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Test: If naturalists are right, totalitarian states should be just as creative as free ones

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A Chinese university is dumping intellectual freedom from its charter yet China hopes to be the world’s top AI power. Is there a contradiction here?

If humans are just animals, then factory farm methods should work with people as well as pigs.

The big advances in AI have mostly been in free societies. Totalitarian states are grabbing AI but can they advance it if they cannot allow the creativity that comes with freedom?

How does that play out in Hong Kong’s struggle with China:

George Orwell identified two characteristics of a totalitarian state that offer insight into its central intellectual weaknesses…

First, successful modern technological cultures depend on a high level of individual freedom of thought, as the digital revolution demonstrates. He wrote: “Modern literature is essentially an individual thing. It is either the truthful expression of what one man thinks and feels, or it is nothing.” But he adds, “As I say, we take this notion for granted, and yet as soon as one puts it into words one realizes how literature is menaced. For this is the age of the totalitarian state, which does not and probably cannot allow the individual any freedom what ever.”

Whereas Shanghai University is onside with no freedom of thought, international human rights day (December 8, 2019) brought 800,000 Hongkongers onto the streets again. One observer told us, “I love this vid. Hong Kong people never lack creative ideas to express their feelings and thoughts”

Denyse O’Leary, “Can a Totalitarian State Advance AI?: China vs. Hong Kong provides a test case” at Mind Matters News

Indeed. In the vids, they are wearing plastic pig’s heads to frustrate the mass surveillance equipment. In one classic street drama, a man pretending to be a security official (with “1984” blazoned on his shirt) is interviewing Pig 1, Pig 2, etc., to general hilarity.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 2019-07-21-8-18-sign-on-Ipad-1597x1198.jpg
In a photo taken last August, a masked Hongkonger uses a tablet to quietly broadcast a message for freedom while standing outside Tai Po train station The message reads “How can you be silent in front such absurd government?”

Unlike the poor Uyghurs, the Hongkongers are tech savvy. It just is not as clear who will win in the end.

See also: Weighing the costs of China’s high tech power: Western nations like New Zealand, Australia, and Canada must weigh Beijing’s demands carefully

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89 Replies to “Test: If naturalists are right, totalitarian states should be just as creative as free ones

  1. 1
    polistra says:

    “Intellectual freedom” has nothing to do with measurable practical creativity. War has always been the main driving force of invention and innovation. A powerful and goal-directed state can organize research and development better than a loose state.

    Even in art, “letting it all hang out” gives us ductaped bananas, and tyrannical warring monarchs gave us Rembrandt and Bach.

  2. 2
    Seversky says:

    What is being done to the Uyghurs in China is every bit as abhorrent as what was done to Native Americans in the Christian-run boarding-schools in North America. But how does it follow from naturalism being right that totalitarian states should be just as creative as free ones? How does one measure creativity?

    I entirely agree that a society which permits and encourages the development of new ideas should be better than one which suppresses them. On the other hand, in the Second World War Nazi Germany and the Stalinist Soviet Union produced tank and aircraft designs that were every bit as good – and, in some cases better – than those produced by the Allied powers so it may not be that simple.

  3. 3
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Seversky

    But how does it follow from naturalism being right that totalitarian states should be just as creative as free ones? How does one measure creativity?

    If naturalism is true, then ideas would come from luck or determinism so it should be the same either way. Maybe the measure is the success of new products.

    On the other hand, in the Second World War Nazi Germany and the Stalinist Soviet Union produced tank and aircraft designs that were every bit as good – and, in some cases better – than those produced by the Allied powers so it may not be that simple.

    Those societies encouraged innovation in military technology and methods for the benefit of the nation, but not as much with private enterprise.

  4. 4
    BobRyan says:

    Pollista @ 1

    ““Intellectual freedom” has nothing to do with measurable practical creativity. War has always been the main driving force of invention and innovation.”

    In China, one of the most totalitarian states in the world today, it is better to be a good communist than a good engineer. There is no creativity and innovation in China, which is why they steal intellectual property. China has no innovation and must rely on the creativity that does exist in the free world.

    Most people will never invent anything and those who do must have the freedom to pursue innovation. Innovation is a distinctly human trait and unique to only a small percentage of people. If people are not unique and can simply be replaced by other people, then you should be able to write a novel and paint a masterpiece.

    The United States has been one of the leading nations in innovation. Name a totalitarian state that either currently exists, or existed, which has created anywhere near what the United States has created. Where is the equivalent of Thomas Edison, Madam C. J. Walker, George Washington Carver?

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    Naturalistic and/or materialistic processes cannot create new functional information. Period! It takes an immaterial mind to create new information, Period! The sheer inability of the materialistic processes of Darwinian evolution to create any new functional information is the main and primary point of contention between ID and Darwinism.

    Information Enigma: Where does information come from?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aA-FcnLsF1g

    Thus it directly follows that any society based on the metaphysics of Naturalism and/or Darwinian Materialism, as totalitarian states inevitably are, will have markedly less creativity than democracies which are based on Christian principles,,,

    Hitler, Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Mao – quotes – Foundational Darwinian influence in their ideology (Nov. 2018)
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/historian-human-evolution-theorists-were-attempting-to-be-moral-teachers/#comment-668170

    The Catholic Invention of Representative Government
    Jorgen Moller – January 2019
    Modern representative democracy is unthinkable without innovations pioneered by the medieval Catholic Church.
    Excerpt: A long line of research, stretching back to the German sociologist Max Weber’s seminal work, identifies Protestantism as the sledgehammer that broke down autocratic barriers, giving rise to modern liberal societies. A good example is work by American political scientist Robert Woodberry, which demonstrates that Protestants pioneered a series of innovations that eased the advent of modern representative democracy, including religious pluralism, voluntary associations, printing, and mass education. More generally, the Weberian notion of Protestantism as the midwife of modernity received a great deal of attention during the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation in 2017. Often as an accompaniment to these views, writers like Samuel Huntington have portrayed either the Catholic Church itself or aspects of Catholic culture as historical impediments to modern liberalism and modern democratization. But the story about the origins of our political institutions, and the way religious institutions affected it, is much more interesting and complicated than implied by this conventional narrative. In fact, modern representative democracy is well-nigh unthinkable without constitutionalist practices and doctrines pioneered by the medieval Catholic Church.,,,,
    The passing away of conciliarism at the very point in time where modern democratization began has made students of democratization ignore an important historical lesson: Representative democracy is all but inconceivable without the 12th– and 13th-century Catholic practices of representation and consent and the 15th-century conciliar doctrines about representative government. This fascinating story remains relevant not only for those who wish to understand the origins of our political institutions; it also sheds light on current interactions between religion and politics. In that sense, it is a story worth revisiting for those who are interested in the political dynamics of the 21st century.
    https://www.the-american-interest.com/2019/01/24/the-catholic-invention-of-representative-government/

    Thus to repeat, since Naturalistic and/or materialistic processes cannot create new functional information, then it directly follows that any society based on the metaphysics of Naturalism and/or Darwinian Materialism, as totalitarian states inevitably are, will have far less creativity than modern democratic societies that are based on Christian Metaphysics.

    And indeed this is so. First and foremost, modern science itself was born out of Christianity,,,

    Jerry Coyne on the Scientific Method and Religion – Michael Egnor – June 2011
    Excerpt: The scientific method — the empirical systematic theory-based study of nature — has nothing to so with some religious inspirations — Animism, Paganism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Shintoism, Islam, and, well, atheism. The scientific method has everything to do with Christian (and Jewish) inspiration. Judeo-Christian culture is the only culture that has given rise to organized theoretical science. Many cultures (e.g. China) have produced excellent technology and engineering, but only Christian culture has given rise to a conceptual understanding of nature (that enabled the rise of modern science).
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....47431.html

    Science and Theism: Concord, not Conflict* – Robert C. Koons
    IV. The Dependency of Science Upon Theism (Page 21)
    Excerpt: Far from undermining the credibility of theism, the remarkable success of science in modern times is a remarkable confirmation of the truth of theism. It was from the perspective of Judeo-Christian theism—and from the perspective alone—that it was predictable that science would have succeeded as it has. Without the faith in the rational intelligibility of the world and the divine vocation of human beings to master it, modern science would never have been possible, and, even today, the continued rationality of the enterprise of science depends on convictions that can be reasonably grounded only in theistic metaphysics.
    http://www.robkoons.net/media/.....ffd524.pdf

    Bruce Charlton’s Miscellany – October 2011
    Excerpt: I had discovered that over the same period of the twentieth century that the US had risen to scientific eminence it had undergone a significant Christian revival. ,,,The point I put to (Richard) Dawkins was that the USA was simultaneously by-far the most dominant scientific nation in the world (I knew this from various scientometic studies I was doing at the time) and by-far the most religious (Christian) nation in the world. How, I asked, could this be – if Christianity was culturally inimical to science?
    http://charltonteaching.blogsp.....-wife.html

    Secondly, several studies have now shown that Communism/Totalitarianism stifles innovation

    How Communism Stifles Innovation
    China, Russia score poorly in innovation rankings
    BY RAHUL VAIDYANATH, – March 1, 2017
    Excerpt: Research shows that the political ideology of communism restricts innovation, which is the panacea for economic growth and long-term prosperity today.
    In broad strokes, the communist tenets of state ownership of business and property, under strict government supervision, lead to a risk-averse culture. People in these societies work in an environment that discourages ambition and creativity. This is the polar opposite of the conditions that foster innovation.
    The 2017 International Intellectual Property Index, recently published by the Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC), ranks the current bastion of communism, China, as No. 27 and formerly communist Russia as No. 23—behind the smaller economies of Malaysia, Mexico, and Turkey, for example.
    Stronger protections for intellectual property (IP) are found in more innovative economies, according to the report. In contrast, weak IP protection hinders long-term strategic innovation and development in economies.
    “A robust national IP environment correlates strongly with a wide range of macroeconomic indicators that fall under the umbrella of innovation and creativity,” according to the GIPC report.
    Countries that lead in intellectual property are free market, capitalist economies, such as the United States and United Kingdom. First-world, democratic countries in Europe and Asia also rank highly.
    The report states that Russia’s protectionist moves—local production, procurement, and manufacturing—work to restrict IP rights. Russia also suffers from persistently high levels of software piracy.
    For China, the report singles out historically high levels of IP infringement.
    Internationally, China and Russia are the “usual suspects” of cyberespionage against other countries. Stealing IP, the infrastructure for innovation, is one way these nations heavily influenced by communism try to stay competitive globally.
    The Melbourne, Australia-based agency 2thinknow has been ranking the world’s most innovative cities for the past 10 years. In its latest rankings published Feb. 23, the most innovative city in a communist country, Beijing, ranks No. 30, and Moscow ranks No. 43.
    Blunting Universities’ Effectiveness
    According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), not a single Chinese university ranks among the world’s top 30 in terms of the most cited scientific publications….
    Communist Interference
    McKinsey’s 2015 report “Gauging the Strength of Chinese Innovation” noted that the impact of innovation on China’s economic growth declined over the past five years to the lowest level since about 1980.
    China has a massive consumer market and a government willing to invest huge sums of money—nearly $200 billion on R&D in 2014—and its universities graduate more than 1.2 million engineers each year.
    Clearly, China has much potential, but it is the United States that has taken the lead in technological dominance.,,,
    “The country [China] has yet to make an internal-combustion engine that could be exported and lags behind developed countries in sciences ranging from biotechnology to materials,” according to McKinsey, in an article introducing the report.
    In a 2016 article for HBR, Anil Gupta and Haiyan Wang wrote, “While almost all Western technology giants have R&D labs in China, the bulk of what they do is local adaptation rather than developing next generation technologies and products.” Gupta and Wang are co-authors of the book “Getting China and India Right.”
    Excessive government involvement often leads to waste and excess—overbuilding and overcapacity. China’s real estate bubble and steel mills are two such examples.,,,
    Lately, the Chinese government has been trying to spur a wave of new startups by providing them with generous subsidies. But it doesn’t have the savvy to pick winners and losers. Instead, a more efficient use of capital comes from knowledgeable and discerning venture capitalists. Most startups are meant to fail after all.,,,
    Communism is against private ownership of property. This puts a damper on innovation.
    “The key to whether China can become a country of innovation is tied to the respect of property rights and the rule of law,” wrote Ma Guangyuan, an independent economist in China.
    In his blog, Ma cites renowned U.S. investor William Bernstein’s writings, which discuss property rights as being the most important of four factors needed for rapid economic growth. Guangyang wrote, “Entrepreneurs live in constant fear of punishment,” due to the questionable business practices in China, an environment that leads them to lose trust in a viable long-term economic future.
    Capital flight out of China is one symptom of the problem; another is the preference of wealthy Chinese to send their children overseas for higher education. The loss of Chinese entrepreneurs like Li Ka-shing and Cao Dewang is a sign that greener pastures lie abroad.
    Former world chess champion and Russian political activist Garry Kasparov wrote in an opinion piece for Reuters: “Communism as a political ideology is as bankrupt as ever.”,,,
    https://www.theepochtimes.com/how-communism-stifles-innovation_2228620.html

    Thus Seversky, as he did in the second post on this thread, can wax poetic all he wants about how he thinks communism is no worse than America in terms of innovation, but, as is usual for Seversky, his love affair with atheism has completely blinded him to the hideous failings of his preferred atheistic worldview when it is, and has been, applied to societies at large

  6. 6
    Silver Asiatic says:

    BA77

    The Catholic Invention of Representative Government

    As the summary points out, it was a rare and fruitful collaboration between Protestantism and Catholicism that produced the results – so a Christian innovation. Partly due to “creative tension” between the two but overall a good development. Atheism was not a significant contributing factor.

  7. 7
    bornagain77 says:

    Silver Asiatic, I agree totally. And, given the historical suspicion that Catholics and Protestants often have towards each other, an excellent point that should be repeated often.

    1 Corinthians 12:12-27
    One Body with Many Members
    12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.
    14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.
    21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.
    27 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.

  8. 8
    Ed George says:

    BA77 and SA, the Romans might disagree with you on who invented representational government.

  9. 9
    bornagain77 says:

    Nobody claimed that ancient representational government did not exist. The claim was that Christianity, (more specific still, via the American revolution), “broke down autocratic barriers, giving rise to modern liberal societies.”

    i.e.

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”,,,
    – The Declaration of Independence

    Relevant quotes:

    A Few Declarations of Founding Fathers and Early Statesmen on Jesus, Christianity, and the Bible
    Excerpt: John Adams
    SIGNER OF THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE; JUDGE; DIPLOMAT; ONE OF TWO SIGNERS
    OF THE BILL OF RIGHTS; SECOND PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
    The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.1,,,

    George Washington
    JUDGE; MEMBER OF THE CONTINENTAL CONGRESS;
    COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF OF THE CONTINENTAL ARMY;
    PRESIDENT OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION;
    FIRST PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES; “FATHER OF HIS COUNTRY”
    You do well to wish to learn our arts and ways of life, and above all, the religion of Jesus Christ. These will make you a greater and happier people than you are.121
    https://wallbuilders.com/founding-fathers-jesus-christianity-bible/

  10. 10
    Ed George says:

    BA77

    Nobody claimed that ancient representational government did not exist. The claim was that Christianity, (more specific still, via the American revolution), “broke down autocratic barriers, giving rise to modern liberal societies.”

    I assume you are referring to the revolution that gave voice to far less than 50% of the population. Women need not apply. Asian immigrants need not apply. Indigenous peoples need not apply. Black people need not apply. Non property owners need not apply.

    The founding fathers did not provide representational government. Representational government was the result of people seizing what they thought they deserved, not because of anything the founding fathers gave them.

  11. 11
    bornagain77 says:

    ^^^^ S.A. do you want to handle the glaring flaws in this one?

  12. 12
    Ed George says:

    BA77

    S.A. do you want to handle the glaring flaws in this one?

    And what glaring errors would these be? Please enlighten us.

    Alexander Dumas was writing literary classics in France while his racial compatriots were being whipped and traded as cattle in the country you claim was instrumental in representational government.

    Let’s face it, the US in its early years did more to restrict representational democracy than most other western countries. The revolution was more about white land owners gaining and maintaining power, and not paying taxes, than it was about equality.

  13. 13
    ET says:

    The USA was set up as a (Constitutional) Republic and not a democracy. A Republic is defined as “A political order in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who are entitled to vote for officers and representatives responsible to them” And that is exactly what Ed George has described and it still fits the definition of a representative government.

  14. 14
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Ba77
    I can’t post for a couple of days. Please feel free to answer him. I know that you’ve got more than enough to do the job. Thanks

  15. 15
    BobRyan says:

    ET @ 13

    The House of Representatives was meant to be the only part of the process that was democratic in nature, since they were the ones directly elected by those who could legally vote in each state. The House was created to represent the people, but the Senate was created to represent the states through selection of the state governments. It was a good balance and should return to what was.

  16. 16
    BobRyan says:

    Ed George, if all you see are the negatives, I suggest you place yourself in that time and remove modern bias. John Paul Jones was born in Scotland and could not captain a British Naval ship. He was limited to be a merchant captain, since he was not born in England to the right family. He became father of the American Navy.

    You call them rich land owners, but no one in the country was money rich. For a long time prior to war with Britain, the colonists had wanted to mint coins and print paper currency. The British refused and it resulted in trade of goods over using currency. The land owners were called land rich and cash poor.

    The French Revolution brought true democracy and it’s now called The Terror. True democracy has always proved to be short lived and rather bloody. The United States became a beacon to the world, but the French served to strengthen the royals hold.

    Where are the Madam C. J. Walkers of the world? She became the first self made female millionaire in the history of the world and it took her being in the United States to make it happen. Tesla chose the United States over any other country for a reason. The Chinese who helped build the railroads new their odds were low, but they were leaving a land of war and famine behind.

  17. 17
    kairosfocus says:

    EG, cut the cultural marxist undermining of critical civilisational advancements, please. The tactic is well known: taint critical contributors and contributions [e.g. the breakthrough US DoI, 1776 and doubtless roots in Dutch DoI 1581 and Duplessis-Mornay’s Vindiciae etc], poisoning minds and polarising attitudes; thus also opening up the notion that those with a cloak of invulnerability can get away with saying or doing anything. That first creates chaos then leads to a totalitarian imposition in a new order that has forgotten the roots of genuine liberty under just law. And BTW, we are witnessing a major case in point in our headlines at present. Kangaroo courts following Star Chamber tactics and backed by partisan media lynch mobs operating on guilt by accusation are precisely why there is a polarisation spiral threatening to break out of all control just now. The USA in particular has for some years descended into a Bleeding Kansas-lite, 4th generation warfare civil war, with agit prop, media trumpeted street theatre and guilt by accusation lynch mobs with a rising incidence of lawfare. I can only conclude that cultural marxist political messianism feels within grasp of unlimited power and is trying to crush what it sees as doomed opposition rooted in the derided hinterlands populated by the deplorables. Peasant uprisings are the natural result, and resemblance between the US and UK are not coincidental. Where, so far, it has been votes not pitchforks or AR-15s. So far. KF

    PS: FYI, Archbishop of Canterbury, Samuel Langton’s work on Magna Carta is a key step towards just, limited government and recognition of liberty, building on many roots but we must not neglect Alfred of the West Saxons and his epochal Book of Dooms (which literally begins from the Decalogue, Mosaic civil law, the Ac 15 council of the church regarding gentile converts and the Golden Rule as taught in the Sermon on the Mount) and Justinian’s Institutes in Corpus Juris Civilis. Between those three we have deep roots of parliamentary representational government, independent judiciary and primacy of justice, as well as the framework of law that dominates the world: British-derived common law and the partly Christianised synthesis of Roman Law (often by way of Code Napoleon).

    I add, that until we had printing, low cost bills, newspapers and places for reasonably free discussion, backed by printing the Bible in the vernacular and increasing literacy, democratisation and linked reforms were not feasible given the dependency on wealthy, warrior class derived relatively educated power elites and their retainers and clerks. That means, latish 1600’s, precisely when we saw the Glorious Revolution and Locke. From this, across the following two centuries we had democratisation with the principles of rights and reform under consensus built on the Judaeo-Christian, biblical framework.

    It is equally clear that radical revolutions stemming from the French example predictably end up with reigns of terror led by misanthropes who routinely resort to mass judicial murder or even don’t bother with the sham courts.

    In that context, the ongoing abortion holocaust — 800+ millions in 40+ years and growing at 1 million more a week, the US share being 63 million — and its enabling by the radicals of our time are the key tell. Lawfare backed mass slaughter of the utterly innocent and defenceless, backed by media agit prop and ruthless lawfare. This is the sign of intent towards Christians who take the Bible and gospel ethics seriously and other deplorables.

    Unless and until there is a serious facing of this central evil leading to acknowledgement of guilt of holocaust and turning in repentance and reformation, there is no hope of sound reformation. Where, only a manipulated, naive person would take protestations about “rights” and demands to push ever increasingly bizarre radical agendas and demands at face value.

    Blood guilt is the most tainting, most corrupting of influences and that is what we are dealing with.

    So, no, get down off that high horse and get to repenting.

  18. 18
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Let us clip and annotate a key part of The Great Charter of the Liberties (1215) as written by Archbishop of Caterbury Samuel Langton and imposed at sword-point at Runnymede, i.e. points 39 and 40 in Blackstone’s numbering:

    “+ (39) No free man
    [–> recognition of freedom, the further question is, who shall be free]

    shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions
    [–> recognition of rights including property],
    or outlawed or exiled, or deprived of his standing in any way, nor will we proceed with force against him
    [–> policing power & the sword of state subordinated to justice. NB Rom 13: 3 – 5

    3 For [civil] authorities are not a source of fear for [people of] good behavior, but for [those who do] evil. Do you want to be unafraid of authority? Do what is good and you will receive approval and commendation. 4 For he is God’s servant to you for good. But if you do wrong, [you should] be afraid; for he does not carry the [executioner’s] sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an avenger who brings punishment on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore one must be subject [to civil authorities], not only to escape the punishment [that comes with wrongdoing], but also as a matter of principle [knowing what is right before God]. (Cf. here, on nationhood and government under God.)],

    or send others to do so, except by the lawful judgment of his equals
    [ –> peers, i.e. trial by jury of peers]
    or by the law of the land
    [–> rule of law, not decree of tyrant or oligarch].
    + (40) To no one will we sell, to no one deny or delay right or justice.
    [–> integrity, lawfulness and legitimacy of government rooted in the priority of right and justice]”

    KF

  19. 19
    bornagain77 says:

    BobRyan and Kairosfocus at 15, 16, 17 and 18 offered very good responses to Ed George’s fallacious claims thus far.

    But if I may add to their very good responses thus far,

    Ed George observes that,

    I assume you are referring to the revolution that gave voice to far less than 50% of the population. Women need not apply. Asian immigrants need not apply. Indigenous peoples need not apply. Black people need not apply. Non property owners need not apply.

    And indeed the founding of America was far from morally perfect. None-the-less, the founding of America was based on the morally perfect principles that find their roots in Christianity. Perhaps the most foundational of all Christian principles being the principle of the equality of all men before God,,, i.e “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,”,,,

    And indeed, America has gone through some very painful and bloody growing pains trying to live up to that specific objective moral principle.

    And yet herein lies the critical and fatal flaw within Ed George’s ‘moral reasoning’.

    Ed George is a Darwinian atheist who has no objective moral basis to appeal to!

    Yet, although Ed is devoid of any coherent moral foundation, Ed George himself blatantly acts as if it is ‘self-evidently true’ that we should all intuitively, and unquestionably, know the objective moral principle that all men are create equal,,,,

    “Yet our common moral knowledge is as real as arithmetic, and probably just as plain. Paradoxically, maddeningly, we appeal to it even to justify wrongdoing; rationalization is the homage paid by sin to guilty knowledge.”
    – J. Budziszewski, What We Can’t Not Know: A Guide

    ,,, Although Ed George himself, (a Darwinian atheist), acts as if it it ‘self-evidently true’ that objective morality must exist, Ed George, within his Darwinian worldview, simply has no objective moral foundation that he can appeal to in order for him to justify his complaint about inequality at America’s founding..

    Indeed Darwinian evolution itself is based on differences, i.e. based on inequalities. It is most certainly not based on the equality of all souls before the eyes of God.

    Words & Dirt – Quotes 10-21-2015 – by Miles Raymer
    Excerpt: Let us try to translate the most famous line of the American Declaration of Independence into biological terms:
    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
    According to the science of biology, people were not ‘created’. They have evolved. And they certainly did not evolve to be ‘equal’. The idea of equality is inextricably intertwined with the idea of creation. The Americans got the idea of equality from Christianity, which argues that every person has a divinely created soul, and that all souls are equal before God. However, if we do not believe in the Christian myths about God, creation and souls, what does it mean that all people are ‘equal’? Evolution is based on difference, not on equality. Every person carries a somewhat different genetic code, and is exposed from birth to different environmental influences. This leads to the development of different qualities that carry with them different chances of survival. ‘Created equal’ should therefore be translated into ‘evolved differently’.,,,
    So here is that line from the American Declaration of Independence translated into biological terms:
    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men evolved differently, that they are born with certain mutable characteristics, and that among these are life and the pursuit of pleasure.
    http://www.words-and-dirt.com/.....0-21-2015/

    There simply is no such thing as equality among persons within Darwinian atheism. In fact, the full title of Darwin’s book is,,,

    “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life”

    When presented with the preceding fact, Darwinian atheists often try to claim that Charles Darwin was not a racist in his personal life. And that may very well be so. But “so what?”, none-the-less, Darwin himself understood perfectly well that his theory was inherently and violently racist in its implications.

    “At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes, as Professor Schaaffhausen has remarked, will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the negro or Australian and the gorilla”
    ? Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man, 1874, p. 178

    After writing that particular sentence, and understanding the true implications of his theory, I have no idea why Charles Darwin, (supposedly a strong supporter of equal rights in his personal life), did not immediately reject his theory as being self-evidently false.

    The world has paid dearly for Darwin’s inconsistency in his personal life when compared to the overt racism inherent in Darwin’s theory itself:

    From Darwin to Hitler
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_5EwYpLD6A

    Besides Darwin’s theory being inherently and overtly racist, Charles Darwin himself also maintained that his theory was inherently sexist. i.e. Women were considered to be biologically and intellectually inferior to men, according to Darwin’s theory:

    Women were biologically and intellectually inferior to men, according to Darwin. The intelligence gap that Darwinists believed existed between males and females was not minor, but of a level that caused some evolutionists to classify the sexes as two distinct psychological species, males as Homo frontalis and females as Homo parietalis. In The Descent of Man, Darwin argued –
    “The chief distinction in the intellectual powers of the two sexes is shown by man’s attaining to a higher eminence in whatever he takes up, than can a woman—whether requiring deep thought, reason, or imagination, or merely the use of the senses and hands.”
    In The Origin of Species, natural selection was developed along-side of sexual selection. Males were like animal breeders, shaping women to their liking by sexual selection on the one hand along with the recognition men were exposed to far greater selective pressures than women, especially in war and competition for mates, food, and clothing on the other hand. From Darwin’s perspective, males have evolved further than females from a Darwinian perspective.
    As Jerry Bergman explains, “Natural selection would consequently operate far more actively on males, producing male superiority in virtually all skill areas.”
    http://www.darwinthenandnow.co.....of-terror/

    And again, when presented with the preceding fact, Darwinists will often point out that Darwin himself treated women with great respect during his lifetime, Yet, that does not detract one bit from the fact that Darwin’s theory itself is inherently racist and sexist in its implications.

    That Darwin himself, did not, and indeed could not, consistently live his personal life as if if his theory was actually true, (directly contrary to what Darwinists try to imply about Darwin’s personal life somehow trumping the racist and sexist implications of his theory), is proof that his theory cannot possibly be a true reflection of reality as it really is, but that his theory instead MUST BE based on a delusional view of reality:

    The fact that Darwinian atheism MUST BE based on a delusional view of reality is best illustrated by the fact that Darwin’s theory, (when stripped down to its reductive materialistic foundation), denies the objective existence of ‘persons’, which is, by far, the most certain thing anyone can possibly know about reality. i.e. Descartes “I Think, therefore I am!”. There simply is no such thing as a ‘person’ and/or personhood within Darwinian materialism. Thus, since there are no ‘persons’, then, of course, it directly follows that there never can truly be equality among ‘persons’ within Darwinian theory:

    “You are robots made out of meat. Which is what I am going to try to convince you of today”
    Jerry Coyne – No, You’re Not a Robot Made Out of Meat (Science Uprising 02) – video
    https://youtu.be/rQo6SWjwQIk?list=PLR8eQzfCOiS1OmYcqv_yQSpje4p7rAE7-&t=20

    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.
    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

    And yet, although the reductive materialism of Darwinian atheism explicitly denies the objective reality of ‘persons’, Darwinists themselves act as if they really exist as real persons. Indeed, it is completely impossible for them to live their lives as is they were not real persons.

    The Heretic – Who is Thomas Nagel and why are so many of his fellow academics condemning him? – March 25, 2013
    Excerpt:,,,Fortunately, materialism is never translated into life as it’s lived. As colleagues and friends, husbands and mothers, wives and fathers, sons and daughters, materialists never put their money where their mouth is. Nobody thinks his daughter is just molecules in motion and nothing but; nobody thinks the Holocaust was evil, but only in a relative, provisional sense. A materialist who lived his life according to his professed convictions—understanding himself to have no moral agency at all, seeing his friends and enemies and family as genetically determined robots—wouldn’t just be a materialist: He’d be a psychopath.
    http://www.weeklystandard.com/.....tml?page=3

    In what should be needless to say, if it is impossible for you to live as if your worldview were actually true then your worldview cannot possibly reflect reality as it really is but your worldview must instead be based on a delusion.

    Existential Argument against Atheism – November 1, 2013 by Jason Petersen
    1. If a worldview is true then you should be able to live consistently with that worldview.
    2. Atheists are unable to live consistently with their worldview.
    3. If you can’t live consistently with an atheist worldview then the worldview does not reflect reality.
    4. If a worldview does not reflect reality then that worldview is a delusion.
    5. If atheism is a delusion then atheism cannot be true.
    Conclusion: Atheism is false.
    http://answersforhope.com/exis.....t-atheism/

    Thus in conclusion, the critical and fatal flaw in Ed’s ‘moral reasoning’ is that Ed George, (again a Darwinian atheist), is appealing to objective moral laws. Yet there simply are no objective morals, (nor person’s), within Ed’s worldview. As Van Till pointed out, Ed needs God to even be able to argue against God in the first place.

    “Hawking’s entire argument is built upon theism. He is, as Cornelius Van Til put it, like the child who must climb up onto his father’s lap into order to slap his face.
    Take that part about the “human mind” for example. Under atheism there is no such thing as a mind. There is no such thing as understanding and no such thing as truth. All Hawking is left with is a box, called a skull, which contains a bunch of molecules. Hawking needs God In order to deny Him.”
    – Cornelius Hunter

    In short, Ed’s moral argument against the founding fathers of America self-refutes his entire Darwinian worldview, Ed’s ‘moral argument’ would be a comical farce were it not for the unmitigated horror that his atheistic worldview entails.

    The unmitigated horror that atheistic Totalitarian regimes have unleashed on man is hard to exaggerate or to even imagine.

    A Dehumanizing Ideology Unsurprisingly Catalyzes Violence – Michael Egnor – August 7, 2016
    Excerpt: And it is precisely the metaphysical commitments Coyne has championed that have catalyzed atheist violence — the denial of an objective moral law, the denial of eternal accountability for transgressions, the reduction of human beings to animals or even to meat robots, deprived of free will or of any claim to human exceptionalism. These are all tenets of atheist belief, and Coyne himself is one of the loudest salesman for the dehumanizing ideology inherent to atheism.
    Just how violent and repressive can atheism be?,,,
    In the past century, a number of nations have been governed by explicitly atheist governments. Atheist governments murdered more than 100 million people during the 20th century.,,,
    Looking at modern history, we see: Christian culture creates reasonable and tolerant democracies. Islamic regimes create repressive theocracies. Atheist regimes create totalitarian hellholes.
    The denial of free will and the other anti-human inferences inherent to atheism are not merely theoretical affronts to humanity.
    The fact is that atheism is the most violent ideology in the 20th century, and given its short run and unprecedented rate of state-sanctioned murder, it is also the most violent and repressive ideology in human history.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....03055.html

    Verse:

    Galatians 3:28
    There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

  20. 20
    drc466 says:

    Quick quiz for Ed George:
    1) Who/what was the driving force and bore the highest cost behind the end of slavery?
    2) Who/what was the driving force behind universal suffrage?
    3) Compare/contrast the results of a) allowing native societies to segregate and live under their own laws/rules (e.g. Native Americans) and b) requiring native societies to integrate certain precepts of Judeo-Christian Western European rules/belief systems (e.g. Asian Indians).

    Re: Creativity and Totalitarianism
    What most people (and every parent!) knows instinctively and through experience is that a) rewarded behavior increases and b) punished behavior decreases. You will always get creativity when the person being creative feels rewarded by the creative act itself and is not punished for it (e.g. Rembrandt, Bach). You will get more creative behavior when the behavior is rewarded above/beyond the act itself. This is why free market capitalist societies are more creative – money! Totalitarian states can be just as creative, as long as they are free market property rights respecting (or at least reward the creator). Nazi Germany is a decent example – while the Fascist regime directed the work of German companies in many cases, the companies still operated on a for-profit basis, and skilled workers were compensated accordingly.

    China’s challenge is the same as that of the old U.S.S.R., however – while they have certainly implemented a number of free market reforms, their economy is still primarily communist, with workers compensation not directly related to their productivity, creativity, or skill. As the U.S.S.R. eventually found out, if you don’t reward behavior, “pride in your work” eventually fails to be sufficient reward in and of itself, and productivity (and concomitant creativity) drops off precipitously. Why come up with a new idea if the government is just going to take it and you get nothing? And coming up with new ideas is discouraged anyway, as the government trains youth in “follow orders and be a good citizen” mentality.

    It’s not complicated – reward what you want more of, punish what you don’t. It’s the reason economies that are capitalist, free market, property rights and rule of law based are the most successful and creative. Socialism and communism stomp on several of those precepts.

  21. 21
    Ed George says:

    KF

    EG, cut the cultural marxist undermining of critical civilisational advancements, please.

    You have a nice way with hyperbole.

    Only six people who signed the DOI (a non-binding document) also signed the constitution (a binding document). There is nothing in the constitution about equality. Although it does specifically state that blacks are only worth a fraction of what a white land owner is worth. I know the argument that this was included to appease southern states so that they could have more representation. A compromise, by the way, that was only required because the founding fathers did not believe that all humans were equal. Natives didn’t get the vote until 1924. Blacks didn’t get the vote until 1870, although this was actively repressed in several states well into the 1960s. Chinese Immigrants could not vote until 1943. Jews in Maryland could not vote until 1828. Women could not vote until 1920. And none of these rights were the result of the government simply deciding that it was the right thing to do. These all had to be fought for.

    To suggest that universal equality was the goal of the people who drafted the constitution is simply turning a blind eye to reality. But I understand why some would be upset at someone who brings this up. To acknowledge reality would be to acknowledge that progressive ideas often advance civilization in a positive way. I’m sure that conservatives of the day criticized these changes as being enacted through the false colour of law. Much like the arguments used against LGBQ laws.

  22. 22
    bornagain77 says:

    Ed George has a distorted view of history, He states,

    “I’m sure that conservatives of the day criticized these changes as being enacted through the false colour of law. Much like the arguments used against LGBQ laws.”

    And yet the facts of history are far different,,,

    Dinesh D’Souza: The secret history of the Democratic Party – 2016
    Excerpt: Contrary to what we learn from progressives in education and the media, the history of the Democratic Party well into the twentieth century is a virtually uninterrupted history of thievery, corruption and bigotry. American history is the story of Democratic malefactors and Republican heroes. Yes, it’s true.
    I begin with Andrew Jackson. He—not Thomas Jefferson or FDR—is the true founder of the modern Democratic Party. Progressives today are divided about Jackson. Some, like historian Sean Wilentz, admire him, while others want to remove him from the $20 bill because he was a slaveowner and a vicious Indian fighter. He was, in this view, a very bad American.
    I support the debunking of Jackson, but not because he was a bad American—rather, because he was a typical crooked Democrat. Jackson established the Democratic Party as the party of theft. He mastered the art of stealing land from the Indians and then selling it at giveaway prices to white settlers. Jackson’s expectation was that those people would support him politically, as indeed they did. Jackson was indeed a “man of the people,” but his popularity was that of a gang leader who distributes his spoils in exchange for loyalty on the part of those who benefit from his crimes.,,,
    The Democrats were also the party of slavery, and the slave-owning mentality continues to shape the policies of Democratic leaders today. The point isn’t that the Democrats invented slavery which is an ancient institution that far predates America. Rather, Democrats like Senator John C. Calhoun invented a new justification for slavery, slavery as a “positive good.” For the first time in history, Democrats insisted that slavery wasn’t just beneficial for masters; they said it was also good for the slaves.
    Today progressive pundits attempt to conceal Democratic complicity in slavery by blaming slavery on the “South.” These people have spun a whole history that portrays the slavery battle as one between the anti-slavery North and the pro-slavery South. This of course benefits Democrats today, because today the Democratic Party’s main strength is in the north and the Republican Party’s main strength is in the South.
    But the slavery battle was not mainly a North-South issue. It was actually a battle between the pro-slavery Democrats and the anti-slavery Republicans. How can I make such an outrageous statement? Let’s begin by recalling that northern Democrats like Stephen Douglas protected slavery, while most southerners didn’t own slaves. (Three fourths of those who fought in the civil war on the confederate side had no slaves and weren’t fighting to protect slavery.)
    Republicans, meanwhile, to one degree or another, all opposed slavery. The party itself was founded to stop slavery. Of course there were a range of views among Republicans, from abolitionists who sought immediately to end slavery to Republicans like Abraham Lincoln who recognized that this was both constitutionally and politically impossible and focused on arresting slavery’s extension into the new territories. This was the main platform on which Lincoln won the 1860 election.
    The real clash was between the Democrats, north and south, who supported slavery and the Republicans across the country who opposed it. As Lincoln summarized it in his First Inaugural Address, one side believes slavery is right and ought to be extended, and the other believes it is wrong and ought to be restricted. “This,” Lincoln said, “is the only substantial dispute.” And this, ultimately, was what the Civil War was all about.
    In the end, of course, Republicans ended slavery and permanently outlawed it through the Thirteenth Amendment. Democrats responded by opposing the Amendment and a group of them assassinated the man they held responsible for emancipation, Abraham Lincoln. Republicans passed the Fourteenth Amendment securing for blacks equal rights under the law, and the Fifteenth Amendment giving blacks the right to vote, over the Democrats’ opposition.
    Confronted with these irrefutable facts, progressives act like the lawyer who is presented with the murder weapon belonging to his client. Darn, he says to himself, I better think fast. “Yes,” he now admits, “my client did murder the clerk and rob the store. But he didn’t kill all those other people who were also found dead at the scene.”
    In other words, progressives who are forced to acknowledge the Democratic Party’s pro-slavery history promptly respond, “We admit to being the party of slavery, and we did uphold the institution for more than a century, but slavery ended in 1865, so all of this was such a long time ago. You can’t blame us now for the antebellum wrongs of the Democratic Party.”
    Yes, but what about the postbellum crimes of the Democratic Party? From Democratic support for slavery, let’s turn to the party’s complicity in segregation and the Ku Klux Klan. Democrats in the 1880s invented segregation and Jim Crow laws that lasted through the 1960s. Democrats also came up with the “separate but equal” rationale that justified segregation and pretended that it was for the benefit of African Americans.
    The Ku Klux Klan was founded in 1866 in Pulaski, Tennessee by a group of former confederate soldiers; its first grand wizard was a confederate general who was also a delegate to the Democratic National Convention. The Klan soon spread beyond the South to the Midwest and the West and became, in the words of historian Eric Foner, “the domestic terrorist arm of the Democratic Party.”
    The main point of the Klan’s orgy of violence was to prevent blacks from voting—voting, that is, for Republicans. Leading Democrats including at least one president, two Supreme Court justices, and innumerable Senators and Congressmen were Klan members. The last one, Robert Byrd, died in 2010 and was eulogized by President Obama and former President Bill Clinton.
    The sordid history of the Democratic Party in the early twentieth century is also married to the sordid history of the progressive movement during the same period. Progressives like Margaret Sanger—founder of Planned Parenthood and a role model for Hillary Clinton—supported such causes as eugenics and social Darwinism. While abortion was not an issue in Sanger’s day, she backed forced sterilization for “unfit” people, notably minorities. Sanger’s Negro Project was specifically focused on reducing the black population.
    Progressives also led the campaign to stop poor immigrants from coming to this country. They championed laws in the 1920s that brought the massive flows of immigration to this country to a virtual halt. The motives of the progressives were openly racist and and in the way the immigration restrictions were framed, progressives succeeded in broadening the Democratic Party’s target list of minority groups.
    While the Democratic Party previously singled out blacks and native Indians, progressives showed Democrats how to suppress all minorities. Included in the new list were Central and South American Hispanics as well as Eastern and Southern Europeans. Many of these people were clearly white but progressives did not consider white enough. Like blacks, they were considered “unfit” on the basis of their complexion.
    During the 1920s, progressives developed a fascination with and admiration for Italian and German fascism, and the fascists, for their part, praised American progressives. These were likeminded people who spoke the same language, and progressives and fascists worked together to implement programs to sterilize so-called mental defectives and “unfit” people, resulting subsequently in tens of thousands of forced sterilizations in America and hundreds of thousands in Nazi Germany.
    During the 1930s, President Franklin D. Roosevelt sent members of his brain trust to Europe to study fascist economic programs, which he considered more advanced that anything his New Deal had implemented to date. FDR was enamored with Mussolini, whom he called the “admirable Italian gentleman.” Some Democrats even had a soft spot for Hitler: young JFK went to Germany before World War II and praised Hitler as a “legend” and blamed hostility to the Nazis as jealousy resulting from how much the Nazis had accomplished.
    Yes, I know. Very little of this is known by people today because progressives have done such a good job of sweeping it all under the rug. This material is simply left out of the textbooks even though it is right there in the historical record. Some progressive pundits know about it, but they don’t want to talk about it.
    Indeed many progressives have been working hard to come up with lies that can be passed off as facts. Progressives have a whole cultural contingent—Hollywood, the mainline media, the elite universities, even professional comedians—to peddle their propaganda. From the television show Madame Secretary to the front page of the New York Times to nightly quips by Stephen Colbert, the progressive bilge comes at us continually and relentlessly.
    In this bogus narrative, Republicans are the bad guys because Republicans opposed the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. For progressive Democrats, the civil rights movement is the canonical event of American history. It is even more important than the American Revolution. Progressive reasoning is: we did this, so it must be the greatest thing that was ever done in America. Republicans opposed it, which makes them the bad guys.
    The only problem is that Republicans were instrumental—actually indispensable—in getting the Civil Rights Laws passed. While Lyndon Johnson pushed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 with the backing of some northern Democrats, Republicans voted in far higher percentages for the bill than Democrats did. This was also true of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Neither would have passed with just Democratic votes. Indeed, the main opposition to both bills came from Democrats.
    Interestingly enough the GOP is not merely the party of minority rights but also of women’s rights. Republicans included women’s suffrage in the party’s platform as early as 1896. The first woman elected to Congress was Republican Jeanette Rankin in 1916. That year represented a major GOP push for suffrage, and after the GOP regained control of Congress, the Nineteenth Amendment granting women’s suffrage was finally approved in 1919 and ratified by the states the following year.
    The inclusion of women in the 1964 Civil Rights Act was, oddly enough, the work of group of racist, chauvinist Democrats. Led by Democratic Congressman Howard Smith of Virginia, this group was looking to defeat the Civil Rights Act. Smith proposed to amend the legislation and add “sex” to “race” as a category protected against discrimination.
    Smith’s Democratic buddies roared with laughter when he offered his one-word amendment. They thought it would make the whole civil rights thing so ridiculous that no sane person would go along with it. One scholar noted that Smith’s amendment “stimulated several hours of humorous debate” among racist, chauvinist Democrats. But to their amazement, the amended version of the bill passed. It bears repeating that Republicans provided the margin of victory that extended civil rights protection both to minorities and to women.
    https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/dinesh-dsouza-the-secret-history-of-the-democratic-party
    This article is excerpted from Dinesh D’Souza’s new book Hillary’s America, which was published this month by Regnery and is accompanied by a film of the same name that opened in theaters nationwide on July 22.

    notes:

    The Republican Party traces its roots to the 1850s, when antislavery leaders (including former members of the Democratic, Whig, and Free-Soil parties) joined forces to oppose the extension of slavery into the Kansas and Nebraska territories by the proposed Kansas-Nebraska Act.
    https://www.britannica.com/topic/Republican-Party

    Why Did the Democratic South Become Republican? – video
    The south used to vote Democrat. Now it votes Republican. Why the switch? Was it, as some people (progressives) say, because the GOP decided to appeal to racist whites? Carol Swain, Professor of Political Science at Vanderbilt University, explains (debunks that false narrative).
    https://www.prageru.com/video/why-did-the-democratic-south-become-republican/

  23. 23
    jerry says:

    The modern world arose out of a century and half process in England and to a lesser extent in Holland. Starting with Henry VIII gradually morphing over time, the common man became free. This was due to religious wars amongst Protestants mainly in England which gradually led to less power for the king and more for parliament. While parliament was controlled by wealthy land owners this conflict trickled down to more freedom for the average person. They then could reap the benefits of their labor. Then this led to the Industrial revolution.

    This led to even more freedom in some of the British colonies as Pennsylvania became known as the “poor man’s” country. About 80,000 poor Germans migrated to Pennsylvania and became prosperous. This then led to one innovation after the other as prosperity accelerated in the United States and Western Europe.

    If one just looks at history most innovation took place in free governments.

    My guess is that if Henry.VIII had four sons by Catherine and 10 grandsons, the modern world might have evolve but much later. Just look at the development of Latin America vs English North America.

    The most powerful man in the world in Henry’s time was Catherine’s nephew, Charles the Fifth of Spain and the Hapsburgs. The English colonies would not have been free and the modern world would have looked very different.

  24. 24
    kairosfocus says:

    EG, you continue the error. FYI, the US Constitution BUILDS ON AND SEEKS TO DELIVER THE NEW GOVERNMENT envisioned in para 2, DOI (and reflecting a line of thought deriving from nation under God, Government with consent also under God that secures blessings of liberty); indeed, it was a second and more successful attempt after the 1778 Articles of Confederation. Moreover, you reflect the now patently nihilistic positivist view on law, both the DOI and the Const in that context are based on the laws of nature and of nature’s God, our creator. That is, they turn on the understanding that first duties of responsible reason obtain for individual and society alike which set the framework of laws we did not invent nor can we amend, that establish justice and regulate laws and Constitutions. Things that start with inescapable duties to truth, to right reason, to prudence, to sound conscience, to justice etc. BTW, you cite a falsity as a fact, the reckoning of the non-free population at a fractional level for representatives was advocated by ANTI-slavery northerners so they would not be overwhelmed by slave-holders. Along the way you fail to reckon with the struggle of reformation, demanding a backward imposition of your preferences [and onward agenda] in an unhistoric radical way that fails to deal with the necessary compromises that make genuine, peaceful progress rather than radical, misanthropic reigns of terror as we saw again and again starting with the French revolution. Notice, how 30 years ago the assured ironclad course of history failed, after 60 million were murdered behind the Iron curtain. One effect of that radicalism is that you cut off the hard-bought, paid for in blood lessons of precisely said history. That dooms us to relive the same blunders and pay the same coin over and over again. And that is as good an explanation of the current resort to star chamber as any. More can be said, this is enough to point out the main errors and overlooked, hard bought lessons. KF

  25. 25
    jerry says:

    I suggest Ed George read Lincoln’s Cooper Union speech. It’s the speech that made him president. He discusses slavery in detail.

    Also I like to see where progressive ideas led to the modern world in any way.

  26. 26
    ET says:

    Ed George:

    To suggest that universal equality was the goal of the people who drafted the constitution is simply turning a blind eye to reality.

    And yet reality says that goal was eventually achieved. Back when the US was starting out I am glad not everyone could vote. The Republic was a great idea. And it worked.

  27. 27
    vividbleau says:

    BA re 22
    Outstanding! Also don’t forget Dredd Scott and the progressive fascist Woodrow Wilson

    Vivid

  28. 28
    vividbleau says:

    I meant to say WW was a racist. Hell he showed “Birth of the Nation” in the Whitehouse.

    Vivid

  29. 29
    Seversky says:

    The Founding Fathers were, to varying degrees, racist by modern (progressive) standards. Why else would those attitudes have been embodied in Article 1, Section 2, Clause 3 of the United States Constitution, which reads:

    Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.

    All men being created equal is a wonderful ideal but one to which the Founding Fathers and their successors only paid lip service. The fact that women, African-Americans and Native Americans were denied some measure of equality for so long is an indication that an influential number of white Americans did not endorse all the ideals set out in their own Declaration of Independence.

    And is Dinesh D’Souza really arguing that the Democratic Party of the 21st century is ideologically indistinguishable from that of Southern slave-owners of the 19th century or that Trump’s Republican Party is pursuing an agenda as radical or progressive as the abolitionist policy was at the time of the Party’s formation?

  30. 30
    vividbleau says:

    “All men being created equal is a wonderful ideal but one to which the Founding Fathers and their successors only paid lip service”

    Some paid lip service and some lived up to that ideal. You might want to acquaint yourself with Manasseh Cutler and the passage of the Northwest Ordinance passed two years before the Constitution. As to the present day last I looked the progressive Democratic Party is still the party of nullification among other things.

    Vivid

  31. 31
    vividbleau says:

    “The Founding Fathers were, to varying degrees, racist by modern (progressive) standards”

    That’s not saying much since by modern progressive standards anyone who is a religious white male non progressive is a racist. Any female who is in that same category is a racist. Any non religious white conservative non progressive white male or female is a racist. Any African American that is not a progressive is a traitor to their race. If a person is not a racist means your a racist , etc,etc, blah blah blah.

    Vivid

  32. 32
    BobRyan says:

    Madam C. J. Walker was the first generation of her family to be born free. She was born into poverty and became the first female self-made millionaire in the history of the world. The United States, despite it’s problems, is the only place this could have happened. There is no equivalent anywhere else.

  33. 33
    BobRyan says:

    It’s been said by many that the United States was formed as a Christian nation. It was not formed as Christian, but Judaeo-Christian. There has never been any other country to include the Jewish root of Christianity and it serves as a reminder of the various sects of Christianity that there is common ground.

    In Europe, Catholics and Protestants have been killing each other for centuries, but that did not happen here. There have been a few cases, but nothing to the extent of Europe. Here, differences are openly debated and discussed.

  34. 34
    kairosfocus says:

    Seversky,

    Pardon, but kindly re-read what you cited, taking off manipulative rhetorical blinkers that ignore the foundational creation-anchored ontological view that is in the US DoI, our creation as inherently equally human:

    Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers,

    [–> i.e. population. Of what, people, humans created in God’s image thus possessing inherent ontological equality of person]

    which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.

    Persons, here, is natural persons, i.e. people.

    As I noted above to EG, “BTW, you cite a falsity as a fact, the reckoning of the non-free population at a fractional level for representatives was advocated by ANTI-slavery northerners so they would not be overwhelmed by slave-holders.”

    It is a rhetorical misinterpretation to infer or assert that equality of ontological personhood as human is rejected in the text. A difficult compromise is being struck, to try to avert a catastrophe, why union was so important to founders and framers.

    Recall, for many centuries, the multitude of German states had been part of the Holy Roman Empire, complete with an electoral college that chose the succession. In the aftermath of the Protestant Reformation (itself a reaction to papal abuses and excesses), a fundamental divide had emerged, ending up in the 30 years war and a death toll of about a million per year. More broadly, you could see the conflicts between French and British since the Norman-French conquest of 1066, similar conflicts in Italy and more, with the contrast of the Swiss Federation and the Dutch Republic.

    The framers were determined that the united States would avert such, if at all possible — though in the end, this failed and failed over bleeding Kansas [i.e. confinement towards eradication vs extension of slavery ending up with rival governments], leading to emerging civil strife that flared into the bloodiest, most directly ruinous war in US history when Southern States refused to accept a Republican President, setting out on breaking the union.

    A very familiar pattern since c 2000.

    Further to this, we need to ask why something so patent is being routinely misunderstood, wrenched and used divisively and dismissively. The answer, partly, is simple ignorance of relevant history. That is being manipulated by those who hope to profit politically from polarisation, i.e. divide in order to rule by being the manager of the conflicts. It is further compounded by the cultural marxist project of simplistically reducing the past to oppression to be dismissed in favour of an evergreen utopian radicalism that ignores hard bought, bloody lessons of history. As well, there is intent to suppress the influence of ethical theism and the vision that we are responsibly, rationally free, morally governed creatures under built in creation rooted law that is inescapably part of our nature. That built-in endowment that grants us unalienable rights, starting with life, liberty and fulfillment of our sense of purpose under God [i.e. pursuit of happiness].

    It is in this context that the force of Paul’s epistle to Philemon c 61 AD takes impact as he argues about an escaped slave, Onesimus, and draws out fundamental principles of godly, liberating transformation that should have been heeded:

    Philemon English Standard Version (ESV)
    Greeting

    1 Paul [–> a Jew], a prisoner for Christ Jesus, and Timothy [–> a half-Gentile] our brother [–> a key, creation-anchored view, we are all united in common human descent from the founding human family],

    To Philemon our beloved fellow worker 2 and Apphia our sister [–> Philemon’s wife] and Archippus our fellow soldier [–> likely, son, who was a minister], and the church in your house:

    3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
    Philemon’s Love and Faith

    4 I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers, 5 because I hear of your love and of the faith that you have toward the Lord Jesus and for all the saints, 6 and I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ.[a]

    [–> implication, growth in knowledge required, note the implicit compromise struck given a higher issue, here, salvation of humanity in the midst of a world of many wrongs tracing to sinful rebellion . . . go for the root of the weeds first]

    7 For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you.

    Paul’s Plea for Onesimus

    8 Accordingly, though I am bold enough in Christ to command you to do what is required, 9 yet for love’s sake I prefer to appeal to you—I, Paul, an old man and now a prisoner also for Christ Jesus— 10 I appeal to you for my child, Onesimus,[b] whose father I became in my imprisonment. 11 (Formerly he was useless to you, but now he is indeed useful to you and to me. [–> Onesimus means, useful]) 12 I am sending him back to you [–> runaway and thief returned, under new circumstances], sending my very heart. 13 I would have been glad to keep him with me, in order that he might serve me on your behalf during my imprisonment for the gospel, 14 but I preferred to do nothing without your consent [–> seeks moral growth] in order that your goodness might not be by compulsion but of your own accord. 15 For this perhaps is why he was parted from you for a while, that you might have him back forever, 16 no longer as a bondservant[c] but more than a bondservant, as a beloved brother [–> rhetorical and ontological pivot of the case]—especially to me, but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord. [–> points to a common ontological root, a common fall, a common remedy of salvation through a common Saviour]

    17 So if you consider me your partner, receive him as you would receive me. 18 If he has wronged you at all, or owes you anything, charge that to my account [–> compensation, covering losses, recall, this was to be read to the church out loud]. 19 I, Paul, write this with my own hand: I will repay it—to say nothing of your owing me even your own self. 20 Yes, brother, I want some benefit from you in the Lord. Refresh my heart in Christ.

    21 Confident of your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I say. 22 At the same time, prepare a guest room for me, for I am hoping that through your prayers I will be graciously given to you.

    Final Greetings

    23 Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends greetings to you, 24 and so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my fellow workers.

    25 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. [–> Note, c AD 107, a certain Bishop Onesimus is noted of that area, this may be his manumission letter]

    Footnotes:

    Philemon 1:6 Or for Christ’s service
    Philemon 1:10 Onesimus means useful (see verse 11) or beneficial (see verse 20)
    Philemon 1:16 For the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface; twice in this verse

    English Standard Version (ESV)

    We see here, ontological undermining of the entire system of slavery and suppression in breach of the fundamental unity of humanity. Without, rising up in futile bloody revolt that would only end in defeat, mass slaughter and mass enslavement. Recall, 6,000 crosses lining the Appian Way and what would happen in only a few years with the first Judaean uprising under the Zealots. Of course, the church would then face waves of persecution, but that was also seen as unjust oppression.

    We need to do some re-thinking.

    KF

  35. 35
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky, (an atheistic materialist for whom free will, personhood, and morality are merely illusions), bemoans the slavery of other people.

    Yet without free will, how is Seversky anything more than a slave himself?

    Without personhood, how is Seversky anything more than a meat robot?

    Without morality, how can the meat robot of Seversky bemoan the plight of other meat robots as somehow being worse than his own plight?

    Bottom line, if Seversky truly wants to bemoan slavery, he would do very well to first reject his own materialistic philosophy for which there is no other option but slavery.

    No where has this completely insane, ‘slave’, materialistic philosophy played out more forcefully in society than in the claim from atheistic secularists that gay persons are ‘born that way’, i.e. that they are forever ‘slaves’ to their sexual desires. and that Christian counselors who seek to help gay persons overcome their same sex attraction are, of all things, ‘evil’ for even trying to do so. And yet, on the other hand, these same atheistic secularists claim that gender identity is fluid and is merely a matter of a person’s choice and that society should therefore respect their ‘choice’ to be a different gender. Unquestionably accept that ‘choice’ to the point of insanely allowing high school boys to shower in girls locker rooms and even allowing grown men to compete in women’s sports..

    To put it mildly, and as Dr. Jordan Peterson pointed out, this position is completely insane

    Jordan Peterson: Gender ideology is ‘completely insane’ – March 23, 2018
    (LifeSiteNews) – “The LGBT lobby is dead set against anything that smacks of conversion therapy, the idea that you could convert someone who has a primarily homosexual identity to someone who has a primarily heterosexual [identity],” he told Trussell. “It’s illegal in Ontario and in many [American] states now to even attempt that. But if there’s complete independence between the biology, the identity, the expression and the sexual preference, then there’s no reason to assume that it can’t be changed.”
    Bolstering his argument, Peterson mentioned the ultimate conclusion of gender ideology, namely that gender is totally fluid. Some activists teach that a person can be a man one day and a woman the next, or even change sexual identity from minute to minute.
    “If it’s that fluid, and it’s only dependent on subjective choice, which is what the legislation now insists, then why can’t that argument be used by conservatives to say exactly the same thing about sexual preference?”
    https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/jordan-peterson-gender-theory-has-become-unquestionable-doctrine-thats-comp

    Moreover, the denial of biological reality is also destructive to the transgender individuals as well

    The Transgender Movement and ‘Gender Identity’ in the Law
    By Peter Sprigg Senior Fellow for Policy Studies
    Virtually all people have a biological sex, identifiable at birth and immutable through life, which makes them either male or female. The transgender movement represents a denial of this physical reality.
    A Mental Disorder
    The belief that one is, or the desire to be, of a different “gender identity” from one’s biological sex has long been recognized as a mental disorder.[i] Psychiatrist Sander Breiner declares, “[W]hen an adult who is normal in appearance and functioning believes there is something ugly or defective in their appearance . . . there is a psychological problem.”[ii] Another psychiatrist, Rick Fitzgibbons, calls it “a fixed false belief . . . specifically a delusion.”[iii] Psychiatrist Paul McHugh declares, “It is a disorder of the mind. Not a disorder of the body.”[iv]
    Those who choose not to live with the “gender identity” that corresponds to their biological sex are known as “transgender” persons. (Note: The tiny number of persons who are “intersexed”—born with a mix of male and female genetic or biological characteristics—are in a separate category and are not considered “transgender.”[v])
    After extensive lobbying by transgender activists, the American Psychiatric Association changed the diagnosis of “Gender Identity Disorder” to “Gender Dysphoria” in 2013. It remains on the list of disorders, though, because, “To get insurance coverage for the medical treatments, individuals need a diagnosis.”[vi]
    Causes and Treatment of “Gender Dysphoria”
    While causality is difficult to determine, those who identify as transgender are more likely to have been victims of child sexual abuse or to have a history of trauma, loss, and family disruption.[vii]
    Susan Bradley, M.D. and Kenneth J. Zucker of the University of Toronto, leading experts in gender dysphoria in children, have declared that “clinicians should be optimistic, not nihilistic, about the possibility of helping the children to become more secure in their gender identity.”[viii] Psychiatrists have reported that gender dysphoria often occurs with other mental health problems in adults, and that it “improved in parallel during treatment” for those conditions.[ix]
    “Gender Reassignment” Surgery
    Full transition involves hormone treatments, breast surgery (removal or implants), other cosmetic surgery, genital reconstruction, and a change of personal identification. However, not every person seeking to live as the other sex will undergo surgery.[x]
    These surgical procedures are not always successful and can be extremely painful.[xi] A lifetime of hormone treatments can also have profound physical and psychological consequences.[xii] Psychiatrist Jon Meyer concluded that “surgery is not a proper treatment for a psychiatric disorder and it is clear to me that these patients have severe psychological problems that do not go away following surgery.”[xiii] High rates of suicide exist even among those who have already received gender reassignment surgery, which suggests that suicidal tendencies result from an underlying pathology.[xiv]
    https://www.frc.org/transgenderidentity

    Moreover, completely contrary to atheistic secularists’ claim that gay or transgender persons are ‘born that way’, and that they therefore are ‘slaves’ to their sexual desires, the fact of the matter is that there is no evidence that people are ‘born that way’:

    Born gay or transgender: Little evidence to support innate trait, Wednesday, August 24, 2016
    Excerpt: “a report finds scarce scientific evidence to conclude that gay and transgender people are “born that way. The 143-page paper, published this week in The New Atlantis journal, combs through hundreds of studies in search of a causal, biological explanation for sexual orientation and gender identity, but comes up empty. “The belief that sexual orientation is an innate, biologically fixed human property — that people are ‘born that way’ — is not supported by scientific evidence,” says the report, written by a psychiatrist and a biostatistician at Johns Hopkins University. “Likewise, the belief that gender identity is an innate, fixed human property independent of biological sex — so that a person might be a ‘man trapped in a woman’s body’ or a ‘woman trapped in a man’s body’ — is not supported by scientific evidence,””
    http://www.washingtontimes.com.....-evidence/

    There’s no evidence that a single ‘gay gene’ exists – Aug. 2019
    Excerpt: First reported at a genetics conference in 2018, the study found five genetic variants associated with having a same-sex sexual partner (SN: 10/20/18). But those variants, called SNPs, don’t predict people’s sexual behavior, researchers report in the Aug. 30 Science.
    “There is no ‘gay gene’ that determines whether someone has same-sex partners,” says Andrea Ganna, a geneticist at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and the University of Helsinki.
    https://www.sciencenews.org/article/no-evidence-that-gay-gene-exists

    Thus, it is simply another lie from atheistic secularists that gay people are forever slaves to their sexual desires, i.e. that they are ‘born that way’

    For proof I offer the following testimonies of gay people who were supposedly irredeemably ‘born that way’ but somehow managed to find freedom through Christ,

    Such Were Some Of You – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VKSFPdyH8x4
    “Such Were Some of You” (A Documentary) was inspired by the passage in 1st Corinthians 6:11 that declares that in Jesus’ day there was a population who had been so transformed by their relationship with Him that they were no longer “same-sex attracted” or at the very least, actively homosexual. They had found such a measure of healing from the brokenness and strongholds associated with what we now call homosexuality that they no longer considered themselves homosexual, nor did they act in that way. “Such Were Some of You” features interviews with a “cloud of present-day witnesses” who testify to the same life-transforming power of Jesus Christ. They describe the development of their same-sex attractions, what the gay lifestyle was like, what their conversion process was like, and the various ways that Jesus has brought healing to their broken places. “Such Were Some of You” lays out the facts about healing homosexual confusion and rejoices in the reality that Jesus Christ can heal anyone from anything while providing grace for the journey.

    Extended Interviews with 29 former homosexuals who are now Christians

    GUESTS – THE EXTENDED INTERVIEWS – videos – Extended Interviews with 29 former homosexuals who are now Christians
    http://suchweresomeofyou.org/

    David Bennett a gay rights activist has an experience with God – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-yehENU4s_Y

    Former Homosexual Reveals ‘Unmitigated Disaster of Gay Marriage’
    http://www.charismanews.com/op.....tColBottom

  36. 36
    bornagain77 says:

    Further note, there is a fairly profound confusion in the gay community between personal identity and a person’s sexual desire.

    Caitlyn Jenner and the Ironic Flaw of the Gay Agenda
    Excerpt: The great irony of the “gay agenda”—if that’s what you want to call it—is that it actually cheapens the very people it is proposing to protect. When people obnoxiously promote their sexuality, exalt their sexuality and wholly focus on their sexuality, then what they are saying is that they are first and foremost a sexual being. But the truth is they are so much more than that. As any married couple will tell you, while sex is indeed an important part of a healthy marriage, it is a relatively small part of a much greater, beautiful whole. The fact that so much of the gay debate devolves into applauding someone’s sexual bent as the most important part of themselves—is in fact WHO THEY ARE—does an immense disservice to the truth. You are not a sexual being. You are a human being. You are a spiritual being. You are an emotional being. You are a relational being. A creative being. Sex is a small part of who we all are, not the biggest part.
    http://www.charismanews.com/op.....gay-agenda

    Vacating Freud: Recovering Soul Identity in Light of the Gospel by Terrell Clemmons – 2017
    Excerpt: According to Dr. Rosaria Butterfield, who specialized in Queer Theory as a lesbian English professor at Syracuse University, the idea that one’s identity is tied to sexual desires is a product of the Freudian paradigm, which has thoroughly permeated our culture. In her first book, The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert: An English Professor’s Journey into Christian Faith, she detailed the inner landscape of her conversion to Christianity in her thirties, an experience she described as a mix of an alien abduction and a train wreck. In her second book, Openness Unhindered: Further Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert on Sexual Identity and Union with Christ, she proposes a more biblically faithful concept of identity as it relates to the Christian and sexuality.,,,
    http://www.salvomag.com/new/ar.....-freud.php

    Pete Buttigieg doesn’t get to make up his own Christianity – April 2019
    Except: Mr. Buttigieg, has it ever occurred to you, that the “Mike Pences of the world” don’t have a problem with “who you are,” but rather we just disagree with what you do? We believe human identity is much more than the sum total of someone’s sexual inclinations. In fact, the “creator” whom you so boldly reference makes this pretty clear.
    There is no place in His entire biblical narrative where He defines us by our desires. All of us, however, are known by our choices. We are made in His image, we have moral awareness and moral culpability. We can and should choose to not do some things we may be inclined to do. God help us if we don’t. One’s appetite for porn, polyamory, and any other heterosexual or homosexual act does not define you. Your decision as to whether or not you satiate such an appetite does.
    You see, Mr. Mayor, this is a matter of your proclivities, not your personhood. What you don’t seem to understand is that when it comes to your personal peccadillos, most all of the “Mike Pences of the world” really don’t want to know. Your sexual appetites are your business.
    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2019/apr/14/pete-buttigieg-doesnt-get-to-make-up-his-own-chris/

    Verse:

    John 8
    34 Jesus replied, “Truly, truly, I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35 A slave is not a permanent member of the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

    Merry Christmas, a King is born!

    for KING & COUNTRY – “Little Drummer Boy” | Live from CMA Country Christmas
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPcA4bQjWFw

  37. 37
    Silver Asiatic says:

    BobR

    It was not formed as Christian, but Judaeo-Christian …

    I had never heard that before.
    I’ve always seen it as America was an Anglo-Protestant nation.

    Judiasm played a role in the ethos and roots of the American Revolution, as did Masonry.
    The American founders were anti-Catholic, generally, although they were more tolerant since they had shared being persecuted by the Anglicans when they left England. There was never any love for the Spanish Catholics who first explored America. English military power won the day.

    There is one common view that I am respectful of:
    1. America. Protestant-Christian. Conservative. Prosperous, Anti-Progressive Moral. Beneficent.
    versus
    2. Progressivism, Secularism, Globalism, Atheism.

    I can’t quite totally line up with view #1 there.
    At the very least, the Revolution was a progressive movement itself, fighting for individual liberty against the conservatism of the Crown. We contributed to the French Revolution also which was a strong progressive movement.

    As for modern-America being a bastion of goodness and beneficence – I think that was true for a certain period of history.

    Today: America is the biggest promoter of Abortion, gay marriage, pornography, usury, birth control, and monopolistic-capitalism, and consumerism in the world.
    I’d consider it more of an evil empire than anything. And it’s mostly a progressive, secularist nation.
    We could look at the support that America gives to repressive governments like China as an example, also.

    We might say “ok, but it’s still better than the rest”. I don’t agree with that. I think Eastern European countries are turning against the American hegemony and are trying to build Christian-based civilizations.

  38. 38
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Vivid

    That’s not saying much since by modern progressive standards anyone who is a religious white male non progressive is a racist.

    It does seem that way. Although the term “white” itself is polarizing. With more and more intermarriage of races that term should be less descriptive, I’d hope.

  39. 39
    Axel says:

    @BA77

    ‘Yet without free will, how is Seversky anything more than a slave himself? Without personhood, how is Seversky anything more than a meat robot?’

    Ah, that kind of conceptual thinking is far too abstruse for atheists to take on board. It’s never happened has it ? Not on here.

  40. 40
    Ed George says:

    VB

    That’s not saying much since by modern progressive standards anyone who is a religious white male non progressive is a racist.

    Non-progressive does not mean racist. You can believe that welfare is bad, that universal health care is bad, that homosexuals shouldn’t be allowed to marry or serve in the military, that abortion should be banned, and oppose affirmative action without being a racist. However, if you believe that inter-racial marriages shouldn’t be allowed, that immigration should be dominated by white Christians, then you are a racist. It’s really quite simple.

    Getting back to the founding fathers and the constitution, anyone who believes that they intended for all humans, regardless of sex and race, haven’t read the constitution or a history book. KF’s “under false colour of law” is the same argument that was used against granting blacks, Chinese and women the vote, on legalizing inter-racial marriage, etc. The big question is, who decides what is constitutionally protected and what is “under false colour of law”?

  41. 41
    vividbleau says:

    “Non-progressive does not mean racist. You can believe that welfare is bad, that universal health care is bad, that homosexuals shouldn’t be allowed to marry or serve in the military, that abortion should be banned, and oppose affirmative action without being a racist.”

    Are you serious? Everyone of these positions are vilified by the progressive left and anyone who holds them are labeled racists.

    Merry Christmas

    Vivid

  42. 42
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Ed George

    However, if you believe that inter-racial marriages shouldn’t be allowed … then you are a racist.

    Judaism is racist?

    You can … oppose affirmative action without being a racist.

    You’re really stretching it here. Same with opposition to welfare.

  43. 43
    jerry says:

    The American founders were anti-Catholic, generally, although they were more tolerant since they had shared being persecuted by the Anglicans when they left England

    It was very different from colony to colony and the Church of England was well established in some colonies. . Pennsylvania was the most tolerant of all as all religions were accepted. Catholic Mass was openly celebrated in Philadelphia during the 1750’s though the community was small. This acceptance of diverse viewpoints led Philadelphia to be the most vibrant city in the Western Hemisphere. In the 18th century.

    While the constitution did not allow the establishment of a religion, it did not prevent the new states from doing so and some did.

  44. 44
    jerry says:

    Ed George

    I suggest you read Lincoln’s Cooper Union speech for a history of slavery in the US.

    Many of the states outlawed slavery in a very short time after the war.

  45. 45
    kairosfocus says:

    SA, it is probably more accurate to point to the hebraic roots of the Christian tradition. Don’t forget that Alfred’s Book of Dooms, a root of Common Law, literally starts with the Decalogue and civil law from the Pentateuch. Paul of Tarsus, of course literally embodied the Christian synthesis of Jerusalem, athens and Rome, and it is not insignificant that the superscription over Jesus’ head on the cross was written in three languages. KF

    PS: The late C18 Crown and Parliament were Enlightenment influenced. The US DoI harks back to the Reformation era, double covenant vision of nationhood and Government with the people’s consent, under God, The Glorious Revolution of 1688 and Locke had significant influence too, thus roots to Duplessis-Mornay’s Vindiciae Contra Tyrannos. There is also a direct line to the Dutch DoI, 1581 which has some surprising parallels. That points to Calvinism.

  46. 46
    Silver Asiatic says:

    KF

    it is probably more accurate to point to the hebraic roots of the Christian tradition

    Yes, but I think we normally say that Christianity is the fulfillment of the Old Testament. Jesus Christ is the king and Messiah of the Jews. Therefore His Kingdom (the Church) is the new Jerusalem.
    Whatever we call “Judiasm” following that is not a root of Christianity but rather a new religion opposed to the Christian faith.

    The Glorious Revolution of 1688 and Locke had significant influence too, thus roots to Duplessis-Mornay’s Vindiciae Contra Tyrannos.

    Yes. I’d consider that revolutionary movement as progressive – contra traditionalism. It actually gave the roots to secularism which is the current American ethos.

    There is also a direct line to the Dutch DoI, 1581 which has some surprising parallels. That points to Calvinism.

    Yes. The Puritans were English Calvinists, and the Huguenots were French Calvinists. The French eventually lost but they contributed to the intellectual foundation.

  47. 47
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Cooper Union Speech: http://www.abrahamlincolnonlin.....cooper.htm (too long to clip in toto) — it is indeed historically pivotal and corrective. KF

    PS: By 1784 – 7, accor to the speech, slavery was being banned in Territories of the US (and was retained in territories hived off from Southern States in which it was already present). The foreshadowings of the Civil War were there already.

  48. 48
    kairosfocus says:

    SA, I am not so sure that post 70 – 135 AD, Rabbinic Judaism is a novel religion, though it clearly reflects certain sects and not others. Clearly, that includes that Messianic Judaism which included Jews convinced that Jesus was Messiah (such as James the Just) was in abeyance more or less until our time, where it has clearly re-emerged. However, my main point is that Western Civilisation as we know it reflects a synthesis of the heritage of the three cities and so also the river valley civilisations of the Fertile Crescent though of course we are in an apostate and in some cases militantly anti-Christian phase in much of North America and Western Europe. Indeed, that cultural divide is a key part of the current toxic polarisation in the USA; now at bleeding Kansas lite civil war and spinning out of control through agit prop, media amplified street theatre, social and mass media lynch mobs and ruthlessly nihilistic lawfare. Where, we must not overlook the corrupting influence of the blood guilt of 63 million of our living posterity. Our civilisation is in grave danger, and needs to go back to its roots to seek reformation. Paul at Mars Hill c 50 AD and things onward from that would be an excellent place to begin. KF

  49. 49
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Jerry

    This acceptance of diverse viewpoints led Philadelphia to be the most vibrant city in the Western Hemisphere. In the 18th century.

    True. It remained that way for 100 years or so into the mid 19th century. It was a place of intellectual leadership and innovation.
    Unfortunately, around the mid 1800s the Catholic population started growing too large for the comfort of some, and there were violent attacks against Catholics for a while. The Know Nothing party started (in part) in Philadelphia around that time, and tried to formalize anti-Catholic sentiment in the American political landscape.
    Things settled down through the mid 1900s, although the Catholic population grew and was divided into ethnic neighborhoods.
    One theorist claims that integration of southern blacks who migrated to Philadelphia into the middle of Catholic ethnic neighborhoods in the mid-1960s was a deliberate scheme (by the city fathers) to break up the Catholic neighborhoods. Whether that was deliberate or not, Catholic neighborhoods in Philadelphia were largely destroyed as people left for the suburbs.
    The traditional Catholic high-birthrates all dropped off at that time so it didn’t make that much difference anyway.

  50. 50
    Silver Asiatic says:

    KF

    I am not so sure that post 70 – 135 AD, Rabbinic Judaism is a novel religion, though it clearly reflects certain sects and not others.

    Yes, it was a group of various sects with little agreement on leadership or direction. It remains as such today. The Talmud, for example, is entirely novel and post-Christian era. In all cases, there is no Temple, no Sacrifice, and therefore no Priesthood. It became a religion of the synagogue. Judiasm is newer than Christianity. There is virtually nothing in common between Hasidic, Conservative and Liberal. The one common element is that they are all opposed to and reject Jesus Christ, Son of God – the divine Logos. As I see it, Judiasm is not that much different from Islam.

    Indeed, that cultural divide is a key part of the current toxic polarisation in the USA; now at bleeding Kansas lite civil war and spinning out of control through agit prop, media amplified street theatre, social and mass media lynch mobs and ruthlessly nihilistic lawfare. Where, we must not overlook the corrupting influence of the blood guilt of 63 million of our living posterity.

    Yes, agreed. But I think this moral decay and cultural divide is part of the American Empire, at least as it stands today. The civil war resolved this division and there was a great benefit, however high the cost. Today, it looks to me like there’s a quiet revolution away from Christian standards.

    Our civilisation is in grave danger, and needs to go back to its roots to seek reformation. Paul at Mars Hill c 50 AD and things onward from that would be an excellent place to begin.

    True. At Mars Hill, St. Paul appealed to the common intellectual heritage- natural theology. He was able to build a foundation.

  51. 51
    kairosfocus says:

    SA, I note, during the Exile and for many years thereafter, the Temple did not exist, nor was there a Tabernacle. Likely, the Synagogue movement came from that time and was clearly present alongside the Temple in Jesus’ day. While there likely was no major written record of traditions [I do not consider the Dead Sea Scrolls to mark a mainstream tradition in the sectarian documents], even the debates and parties present in the Gospels clearly document a strong oral tradition passed down in acknowledged chains to and through men like Gamaliel. So, reduction to writing and additional writings would not be external and so divergent that we see a new religion. What we see is yes, a hardening against Jesus and his Apostles. Something Paul notes and deeply regrets in unmistakable terms. So, it is reasonable to see a Judaeo-Christian worldview with strong common elements and points of significant division that has too often ended in polarisation; sometimes in violence and oppression. Such, we must turn from, all the while standing by convictions of truth. In the same regard, at Mars Hill and in Ep Romans, Paul laid out lines of synthesis, pointing to the implanted evidence of God, who is there and is not silent. Given the chaos and nihilism on the march, we need to re-think and turn back from apostasy. KF

  52. 52
    Silver Asiatic says:

    If

    So, reduction to writing and additional writings would not be external and so divergent that we see a new religion.

    If these writings were directed by God, yes. But the Talmud is not divine revelation. It’s human text. They haven’t had a prophet from God or a temple in 2000 years. During the Exile they waited for God to direct them. Clearly there are contradictory Jewish sects now. These did not exist previously. It’s a new religion in the sense that there are conflicting ideas. Some jewish theologians teach that belief in God is not necessary to practice Judiasm. It is enough to adhere to tradition. This is a post Christian religion.

  53. 53
    kairosfocus says:

    SA, it is clear from Jesus’ interactions that there were significant problems with the oral tradition and some of its proponents. He still spoke of the leadership as sitting in Moses’ seat even though he was forced to speak woes upon them; similar to the attitudes of the prophets. Likewise, within the Christian tradition, much has gone wrong across 2,000 years — some of it utterly awful and sometimes apostate. Yes, doubtless some Jewish leaders have gone into atheism or agnosticism . . . the same can be said for some theologians and pastors and more. The basic legitimacy of the root in Abraham and in Moses and the prophets has not changed. I suggest, we must critique or correct as needed (just as I would say with the Orthodox/ Catholic/ Protestant and onward divides), and yes I have seen some things that need such; but that does not imply that we can write off, root and branch. KF

  54. 54
    BobRyan says:

    During the time of Jesus, Rabbi Yeshua, there were numerous movements (sects could also be used here). The Essenes were very strict in following Torah and spent much of their time studying. They chose to live in poverty and performing water purification rituals. It is believed that John the Baptist was one of them.

    The Pharisees were the keepers of the law and can be considered the Rabbis of their day. They were the only major movement to survive the destruction of the 2nd temple and developed the rabbinic movement. Jesus was a keeper of the law and would have been part of this movement early on, which is why they tested him on matters of the law.

    The Sadducees were drawn from important families, such as high ranking military officials. They pursued wealth and higher social standing. Not all believed in God, but those who did took on the view that God was far removed from man and the soul did not live on after death. Their focus was on temple worship alone and took the financial offerings for various Roman projects.

    The Pharisees and Sadducees were the two largest movement at the time of Jesus. They greatly disliked each other, in much the same way the Reform and Orthodox dislike each other today for much the same reasons. The Pharisees and Essenes believed in Oral Torah, but the Sadducees had long turned their backs on the tradition.

    The Sanhedrin was comprised of 80 elders and had been intended to represent the 12 tribes in government. By the time Jesus comes around, the Sadducees had taken control of the Sanhedrin and the Pharisees held very few seats and unable to govern anything. Any ruling given, such as sending a Rabbi to the Roman governor, would have come from the Sadducees.

    There was no unified voice in Israel at the time and all the people could not be spoken for by any one movement. The Sadducees did not have a problem with crucifixion, but the Pharisees had the opposite view. The law is clear and the only death penalty allowed is stoning, which required all involved to be certain of guilt. It was not an act taken lightly and rarely carried out.

    The Orthodox are directly descended from the Pharisees and follow both written and oral Torah. The Jewish people today do not speak in one voice any more than they spoke with one voice over 2000 years ago. There are vast differences between the movements today, just as there was at the time of Jesus. Not one movement under orthodox believes God is not necessary, since the laws come from God.

  55. 55
    BobRyan says:

    Genesis 17:7
    I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you.

    When God made his covenant with the Abraham, there was no end date given. It was always and forever. Not once was there any provision given. There are several times throughout the Tanakh (Jewish Bible) that refers to an everlasting covenant. Judges 2:1 is one of those passages, which states in part, “I will never break My covenant with you.”

  56. 56
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Bob R

    I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you.

    Yes, the covenant fulfilled in the Messiah, the King of the Jews. The covenant is for those faithful to God – to those who follow the true Messiah. Those who reject the Son of God are not inheritors. They are with the pagans and deists.

    When God made his covenant with the Abraham, there was no end date given. It was always and forever. Not once was there any provision given. There are several times throughout the Tanakh (Jewish Bible) that refers to an everlasting covenant. Judges 2:1 is one of those passages, which states in part, “I will never break My covenant with you.”

    As above, the children of Abraham are those in the Church of Jesus Christ. The followers of Jesus are the chosen people. The people who call themselves “Jews” today are not a part of the covenant.
    God is not interested in what DNA you have, or what country you live in.
    Jesus said nothing about the geographic territory of Israel. It means nothing. In God there is no Jew or Greek.
    Jesus rejected the idea that you become a child of Abraham by virtue of your genetic birth right.

    Many Christians think that modern Israel and the modern day Jewish religion (whatever it may be) is somehow a necessary part of Christian belief.
    Many actually think that the people who rejected Christ are the chosen people and are the possessors of a promise.

    Jesus is the fulfillment of the promise. He is the Messiah. The Jewish religion is that which rejected Jesus. They are waiting for some other Messiah – not the one that God sent. They inherit the sorrows and pains that come from a mistaken belief. They’re not the chosen people. Those who follow Jesus, and enter into His Church, the sheepfold, are the inheritors of the promise. They are the Chosen People. They are the new Jerusalem. It is the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. It does not depend on genetics, DNA or a patch of land in the middle East.

  57. 57
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Bob R

    The Orthodox are directly descended from the Pharisees and follow both written and oral Torah.

    It’s not direct descendants from the pre-Christian Jews. Orthodox Judaism is scattered among conflicting sects. It’s a modern religion. It’s a man-made construct.

    While adhering to traditional beliefs, the movement is a modern phenomenon. It arose as a result of the breakdown of the autonomous Jewish community since the 18th century, and was much shaped by a conscious struggle against the pressures of secularization and rival alternatives.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orthodox_Judaism

  58. 58
    BobRyan says:

    Silver Asiatic @ 56

    Which verse(s) gives an end date for God’s covenant with the Israelites, which includes the tribe of Judah? Not once does God tell them his covenant ends with the coming of Messiah. God tells them several times over that it is an everlasting covenant.

    A gentile man asked Jesus about circumcision. We know he was a gentile, since no Jewish man would ever ask about something that has already happened. Jesus did not say it was no longer needed, but instead told him if he followed one law, then he must follow all of the laws. The man was asking more about if there was a need to convert, but Judaism has never required anyone to convert to live as a righteous gentile.

    The laws apply to the Jews, not the gentiles. It is the laws of Noah that apply to gentiles. Jesus himself said he did not come to end the laws. Where are the passages stating the laws come to an end for the Jewish people? Where are the passages that says God’s covenant with the Israelites has an expiration date? It was God that promised a rebirth of Israel as a nation and it is only through miraculous means that the country has survived.

  59. 59
    BobRyan says:

    Silver Asiatic

    Below are just a few examples of God’s covenant with Israel. Not once does it say until the Messiah comes and then the covenant ends for Israel. Not once does it say gentiles will replace the chosen.

    Jeremiah 32:40
    “I will make an everlasting covenant with them that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; and I will put the fear of Me in their hearts so that they will not turn away from Me.

    Numbers 18:19
    “All the offerings of the holy gifts, which the sons of Israel offer to the LORD, I have given to you and your sons and your daughters with you, as a perpetual allotment It is an everlasting covenant of salt before the LORD to you and your descendants with you.”

    2 Samuel 23:5
    “Truly is not my house so with God? For He has made an everlasting covenant with me, Ordered in all things, and secured; For all my salvation and all my desire, Will He not indeed make it grow?

    1 Chronicles 16:17
    He also confirmed it to Jacob for a statute, To Israel as an everlasting covenant,

    Psalms 105:10
    Then He confirmed it to Jacob for a statute, To Israel as an everlasting covenant,

    Ezekiel 16:60
    “Nevertheless, I will remember My covenant with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish an everlasting covenant with you.

  60. 60
    BobRyan says:

    Silver Asiatic

    If the Tanakh stating several times over an everlasting covenant with Israel isn’t good enough for you, then how about Matthew from what Christians refer to as the New Testament? Last time I checked, heaven and earth are still around and have not disappeared.

    Matthew 5
    17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.
    18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.

  61. 61
    Silver Asiatic says:

    BobRyan

    Not once does God tell them his covenant ends with the coming of Messiah.

    The covenant is fulfilled in the Messiah, the King of the Jews. There is no end date – it is an eternal covenant. People who rejected Jesus have nothing to do with it.

  62. 62
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Bob

    Jesus himself said he did not come to end the laws.

    He did not say laws, but Law. The Law (love of God and love of neighbor) does not pass away. But God abolished the ritual laws. St. Paul teaches it. God no longer desires sacrifices of bulls and calves. Jesus is the true sacrifice. The Old Testament is fulfilled in the new. There is no longer Jew or Greek. All are one in Christ (for those who believe). Those who reject Christ (modern day Jews) are in darkness.

  63. 63
    Ed George says:

    SA

    Those who reject Christ (modern day Jews) are in darkness.

    My daughter converted to Judaism early this year. I haven’t lost a second’s sleep over it.

  64. 64
    Seversky says:

    Silver Asiatic@ 62

    He did not say laws, but Law. The Law (love of God and love of neighbor) does not pass away. But God abolished the ritual laws. St. Paul teaches it. God no longer desires sacrifices of bulls and calves. Jesus is the true sacrifice. The Old Testament is fulfilled in the new. There is no longer Jew or Greek. All are one in Christ (for those who believe). Those who reject Christ (modern day Jews) are in darkness.

    Did God specifically abolish the requirement to stone to death disrespectful children or adulterers? If He did, then did he also cancel his injunction against homosexual relationships or women speaking in church?

    Why should there ever have been a need for a New Covenant in the first place? The God of Christianity should not have made any mistakes that needed rectifying.

    Given the need for a New Covenant, why did this ultimate Lawgiver not rescind the outrageously unjust policy of punishing the descendants of the original offenders in perpetuity?

  65. 65
    BobRyan says:

    Ed George @ 63

    Congratulations. It’s a fascinating religion that has survived despite everything man has thrown at them.

  66. 66
    BobRyan says:

    Silver Asiatic @ 62

    I suggest you brush up on a little bit of Judaism. The Torah is the law. No one with any understanding of Judaism, today or 2000 years ago, would ever call the Torah the laws. When the passage refers to not abolishing them, it is in direct reference to both Torah and everything the prophets wrote.

  67. 67
    BobRyan says:

    Silver Asiatic

    Ezekiel 37
    11 Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts.
    12 Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.

    This is a direct reference to the rebirth of Israel, which did occur in 1947. There has been no rebirth of any other nation in all of recorded history.

    Isaiah 66
    8 Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.
    9 Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? saith the Lord: shall I cause to bring forth, and shut the womb? saith thy God.

  68. 68
    kairosfocus says:

    Sev,

    an excellent place to begin re-thinking is here:

    Jn 7:53 They went each to his own house,

    Jn 8:1 but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them.

    3 The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst 4 they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. 5 Now in the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?”

    6 This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground.

    7 And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground.

    9 But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. 10 Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”

    Now, apply judicious a fortiori logic.

    DV, more later.

    KF

    PS: When a drunk gets in a car and mows down a mom and dad, crippling children, that is going to have long term consequences on the innocent. Responsibility carries sobering weight. More can be said, but that’s a beginning to think about freedom and also about how we all ratify abuse of freedom by our own abuse.

  69. 69
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Ed George

    My daughter converted to Judaism early this year. I haven’t lost a second’s sleep over it.

    Ok, but I will hope that she will gain understanding of Jesus, the Messiah and someday enter the true Church.
    Has she told you why she turned away from your atheism to belief that there is a God?

  70. 70
    Ed George says:

    SA

    Has she told you why she turned away from your atheism to belief that there is a God?

    Firstly, I am not an atheist. Agnostic would be the best description. Secondly, she was Christian before converting, as are my wife and two other children.

  71. 71
    Ed George says:

    Bob

    Congratulations. It’s a fascinating religion that has survived despite everything man has thrown at them.

    Thanks Bob. What I respect most about it is that it is not a proselytizing religion. I attended a service with my daughter earlier in the fall and I was surprised to see the rabbi announce the events they had planned for Pride week.

  72. 72
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Ed G

    Secondly, she was Christian before converting, as are my wife and two other children.

    Just wondering – at one time in her life she believed that Jesus is the Son of God, Savior – resurrected from the dead, second person of the Trinity. Did she say why she no longer believes that, and what role (if any) she gives to Jesus and His Gospel?
    Often, Jews dismiss the teaching and life of Jesus as almost entirely false – or at least they have strong opposition to it. From the time of Jesus’ life itself, Jews rejected Him. At the time of Jesus’ resurrection, rabbis paid the Roman guards to lie and say that disciples came during the night and stole the body of Jesus.

  73. 73
    Silver Asiatic says:

    BebR

    I suggest you brush up on a little bit of Judaism.

    Thanks for the suggestion. I’ll brush up on that.
    I’ll suggest to you, in turn, that you look into the Judaizers – or the heresy of Judaizing, which was condemned from the earliest Christian centuries (as the Ebionites).
    Judaizing Christians today believe that the ritual, Sabbath and dietary (Kosher) laws are binding.
    This makes perfect sense because they suffer from the sola scriptura heresy itself, and if you’re going to use a private interpretation of the Bible-alone, and reject the teaching of the Church founded by Christ, then why not keep all the Kosher Laws, like the Jews supposedly do?

    When the passage refers to not abolishing them, it is in direct reference to both Torah and everything the prophets wrote.

    As above, sola scriptura teaches you that if you read something in the Bible, then you have the infallible power to interpret it correctly. This is easily falsified by the number of sola-scriptura Christians who disagree on all matters of doctrine.
    Quoting snippets of Scripture, outside of the authority of the Church established by Christ (that Church which gave us the Bible in the first place) is an exercise that leads to error and confusion.
    Thus we have Christians today who think that Jesus did not abolish the Kosher rituals and practices. They are in as much error and falsehood as the Jews and Muslims (other Judaizers) are.

  74. 74
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Seversky

    Did God specifically abolish the requirement to stone to death disrespectful children or adulterers? If He did, then did he also cancel his injunction against homosexual relationships or women speaking in church?

    Jesus taught the disciples what the disciplinary norms would be for the new covenant that God gave through the death and resurrection of Jesus. The stoning of adulterers and homosexuals was abolished when Jesus was called to judge the woman caught in adultery. So, the Early Church did not stone adulterers or homosexuals. Adultery and homosexual activity (fornication) however remain condemned as serious sins that end in eternal damnation for those who do not repent and atone for them.
    Women speaking in Church is a disciplinary norm, still forbidden in many ways (women cannot be ordained as priests or deacons). But Church liturgical disciplines were permitted some variation – and Jesus taught the apostles this. So, the apostles established local churches with different norms. St. Paul’s injunction against women preaching is retained today.

    Why should there ever have been a need for a New Covenant in the first place?

    The old covenant was a preparation. Humanity goes through a process of growth – personal development in knowledge and social development, as one generation hands down wisdom to the next. The people of the old covenant lived in preparation for the Kingdom of the Messiah. Now, we have 2000 more years of wisdom so we continue to develop our moral and spiritual awareness. As we mature, God grants us different regulations.
    An example of how the Old Covenant was preparation for the new is when the Israelites had to stay in the desert for 40 years before entering the promised land. This was a time of purification and preparation. They were still corrupted by paganism, and the desert purified their souls through repentance and struggle.
    The time of the Jews to Christ is the same. Purification and struggle. Then the New Covenant.
    However, we still have purification and struggle as we prepare for Jesus’ Second Coming, and for our own Judgement when our short life on earth is over.
    So, God created human life as an adventure that progresses and develops.

    The God of Christianity should not have made any mistakes that needed rectifying.

    God loves his people – every one of us. So, He makes mistakes by trusting and caring about us, even when we don’t care about Him. That’s what love is all about. We trust the person – even when it hurts.

    Given the need for a New Covenant, why did this ultimate Lawgiver not rescind the outrageously unjust policy of punishing the descendants of the original offenders in perpetuity?

    Well, He did rescind it through Baptism, which removes Original Sin.
    We inherit the effects of evil that our parents did.
    We also inherit the effects of the good they did.
    Adam and Eve gave us a condition of sinfulness in the world.
    They also gave us life, and they are the parents of Mary and Joseph also – and thus made the Savior’s life possible.
    So, we received good from our first parents, along with the suffering from the evil they did.
    With Redemption, the sacrament of Baptism removes the effects of Original Sin.

  75. 75
    Silver Asiatic says:

    EG

    I was surprised to see the rabbi announce the events they had planned for Pride week.

    It’s interesting and we might be surprised, thinking that Judaism would be opposed to gay marriage. However, on the contrary, it was Jews who really supported and promoted (some argue they were the primary cause of) the legalization of gay marriage.

    The Jewish Telegraphic Agency came out with an interesting article in 2015 entitled, “Jewish groups celebrate Supreme Court’s legalization of gay marriage nationwide.” In a similar vein, Amy Dean of Tikkun, a Jewish magazine, had this to say about Gay marriage in the United States:

    “In a few short years, same-sex marriage went from being an untouchable political hot potato to a broadly accepted civil right in eighteen states and the District of Columbia. Jews, and their social justice organizations, helped make that happen. In fact, this magazine was a prophetic voice of marriage equality, supporting same-sex unions in the early 1990s and helping to lay the groundwork for the current wave of victories.”

    Likewise, Nathan Guttman of the Jewish Daily Forward published an article way back in 2013 entitled, “Jewish Blessings Greet Gay Marriage Ruling.” Jay Michaelson of the same magazine wrote a similar article in 2015: “The Profoundly Jewish Lesson of the Supreme Court’s Gay Marriage Ruling.”
    Guttman wrote:
    “Most Jewish communal leaders celebrated the landmark Supreme Court decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act. The Jewish community, with 81% of support for gay marriage according to public opinion polls, is the constituency most supportive of marriage equality, second only to the LGBT community in its backing of the rights of gays and lesbians to marry.”

    The United States is the most significant promoter of gay marriage worldwide, and this all originates from Jewish influence in American government, media and academics.
    As stated by Jewish leaders themselves, Jews gave us gay marriage.

    How Jews Brought America to the Tipping Point on Marriage Equality: Lessons for the Next Social Justice Issues

  76. 76
    Ed George says:

    SA

    Did she say why she no longer believes that, and what role (if any) she gives to Jesus and His Gospel?

    Didn’t ask. Don’t really care.

    But, if I had to guess, I think it had something to do with her previous religion constantly saying that the person she fell in love with not being allowed into heaven.

  77. 77
    Silver Asiatic says:

    EG

    the person she fell in love with not being allowed into heaven

    It’s an interesting way to present it.
    “Falling in love with someone” is one of those things that is sacred in our culture, the truth of which cannot be questioned – sort of the way romance novels teach us.

  78. 78
    Ed George says:

    SA

    The United States is the most significant promoter of gay marriage worldwide, and this all originates from Jewish influence in American government, media and academics.

    I am interested how you come to this conclusion (in bold above). 21 o the 30 countries that have legalized SSM did so before the US. The first in 2000 and the US didn’t do it until 2015.

  79. 79
    mike1962 says:

    Perverts “fall in love” with children too. Since when is “being in love” a license to do whatever the hell you want?
    #DontBeStupid

  80. 80
    Silver Asiatic says:

    EG

    I was speaking in present tense. Past legislation is irrelevant.
    The UN is a global promoter. USA has biggest influence there.
    More importantly, 85% of the U.S. fortune 500 promotes gay marriage worldwide and usually makes denmands for compliance on lbgt rights.
    The USA is by far the most influential country for this.

  81. 81
    Ed George says:

    Thanks SA. I just wasn’t sure of the context you were basing your conclusion on. Yes, the US is influential, but so are the combined influence of the countries that legalized SSM before the US did. I would argue that the biggest argument for the legalization of SSM in most countries has been the insupportable arguments used against it.

    As homosexuals are only a small fraction of the population, support for SSM had to be obtained by a very large number of heterosexuals, people who only a decade earlier would have opposed it. In my mind this has been one of the best recent examples of the old adage that the measure of a society is based on how it treats its weakest members.

  82. 82
    BobRyan says:

    Silver Asiatic @ 73

    The Tanach can be spelled another way and still be correct, which is TaNaKh. It stands for Torah, which is the Law and contains the laws. Nevi’im, which is the Prophets. Ketuvim, which is the writings. Matthew is quite clear in the reference to the Torah, which is the Law, and Nevi’im, which is the Prophets. At the time, the Ketuvim was not included in most synagogues. Had the Ketuvim been included, Jesus would have also mentioned the writings.

    The rules for adding any book to the Tanakh is twofold. One is it must be believed to have been divinely inspired. Two is the original must have been written in Hebrew, which is why the Maccabees is not included. It was not written in Hebrew first. There has been argument regarding being divinely inspired, but it does not matter.

    Matthew 5
    17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.
    18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.

  83. 83
    BobRyan says:

    Ed George @ 71

    You’re welcome and there’s a reason Judaism does not have a history of proselytizing and forced conversions. Before the laws were given to Moses, 7 laws had been given to Noah. To be a righteous gentile, from a Jewish perspective, one must live by the Noahide laws. They are chosen to be a light unto all nations by teaching the 7 laws to gentiles.

    The condemnation of homosexuality is not against homosexuals directly, but that actions of homosexuals. All sin comes from acting out in a way not in accordance with God and God sees all sin as the same. There is no greater or lesser sin. Judaism has a forgiving God, which is also seen in Christianity.

    The death penalty was rarely used and the act of stoning was not taken lightly. It was not left to any one person, but all people and all must agree death is warranted. If even a single person doubted the penalty, it could not be carried out. It was the original jurors. It should shed some light on the verse of letting him without sin cast the first stone.

  84. 84
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Bob R

    The rules for adding any book to the Tanakh is twofold. One is it must be believed to have been divinely inspired. Two is the original must have been written in Hebrew, which is why the Maccabees is not included. It was not written in Hebrew first. There has been argument regarding being divinely inspired, but it does not matter.

    Yes, but you’re talking about the rules made by a people who could not recognize the divinity of Christ. They do not know what a divinely inspired text is. They have no authority in these matters. There is no reason for Christians to follow the teachings of the rabbis who rejected Christ. They have not been listening to the voice of God and He ceased giving them divine revelation.

  85. 85
    kairosfocus says:

    SA:

    sola scriptura teaches you that if you read something in the Bible, then you have the infallible power to interpret it correctly.

    Strawman.

    KF

  86. 86
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: I have a moment, so I clip Westminster Confession:

    The whole counsel of God, concerning all things necessary for his own glory, man’s salvation, faith, and life, is either expressly set down in scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelations of the Spirit, or traditions of men.” —Westminster Confession of Faith

    Where, we may read:

    Jn 81 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him [–> but, apparently now rejected him], “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” . . . . 43 Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me.

    Jn 10:35 . . . Scripture cannot be broken . . . [–> as Word of God, supreme in authority and reliability]

    Eph 2:20 . . . built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone [–> in practical terms OT and NT with Gospel as the pivot], 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. [Cf here 2 Peter 2:4 As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, 5 you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.]

    2 Tim 3:14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed [–> been properly convinced of, here pistis as credible rhetorical proof], knowing from whom[a] you learned it 15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings [= Scripture], which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God[b] may be complete, equipped for every good work. [–> adequacy of scripture to find salvation and to live it out through transformed, truly wise life]

    2 Peter 1:12 . . . I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have. 13 I think it right, as long as I am in this body,[h] to stir you up by way of reminder, 14 since I know that the putting off of my body will be soon [–> this is his theological will, shortly before his execution on trumped up charge of treasonous arson c AD 65], as our Lord Jesus Christ made clear to me. [–> the prophecy by the sea of Galilee] 15 And I will make every effort so that after my departure you may be able at any time to recall these things.

    16 For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you [ –> orally then now in writing!] the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty . . . .

    19 And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts [–> guide in life and in death, even in the face of demonic persecution and judicial murder], 20 knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. [–> the source of prophecy in particular and a fortiori the scriptures as a whole is not merely human, but primarily Divine]

    21 For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man [–> not human initiative], but men spoke from God as they were carried along [–> with typhonic force] by the Holy Spirit.[ESV]

    You will see through this that the key points in the Westminster summary are aptly confirmed, much as I have been able to confirm the clauses of the Nicene Creed.

    This does not mean that teachers, analyses, books and disciplines of study etc are not useful, but it does mean that they are in the end under requirement to line up with the plumbline of scripture. As Isa 8:20 sums up, “To the teaching and to the testimony! If they will not speak according to this word, it is because they have no dawn.”

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    kairosfocus says:

    PPS: I further note, from the closing words of Peter’s theological will:

    2 Peter 3:15 And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, 16 as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. 17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

    Where, from Ac 20, we see:

    26 Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all, 27 for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God. [–> a mandate for systematic, integrative teaching and for underlying systematic theology] 28 Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God,[e] which he obtained with his own blood.[f] 29 I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; 30 and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. 31 Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish every one with tears. 32 And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified. [–> power of scripture to promote renewal and transformation]

    Also in 2 Cor 4, we read:

    1 Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God,[a] we do not lose heart.

    2 But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice[b] cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God.

    3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants[c] for Jesus’ sake.

    6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

    7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.

    These are the very opposite of a free for all idiosyncratic infer what you will, as you will approach. There is a clear and simple core that — as it cuts across pre-existing worldviews and cultural agendas — men are often demonically blind and hostile to. Not, that it is unclear but that it requires repentance and gradual renewal to access.

    On the other hand, some things are hard to understand and the unstable and unlearned wrench. Where, even from church leadership some pervert and lead astray.

    So, we see a need for sound interpretation, study and developing knowledge. (And as for, oh you have been taught enough, that is almost not worth mentioning, save to dismiss.)

    At Bible study and lay sermon level, I laid out approaches here some years ago, as a Christian student leader.

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    Silver Asiatic says:

    KF @ 85

    Ok, agreed. I was not correct with that.
    Where we disagree is that a subjectivist, individualist view of the scripture can yield authoritative teachings.

  89. 89
    kairosfocus says:

    SA, again, your perception of my view or that of responsible exegetes, is mistaken. That starts with the text. In Isa 8:20, the scripture is seen as having its own discernible voice so that one may speak/fail to speak according to it. In Jn 8 & 10, the oral teaching that would be recorded as scripture is a speaking of truth [= that which accurately describes reality] which we may or may not accurately understand, and scripture cannot be broken. The failure in “because I speak the truth, you do not understand” is stark and reflects a commitment to a crooked yardstick which makes one artificially blind to and polarised against truth. If one may wrench scripture, one may also cut a straight furrow with it. Where, the text itself is objective, language is objective, logic is objective, there is sound history that gives reliable circumstantial context and background, the text set in context of the wider book and corpus is there [as opposed to prooftext out of context misreading] and more. This leads to historico-grammatico-contextual interpretation that reckons with genre etc. These, are objective and reckon appropriately with the history of the text from Moses to John and how it has been carried forward in a chain of custody and exegesis since then. These are responsible and significantly objective, not an idiosyncratic process of eisegesis and arbitrariness or whimsy. In that context, much of the work of the Spirit is to lead us to deal with our warping sins, assumptions, attitudes and more. Part of that is indeed the democracy of the dead, in the texts they have left as legacy — cf. C S Lewis on reading old books. Part is the practice of living community informed by historic community, e.g. the Westminster Confession as referenced, coming from men dead 300 years or so now. None of this (and much more) in the remotest degree could fairly be said to be the opinion that “a subjectivist, individualist view of the scripture can yield authoritative teachings.” What is well warranted is what is authoritative, which brings up the challenge of first duties and principles of reason in general, then of handling the scriptures in particular. KF

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