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The Left as Christian Heresy


In this post I argued that liberal (meaning conservative) democracy is based on an attempt to infuse politics with Christian doctrine, especially the inherent dignity and equality of all men.  In this article Peter Burfeind suggests a parallel on the other side of the political divide.  He argues that progressivism is rooted in an ancient Christian heresy known as Gnosticism:

Gnosticism applied to politics is Leftism. The gnostic mind is cast in black and white absolutes. It says the world is inherently corrupt in every one of its systems and institutions, and the salvation it proposes is pure light and righteousness. Politically, the gnostic mind can only be revolutionary: a new humanity will arise with new thinking and lead history into a new age; the old will be utterly dismantled. Until then, the gnostic is melancholic about the systemically corrupt world he’s imprisoned in.



JAD, if novel then not a true right. Locke was anything but a closet atheist or the like too. Here is one of my clips, sec 5 of the intro to the essay on human understanding, which is actually chock full of Scripture:
Men have reason to be well satisfied with what God hath thought fit for them, since he hath given them (as St. Peter says [NB: i.e. 2 Pet 1:2 - 4]) pana pros zoen kaieusebeian, whatsoever is necessary for the conveniences of life and information of virtue; and has put within the reach of their discovery, the comfortable provision for this life, and the way that leads to a better. How short soever their knowledge may come of an universal or perfect comprehension of whatsoever is, it yet secures their great concernments [Prov 1: 1 - 7], that they have light enough to lead them to the knowledge of their Maker, and the sight of their own duties [cf Rom 1 - 2 & 13, Ac 17, Jn 3:19 - 21, Eph 4:17 - 24, Isaiah 5:18 & 20 - 21, Jer. 2:13, Titus 2:11 - 14 etc, etc]. Men may find matter sufficient to busy their heads, and employ their hands with variety, delight, and satisfaction, if they will not boldly quarrel with their own constitution, and throw away the blessings their hands are filled with, because they are not big enough to grasp everything . . . It will be no excuse to an idle and untoward servant [Matt 24:42 - 51], who would not attend his business by candle light, to plead that he had not broad sunshine. The Candle that is set up in us [Prov 20:27] shines bright enough for all our purposes . . . If we will disbelieve everything, because we cannot certainly know all things, we shall do muchwhat as wisely as he who would not use his legs, but sit still and perish, because he had no wings to fly. [Text references added to document the sources of Locke's allusions and citations.]
We have been systematically lied to. KF kairosfocus
BO'H: Clearly you have not taken pause to see what is discussed in the OP and thread which picks up on the UCB riots. Notice, especially, the picture in the student union dining area while mayhem and arson and riot are going on outside. Your onward responses so far do not commend your approach. KF PS: Kindly cf 47 - 48 above. kairosfocus
Axel, Germany is not Japan -- e.g. it is the nexus of Europe's networks, pipelines, roads, rails etc. We will see how things pan out. KF kairosfocus
Bob O'H @ 57: Take it however you want to, my friend. Happy trails. Truth Will Set You Free
KF @ 55, John Locke certainly deserves to be called a philosopher of the enlightenment. Indeed, no philosopher’s political theory has had more influence on the founding documents of the U.S.A., its form of government or guiding principles of liberty-- as well as the modern democratic movement-- than Locke. For example, we clearly see his influence on the Declaration of Independence-- Jefferson along with some of the other founders were doubt “Lockian.” However, it is not plausible, as some on the secular-progressive left seem to want to argue that he was some kind of closet atheist. Consider the following excerpts from Letter on Toleration. It is more than enough evidence dispel that piece of leftist propaganda.
Let us now consider what a Church is. A Church then I take to be a voluntary Society of Men, joining themselves together of their own accord, in order to the publick worshipping of God, in such a manner as they judge acceptable to him, and effectual to the Salvation of their Souls. I say it is a free and voluntary Society. No body is born a Member of any Church. Otherwise the Religion of Parents would descend unto Children, by the same right of Inheritance as their Temporal Estates, and every one would hold his Faith by the same Tenure he does his Lands; than which nothing can be imagined more absurd. Thus therefore that matter stands. No Man by nature is bound unto any particular Church or Sect, but every one joins himself voluntarily to that Society in which he believes he has found that Profession and Worship which is truly acceptable unto God. The hopes of Salvation, as it was the only cause of his entrance into that Communion, so it can be the only reason of his stay there. For if afterwards he discover any thing either erroneous in the Doctrine, [16] or incongruous in the Worship of that Society to which he has join’d himself; Why should it not be as free for him to go out, as it was to enter? No Member of a Religious Society can be tied with any other Bonds but what proceed from the certain expectation of eternal Life. A Church then is a Society of Members voluntarily uniting to this end… the Gospel frequently declares that the true Disciples of Christ must suffer Persecution; but that the Church of Christ should persecute others, and force others by Fire and Sword, to embrace her Faith and Doctrine, I could never yet find in any of the Books of the New Testament…
Clearly, Locke did not see himself finding or inventing new rights. Just like the 16th century protestant reformers he saw himself rediscovering ancient God-given natural rights. john_a_designer
KF, hasn't Germany seen fit to close down its nuclear power-stations, in favour of other sources - one already notably substantial some time ago? Did you kow that Peak Oil appears to be a myth ? Apparently, the oil is replenished ; presumably in a fairly timely manner, judging from the tone of the brief piece I read on the subject. But have you considered that the types who run that most powerful and ruthless source of corporate power, the enrgy industry, just might not have cared tuppence about whether there was a viable, though less apocalyptic alternative. I believe I read that Einstein feared its use as a source of energy should have been viewed as prohibitively dangerous. Can anyone confirm that ? On the subject of greed, it seems arguable that the multi-billionaire oligarchs are more motivated by a reckless ambition based on rivalry, than simply the greed of pigs at a trough. But that makes scant difference to the thousands in the putativelly advanced world sleeping rough in the streets in winter. It is surely natural (in a positive sense) to exploit one's own personal forte to the maximum, but since 'where your treasure is, there also will be your heart,' and as Adam Smith warned that merchants very much tended to be rogues and needed monitoring all the time, those 'richissimes', need to be harnessed to the public good, instead of being allowed to run riot and wreck the planet and its people in a host of different ways, all ultimately genocidal, given enough time. Axel
TWSYF @ 49 - I take it this means you can't supply any real evidence for the accusations against the police. If your accusations are true, it would be shocking. is it really too much to ask for you to present some non-partisan evidence to back up your accusations? Bob O'H
PS: Plato long since warned:
Ath [in The Laws, Bk X 2,350+ ya]. . . .[The avant garde philosophers and poets, c. 360 BC] say that fire and water, and earth and air [i.e the classical "material" elements of the cosmos], all exist by nature and chance, and none of them by art . . . [such that] all that is in the heaven, as well as animals and all plants, and all the seasons come from these elements, not by the action of mind, as they say, or of any God, or from art, but as I was saying, by nature and chance only [ --> that is, evolutionary materialism is ancient and would trace all things to blind chance and mechanical necessity] . . . . [Thus, they hold] that the principles of justice have no existence at all in nature, but that mankind are always disputing about them and altering them; and that the alterations which are made by art and by law have no basis in nature, but are of authority for the moment and at the time at which they are made.-
[ --> Relativism, too, is not new; complete with its radical amorality rooted in a worldview that has no foundational IS that can ground OUGHT, leading to an effectively arbitrary foundation only for morality, ethics and law: accident of personal preference, the ebbs and flows of power politics, accidents of history and and the shifting sands of manipulated community opinion driven by "winds and waves of doctrine and the cunning craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming . . . " cf a video on Plato's parable of the cave; from the perspective of pondering who set up the manipulative shadow-shows, why.]
These, my friends, are the sayings of wise men, poets and prose writers, which find a way into the minds of youth. They are told by them that the highest right is might,
[ --> Evolutionary materialism -- having no IS that can properly ground OUGHT -- leads to the promotion of amorality on which the only basis for "OUGHT" is seen to be might (and manipulation: might in "spin") . . . ]
and in this way the young fall into impieties, under the idea that the Gods are not such as the law bids them imagine; and hence arise factions [ --> Evolutionary materialism-motivated amorality "naturally" leads to continual contentions and power struggles influenced by that amorality at the hands of ruthless power hungry nihilistic agendas], these philosophers inviting them to lead a true life according to nature, that is,to live in real dominion over others [ --> such amoral and/or nihilistic factions, if they gain power, "naturally" tend towards ruthless abuse and arbitrariness . . . they have not learned the habits nor accepted the principles of mutual respect, justice, fairness and keeping the civil peace of justice, so they will want to deceive, manipulate and crush -- as the consistent history of radical revolutions over the past 250 years so plainly shows again and again], and not in legal subjection to them [--> nihilistic will to power not the spirit of justice and lawfulness].
--> I note how many times I have pointed to this and how consistently advocates of evolutionary materialism and fellow travellers have tried to ignore it. --> This is now coming at us through headlines and the lurid colours of riots as ruthless factions try to impose their will -- or rather, the will to power of those who manipulate, fund and control them. --> Indeed, in the teeth of the screams of you are a nazi and have no rights, we readily see the push of real fascism that has long lurked in the wings:
FASCISM: At heart, it is the notion that in a day of “unprecedented” crisis that targets a large — locally dominant or pivotally influential — perceived victim group or class or religious or racial/national body, a super-man figure emerges to rescue the victims; one who is beyond ordinary human powers and limits (including those of morality and just law). A political messiah who stands as champion for the identity group to save it, defending it from the various scapegoated out-groups who are held to be to blame for the victimisation of the in-group. That super-man political messiah then seizes power and is widely recognised as a man of “destiny.” In an atmosphere of hysteria, slander and propagandistic deception that is usually multiplied by chaos and violence or at least riotous assemblies in the streets baying for blood, the power blocs, political, legal, military, corporate, religious, etc then align with him, giving him effectively unlimited power in the face of a crisis. We have now reached the threshold of tyranny. And because of the perceived unprecedented crisis, that super-man “people’s champion” figure is cheered on and supported in taking extraordinary measures; measures that sacrifice liberty and justice for the sake of the promised utopian order. And so reigns of terror and aggressive wars naturally emerge.
--> Plank in one's own eye troubles, it seems. kairosfocus
JAD, Here is Locke, in his 2nd Treatise on Govt, Ch 2 Sec 5, citing "the judicious [Anglican Canon Richard] Hooker" from his 1594+ ecclesiastical Polity, precisely to ground rights as pivotal to proper law and government:
[2nd Treatise on Civil Gov't, Ch 2 sec. 5:] . . . if I cannot but wish to receive good, even as much at every man's hands, as any man can wish unto his own soul, how should I look to have any part of my desire herein satisfied, unless myself be careful to satisfy the like desire which is undoubtedly in other men . . . my desire, therefore, to be loved of my equals in Nature, as much as possible may be, imposeth upon me a natural duty of bearing to themward fully the like affection. From which relation of equality between ourselves and them that are as ourselves, what several rules and canons natural reason hath drawn for direction of life no man is ignorant . . . [This directly echoes St. Paul in Rom 2: "14 For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them . . . " and 13: "9 For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law . . . " Hooker then continues, citing Aristotle in The Nicomachean Ethics, Bk 8:] as namely, That because we would take no harm, we must therefore do none; That since we would not be in any thing extremely dealt with, we must ourselves avoid all extremity in our dealings; That from all violence and wrong we are utterly to abstain, with such-like . . . ] [Eccl. Polity ,preface, Bk I, "ch." 8, p.80, cf. here. Emphasis added.] [Augmented citation, Locke, Second Treatise on Civil Government, Ch 2 Sect. 5. ]
Locke, of course built on the reformers and their heirs, who in turn can be seen as building on earlier Catholic work and the Fathers all the way back to Scripture and particularly Jesus, Moshe and Paul. I find Rom 13:8 - 10, which specifically speaks to government and citizenship i/l/o vv 1 - 7, particularly helpful and indeed decisive (cf. here):
Rom 13: 8 [b]Owe nothing to anyone except to [c]love and seek the best for one another; for he who [unselfishly] loves his neighbor has fulfilled the [essence of the] law [relating to one’s fellowman]. 9 The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not covet,” and any other commandment are summed up in this statement: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor [it never hurts anyone]. Therefore [unselfish] love is the fulfillment of the Law. [AMP]
The onward issue, of course is, how is such moral governance rooted, including our having a definite nature (not simply a temporary accidental collocation of atoms that has delusions of being a dignified, distinct self), thence equality of that common nature and its moral worth. This ties to the longstanding philosophical issue on the roots of ought, the IS-OUGHT gap. After Hume's guillotine argument, it is clear there is only one place such can be bridged, the root of reality. (Of course, in recent months here at UD there was an attempt to dodge this by rhetorically pretending that we could just stop off at the Golden Rule; fail.) There is only one serious answer on the table of comparative difficulties across the main worldview options. (This can readily be confirmed by putting alternatives on the table and looking at factual adequacy, coherence and explanatory power.) That answer is that of ethical theism, which is the only system that does not in the end either make moral governance meaningless or reduce it to some species of might and manipulation making 'right,' 'truth,' 'justice' etc. That is, amorality inviting nihilism and the war of ruthless factions -- precisely the root of the nonsensical 'rights' demands being commonly advanced under false colour of law today. I have highlighted the abortion holocaust of 800+ million unborn children slaughtered over the past 40+ years under false colours of a 'right' to choose and the like. This has become deeply embedded in law, government, medicine, media, education etc, deeply corrupting them through complicity in mass blood guilt. This, being one of the most tainting influences of all, as a single human soul is quasi-infinite in worth -- what shall a man be profited if he gain the whole world, but loses his very soul? -- and the enabling of such blood guilt then leads to opening the door to an ever wider, deeper, stronger march of civilisational folly. Such as, we are seeing. What is that sounder alternative? Simple, is and ought can only be fused in the root of reality, in a being that IS and is in such a way that oughtness is inextricably fused with that is. The only serious candidate is: the inherently good and wise creator God, a necessary and maximally great being, worthy of loyalty and the reasonable, responsible service of doing the good in accord with our manifest nature. For just one instance, the only valid point for a new human life beginning is conception [which we must not be gulled into equating with implantation], which initiates a process of hosted development across nine months leading to birth, thence nurture and life across a natural span. Where, without the right to our lives, we can have no other rights; hence, my stance on the 44th annual march for life and hosting of an eyewitness account, here. For another, every cell in our bodies of note (save our red blood cells and apart from certain freaks of nature . . . ) is stamped with the fact that we come in two complementary sexes tied to conception, gestation, birth, nurture and growth. This points directly to the validity of marriage as the lifelong union of the complementary sexes and the support of child nurture through that stable union. Anything else is a patent, destabilising absurdity; Cf Sherif and Girgis, But, as we are significantly free we can manufacture and cling to absurdities, even as we force a civilisational march of lemmings straight over the cliff. Which is exactly what is happening all around us today. Let us have the common sense to silence and correct the agit prop, pause, think afresh and turn back from the crumbling brink of a cliff. KF kairosfocus
I would argue that the whole modern conception of human rights can be traced back to the teachings of Jesus who clearly taught the equality of man. For example, the parable of “The Good Samaritan” by implication argues against ethnocentricity. Jews and Samaritans, who were ethnically, culturally and religiously distinct, hated each other. Jesus’ teaching that God expected that they help one another out of love was absolutely revolutionary. This is reinforced by the so called Great Commission (Matt. 28:19-20 ) where Jesus commands his disciples to “go and make disciples of all nations.” It is further reinforced by the teachings of the apostle Paul who writes in Galatians 3:26-28 that “in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith… There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Finally in Revelation 7:9 we are told that people “from every nation, from all tribes… and languages,” will worship God. Obviously that is saying God does not discriminate on the basis of race or ethnicity. The modern concept of human rights could not exist without these ideas which in the ancient world were unique to Christianity. It is incorrect to say, as some modern progressive-secularists believe that the concept of human rights was the result of the so-called 17th and 18th century enlightenment. People on the secular-progressive left like to talk about social justice and human rights but from where do they derive their ideas historically and philosophically? Furthermore, where do they find the new "rights" they are trying to push on society? (abortion rights, transgender rights, animal rights, a right to same-sex marriage etc.) john_a_designer
Axel, coal is nixed, oil is not credible, hydro is not credible, wind is a joke, solar is not credible, there is not enough GT. What do you recommend for energy for 120 million Japanese with nowhere else to go, who depend on industry for survival? KF kairosfocus
I'm amazed that you consider 'industrial development' a sufficient rationale for building nuclear plants on the 'rim of fire', KF. To me, your comments seem esentially blandishments, some contradicting reports of the attestations of people living and working over there, on sea and on land. It was recently reported that radioactive water had reached the water table in Ontaria, and there have been many reports with photos of mysterious deaths of sea creatures washed up on the shores of Alaska and Ontario. Some South American countries have also been affected. It has been rated an 'extinction event'. All the water tables globally will eventually be affected. Anyway, arguing is pointless, isn't it ? Time will tell. Axel
Axel, I will not go off on tangents all over the place. But, the reality is Japan and the Pac Rim are the ring of fire, so industrial development and energy are required even though seismic. Nuke is feasible and can be managed. On site storage of fuel rods is reasonable and there are several centres in the world that routinely reprocess such. At least one is in . . . Japan. What clearly happened is something out of the scenario-based safety plans. As for the Pacific being a vast dead zone for sea life, simply not so. Yes there is over-fishing, there are problems but not one vast dead zone. As for cancer incidence, my baseline thought is, we are living long enough for non communicable diseases to take us out, including cancer. For men, it seems if nothing else gets you first eventually our prostrates will go cancerous. KF PS: Everything is somewhat radioactive including bananas [K-40] and your brains. When I used to set up Geiger-Muller tube based counters, we expected 15 counts/minute as background, whether in sedimentary Barbados or in sedimentary Jamaica or here in volcanic MNI. The issue is, degree. Under normal circumstances, reactors are not significant sources of additional radioactivity. kairosfocus
Your no 44, KF. Well, to begin with KF, from the outset they have not known how to dispose of used rods, and there are hundreds of them, if not thousands at Fukushima, as well as all over the globe. Secondly, Fukushima and other Japanese nuclear plants happen to be located on seismic hot-spots, near fault-lines. Just have a look at this site, not necessarily even going back to the accident four plus years ago : ENENews.com https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tx_1NKnQYto You can guarantee that when they come out with dire comments, they were forced to, and it will have been much, much worse than that for a long time. I think the mayor of Tokyo, when he was told of the situation perhaps a year ago, he wanted to evacuate the whole of Tokyo. Apparently, the Pacific is a dead zone, and all the washed-up, dead and dying sea-life are skeletal because the food's gone. Would you believe, 'a third of the oceans' ? But frankly it's not something to over-publicise, because nothing can be done with the present massive lack of relevant scientific knowledge (besides its being too late), and if it caused a panic, the economic repercussions alone would be catastrophic. It's like at least three Chernobyls, China syndromes. The reckless presumption that they'd find ways to keep the rods safe some time in the not too distant future, amounted to an extraordinary hubris. So much sea-water is used (the worst kind for such use ), it is a favoured resource for nuclear plants, but they had not anticipated a tsunami of such rare force. Consequently, hundeds of tons of irradiated sea-water is poured back into the sea every day. The alternative, apparently was releasing it into the air. Apparently, every day throughout the world, radiation is deliberately emitted from nuclear plants in some form or other. Maybe steam. I don't know. There is a lot about Fukushima on YouTube, too. The atomic tests I think in the Pacific. too, were very numerous, and are estimated to have caused innumerable incidences of cancer - which we know, anyway, has become much, much more common. Axel
Bob O'H @ 46: Smile. A report from the Berkeley newspaper? Smile, again. "A man sees what he wants to see and disregards the rest" -- Paul Simon (The Boxer) Truth Will Set You Free
PS: I just decided to look for the Berkeley riots in Wikipedia. I found a link that goes to a one-paragraph summary under MY's page. I looked at the English Language top page, news. The Canada Mosque shooting is there but of these riots, nary a trace. My nose, trained in media bias tactics from 30 - 40 years ago, smells a very stink rat. Oh yes, here is the paragraph as at just now:
UC Berkeley On 1 February 2017, Yiannopoulos was scheduled to make a speech at UC Berkeley at 8:00 pm. Over 1,000 people gathered to non-violently protest the event.[127] According to the university, around 150 masked agitators came onto campus and interrupted the protest, setting fires, damaging property, throwing fireworks, attacking members of the crowd, and throwing rocks at the police.[128] Citing security concerns, the UC Police Department decided to cancel the event.[127][129] One person was arrested, and there was about $100,000 in damage.[130] President Donald Trump criticized the university on Twitter for failing to allow freedom of speech, and threatened to defund UC Berkeley.[131][132] After the incident, Yiannopoulos' upcoming book, Dangerous, returned to number one on Amazon's "Best Sellers" list, and as of 5 February, still holds this positions.[133]
What is not said, and the evident refusal to host a prompt story on a patently noteworthy issue, are telling. kairosfocus
BO'H: The course of events at UCB is itself blatant proof of a stand down. That you seem not to accept this indicates utter lack of background or ill founded hyperskepticism. FYI, so soon as a riot begins, police should stomp on it, hard -- and calling riots "protests" does not help preserve good order. While a disperse order was reportedly given before nightfall [and about the time the event was cancelled by police order], it was not properly enforced for a considerable time, during which people were hurt and damage was done. That prompt reading the riot act and actively dispersing the crowd did not happen there -- as in too many other places recently -- opened the door for mischief. And of course the same places where police are stood down in the face of riots too often take steps to prevent people from protecting themselves. Unwarranted injury to innocent people is a predictable consequence. BTW, if you took time to go through the OP and comments in the thread I took up on agit prop some days ago, you will see that for days now I have fed in updates from Berkeley as they unfortunately aptly illustrate what I recognise all too well from 30 - 40 years ago now. (To my astonishment, current news articles in my homeland are still spinning one-sided narratives, whitewashing the guilt of their favoured charismatic leader and his party while still blaming the other major party as though it acted out of the blue in a one-sided lust for power. Never mind, Pearnel Charles -- unjustly detained with many others in 1976 on false accusations in parliament leading to a frankly stolen election under cover of a claimed uprising nipped in the bud -- is still in active politics. Let's just say the Russian apology of 1990 speaks volumes.) Just now I added updates showing idled police inside the student union even as rioting is outside; consistent with the vid clip of a victim [whose husband was subjected to mayhem and was hospitalised] who from her testimony sought refuge and succor in the union but was refused. Further to all this, note comment 97, which highlights the implications of the stand down and indicates that the mayor is being investigated by the FBI for the stand down. Unfortunately, this follow up uncovered indications of a victim in ICU battling for his life. Likely the one attacked by the identified rioter. Let us pray this victim of rioters swarming down and committing mayhem, makes it. Mayhem is too often tantamount to murder. KF kairosfocus
Hm do you have a better report of police being stood down than a video from a self-described "expert troll"? For example, a report from, say, a Berkeley newspaper would be more convincing. This is a serious charge you're leveling against the Berkeley police, so I would hope to see some stronger evidence. Bob O'H
Bob O'H @ 33: There was definitely a police stand down ordered at Berkeley, at least according to witnesses on the scene, some of which were victims of violence. The following composite video also indicates some sort of police stand down against leftist rioters (I posted it earlier). How else would these violent rioters be able to run wild in the streets for so long? If not an official stand down, it is at least a dereliction of duty to protect people in the public square. https://twitter.com/TweetBrettMac/status/827418352645709824 As to your remark, "Except when they are shooting people, of course." The video YOU sent indicates that the shooting may very well have been in self-defense. Why would you continue to claim that it was right-wing extremist violence without knowing all the facts? Truth Will Set You Free
Axel, so far as I could see Fukushima was a case of an event beyond the reasonable expectation of the designers hitting the reactor; as in no battleship can be made immune to all conceivable attacks, so it is made sufficiently resistant to credibly plausible ones to function cost effectively. In what way can this be viewed as a case of "greed"? KF PS: Likewise economies and trends have all become noticeably less stable since the 1970's -- a point that was actually underscored in my management studies way back when. Any guess as to why? (I suggest two disruptive patterns, energy costs and the impact of information and communication technologies. In Europe, an amplifying factor has been the over-regulated state that makes it very hard to be agile.) kairosfocus
We may yet be on the cusp of an unprecedented economic collapse, due to the polarisation of the wealth within our Western societies Barry. And then there will be a sorting out, if the Psalms mean anything. Not for nothing do the Psalms and most of the burden of scripture place deceit, violence, oppression, wickedness, generally, in apposition to the rich man ; and virtue, the true Israel, to the poor man. Regarding Fukushima, I'll say nothing other than, it is looking ugly. Again, the reckless, wanton greed of the rich. Axel
A Christian influence was very much alive in the Civil Rights Movement of the early 1960’s. Take a good look at the following thoughts from Martin Luther King Jr., who was a Baptist pastor.
How does one determine when a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law, or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas, an unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal and natural law. Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust. …there is nothing new about… civil disobedience. It was seen sublimely in the refusal of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to obey the laws of Nebuchadnezzar because a higher moral law was involved. It was practiced superbly by the early Christians, who were willing to face hungry lions and the excruciating pain of chopping blocks before submitting to certain unjust laws of the Roman Empire. To a degree, academic freedom is a reality today because Socrates practiced civil disobedience. [However, we need to keep in mind that King was writing in 1963 before the rise of the PC movement.] We can never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was "legal" and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was "illegal." It was "illegal" to aid and comfort a Jew in Hitler's Germany. But I am sure that if I had lived in Germany during that time, I would have aided and comforted my Jewish brothers even though it was illegal. If I lived in a Communist country today where certain principles dear to the Christian faith are suppressed, I believe I would openly advocate disobeying these anti-religious laws...
https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/04/martin-luther-kings-letter-from-birmingham-jail/274668/ john_a_designer
'Regard the lilies of the field. They neither sow neither do they reap. Yet I tell you that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed as one of these.' ' Do not take thought for the morrow...', etc, etc. Was not the widow who gave her last mite into the treasury recklessly imprudent ? What can Jesus have had in mind ? No. I disagree with you on all points, Barry. I wasn't even aware that being on the dole was considered shameful in the UK. As it is, due to the fathomless greed and mania for ever more opulent personal gew-gaws of affluence and status of the Have's, too many in employment scarely get by - in the US with both spouses working, sometimes more than one job. Unemployment has rocketed since at least 1980, hence the scandalous multigenerational scandal, the shame redounding not to the discredit of Joe Six-Pack, but of those same Haves. One of us must have a very strange filter through which we see our Western world, Barry. People actually prefer to work. Axel
PPS: I should add, with a significant number of tellingly biased points. An indication is, in 1990, the Russian Government sent a delegation to Jamaica to apologise for what they had done in 1980. kairosfocus
Truth, Clausewitz long ago noted that war is the continuation of politics by other means. The USA is under ruthless agit prop pushes, and is beginning to go over the precipice into a 4th gen civil war as major power centres have determined to undermine the peaceful legitimate transfer of power in accord with the voice of the people in the 50 parallel elections imposed through your electoral college system. That action and the simple presence of the black shirts makes me ask what would have happened if they had been able to get into office who they wanted. Let me put it this way, the media are now demonstrated utterly corrupt. And, what were black shirts doing going through the months of training to be able to do what we are seeing? Surely, they were not doing skirmish-swarm tactical training to be able to help little old ladies across the street. Ask yourself, who were being scapegoated, stereotyped, slandered and plastered with labels such as nazis, painting targets on their backs. If you do not come to some gut-wrenching, horrific conclusions, you would have to be very naive and ignorant of history. For me, all of this echoes what I went through 37 years ago; and if you think sticks and pepper spray are all that are in the tool boxes, think again. I will never forget the headlines that morning when we heard of the M16 rifles making their shocking, full auto debut through a massacre at a dance party for the opposition Party; I recall the reserve lieutenant who told me his estimate of the aftermath -- his soldiers would have done a more effective job due to their better training and experience with automatic weapons . . . but the implication was, these brigadistas had had preparation enough to do what they set out, shock the country and spread terror. Thankfully, several months later the election stopped the mad rush over the cliff. Horrible, utterly demonic forces are on the loose across our civilisation. KF PS: 1/10 of 1% of the story. kairosfocus
BO'H: The very article you pointed us to has in it strong indicators that the shooting -- singular -- was in self-defense. Given the cases of mayhem by the black shirts and the wider issue of mob attacks, your resistance to the evidence is telling. FYI, there are people who will not passively allow police to stand down while they are mobbed and subjected to the sort of mayhem that just happened at UC Berkeley. Further, you are talking, what, 100 million gun owners, with what 200+ million guns and trillions of rounds of ammunition plus in aggregate a large re-loading capability; many with military training and experience going back to the 1940's, and/or hunting experience. If they were inclined to be as lawless with firearms as you clearly project, the situation would be vastly different than it is now. Indeed, as speculative literature I have seen indicates, one clear difference would be that Breaker Morant's Rule 303 would be in force against key abusive officials, their lackeys and the slandering media figures; with people who can shoot reliably at 800 - 1,000+ yards or if they dispose of certain types of arms, upwards of 2,000 yards. And more, indeed the sort of mobs and tactics we see would be impossible, their leaders would long since have been put down permanently under rule 303. (And no, I am not APPROVING this behaviour; it would be a part of what haunts my worst nightmares, a 4th Gen civil war breaking out in the US and likely Europe while the ME and Africa begin to go up in flames.) KF kairosfocus
Axel, I, like most conservatives, favor a social safety net. Nevertheless, government-run welfare very often creates the very problem it is ostensibly designed to relieve, especially by rewarding sloth, creating inter-generational cycles of dependency, and reducing the cost (and therefore increasing the incidences of) bad moral choices. And why is all of that, Marvin Olasky lays it out in his "Tragedy of American Compassion." See here: https://www.amazon.com/Tragedy-American-Compassion-Marvin-Olasky/dp/089526725X The bottom line is that government does welfare poorly because it is unable to distinguish between the deserving poor and the undeserving poor when it distributes benefits. As an Englishman you know this as well as anyone. After all the pejorative phrase "on the dole" for slothful people taking advantage of government handouts originated in your country. You are wrong to argue that taxes paid to fund government handouts are equivalent to Christian charity. Tragically, for the millions who have been condemned to a life of poverty by the welfare state, exactly the opposite is the case. Barry Arrington
Axel, of the key circle of about 55, over 50 were Christians and some are not r=traceable, only a handful were deists of one sort or another and the one who was outspoken [Paine], they [e.g. Franklin] objected to and counselled to do better. KF kairosfocus
Thank you, Silver. Very informative. Most saliently, that connection between the (‘rugged) individualism’ and the ‘individual liberty’ opposition to state religion, had not occurred to me.
Yes, and it emerged from the theological principle of 'private interpretation' of the Bible. This brings religion to the individual level, and every man is, in a sense his own pope and does not answer to any external religious authority.
It is also helpful to the more worldly Haves, I should imagine, to atomise the society of the Have Nots in that way – the better to exploit them economically.
Yes, exactly. Much of the disorder of modern economics comes from the idea of the Prosperity Gospel - where weath is seen as a sign of God's favor and poverty as His punishment for sinners (the lazy or willfully ignorant). Much of this is traced again to private interpretation of the Bible. In that post-reformation era, direct exposure to the Old Testament and private interpretation gave rise to 'Judiasing' tendencies where the Jewish belief that wealth=blessing and poverty=punishment took hold. The early capitalists believed that more wealth meant more blessing from God, just as the patriarch Abraham had thousands of flocks and herds and an abundance of gold and silver. Thus we have the great monopolists in America and material prosperity seen as Christian living at its best. In this view, it was legitimate to shun the poor since they are being punished by God for their sins. Modern Catholics have picked up the same idea, but we can see the results in the breakdown of monastic life and in religious and priestly vocations -- where sacrificial living and deliberate poverty of the world's goods, and giving to the poor and needy - following Jesus, are seen as the highest Christian ideal. I should add, leftist Catholics and other Christians seek to 'correct' this problem by turning to the secular state to care for the needy. Or in other cases, they try to do it as rugged individualists and go on protests, etc. But the Christian model is community-based in and through the believing community. Christian society in the West was built on that (in spite of the evils of feudailsm and aristocratic privilege inherited from paganism) where the faith community was central. This brings us full circle to state and church aligned. But when both church and state are secularized, together they do the devil's work more effectively than even the individualist model can do (in my opinion). Silver Asiatic
Bob O
At the moment most of the demonstrations are coming from people on the left, so we would expect any violence as a result of those demonstrations to be associated with the left.
We should expect violence from the people who preach tolerance and inclusivity? Silver Asiatic
TWSYF @ 27 -
So far, the violent extremists on the Trump side seem content to watch from the sidelines,
Except when they're shooting people, of course. At the moment most of the demonstrations are coming from people on the left, so we would expect any violence as a result of those demonstrations to be associated with the left. Do you have any evidence of police "standing down" after violence against Trump supporters? That would be awful - it's their job to prevent and investigate violence, whoever is the victim. Bob O'H
Thank you, Silver. Very informative. Most saliently, that connection between the ('rugged) individualism' and the 'individual liberty' opposition to state religion, had not occurred to me. It is also helpful to the more worldly Haves, I should imagine, to atomise the society of the Have Nots in that way - the better to exploit them economically. I have even seen in Catholic periodicals, the insane allegation that a social safety-net engenders a 'moral hazard' among the poorer general public. How different from the view of St Ambrose, to cite but one Church Father : 'It is not from your own possessions that you are bestowing aims on the poor, you are but restoring to them what is theirs by right. For what was given to everyone for the use of all, you have taken for your exclusive use. The earth belongs not to the rich, but to everyone. Thus, far from giving lavishly, you are but paying part of your debt. - St Ambrose Axel
They would surely have had a fit with their leg up at the notion that satanism should be considered a religion. But so many lies are peddled. I read the other day that it was also quite untrue that the signatories were all deists or theists. Some were indeed Christian. I wouldn’t be surprised it it were the najority. Weren’t they supposed to be Quakers ?
You're right - they would have been appalled by this development where the prince of evil is enshrined with religious rights. But I think we could say that the seeds for this noxious growth were planted by the very same founders. As good as their intentions were, and they saw themselves as honorable, most (not all) of them were freemason/deists. They were products of the enlightenment and they also carried hostility to the English crown and a distaste for the religious conflicts in England at the time. So, it was a brilliant idea to have a secular state which could include all religions, even though some were persecuted right from the start (Catholics especially). The guiding principle was of individual liberty - which became individualism, and opposition to state religion. The Puritans wanted to 'purify' Christianity from what they thought was "Romanism" in the English church, and the given the linkage of church and state in England, liberation from High Church Anglicanism also meant a liberal political policy. A few were Quakers, but there was a mixture of other Christian beliefs. Even though some belonged to denominations of various sorts, they were Deist in their actual belief and they thought (as many do today) that freemasonry and Christianity were compatible. But what has developed over the 200+ year struggle in America, is now a breakdown to the freemasonic society where any branch of paganism or as you said, even satanism is given equality with Christianity, for example. The founders were hesitant to say it, but most assumed the superiority of Christian belief to any other. But the secular state became "the wall of separation", and we may even see outright persecution against Christianity from the American state some day (there are indications already). Silver Asiatic
This video contains images some viewers may find disturbing: https://www.facebook.com/TheRebelPatriot/videos/1798423293760434/ bornagain77
KF @ 28: So many good points, with the following being the most frustrating to me: "The obvious idea is to try to provoke retaliation, which will be media edited and presented as proof that the provoked are Nazis, KKK etc." The corporate media is complicate in the leftist agit-prop agenda. The good news is that we now have a very large independent media to counter the leftist corporate media. It is an information war, and it is intensifying by the day. Also, the visceral hatred is building on both sides with tens of millions readying for civil war. I never thought this would happen in the United States during my lifetime...but it IS happening. Truth Will Set You Free
Truth, What I think has been happening is, there has been a lot of rioting from the progressivist side, which has been tolerated as legitimate protest. Police and the relevant local authorities have been reluctant to intervene. We have had cases where careers, reputations and lives of those who have shot defensively have been assaulted, wrecked, ruined. Many people have been saying, better a physical beating or battering than a media and lawfare lynching, in which evidence will be willfully distorted and lies will be made up and spread far and wide. This apparently includes police. (Wonder why there have been heavy police resignations recently?) It is obvious that several often false accusations are being used to create the impression -- aided and abetted by the press -- that some people can be attacked physically: sucker punched, spat upon, hit with sticks/ rods/ placard poles/ flag poles with impunity and even cheering on. This is part of agit prop street theatre as is being played out on the ground now. The obvious idea is to try to provoke retaliation, which will be media edited and presented as proof that the provoked are Nazis, KKK etc. As I discussed in the other thread, swarm-skirmisher tactics are being used by the blackshirts, and individuals or small groups are being pulled out, surrounded, pepper sprayed or strobe-flashed, chased down, knocked unconscious and kicked/stomped while on the ground. The last is the technical crime of mayhem, and just being knocked to the ground where there is concrete or possible sharp edges and projections can be fatal or crippling. Given that too often police are standing down or allowing known likely to be physically abusive or riotous "protesters" within close reach of queues to go into venues, or exits and parking areas is already gross dereliction on the part of authorities. There is a natural right of self defence -- why do you think deer have antlers and sharp hooves -- and human beings don't have impressive natural weapons. People in fear of their lives through being swarmed down are going to start carrying dual use items, or concealable weapons. And, they will use them if threatened, regardless of consequences. Cars are going to be used to break out of swarms by people who realise the implications of limousines being set afire, etc. The real solution is that police need to get their act together and deal with riots seriously, promptly. And, the underlying sedition. If they don't some very ugly things are going to happen, and once the monster of a heavily armed population seeing itself under willful assault with authorities routinely reneging on their duty is let loose, God help us. This needs to stop now, and the progressive leadership had better stop further agit prop talking point games -- e.g. "Oh, UC Berkeley was a false flag Trump/Breitbart operation" (no it was not, one of the people who assaulted a man who was seriously injured has been positively identified through his online boasting) -- and call off their curs. There are real wolf packs out there. The correlation of forces is not as you think, and if the near future dystopian fiction is indicative, lying journalists etc on the street may face Breaker Morant's rule 303. You are right to talk about tipping points, the UC Berkeley incident is either there or close, especially as mayhem threatening life has occurred and as two women have been assaulted -- one the wife of a man who was knocked down and beaten [to the point of hospitalisation], leaving his wife open to attack. I can only hope common sense and decency prevail now. I am openly, frankly afraid they won't. And, remember, I have an eye on the global situation, not just the local one. KF kairosfocus
Bob O'H: Thanks for sharing that report. I will wait to pass judgment until all the facts are in (sounds like a possible defensive shooting). I would agree that violent extremists should be condemned on both sides, but it is a mistake to imply that there is equal violence being committed by both side. That simply does not square with the evidence. So far, the violent extremists on the Trump side seem content to watch from the sidelines, but that won't last long if police departments continue to stand down while Trump supporters get attacked in the street. There is always a tipping point to these things. No one can predict where it is. Truth Will Set You Free
PPS: Note, report said gunshot victim is critical, I hope he makes it and recovers. Absolutely key to understanding the nature of the incident is this:
a man in the crowd outside the University of Washington venue was shot in the abdomen. Two people who turned themselves in to UW police following the shooting were released Saturday. "Following investigation of the details surrounding the incident, and in consultation with the prosecuting attorney’s office, the suspects were released pending further investigation," a UW Police Department spokesperson said in a statement. "No suspects remain outstanding."
That sounds like a DEFENSIVE shooting incident with low/no flight risk. KF kairosfocus
PS: What we are dealing with: http://www.breitbart.com/california/2017/02/02/exclusive-mma-fighter-jake-shields-saved-man-berkeley-violent-rioters/ kairosfocus
I said in my previous post that modern secular-progressive world views draw on “borrowed capital from Judaism and Christianity.” As Nancy Pearcy notes, a few atheists will even concede this admitting…
outright that they have to borrow the ideal of human rights from Christianity. Philosopher Richard Rorty was a committed Darwinist, and in the Darwinian struggle for existence, the strong prevail while the weak are left behind. So evolution cannot be the source of universal human rights. Instead, Rorty says, the concept came from "religious claims that human beings are made in the image of God." He cheerfully admits that he reaches over and borrows the concept of universal rights from Christianity. He even called himself a "freeloading" atheist: "This Jewish and Christian element in our tradition is gratefully invoked by freeloading atheists like myself."
http://www.evolutionnews.org/2015/05/for_its_moral_i095901.html Another atheist philosopher who admits this, as I noted @ 6, is Jürgen Habermas, who says, “Universalistic egalitarianism, from which sprang the ideals of freedom and a collective life in solidarity, the autonomous conduct of life and emancipation, the individual morality of conscience, human rights and democracy, is the direct legacy of the Judaic ethic of justice and the Christian ethic of love…” john_a_designer
BO'H: it is apparently likely the man shot was lead of a blackshirt mayhem swarm similar to the one that seriously injured a couple at UC Berkeley, and pepper sprayed another woman -- blackshirt women seem to have the spray detail as there is a cultural ban on men hitting women. Strobe lighting or laser flashing seem to be also possible -- swarms of 6 - 8 rioters are lurking in the crowds and using tricks like snatching a hat to pull out and isolate targets. Then they surge forth, surround, knock to the ground, stomp, stick and kick, etc. -- likely, soon, knife. Takes only a few seconds, then they melt back into the enabling "peaceful" protesters. Been going on for some years now it seems. Sooner or later someone is going to be killed or crippled for life. Wake up to what is going on and call on police, institution and community leaders to control and disperse riotous assemblies promptly. Higher officials need to deal with what are emerging seditionists at their leadership level. KF kairosfocus
TWSYF @ 13 - here's a local report about the shooting. I've no doubt that some people on the left are as bad, but I think the problem is that there are extremists on both side (for the right, think KKK in the US, and national Front in the UK, for example. Or, come to that, the history of intimidation and bombings of abortion clinics by some pro-lifers), and the correct response is surely to condemn extremists on both sides. Bob O'H
Leodp @ 12:
“Years ago Francis Schaeffer was making the point that communism is properly understood as a Christian heresy. Marx assumes a Christian-like universal moral law (such as the moral good of helping the poor or weak or powerless) while denying the foundation of that law”
Marx, who became an atheist, was born of Jewish parents. Both sides of his family tree were of a “rabbinical ancestry,” however, “Karl’s father converted to Christianity [Lutheranism] in 1816 at the age of 35,” two years before Karl was born. Marx’s upbringing and education, therefore, was also culturally Christian. http://www.biography.com/people/karl-marx-9401219#synopsis Marx thinking was heavily influenced by Hegel, also an observant Lutheran, who accepted Christianity’s linear view of history (see my comment above @ 6). However, Hegel rejected the orthodox Christian view, which sees God as a transcendent being. For Hegel “God” was an immanent pantheistic world spirit who guided history towards better and better outcomes. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy describes it this way:
History, according to Hegel's metaphysical account, is driven by ideological development. Ideological—and therefore historical—change occurs when a new idea is nurtured in the environment of the old one, and eventually overtakes it. Thus development necessarily involves periods of conflict when the old and new ideas clash.
Marx accepted Hegel’s idea that “history… is driven by ideological development” but jettisoned the idea that it was guided by “God.” Thus, Marxism is called dialectical materialism because it retains Hegel’s dialectic without his providential world spirit. All modern secular world views have been influenced in some manner by either Hegel, Marx or both. But it is all borrowed capital from Judaism and Christianity. The problem is, as I said above @ 6, without a transcendent basis for meaning and values any type of secular progressivism is an illusion. In a universe without God humankind has no intrinsic meaning or purpose or value, because the universe does not have him in mind. john_a_designer
Axel, nope (that is a very familiar old dirty trick: turnspeech), here is the UC case: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-03/berkeley-antifa-attacker-unmasked-uc-employee-cnn-and-young-turks-lookin%E2%80%99-so-dumb , and here is a compilation of what has been going on for years: https://twitter.com/TweetBrettMac/status/827418352645709824 KF kairosfocus
Silver Fox, unfortunately the Christian church has been on the back foot for so long, and increasingly so, that the Old Adam, qua secularism, makes the pyramid of Christian patronage by the sovereign down seem increasingly vague and muted, though the Queen and Dooky can't be faulted. It would be comically lese-majestique, I suppose, to comment that they do yeoman's work... But what infuriates me about the situation in the US is that the Founding Fathers' anxiety to keep church and state separate would, it strikes me, not have envisaged satanism in its various forms, not least the literal, formal worship of Satan, at all. Very far from it. They would surely have had a fit with their leg up at the notion that satanism should be considered a religion. But so many lies are peddled. I read the other day that it was also quite untrue that the signatories were all deists or theists. Some were indeed Christian. I wouldn't be surprised it it were the najority. Weren't they supposed to be Quakers ? Axel
This probably throws some light on the Berkley violence, folks - government agents provocateurs : http://www.veteranstoday.com/2017/02/03/scripted-by-bannon/ Axel
Axel - I think one thing Americans (like myself) forget at times is that in England, the state is aligned with the church. So, in theory, the state in England should be a Christian organization that does the good work as a branch of the Christian church should. With the Queen as the head of the Church of England, when people pay state tax, they are in a sense supporting the Christian mission. This would be the same for all functions of the English government - they're the social outreach of the church. In America, however, the state is almost totally secularized. So, yes, taxes are not letting the right hand know what the left is doing -- but both hands may often be supporting anti-Christian policies and operations. In America, the Church has to fill the gaps left by government programs, and often conflict with those programs (as with funding of abortion or birth control is opposed by Catholics and others). The left in the U.S. wants state control because it is a means of secularization and thus removing the influence of the Church. I'd guess in England the left wants secularism also but that means secularizing the church itself. Silver Asiatic
I disagree with your concluding paragraph in your post 1. devolving assistance to the needy to a central government, far from excluding virtue from the tax-paying voters, gives them the opportunity to 'not let their left hadn see what their right hand is doing in this matter of charity, rendering it truly virtuous - we have such a natural rendency to pat ourselves on the back. So even private donations are better effected by a standing order, assuming confidence one's bank account is always 'in the black'. Voting once a year for a party that will contribute to a welfare-state (as rare as hens' teeth in the US, I believe, since WWII, and pretty much shadowed by the UK, as ever) minimises the opportunities for self-congratulation. Since Lady Cardboard's reign as 'the leaderene', reintroducing mass homelessness, and Mr Anthony Blair's transmutation of the Labour Party into NuLab(c), things gave gone decidedly downhill in the UK. But the left-wing alternative means having your infants taught about sodomy and the like in their school. The old Adam was bound to reassert eventually, both right and left being unstable. As for the left, since it plagiarised Judaeo-Christian teachings, and deliberately failed to acknowledge their divine author, has failed massively. If the electorate are faced with a choice between at least partly-honest governments of the right, with vestigial memories of Christian values, and transparently-cynical 'trimmers' of the left, who try to make up their own morality on the hoof, while promulgating such grotesquely farcical PC edicts, they will always choose the former. Perhaps the biggest blunders sustained by the anti-Christian Communist regimes of Europe is that which ensues from their failure to understand that Grace builds upon Nature - and that, moreover, like most things, takes time. This European-superstate nonsense, much favoured by Oswald Mosely in his time, is an analogue of the collectivisation of Stalins' USSR. The kulaks knew better than to willingly entrust their farms, grounded in personal, family and national realities - most of their sense of identity - to politicians : all parts of the Nature that Grace needs to build upon. Axel
Truth, horrible. That is rioting and assault not protest. In some cases, detaining people going about their lawful business. The long line behind the road block speaks for itself, what if there was an ambulance in that lot? The thing is, this has clearly been building up for years and has not been properly addressed. KF kairosfocus
Here's a 9 minute montage of some leftist intimidation and violence against peaceful Trump supporters. I am amazed by the restraint of Trump supporters. https://twitter.com/TweetBrettMac/status/827418352645709824 Truth Will Set You Free
Bob O'H @ 11: All the violence that I have seen leading up to the election and continuing through the Berkeley riots appears to come from unhinged leftist extremists in opposition to Trump. I am aware of the old Trump supporter who sucker-punched a protestor several months back, but I am not aware of a Trump supporter shooting a peaceful demonstrator. Send me the link when you can. And even if we count both of those incidents, they are a mere drop in the bucket compared to all of the intimidation and violence being committed these days by leftists extremists. My guess is that most, if not all, of these leftist extremists are atheists. Truth Will Set You Free
Years ago Francis Schaeffer was making the point that communism is properly understood as a Christian heresy. Marx assumes a Christian-like universal moral law (such as the moral good of helping the poor or weak or powerless) while denying the foundation of that law: rooted in the nature, power, authority and moral nature of our Creator. In a purely material mechanistic universe we are the product of an immeasurable series of incredible accidents without plan, purpose or intent. There can be no transcendent moral law. At least not one with authority. But communism denies the existence of purposeful powerful and moral God, and instead places humankind on the throne... and so, here we are. In the end might makes right... or at least it gets its way. leodp
TWSYF @ 9 - I'm sceptical that "all of the violent provocateurs at Berkley [sic] (and other places during the past year)" were "atheist leftists". I doubt they all had the same theological views, and also the Trump supporter who shot a peaceful demonstrator in Seattle last week was probably not a leftist. Bob O'H
timothya, the 'blanket' accusation of bigotry against anyone who will not pay homage to sodomy, or to be a party to its promototion, irrespective of any considerations of conscience/ religious faith. In the past, a shopkeeper had the right to refuse service to any customer he chose not serve, without need for any explanation. I wonder what happened to that law re wedding-cake bakers and little boarding-house owners ? They even have the brass neck to posture as champions of diversity, evoking, of all things, rainbows as their emblem ; when perhaps, a plain grey flag, would more characteristically emblemise their extraordinarily UNdiverse, monochromatic choice of a partner of the same sex ! The prefix, 'homo', is Greek denoting sameness, not the Latin for 'man'. What is gay, colourful and a cause for riotous and offensive celebration about a sexual relationship with someone of your own sex - and then pretending, indeed, insisting, as best they can with the full weight of the law, that it is a 'marriage' ! Axel
Timothya @ 7: I'm pretty sure that all of the violent provocateurs at Berkley (and other places during the past year) are atheist leftists. Do you disagree? Truth Will Set You Free
timothya, and why would my deplorable opinion matter to you? bornagain77
BA77: "The atheistic left, although they often pretend they are morally superior to Christians, has lost all credibility as far as morality is concerned." Leaving aside the tendentious language, who were these atheistic leftists and when did these people claim this moral superiority, when did their claims lose all credibility, and who caused this loss of credibility? timothya
Today is Groundhog’s Day. Jonah Goldberg of National Review has a good article about Bill Murray’s 1993 movie* which is a whimsical parable about a cynical weatherman, Phil Connors, (Murray) who is fated to live Groundhog Day over and over and over… again and again and again… (If you are not familiar with the movie’s storyline, the film’s trailer is pretty self-explanatory-- as well as very funny.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tSVeDx9fk60 As Goldberg points out in his article the “original script was apparently much more complex and philosophical… Murray wanted the film to be more philosophical… but [Harold] Ramis [his co-producer/writer] constantly insisted that the film be funny first and philosophical second.” They compromised. It is a very funny movie but it’s also very thought provoking. Indeed, as Goldberg found out his assessment was neither original nor uncommon. “When I set out to write this article,” he says by way of introdution, “I thought it’d be fun to do a quirky homage to an offbeat flick, one I think is brilliant as both comedy and moral philosophy. But while doing what I intended to be cursory research… I discovered that I wasn’t alone in my interest. In the years since its release the film has been taken up by Jews, Catholics, Evangelicals, Hindus, Buddhists, Wiccans, and followers of the oppressed Chinese Falun Gong movement. Meanwhile, the Internet brims with weighty philosophical treatises on the deep Platonist, Aristotelian, and existentialist themes providing the skin and bones beneath the film’s clown makeup.” Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/node/413127 We could use this modern day parable as a jumping off point to explore a number of different themes and ideas. However, to stay on topic let me discuss something that is consistent with the subject of the OP. Notice that Phil Connors gets a chance to experience what every person, who has ever experienced life (even skeptics and atheists) have thought about, dreamed about or hoped for-- immortality. But he is immortal because he is caught in an endless cycle… something he seeks to escape, even if it means becoming mortal again. He doesn’t want to live life the way he is experiencing it, but why? Nietzsche along with many eastern philosophies teach the idea that cosmos and even history are cyclical and eternally recurring. Judaism and Christianity, on other hand, embrace a linear (progressive) view of history, which sees history having, not only a goal, but a purpose and meaning. Secular-progressives have co-opted or “appropriated” this idea and have used it as a basis for their world view. For example, ideas like “social justice,” scientific/technical and economic advancement do not make any sense unless we live in a world where real progress is possible. There is no doubt we have seen enormous scientific and technical progress which has resulted in economic progress but from where did the idea of progress originate? I would argue that is fundamentally a Christian idea. Historically there is also no doubt that the scientific and technological (industrial) revolutions occurred within a Christian milieu. However, I think there is a stronger argument that the idea of moral progress and social justice, especially when it comes to concepts like universal human rights, is also, philosophically and historically, a distinctly Christian idea. Even some atheist thinkers agree with me here. For example, philosopher Jürgen Habermas writes:
“Universalistic egalitarianism, from which sprang the ideals of freedom and a collective life in solidarity, the autonomous conduct of life and emancipation, the individual morality of conscience, human rights and democracy, is the direct legacy of the Judaic ethic of justice and the Christian ethic of love. This legacy, substantially unchanged, has been the object of continual critical appropriation and reinterpretation. To this day, there is no alternative to it. And in light of the current challenges of a postnational constellation, we continue to draw on the substance of this heritage. Everything else is just idle postmodern talk.” (Jürgen Habermas – “Time of Transitions”, Polity Press, 2006, pp. 150-151, translation of an interview from 1999).
http://habermas-rawls.blogspot.com/2009/06/misquote-about-habermas-and.html The idea of universal human rights requires some kind of transcendent standard. But how do we explain how rights and morals can be grounded by a purposeless natural process. By definition any kind of Darwinian or naturalistic evolution is-- indeed must be-- purposeless. But universal human rights and objective moral values cannot be explained without purpose. In other words, how could a purposeless process give rise to purpose? *footnote: Read the editor’s note. Hint: this isn’t the first time that this article has been published:-) john_a_designer
The atheistic left, although they often pretend they are morally superior to Christians, has lost all credibility as far as morality is concerned. If we evolved, as the 'educated' left insist that we did, objective morality is dead and there is no such thing as a morally superior position of the left because there are no longer any objective morals for the left to point to. Period.
“The modern age, more or less repudiating the idea of a divine lawgiver, has nevertheless tried to retain the ideas of moral right and wrong, not noticing that, in casting God aside, they have also abolished the conditions of meaningfulness for moral right and wrong as well. Thus, even educated persons sometimes declare that such things as war, or abortion, or the violation of certain human rights, are morally wrong, and they imagine that they have said something true and significant. Educated people do not need to be told, however, that questions such as these have never been answered outside of religion. He concludes, Contemporary writers in ethics, who blithely discourse upon moral right and wrong and moral obligation without any reference to religion, are really just weaving intellectual webs from thin air; which amounts to saying that they discourse without meaning.” Richard Taylor For Its Moral Ideals, Evolutionary Materialism "Freeloads" on Christianity - Nancy Pearcey - May 8, 2015 Excerpt: Westerners pride themselves on holding noble ideals such as equality and universal human rights. Yet the dominant worldview of our day -- evolutionary materialism -- denies the reality of human freedom and gives no basis for moral ideals such as human rights. So where did the idea of equal rights come from? The 19th-century political thinker Alexis de Tocqueville said it came from Christianity. "The most profound geniuses of Rome and Greece" never came up with the idea of equal rights, he wrote. "Jesus Christ had to come to earth to make it understood that all members of the human species are naturally alike and equal." The 19th-century atheist Friedrich Nietzsche agreed: "Another Christian concept ... has passed even more deeply into the tissue of modernity: the concept of the 'equality of souls before God.' This concept furnishes the prototype of all theories of equal rights." Contemporary atheist Luc Ferry says the same thing. We tend to take the concept of equality for granted; yet it was Christianity that overthrew ancient social hierarchies between rich and poor, masters and slaves. "According to Christianity, we were all 'brothers,' on the same level as creatures of God," Ferry writes. "Christianity is the first universalist ethos.",,, At the birth of our nation, the American founders deemed it self-evident that human rights must be grounded in God. The Declaration of Independence leads off with those bright, blazing words: "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." In the summer of 2013, a beer company sparked controversy when it released an advertisement for Independence Day that deleted the crucial words "by their Creator." The ad said, "They are endowed with certain unalienable rights." (Endowed by whom?) The advertisement is emblematic of what many secularists do: They borrow ideals like equality and rights from a biblical worldview but cut them off from their source in the Creator. They are freeloaders. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2015/05/for_its_moral_i095901.html Sociological Survey Confirms the Dangers of a "Biological" View of Humanity - Richard Weikart - September 28, 2016 Excerpt: He identified three main views of humanity that dominate the academic debate: the theological view, the biological view, and the philosophical view. The theological view is the Judeo-Christian position that considers humans created in the image of God. The biological view is a materialistic vision of humanity that considers humans nothing more than their biological makeup. This view tends to see human behavior as biologically determined. The philosophical view is the position that humans are defined by specific traits, such as rationality or self-awareness.,,, What he found was that people upholding the biological point of view (and the philosophical view) were less likely to support human rights than those embracing the theological perspective. He admits point blank that the critics (including me) are correct: "From the normative perspective of the critics, this all seems quite damning, and the conclusion is clear -- the critics are correct to be concerned about the spread of these anthropologies" http://www.evolutionnews.org/2016/09/sociological_su103175.html
Of supplemental note: You may appreciate this article Mr. Arrington,,
A Disabled Lawmaker Speaks Out About Abortion: ‘People Like Me’ Are Facing Extinction January 30, 2017 http://thefederalist.com/2017/01/30/disabled-lawmaker-speak-out-about-abortion-says-people-like-me-face-extinction/
My "liberal" friends know that the state is no substitute for individuals acting positively in the world, but they often talk as if it is, because they think it's a plausible lie that some will go along with...those some being their other "liberal" friends. Andrew asauber
GG -- interesting points. When individuals put the responsibility for acting virtuously on the state and not themselves, then the state just ends up crushing everybody with laws and oppression. Silver Asiatic
Leftist virtue allows Democrats in confirmation hearings are saying that Trump's nominees have "ethical issues" because they do not support the program of the left to force everyone to serve the "common" good. This is a practical example of how the belief in Christian virtues is used in service to the left when their idea of "ethics" doesn't meet the traditional meaning of the word as referring to personal virtue, especially honesty and self-dealing, but rather leftist virtue of supporting the state as the enforcer of a virtuous society. GaryGag
This analysis is too narrow. Leftists are not exclusively or even principally Gnostics. More broadly, the left seeks Christian virtue in improving the conditions of the suffering (the hungry, thirsty, outcasts, naked, sick, imprisoned, etc.), but they seek to offload the personal responsibility of virtue to the state. This means virtue is no longer a personal concern, but a political one. This thinking goes back to the basis of communism sought to leverage a non-religious, impersonal Christian-like form of virtue as a justification for state power. The appeal of the Christian attitude toward the less fortunate was undeniable after comparing Christian societies to non-Christian ones. So they claimed that such a society could be created without the unnecessary baggage of God. After all, God in this world relies upon people to act as his hands. The result is a kind of moral superiority without moral action, since no personal good acts are required. All that is required is to support the state forcing other people to pay for the "common good" as defined by the virtuous, that is, the leftists. The idea that there might be a personal good, an individual good, that can only be identified by individuals working and serving those near them is rejected. There is only the collective good (as defined by the left) to which all individual desires must be subordinated. GaryGag

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