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Off topic: Why are we supposed to need a “reality czar”

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It’s Big Tech’s idea:

Recently, a New York Times technology columnist, back from a consult with Big Tech in Silicon Valley, urged U.S. President to appoint a “reality czar” to go after people who provide “disinformation” online. He concedes, “It sounds a little dystopian, I’ll grant.”

Well yes, rather. And the czar would probably soon find himself in conflict with the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. But Kevin Roose (pictured), who says he has spent several years tackling “our national reality crisis”, begs us to hear the czar’s supporters out.

Denyse O’Leary, ““Disinformation”: Do we really need a “Reality Czar”?” at Mind Matters News

It turns out to be as Orwellian as you might expect. One of his experts calls it a “truth commission.”

Further: “Proposals to entrench a reality czar are a one-way ticket to an authoritarian state that withers intellectually because only the approved people are allowed to circulate opinions.”

See also:

In Big Tech world: The journalist as censor, hit man, and snitch. Glenn Greenwald looks at a disturbing trend in media toward misrepresentation as well as censorship. When an institution is no longer needed, its sense of its mission usually changes. The type of people attracted to it change too.

and

Google branches out into politics. Unfortunately, the only political model it would likely know is: One-party state.

18 Replies to “Off topic: Why are we supposed to need a “reality czar”

  1. 1
    BobRyan says:

    Someone needs to be in charge of the Ministry of Truth.

  2. 2
    polistra says:

    “Withers intellectually” is sort of misplaced. Real ideas develop best underground. When the state provides approved channels for “both” “sides”, both sides will conform to the official guidelines for Side A and Side B. When Side B has to communicate outside the official channels, it’s actually more free. When you can’t expect to have free or ‘monetized’ access to the newspapers or TV studios or web servers, you’re no longer pulled in the direction that will maintain your ‘monetized’ profits.

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    It is ironic that Kevin Roose wants a “reality czar” and/or even a “truth commission.”

    Kevin Roose, deceptively impersonated a Christian in order to attend a Christian college and write a book.

    In an interview about that book, he stated that, “I give evolution two opposable thumbs up.”

    Interview with Kevin Roose, Author of The Unlikely Disciple – MARCH 23, 2009
    Kevin: Creation Studies was probably the most challenging part of my academic life at Liberty, precisely because I didn’t agree with what was being taught. (To quote the popular bumper sticker, I give evolution two opposable thumbs up.)
    https://friendlyatheist.patheos.com/2009/03/23/interview-with-kevin-roose-author-of-the-unlikely-disciple/

    Yet, if you believe whole-heartedly in Darwinism, as Kevin Roose apparently does, then there can be no such thing as ‘reality’ and/or ‘truth’.

    For instance, our sense of self, i.e. our belief that we really exist as a real person, which, as Rene Descartes pointed out, is the most certain thing that we can possibly know about reality, becomes a ‘neuronal illusion’ under materialistic premises.

    Rene Decartes, via his ‘method of doubt’, found that he could doubt the existence of all things save for the fact that it was he himself who was doing the doubting. i.e. He could not doubt his own existence, i.e. his own mind!.

    Method of Doubt
    Excerpt: “Reason now leads me to think that I should hold back my assent from opinions which are not completely certain and indubitable just as carefully as I do from those which are patently false. So, for the purpose of rejecting all my opinions, it will be enough if I find in each of them at least some reason for doubt. (AT 7:18, CSM 2:12)
    https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/descartes-epistemology/#MethDoub

    “Descartes remarks that he can continue to doubt whether he has a body; after all, he only believes he has a body as a result of his perceptual experiences, and so the demon could be deceiving him about this. But he cannot doubt that he has a mind, i.e. that he thinks. So he knows he exists even though he doesn’t know whether or not he has a body. From this Descartes concludes that it is possible for him to exist without a body. He is essentially a mind, not a body. He would not necessarily cease to be himself if he ceased to have a body, but he would necessarily cease to be himself if he didn’t have a mind.”
    http://cw.routledge.com/textbo.....ualism.pdf

    Yet, under the materialistic premises of Darwinian evolution, our sense of self, the fact that we really exist as real persons, simply becomes a neuronal illusion that is generated by the brain. That is to say that, under Darwinian materialism, only the material brain is considered to be real and the immaterial mind, and therefore our entire sense of self itself, becomes an illusion.

    Here are a few quotes to get this ‘you are just a neuronal illusion’ point across,

    “There is no self in, around, or as part of anyone’s body. There can’t be. So there really isn’t any enduring self that ever could wake up morning after morning worrying about why it should bother getting out of bed. The self is just another illusion, like the illusion that thought is about stuff or that we carry around plans and purposes that give meaning to what our body does. Every morning’s introspectively fantasized self is a new one, remarkably similar to the one that consciousness ceased fantasizing when we fell sleep sometime the night before. Whatever purpose yesterday’s self thought it contrived to set the alarm last night, today’s newly fictionalized self is not identical to yesterday’s. It’s on its own, having to deal with the whole problem of why to bother getting out of bed all over again.,,,
    – A.Rosenberg, The Atheist’s Guide to Reality, ch.10

    “that “You”, your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behaviour of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules. As Lewis Carroll’s Alice might have phrased: “You’re nothing but a pack of neurons.” This hypothesis is so alien to the ideas of most people today that it can truly be called astonishing.”
    Francis Crick – “The Astonishing Hypothesis” 1994

    At the 23:33 minute mark of the following video, Richard Dawkins agrees with materialistic philosophers who say that:
    “consciousness is an illusion”
    A few minutes later Rowan Williams asks Dawkins ”If consciousness is an illusion…what isn’t?”.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWN4cfh1Fac&t=22m57s

    Atheistic Materialism – Does Richard Dawkins Exist? Dr. Dennis Bonnette – video
    37:51 minute mark Quote:
    “It turns out that if every part of you, down to sub-atomic parts, are still what they were when they weren’t in you, in other words every ion,,, every single atom that was in the universe, that has now become part of your living body, is still what is was originally. It hasn’t undergone what metaphysicians call a ‘substantial change’. So you aren’t Richard Dawkins. You are just carbon and neon and sulfur and oxygen and all these individual atoms still.
    You can spout a philosophy that says scientific materialism, but there aren’t any scientific materialists to pronounce it.,,, That’s why I think they find it kind of embarrassing to talk that way. Nobody wants to stand up there and say, “You know, I’m not really here”.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVCnzq2yTCg&t=37m51s

    What Does It Mean to Say That Science & Religion Conflict? – M. Anthony Mills – April 16, 2018
    Excerpt: Barr rightly observes that scientific atheists often unwittingly assume not just metaphysical naturalism but an even more controversial philosophical position: reductive materialism, which says all that exists is or is reducible to the material constituents postulated by our most fundamental physical theories.
    As Barr points out, this implies not only that God does not exist — because God is not material — but that you do not exist. For you are not a material constituent postulated by any of our most fundamental physical theories; at best, you are an aggregate of those constituents, arranged in a particular way. Not just you, but tables, chairs, countries, countrymen, symphonies, jokes, legal contracts, moral judgments, and acts of courage or cowardice — all of these must be fully explicable in terms of those more fundamental, material constituents.
    https://www.realclearreligion.org/articles/2018/04/16/what_does_it_mean_to_say_that_science_and_religion_conflict.html

    The Confidence of Jerry Coyne – Ross Douthat – January 6, 2014
    Excerpt: But then halfway through this peroration, we have as an aside the confession (by Coyne) that yes, okay, it’s quite possible given materialist premises that “our sense of self is a neuronal illusion.” At which point the entire edifice suddenly looks terribly wobbly — because who, exactly, is doing all of this forging and shaping and purpose-creating if Jerry Coyne, as I understand him (and I assume he understands himself) quite possibly does not actually exist at all? The theme of his argument is the crucial importance of human agency under eliminative materialism, but if under materialist premises the actual agent is quite possibly a fiction, then who exactly is this I who “reads” and “learns” and “teaches,” and why in the universe’s name should my illusory self believe Coyne’s bold proclamation that his illusory self’s purposes are somehow “real” and worthy of devotion and pursuit? (Let alone that they’re morally significant: But more on that below.) Prometheus cannot be at once unbound and unreal; the human will cannot be simultaneously triumphant and imaginary.
    https://douthat.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/01/06/the-confidence-of-jerry-coyne/?mcubz=3

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    Moreover, not only does our sense of self, (the most sure and concrete thing that we can possibly know about reality), become a ‘neuronal illusion’ under the premises of Darwinian materialism, but anything that our illusory selves may observe, (as insane as believing that ‘illusions” can possibly have perceptions is), also becomes illusory under the premises of Darwinian evolution.

    Donald Hoffman has proven, via population genetics, that, if Darwinian evolution were actually true, then all of our perceptions would become illusory.

    Donald Hoffman: Do we see reality as it is? – Video – 9:59 minute mark
    Quote: “fitness does depend on reality as it is, yes.,,, Fitness is not the same thing as reality as it is, and it is fitness, and not reality as it is, that figures centrally in the equations of evolution. So, in my lab, we have run hundreds of thousands of evolutionary game simulations with lots of different randomly chosen worlds and organisms that compete for resources in those worlds. Some of the organisms see all of the reality. Others see just part of the reality. And some see none of the reality. Only fitness. Who wins? Well I hate to break it to you but perception of reality goes extinct. In almost every simulation, organisms that see none of reality, but are just tuned to fitness, drive to extinction (those organisms) that perceive reality as it is. So the bottom line is, evolution does not favor veridical, or accurate perceptions. Those (accurate) perceptions of reality go extinct. Now this is a bit stunning. How can it be that not seeing the world accurately gives us a survival advantage?”
    https://youtu.be/oYp5XuGYqqY?t=601

    The Evolutionary Argument Against Reality – April 2016
    The cognitive scientist Donald Hoffman uses evolutionary game theory to show that our perceptions of an independent reality must be illusions.
    Excerpt: “The classic argument is that those of our ancestors who saw more accurately had a competitive advantage over those who saw less accurately and thus were more likely to pass on their genes that coded for those more accurate perceptions, so after thousands of generations we can be quite confident that we’re the offspring of those who saw accurately, and so we see accurately. That sounds very plausible. But I think it is utterly false. It misunderstands the fundamental fact about evolution, which is that it’s about fitness functions — mathematical functions that describe how well a given strategy achieves the goals of survival and reproduction. The mathematical physicist Chetan Prakash proved a theorem that I devised that says: According to evolution by natural selection, an organism that sees reality as it is will never be more fit than an organism of equal complexity that sees none of reality but is just tuned to fitness. Never.”
    https://www.quantamagazine.org/20160421-the-evolutionary-argument-against-reality/

    Of course, science itself would become impossible if our perceptions, and/or ‘observations’ were not, for the most part, reliable. And fortunately for us, science itself could care less that Darwinian materialists are forced to believe, via the mathematics of population genetics, that all their perceptions, and/or ‘observations’, are illusory.

    In quantum mechanics, it is now proven that our conscious observations take primacy over the existence of material reality.

    As the following Wheeler’s Delayed Choice experiment, that was done with atoms instead of photons, proved that, “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,”

    New Mind-blowing Experiment Confirms That Reality Doesn’t Exist If You Are Not Looking at It – June 3, 2015
    Excerpt: Some particles, such as photons or electrons, can behave both as particles and as waves. Here comes a question of what exactly makes a photon or an electron act either as a particle or a wave. This is what Wheeler’s experiment asks: at what point does an object ‘decide’?
    The results of the Australian scientists’ experiment, which were published in the journal Nature Physics, show that this choice is determined by the way the object is measured, which is in accordance with what quantum theory predicts.
    “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,” said lead researcher Dr. Andrew Truscott in a press release.,,,
    “The atoms did not travel from A to B. It was only when they were measured at the end of the journey that their wave-like or particle-like behavior was brought into existence,” he said.
    Thus, this experiment adds to the validity of the quantum theory and provides new evidence to the idea that reality doesn’t exist without an observer.
    http://themindunleashed.org/20.....at-it.html

    And the following violation of Leggett’s inequality proved that “reality does not exist when we’re not observing it.”

    Quantum physics says goodbye to reality – Apr 20, 2007
    Excerpt: They devised an experiment that violates a different inequality proposed by physicist Anthony Leggett in 2003 that relies only on realism, and relaxes the reliance on locality. To do this, rather than taking measurements along just one plane of polarization, the Austrian team took measurements in additional, perpendicular planes to check for elliptical polarization.
    They found that, just as in the realizations of Bell’s thought experiment, Leggett’s inequality is violated – thus stressing the quantum-mechanical assertion that reality does not exist when we’re not observing it.
    http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/27640

    Thus, Darwinian materialists, (since they, because of their materialistic presuppositions, are forced believe that they themselves, and all their perceptions, are illusory), should be the very last people on earth to ever dictate to other people, via their proposed ‘reality Czar’, what ‘reality’ actually is.,, i.e. To dictate to other people what is real and what is illusory. They simply have no coherent foundation to even know what reality really is!

    The same criticism goes for their proposed ‘truth commission’.

    If Darwinian evolution were actually true, then truth itself becomes subjective, not objective. i.e. Objective, universal, truth itself becomes illusory under the materialistic premises of Darwinian evolution!

    In regards to the existence of ‘truth’, postmodernism, (and Critical Theory), deny the existence of objective truth and instead argue that all truth is ‘relative’ to each person (or group),,,

    “postmodernism is highly skeptical of explanations which claim to be valid for all groups, cultures, traditions, or races, and instead focuses on the relative truths of each person.”
    https://www.pbs.org/faithandreason/gengloss/postm-body.html

    Critical theory
    Excerpt: postmodern critical theory politicizes social problems “by situating them in historical and cultural contexts, to implicate themselves in the process of collecting and analyzing data, and to relativize their findings.”[5] Meaning itself is seen as unstable due to social structures’ rapid transformation. As a result, research focuses on local manifestations rather than broad generalizations.
    Postmodern critical research is also characterized by the crisis of representation, which rejects the idea that a researcher’s work is an “objective depiction of a stable other.”
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_theory#Postmodern_critical_social_theory

    And, as Nancy Pearcey explains in the following article, postmodern philosophy, which denies the existence of objective truth, is indeed the bastard child of Darwinism,

    How Darwinism Dumbs Us Down – Nancy Pearcey
    Excerpt: I once presented this progression from Darwinism to postmodern pragmatism at a Christian college, when a man in the audience raised his hand: “I have only one question. These guys who think all our ideas and beliefs evolved . . . do they think their own ideas evolved?” The audience broke into delighted applause, because of course he had captured the key fallacy of the Darwinian approach to knowledge. If all ideas are products of evolution, and thus not really true but only useful for survival, then evolution itself is not true either–and why should the rest of us pay any attention to it?
    https://www.namb.net/apologetics/resource/how-darwinism-dumbs-us-down/

    Dawkins himself admitted that, “Evolution only passes on traits that help a species survive, and not concerned with preserving traits that tell a species what is actually true about life.”

    “Since we are creatures of natural selection, we cannot totally trust our senses. Evolution only passes on traits that help a species survive, and not concerned with preserving traits that tell a species what is actually true about life.”
    – Richard Dawkins – quoted from “The God Delusion”

    In short, Darwinian evolution, taking to its logical end, denies that we can be sure that our beliefs our objectively ‘true’.

    As Nancy Pearcey further explains in the following article, if Darwin’s theory is true, then ‘the ideas in our minds were selected for their survival value, not for their truth-value’,,

    Why Evolutionary Theory Cannot Survive Itself – Nancy Pearcey – March 2015
    Excerpt: “An example of self-referential absurdity is a theory called evolutionary epistemology, a naturalistic approach that applies evolution to the process of knowing. The theory proposes that the human mind is a product of natural selection. The implication is that the ideas in our minds were selected for their survival value, not for their truth-value.
    But what if we apply that theory to itself? Then it, too, was selected for survival, not truth — which discredits its own claim to truth. Evolutionary epistemology commits suicide.
    Astonishingly, many prominent thinkers have embraced the theory without detecting the logical contradiction. Philosopher John Gray writes, “If Darwin’s theory of natural selection is true,… the human mind serves evolutionary success, not truth.” What is the contradiction in that statement?
    Gray has essentially said, if Darwin’s theory is true, then it “serves evolutionary success, not truth.” In other words, if Darwin’s theory is true, then it is not true.”
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....94171.html

    Thus, Darwin’s theory denies that we can know objective truth, whilst Darwinism’s bastard philosophical child of postmodernism ends up denying the existence of objective truth altogether. i.e. all ‘truth’ is merely subjective.

    The burning question for Darwin’s theory, (postmodernism and critical theory) as Nancy Pearcey pointed out, then becomes, “if objective truth does not exist then how can Darwin’s theory itself be objectively true?”

    Darwin’s theory, and postmodernism (and Critical theory), in their denial of the primacy of objective truth, end up commenting epistemological suicide.

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    The reason why the materialism of Darwinian evolution cannot ever ground objective, universal, ‘truth’ is very simple to understand. Objective ‘truth’ is profoundly immaterial.

    For instance, mathematics itself, such as 2+2=4, which is obviously objectively true for all people, and not just relatively true to only individual people, is profoundly immaterial in its foundational nature,

    What Does It Mean to Say That Science & Religion Conflict? – M. Anthony Mills – April 16, 2018
    Excerpt: Barr rightly observes that scientific atheists often unwittingly assume not just metaphysical naturalism but an even more controversial philosophical position: reductive materialism, which says all that exists is or is reducible to the material constituents postulated by our most fundamental physical theories. ,,,
    In fact, more problematic for the materialist than the non-existence of persons is the existence of mathematics. Why? Although a committed materialist might be perfectly willing to accept that you do not really exist, he will have a harder time accepting that numbers do not exist. The trouble is that numbers — along with other mathematical entities such as classes, sets, and functions — are indispensable for modern science. And yet — here’s the rub — these “abstract objects” are not material. Thus, one cannot take science as the only sure guide to reality and at the same time discount disbelief in all immaterial realities.
    https://www.realclearreligion.org/articles/2018/04/16/what_does_it_mean_to_say_that_science_and_religion_conflict.html

    To more clearly get this point across about the immateriality of objective truth, (and mathematics in particular), across, let’s ask some questions,, Is the objective truth of 2+2=4 closer to Nebraska or to Kansas? Does the objective truth of 2+2=4 weigh more or less than the objective truth of 1+1=2 ? Does the objective truth of 2+2=4 go faster of slower than the speed of light?,, or does etc.. etc ?..,,,

    Objective, universal, truth is simply profoundly immaterial in its fundamental nature and therefore it cannot ever be given a specific location, weighed on a scale, or timed with a clock.

    Moreover, since we ourselves, with our own immaterial minds, can intuitively grasp the objective, universal, and even ‘eternal’, mathematical truth of 2+2=4, and yet our own immaterial minds came into being, and are therefore contingent, and are not eternally existent, then it necessarily follows that “there must exist an eternal mind in which these eternal (mathematical) truths reside.”

    11. The Argument from Truth
    This argument is closely related to the argument from consciousness. It comes mainly from Augustine.
    1. Our limited minds can discover eternal truths about being.
    2. Truth properly resides in a mind.
    3. But the human mind is not eternal.
    4. Therefore there must exist an eternal mind in which these truths reside.
    https://www.peterkreeft.com/topics-more/20_arguments-gods-existence.htm#11

    And please note that this argument for our own immaterial minds, and for the Mind of God, from the existence of mathematics is perfectly consistent with what we now know to be true about mathematics from Godel’s incompleteness theorem. Namely, that mathematics itself has a contingent existence and does not, in and of itself, have a necessary existence,

    Taking God Out of the Equation – Biblical Worldview – by Ron Tagliapietra – January 1, 2012
    Excerpt: Kurt Gödel (1906–1978) proved that no logical systems (if they include the counting numbers) can have all three of the following properties.
    1. Validity … all conclusions are reached by valid reasoning.
    2. Consistency … no conclusions contradict any other conclusions.
    3. Completeness … all statements made in the system are either true or false.
    The details filled a book, but the basic concept was simple and elegant. He (Godel) summed it up this way: “Anything you can draw a circle around cannot explain itself without referring to something outside the circle—something you have to assume but cannot prove.” For this reason, his proof is also called the Incompleteness Theorem.
    Kurt Gödel had dropped a bomb on the foundations of mathematics. Math could not play the role of God as infinite and autonomous. It was shocking, though, that logic could prove that mathematics could not be its own ultimate foundation.
    Christians should not have been surprised. The first two conditions are true about math: it is valid and consistent. But only God fulfills the third condition. Only He is complete and therefore self-dependent (autonomous). God alone is “all in all” (1 Corinthians 15:28), “the beginning and the end” (Revelation 22:13). God is the ultimate authority (Hebrews 6:13), and in Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2:3).
    http://www.answersingenesis.or.....1/equation

    This failure of Darwinian materialists, (to ever be able to provide a coherent foundation for objective, universal, immaterial, and even eternal, ‘truth’), should not be all that surprising for the Christian Theist to find out.

    In Christian Theism, Jesus, as God incarnate, claimed to be ‘THE Truth’, which I take to mean the foundation of all truth in this universe and of all truth in all reality there may be beyond this universe

    “If you were to take Mohammed out of Islam, and Buddha out of Buddhism, and Confucius out of Confucianism you would still have a faith system that was relatively in tact. However, taking Christ out of Christianity sinks the whole faith completely. This is because Jesus centred the faith on himself. He said, “This is what it means to have eternal life: to know God the Father and Jesus Christ whom the Father sent” (John 17:3). “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12). Buddha, before dying, said in effect, “I am still seeking for the truth.” Mohammed said in effect, “I point you to the truth.” Jesus said, “I am the truth.” Jesus claimed to not only give the truth, but to be the very personal embodiment of it.”
    http://commonground.co.za/?res.....way-to-god

    John 14:6
    Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

    Thus in conclusion, Darwinian materialists, since both reality and objective truth become nonexistent in their worldview, should be the very last people in the world to ever dictate to other people what reality and truth are.

    They simply have no standing to comment on either truth or reality.

    2 Corinthians 10:5
    Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

  6. 6
    Seversky says:

    Bornagain77/5

    In Christian Theism, Jesus, as God incarnate, claimed to be ‘THE Truth’, which I take to mean the foundation of all truth in this universe and of all truth in all reality there may be beyond this universe

    And what does it mean – logically, of course – for someone to claim to “be The Truth”?

    Thus in conclusion, Darwinian materialists, since both reality and objective truth become nonexistent in their worldview, should be the very last people in the world to ever dictate to other people what reality and truth are.

    Maybe and I think the idea of a “reality czar” is rather silly. But who should we turn it over to, people who believe in talking snakes, sticks that turn into snakes, people turned into pillars of salt, water being turned into wine and people rising from the dead without any evidence?

    They simply have no standing to comment on either truth or reality.

    I quite agree.

  7. 7
    bornagain77 says:

    I’ve dug into critical theory a bit more and found this disturbing tidbit…

    The Incompatibility of Critical Theory and Christianity
    MAY 15, 2019 | NEIL SHENVI • PAT SAWYER
    Finally, critical theory claims that members of oppressed groups have special access to truth because of their “lived experience” of oppression. Such insight is unavailable to members of oppressor groups, who are blinded by their privilege. Consequently, any appeals to “objective evidence” or “reason” made by dominant groups are actually surreptitious bids for continued institutional power. This view is rooted in standpoint theory (organic to Marxism and repurposed by feminist theory), which argues that knowledge is conditioned and determined by social location.
    https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/incompatibility-critical-theory-christianity/

  8. 8
    Querius says:

    Bornagain77,

    The problem is as easy as ABC–Anything But Christ.

    While God has tried everything and continues to try anything to save all humans from the total spiritual destruction of Satan and angels while maintaining our free will, many people love their sins so much that they refuse to be convinced of anything that offers their rescue.

    “For God did not send his son into the world that he should judge the world, but that the world should be delivered by him.”

    People demanded that Jesus perform miracles to prove who he is (extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence), but then they claim they can’t believe that Jesus actually healed people, walked on water, or raised people from the dead.

    But we’re like that. I’ve personally experienced several amazing miracles, but I have trouble believing them myself! What I don’t have trouble believing includes:

    – My profound sense of inner peace and joy and the golden chain of trust that extends back through many generations of believers back to the Apostles and Jesus himself.

    – The historicity of Biblical events have been repeatedly disputed and, over time, have repeatedly been vindicated with new discoveries. Over 50 historical personages from the Bible have been verified from archaeology. Various towns and empires have been discovered: The Hittites were considered a Biblical myth before they were verified by archaeology.

    – Prophecy in the Bible lays out the timeline for several important events, including the appearance and atoning death of the Messiah before the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple (in 70 AD).

    – The undeniable splendor, complexity, and amazing design in creation that defies all naturalistic explanation. It’s a scientific impossibility that Everything (including time) can come from Nothing.

    – The fact that all reality and existence is fundamentally dependent on information, a mathematical probability field (i.e. wavefunctions), and conscious observation/measurement. It’s now known that atoms and molecules don’t actually exist until they’re observed or measured.

    That’s all waved off by stubborn hearts who fear that God might infringe on their pleasures and perversions. In pride, they feel that they can justify themselves, relying on their own self-righteousness and religions instead of the free gift of God. I know this as well because of personal experience.

    -Q

  9. 9
    Querius says:

    Seversky @6,

    But who should we turn it over to, people who believe in talking snakes, sticks that turn into snakes, people turned into pillars of salt, water being turned into wine and people rising from the dead without any evidence?

    Of course not! Unless there’s actually plenty of evidence (or even more stubborn skepticism).

    Do you believe that Abraham Lincoln existed? There are lots of things that have been debunked in history that is still generally believed despite evidence to the contrary.

    Conversely, there are many “myths” that have been vindicated by evidence that shows they’re actually true.

    In science as well, there are similar beliefs and myths that perpetuate. My favorite myth concerns the the explanation of the Bernoulli’s principle with regard to flight.
    https://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/290/what-really-allows-airplanes-to-fly

    -Q

  10. 10
    doubter says:

    A “Reality Czar”: this is a classic example of a cure being much much worse than the disease. Disinformation on the Internet is a big problem, like with vaxxers and election voter fraud and 911 attack Pentagon conspiracy fanatics, it goes on, but their evil effects on our society dwarfs what would happen with a self-appointed “elite” controlling Internet information dissemination. The potential for abuse and dictatorial control by the governmental or corporate State is much too great to consider this step.

  11. 11
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky asks

    And what does it mean – logically, of course – for someone to claim to “be The Truth”?

    For Christ to claim to be ‘The Truth” is, in effect, for Him to claim to be equal with God.

    And Seversky, if all objective truth, i.e. “The Truth” is not to be based in the personhood of God then please pray tell, exactly where is all objective truth, i.e. “The Truth”, to find its basis?

    The belief that physical reality itself is, at root, a unity that is governed by a single set of universal laws is a Theistic presupposition. It is certainly not a belief that is born out of Atheistic Naturalism.

    As Isaac Newton, the father of modern physics, himself stated, ““This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being. And if the fixed stars are the centres of other like systems, these, being formed by the like wise counsel, must be all subject to the dominion of One;”,, ” This Being governs all things, not as the soul of the world, but as Lord over all; and on account of his dominion he is wont to be called Lord God pantokrator, or Universal Ruler;,,, The Supreme God is a Being eternal, infinite, absolutely perfect;,,, from his true dominion it follows that the true God is a living, intelligent, and powerful Being; and, from his other perfections, that he is supreme, or most perfect. He is eternal and infinite, omnipotent and omniscient; that is, his duration reaches from eternity to eternity; his presence from infinity to infinity; he governs all things, and knows all things that are or can be done. He is not eternity or infinity, but eternal and infinite; he is not duration or space, but he endures and is present. He endures for ever, and is every where present”:

    “This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being. And if the fixed stars are the centres of other like systems, these, being formed by the like wise counsel, must be all subject to the dominion of One; especially since the light of the fixed stars is of the same nature with the light of the sun, and from every system light passes into all the other systems: and lest the systems of the fixed stars should, by their gravity, fall on each other mutually, he hath placed those systems at immense distances one from another. This Being governs all things, not as the soul of the world, but as Lord over all; and on account of his dominion he is wont to be called Lord God pantokrator, or Universal Ruler;,,, The Supreme God is a Being eternal, infinite, absolutely perfect;,,, from his true dominion it follows that the true God is a living, intelligent, and powerful Being; and, from his other perfections, that he is supreme, or most perfect. He is eternal and infinite, omnipotent and omniscient; that is, his duration reaches from eternity to eternity; his presence from infinity to infinity; he governs all things, and knows all things that are or can be done. He is not eternity or infinity, but eternal and infinite; he is not duration or space, but he endures and is present. He endures for ever, and is every where present”:
    Sir Isaac Newton – Principia; 1687, GENERAL SCHOLIUM
    http://gravitee.tripod.com/genschol.htm

    So Seversky, do you want to argue with Isaac Newton, the father of modern physics, that God is not the reason why the universe coheres together as a single unified whole? i.e. Is not the reason why we can discover ‘universal truths’ about this universe?

    To go a bit further, and to repeat, for Christ to claim to be “The Truth” is, in effect, for Him to equate himself with God as the source of all objective truth.

    Moreover, when Jesus claimed to be “The Truth”, that is not the only time in scripture that Christ equated his personhood with the personhood of God.

    John 14:8-11
    Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us.”
    Jesus replied, “Philip, I have been with you all this time, and still you do not know Me? Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me? The words I say to you, I do not speak on My own. Instead, it is the Father dwelling in Me, performing His works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me—or at least believe on account of the works themselves.

    John 10:33
    “We are not stoning you for any good work,” they replied, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.”

    John 5:18
    This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.

    Of related interest, I recently made a video where I argued that Jesus Christ resurrection from the dead provides us with the correct solution for the much sought after ‘theory of everything’:

    Jesus Christ as the correct “Theory of Everything” – video
    https://youtu.be/Vpn2Vu8–eE

    Matthew 28:18
    Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me,”

    Colossians 1:15-20
    The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

    That Christ’s resurrection from the dead would provide us with a very credible solution, (indeed I hold it to be the correct solution), for the much sought after ‘theory of everything’ certainly adds much validity to Jesus’s claim that he is “The Truth”. i.e. That He is equal with God.

  12. 12
    OldArmy94 says:

    The best disinfectant for falsehood is sunlight.

  13. 13
    john_a_designer says:

    The U.S. first amendment… going… going… going… How long before it’s gone?

  14. 14
    BobRyan says:

    john_a_designer

    The entire US Constitution, which includes the Amendments, have already been bastardized as to have lost much of the meaning. The 1st Amendment is written as a limitation on only the US Congress, with the expectation states would create similar protections. It does not start with, Neither Congress nor the states shall make no law, but Congress shall make no law. The Supremacy Clause leaves anything not in the Constitution to the states and people of the states, with the 10th Amendment affirming the Clause. The moment the 1st Amendment was used to impact state government is the moment the bastardization began.

  15. 15
    Seversky says:

    BobRyan/14

    The Supremacy Clause leaves anything not in the Constitution to the states and people of the states, with the 10th Amendment affirming the Clause. The moment the 1st Amendment was used to impact state government is the moment the bastardization began.

    Did it?

    National supremacy is spelled out in the Constitution’s Supremacy Clause, which states:

    This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

    Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall wrote in 1819 that

    the States have no power, by taxation or otherwise, to retard, impede, burden, or in any manner control, the operations of the constitutional laws enacted by Congress to carry into execution the powers vested in the general government. This is, we think, the unavoidable consequence of that supremacy which the Constitution has declared.

    The Supremacy Clause makes it clear that the Constitution and laws created by Congress take precedence over conflicting laws passed by the 50 state legislatures.

  16. 16
    BobRyan says:

    Seversky

    The 10th Amendment affirms the Supremacy Clause

    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

    The 10th Amendment clearly states anything not in the Constitution falls under the jurisdiction of the states and/or people of the states. From your quote by Chief Justice Marshall, “the operations of the constitutional laws enacted by Congress…” When a law passed by Congress is not Constitutional, it violates the Supremacy and 10th Amendment, since it goes beyond what the Constitution allows from the federal government to do.

    Going back to the 1st Amendment, the wording is clear as to who was limited from passing laws.

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

    The limitation of the 1st Amendment lies solely with the US Congress. They framers did not want Congress to have too much power to enact laws, just as they did not want an executive without limits. The Supremacy Clause does reign in the states from overstepping their bounds, since governors could just as easily become dictators, which we are seeing right now in many states where governors are not acting with legislative authority.

  17. 17
    bornagain77 says:

    To further comment on Kevin Roose, (a ‘two opposable thumbs up’ Darwinist), wanting a “reality czar”.

    As I mentioned in posts 3 and 4, it has been proven, via population genetics, that if Darwinian evolution were actually true, then all out observations of reality would become illusory.

    In short, Darwinists, since they have forsaken God as the basis of reality, simply have no standing in which to be able to differentiate what is real from what is illusory in the first place.

    And in regards to us being able to differentiate what is real from what is illusory, and in regards to the Christian’s contention that God is the basis of all reality, it is VERY interesting to note that, in Near Death Experiences, “many NDE’s have a vividness and a sense of intense reality that one does not generally encounter in dreams or hallucinations.,,,”, and it is also interesting to note that, Tens of millions of people have had such experiences. That is tens of millions of more times than we have observed the origin of species , (or the origin of life, or the origin of a protein/gene, or of a molecular machine), which is never.,,,

    Near-Death Experiences: Putting a Darwinist’s Evidentiary Standards to the Test – Dr. Michael Egnor – October 15, 2012
    Excerpt: Indeed, about 20 percent of NDE’s are corroborated, which means that there are independent ways of checking about the veracity of the experience. The patients knew of things that they could not have known except by extraordinary perception — such as describing details of surgery that they watched while their heart was stopped, etc. Additionally, many NDE’s have a vividness and a sense of intense reality that one does not generally encounter in dreams or hallucinations.,,,
    The most “parsimonious” explanation — the simplest scientific explanation — is that the (Near Death) experience was real. Tens of millions of people have had such experiences. That is tens of millions of more times than we have observed the origin of species , (or the origin of life, or the origin of a protein/gene, or of a molecular machine), which is never.,,,
    The materialist reaction, in short, is unscientific and close-minded. NDE’s show fellows like Coyne at their sneering unscientific irrational worst. Somebody finds a crushed fragment of a fossil and it’s earth-shaking evidence. Tens of million of people have life-changing spiritual experiences and it’s all a big yawn.
    Note: Dr. Egnor is professor and vice-chairman of neurosurgery at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....65301.html

    And in regards to having “a vividness and a sense of intense reality that one does not generally encounter in dreams or hallucinations.,,,”, In the following study, materialistic researchers who had a bias against Near Death Experiences being real, set out to prove that they were merely ‘false memories’, and/or illusions, by setting up a clever questionnaire that could differentiate which memories a person had were real and which memories a person had were merely imaginary.

    They did not expect the results they got: To quote the headline ‘Afterlife’ feels ‘even more real than real”

    ‘Afterlife’ feels ‘even more real than real,’ researcher says – Wed April 10, 2013
    Excerpt: “If you use this questionnaire … if the memory is real, it’s richer, and if the memory is recent, it’s richer,” he said.
    The coma scientists weren’t expecting what the tests revealed.
    “To our surprise, NDEs were much richer than any imagined event or any real event of these coma survivors,” Laureys reported.
    The memories of these experiences beat all other memories, hands down, for their vivid sense of reality. “The difference was so vast,” he said with a sense of astonishment.
    Even if the patient had the experience a long time ago, its memory was as rich “as though it was yesterday,” Laureys said.
    http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/09/.....periences/

    Memories of Near Death Experiences (NDEs): More Real Than Reality? – Mar. 27, 2013
    Excerpt: University of Liège
    ,,,researchers,, have looked into the memories of NDE with the hypothesis that if the memories of NDE were pure products of the imagination, their phenomenological characteristics (e.g., sensorial, self referential, emotional, etc. details) should be closer to those of imagined memories. Conversely, if the NDE are experienced in a way similar to that of reality, their characteristics would be closer to the memories of real events.
    The researchers compared the responses provided by three groups of patients, each of which had survived (in a different manner) a coma, and a group of healthy volunteers. They studied the memories of NDE and the memories of real events and imagined events with the help of a questionnaire which evaluated the phenomenological characteristics of the memories. The results were surprising. From the perspective being studied, not only were the NDEs not similar to the memories of imagined events, but the phenomenological characteristics inherent to the memories of real events (e.g. memories of sensorial details) are even more numerous in the memories of NDE than in the memories of real events.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....190359.htm

    My question to atheistic materialists is this. “Exactly how is it even remotely possible for something to become even ‘more real than real’ for a person having an NDE unless the infinite Mind of God truly is the basis for all reality, and this reality that we presently live in, and as is claimed in Christianity, is really just a shadow of the heavenly paradise that awaits us after death?

    Darwinists, with their reductive materialistic framework, can’t even give us a coherent explanation for why anything should be real for us in this present world, much less do you guys have a coherent explanation for why things should become ‘even more real than real’ in a heavenly paradise.

    Supplemental notes,

    Where this gets interesting is that, whereas atheists have no experimental evidence supporting their unfounded conjectures for multiverses, Christians, on the other hand, can appeal directly to Special Relativity, General Relativity, and Quantum Mechanics, (i.e. our most precisely tested theories ever in the history of science), to support their belief that God upholds this universe in its continual existence, as well as to support their belief in a heavenly dimension and in a hellish dimension.”
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/physicists-life-forms-could-flourish-in-the-interior-of-stars/#comment-711489

    The transcendent nature of ‘immaterial’ information itself, which is the one thing that, (as every ID advocate intimately knows), unguided Darwinian processes cannot possibly explain the origin of, directly supports the transcendent nature, as well as the physical reality, of the soul:
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/12-successful-predictions-of-mental-reality-theory/#comment-714587

    Verse

    2 Corinthians 12
    2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows. 3 And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows— 4 was caught up to paradise and heard inexpressible things, things that no one is permitted to tell.

  18. 18
    BobRyan says:

    If we are governed by nothing more than nature, as is the case for all animals, then everything outside of nature is nothing more than an illusion. There can be no right or wrong, since there is no right or wrong in nature. If there is no God, why have laws come into existence? Laws are based on something that is considered, on a moral basis, to limit what is wrong.

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