The Thesis of the debate was, “Does the New Testament Teach the Deity of Christ?” Malik here admits it does…but changes the focus to an accusation of contradiction.
For an in-depth introduction to worldviews, read my first chapter to my book…
click graphic below
“Ours is an age of religious cacophony, as was the Roman Empire of Christ’s time. From agnosticism to Hegelianism, from devil-worship to scientific rationalism, from theosophical cults to philosophies of process: virtually any worldview conceivable is offered to modern man in the pluralistic marketplace of ideas. Our age is indeed in ideological and societal agony, grasping at anything and everything that can conceivably offer the ecstasy of a cosmic relationship or of a comprehensive Weltanschauung [worldview].”
Worldviews… What Are They?
And More Importantly, Do You Have One?
Many people today do not realize what a worldview is or how it effects their every day life. Let us first define in a general sense what a worldview is. The American Heritage Dictionary defines it two ways: 1) The overall perspective from which one sees and interprets the world; 2) A collection of beliefs about life and the universe held by an individual or a group. With these broad definitions, one can see that everyone is caught ion a web of defining their relation to the universe and the world. However, this generation doesn’t get much beyond this dictionary definition, and the actions behind this generation’s thinking are quite evident.
Let me give an example of how this lack of understanding about one’s worldview can effect a whole generation. Alexander W. Astin dissected a longitudinal study conducted by UCLA started in 1966 for the Review of Higher Education in which 290,000 students were surveyed from about 500 colleges. The main question was asked of students why study or learn, seeking to develop “a meaningful philosophy of life” (to develop a meaningful worldview) was ranked “essential” by a majority of entering freshmen. In 1996 however, 80% of the college students barely recognized the need for “a meaningful philosophy of life” and ranked “being very well off financially” (to not necessarily develop a meaningful worldview) as paramount.
This is quite eye-opening. It says a lot about where people’s “heads” are, or aren’t. A few decades ago most college students were looking to answer life’s big questions and learn how to relate to them. Today? Not so much. What are these questions that everyone’s worldview must answer? Below are the main ones that every viable worldview should answer:
What kind of God, if any, actually exists?
Is there anything beyond the cosmos?
What can be known, and how can anyone know it?
Where did I come from?
Who am I?
Where am I?
How should I live?
What should I consider of great worth?
What is humanity’s fundamental problem?
How can humanity’s problem be solved?
Past / Present
What is the meaning and direction of history?
Will I survive the death of my body and, if so, in what state?
These questions are the bedrock of any worldview that holds any weight. So before we go any further, let’s define a bit more for clarity purposes what a worldview is. Norman Geisler has the best working definition that will help guide us through the maze of religious and non-religious worldviews we will encounter in our lives. He says:
A Worldview is how one views or interprets reality. The German word is Weltanschauung, meaning a “world and life view,” or “a paradigm.” It is a framework through which or by which one makes sense of the data of life. A worldview makes a world of difference in one’s view of God, origins, evil, human nature, values, and destiny.
Something is missing from this definition though. In it there is no relational comparison to show that merely knowing one’s worldview doesn’t “presto” make it somehow true, this definition delves a bit deeper into what is at stake:
A worldview is a commitment, a fundamental orientation of the heart, that can be expressed as a story or in a set of presuppositions (assumptions which may be true, partially true or entirely false) which we hold (consciously or subconsciously, consistently or inconsistently) about the basic constitution of reality, and that provides the foundation on which we live and move and have our well being.
Another engaging way to put it is found over at All About the Journey:
Many haven’t poked their fingers into their presuppositions in order to test their worldview. The author of an online book entitled Faith with Reason: Why Christianity is True, starts out his book like this: “This is a book about worldviews. Everybody has one, but most individuals never really pay much attention to their own personal philosophy of life. This is a tragedy because there is no state of awareness so fundamental to living life.” Again, no state of awareness is so fundamental! Another author supports this idea by saying that “raising one’s self-consciousness [awareness] about worldviews is an essential part of intellectual maturity.”
Every subject we think about is filtered through our worldview. The picture of reality we hold in our minds is what we use at the most basic level to answer every question in life. This is especially true of big questions, like those pertaining to man’s origin, ethics, life’s meaning and ultimate destiny. This makes faith central to every aspect of our lives and being. The bigger question, of course, is whether or not the picture of reality we have is actually true.
Have you ever put on a pair of prescription glasses from a family member or friend? The distorted view one gets when putting on these prescription strength glasses is like a worldview. What one accepts as truth will effect all aspects of their life. A wonderful example of this comes from an illustration via Norman Geisler:
Professor: “Miracles are impossible, don’t you know science has disproven them, how could you believe in them [i.e., answered prayer, a man being raised from the dead, Noah’s Ark, and the like].”
Student: “for clarity purposes I wish to get some definitions straight. Would it be fair to say that science is generally defined as ‘the human activity of seeking natural explanations for what we observe in the world around us’?”
Professor: “Beautifully put, that is the basic definition of science in every text-book I read through my Doctoral journey.”
Student: “Wouldn’t you also say that a good definition of a miracle would be ‘and event in nature caused by something outside of nature’?”
Professor: “Yes, that would be an acceptable definition of ‘miracle.’”
Student: “But since you do not believe that anything outside of ‘nature’ exists [materialism, dialectical materialism, empiricism, existentialism, naturalism, and humanism – whatever you wish to call it], you are ‘forced’ to conclude that miracles are impossible”
The professor had a worldview that presupposed “naturalism,” or, “materialism,” which is defined as “the philosophical belief that reality is composed solely of matter and that all phenomena can be explained in terms of natural causes.” This presupposition that guided the professor caused him to be unable to even consider a non-natural event as an actual event. Therefore, Jesus couldn’t have risen from the grave, ergo, Christianity is false. Another way to see this “begging of questions” is in the following example:
Premise: Since there is no God,
Conclusion: all theistic proofs are invalid.
Premise: Since the theistic proofs are invalid,
Conclusion: there is no God.
Again, I hope one can see how a worldview, or pair of prescription glasses, can warp a person’s view of the world around them. Here we have dealt with the naturalist, or, atheistic worldview, what are some other worldviews we can categorize, and how do they view reality? Let’s see. A pretty good chart comes from the book Understanding the Times: The Collision of Today’s Competing Worldviews, realize that the chart is enlargeable:
Another informative chart can be found here (PDF File). I am pretty sure you are getting the idea of just how important a worldview can be. Once someone has a good idea of what worldview (Weltanschauung) is true, whether by a) investigation; or by b) bias, they then live out their lives according to those principles presupposed. John Stott explains, somewhat, the power of that worldview in the bringing forth “of actions into the external world” and influencing it.
“Every powerful movement has had its philosophy which has gripped the mind, fired the imagination and captured the devotion of its adherents. One has only to think of the Fascist and the Communist manifestos of this century, of Hitler’s Mein Kampf on the one hand and Marx’s Das Kapital and The Thoughts of Chairman Mao on the other.” [I would include the Humanist Manifesto’s I, II, and 2000 as well.]
One researcher says that there are 10,000 religions in the world, but if you bring all these religious beliefs to there core values, there is only a handful left in the hous, in fact, Francs Schaeffer said this:
“People have presuppositions, and they will live more consistently on the basis of these presuppositions than even they themselves may realize. By ‘presuppositions’ we mean the basic way an individual looks at life, his basic worldview, the grid through which he sees the world. Presuppositions rest upon that which a person considers to be the truth of what exists. People’s presuppositions lay a grid for all they bring forth into the external world. Their presuppositions also provide the basis for their values and therefore the basis for their decisions. ‘As a man thinketh, so he is,’ is really profound. An individual is not just the product of the forces around him. He has a mind, an inner world. Then, having thought, a person can bring forth actions into the external world and thus influence it. People are apt to look at the outer theater of action, forgetting the actor who ‘lives in the mind’ and who therefore is the true actor in the external world. The inner thought world determines the outward action. Most people catch their presuppositions from their family and surrounding society the way a child catches measles. But people with more understanding realize that their presuppositions should be chosen after a careful consideration of what worldview is true. When all is done, when all the alternatives have been explored, ‘not many men are in the room’ – that is, although worldviews have many variations, there are not many basic worldviews or presuppositions.” 
All this should make you want to Jump In, and Engage Life:
L. Cohen – who is a mathematician, researcher and author who chose to jump in. He is a member of the New York Academy of Sciences and officer of the Archaeological Institute of America. In his book, Darwin was Wrong: A Study in Probabilities, Cohen writes:
In a certain sense, the debate transcends the confrontation between evolutionists and creationists. We now have a debate within the scientific community itself; it is a confrontation between scientific objectivity and ingrained prejudice – between logic and emotion – between fact and fiction….
…In the final analysis, objective scientific logic has to prevail — no matter what the final result is – no matter how many time-honored idols have to be discarded in the process….
…after all, it is not the duty of science to defend the theory of evolution, and stick by it to the bitter end — no matter what illogical and unsupported conclusions it offers… if in the process of impartial scientific logic, they find that creation by outside superintelligence is the solution to our quandary, then let’s cut the umbilical cord that tied us down to Darwin for such a long time. It is choking us and holding us back….
…every single concept advanced by the theory of evolution (and amended thereafter) is imaginary and it is not supported by the scientifically established facts of microbiology, fossils, and mathematical probability concepts. Darwin was wrong….
…The theory of evolution may be the worst mistake made in science.
By using his worldview backed by logic, science, math, and sound presuppositions, Cohen rejected Darwinian evolution. Another worldview that should be tested is that of Carl Jung. And it is a worldview, as a site mentions: “Thus, far from being just another theory, Jungian psychology embraces the universe in all its manifestations: art, history, myth, philosophy, and spirituality are all essential components of Jung’s worldview” (this quote was taken from the Jung Center of Houston, founded in 1958). I hope these definitions and charts helped to bring to mind some areas of your life that need study. If not, then so be it. I hope those reading will enjoy the below presentation:
 John Warwick Montgomery, Faith Founded on Fact (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1978), 152-53.
 Alexander W. Astin, “The changing American college student: thirty year trends, 1966-1996,” Review of Higher Education, 21 (2), 115-135.
 Some of what is here is with thanks to professor Stephen Whatley, as, they are notes from one of his classes.
 Norman L. Geisler, Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1999), 785-786.
 James W. Sire, Naming the Elephant: Worldview as a Concept (Downers Grove: IVP, 2004), 122.
 To require something as a prior condition; to make something necessary if a particular thing is to be shown to be true or false. The sentence “Fred loves his daughter” presupposes that Fred has a daughter.
 Ronald H. Nash, Worldviews in Conflict: Choosing Christianity In a World of Ideas (Grand Rapids: Zondervan), 9.
 Joseph R. Farinaccio, Faith with Reason: Why Christianity is True (Pennsville: Book Specs, 2002), 9.
 Norman L. Geisler & Peter Bocchino, Unshakeable Foundations: Contemporary Answers to Crucial Questions About the Christian Faith (Minneapolis: Bethany House, 2001), 63-64.
 David A. Noebel, Understanding the Times: The Collision of Today’s Competing Worldviews (Manitou Springs: Summit Press, 2006), 101.
 Robert A. Morey, The New Atheism: And the Erosion of Freedom (Phillipsburg: P & R, 1986), 57.
 From a radio sermon.
 Francis A. Schaeffer, How Should We Then Live? The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture (Crossway Books; 1976), 19-20.
 I. L. Cohen, Darwin was Wrong: A Study in Probabilities (?: New Research Pub, 1984), 6-7, 8, 214-215, 209, 210.
(Imported “Best of Papa Giorgio,” which here is “PG’s Best.“) For what was my first wine tasting experience, it was a great time. Wine, my wife, and some friends and family. And just like in Star Trek where there was always a guy in a red shirt. Well, there was a friend of a friend whom I didn’t know too well. And this person like to talk… about things she thought she knew a lot about: Politics, Religion, and US History. She was a theophobe, anything religious [e.g., God in the theistic understanding – Judeo/Christian] she seems to have an aversion to. She was also a history teacher for high school and the way she talked about history, was a Howard Zinn fan. So here is the original post I posted in November of 2006. Keep in mind since I posted this in 2006, many of the links in the footnotes may not be good after these many years. (The wine was flowing and I was on the top of my game… for those who are wondering. And for a larger image of the one shown, here ya go.)
Late September turned into an opportunity for my wife and me to visit some wineries in the Santa Ynez Valley. We met up with some friends and family members, as well as some of their friends/co-workers. These family member’s/friend’s co-workers I speak of all work at a public school. So the direction of the conversation didn’t necessarily surprise me, but it sure did dishearten me. What disheartened me was that this teacher wasn’t just arguing a model or philosophy of history that didn’t exist until Marx and Engels interpreted history with their worldview (that all of history is a class struggle), it was that they were putting forth arguments that my oldest son could probably tear down. I say tear down because most of the arguments put forth were what is called straw-man arguments, or just plain wrong. Below I will put into a Context what will follow:
a) First Contact
b) Conversation Starter
c) “Theophobia” — A Psychosis?
d) Rhetoric vs. Argument
e) Non-Religious Movements vs. Religious
f) What is Fascism?
g) Ethics Without God!
h) Hitler: Christian or Philosophical Naturalist?
i) Hitler’s Occultism
j) Buddhism — Self-Refuting
k) Buddhism & Evil
l) Eastern Charity
m) Scientists Praying
n) Genesis Proved Right
a) Conversation started at the first winery about a topic that caused me to mention a letter I wrote to my son’s sixth-grade classmate’s parents. It was on Native American and Settler relations. As the conversation skimmed along I portrayed the teacher as explaining history in a similar fashion to Howard Zinn. This teacher mentioned that Howard Zinn’s view of history was good; I, then, pointed out that this view did not exist until Marx and Engels — sort of hoping this would spark said person to understand that this outlook on history, viewed through a lens of political opinion (e.g., Communism, Socialism), was not true history, rather, skewed history. This first contact at least allowed me to know with whom I was dealing.
b) The day went on; it was the usual fun, talking, learning, and laughing. At the last winery we were about halfway into our flight of wines when I hear this teacher and my wife discussing organized religion. As I am a student of comparative religion, philosophy, politics, and some history, I naturally gravitated over to where the real conversation was. You see, I say real because too many people believe it to be a bad thing to discuss weightier issues that include religion or politics. I think just the opposite. These items should be discussed vigorously and judicially, with a firm but kind heart. I say firm because I have found that in my many debates on-line and in person for the past decade the other party is ignorant that what they are saying is either a straw man or the premise can be turned on them, and sometimes it takes persistence (being firm) to point this their dilemma out.
Now that the groundwork has been laid somewhat, lets delve into some of the conversation.
c) When I came into the conversation this person, whom I will call Felicia in honor of their fallacious arguments, was saying they are against organized religion. Which is usually code for “they cannot stand Christianity?” So to set the record straight, I said that she must also be against Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, Confucism, Sikhism, and the like. Realizing the premise she laid out, she quickly admitted to the fact that she is indeed against such religious people organizing into small communities of like minded people. The presumption was that she was arguing for un-organized religion? Whatever that is!? I would hate to see what religion looks like if guided by anarchy. So I wanted to point out the biased view she held by presenting this person with a label that she probably hadn’t heard until now. I made the statement that she was Theophobic. She asked for clarification, I said much like a person can be homophobic, so to can a person be Theo(God)phobic. Obviously in our day and age of political correctness one does not wish top be labeled with a phobia, especially a teacher, this implies intolerance when the buzz-word of our day is tolerance. This clearly caught her off guard.
After thinking over what I had charged her with and the previous conversation she finally admitted to it wholly at first but after put a vague stipulation on it. This stipulation didn’t help her recover from her admitted theophobia and dogmatic biasness on stark display. You see, she has probably portrayed religious people as bias and phobic, arguing for things dogmatically, however, I wanted to point out in conversation by explicitly and implicitly pointing out in this case it was on display by her, and not I (a religious person). Even if I didn’t point this out as much as I could have, I am hopeful that in private reflection this person will reflect on how she came across.
d) At this point the usual litany of “straw man” arguments proceeded to spill forth as they normally do when ones precious bumper-sticker beliefs are challenged and shown to be vacuous. The next thing out of Felicia’s mouth was that organized religion has killed more people and started more wars than any other reason in history. This is where I cringed — a teacher that is charged with children who makes such false claims is a red-flag to me. These types of people repeat such lines not because they have studied history or religion in-depth, but because a politically motivated historian like Howard Zinn or Noam Chomskey said such a thing, or they simply picked up the saying from another friend (who themselves had heard it from another) and it fit so well in their theophobia framework to make the rejection of religion an easy thing in their mind’s eye. This is more of a commentary on said person’s psychosis than making any sort of valid argument. This being said let us deal with this charge:
e) 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? Certainty. 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.
So the historical reality that this teacher of history seemed to ignore is that non-religious movements have killed more people in the Twentieth-Century than religion has in the previous nineteen (or for that matter, all of mankind’s history). I also pointed out to Felicia during our conversation that the non-religious view of origins has no moral law to point to any of the above acts as morally wrong or un-ethical. They are merely currently taboo. For someone to say the Nazis were morally wrong they have to borrow from the theistic worldview that posits a universal moral code. If there is no Divine moral law, then as Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s maxim makes the point, “If there is no God, all things are permissible.” Without an absolute ethical norm, morality is reduced to mere preference and the world is a jungle where might makes right.
f) This same strain of thought caused Mussolini to comment:
“Everything I have said and done in these last years is relativism by intuition . . . . If relativism signifies contempt for fixed categories and men who claim to be bearers of an objective, immortal truth . . . then there is nothing more relativistic than fascistic attitudes and activity . . . . From the fact that all ideologies are of equal value, that all ideologies are mere fictions, the modern relativist infers that everybody has the right to create for himself his own ideology and to attempt to enforce it with all the energy of which he is capable.”
(Side note: the above definition by Mussolini (who was a philosophy major) of fascism, fits more closely with non-religious liberal democrats today than with religious conservative Republicans.)
g) The only problem is that without God, man is the one who dies, quite literally. As Dr. Ravi Zacharias observes: “Conveniently forgotten by those antagonistic to spiritual issues are the far more devastating consequences that have entailed when antitheism is wedded to political theory and social engineering. There is nothing in history to match the dire ends to which humanity can be led by following a political and social philosophy that consciously and absolutely excludes God.“ And,
One of the great blind spots of a philosophy that attempts to disavow God is its unwillingness to look into the face of the monster it has begotten and own up to being its creator. It is here that living without God meets its first insurmountable obstacle, the inability to escape the infinite reach of a moral law. Across scores of campuses in our world I have seen outraged students or faculty members waiting with predatorial glee to pounce upon religion, eager to make the oft-repeated but ill-understood charge: What about the thousands who have been killed in the name of religion?
This emotion-laden question is not nearly as troublesome to answer if the questioner first explains all the killing that has resulted from those who have lived without God, such as Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Mao, et al . . . why is there not an equal enthusiasm to distribute blame for violence engendered by some of the irreligious? But the rub goes even deeper than that. The attackers of religion have forgotten that these large-scale slaughters at the hands of anti-theists were the logical outworking of their God-denying philosophy. Contrastingly, the violence spawned by those who killed in the name of Christ would never have been sanctioned by the Christ of the Scriptures. Those who kill in the name of God were clearly self-serving politicizers of religion, an amalgam Christ ever resisted in His life and teaching. Their means and their message were in contradiction to the gospel. Atheism, on the other hand, provides the logical basis for an autonomist, domineering will, expelling morality . . . . . The Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevski repeatedly wrote of the hell that is let loose when man comes adrift from his Creator’s moorings and himself becomes God — he understood the consequences. Now, as proof positive, we witness our culture as a whole in a mindless drift toward lawlessness — we live with the inexorable result of autonomies in collision. [Zacharias cites Hitler, “I freed Germany from the stupid and degrading fallacies of conscience and morality . . . . I want young people capable of violence — imperious, relentless and cruel.“]
h) After pointing out that non-God movements are much more murderous than God movements, Felicia mentioned that my lumping Hitler in my analogy was wrong, she said he was a Christian and that I was wrong. I had never heard this before . . . just kidding, I have heard this brought up quite often and will deal with it in brief here (as I promised Felicia I would). First off, all someone would have to do is read Mein Kampf to understand that Hitler himself stood in stark contrast to Christianity. In fact, Hitler admitted himself that he was a philosophical naturalist; I will quote from a larger essay I did on the subject some years back:
For instance, Adolf Hitler appealed to the people of his country to have a backbone to advance the logical outworking of their worldview. Now mind you, not all naturalists are racists or killers of the less fortunate . . . however, this is a logical outworking of philosophical [or, metaphysical] naturalism.
“The stronger must dominate and not mate with the weaker, which would signify the sacrifice of its own higher nature. Only the born weakling can look upon this principle as cruel, and if he does so it is merely because he is of a feebler nature and narrower mind; for if such a law [natural selection] did not direct the process of evolution then the higher development of organic life would not be conceivable at all . . . . If Nature does not wish that weaker individuals should mate with the stronger, she wishes even less that a superior race should intermingle with an inferior one; because in such a case all her efforts, throughout hundreds of thousands of years, to establish an evolutionary higher stage of being, may thus be rendered futile.”
Hitler referred to this dispensation of nature as “quite logical.“ In fact, it was so logical to the Nazis that they built concentration camps to carry out their convictions about the human race as being “nothing but the product of heredity and environment” or as the Nazis liked to say, “of blood and soil.“
The teachings of . . . Hitler and others like them, however, are completely consistent with the teachings of Darwinian evolution. Indeed, social Darwinism has provided the scientific substructure for some of the most significant atrocities in human history. For evolution to succeed, it is as crucial that the unfit die as the fittest survive. Marvin Lubenow graphically portrays the ghastly consequences of such beliefs in his book Bones of Contention:
“If the unfit survived indefinitely, they would continue to ‘infect’ the fit with their less fit genes. The result is that the more fit genes would be diluted and compromised by the less fit genes, and evolution could not take place. The concept of evolution demands death. Death is thus as natural to evolution as it is foreign to biblical creation. The Bible teaches that death is a ‘foreigner,’ a condition superimposed upon humans and nature after creation. Death is an enemy, Christ has conquered it, and he will eventually destroy it. Their respective attitudes toward death reveal how many light years separate the concept of evolution from Biblical creation.”
Adolph Hitler’s philosophy that Jews were subhuman and that Aryans were supermen (mirroring the beliefs Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood) led to the extermination of about six million Jews. In the words of Sir Arthur Keith, a militant anti-Christian physical anthropologist: “The German Fuhrer, as I have consistently maintained, is an evolutionist; he has consistently sought to make the practices of Germany conform to the theory of evolution.“
Karl Marx, the father of communism, saw in Darwinism the scientific and sociological support for an economic experiment that eclipsed even the carnage of Hitler’s Germany. His hatred of Christ and Christianity led to the mass murder of multiplied millions worldwide. Karl Marx so revered Darwin that his desire was to dedicate a portion of Das Kapital to him.
While not having the time to mention some of what is above as well as below, I promised Felicia that I would show her some evidence that Hitler was not a Christian. Many of the Nazi emblems, such as the swastika, the double lightning bolt “SS” symbol, and even the inverted triangle symbol used to identify classes of prisoners in the concentration camps, originated among homosexual occultists in Germany (some, such as the swastika, are actually quite ancient symbols which were merely revived by these homosexual groups). In 1907, Jorg Lanz Von Liebenfels (Lanz), a former Cistercian monk whom the church excommunicated because of his homosexual activities, flew the swastika flag above his castle in Austria. After his expulsion from the church, Lanz founded the Ordo Novi Templi (“Order of the New Temple“), which merged occultism with violent anti-Semitism. A 1958 study of Lanz called, “Der Mann der Hitler die Ideen gab” — or, “The Man Who Gave Hitler His Ideas” — by Austrian psychologist Wilhelm Daim, called Lanz the true “father” of National Socialism.
List, a close associate of Lanz, formed the Guido Von List Society in Vienna in 1904. The Guido Von List Society was accused of practicing a form of Hindu Tantrism, which featured sexual perversions in its rituals (the swastika is originally from India). A man named Aleister Crowley, who, according to Hitler biographer J. Sydney Jones, enjoyed “playing with black magic and little boys,” popularized this form of sexual perversion in occult circles. List was “accused of being the Aleister Crowley of Vienna“. Like Lanz, List was an occultist; he wrote several books on the magic principles of rune letters (from which he chose the “SS” symbol). In 1908, List “was unmasked as the leader of a blood brotherhood which went in for sexual perversion and substituted the swastika for the cross“. The Nazis borrowed heavily from Lis’s occult theories and research. List also formed an elitist occult priesthood called the Armanen Order, to which Hitler himself may have belonged.
The Nazi dream of an Aryan super-race was adopted from an occult group called the Thule Society, founded in 1917 by followers of Lanz and List. The occult doctrine of the Thule Society held that the survivors of an ancient and highly developed lost civilization could endow Thule initiates with esoteric powers and wisdom. The initiates would use these powers to create a new race of Aryan supermen who would eliminate all “inferior” races.
Hitler dedicated his book, Mein Kampf, to Dietrich Eckart, one of the Thule Society’s inner circle and a former leading figure in the German Worker’s Party (when they met at the gay bar mentioned earlier). “. . . And among them I want also to count that man, one of the best, who devoted his life to the awakening of his, our people, in his writings and his thoughts . . . “ Hitler was definitely not a Christian.
i) Felicia then mentioned that Christianity is refuted by science and that most of our smartest, brightest scientists are accepting Buddhism. So I broke this statement up into two parts, that is: are scientists converting to the pantheistic worldview? And, does Buddhism comport with reality/science? I will deal with the latter first. Although not the time nor place to explain the Law of non-contradiction, for those who don’t know, I will briefly explain. The law of non-contradiction is simply this: “‘A‘ cannot be both ‘non-A‘ and ‘A‘ at the same time.” In the words of professor J. P. Moreland (Ph.D., University of Southern California):
“When a statement fails to satisfy itself (i.e., to conform to its own criteria of validity or acceptability), it is self-refuting . . . . Consider some examples. ‘I cannot say a word in English’ is self-refuting when uttered in English. ‘I do not exist’ is self-refuting, for one must exist to utter it. The claim ‘there are no truths’ is self-refuting. If it is false, then it is false. But is it is true, then it is false as well, for in that case there would be no truths, including the statement itself.”
I brought up Aristotle and his discovering and codifying many of the Laws of Logic, the most important being the Law of non-contradiction, one of the most important laws of logical thought. Another major problem that faces the pantheist is that there is no reality except the all-encompassing God. Everything else is illusion, or maya. But again, this is a nonsensical statement that is logically self-refuting. If everything is illusion, then those making that statement are themselves illusions. There’s a real problem here. As Norman Geisler (Ph.D., Loyola University of Chicago) pointed out, “One must exist in order to affirm that he does not exist.“ When we claim that there is no reality except the all-encompassing God, we are proving just the opposite. The fact that we exist to make the claim demonstrates that there is a reality distinct from God, which makes this key doctrine of pantheism a self-defeating proposition. It is an untruth — by definition.
k) I then mentioned that Buddhism cannot answer the problem of evil and I provided her with an easily understood example that I often use, it is the example real evil.
Let’s say I am home with my 10-year-old son. My work calls me into work on an emergency so I call my uncle Bo to come over and watch him so I can go in. While I am at work my Uncle Bo rapes and sodomizes my son. Well, eastern philosophies that use the karmic understanding of reincarnation posit that something my son did in a previous lifetime demanded that this happen to him in this lifetime.
Felicia didn’t like this much. She defended reincarnation as if I was being bigoted and intolerant (like she was really being towards Christianity). So I gave some more examples dealing with how holy men in India walk by the needy. In India and Tibet and other areas that hold to reincarnation as the predominate philosophy; in other words, one is in his or her predicament, for the most part, because of a previous life. For the Dalai Lama and other “Holy Men“ to help these poor unfortunates is to tamper with their karma. These before mentioned men will literally walk right past the poor, invalid, maimed, un-educated, starving, mentally ill people and completely ignore their pleas for help and assistance. All because of their caste or karmic past! It takes a person who a priori accepts (presupposes) the theistic worldview, specifically the Judeo-Christian worldview, like Mother Theresa who went to India and adopted the city of Calcutta, doing what these holy men didn’t. And may I be so bold as to posit that if a Buddhist or Hindu actually helps the needy, they do so out of compassion which is consistent with theism, not pantheism.
l) Another example I gave which wasn’t allowed to go to its fruition, because those who have tough challenges refuse to hear the tough answers: While speaking in Thailand, Ron Carlson was invited to visit some refugee camps along the Cambodian border. Over 300,000 refugees were caught in a no-man’s-land along the border. This resulted from the Cambodian massacre under Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge in the mid-70’s (which is known as the “killing fields“) and then subsequently by the invasion of the Vietnamese at the end of the 70’s. One of the most fascinating things about these refugee camps was the realization of who was caring for the refugees. Here, in this Buddhist country of Thailand, with Buddhist refugees coming from Cambodia and Laos, there were no Buddhists taking care of their Buddhist brothers. There were also no Atheists, Hindus, or Muslims taking care of those people. The only people there, taking care of these 300,000[+] people, were Christians from Christian mission organizations and Christian relief organizations. One of the men Ron was with had lived in Thailand for over twenty-years and was heading up a major portion of the relief effort for one of these organizations. Ron asked him: “Why, in a Buddhist country, with Buddhist refugees, are there no Buddhists here taking care of their Buddhist brothers?“ Ron will never forget his answer:
Ron, have you ever seen what Buddhism does to a nation or a people? Buddha taught that each man is an island unto himself. Buddha said, ‘if someone is suffering, that is his karma.’ You are not to interfere with another person’s karma because he is purging himself through suffering and reincarnation! Buddha said, ‘You are to be an island unto yourself.‘” — “Ron, the only people that have a reason to be here today taking care of these 300,000 refugees are Christians. It is only Christianity that people have a basis for human value that people are important enough to educate and to care for. For Christians, these people are of ultimate value, created in the image of God, so valuable that Jesus Christ died for each and every one of them. You find that value in no other religion, in no other philosophy, but in Jesus Christ.“
Do you get it now? It takes a “Mother Teresa“ to go into these embattled countries and bathe, feed, educate, care for these people — who otherwise are ignored due to harmful religious beliefs.
m) The August 22, 2005 New York Times had a fantastic article based on a Nature Journal report about religious belief among scientists: 40% of American scientists believe in God, specifically a God to whom they can pray and expect to receive an answer. Pantheism (Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism and the like) do not have a God to pray to. I also mentioned science has in fact backed the Hebrew/Christian account of creation, I used the following example (not quite word-for-word mind you):
n) For almost 2,300 years, the universe was thought to be static. However, the Bible clearly states that it had a beginning (see The Case for a Creator, “The Evidence of Cosmology: Beginning with a Bang,” which is where I am quoting the below from). Even now some physicists and cosmologists are still pushing the static view, multiple universe view, and the like. However, all these break down under the math used for them (an infinity cannot be put into a math equation and have it be tenable, this was Albert Einstein’s Fudge Factor). What has modern science shown that since the Greeks has been assumed?
When Albert Einstein developed his general theory of relativity in 1915 and started applying it to the universe as a whole, he was shocked to discover it didn’t allow for a static universe. According to his equations, the universe should either be exploding or imploding. In order to make the universe static, he had to fudge his equations by putting in a facto that would hold the universe steady.
In the 1920’s, the Russian mathematician Alexander Friedman and the Belgium astronomer George Lemaitre were able to develop models based on Einstein’s theory. They predicted the universe was expanding. Of course, this meant that if you went backward in time, the universe would go back to a single origin before which it didn’t exist. Astronomer Fred Hoyle derisively called this the Big Bang — and the name stuck!
Starting in the 1920’s, scientists began to find empirical evidence that supported these purely mathematical models. For instance, in 1929, the American astronomer Edwin Hubble discovered that the light coming to us from distant galaxies appears redder than it should be, and this is a universal feature of galaxies in all parts of the sky. Hubble explained this red shift as being due to the fact that the galaxies are moving away from us. He concluded that the universe is literally flying apart at enormous velocities. Hubble’s astronomical observations were the first empirical confirmation of the predictions by Friedman and Lemaitre.
Then in the 1940’s, George Gamow predicted that if the Big Bang really happened, then the background temperature of the universe should be just a few degrees above absolute zero. He said this would be a relic from a very early stage of the universe. Sure enough, in 1965, two scientists accidentally discovered the universe’s background radiation — and it was only about 3.7 degrees above absolute zero. There’s no explanation for this apart from the fact that it is a vestige of a very early and a very dense state of the universe, which was predicted by the Big Bang model.
The third main piece of the evidence for the Big Bang is the origin of light elements. Heavy elements, like carbon and iron, are synthesized in the interior of stars and then exploded through supernova into space. But the very, very light elements, like deuterium and helium, cannot have been synthesized in the interior of the stars, because you would need an even more powerful furnace to create them. These elements must have been forged in the furnace of the Big Bang itself at temperatures that were billions of degrees. There’s no other explanation.
So predictions about the Big Bang have been consistently verified by the scientific data. Moreover, they have been corroborated by the failure of every attempt to falsify them by alternative models. Unquestionably, the Big Bang model has impressive scientific credentials . . . . Up to this time, it was taken for granted that the universe as a whole was a static, eternally existing object . . . . At the time an agnostic, American astronomer Robert Jastrow was forced to concede that although details may differ, “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” . . . . Einstein admitted the idea of the expanding universe “irritates me“ (presumably, said one prominent scientist, “because of its theological implications“)
So the Bible has stood on one interpretation of the universe when the world was against it. And the Bible ended up being spot on. Not only that, but the Big Bang demonstrates that a Cause must have happened, and that this cause is outside the time-space dimension and would be an absolute Cause (this fits with the theistic model for God, not pantheistic).
That’s it. I hope you all enjoyed the journey down “Straw-Man Lane,” where the premisi are fallacious and the conclusions are wrong.
 People have presuppositions, and they will live more consistently on the basis of these presuppositions than even they themselves may realize. By “presuppositions” we mean the basic way an individual looks at life, his basic worldview, the grid through which he sees the world. Presuppositions rest upon that which a person considers to be the truth of what exists. People’s presuppositions lay a grid for all they bring forth into the external world. Their presuppositions also provide the basis for their values and therefore the basis for their decisions. “As a man thinketh, so he is,” is really profound. An individual is not just the product of the forces around him. He has a mind, an inner world. Then, having thought, a person can bring forth actions into the external world and thus influence it. People are apt to look at the outer theater of action, forgetting the actor who “lives in the mind” and who therefore is the true actor in the external world. The inner thought world determines the outward action. Most people catch their presuppositions from their family and surrounding society the way a child catches measles. But people with more understanding realize that their presuppositions should be chosen after a careful consideration of what worldview is true. When all is done, when all the alternatives have been explored, “not many men are in the room” — that is, although worldviews have many variations, there are not many basic worldviews or presuppositions (Francis A. Schaeffer, How Should We Then Live? The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture, Crossway Books, Wheaton , pp. 19-20.).
 world religions, as well as cults and the occult;
 worldviews, philosophy of science, philosophy of history, philosophy of religious, philosophy of political, philosophy of law, etc;
 currant affairs — hot button issues, socio-economic/religio-political topics, left-right dichotomies, and the like;
 A straw man argument is a logical fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent’s position. To “set up a straw man” or “set up a straw-man argument” is to create a position that is easy to refute, then attribute that position to the opponent. A straw-man argument can be a successful rhetorical technique (that is, it may succeed in persuading people) but it is in fact misleading, because the opponent’s actual argument has not been refuted.
 “The real Murderers: Atheism or Christianity?” http://www.str.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=5527
 Mussolini, Diuturna pp. 374-77, quoted in A Refutation of Moral Relativism: Interviews with an Absolutist (Ignatius Press; 1999), by Peter Kreeft, p. 18.
 Ravi Zacharias, Can Man Live Without God?, (Dallas: Word, 1994), p. XVII.
 Ibid., pp. 22-23
 Two articles I recommend: http://www.trueorigin.org/hitler01.asp – “Was Hitler a Christian?”, and, http://www.answersingenesis.org/tj/v13/i2/nazi.asp – “Darwinism and the Nazi Race Holocaust.” The authors bio follows for those who think that believers are un-educated:
M.P.H., Northwest Ohio Consortium for Public Health (Medical College of Ohio, Toledo, Ohio; University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio; Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio), 2001; M.S. in biomedical science, Medical College of Ohio, Toledo, Ohio, 1999; Ph.D. in human biology, Columbia Pacific University, San Rafael, California, 1992; M.A. in social psychology, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio, 1986; Ph.D. in measurement and evaluation, minor in psychology, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, 1976; M.Ed. in counseling and psychology, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, 1971; B.S., Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, 1970. Major area of study was sociology, biology, and psychology; A.A. in Biology and Behavioral Science, Oakland Community College, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, 1967.
Fellow of the American Scientific Affiliation, 1983; Who’s Who in America; MENSA; Ohio certification to teach both elementary and high school levels; Professional memberships.
Dr Bergman is or was active in the following organizations
National Association for Gifted Children; American Educational Research Association; National Council on Measurement in Education; American Sociological Association; American Psychological Association; Ohio Psychological Association; Association for the Scientific Study of Religion; American Association of Suicidology; Institute of Religion and Health; American Society of Corrections.
The Professional Organizations that Dr Bergman is now a member of and/or involved in, include
Ohio Science Teachers Association; American Biology Teachers Association; The American Scientific Affiliation; The American Association for the Advancement of Science; The American Association for the History of Science; American Chemical Society; American Institute of Biological Sciences; Ohio Academy of Science; American Institute of Chemists; New York Academy of Sciences; The New York Museum of Natural History; Other professional memberships; Society for the Scientific Study of Male Psychology and Physiology, President & Founder.
Radio, video tapes, and television shows
Dr Bergman has appeared on approximately 200 radio shows and 14 television shows for various Public Television and other stations. His research has been featured several times on the Paul Harvey Show, and once by David Brinkley.
 Another myth is that the Pope helped or supported Hitler. A good book by Rabbi David G. Dalin and is entitled The Myth of Hitler’s Pope: How Pope Pius Rescued Jews from the Nazis.
 Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, translator/annotator, James Murphy (New York: Hurst and Blackett, 1942), pp. 161-162.
 “The SS Blood and Soul,” one of four videos in a video series entitled, The Occult History of the Third Reich (St. Lauret, Quebec: Madacy Entertainment Group, 1998); Now in DVD – ISBN: 0974319465). See also
 see chapter 15, “The Elephant in the Living Room.“
 Marvin L. Lubenow, Bones of Contention: A Creationist Assessment of Human Fossils (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 1992), p. 47.
 Sir Arthur Keith, Evolution and Ethics (New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1947), p. 230.
 Dusty Sklar, The Nazis and the Occult, Dorset Press; New York , p. 19
 Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, The Occult Roots of Nazism: Secret Aryan Cults and their Influence on Nazi Ideology, New York University Press; New York  p. 109
 J. Sydney Jones Hitler in Vienna 1907-1913, Stein & Day; New York , p. 123
 ibid., p. 123
 Dusty Sklar, The Nazis and the Occult, Dorset Press; New York , p. 23
 Robert G. L. Waite, The Psychopathic God Adolf Hitler, Signet Books; New York , p. 91
 Wulf Schwarzwaller, The Unknown Hitler: His Private Life and Fortune, National Press Book; Washington D. C. , p. 67
 Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, translated by Ralph Manheim: Houghton Mifflin; New York , p.687
 http://www.discovery.org/scripts/viewDB/filesDB-download.php?command=download&id=660 – PDF List of over 600 Scientists, and Professors who Disagree with Darwinism, pantheists (Buddhists, Hindus, and the like) support Darwinism, broadly.
 J. P. Moreland, Scaling the Secular City: A Defense of Christianity. (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Books, 1987), p. 92. I recommend Francis Beckwith (Ph.D., Fordham University) & Gregory Koukl’s (M. A. Trinity Law School) book, Relativism: Feet Planted Firmly In Mid-Air. (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Books, 1998).
 “. . . is considered the foundation of logical reasoning,” Manuel Velasquez, Philosophy: A Text with Readings (Wadsworth; 2001), p. 51. “A theory in which this law fails . . . is an inconsistent theory”, edited by Ted Honderich, The Oxford Companion to Philosophy, (Oxford Univ; 1995), p. 625.
 Norman Geisler, Christian Apologetics. (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Books, 1976), p. 187.
 Ron Carlson & Ed Decker, Fast Facts on False Teachings. (Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House, 1994), pp. 28-29.
 Also see: Newsweek (7/20/98), Society/Science, “Can Science & Faith Be Reconciled?”
 “The Evidence of Cosmology: Beginning with a Bang,” in The Case for a Creator, by Lee Strobel
 Robert Jastrow, God and the Astronomers, p. 21. Said Jastrow of Einstein: “We know he had well-defined feelings about God, but not as the Creator or the Prime Mover. For Einstein, the existence of God was proven by the laws of nature; that is, the fact that there was order in the Universe and man could discover it.” This is the basis for Natural Law, which is the foundation for the ethics found in our Declaration of Independence and Constitution. Not to mention why science boomed in the West and why the East lagged behind, because the universe isn’t real in eastern thinking. Why study and dissect an illusion? A Hindu scientist must first reject his religions presuppositions and then borrow the presuppositions of the Judeo-Christian worldview, which is that a) the universe exists, and b) men can discover truths about it.
 Ibid., p. 104
William Lane Craig gives one of his best presentations on evidences for theism. It is directly aimed at the heart of atheistic arguments and destroys many of the straw-men placed by said atheists.
There is a short follow up by atheist professor Daniel Dennett that lasts about 10-minutes or so, who has no defense of his atheism in light of what just happened. He basically mentions that his non-knowledge will some day be filled in (atheism-of-the-gaps). Professor McGrath (theist) finishes up with about a 5-minute outro.
I was at Starbucks and overheard a conversation (more like a monologue) between an elderly gentlemen, 55[+], and a kid about 19-years old. The 19-year old was sitting in Starbucks reading his Bible when an older man sat next to him and almost “strategically” started conversation with him. As I eavesdropped after hearing key words that sparked the historian & philosophy guy in me (WWI, WWII, Germany, creation, evolution, Bible, God, Christopher Hitchens, and the like). What finally drew me into the conversation after listening to it for about 10-minutes off to one side while I was studying on the other-side (multi-tasking) was when the old guy, whom I had already realized was an atheist making a “coffee career” out of shaking 19-year olds faith, said:
At this point I asked if I could join the conversation, the answer was an emphatic “yes” from the youngster. After some feeling each other out in conversation… for instance, he liked Christopher Hitchens work on atheism but not on the stance against Islamo-Fascism, I liked Hitchens on his war stance but not on his atheism. I probed a bit to see if this “scientific” (his words) gentlemen looked at any other issue but his own, so I asked since he enjoys Christopher Hitchens so, I wondered if he listened to any of the debats he had with persons on the topic of his atheism? The answer was “No.” I asked if he had read any defense of the Judeo-Christian faith since he so vehemently opposed it – to the point of railroading youngsters in a coffee shop, the answer, “No” of course. I am sorry, but I make it a point to know and understand someone else’s position before I assail it. This “straw-man” approach will come up later.
I knew he had views on Germany, Christianity, and the like… so I had prepared some integrations of it in what I knew would be discussed. After a rough start on my part I fell into my groove. The old-cantankerous-atheist mentioned that he is a firm believer in separation of Church and State. I asked him where that phrase was found, he responded with that “it didn’t matter where it was, what do I think.” Anyone who knows me knows that this is an invitation I love to hear – like a vampire waiting to be invited into the house. (I should add an asside here: after I quoted a few thinkers on the subject he gruffed that this is why he doesn’t like talking to people like me. Because, he said, I talk of what others say and this makes me look like an idiot! This will come up later.)
I responded with that the Declaration smacks of religious philosophy, the Constitution was written with Natural Law in mind, Natural Law from the Judeo-Christian standpoint, and that I was religious and I vote, so there isn’t separation of church and state! There just isn’t a Federal Church. I challenged him to look into what many signers of the Bill of Rights (and the author of the First Amendment) and the Constitution did after that fateful meeting in Philadelphia and the signing of the Declaration later wrote in regards to their state constitutions. This was after he said the Founders were not religious at all and held contempt for religion. (I want to make an aside here, when people like this guy say “religion,” what he really means is Christianity.)
I merely challenged him to read the original state constitutions of the thirteen colonies and then say what he said (I didn’t inform him what those state constitutions said, but I will here for the reader):
On the day the Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence, they underwent an immediate transformation. The day before, each of them had been a British citizen, living in a British colony, with thirteen crown-appointed British state governments. However, when they signed that document and separated from Greta Britain, they lost all of their State governments.
Consequently, they returned home from Philadelphia to their own States and began to create new State constitutions. Samuel Adams and John Adams helped write the Massachusetts constitution; Benjamin Rush and James Wilson helped write Pennsylvania’s constitution; George Read and Thomas McKean helped write Delaware’s constitution; the same is true in other States as well. The Supreme Court in Church of Holy Trinity v. United States (1892) pointed to these State constitutions as precedents to demonstrate the Founders’ intent.
Notice, for example, what Thomas McKean and George Read placed in the Delaware constitution:
“Every person, who shall be chosen a member of either house, or appointed to any office or place of trust… shall… make and subscribe the following declaration, to wit: ‘I do profess faith in God the Father, and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, and in the Holy Ghost, one God, blessed forever more, and I acknowledge the Holy Scripture of the Old and New Testament to be given by divine inspiration.’”
Take note of some other State constitutions. The Pennsylvania constitution authored by Benjamin Rush and James Wilson declared:
“And each member [of the legislature], before he takes his seat, shall make and subscribe the following declaration, viz: ‘I do believe in one God, the Creator and Governor of the Universe, the rewarded of the good and the punisher of the wicked, and I do acknowledge the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be given by Divine Inspiration.’”
The Massachusetts constitution, authored by Samuel Adams – the Father of the American Revolution – and John Adams, stated:
“All persons elected must make and subscribe the following declaration, viz. ‘I do declare that I believe the Christian religion and have firm persuasions of its truth.’”
North Carolina’s constitution required that:
“No person, who shall deny the being of God, or the truth of the [Christian] religion, or the Divine authority either of the Old or New Testaments, or who shall hold religious principles incompatible with the freedom and safety of the State, shall be capable of holding any office, or place of trust or profit in the civil department, within this State.”
You had to apply God’s principles to public service, otherwise you were not allowed to be a part of the civil government. In 1892, the Supreme Court (Church of Holy Trinity v. United States) pointed out that of the forty-four States that were then in the Union, each had some type of God-centered declaration in its constitution. Not just any God, or a general God, say a “higher power,” but thee Christian God as understood in the Judeo-Christian principles and Scriptures. This same Supreme Court was driven to explain the following:
“This is a religious people. This is historically true. From the discovery of this continent to the present hour, there is a single voice making this affirmation…. These are not individual sayings, declarations of private persons: they are organic utterances; they speak the voice of the entire people…. These and many other matters which might be noticed, add a volume of unofficial declarations to the mass of organic utterances that this is a Christian nation.”
From a larger blog I did on the subject: Separation of Church and State
Usually my main point by showing this is that in the least there is a disconnect with what the authors of the Bill of Rights thought was the separation of church and state versus say, silver haired atheist guy sitting in Starbucks. But in his case my point is also that the founders didn’t abhor religious ideology nor philosophy (see another blog on this topic: Who Did the Founders Quote Most?).
The old-man spoke of there not being absolute truth (a self-defeating statement), and if there were… who’s truth would it be, he challenged. I asked the young Christian kid if his laptop was on-line, so I pulled up a quote and read it aloud to the old-man after introducing the fact that Fascism never “lived” in Germany but only in Italy. In fact, Mussolini had a master’s degree in philosophy and even wrote a book in regards to some of his philosophy. In this book Mussolini defined what fascism is, he said:
“Everything I have said and done in these last years is relativism by intuition. If relativism signifies contempt for fixed categories and men who claim to be bearers of an objective, immortal truth then there is nothing more relativistic than fascistic attitudes and activity. From the fact that all ideologies are of equal value, that all ideologies are mere fictions, the modern relativist infers that everybody has the right to create for himself his own ideology and to attempt to enforce it with all the energy of which he is capable.”
Mussolini, Diuturna pp. 374-77, quoted in A Refutation of Moral Relativism: Interviews with an Absolutist (Ignatius Press; 1999) by Peter Kreeft, 18.
Taken from: Mussolini Defines Fascism
I pointed out that his view on truth fits better with Mussolini’s vision rather than the Christian’s vision.
Right around this junction is when he got a little miffed and threw out the most common objection I come across, one that is almost childlike in its emoting factor. You see, people rarely ever really think about what they say, nor do they follow what they say to their logical conclusion. He said he “Doesn’t like religion because it has killed more people than any other ideology.” I interjected that another way of putting this statement is that he “rejects the Christian faith and chooses his non-belief because of all the death Christianity has caused.” He didn’t object.
You are wrong. And if I may show you how, if you take, for example, the 7 Crusades, the 3 Inquisitions, and the Salem Witch Trials, and ad all the people killed in the name of religion during those endeavors, the World Book Encyclopedia puts the number at a high of about 100,000 people killed. Since he is an atheist, I am sure he knows what the “father of the ‘God-is-dead’ movement” said on this matter? Nietzsche said that because God has died that the Twentieth-Century was going to be the bloodiest in mankind’s history. This nineteenth-century “prophet” was right. Just in the twentieth-century alone, non-God/secular movements have killed over 100,000,000 people. Some say 166,000,000 or so (see figure 1.2).
My point here is two-fold. If you want to throw around numbers in some kind of blame game, lets do it, because the deaths caused by people who misuse their position in no way deals with whether or not that position is true or false. Secondly, if one rejects religious philosophy because of the deaths it has caused, how much more must one reject non-faith — realizing that non-faith has killed more people in 100-years than all religions did in the 1900-years preceding it.
He then mentioned that Christianity was acting against their stated goals in killing people. I agreed! Only in the Bible do you have an example of a person who lived a life that the Christian can use as a reference point to re-align himself morally to. I mentioned that a major museum had to cancel a speech by Nobel Prize winning co-founder of the Double-Helix in DNA (one of the most important scientific discoveries ever) Dr. Watson. Why? I asked him, he didn’t know. I told him that it was canceled because Dr. Watson believes the Black people have evolved from a separate branch on our evolutionary tree and are less intelligent/evolved than the Caucasian races.
I continued. This is what Hitler wrote about in Mein Kampf, that using Darwin’s thesis about the survival of the fittest and our evolutionary past, it is logical to rid (in this rat race evolutionists’ call “survival of the fittest”) the planet of such lesser animals or to view other people with such racist tendencies. Racist thinking is endemic to the theory of evolution. It is a logical outworking of it. In Christianity we have Acts saying we all came from one-man, we are all from “one-blood.” We sing, “Red, Yellow, Black and White, we are all precious in His sight!” We have a focus point to re-align ourselves with (the Bible) that the atheist doesn’t. We have an example in the life of Christ that evolution does not provide; evolution is in fact “red in tooth and claw.” Or as the quote I was referencing from Mein Kampf:
The conversation wagged on for a bit more. I defended theistic thought at times – not wanting to inundate this angry man with “Biblical thinking” as much as I wanted to challenge his foundational thinking on certain topics. Hitchens came up again as did the Iraq war. So the old-man switched gears and quoted the commandment about “Thou shall not kill.” The young Christian kid quickly showed him that the Bible actually reads “Thou shall not murder.” Which was the crux of the reason he brought it up – his misunderstanding of it, applied.
He asked, with this commandment wrongly understood in mind, if I condoned the killing in Iraq. I simply responded that he was first arguing for a secular, non-religious government, and now he was trying to put religion into government actions. Which was he arguing for? That aside, I said he was committing a fallacy in his understanding about the Ten Commandments and the cultural, historical, theological context that they should be studied. I mentioned he should read some Dennis Prager writings on the Ten Commandments so he can better understand the Hebrew thinking behind such Scripture before he builds a “straw-man,” a false premise, and then attack something (the false premise) that no Christian or Jewish person believes… outside of his mind that is.
I mentioned that I have read Hitchens’ book God is Not Great, and almost every other atheist/naturalistic epitome written from ancient Greece up to the present, has he (I asked again) read any one good defense of the Christian Faith? Like, Unshakeable Foundations by Norman Geisler? He responded that he didn’t have the time nor will to read such stuff. (In other words, he was a closed minded bigot who went around arguing his point of view to the exclusion of all other points of view.)
I said “such thinking on your part would… well… make me think you were an idiot.” And on that note I left for work.
My son boogied next door to the Starbuck’s where where he was getting a footlong sub-sandwich from Subway… you know those 16-year-olds will eat you out of house and home. Me, I had to have a “cup-o-joe.” As I was waiting for my venti java-chip frappachino with two add shots and caramel drizzled on the inside of the cup (yes, I am trying to beat the rapture), I noticed a guy reading a book. Being the bibliophile I am – (and Masters College being so close… brothers in the Lord and all that) – I accosted the guy and asked what he was reading. I was somewhat surprised to see he was reading the Urantia book. So my mind did a switch from a planned friendly conversation with a fellow seminary student to that of evangelism.
For those who do not know what the Urantia book is, I suggest a few stops online, as well as reading my intro to the new age:
Now that you are caught up, I will continue. I sat beside the guy and mentioned that the Urantia book was an interesting read. He asked if I had read it, I mentioned that I had read large swaths of it. Naturally he asked what I thought of it, I said my feelings were mixed. I then asked him if he believed in reincarnation of the soul, he eventually answered yes.
This is important, almost any new age religion or Eastern religion adherent you meet you can break their religious view down into the lowest possible denominator, which in this case is pantheism. Almost all pantheists believe in reincarnation, here in the West they would believe in classical reincarnation: souls that revisit the earth and are punished according to their built up karma. You do not have to worry about side issue, you can have one line of attack for hundreds of religious views, and it will work.
I made mention of the Killing Fields and the fact that during the mass slaughter of people in Cambodia, people were fleeing (these people being Buddhists) into neighboring Buddhist nations. This influx of people created refugee camps. You would think that fellow Buddhists would be concerned about their own, but they were not. Because the Buddha taught that you are your own island, and you must work out your own karma. So these fellow Buddhists viewed these refugees plight through the lens of Eastern ideology. In other words, these people were starving and being killed and dying because of something they did in a previous life. It took many Christian organizations to come in and feed, clothe, and provide shelter to these Buddhists.
I then mentioned that this is why the holy men in India can walk by those who are maimed, starving, uneducated, and the like, and walk right by them. Why? Because they are in that predicament because of some built up karma. This is why it takes a Mother Theresa to literally adopt the city of Calcutta. As he was ingesting this, I continued my challenge:
I mentioned that the Urantia book was a message given to the author by an alien civilization through the means of automatic writing (where the author allows a spirit or some being to write through them while they are in an altered state of consciousness). I politely engaged him in conversation, challenging him at one point with this:
“The Urantia book was given through automatic writing, so too was The Book of Laws by Alistair Crowley (Alistair saying a spirit at the Great Pyramid gave this writing to him), as well as some of the writings of Carl Jung. However, even though these books/messages were given by ‘spiritual’ means as a way to properly view reality, they contradict each other… how do you delineate what is true, in other words, do you have a way to judge which of these books/messages is true and which are false.”
He was caught off guard I am sure because this is a poignant question that 1) has never been asked of him, 2) gets him to think internally about whether he has ever questioned his own thinking on the acceptance of such an occult text, and 3), how does he judge truth. This is the answer I got:
“There have been studies where people are hooked up to machines and when presented with truth they somehow know it to be true, likewise, I just know the Urantia book to be true.”
This answer is similar to those adherents of Scientology and also the “burning in the bosom” that Mormons experience. It is just that, experience, which are subjective at best. I then asked the gentlemen if he bases truth on his feelings, to which he responded positively to. I didn’t press the issue as I had already challenged his thinking on other issues (I used some examples from a paper I did – I attached it if you are curious), but I could have continued with this line of thinking by comparing Hitler’s feelings on truth as compared to those of Mother Theresa.
I hope this short brush with this guy will help you formulate a response to a self-refuting worldview, here I will post the end of a paper I did for my world religions class, enjoy (references have been removed for ease of publishing):
~ Adapted from an online debate many years ago ~
The law of cause and effect to which on the “spiritual” plain is called Karma. One writer says of the law:
Karma simply means that there remains naught after each personality but the causes produced by it. No “personality” – a mere bunch of material atoms and of indistinctual mental characteristics – can of course continue as such, in the world of pure Spirit.
The fundamental idea behind karma is that of action followed by reaction. The Bhagavad-Gita, one of the best-known Hindu scriptures, defines it quite simply as “the name given to the creative force that brings beings into existence” (8:3). Thus, it may be viewed as the fundamental creative action that is perpetuated in each individual soul.
Practically, karma is somewhat like Isaac Newton’s law: “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” Mark Albrecht continues:
It could be pictured as a set of moral scales; all the bad deeds piled up on one side must be balanced by good deeds on the other.
Yet it is more complicated than that. Perhaps the best way of picturing karma and its relationship to rebirth (reincarnation) is something like this: Each person is a sort of electronic sensor or microphone with a wire hooked up to a great computer in the heavens; the computer is ‘God’ Each thought, motive and act, as well as all the things that happen to us, are relayed back to the computer and filed away. Upon death the data bank in the computer is activated, and the ‘readout’ of our next life or lives, is cranked out and handed to us. If our negative karma (deeds, thoughts, motives, circumstances, and so on) outweighs our positive karmic pattern, we are assigned a more miserable existence in the next round, and vice versa. We have nothing to say about it. There is no mercy, forgiveness or court of appeals.
Earlier Albrecht made the point that:
Hinduism and Buddhism teach that humans can only achieve final liberation from the round of rebirths by this doctrine. Only through the pitfalls and travails of the human condition can a soul earn sufficient merit to warrant its release or liberation (Sanskrit: moksha or samadhi). Thus, a soul must evolve through various life forms to the human state, the evolutionary plateau where moral lessons are learned through multitudes of reincarnations.
If you are born into a family that is well off, and you have a good family relationship, then you are being rewarded for some good work[s] from a previous life. If you are born into a famine-ridden area, destitute, or mentally or physically incapable of caring for yourself, then you are in retribution for the “cause and effect” law of karma. This is the reason that there is no firm “right or wrong” in this life according to Eastern thought. All people who are treated unfairly or unjustly — like slaves were in America, racial wars, famine and disease in undeveloped nations — are merely reaping what they sowed in a previous incarnation. In addition, to interfere with this process — outlaw slavery, end racial strife, feed and heal the hungry and sick — is to interfere with a person’s karma, which is strictly forbidden in the eastern philosophies! (Alternatively, doing so has no intrinsic value – e.g., no real positive moral benefit.)
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 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 persons 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, I will remind them that evil is merely an illusion (Maya – Hinduism; Sunyata – Buddhism) to be overcome, as karmic reincarnation demands.
This is a story that is growing. HotAir posted the initial video, but then later added the “opposition” video, and it seemed like their was more of a disturbance involved. I was skeptical. Now I know why. before showing this longer video, you must watch this opposition view:
There is a concept in Islam called Taqiyya, and I know that it is practiced widely by those persons in the Muslim faith – whether Shi’ia or Sunni. This is used more than many think, the reason? It is simple. Islam doesn’t view moral categories like the West. They do not ask themselves what is right or wrong in a situation. In other words, they do not typically ask themselves what is morally right in a situation when confronted with a truth about their faith or how they present their faith. What we categorize as right or wrong, truth or a lie, they categorize as Muslim and non-Muslim. That’s it. That’s all. Freedom and liberty have no part of the equation. For instance,you must ask yourself this question: “where has Islam gotten strong and personal liberty gotten stronger?” The answer? Nowhere.
This aspect of Islam should worry folks, and show that the type of subversion in the video above is in the Muslim mind not immoral, it is Islam vs, non-Islamists. Here is a slightly longer version of the video, and you will see that the “preaching” referenced in one video was merely an emotional (and true) outburst to what has happened, that is, an arrest for merely handing out Christian literature. Witnessing. Here is the counter to the above video:
So, unfortunately, HotAir, in trying to be fair, got it wrong and played right into the hands of these Islamo-Hooligans. HotAir is typically 99.9% right (giving my alms here), but they got it wrong on this count.
Of course I would be remiss not to mention gratitude of the almost encyclopedic cataloging of debates over at Apologetics 315.
This debate is a great example of diarrhea (D’Souza’s words) from the skeptic, i.e., typical rejections of Christianity. But in all Loftus’s points (basically Christianity commits acts of evil or “evil” is commanded by God), he is missing the grand-point of how you say one act is immoral and the other is evil. This point is made by Ravi Zacharias during a Q&A by a student at Harvard, how do you decide what is evil and what is not?
Atheism cannot answer this, theism (especially the Judeo-Christian ethic) can. So Loftus is borrowing from the Christian worldview to disprove it. In other words, how does the atheist respond to rape in historical evolutionary thought? It is currently taboo, but what about our evolutionary history? What about our evolutionary future? In theism, rape is always morally wrong, at all times in history and at all places in the cosmos. Do you get it? John Loftus is calling God immoral or Christians immoral… is he saying there is a “Divine Law” that supersedes human thought so when he states such a position we intuitively know and are supposed to understand what he just said? IF this is the case, then he is proving the Judeo-Christian God, not disproving “Ego Eimi.“
Here is the debate between Dinesh D’Souza and John Loftus on the topic: Does the Christian God Exist? Debate video can be found here. D’Souza offers his follow-up thoughts on the Sound Rezn radio show here (mp3). Check out Dinesh’s newest book here. (original debate source here)
Full MP3 Audio here. (2 hours)
Enjoy this debate, it snuck in under my radar.
My Main Premise: Science, with a philosophical naturalist presupposition isn’t science, it is faith.
I will elucidate: The following interview was held with Dean Kenyon, the professor of biology at the University of San Francisco, who was for many years a staunch evolutionist, wrote the book Biochemical Predestination (McGraw-Hill, 1969), which was the best-selling advanced level university textbook on chemical evolution during the decade of the 70s. One of Dean Kenyon’s students gave him a copy of a book written by Dr. A. E. Wilder-Smith (who holds three earned doctorates) entitled The Creation of Life: A Cybernetic Approach to Evolution. In this book by Dr. Wilder, Dr. Kenyon’s book is critiqued.
Instead of Kenyon saying Well, Dr. Wilder is just a creationist, who would listen to him? Dr. Kenyon read the book and tried to answer the arguments in it against his own book. When he couldn’t, he began to investigate where the evidence led to. It ended up leading outside of his previously held naturalistic presuppositions commonly known as evolution.
One of the questions asked of Dr. Kenyon in the before mentioned interview was: “What are the general presuppositions that scientists make who study the origin of life?” Dr. Kenyon responded:
(The logically rational, and hence scientific way to look at origins is to say what Kenyon just did life may or may not have arisen by a naturalistic, chemical process.) This is what the fervor was over in Kansas a few years back. The Kansas School Board, while leaving microevolutionary teaching mandatory, did – however – make the teaching of macroevolution optional for the local districts discretion (e.g., let the elected officials represent what the parents want… this is called choice folks!); the part that caused the biggest stir was changing one word in a definition. The original drafting commission defined science as:
The Kansas Board defined science as:
This simple word change, and the subsequent fervor it caused, illustrates the embedded philosophy in current science (i.e., scientism, materialism, empiricism, existentialism, naturalism, and humanism whatever you want to call it it is still a metaphysical position as it assumes or presumes certain things about the entire universe).
This is what caused Richard Lewontin to plainly state (Dr. Lewontin is a geneticist and professor of biology at Harvard University):
Plain and simple, this is not science, but a philosophical/metaphysical paradigm. I will illustrate with another example. The Miller experiment which was proposed on the basis of a hypothetical atmosphere has been disproved by the evidence that the early atmosphere was not reducing. Unfortunately, like many other doctrines, it too still graces our universities and textbooks as being experimentally sound. This study is still cited not for empirical (evidential) reasons; but rather, for methodological necessity. In other words:
Another way to explain this obvious philosophical outlook that dresses itself in drag/science is that of a conversation between a professor and his student:
So an honest atheist [or, philosophical naturalist] would realize that his position is philosophical and/or presuppositional (presuppose: to suppose or assume beforehand; take for granted in advance) and not rationally or logically defensible. Plato was right when he said atheism is a disease of the soul before [a priori] it is an error of the mind.
Another example, in syllogistic form, is in order. The atheist can be shown that his starting point presupposition interferes with how he views evidence; much like the above example, biased philosophy is the guiding force rather than systematic investigation:
Robert A. Morey, The New Atheism: And the Erosion of Freedom (Phillipsburg, New Jersey: P & R , p. 57.)
It is quite comical that people ask for evidence, and I give them many, however they still (a priori) reject it because they are committed to a philosophy of life (e.g., a worldview) that states that this evidence is invalid. I wish to end with a quote I often use; it is from Scott Todd, a Kansas State University immunologist: