Archive for September, 2007

Inkling

Posted: September 28, 2007 in Theo/Philo

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C.S.Lewis hinting at the hearts true genetic desire hidden behind all our chasing down of the days.

Here’s the quote :

“There have been times when I think we do not desire heaven; more often I find myself wondering whether, in our heart of hearts, we have ever desired anything else…inklings (but faint and uncertain even in the best) of that something which you were born desiring, and which, beneath the flux of other desires and in all the momentary silences between the louder passions, night and day, year by year, from childhood to old age, you are looking for, watching for, listening for. You have never had it. All the things that have ever deeply possessed your soul have been but hints of it–tantalizing glimpses, promises never quite fulfilled, echoes that died away just as they caught your ear. But if it should really become manifest–if there ever came an echo that did not die away but swelled into the sound itself–you would know it. Beyond all possibility of doubt you would say ‘Here at last is the thing I was made for.’ We cannot tell each other about it. It is the secret signature of each soul, the incommunicable and unappeasable want, the thing we desired…which we shall still desire on our deathbeds, when the mind no longer knows wife or friend or work. While we are, this is. If we lose this, we lose all.”

 

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Quarter pounder with Cheese please

Posted: September 27, 2007 in Uncategorized

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Stepping off of the plane at Owen Roberts International airport into the heat and humidity of  Grand Cayman in the British west Indies at night; my first impression as I walked down the steps to the tarmac, was the mixed aroma of pine trees and the sea, another  vividly memory to  treasure.

Many thousands of miles from home and the next place I found myself was as familiar as the face I see staring back in the mirror, I was at a KFC!Same food (except for the Zinger) same décor, same tastes and all run  at the same speed as Home.

Perhaps increased mobility and pace of change has produced a subconscious need for familiarity and consistency, KFC, BK and Pizza Hut et al are there to oblige.

Consistency comes at a  price, the loss in some small way of a distinctive place and culture.At the  extremes something has to give, either everything is the same no matter where you are when you step off of the plane, or there is a culture shock and all is different and new.

Today I was informed of an  example of the need for bland sameness, prefering global  rather than a national  identity; the 2012 Olympics are being held in blighty. Some one has decided to ban any overt distinctiveness, it may well offend! I am at a loss as to why distinctiveness is offensive while sameness is not?

The red arrows, the famous RAF aerobatic team, are not allow to perform at the Olympics-the reason  is they are  too British! No that’s not a typo it’s genuine, they are too British!The red arrows are too British to fly in the olympics!!!

History apparently repeats itself, although I cannot recall being too British in Britain as being thought of as a undesirable characteristic?Only in our global culture have we  developed an undeserved poor opinion of ourselves.

Your allowed to be British but there’s a threshold above and below which you are (I assume) either not British enough or too British!?!If you’re born in the UK please consider signing this online petition, here.If you’re not born in the UK please consider the madness that goes on here and point at us and laugh, I would if I were you.  

The blind leading the blind

Posted: September 22, 2007 in Theo/Philo

 

BBC Breakfast recently featured an interview with the brother of a graffiti artist who had been jailed for a year for spraying graffiti onto tube trains in London.

The interviewee admitted that his brother had done wrong but complained that the sentence handed out was unjust. A year spent inside for spraying graffiti seemed harsh compared to others who had committed far more serious crimes but received lighter sentences; here (it seemed to me)the reference was regarding a national celebrity who was recently handed a five month sentence for viewing abusive Child Pornography.

A keen sense of injustice spurs us to action which, in some cases has lead to the fall of governments,bloody revolutions and maps to be redrawn and news programs to feature the sibling of jailed graffiti artist.

It is a deeply felt emotion so much so that recent findings suggest that suffering an injustice can lead to an increased risk of heart attack.

Injustice is a metaphysical phenomena (unless anyone cares to prove otherwise) which relies on the existence of right and wrong ,not as a subjective experience but as an objective actuality.

An exclusively subjective sense of right and wrong and what constitutes injustice would not be able to produce a workable systems of jurisprudence,as your sense of right might not be mine; for Justice to work there must exist a be truly objective and not just a communally held definition of Justice.

Culturally defined justice would allow honour killings,female circumcision and gender inequalities to name a few practices.

The National socialists of Germany give a good example of culturally defined Jurisprudence; they were voted into government by the people and supported by the people, who considered, at that time, that to be Jewish was enough of a crime to merit forced relocation,loss of citizenship, loss of property, loss of liberty, loss of earnings and ultimately for many, loss of life. Should we say that the holocaust was acceptable morally because the majority remained silent and were complicit by there silence ?

Justice must be more than what the majority think is right or wrong, as that sense of right and wrong can change,we will, as Francis Schaeffer says, be at the mercy of the 51% vote.

In the west Justice and the rights of ‘Man’ were a product of a Judeo-Christian worldview which emerged slowly over time.

Justice must amount to more than what the majority think is right at a certain time in a certain place there must be a definition of Justice which over arches time and place-otherwise we wasted a lot of time and money at the Nuremberg trials.

Current popular thinking in the west holds that morality is either an illusion or an evolutionary accident.

The problem with these views are the same as those views that held right and wrong to be either culturally or subjectively defined -they are not consistent with logic and cannot produce systems of justice that work.

For instance consider the ‘Morality as an illusion’ mantra;just ask anyone who has suffered an injustice how much of an illusion morality is! Look at the behaviour of those who have suffered an injustice -do they behave as if Morality is an illusion?

C.S.Lewis:

‘Thus in the very act of trying to prove that God did not exist – in other words, that the whole of reality was senseless-I found I was forced to assume that one part of reality- namely my idea of justice -was full of sense . Consequently, atheism turns out to be too simple…If there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning.’

Morality as an accident -if it is an accident why should I obey its prompting?

Greg Koukl:

‘Moral rules that have no ground or justification need nit be obeyed. An illustration is helpful here . One evening in the middle of a scrabble game,you notice the phrase ‘Do not go’ formed in the random spray of letter tiles on the table. Is this a command that ought to be obeyed? Of course not . Its not a command at all, just a random collection of letters.’

 

The Great Fire of China

Posted: September 12, 2007 in Theo/Philo

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In a recent article featured in the Asian Times online by Oswald Spengler he writes :

‘Ten thousand Chinese become Christians each day, according to a stunning report by the National Catholic Reporter’s veteran correspondent John Allen, and 200 million Chinese may comprise the world’s largest concentration of Christians by mid-century, and the largest missionary force in history.’

 

Wow !

 

He goes on:

 

‘I suspect that even the most enthusiastic accounts err on the downside, and that Christianity will have become a Sino-centric religion two generations from now. China may be for the 21st century what Europe was during the 8th-11th centuries, and America has been during the past 200 years: the natural ground for mass evangelization. If this occurs, the world will change beyond our capacity to recognize it. Islam might defeat the western Europeans, simply by replacing their diminishing numbers with immigrants, but it will crumble beneath the challenge from the East.’

The whole article can be found Here

Even though my blog is blocked by the great wall of china (see here ) I somehow think they will get by without reading it-interesting times indeeed!

HT: Jollyblogger

The writings on the wall for freedom.

Posted: September 11, 2007 in Theo/Philo

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OS Guinness:

In many parts of America today, it is literally worse to judge evil than it is to do evil, because we have so elevated non judgementalism, we have so made judgement a sin, that there is incredible ethical confusion.”

Spark Up!

Posted: September 2, 2007 in Theo/Philo

 

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I may be naïve,but it seems there is no logical reason for those who subscribe to an atheistic worldview to believe in any notion of agency or freedom to choose or think.

If this is the case, then there is no adequate basis for objectivity, we are under constant control or subjected to forces, which although can be measured, cannot (according to atheism) be objectively understood.

The other implication is that we have no basis for moral ethical treatment -‘I’m sorry your honour my genes made me do it!’ No behaviour can be described as objectively wrong or right as that behaviour is the result not of the will but of complicated impersonal forces.

There’s no need to take my humble bloggers word for it,check out the published opinions of eminent atheists and philosophers:

 

John Searle :

 

our conception of physical reality simply does not allow for radical [libertarian] freedom.”

 

John Bishop:

 

the idea of a responsible agent, with the ‘originative’ ability to initiate events in the natural world , does sit easily with the idea of [an agent as] a natural organism…our scientific understanding of human behaviour seems to be in tension with the presuppositions of the ethical stance we adopt toward it.”

 

Thomas Nagel:

 

‘There seems to be no room for agency in a world of neural impulses, chemical reactions, and bone and muscle movements’.

 

Nagel further challenges the naturalistic basis of cognition :

 

‘By non apparent character of the world, I mean the aspects of reality that are not ordinarily observable by human beings. We could effectively go through our daily life without knowing, or needing to know, that physical reality has a molecular and atomic structure. Natural selection would favour the development of reliable cognitive and rational abilities only insofar as those aptitudes helped protohumans cope with the challenges of there environment, but there is no reason to believe that we should trust our reasoning abilities beyond that original “coping” function.

Hence a naturalistic evolutionary account of human beings would undermine the very confidence that naturalists place in our ability to get to know the world through mathematical and scientific means.’

 

William Provine:

 

..”free will as traditionally conceived…simply does not exist. There is no way the evolutionary process as currently conceived can produce a being that is truly free to make choices”.

 

Apart from the problem of ethics and objectivity the loss of agency has other problems too; Richard Dawkins book the God Delusion has a logical inconsistency even within the title of the book.

To be deluded about God or anyone or anything else implies thinking. Thinking implies free will , as Angus Menuge points out :

 

‘We are back with Descartes, pointing out that even to be deceived, one must think. But thinking is intentional, so if we are deceived, as the eliminativist reductionist claims,then intentional states do exist’.

 

Contrary to the atheistic worldview if we think we must be agents, and so not wholly subject to natural forces as the atheists would claim,there must be more to our world view than that which is measurable.

It’s his fault!

Posted: September 1, 2007 in Family Stuff, Uncategorized

I have found it more difficult of late to update God3’s Blog -and I’m going to blame it on our new 8 month old dog Sam.Currently he has chewed a broken glass bottle (fortunately no cuts) eaten my New Zealand Palm and several other plants including 3 cacti plus there pots.

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