MSNBC Says Beheading was Work-Place Violence ~ Prager Responds

Here is the video description from YouTube:

Once I heard the name, that he was a convert to Islam, and that he beheaded a person… I knew. But almost immediately from the time I posted this, I got flack to “slow down” in my judgment. Not. I stuck to my guns, and was proven correct. Here are some of the “red-flags” that show his religious belief played a vital role in his behavior. I just wished he had followed the example of the man tattooed on his chest, Jesus, rather than Islam’s founder, Muhammad.

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Dennis Prager discusses MSNBC’s coverage of this story and shows how vapid these people are. For more clear thinking like this from Dennis Prager… I invite you to visit: http://www.dennisprager.com/

How to Solve America’s Spending Problem ~ PragerU

Everyone complains about America’s debt, and rightly so, but how do we get out of it? As Cato’s Michael Tanner explains, spending on entitlement programs — Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid — has exploded in recent decades. We must slow their growth or they will soon swallow the entire federal budget. In five minutes, learn how America can preserve these programs and get out of debt.

The Crusades vs. The Three Caliphates (Moral Equivalence)

Other posts on similar topics:

As an aside, a great post to include in these studies is over at WINTERY KNIGHT and responds to these four myths:

  • Myth #1: The crusades represented an unprovoked attack by Western Christians on the Muslim world.
  • Myth #2: Western Christians went on crusade because their greed led them to plunder Muslims in order to get rich.
  • Myth #3: Crusaders were a cynical lot who did not really believe their own religious propaganda; rather, they had ulterior, materialistic motives.
  • Myth #4: The crusades taught Muslims to hate and attack Christians.

There was nothing wrong, in principle, with the Crusades. They were an appropriate (if belated and badly managed) response to the conquest of the Holy Land by Islam. Did marauding 11th century armies inevitably commit outrages? They certainly did. In fact, that still happens today. But the most unfortunate thing about the Crusades is that they failed. (Powerline)

CHRISTIANITY (Crusades)

  • 9 Total Crusades from 1095-1272 A.D;
  • The crusades lasted about 177 years;
  • About 1-million deaths – this includes: disease, the selling into slavery, and died en-route to the Holy land;
  • About 5,650 deaths a year.

ATHEISM (Stalin)

  • His rise to power in 1927 lasted until his death in 1953;
  • Stalin’s reign was 26-years;
  • Middle road estimates of deaths are 40-to-50-million;
  • That clocks in at about 1,923,076 deaths a year.

(Some put the death toll per-week by Stalin at 40,000 every week — even during “peacetime”)

ISLAM (killing Hindus)

  • 80-million killed;
  • 500-year war;
  • 160,000 a year.

(As an aside… about 5.714 [to be clear, that is 5-point-714 people] people were killed a year by the Spanish Inquisition if you take the highest number over its 350-year long stretch if you use the leading historian on the topic.)

I have some maps to help make my case… and we know that conversion in these days was due to duress, like it is today. This first map puts a time-table to the 3-caliphates:

Around this same time (and you mentioned this in the convo I viewed) this was going on:

▼ The Third Crusade (1188-1192). This crusade was proclaimed by Pope Gregory VIII in the wake of Saladin’s capture of Jerusalem and destruction of the Crusader forces of Hattin in 1187. This venture failed to retake Jerusalem, but it did strengthen Outremer, the crusader state that stretched along the coast of the Levant. (The Politically incorrect guide to Islam-and the Crusades, by Robert Spencer, pp. 147-148.)

Defensive

…the Crusades were a defensive war, not an aggressive grab for land and loot. In fact, crusading was an expensive and costly endeavor. After the success of the First Crusade nearly all the Crusaders went home. Virtually none of them recovered the cost of crusading. If one wanted to get rich, crusading was definitely not the best route to make it happen. Many atrocities occurred in the Crusades.

Understandably, war can bring out the worst in people. Even during World War II some American soldiers committed atrocities, but this does not mean the war was conducted so soldiers could commit crimes. [me: nor does this mean the whole of the meta-good of the conflict is undone] (Sean McDowell)

[Like the video says: Islamic jihad was enslaving Kafirs, the Crusaders were freeing them — key distinction.]

The almost Political Correct myth is that the crusades were an unprovoked attack by Europe against the Islamic world are dealt with in part:

▼ The conquest of Jerusalem in 638 stood as the beginning of centuries of Muslim aggression, and Christians in the Holy Land faced an escalating spiral of persecution. A few examples: Early in the eighth century, sixty Christian pilgrims from Amorium were crucified; around the same time, the Muslim governor of Caesarea seized a group of pilgrims from Iconium and had them all executed as spies – except for a small number who converted to Islam; and Muslims demanded money from pilgrims, threatening to ransack the Church of the Resurrection if they didn’t pay. Later in the eighth century, a Muslim ruler banned displays of the cross in Jerusalem. He also increased the anti-religious tax (jizya) that Christians had to pay and forbade Christians to engage in religious instruction to others, even their own children. Brutal subordinations and violence became the rules of the day for Christians in the Holy Land. In 772, the caliph al-Mansur ordered the hands of Christians and Jews in Jerusalem to be stamped with a distinctive symbol. Conversions to Christianity were dealt with particularly harshly. In 789, Muslims beheaded a monk who had converted from Islam and plundered the Bethlehem monastery of Saint Theodosius, killing many more monks. Other monasteries in the region suffered the same fate. Early in the ninth century, the persecutions grew so severe that large numbers of Christians fled to Constantinople and other Christians cities. More persecutions in 923 saw additional churches destroyed, and in 937, Muslims went on a Palm Sunday rampage in Jerusalem, plundering and destroying the Church of Calvary and the Church of the Resurrection. (The Politically incorrect guide to Islam-and the Crusades, by Robert Spencer, pp. 122-123.)

One person (my pastor at the time) said to paint a picture of the crusaders in a single year in history is like showing photo’s and video of Hitler hugging children and giving flowers to them and then showing photo’s and video of the Allies attacking the German army. It completely forgets what Hitler and Germany had done prior.

This second map show there were raids, violence, and rape that reached close to Paris itself:

So far from the Crusades being an “out-of-the-blue” event, it was people in the West stopping the Muslim horde. Literally! Here is a 35-minute interview with Professor Clay Jones on the Crusades:

As well as a 6-minute section where Michael Medved was interviewing Robert Spencer. About half way through a call is taken… your typical “party-line”

Below is a comparison I used for a class at church comparing Muhammad and Jesus:

Jesus Versus Muhammad by Papa Giorgio

Not only that, but to say that the Crusades were immoral IS to borrow from the Judeo-Christian ethic. I make this point in a recent question/challenge sent to me by an atheist which I posted on here.

There is nothing in the pantheist worldview (Buddhism, Hinduism, Janism, Taoism, etc) which can account for people saying, “you [or ‘the church’] ought not have done that.” In fact, when I updated my chapter to reflect a recent event, I said this:

It is laughable that some defend this doctrine tooth and nail. However, if really believed, they would come to realize there is no real good or evil! The Inquisitions, the Mumbai terror killings at the hands of Muslims, as examples, were merely the outgrowth of the victim’s previous karmic lives. Therefore, when those here defend karmic destiny in other posts speak of the horrible atrocities committed by religion, they are not consistently living out their philosophy of life and death, which are illusory. The innocent victims of the Inquisitions, terror attacks, tsunamis, or Crusades then are merely being paid back for something they themselves did in a previous life. It is the actions said people did prior that creates much of the evil upon them now. So in the future when people who are believers in reincarnation say that Christianity isn’t what it purports to be because of the evil it has committed in the past, you should remind them that evil is merely an illusion (maya – Hinduism; sunyata – Buddhism) to be overcome, as karmic reincarnation demands.

(Reincarnation vs. the Laws of Logic)

And there is nothing in evolutionary naturalism either to denote an action being immoral. As the first of the links above clearly show. Only if you have the Judeo-Christian God in play do you have such a case to make. In other words you have to assume that which you wish to show false.

One last note on this differing direction of the convo. The Bible does not teach the horrible practices that some have committed in its name.

It is true that it’s possible that religion can produce evil, and generally when we look closer at the details it produces evil because the individual people [Christians] are actually living in rejection of the tenets of Christianity and a rejection of the God that they are supposed to be following. So it [religion] can produce evil, but the historical fact is that outright rejection of God and institutionalizing of atheism (non-religious practices) actually does produce evil on incredible levels. We’re talking about tens of millions of people as a result of the rejection of God. For example: the Inquisitions, Crusades, Salem Witch Trials killed about anywhere from 40,000 to 80,000 persons combined (World Book Encyclopedia and Encyclopedia Americana), and the church is liable for the unjustified murder of about (taking the high number here) 300,000-women over about a 300 year period. A blight on Christianity? Certainly. Something wrong? Dismally wrong. A tragedy? Of course.

Millions and millions of people killed? No. The numbers are tragic, but pale in comparison to the statistics of what non-religious criminals have committed); the Chinese regime of Mao Tse Tung, 60 million [+] dead (1945-1965), Stalin and Khrushchev, 66 million dead (USSR 1917-1959), Khmer Rouge (Cambodia 1975-1979) and Pol Pot, one-third of the populations dead, etc, etc. The difference here is that these non-God movements are merely living out their worldview, the struggle for power, survival of the fittest and all that, no evolutionary/naturalistic natural law is being violated in other words (as non-theists reduce everything to natural law — materialism). However, and this is key, when people have misused the Christian religion for personal gain, they are in direct violation to what Christ taught, as well as Natural Law. (A condensing of Gregory Koukl’s, “The Real Murderers: Atheism or Christianity?“)

In fact, A recent comprehensive compilation of the history of human warfare, Encyclopedia of Wars by Charles Phillips and Alan Axelrod documents 1763 wars, of which 123 have been classified to involve a religious conflict. So, what atheists have considered to be ‘most’ really amounts to less than 7% of all wars. It is interesting to note that 66 of these wars (more than 50%) involved Islam, which did not even exist as a religion for the first 3,000 years of recorded human warfare. Even the Seven Years’ War, widely recognized to be “religious” in motivation, noting that the warring factions were not necessarily split along confessional lines as much as along secular interests.


The above paragraph is an adaptation of sorts from these two sources:

  • Alan Axelrod & Charles Phillips, Encyclopedia of Wars, Facts on File, November 2004
  • John Entick, The General History of the Later War, Volume 3, 1763, p. 110.

John Quincy Adams is worth reading at greater length on the topic, as he provides some insight into what has been going on in Iraq now that Obama has prematurely removed our troops: 

▼ In the seventh century of the Christian era, a wandering Arab of the lineage of Hagar [i.e., Muhammad], the Egyptian, […..] Adopting from the new Revelation of Jesus, the faith and hope of immortal life, and of future retribution, he humbled it to the dust by adapting all the rewards and sanctions of his religion to the gratification of the sexual passion. He poisoned the sources of human felicity at the fountain, by degrading the condition of the female sex, and the allowance of polygamy; and he declared undistinguishing and exterminating war, as a part of his religion, against all the rest of mankind. THE ESSENCE OF HIS DOCTRINE WAS VIOLENCE AND LUST. – TO EXALT THE BRUTAL OVER THE SPIRITUAL PART OF HUMAN NATURE…. Between these two religions, thus contrasted in their characters, a war of twelve hundred years has already raged. The war is yet flagrant … While the merciless and dissolute dogmas of the false prophet shall furnish motives to human action, there can never be peace upon earth, and good will towards men.

Winston Churchill deserves a longer hearing too:

▼ “How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries, improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement, the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property, either as a child, a wife, or a concubine, must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men. Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities, but the influence of the religion paralyzes the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world.”

Islam has not changed over the centuries. All that has changed is that never before have we been ruled by people who take Islam’s side against us. That is why the Marines were created in fact… the Barbary Wars. “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun” (ECC 1:9). While other religions has entered modernity and rejected claims by men to get closer to their founding doctrine. Like what Jesus ACTUALLY teaches versus the guy in the pulpit… which was why it was illegal to own a Bible in parts of Italy all the way to 1870. Those in charge didn’t want the words of their Founder to be read.

People like Luther and Calvin read it, and read it well.

Heliocentrism vs. Geocentrism ~ Can Both Right? Dr. Stokes Explains

(Video Description) “How To Be a Real Skeptic” ~ Mitch Stokes, PhD. Mitch Stokes, professor at New Saint Andrews College, gives a talk on skepticism at Collegiate Reformed Fellowship’s weekly meeting.

Can there be dueling theories for the same observable evidence? Can BOTH be true? In this smaller portion of his larger talk (http://tinyurl.com/jwm3lcd), Dr. Stokes explains with a story of two theories that at the time were equally true.

Dr. Stokes book, “A Shot of Faith {To The Head}” — Can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/pmmx9rh

BTW: This fuller presentation is applicable not only to religious, or origin type debates, but especially to the current flap over global warming, or climate change… or, er… climate disruption. Whatever its called.

Often times one’s bias, worldview, and presuppositions drive outcomes. It is natural, we all do it. Read more in my first chapter: http://www.scribd.com/doc/34407776/Introduction-Technology-Junkies

“Let There Be Light!” ~ Concepts (Points of Departure)

Opinions are bountiful, testing one’s opinions in today’s age? Not so much.

I will explain the issues I have with John’s latest article, and as usual, you can click it to enlarge the above. In this latest opinion slurry, John asks questions that I doubt he even has one single book by a leading philosopher/theologian/scientist from either the Intelligent Design camp or creation positions to search for how Christianity answers these questions. For instance, my favorite treatise to introduce people to ideas expressed above in a broad sense, “Unshakable Foundations: Contemporary Answers to Crucial Questions about the Christian Faith.” Or a more in-depth treatise of the same, “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist.” Or one more specific to his questions, “The Case For A Creator: A Journalist Investigates Scientific Evidence That Points Toward God.” All are readable, and all answer his questions in a way that a mature seeker to these answers would do if seeking to inform one’s own opinion.

One of the queries proffered above is this one: “Of course, that interpretation invites the question, who or what created God.” I wonder if John has actually spent the time finding an answer to this position that has surely passed his lip many times in conversation. I do have a Power Point that deals with this in a very layman-like manner. Also, a more in-depth treatise of it as well HERE. But in a short conversation I had with another gentleman, I responded briefly this way — showing that this has been squarely dealt with many hundreds of years ago:

Tim, you asked:

“What created God? Who created the thing that created the thing that created the thing that created God? It’s an infinite regression.”

Again, “What created God.”

You are basically saying that:

“if everything needs a cause, then so does God, in which case he would not be God. And if God does not need a cause, then neither does the world. But if the world needs no cause then there is no God. Hence, whether everything needs a cause or does not need a cause, there is no God.”

Did I sum up the “gist” of the matter?  (Who made God, in other words.)

The criticism, “if everything needs a cause, then there must be an infinite regress” is built on a misconception of the principle of causality. Or better, it is a confusion of the principle of existential causality and the principle of sufficient reason. The latter affirms that everything needs a cause.

That it would seem, as atheists observe, leads to a contradiction of God being his own cause.

Aquinas dealt with this long ago. He held that only finite, changing, dependent beings need a cause. This does not lead to a contradictory self-caused being but to a non-contradictory un-caused Being. For if only finite beings need a cause then one arrives at a nonfinite (i.e. infinite) being that does not need a cause. Hence, from Aquinas’ principle of causality the series would legitimately stop at the first, un-caused Cause of all finite beings.

If one is confused in regards to the above: here is a response geared towards 5th grader; and one geared towards adults. John’s article[s] surely exemplify philosopher Mortimer Adler’s point about formulating good questions based on coherant starting point:

Mortimer J. Adler rightly points out that while many Christians are quick in responding to the conclusions in an argument often times the Christian is unaware that the point of departure is not in the conclusion, but in the starting premise, the foundational assumptions.

This “point of departure” is answered two separate times by Christian philosopher Dr. William Lane Craig ~ in less than 2-minutes in each case. I mention the time factor because it seems Mr. Huizum hasn’t even taken 2-minutes to get an answer to his “point of departure”:

John states that searching for answers to his questions in the article is “vital” in “‘knowing’ the truth.” That is fine, and he is right, it is an important question that from the Greeks to us has been a grand Western tradition. But even 1,000’s of years ago the Greeks thought it important enough to debate “how” even to ask the question properly. All that aside however, my last point that needs to be made in one that undermines John’s presuppositions. In John’s closing statement, he says this:

If science is right, there is no need for the existence of a supernatural being, which would in turn terminate all religions on earth and consequently a lot of insane wars.

In a previous installment I respond to John also writing that “Atheism has been aided by scientific discoveries and rigorous questioning.” In the much longer response I quote two agnostics as saying this;

“The essential element in the astronomical and biblical accounts of Genesis is the same; the chain of events leading to man commenced suddenly and sharply, at a definite moment in time, in a flash of light and energy…. The Hubble Law is one of the great discoveries in science; it is one of the main supports of the scientific story of Genesis.”

~ Robert Jastrow: American astronomer and physicist. Founding director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, he is the director of the Mount Wilson Institute and Hale Solar Laboratory. He is also the author of Red Giants and White Dwarfs (1967) and God and the Astronomers (2nd ed., 2000).

“Certainly there was something that set it all off. Certainly, if you are religious, I can’t think of a better theory of the origin of the universe to match with Genesis.”

~ Robert Wilson: is an American astronomer, 1978 Nobel laureate in physics, who with Arno Allan Penzias discovered in 1964 the cosmic microwave background radiation (CMB)…. While working on a new type of antenna at Bell Labs in Holmdel Township, New Jersey, they found a source of noise in the atmosphere that they could not explain. After removing all potential sources of noise, including pigeon droppings on the antenna, the noise was finally identified as CMB, which served as important corroboration of the Big Bang theory.

So John seems to be making the same misguided statements, maybe based on his misunderstanding of the weight of the logical conclusions found in a “non-God” universe, where truth cannot be known. Or not spending 2-minutes to see where his starting premise may be errant, and so his conclusions even worse. In other words, questions seeking a truthful response or statement of fact are impossible considering Johns epistemology (“the branch of philosophy concerned with questions about knowledge and belief and related issues such as justification and truth”).

To which I end with a call for John to internalize if he can even ask what he has in this column and others and expect to find an answer to his “probing” [sophomoric] questions:

Even Darwin had some misgivings about the reliability of human beliefs. He wrote, “With me the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man’s mind, which has been developed from the mind of lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey’s mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?”

Given unguided evolution, “Darwin’s Doubt” is a reasonable one. Even given unguided or blind evolution, it’s difficult to say how probable it is that creatures—even creatures like us—would ever develop true beliefs. In other words, given the blindness of evolution, and that its ultimate “goal” is merely the survival of the organism (or simply the propagation of its genetic code), a good case can be made that atheists find themselves in a situation very similar to Hume’s.

The Nobel Laureate and physicist Eugene Wigner echoed this sentiment: “Certainly it is hard to believe that our reasoning power was brought, by Darwin’s process of natural selection, to the perfection which it seems to possess.” That is, atheists have a reason to doubt whether evolution would result in cognitive faculties that produce mostly true beliefs. And if so, then they have reason to withhold judgment on the reliability of their cognitive faculties. Like before, as in the case of Humean agnostics, this ignorance would, if atheists are consistent, spread to all of their other beliefs, including atheism and evolution. That is, because there’s no telling whether unguided evolution would fashion our cognitive faculties to produce mostly true beliefs, atheists who believe the standard evolutionary story must reserve judgment about whether any of their beliefs produced by these faculties are true. This includes the belief in the evolutionary story. Believing in unguided evolution comes built in with its very own reason not to believe it.

This will be an unwelcome surprise for atheists. To make things worse, this news comes after the heady intellectual satisfaction that Dawkins claims evolution provided for thoughtful unbelievers. The very story that promised to save atheists from Hume’s agnostic predicament has the same depressing ending.

It’s obviously difficult for us to imagine what the world would be like in such a case where we have the beliefs that we do and yet very few of them are true. This is, in part, because we strongly believe that our beliefs are true (presumably not all of them are, since to err is human—if we knew which of our beliefs were false, they would no longer be our beliefs).

Suppose you’re not convinced that we could survive without reliable belief-forming capabilities, without mostly true beliefs. Then, according to Plantinga, you have all the fixins for a nice argument in favor of God’s existence For perhaps you also think that—given evolution plus atheism—the probability is pretty low that we’d have faculties that produced mostly true beliefs. In other words, your view isn’t “who knows?” On the contrary, you think it’s unlikely that blind evolution has the skill set for manufacturing reliable cognitive mechanisms. And perhaps, like most of us, you think that we actually have reliable cognitive faculties and so actually have mostly true beliefs. If so, then you would be reasonable to conclude that atheism is pretty unlikely. Your argument, then, would go something like this: if atheism is true, then it’s unlikely that most of our beliefs are true; but most of our beliefs are true, therefore atheism is probably false.

Notice something else. The atheist naturally thinks that our belief in God is false. That’s just what atheists do. Nevertheless, most human beings have believed in a god of some sort, or at least in a supernatural realm. But suppose, for argument’s sake, that this widespread belief really is false, and that it merely provides survival benefits for humans, a coping mechanism of sorts. If so, then we would have additional evidence—on the atheist’s own terms—that evolution is more interested in useful beliefs than in true ones. Or, alternatively, if evolution really is concerned with true beliefs, then maybe the widespread belief in God would be a kind of “evolutionary” evidence for his existence.

You’ve got to wonder.

In The Liberal World — Men Fight Women (*Equity*)

This is with thanks to Moonbattery:

Current liberal dogma that gender is fluid and mutable rather than innate in every cell in our bodies has been very liberating for some. For example, it has freed Fallon Fox to become a highly effective MMA fighter. All he had to do was subject himself to grotesque sexual mutilation and then declare himself to be a woman:

Transgender mixed martial arts (MMA) competitor Fallon Fox is facing new criticisms after breaking the eye socket of his last opponent. …

Fox defeated Tamikka Brents by TKO at 2:17 of the first round of their match. In addition to the damaged orbital bone that required seven staples, Brents received a concussion. In a post-fight interview this week, she told Whoa TV that “I’ve never felt so overpowered ever in my life.”

“I’ve fought a lot of women and have never felt the strength that I felt in a fight as I did that night.”

That’s because men are stronger than women, regardless of what ideology is in fashion.

Fox’s gender controversy is not new. In March 2013, after a 39-second knockout victory, it was revealed that Fox had not told the MMA community about his sex-change operation, which took place in 2006. That bout was the fifth straight first-round victory for the then-37-year old Fox, including his three amateur bouts, and his second victory as a professional fighter.

A video of the Brents fight taken by a ringside fan shows Fox throwing several powerful knees to the face and torso of Brents at the start of the match, who pulled guard to protect herself. Soon, Brents turned her back to avoid damage, where she took approximately 45 seconds of elbow and fist strikes – many blocked by her hands and arms – before the referee stopped the fight.

If you are twisted enough to feel like doing that to a woman, then maybe a sex change operation is the right move for you.

[….]

Hat tip: Liberty News.

…read it all…