded them of God’s promises and how He had fulfilled those promises and delivered them from diversities. Joshua then challenged the people to say whom they would serve and they promised to serve God (Jos 24:14–20). The renewal ceremony between the Israelites and God recognized the promises God made to Abraham (Gn 12:7; 17:7, 8), Jacob, and the people at Sinai through Moses (Ex 24:8).
The next event at Shechem in the Bible was the fulfillment of another promise: the burial of the Patriarch Joseph. Just before his death in Egypt, Joseph asked his brothers to bring his body back to the land “promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob” when God delivered them from Egypt (Gn 50:24–25).
And Joseph’s bones, which the Israelites had brought up from Egypt, were buried at Shechem in the tract of land that Jacob bought for a hundred pieces of silver from the sons of Hamor, the father of Shechem. This became the inheritance of Joseph’s descendants (Jos 24:32).
Today, there is a place near Tell Balata venerated by the Jewish and Samaritan faiths as the traditional location of Joseph’s tomb. The shrine marking the tomb, and an associated Jewish school, were reduced to rubble in October 2000 in the wake of the most recent hostilities between the Palestinian Arabs and the State of Israel. Conflicting views have abounded as to whether this was, in fact, Joseph’s final resting place. Unfortunately, no archaeological excavations are known to have taken place at this site that could verify that this was the true location of the tomb of Joseph. Several ancient texts mention the site, but the exact location of Joseph’s tomb is still in question.
The discovery of a LB Egyptian library at Amarna has provided additional insights on the LB period. Letters in the library reveal Egypt’s relationship with Canaan’s rulers in the mid-14th century BC. Some of the letters disclose that the kings of Shechem were independent of Egypt. Further, Shechem’s rulers were criticized by other Canaanite rulers for cooperating with an invading group of desert people called the Habiru. Many conservative evangelical scholars (e.g., Wood 1997; 2003: 269–71) believe the Habiru were the Israelites of the early Judges period.
Letter from Labayu, king of Shechem, to the king of Egypt, probably Amenhotep III. It is defiant in tone, suggesting Labayu had a measure of independence from Egypt (Hess 1993). The letter, numbered El Amarna 252, is written in Akkadian cuneiform, albeit with Canaanite grammar and syntax, and is on display in the British Museum. Mike Luddeni.
Abimelech at Shechem
Later in Bible history, Abimelech, the son of Gideon’s Shechemite concubine (Jgs 8:31), colluded with some Shechemites to kill 70 of Abimelech’s brothers (Jgs 8:30–31; 9). However, Abimelech’s youngest brother Jotham survived (Jgs 9:5). Jotham climbed to the top of Mt. Gerizim and shouted to the Shechemites below. He foretold the destruction of the men of Shechem by fire (Jgs 9:7–21). Later in the same chapter we read that the people of Shechem rose against Abimelech’s leadership. In response, Abimelech fought against the city and razed it. During the attack the leaders of Shechem tried to save themselves in “the stronghold of the temple of El-berith” (Jgs 9:46). The story continues:
He [Abimelech] took an ax and cut off some branches, which he lifted to his shoulders. He ordered the men with him, “Quick! Do what you have seen me do!” So all the men cut branches and followed Abimelech. They piled them against the stronghold and set it on fire over the people inside. So all the people in the tower of Shechem, about a thousand men and women, also died (Jgs 9:48–49).
Archaeologists (e.g., E. Campbell, B. Mazar, G. E. Wright and L. Stager) refer to the “tower of Shechem” as “the Tower (migdal) Temple or Fortress-Temple” of Shechem (Campbell 1993: 1348, Stager 2003: 26 and 68 note 1). Stager recently reexamined the work of Wright who, in 1926, excavated a large building that has been reported to be this Fortress-Temple (Stager 2003). Stager’s conclusions are that this Temple, “Temple 1, ” was, in fact, the migdal referred to in Judges 9. It is the largest such Canaanite structure found in Israel and was 70 ft (21 m) wide, 86 ft (26 m) long with stone foundation walls 17 ft (5.1 m) thick. The foundation supported a multistory mudbrick and timber temple with an entrance flanked by two large towers. Stager hypothesized that the courtyard of this temple could have been where Joshua “took a large stone and set it up there under the oak near the holy place of the LORD” (Jos 24:26).
Stager (2003: 68) places the destruction of the Fortress-Temple around 1100 BC. So does Seger (1997: 22), who correlates the destruction debris found at Level XI as being from the Iron IA period. Campbell (1993: 1347) states that there was a “significant” destruction “around 1100 BCE” and guardedly concludes, “connecting Level XI with the story underlying Judges 9 is plausible” (1993: 1352).
Dating Shechem’s destruction to 1100 BC helps confirm the Biblical date of 1406 BC as the beginning of the Conquest in Canaan. To do this, it is necessary to know that immediately after we read in the Bible of Abimelech’s destruction of Shechem, Jephthah, the ninth Judge, appears (Jgs 11, 12). Jephthah was hired by Israelites who lived in Gilead, east of the Jordan River, to confront the Ammonites who had made war on them for 18 years. Jephthah first attempted diplomacy with the Ammonite king. He reminded the Ammonite king that the Israelites had been in the land east of the Jordan River for “300 years” (Jgs 11:21–26). Jephthah, of course, was referring to the time when Moses led the Israelites through that region and defeated numerous kings (Nm 21:21–31).
Thus, if Abimelech destroyed Shechem ca. 1125–1100 BC (Jgs 9), and Abimelech was a contemporary of Jephthah, the Conquest would have occurred about 300 years earlier, in ca. 1400 BC (1100 BC + 300 years = 1400 BC).
Shechem in the Time of the Divided Monarchy
The Bible sheds little light on Shechem’s role during the reigns of Saul, David or Solomon. Rehoboam, Solomon’s son, was next in line for the throne. All the Israelites assembled at Shechem to anoint Rehoboam king. Rehoboam, however, acted foolishly by chiding the northern tribes and telling them he would tax them heavily. In defense, the northern tribes retaliated by separating themselves from Rehoboam and the southern kingdom. The northern tribes made Jeroboam I king of their region. The country, formerly unified under David and Solomon, became divided. The northern region and tribes, led by Jeroboam I, was known as Israel. The southern area and tribes, first led by Rehoboam, is referred to as Judah in the Bible.
Levels X and IX at Tell Balata represent the Jeroboam I period and are noted for carefully built houses of selected stones. The discovery of stone foundations for stairs suggests two-story, four-room houses, typical homes of that period (Dever 1994: 80–81). Campbell concludes that Level IX (920–810 BC) has “tangible evidence of Jeroboam I’s rebuilding (1 Kg 12:25) and a return to city status” (1993: 1352–53).
The Assyrian invasion of Israel in 724 BC (2 Kgs 17:5–6) brought another destruction to Shechem. The evidence is in Level VII. Toombs noted that in Level VII the city was “reduced to a heap of ruins, completely covered by debris of fallen brickwork, burned beams and tumbled building stones,” typical examples of Assyrian thoroughness (1992: 1185). In addition to the destruction, the Assyrians placed exiled peoples from other nations into the region around Shechem, a common Assyrian practice (2 Kgs 17:23–24).
These new peoples added Yahweh to their own beliefs (2 Kgs 17:25–30). The new religion mimicked Judaism in many respects and Mt. Gerizim was made the center of its worship. New Testament practitioners of the cult are called “Samaritans,” which also referred to the people who lived in the vicinity (Mt 10:5; Lk 9:52, 10:53; 17:16; Jn 4:7, 9, 22, 39, 40; 8:48; Acts 8:25). A remnant of the ancient Samaritans still lives on Mt. Gerizim and they practice sacrifices there just as they did 2,700 years ago.7
Shechem in the Intertestamental Period
Between the Old and New Testaments, Shechem had a modest recovery and there is an abundance of evidence that excellent buildings were constructed in this, the Hellenistic, period (ca. 330–107 BC). It was during this time that the Samaritans built a large temple and sacrificial platform on Mt. Gerizim, the remains of which were still visible in Jesus’ day (Jn 4:20).
As fighting between the Ptolemies and Seleucids swirled around the country in the intertestamental period, physical decline again took place at Shechem. This decline culminated when the Jewish leader, John Hyrcanus, took advantage of the temporary absence of outside armies and destroyed the Samaritan temple on Mt. Gerizim (ca. 126 BC). He leveled the city in 107 BC. Shechem never recovered from this destruction and lay in ruins until identified by Tierschin 1901.
Shechem in the New Testament Period
Samaritans continued to live in the area during the following years, the Roman period. This is confirmed by the discovery of human burials from the period on the lower slopes of Mt. Ebal (Magen 1993: 1358–59). It is known that Samaritans also made several attempts to renew their cult worship on Mt. Gerizim. The Romans suppressed their efforts and in AD 72 constructed a new city, Flavia-Neapolis, about 1 mi (1.6 km) west of Tell Balata (Magen 2001: 40). This new city is now Nablus, a modern Arab city of about 120,000 people8 whose name is probably a corruption of Roman city, Neapolis.
About 500 yd (460 m) southeast of Tell Balata is an ancient well, venerated to be a well that Jacob, the Patriarch, dug when he lived there. Such a well is not mentioned in the Old Testament. There is a small Arab village, Askar, just north of the well. Most scholars associate Askar with Sychar, the village in John 4 near “Jacob’s well” (Jn 4:6). The authenticity of the well is not only based on its physical identification in John 4, but also on “the fact that all traditions-—Jewish, Samaritan, Christian and Muslim-—support it” (Stefanovic 1992: 608). Several churches in Christian history have been built on the site of the well and today it is located under a recently constructed Greek Orthodox church. Access to the well is gained by going down steps from the apse of the new church.
Jacob’s well as it appeared in the 1870s. In the right background is Mt. Gerizim with the tomb of the Arab sheikh, where the ruins of the Samaritan temple were located in New Testament times, visible at the peak.Todd Bolen.
Jacob’s well, at the base of Mt. Gerizim, is at the junction of the main road leading from Jerusalem in the south. Here, the road splits with the eastern branch going toward the Jordan Valley and the western branch leading to Nablus, and in NT times, Samaria and the Galilee. It is an excellent setting for one of the most important passages in the Bible-—the account of Jesus’ verbal Messianic announcement in the fourth chapter of John. In this passage Jesus meets a Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well, dialogues with her, and tells her He is the long-awaited Messiah.
Mt. Gerizim (left peak) as seen from Jacob’s well. When the Samaritan woman said to Jesus, “Our fathers worshipped on this mountain,” she was no doubt referring to the ruins of the Samaritan temple on top of Mt. Gerizim. The small structure on the peak marks the location of the ruins of the Samaritan temple that easily could have been seen from Jacob’s well in Jesus’ day. Bryant Wood.
Significance of Shechem in Understanding John 4
This article began by stating that context in reading the Bible was important to full understanding of what the original writers wanted the original hearers/listeners to know. In the case of Shechem, it is clear that the writer of John’s Gospel was appealing to the hearer/reader’s understanding of Shechem’s unique historical and theological context.
First, the author established that the event took place at Sychar (Jn 4:6). By making reference to Jacob he reminded his readers/hearers that this is where Jacob first settled when he returned to the Promised Land from Paddan Aram (Gn 33:18). At this spot Abram received God’s promise that “To your offspring I will give this land” (Gn 12:7). In addition to God’s promise given here to Abram, the writer wanted the hearer/reader to remember that many human agreements were made at Shechem in Bible history. Unfortunately, most were corrupted because of man’s sin. For example, Jacob made a promise to spare Hamor and the Shechemites after Dinah was sexually violated. Jacob’s use of circumcision to confirm the agreement with the Shechemites was the same symbol God had ordained as “the sign of the covenant between Me and you” (Gn 17:11). To seal a human agreement in this manner and have it subsequently abrogated as Jacob’s sons had done (Gn 34), could not have escaped the attention of the original hearers/reader.
Later, we read in the Bible that Jacob did not destroy family idols: rather he simply placed them under a tree near Shechem (Gn 35). This whole account is a testimony to the human condition and our willful tendency not to obey God. Jacob, who even had the privilege of a personal revelation from God, still could not totally eliminate idol worship; he played on the edge and placed the idols under a tree rather than destroying them.
The reader/hearer also should have been reminded that Shechem was near the place where Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery and then concocted a lie to explain Joseph’s absence to their father Jacob (Gn 37)—another example of man’s deceit and deception.
All of these accounts are, in themselves, mini-stories that illustrate the human condition and how incapable we are of making a lasting promise to God. As a result, we are in need of rescue and restoration and only God, with His patience, could develop and execute a plan, seen throughout Bible history, for accomplishing a restoration that did not rely on man’s fallible nature.
Juxtaposed against the human failings, lies and deceits, the hearer/reader’s attention was brought to the fact that Shechem was where God reminded the people that He is faithful. Having given Abram the promise of the land, the Israelites were to remember that promise by going to Shechem, building an altar worshipping and re-reading God’s Law. This would refresh in the minds of the Israelites how God had led them out of bondage as He had promised and into a land He had promised. The rededication ceremony was accomplished and is described in Joshua 8. Following the conquest, Joshua again assembled the people at Shechem where he reviewed God’s promises and Israel’s obligations, eliciting from the people an agreement that they would “serve the Lord our God and obey Him” (Jos 24:24). This promise was another one that was repeatedly broken as revealed in the succeeding books of the Old Testament.
Earlier in Israel’s history Joseph, as he lay dying in Egypt, reminded the people that God would lead them to the land He had promised to Abraham, Isaac and his father Jacob. He asked that when they did return, they “carry my bones up from this place” (Gn 50:25). This was fulfilled in Joshua 24:32 when the body of Joseph was placed in a tomb in Shechem.
The Hebrew hearer/reader would also remember that Shechem became the center for the idolatrous worship practices that occurred following Israel’s capture by the Assyrians. Importing peoples from other lands and exporting Jewish believers, syncretism of pagan beliefs and Jewish practices resulted in a corrupted form of worship that became centered at Shechem and on Mt. Gerizim by people who were known as Samaritans. They chose to be worshippers of other gods despite their earlier promise in Joshua 24.

Ruins of a fifth century AD octagonal church on Mt. Gerizim, view north. The church, dedicated to Mary, was built on top of a temple built by the Samaritans in the late fifth century BC. John Hyrcanus destroyed the temple in the late second century BC. The small domed building at the northeast corner, the tomb of an Arab sheikh, is the structure visible from Jacob’s well in the valley below. IAA.
I believe the author of John wanted the reader and hearer to recognize and associate Shechem with God’s eternal unbroken promises, man’s corrupted state, the need for a Rescuer and how a Rescuer had been promised throughout history. In John 4 the Rescuer is revealed. The Samaritan woman makes known the promise: “I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us.” And the Rescuer, Jesus, replied that the Messiah was at hand: “I Who speak to you am He” (Jn 4:26)!
The Samaritan woman’s response was to immediately run into the village, leaving her water jar behind, and tell everyone that the Rescuer was there. What glorious news! The Samaritans rushed to the well, welcomed Him and exclaimed that Jesus was the Rescuer, “the Savior of the world” (Jn 4:42).
It should challenge us to remember that shortly after Jesus’ declaration that He was Messiah, He would complete the promise and achieve the rescue through His death, burial and ascension. As He prepared His disciples for their duties, He told them that they would be His “witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). The story of Shechem and the Samaritan region had come full circle—from the promises to the Patriarchs to fulfillment of salvation as heard by the woman at the well and declared to the disciples.
Now we have the contextual history of Shechem. It is apparent that the original hearer/reader of John’s Gospel fully understood how Shechem had been a focal point of God’s unbroken promises and man’s fallibility. Hopefully, for the reader of this essay, all pieces of the puzzle of Shechem can now be understood and assembled so one can see the finished picture. And what a wonderful picture it is!
Footnotes
1. The author wishes to express his appreciation to Dr. James C. Martin for permission to use the photographs credited to him in this article.
2. For a discussion of geographical criteria that make for strategic locations in ancient Israel, see Hansen 1991.
3. For these dates, see Davis 1975: 29.
4. For a brief discussion of how this date is derived, see Hansen 2003: 80.
5. See Wood 1997 for his explanation of this unusual situation.
6. For a more thorough discussion of the Amarna tablets and the identity of the Habiru, see Archer 1994: 288–95; Wood 1995 and 2003: 269–71.
7. For a description of the modern Samaritans and how they practice Passover, see Bolen 2001.
Bibliography
Archer, Gleason L.
1994 A Survey of Old Testament Introduction, new and revised ed. Chicago: Moody.
Bolen, Todd
2001 Samaritan Passover. Bible and Spade 14: 41–42.
Campbell, Edward F.
1993 Shechem. Pp. 1345–54 in The New Encyclopedia of Archaeological Excavations in the Holy Land4, ed. Ephraim Stern. New York: Simon & Schuster.
Davis, John J.
1975 Paradise to Prison: Studies in Genesis. Grand Rapids MI: Baker.
Dever, William G.
1994 Monumental Architecture in Ancient Israel in the Period of the United Monarchy. Bible and Spade 7: 68–87.
Greenwold, Douglas
2004 Zechariah & Elizabeth: Persistent Faith in a Faithful God. Rockville MD: Bible-in-Context Ministries.
Hansen, David G.
1991 The Case of Meggido [sic]. Archaeology and Biblical Research 4: 84–93.
2003 Large Cities that Have Walls up to the Sky: Canaanite Fortifications in the Late Bronze I Period.Bible and Spade 16: 78–88.
Hess, Richard S.
1993 Smitten Ant Bites Back: Rhetorical Forms in the Amarna Correspondence from Shechem. Pp. 95–111 in Verses in Ancient Near Eastern Prose, eds. Johannes C. de Moor and Wilfred G.E. Watson, Alter Orient und Altes Testament 42. Kevelaer, Germany: Butzon & Bercker.
Magen, Itzhak
1993 Neapolis. Pp. 1354–59 in The New Encyclopedia of Archaeological Excavations in the Holy Land4, ed. Ephraim Stern. New York: Simon & Schuster.
2001 The Sacred Precinct on Mount Gerizim. Bible and Spade 14:37–40.
Seger, Joe D.
1997 Shechem. Pp. 19–23 in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Archaeology in the Near East 5, ed. Eric M. Myers. New York: Oxford University Press.
Shea, William H.
1992 The Burial of Jacob: A New Correlation Between Genesis 50 and an Egyptian Inscription.Archaeology and Biblical Research 5:33–44.
Stager, Lawrence E.
2003 The Shechem Temple where Abimelech Massacred a Thousand. Biblical Archaeological Review28.4:26–35, 68–69.
Stefanovic, Zdravko
1992 Jacob’s Well. Pp. 608–609 in The Anchor Bible Dictionary 3, ed. David N. Freedman. New York: Doubleday.
Toombs, Lawrence E.
1992 Shechem. Pp. 1174–86 in The Anchor Bible Dictionary 5, ed, David N. Freedman. New York: Doubleday.
Wood, Bryant G.
1995 Reexamining The Late Bronze Era: An Interview with Bryant Wood by Gordon Govier. Bible and Spade 8: 47–53.
1997 The Role of Shechem in the Conquest of Canaan. Pp 245–56 in To Understand the Scriptures: Essays in Honor of William H. Shea, ed. David Merling. Berrien Springs MI: Institute of Archaeology/Siegfried H. Horn Archaeological Museum.
1999 The Search for Joshua’s Ai: Excavations at Kh. el-Maqatir. Bible and Spade 12:21–30.

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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 52 THE BEATLES (Part D, There is evidence that the Beatles may have been exposed to Francis Schaeffer!!!) (Feature on artist Anna Margaret Rose Freeman )

______________   George Harrison Swears & Insults Paul and Yoko Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds- The Beatles The Beatles:   I have dedicated several posts to this series on the Beatles and I don’t know when this series will end because Francis Schaeffer spent a lot of time listening to the Beatles and talking […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 51 THE BEATLES (Part C, List of those on cover of Stg.Pepper’s ) (Feature on artist Raqib Shaw )

  The Beatles in a press conference after their Return from the USA Uploaded on Nov 29, 2010 The Beatles in a press conference after their Return from the USA. The Beatles:   I have dedicated several posts to this series on the Beatles and I don’t know when this series will end because Francis […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 50 THE BEATLES (Part B, The Psychedelic Music of the Beatles) (Feature on artist Peter Blake )

__________________   Beatles 1966 Last interview I have dedicated several posts to this series on the Beatles and I don’t know when this series will end because Francis Schaeffer spent a lot of time listening to the Beatles and talking and writing about them and their impact on the culture of the 1960’s. In this […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 49 THE BEATLES (Part A, The Meaning of Stg. Pepper’s Cover) (Feature on artist Mika Tajima)

_______________ The Beatles documentary || A Long and Winding Road || Episode 5 (This video discusses Stg. Pepper’s creation I have dedicated several posts to this series on the Beatles and I don’t know when this series will end because Francis Schaeffer spent a lot of time listening to the Beatles and talking and writing about […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE PART 48 “BLOW UP” by Michelangelo Antonioni makes Philosophic Statement (Feature on artist Nancy Holt)

_______________ Francis Schaeffer pictured below: _____________________ I have included the 27 minute  episode THE AGE OF NONREASON by Francis Schaeffer. In that video Schaeffer noted,  ” Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band…for a time it became the rallying cry for young people throughout the world. It expressed the essence of their lives, thoughts and their feelings.” How Should […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 47 Woody Allen and Professor Levy and the death of “Optimistic Humanism” from the movie CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS Plus Charles Darwin’s comments too!!! (Feature on artist Rodney Graham)

Crimes and Misdemeanors: A Discussion: Part 1 ___________________________________ Today I will answer the simple question: IS IT POSSIBLE TO BE AN OPTIMISTIC SECULAR HUMANIST THAT DOES NOT BELIEVE IN GOD OR AN AFTERLIFE? This question has been around for a long time and you can go back to the 19th century and read this same […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE PART 46 Friedrich Nietzsche (Featured artist is Thomas Schütte)

____________________________________ Francis Schaeffer pictured below: __________ Francis Schaeffer has written extensively on art and culture spanning the last 2000years and here are some posts I have done on this subject before : Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 10 “Final Choices” , episode 9 “The Age of Personal Peace and Affluence”, episode 8 […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 45 Woody Allen “Reason is Dead” (Feature on artists Allora & Calzadilla )

Love and Death [Woody Allen] – What if there is no God? [PL] ___________ _______________ How Should We then Live Episode 7 small (Age of Nonreason) #02 How Should We Then Live? (Promo Clip) Dr. Francis Schaeffer 10 Worldview and Truth Two Minute Warning: How Then Should We Live?: Francis Schaeffer at 100 Francis Schaeffer […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 44 The Book of Genesis (Featured artist is Trey McCarley )

___________________________________ Francis Schaeffer pictured below: ____________________________ Francis Schaeffer “BASIS FOR HUMAN DIGNITY” Whatever…HTTHR Dr. Francis schaeffer – The flow of Materialism(from Part 4 of Whatever happened to human race?) Dr. Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical flow of Truth & History (intro) Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical Flow of History & Truth (1) Dr. Francis Schaeffer […]

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 52 The views of Hegel and Bertrand Russell influenced Gareth Stedman Jones of Cambridge!!

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

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

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

Harry Kroto

_________________

Below you have picture of Dr. Harry Kroto:

 

Gareth Stedman Jones

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Gareth Stedman Jones (born 17 December 1942) is a British academic and historian.[1] He is Professor of the History of Ideas at Queen Mary, University of London.

Educated at St Paul’s School and Lincoln College, Oxford, where he read History, Stedman Jones went on to Nuffield College, Oxford to take a DPhil.

He moved to Cambridge in 1974, becoming a Fellow of King’s College, Cambridge and, in 1979, a lecturer in history. Since 1991, he has served as co-Director of the Centre for History and Economics at King’s and has held the post of professor of political science since 1997.[2] From 1964 to 1981 he served on the Editorial Board of the New Left Review. He was a joint founder of the History Workshop Journal in 1976. He has two sons and one stepdaughter.

Publications[edit]

  • Outcast London, Oxford, 1971 [reprinted with new preface, 1984; reprinted Harmondsworth, 1992; Open University edition, 2002].
  • Languages of Class: Studies in English Working Class History, 1832-1982, Cambridge, 1983.
  • Klassen, Politik, Sprache, edited by P. Schöttler, Munster, 1988.
  • Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The Communist Manifesto, Harmondsworth, 2002, introduction of 180pp.
  • An End to Poverty? London, Profile Books, July 2004.[3]

References[edit]

  1. Jump up^ Hunt, Tristram (28 July 2006). “Lessons for Beijing emerge from the Dickensian smog”. The Guardian. Retrieved 29 May 2011.
  2. Jump up^ “King’s History Fellows”. King’s College. Retrieved 29 May 2011.
  3. Jump up^ Howe, Stephen (6 August 2004). “A wealth of ideas about an age-old problem”. The Independent. Retrieved 29 May 2011.

In  the third video below in the 106th clip in this series are his words and  my response is below them. 

50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1)

Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2)

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

Interview with Gareth Stedman Jones – part one

Published on May 17, 2014

Filmed by Alan Macfarlane on 23 April 2012. Professor Stedman Jones talks about his life and work as a historian.

Interview of Gareth Stedman Jones- part two

I grew up at Bellevue Baptist Church under the leadership of our pastor Adrian Rogers and I read many books by the Evangelical Philosopher Francis Schaeffer and have had the opportunity to contact many of the evolutionists or humanistic academics that they have mentioned in their works. Many of these scholars have taken the time to respond back to me in the last 20 years and some of the names  included are  Ernest Mayr (1904-2005), George Wald (1906-1997), Carl Sagan (1934-1996),  Robert Shapiro (1935-2011), Nicolaas Bloembergen (1920-),  Brian Charlesworth (1945-),  Francisco J. Ayala (1934-) Elliott Sober (1948-), Kevin Padian (1951-), Matt Cartmill (1943-) , Milton Fingerman (1928-), John J. Shea (1969-), , Michael A. Crawford (1938-), Paul Kurtz (1925-2012), Sol Gordon (1923-2008), Albert Ellis (1913-2007), Barbara Marie Tabler (1915-1996), Renate Vambery (1916-2005), Archie J. Bahm (1907-1996), Aron S “Gil” Martin ( 1910-1997), Matthew I. Spetter (1921-2012), H. J. Eysenck (1916-1997), Robert L. Erdmann (1929-2006), Mary Morain (1911-1999), Lloyd Morain (1917-2010),  Warren Allen Smith (1921-), Bette Chambers (1930-),  Gordon Stein (1941-1996) , Milton Friedman (1912-2006), John Hospers (1918-2011), Michael Martin (1932-), John R. Cole  (1942-),   Wolf Roder,  Susan Blackmore (1951-),  Christopher C. French (1956-)  Walter R. Rowe Thomas Gilovich (1954-), Paul QuinceyHarry Kroto (1939-), Marty E. Martin (1928-), Richard Rubenstein (1924-), James Terry McCollum (1936-), Edward O. WIlson (1929-), Lewis Wolpert (1929), Gerald Holton (1922-), Martin Rees (1942-), Alan Macfarlane (1941-),  Roald Hoffmann (1937-), Herbert Kroemer (1928-), Thomas H. Jukes (1906-1999), Glenn BranchGeoff Harcourt (1931-), and  Ray T. Cragun (1976-).

QUOTE FROM Gareth Stedman Jones:

I quite like the rituals of the Church of England, but I don’t believe in God and all that; my position was reinforced by reading Hegel, Anglicanism happens to be the religious culture of this island and I don’t feel any strong urge to disrupt it;

I chose to respond to this statement in the letter below:

October 8, 2015

Dr. Gareth Stedman Jones, Centre for History and Economics, Magdalene College,

Dear Dr. Stedman Jones,

In your wonderful interview with Alan Macfarlane at the 32:50:15 mark you talk about religion and you said that you recognize that there are people in the Church of England that say sensible things. I actually spent a whole summer in 1979 in England helping an Anglican Church in Manchester reach out to Muslims and Hindus and I got to know a lot of people in the Church of England. I even got to meet in my trip to London the famous John Stott who recently passed away a few years ago. Here is an excerpt from your interview:

I was confirmed at school; I remember thinking that it could be true so I didn’t have strong anti-religious feelings; on the other hand the school Chaplain who taught us divinity was not very bright, so we made jokes and regarded it as ridiculous but I don’t think we were fundamentally alienated from religion though we were from organized religion as it was practiced at school; over time I have been sort of agnostic; Bernard Williams once said to me that Anglican atheism was his belief; I quite like the rituals of the Church of England, but I don’t believe in God and all that; my position was reinforced by reading Hegel, Anglicanism happens to be the religious culture of this island and I don’t feel any strong urge to disrupt it; I think the Dawkins-Hitchens attack is a bit childish; my question is not “is there a god” but “what is God?” and Hegel has an interesting answer to that, that it’s just everything; if England had stayed as it was in the 1950s – at school I did read Bertrand Russell’s explanation of why he was not a Christian – I would have supported the Dawkins line; but now it seems to me to be attacking something that really isn’t that central; I find myself in the slightly ridiculous position of observing that the people who seems to say sensible things are in the Church of England, senior judges, and people in the House of Lords; I don’t with any comfort approve of any of these things particularly, but on the other hand it is one of the areas where a certain pluralism survives, and for that reason I feel that the alternatives might be worse.

My favorite philosopher was a man by the name of Francis Schaeffer and he lived from 1912 to 1984 and he talked a lot about Bertrand Russell and your favorite philosopher Hegel. Below is some of what he wrote about these two gentlemen as referred to in this article by Dr. William Lane Craig:

(Francis Schaeffer pictured below)

Francis Schaeffer

__________________________

Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich

The Absurdity of Life without God

Written by William Lane Craig. Posted in Articles – Bonus Content

As I remarked earlier, Francis Schaeffer (1912–1984) is the thinker most responsible for crafting a Christian apologetic based on the so-called modern predicament. According to Schaeffer, there can be traced in recent Western culture a “line of despair,” which penetrates philosophy, literature, and the arts in succession. He believes the root of the problem lies in Hegelian philosophy, specifically in its denial of absolute truths. Hegel developed the famous triad of thesis-antithesis-synthesis, in which contradictions are seen not as absolute opposites, but as partial truths, which are synthesized in the whole. Ultimately all is One, which is absolute and non-contradictory. In Schaeffer’s view, Hegel’s system undermined the notion of particular absolute truths (such as “That act is morally wrong” or “This painting is aesthetically ugly”) by synthesizing them into the whole. This denial of absolutes has gradually made its way through Western culture. In each case, it results in despair, because without absolutes man’s endeavors degenerate into absurdity. Schaeffer believes that the Theater of the Absurd, abstract modern art, and modern music such as compositions by John Cage are all indications of what happens below the line of despair. Only by reaffirming belief in the absolute God of Christianity can man and his culture avoid inevitable degeneracy, meaninglessness, and despair.

Schaeffer’s efforts against abortion may be seen as a logical extension of this apologetic. Once God is denied, human life becomes worthless, and we see the fruit of such a philosophy in the abortion and infanticide now taking place in Western society. Schaeffer warns that unless Western man returns to the Christian world and life view, nothing will stop the trend from degenerating into population control and human breeding. Only a theistic worldview can save the human race from itself…

The Practical Impossibility of Atheism

About the only solution the atheist can offer is that we face the absurdity of life and live bravely. Bertrand Russell, for example, wrote that we must build our lives upon “the firm foundation of unyielding despair.”16 Only by recognizing that the world really is a terrible place can we successfully come to terms with life. Camus said that we should honestly recognize life’s absurdity and then live in love for one another.

The fundamental problem with this solution, however, is that it is impossible to live consistently and happily within such a worldview. If one lives consistently, he will not be happy; if one lives happily, it is only because he is not consistent. Francis Schaeffer has explained this point well. Modern man, says Schaeffer, resides in a two-story universe. In the lower story is the finite world without God; here life is absurd, as we have seen. In the upper story are meaning, value, and purpose. Now modern man lives in the lower story because he believes there is no God. But he cannot live happily in such an absurd world; therefore, he continually makes leaps of faith into the upper story to affirm meaning, value, and purpose, even though he has no right to, since he does not believe in God. Modern man is totally inconsistent when he makes this leap, because these values cannot exist without God, and man in his lower story does not have God.

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

MEANING OF LIFE

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

Now this is utterly inconsistent. It is inconsistent to say that life is objectively absurd and then to say that one may create meaning for his life. If life is really absurd, then man is trapped in the lower story. To try to create meaning in life represents a leap to the upper story. But Sartre has no basis for this leap. Without God, there can be no objective meaning in life. Sartre’s program is actually an exercise in self-delusion. For the universe does not really acquire meaning just because I happen to give it one. This is easy to see: for suppose I give the universe one meaning, and you give it another. Who is right? The answer, of course, is neither one. For the universe without God remains objectively meaningless, no matter how we regard it. Sartre is really saying, “Let’s pretend the universe has meaning.” And this is just fooling ourselves.

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

VALUE OF LIFE

Turn now to the problem of value. Here is where the most blatant inconsistencies occur. First of all, atheistic humanists are totally inconsistent in affirming the traditional values of love and brotherhood. Camus has been rightly criticized for inconsistently holding both to the absurdity of life and to the ethics of human love and brotherhood. The two are logically incompatible. Bertrand Russell, too, was inconsistent. For though he was an atheist, he was an outspoken social critic, denouncing war and restrictions on sexual freedom. Russell admitted that he could not live as though ethical values were simply a matter of personal taste, and that he therefore found his own views “incredible.” “I do not know the solution,” he confessed.17 The point is that if there is no God, then objective right and wrong cannot exist. As Dostoyevsky said, “All things are permitted.”

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

And yet, if God does not exist, then in a sense, our world is Auschwitz: there is no right and wrong; all things are permitted. But no atheist, no agnostic, can live consistently with such a view of life. Nietzsche himself, who proclaimed the necessity of living “beyond good and evil,” broke with his mentor Richard Wagner precisely over the issue of the composer’s anti-Semitism and strident German nationalism. Similarly Sartre, writing in the aftermath of the Second World War, condemned anti-Semitism, declaring that a doctrine that leads to extermination is not merely an opinion or matter of personal taste, of equal value with its opposite.18 In his important essay “Existentialism Is a Humanism,” Sartre struggles vainly to elude the contradiction between his denial of divinely pre-established values and his urgent desire to affirm the value of human persons. Like Russell, he could not live with the implications of his own denial of ethical absolutes.

Neither can Richard Dawkins. For although he solemnly pronounces, “There is at bottom no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pointless indifference…. We are machines for propagating DNA,”19 he is a patent moralist. He declares himself mortified that Enron executive Jeff Skilling regards Dawkins’s The Selfish Gene as his favorite book because of its perceived Social Darwinism.20 He characterizes “Darwinian mistakes” like pity for someone unable to pay us back or sexual attraction to an infertile member of the opposite sex as “blessed, precious mistakes” and calls compassion and generosity “noble emotions.”21 He denounces the doctrine of original sin as “morally obnoxious.”22 He vigorously condemns such actions as the harassment and abuse of homosexuals, religious indoctrination of children, the Incan practice of human sacrifice, and prizing cultural diversity in the case of the Amish over the interests of their children.23 He even goes so far as to offer his own amended Ten Commandments for guiding moral behavior, all the while marvelously oblivious to the contradiction with his ethical subjectivism.24

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

The cruelty of atheism is hard to believe when man has no faith in the reward of good or the punishment of evil. There is no reason to be human. There is no restraint from the depths of evil which is in man. The communist torturers often said, “There is no God, no Hereafter, no punishment for evil. We can do what we wish.” I have heard one torturer even say, “I thank God, in whom I don’t believe, that I have lived to this hour when I can express all the evil in my heart.” He expressed it in unbelievable brutality and torture inflicted on prisoners.25

The English theologian Cardinal Newman once said that if he believed that all the evils and injustices of life throughout history were not to be made right by God in the afterlife, “Why I think I should go mad.” Rightly so.

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

PURPOSE OF LIFE

Finally, let’s look at the problem of purpose in life. Unable to live in an impersonal universe in which everything is the product of blind chance, atheists sometimes begin to ascribe personality and motives to the physical processes themselves. It is a bizarre way of speaking and represents a leap from the lower to the upper story. For example, the brilliant Russian physicists Zeldovich and Novikov, in contemplating the properties of the universe, ask, why did “Nature” choose to create this sort of universe instead of another? “Nature” has obviously become a sort of God-substitute, filling the role and function of God. Francis Crick halfway through his book The Origin of the Genetic Code begins to spell nature with a capital N and elsewhere speaks of natural selection as being “clever” and as “thinking” of what it will do. Sir Fred Hoyle, the English astronomer, attributes to the universe itself the qualities of God. For Carl Sagan the “Cosmos,” which he always spelled with a capital letter, obviously fills the role of a God-substitute. Though these men profess not to believe in God, they smuggle in a God-substitute through the back door because they cannot bear to live in a universe in which everything is the chance result of impersonal forces.

Moreover, the only way that most people who deny purpose in life live happily is either by making up some purpose—which amounts to self-delusion as we saw with Sartre—or by not carrying their view to its logical conclusions. Take the problem of death, for example. According to Ernst Bloch, the only way modern man lives in the face of death is by subconsciously borrowing the belief in immortality that his forefathers held to, even though he himself has no basis for this belief, since he does not believe in God. Bloch states that the belief that life ends in nothing is hardly, in his words, “sufficient to keep the head high and to work as if there were no end.” By borrowing the remnants of a belief in immortality, writes Bloch, “modern man does not feel the chasm that unceasingly surrounds him and that will certainly engulf him at last. Through these remnants, he saves his sense of self-identity. Through them the impression arises that man is not perishing, but only that one day the world has the whim no longer to appear to him.” Bloch concludes, “This quite shallow courage feasts on a borrowed credit card. It lives from earlier hopes and the support that they once had provided.”26 Modern man no longer has any right to that support, since he rejects God. But in order to live purposefully, he makes a leap of faith to affirm a reason for living.

Finding ourselves cast into a mindless universe with no apparent purpose or hope of deliverance from thermodynamic extinction, the temptation to invest one’s own petty plans and projects with objective significance and thereby to find some purpose to one’s life is almost irresistible. Thus, the outspoken atheist and Nobel Prize–winning physicist Steven Weinberg at the close of his much acclaimed popularization of contemporary cosmology The First Three Minutes, writes:

However all these problems may be solved, and whichever cosmological model proves correct, there is not much comfort in any of this. It is almost irresistible for humans to believe that we have some special relation to the universe, that human life is not just a more-or-less farcical outcome of a chain of accidents reaching back to the first three minutes, but that somehow we were built in from the beginning…. It is very hard to realize that this is all just a tiny part of an overwhelmingly hostile universe. It is even harder to realize that this present universe has evolved from an unspeakably unfamiliar early condition, and faces a future extinction of endless cold or intolerable heat. The more the universe seems comprehensible, the more it also seems pointless.
But if there is no solace in the fruits of our research, there is at least some consolation in the research itself. Men and women are not content to comfort themselves with tales of gods and giants, or to confine their thoughts to the daily affairs of life; they also build telescopes and satellites and accelerators and sit at their desks for endless hours working out the meaning of the data they gather. The effort to understand the universe is one of the very few things that lifts human life a little above the level of farce, and gives it some of the grace of tragedy.27

There is something strange about Weinberg’s moving description of the human predicament: tragedy is an evaluative term. Weinberg sees the pursuit of scientific research as raising human life above the level of farce to the level of tragedy. But on naturalism, what is the basis for such an evaluative differentiation? Weinberg evidently sees a life devoted to scientific pursuits as truly meaningful, and therefore it’s too bad that so noble a pursuit should be extinguished. But why on naturalism should the pursuit of science be any different from slouching about doing nothing? Since there is no objective purpose to human life, none of our pursuits has any objective significance, however important and dear they may seem to us subjectively…

While participating in a conference on Intelligent Design two years ago, I had the opportunity to have dinner with the agnostic philosopher of science Michael Ruse one evening at an Atlanta steakhouse. During the course of the meal, Michael asked me, “Bill, are you satisfied with where you are in your career as a philosopher?’’ I was rather surprised by the question and said, “Well, yes, basically, I guess I am—how about you?” He then related to me that when he was just starting out as a philosopher of science, he was faced with the choice of vigorously pursuing his career or just taking it rather easy. He said that he then thought of the anguished words of the character played by Marlin Brando at the close of the film On the Waterfront: “I coulda been a contender!” Michael told me that he decided he didn’t want to reach the end of his life and look back in regret and say, “I coulda been a contender!” I was struck by those words. As a Christian I am commanded by the Lord “to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3 ESV). But what point is there for an atheist or agnostic to be a “contender”—a contender for what? Since there is no objective purpose in life, the only answer can be, to contend for one’s own made-up purposes—hence, the irresistible tendency to treat career advancement and fame as though they really were objectively important ends, when in fact they are nothing….

The Success of Biblical Christianity

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

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

FOOTNOTES:
16. Bertrand Russell, “A Free Man’s Worship,” in Why I Am Not a Christian, ed. P. Edwards (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1957), 107.
17. Bertrand Russell, Letter to the Observer, October 6, 1957.
18. Jean-Paul Sartre, “Portrait of the Antisemite,” trans. M. Guiggenheim, in Existentialism, 330.
19. Richard Dawkins, Unweaving the Rainbow (London: Allen Lane, 1998), cited in Lewis Wolpert, Six Impossible Things before Breakfast (London: Faber and Faber, 2006), 215. Unfortunately, Wolpert’s reference is mistaken. The quotation seems to be a pastiche from Richard Dawkins, River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life (New York: Basic, 1996), 133, and Richard Dawkins, “The Ultraviolet Garden,” Lecture 4 of 7 Royal Institution Christmas Lectures (1992), http://physicshead.blogspot.com/2007/01/ richard-dawkins-lecture-4-ultraviolet.html. Thanks to my assistant Joe Gorra for tracking down this reference.
20. Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion (New York: Houghton-Mifflin, 2006), 215.
21. Ibid., 221.
22. Ibid., 251.
23. Ibid., 23, 313–17, 326, 328, 330.
24. Ibid., 264.
25. Richard Wurmbrand, Tortured for Christ (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1967), 34.
26. Ernst Bloch, Das Prinzip Hoffnung, 2nd ed., 2 vols. (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp Ver-lag, 1959), 2:360–1.
27. Steven Weinberg, The First Three Minutes (London: Andre Deutsch, 1977), 154–55.
28. Loyal D. Rue, “The Saving Grace of Noble Lies,” address to the American Academy for the Advancement of Science, February 1991.
Excerpted from Reasonable Faith, copyright 1994, by William Lane Craig. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a division of GoodNews Publishers, Wheaton, Illinois. http://www.crosswaybooks

You want some evidence that indicates that the Bible is true? Here is a good place to start and that is taking a closer look at the archaeology of the Old Testament times. 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.

Francis Schaeffer has correctly argued:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hezekiah’s Tunnel

Gihon Spring

The Gihon Spring

The only spring in Jerusalem, the Gihon is a siphonic, karstic spring, and its name means “gushing”; it surges and the sound can be easily heard. It is estimated that the Gihon could have supported a population of about 2,500. The cave is a natural one, but it has been widened. Solomon was anointed at the Gihon Spring while his brother, Adonijah, was attempting to take the throne through a surreptitious coronation at En Rogel (1 Kgs 1).

The Tunnel

A 1750-foot (530m) tunnel carved during the reign of Hezekiah to bring water from one side of the city to the other, Hezekiah’s Tunnel together with the 6th c. tunnel of Euphalios in Greece are considered the greatest works of water engineering technology in the pre-Classical period.  Had it followed a straight line, the length would have been 1070 ft (335m) or 40% shorter.

Hezekiah's Tunnel

Hezekiah's Tunnel

The Construction

2 Kings 20:20 “As for the other events of Hezekiah’s reign, all his achievements and how he made the pool and the tunnel by which he brought water into the city…”

2 Chr 32:30 “It was Hezekiah who blocked the upper outlet of the Gihon spring and channeled the water down to the west side of the City of David.”

The Meeting Point

Why is the tunnel S-shaped?

R. A. S. Macalister said the tunnel was a “pathetically helpless piece of engineering.”

Henry Sulley in 1929 first suggested that Hezekiah’s tunnel followed a natural crack in the rock.

Dan Gill argues that the two crews of diggers followed a natural karstic dissolution channel.

Hezekiah's Tunnel meeting point

Place of Siloam Inscription in Hezekiah's Tunnel

The Location of the Siloam Inscription

“[…when] (the tunnel) was driven through.  And this was the way in which it was cut through:  While […] (were) still […] axe(s), each man toward his fellow, and while there were still three cubits to be cut through, [there was heard] the voice of a man calling to his fellows, for there was an overlap in the rock on the right [and on the left].  And when the tunnel was driven through, the quarrymen hewed (the rock), each man toward his fellow, axe against axe; and the water flowed from the spring toward the reservoir for 1200 cubits, and the height of the rock above the head(s) of the quarrymen was 100 cubits.”

____

Thank you for your time. I know how busy you are and I want to thank you for taking the time to read this letter.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher,

P.O. Box 23416, Little Rock, AR 72221, United States, cell ph 501-920-5733, everettehatcher@gmail.com

 

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

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 to publish a letter I have written today to another high profile figure that Dr. Rogers has mentioned several times in his sermons. By the way at this link you can see a sermon of Rogers on Evolution that I sent to over 250 ATHEIST SCIENTISTS FROM 1992 TO 2015! I have posted on Adrian Rogers’ messages on Evolution before but here is a complete message on it.

Adrian Rogers pictured below

________________

 

In the 1970’s and 1980’s I was a member of Bellevue Baptist in Memphis where Adrian Rogers was pastor and was a student at ECS from the 5th grade to the 12th grade where I was introduced to the books and films of Francis Schaeffer. During this time I was amazed at how many prominent figures in the world found their way into the works of both Adrian Rogers and Francis Schaeffer and I wondered what it would be like if these individuals were exposed to the Bible and the gospel. Therefore, over 20 years ago I began sending the messages of Adrian Rogers and portions of the works of Francis Schaeffer to many of the secular figures that they mentioned in their works. Let me give you some examples and tell you about some lessons that I have learned.

_______________

I have learned several things about atheists in the last 20 years while I have been corresponding with them. First, they know in their hearts that God exists and they can’t live as if God doesn’t exist, but they will still search in some way in their life for a greater meaning. Second, many atheists will take time out of their busy lives to examine the evidence that I present to them. Third, there is hope that they will change their views.

Let’s go over again a few points I made at the first of this post.  My first point is backed up by  Romans 1:18-19 (Amplified Bible) ” For God’s wrath and indignation are revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who in their wickedness REPRESS and HINDER the truth and make it inoperative. For that which is KNOWN about God is EVIDENT to them and MADE PLAIN IN THEIR INNER CONSCIOUSNESS, because God  has SHOWN IT TO THEM,”(emphasis mine). I have discussed this many times on my blog and even have interacted with many atheists from CSICOP in the past. (I first heard this from my pastor Adrian Rogers back in the 1980’s.)

My second point is that many atheists will take the time to consider the evidence that I have presented to them and will respond. The late Adrian Rogers was my pastor at Bellevue Baptist when I grew up and I sent his sermon on evolution and another on the accuracy of the Bible to many atheists to listen to and many of them did. I also sent many of the arguments from Francis Schaeffer also.

______
Adrian Rogers and his wife Joyce pictured above with former President George Bush at Union University in Tennessee.
_____________________________
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-).
Third, there is hope that an atheist will reconsider his or her position after examining more evidence. Twenty years I had the opportunity to correspond with two individuals that were regarded as two of the most famous atheists of the 20th Century, Antony Flew and Carl Sagan.  I had read the books and seen the films of the Christian philosopher Francis Schaeffer and he had discussed the works of both of these men. I sent both of these gentlemen philosophical arguments from Schaeffer in these letters and in the first letter I sent a cassette tape of my pastor’s sermon IS THE BIBLE TRUE? You may have noticed in the news a few years that Antony Flew actually became a theist in 2004 and remained one until his death in 2010. Carl Sagan remained a skeptic until his dying day in 1996.Antony Flew wrote me back several times and in the  June 1, 1994 letter he  commented, “Thank you for sending me the IS THE BIBLE TRUE? tape to which I have just listened with great interest and, I trust, profit.” I later sent him Adrian Rogers’ sermon on evolution too. 

 The ironic thing is back in 2008 I visited the Bellevue Baptist Book Store and bought the book There Is A God – How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind, by Antony Flew, and it is in this same store that I bought the message by Adrian Rogers in 1994 that I sent to Antony Flew. Although Antony Flew did not make a public profession of faith he did admit that the evidence for God’s existence was overwhelming to him in the last decade of his life. His experience has been used in a powerful way to tell  others about Christ. Let me point out that while on airplane when I was reading this book a gentleman asked me about the book. I was glad to tell him the whole story about Adrian Rogers’ two messages that I sent to Dr. Flew and I gave him CD’s of the messages which I carry with me always. Then at McDonald’s at the Airport, a worker at McDonald’s asked me about the book and I gave him the same two messages from Adrian Rogers too.

______________________

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 reprinted philosophical publication of the last 50 years. Over the decades, he published more than 30 books attacking belief in God and debated a wide range of religious believers.

Then, in a 2004 Summit at New York University, Professor Flew announced that the discoveries of modern science have led him to the conclusion that the universe is indeed the creation of infinite Intelligence.

For More Info Visit:
http://ScienceFindsGod.com

__________________

Evolution: Fact of Fiction? By Adrian Rogers

___________

The high profile person that Dr. Rogers used to mention from time to time in his sermons is Hugh Hefner and yesterday I wrote him a letter which I will mail today.

In 1984 Adrian Rogers said in sermon, “Playboy’s Payday,” these words:

(The text for this sermon was the whole chapter of Proverbs 5)

I’m telling you the Word of God here today.  You’re going to blow it, and when you come to the end of it, you’re going to miss the best of life.  Do you know what Hugh Heffner said on another occasion? He was reminiscing. Here is this guy who has all of these girls around  him, all of this booze, all of these casinos and presumably can have any   sensual pleasure he wants. He said, You know, in the next ten years I would rather meet a girl and fall in love and have her fall in love with me than to make another one hundred million dollars.   But I fear the man doesn’t know what love is.  I feel that he’s missed it.  What he’s saying is, I’ve got it all, but I don’t have satisfaction!  There’s something that’s worth more than a hundred million dollars to me, and I don’t have it!

Marilyn Monroe, the sex goddess who took her own life, said, “I hate sex.”  Everybody says, “Oh, look at the pleasure that she’s having.”  In Sweden, Sweden’s a liberated country, they have open pornography, open prostitution, free love in Sweden.  It’s all accepted. That’s supposed to be the liberated country in the Western world.  The Swedes! Do you know what nation has the highest divorce rate of any nation?  Sweden. .  “God is not mocked.”  I’m telling you there is a disappointment in sin.  The cup of sin is sweet, but the dregs are bitter indeed.

They did an in-depth study at Stanford University. These are not a bunch of preachers, and their conclusion of the in-depth study was this:  that the more promiscuous people were before marriage, the less chance for happiness after marriage.   The try-it-before-you-marry-it idea may sound cute, but it’s not in the Word of God, dear friend.  This idea of living together to see if you’re compatible, the more promiscuous people were before marriage, the less chance of opportunity for satisfaction after marriage. Young people, many of them right now are on the beaches of Fort Lauderdale, many of them have gone down there attempting to make it with some girl, to make it with some boy, to jump in bed with somebody. They think that’s the way.   And our young people are being told that so much that they think there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it!

Dangers of Pornography Adrian Rogers

ADRIAN ROGERS PICTURED AT WHITE HOUSE AFTER BEING ELECTED PRESIDENT OF SOUTHERN BAPTIST CONVENTION

November 15, 2015

Dear Mr. Hefner,

I have chosen to write you on the 10th anniversary of the passing of one of the most influential people in my life. My hometown pastor at Bellevue Baptist in Memphis, Adrian Rogers, was my pastor from 1975 to 1983 when I was 14 to 21 years old and he influenced me in this crucial time of my life.

I attended his funeral and I was touched by speakers such as my youth choir director James Whitmire, my College Director Ken Whitten, our family friend Bob Sorrell and current Bellevue pastor Steve Gaines.

Two other notable people who spoke were  James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family and by video the Evangelist Billy Graham. Graham noted, “We need for ministers of the Gospel to defend the Bible as the infallible Word of God…I believe in my heart that Adrian Rogers was such a man. I knew him personally. I had walked with him and prayed with him…I know God’s hand was upon Adrian Rogers as he proclaimed the Bread of Life from his church and through radio and television…I praise God for his ministry.”

Later in this letter I will return to this subject of the historical accuracy of the Bible. Adrian Rogers actually was remembered among other things for his contribution in this area in Southern Baptist life. In fact, one of my favorite sermons by him is called, HOW YOU CAN BE CERTAIN THE BIBLE IS THE WORD OF GOD and you can watch this message on You Tube.

Just two days ago it was Friday the 13th which is a pretty spooky day usually, and I wanted to talk to you about a subject that most people would consider very scary but it is the subject that Billy Graham has chosen for the last book he will ever write. I was privileged to hear Billy Graham speak both in Memphis in 1978 and in Little Rock in 1989.
On  Sunday November 8, 2015,  I was in Memphis at my parents’ home getting ready to go to church when I saw the “Keeping the Faith” segment on Fox News with Franklin Graham. Speaking of his father Billy Graham he noted:
He just turned 97 on Saturday and he is still with us and his mind is still sharp and he received about a dozen cakes and he took a bite out of everyone of them. He has no ailments than other his age. He doesn’t hear well or see well but his mind is clear and he can understand you and can communicate with him.
This book was 90% completed by his 95th birthday but he got sick right after that and we didn’t think he would live to Christmas that year and we put the book aside but then last year when he doing pretty good we got it back out so he could finished it when he was doing pretty good.
At 97 he is getting close to eternity (in the afterlife) he knows that and he wants people to know there is a heaven and a hell.
In “Where I Am: Heaven, Eternity and Our Life Beyond,” Billy Graham asserted, “As a Christian and a preacher of the Gospel, I am always grieved to have to interrupt a marvelous picture, such as eternal life in Heaven, to talk about another eternal place that Jesus calls Hell…It has no similarities to what is typically called home, nor is Hell a resting place, a holding place, or a graveyard. Hell is a burning inferno…I can say with certainty that if there is no literal fire in Hell, then God is using symbolic language to indicate something far worse…Just as there are no words to adequately describe the grand beauty of Heaven, we cannot begin to imagine just how horrible the place called Hell is.”
But there is hope if one repents and puts his or her faith in Christ alone for eternal life.
“We need to say either yes or no. But some of us say maybe. Some of us try to straddle the fence and live in both worlds, but Jesus will not compromise with us. The Gospel plan is all set. We must accept His Son if we are to enter into His eternal kingdom. If your answer is not yes, then the choice is made.”

Adrian Rogers once noted: 

When people think of Hell, they picture the devil as a comical character wearing a red suit with horns, a tail and a pitchfork, making people shovel coal. Satan loves that image because we laugh at it.

Satan promotes laughter about Hell because if people don’t understand the teaching of Hell, they’ll not prepare to go to Heaven, to give their hearts to Christ.

It makes no difference if all the scholars, preachers, scientists, statesmen, politicians and liberal theologians put together say there is no Hell, it wouldn’t change one letter of what the Word of God says.

Often the minister who preaches on Hell is accused of being unloving. With a sneer the world loves to call him a “hell-fire and damnation preacher.” The late, great Dr. Robert G. Lee said,

I know some people call the preacher who stands squarely upon the teaching of Christ and His apostles narrow, harsh, and cruel. As to being narrow, I have no desire to any broader than was Jesus. As to being cruel, is it cruel to tell a man the truth? Is a man to be called cruel who declares the whole counsel of God and points out to men their danger? Is it cruel to arouse sleeping people to the fact that the house is on fire? Is it cruel to jerk a blind man away from the rattlesnake in the coil? Is it cruel to declare to people the deadliness of disease and tell them which medicine to take? I had rather be called cruel for being kind, than to be called kind for being cruel.

The cruelest thing we could do would be to fail to warn people about Hell and what the Bible has to say about it. To ridicule a preacher who warns of Hell is like ridiculing a doctor who warns of cancer. Hell is not a pleasant subject, but it is a reality.

HUGH DON’T YOU WANT TO TAKE A CLOSER LOOK AT BECOMING A CHRISTIAN SO YOU CAN GO TO HEAVEN AND AVOID PUNISHMENT. IT IS NOT TOO LATE.

“But as it is written: ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.'” (1 Corinthians 2:9)

In the article “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Billy Graham & Me (EXCERPT)” on March 19, 2013 I read these words by a political hero of yours,  :

When I was governor, Billy came to Little Rock for another crusade, and we traveled together to visit my pastor, W.O. Vaught, who was dying of cancer. I’ll never forget their conversation – about faith and fears, life and death. It was my first real glimpse of Billy the private man. He went to the home of my pastor and offered him comfort, saying that he too had lived a long life, and would see him again soon “just inside the Eastern Gate.” He lived his faith when no one was looking.

From the book MY LIFE by Bill Clinton.

With Dr. Billy Graham and my pastor, Dr. W.O. Vaught, fall 1989

In 1974 in an interview with R. Couri Hay YOU NOTED:

Beyond a certain point a person would be a fool to suggest that he really knows the answers and I don’t. In other words, I have no idea what we are doing here, but we are here and that wasn’t just man’s invention.  I mean there is something beyond all of this and whether it has a purpose or a point, grander plan. I don’t know. No one knows and those who pretend to know strike me as being rather pompous.

THREE POINTS YOU ARE MAKING.

  1. YOU DON’T HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS. 2. THERE IS SOMETHING BEYOND ALL OF THIS BUT YOU DON’T KNOW IF THERE IS A PURPOSE OR NOT. 3. THOSE WHO PRETEND TO KNOW ARE POMPOUS.

Number one, thank you for admitting that you don’t have all the answers.

Number two, the scientist Blaise Pascal in his book Pensées gave the reason for your second observation:

“What else does this craving, and this helplessness, proclaim but that there was once in man a true happiness, of which all that now remains is the empty print and trace? This he tries in vain to fill with everything around him, seeking in things that are not there the help he cannot find in those that are, though none can help, since this infinite abyss can be filled only with an infinite and immutable object; in other words by God himself.”

Ecclesiastes 3:11a Amplified Bible (AMP)

11 He has made everything beautiful and appropriate in its time. He has also planted eternity [a sense of divine purpose] in the human heart [a mysterious longing which nothing under the sun can satisfy, except God]

The answer to find meaning in life is found in putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ.

Number three, those Christians like me who claim that God has spoken truth in the Bible do have evidence to back up that view and below is some of that evidence.

The Bible is true from cover to cover and can be trusted. Below is a piece of that evidence given by Francis Schaeffer and former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop concerning the accuracy of the Bible.

The following is an excerpt from TRUTH AND HISTORY (chapter 5 of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?, under footnote #94):

So the story goes on. We have stopped at only a few incidents in the sweep back to the year 1000 B.C. What we hope has emerged from this is a sense of the historical reliability of the Bible’s text. When the Bible refers to historical incidents, it is speaking about the same sort of “history” that historians examine elsewhere in other cultures and periods. This borne out by the fact that some of the incidents, some of the individuals, and some of the places have been confirmed by archaeological discoveries in the past hundred years has swept away the possibility of a naive skepticism about the Bible’s history. And what is particularly striking is that the tide has built up concerning the time before the year 1000 B.C. Our knowledge about the years 2500 B.C. to 1000 B.C. has vastly increased through discoveries sometimes of whole libraries and even of hitherto unknown people and languages.

There was a time, for example, when the Hittite people, referred to in the early parts of the Bible, were treated as fictitious by critical scholars. Then came the discoveries after 1906 at Boghaz Koi (Boghaz-koy) which not only gave us the certainty of their existence but stacks of details from their own archives!

Here is an excerpt from the  article, “Archaeology and the Old Testament,” which is  on the website of Probe Ministries:

The Discovery of the Hittites

The Hittites played a prominent role in Old Testament history. They interacted with biblical figures as early as Abraham and as late as Solomon. They are mentioned in Genesis 15:20 as people who inhabited the land of Canaan. 1 Kings 10:29 records that they purchased chariots and horses from King Solomon. The most prominent Hittite is Uriah the husband of Bathsheba. The Hittites were a powerful force in the Middle East from 1750 B.C. until 1200 B.C. Prior to the late 19th century, nothing was known of the Hittites outside the Bible, and many critics alleged that they were an invention of the biblical authors.

In 1876 a dramatic discovery changed this perception. A British scholar named A. H. Sayce found inscriptions carved on rocks in Turkey. He suspected that they might be evidence of the Hittite nation. Ten years later, more clay tablets were found in Turkey at a place called Boghaz-koy. German cuneiform expert Hugo Winckler investigated the tablets and began his own expedition at the site in 1906.

Winckler’s excavations uncovered five temples, a fortified citadel and several massive sculptures. In one storeroom he found over ten thousand clay tablets. One of the documents proved to be a record of a treaty between Ramesses II and the Hittite king. Other tablets showed that Boghaz-koy was the capital of the Hittite kingdom. Its original name was Hattusha and the city covered an area of 300 acres. The Hittite nation had been discovered!

Less than a decade after Winckler’s find, Czech scholar Bedrich Hronzny proved the Hittite language is an early relative of the Indo-European languages of Greek, Latin, French, German, and English. The Hittite language now has a central place in the study of the history of the Indo-European languages.

The discovery also confirmed other biblical facts. Five temples were found containing many tablets with details of the rites and ceremonies that priests performed. These ceremonies described rites for purification from sin and purification of a new temple. The instructions proved to be very elaborate and lengthy. Critics once criticized the laws and instructions found in the books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy as too complicated for the time it was written (1400 B.C.). The Boghaz-koy texts along with others from Egyptian sites and a site along the Euphrates called Emar have proven that the ceremonies described in the Jewish Pentateuch are consistent with the ceremonies of the cultures of this time period.

The Hittite Empire made treaties with civilizations they conquered. Two dozen of these have been translated and provide a better understanding of treaties in the Old Testament. The discovery of the Hittite Empire at Boghaz-koy has significantly advanced our understanding of the patriarchal period. Dr. Fred Wright summarizes the importance of this find in regard to biblical historicity:

Now the Bible picture of this people fits in perfectly with what we know of the Hittite nation from the monuments. As an empire they never conquered the land of Canaan itself, although the Hittite local tribes did settle there at an early date. Nothing discovered by the excavators has in any way discredited the Biblical account. Scripture accuracy has once more been proved by the archaeologist.4

The discovery of the Hittites has proven to be one of the great archaeological finds of all time. It has helped to confirm the biblical narrative and had a great impact on Middle East archaeological study. Because of it, we have come to a greater understanding of the history of our language, as well as the religious, social, and political practices of the ancient Middle East.

Hefner family below:

I read about your mother Grace being a Bible-believing Christian. Al Mohler of Southern Baptist Seminary noted, “Hefner’s Methodist mother wanted him to be a missionary. In a very real sense, she got her wish in reverse. Hefner became a missionary all right, but a missionary that preached a rejection of the Christian sexual ethic.”

It is not too late for anyone to seek forgiveness. II Peter 3:9: The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

Growing up in church you probably memorized John 3:16,  “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

In this letter I have attempted to demonstrate to you that the Biblical Christianity that your parents brought you up in is based on revealed truth and the Bible is historically accurate. In a previous letter I quoted you portions of the great sermon PAYDAY SOMEDAY by Robert G. Lee and in today’s letter I quoted both Billy Graham and Adrian Rogers on hell. But I wanted to end with just a portion of that quote by Lee that Adrian Rogers used:

Is a man to be called cruel who declares the whole counsel of God and points out to men their danger? Is it cruel to arouse sleeping people to the fact that the house is on fire?

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

Adrian Rogers: How Do We Know the Bible Is True? (Audio)

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