Archive for the ‘Culture’ Category

Israel – Good or Evil? Is the world confused?

April 14, 2011 Leave a comment

Moral Relativism : Practical? Liveable? Threatening?

February 7, 2011 3 comments

How important is this issue? After all, it’s just philosophy, and philosophy is just ideas. But ideas have consequences. Sometimes these consequences are as momentous as a holocaust, or a Hiroshima. Sometimes even more momentous. Philosophy is just thought, but sow a thought, reap an act; sow an act, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny. This is just as true for societies as it is for individuals.

Moral relativism usually includes three claims: That morality is first of all changeable; secondly, subjective; and third, individual. That it is relative first to changing times; you can’t turn back the clock. Secondly, to what we subjectively think or feel; there is nothing good or bad, but thinking makes it so. And thirdly, to individuals; different strokes for different folks. Moral absolutism claims that there are moral principles that are unchangeable, objective, and universal.

Here, two contributions to this topic are presented, that of Dr Peter Kreeft and the following video by Dr William Lane Craig.

Peter Maurin and Dorothy Day defined a good society as one that makes it easy for you to be good. Correlatively, a free society is one that makes it easy to be free. To be free, and to live freely, is to live spiritually, because only spirit is free—matter is not. To live spiritually is to live morally. The two essential properties of spirit that distinguish it from matter are intellect and will—the capacity for knowledge and moral choice. The ideals of truth and goodness. The most radical threat to living morally today is the loss of moral principles.

Moral practice has always been difficult for fallen humanity, but at least there was always the lighthouse of moral principles, no matter how stormy the sea of moral practice got. But today, with the majority of our mind-molders, in formal education, or informal education—that is, media—the light is gone. Morality is a fog of feelings. That is why to them, as Chesterton said, “Morality is always dreadfully complicated to a man who has lost all his principles.” Principles mean moral absolutes. Unchanging rocks beneath the changing waves of feelings and practices. Moral relativism is a philosophy that denies moral absolutes. That thought to me is the prime suspect—public enemy number one. The philosophy that has extinguished the light in the minds of our teachers, and then their students, and eventually, if not reversed, will extinguish our whole civilization. Therefore, I want not just to present a strong case against moral relativism, but to refute it, to unmask it, to strip it naked, to humiliate it, to shame it, to give it the wallop it deserves, as they say in Texas, America’s good neighbour to the south.

How important is the issue? The issue of moral relativism is merely the single most important issue of our age, for no society in all of human history has ever survived without rejecting the philosophy that I am about to refute. There has never been a society of relativists. Therefore, our society will do one of three things: either disprove one of the most universally established laws of all history; or repent of its relativism and survive; or persist in its relativism and perish.

How important is the issue? C.S. Lewis says, in The Poison of Subjectivism, that relativism “will certainly end our species and damn our souls.” Please remember that Oxonians are not given to exaggeration. Why does he say “damn our souls?” Because Lewis is a Christian, and he does not disagree with the fundamental teaching of his master, Christ, and all the prophets in the Jewish tradition, that salvation presupposes repentance, and repentance presupposes an objectively real moral law. Moral relativism eliminates that law, thus trivializes repentance, thus imperils salvation.

Why does he say, “end our species,” and not just modern Western civilization? Because the entire human species is becoming increasingly Westernized and relativized. It is ironic that America, the primary source of relativism in the world today, is also the world’s most religious nation. This is ironic because religion is to relativism what Dr. Van Helsing is to Count Dracula. Within America, the strongest opposition to relativism comes from the churches. Yet a still further irony, according to the most recent polls, Catholics are as relativistic, both in behavior and in belief, as non-Catholics. Sixty-two percent of Evangelicals say they disbelieve in any absolute or unchanging truths, and American Jews are significantly more relativistic and more secular than Gentiles. Only Orthodox Jews, the Eastern Orthodox, and Fundamentalists seem to be resisting the culture, but not by converting it, but by withdrawing from it. And that includes most Muslims, except for the tiny minority who terrorize it. When Pat Buchanan told us in 1992 that we were in a culture war, all the media laughed, sneered, and barked at him. Today, everyone knows he was right, and the culture war is most essentially about this issue.

See the links below for further detail on this argument against moral relativism.

1. Argument for Relativism:  Psychological
2. Argument for Relativism:  Cultural
3. Argument for Relativism:  Social Conditioning
4. Argument for Relativism:  Freedom
5. Argument for Relativism:  Tolerance
6. Argument for Relativism:  Situations

7. Argument for Absolutism:  Consequences
8. Argument for Absolutism:  Tradition
9. Argument for Absolutism:  Moral Experience
10. Argument for Absolutism:  Ad Hominem
11. Argument for Absolutism:  Moral Language

Postscript: Cause and Cure

Science : Implicitly Bound To Facts Beyond Suspicion?

November 22, 2010 Leave a comment

“A powerful riposte to atheist mockery and cocksure science, and to the sort of philosophy that surrenders to them. David Berlinski proceeds reasonably and calmly to challenge recent scientific theorizing and to expose the unreason from which it presumes to criticize religion.”
—Harvey Mansfield, Professor of Government, Harvard University

Militant atheism is on the rise. Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, and Christopher Hitchens have dominated bestseller lists with books denigrating religious belief as dangerous foolishness. And these authors are merely the leading edge of a far larger movement–one that now includes much of the scientific community.

“The attack on traditional religious thought,” writes David Berlinski in The Devil’s Delusion, “marks the consolidation in our time of science as the single system of belief in which rational men and women might place their faith, and if not their faith, then certainly their devotion.”

A secular Jew, Berlinski nonetheless delivers a biting defense of religious thought. An acclaimed author who has spent his career writing about mathematics and the sciences, he turns the scientific community’s cherished skepticism back on itself, daring to ask and answer some rather embarrassing questions:

Has anyone provided a proof of God’s inexistence?
Not even close.

Has quantum cosmology explained the emergence of the universe or why it is here?
Not even close.

Have the sciences explained why our universe seems to be fine-tuned to allow for the existence of life?
Not even close.

Are physicists and biologists willing to believe in anything so long as it is not religious thought?
Close enough.

Has rationalism in moral thought provided us with an understanding of what is good, what is right, and what is moral?
Not close enough.

Has secularism in the terrible twentieth century been a force for good?
Not even close to being close.

Is there a narrow and oppressive orthodoxy of thought and opinion within the sciences?
Close enough.

Does anything in the sciences or in their philosophy justify the claim that religious belief is irrational?
Not even ballpark.

Is scientific atheism a frivolous exercise in intellectual contempt?
Dead on.

Berlinski does not dismiss the achievements of western science. The great physical theories, he observes, are among the treasures of the human race. But they do nothing to answer the questions that religion asks, and they fail to offer a coherent description of the cosmos or the methods by which it might be investigated.

This book explores the limits of science and the pretensions of those who insist it can be–indeed must be–the ultimate touchstone for understanding our world and ourselves.

David Berlinski is an American educator and author of several books on mathematics. He received his Ph.D. in philosophy from Princeton University and was later a postdoctoral fellow in mathematics and molecular biology at Columbia University. He has authored works on systems analysis, differential topology, theoretical biology, analytic philosophy, and the philosophy of mathematics, as well as three novels. He has also taught philosophy, mathematics and English at Stanford, Rutgers, the City University of New York and the Université de Paris. In addition, he has held research fellowships at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Austria and the Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques.

“My Genes Made Me Do It”

November 9, 2010 Leave a comment

My Genes Made Me Do It, Homosexuality and the Scientific Evidence shows homosexuality is not inborn or biologically innate and that sexual orientation naturally undergoes huge change.

The book argues for a roughly 10%/90% nature/nurture effect in homosexuality while asserting that any genetic effect is very indirect eg: any physical characteristic making a person feel gender-atypical. The book shows that homosexual orientation is not biologically driven or fixed but that change toward heterosexuality frequently occurs naturally without any therapeutic interventions. It contains arguments not found elsewhere. Using orthodox science and summarising over 10,000 scientific publications and papers, it is nevertheless very accessible to the average reader.

The book is available for free (or to purchase) online at


Table of Contents
Chapter 1. Can genes create sexual preferences?
Chapter 2. The genetic implications of SSA population percentage
Chapter 3. Are heterosexuals born that way?
Chapter 4. How strong are our instincts?
Chapter 5. What produces the sexual identity of intersexes?
Chapter 6. What do different cultures tell us about homosexuality?
Chapter 7. Pre-natal hormones? Stress? Immune attack?
Chapter 8. Are brains gay?
Chapter 9. The “discovery” of the “gay gene”
Chapter 10. Twin Studies: the strongest evidence
Chapter 11. Path Analysis – social factors do lead to homosexuality?
Chapter 12. Can sexual orientation change?

Categories: Culture, Deception, Science

TV & Children…!

November 9, 2010 Leave a comment

Never before in parenting history has there been entire product ranges (and channels) available to make television-watching more ‘appropriate’ for children, as young as three months old. Surely, if I am letting my baby watch a dvd that was specifically designed for him, it’s ok? Surely, television is as beneficial for our children as it is for us?

The simple and honest answer is “No”. Television is not good for babies or young children at all. It doesn’t matter what’s on, even if it’s a special dvd you spent your hard-earned money on. A whole series of scientific research projects confirms this for us. Sorry folks, that’s the ugly truth.

What do the scientists say?

The University of Washington studied more than 1000 families and reported that for every hour that infants of 8 – 16 months watched dvds such as “Baby Einstein” and “Brainy Baby”, they understood 6-8 fewer words than other babies who were not exposed to such dvds (Associations between Media Viewing and Language Development in Children under Age 2 years – The Journal of Pediatrics, V151, Issue 4, Pgs 364-368). Interestingly, Disney, who own Baby Einstein, is now offering refunds to disgruntled US parents.

A study from Seattle examined more than 2500 children younger than 36 months, and found that for every hour of television watched daily, the risk of attention problems at age seven increased nearly 10 percent. They were more likely to be confused, impulsive, restless or obsessive about things in their lives – the problems were similar to symptoms of ADHD. (Attention-Deficit Risk Linked to Young Kids’ TV Time, Seattle Times, 5 April 2004)

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no TV before the age of two years and that children over two years be limited to one to two hours per day of educational material on TV. (Eh-Oh! Pediatricians Ban TV for Toddlers, David Burke

In August 2009, France’s broadcasting authority banned the airing of TV shows aimed at children under three, after French psychologists found that: “Television viewing hurts the development of children under three years old and poses a certain number of risks, encouraging passivity, slow language acquisition, over-excitedness, troubles with sleep and concentration, as well as dependence on screens.” (France Pulls Plug on TV Shows Aimed at Babies, CBC News, Wed Aug 20 2008)

Why does television have such a negative effect on children during the early years?

As adults, we can watch something on television and give it meaning – this is primarily because our brains are already wired. We have real life experiences behind us, we understand language and we have a frame of reference to draw from.

Young children, however, are especially vulnerable to the negative effects of television because a young child’s brain is being wired at a rate of half a million brain cell connections per second…(The Baby Brain-Drain, The Times, 1 Nov 2007, Dr Miriam Stoppard). The experiences that your child is having is literally shaping his brain, and the more often he uses certain pathways, the more ‘hardwired’ those neural pathways become.

Young children simply stare at the rapidly changing scenes and take in the noises without any understanding whatsoever. We know this for a fact because scientists using Positron Imaging Technology can see inside a young child’s brain when they’re watching television. They have discovered that only the visual and listening areas of the child’s brain is stimulated, while the areas of the brain used for communicating, learning, thinking, memorising, expressing personality and fine tuning social behaviour remain inactive and completely un-stimulated during television-time.

In stark contrast, when a parent reads to a child and plays various games with him, his brain lights up like a Christmas tree as links are rapidly formed between all the regions of the brain. For example, when you show your child a picture of a dog and explain how the dog jumps and barks, he has to use various parts of his brain to form a mental picture of this through his imagination – when he watches television, the work of understanding and imagining is literally stolen away from his young developing brain, and along with that, the brain development that could’ve taken place is also snatched away. This arguably makes television one of the greatest and most silent thieves in the modern child’s world.

Reading and interacting with your child gives him language (scientific research proves that spoken language on TV is just ‘white noise’ for your child, without any meaning). In addition, when you’re interacting with your child you can read his emotions and respond appropriately, giving a little more attention to an area he doesn’t quite understand or laughing at the parts that he finds amusing (television cannot do this).

As adults, we often use television as a relaxation tool, ‘spacing out’ in front of our television sets after a stressful or busy day, and many adults find that it helps them to fall asleep. For young children, the rapidly changing scenes and noise is so mesmerising, it can actually be equated to ‘baby crack cocaine’.

Watching television literally rewires a child’s brain during the early years – the result is a child whose brain is so used to side-stepping the language and thinking areas that it becomes the default setting of that child’s brain to react to information without understanding – not only when they’re watching television, but in the real world as well.

The result is child who literally looks without ‘seeing’ and hears without ‘listening’.

OK – so what if your child has already been exposed to large amounts of television?

As quoted by a writer for The Times, Dr Martin Ward-Platt believes, “of course, the thing that really makes a difference for a baby is interaction with a caregiver and there is nothing we can invent as a people substitute. But if a child watches some TV and is exposed to people for the rest of the time, they will do fine. What we don’t know is where the limit is, where you start to hold children back.”

In real life, if you have a strong immune system, your body can fight off small viral attacks, and if you exercise everyday you can indulge in that piece of chocolate cake without fear of putting on too much weight. Similarly, if your baby receives large amounts of loving one-on-one interaction and stimulation from the important people in her life, her brain will be more densely wired and therefore will be more resilient to the impact of short periods of television watching.

As a parent I didn’t understand the effects of television on my young baby, and knowing what I know now, I will make wiser choices. If you enjoy some ‘me-time’ or a cup of coffee while your young child is watching television in the morning or evening, it is not the end of the world. As long as you don’t for one second believe it is actually good for them in any way. Keep in mind that you need to ensure a healthy balance by giving your young child as much individual attention as possible, whenever you can. We literally have to counter-act the negative effects of television-viewing with the positive effects of large amounts of one-on-one interaction.

This is a copy of the article originally posted at


Categories: Culture, Science

Child Brides Worldwide

November 1, 2010 Leave a comment

There is no need for commentary. The pictures & videos tell this story…

Mass Marriage in Gaza:

Debate on child marriage in Yemen:

Extracts from two videos below:

Pro-Hamas Broadcast:

Non-translated video footage:

Categories: Culture, Deception, News

Yoga, Mohler & his Mailbox

October 8, 2010 Leave a comment

Mohler’s title above – he touched on this topic and was quite shocked by the response. Note that stronger criticism starts more in the second interview. Click below to listen, or download MP3 here. The audio is well worth listening to if you have ever wondered about how compatible Yoga is with Biblical faith.

Quote from Mohler’s site:
Well, you never know what a day holds. This morning, Yahoo put the Associated Press story about my article on yoga on its front page. The rest, as they say, is history. My mail servers are exhausted. Messages have been coming in at a rate of about a hundred an hour. The first lesson — count the cost when you talk about yoga. These people get bent out of shape fast.

Today, Dylan Lovan of the Associated Press titled his story, “Southern Baptist Leader on Yoga: Not Christianity.” Well here is the appropriate next headline: “Christian Concerns About Yoga: Not News.” You would think that Christians had never asked the question before. To Lovan’s credit, he framed his story on the controversy that followed my original article, published back on September 20, “The Subtle Body — Should Christians Practice Yoga?.”

Lovan documents the controversy and quotes me as saying: “I’m really surprised by the depth of the commitment to yoga found on the part of many who identify as Christians.” Well, double or triple that now.

Here are the lessons I have learned thus far from the controversy:

1. I have received hundreds of emails and comments against my article from those identifying as Christians. Not one–not a single one–has addressed the theological and biblical issues. There is not even a single protest communication offering a theological argument.

2. Evidently, the statistics reported by the yoga community are right. This is a female dominated field of activity. More than 90 percent of the protest communications come from women.

3. Sadly, almost every protest email makes my point better than I ever could myself. I have heard endless claims that there is no incompatibility between yoga and Christianity because it makes people feel better, it helps spirituality, it is a better way to know God, etc. There is no embarrassment on the part of these hundreds of email writers that they are replacing biblical Christianity with a religion of their own invention.

4. The kind of thinking represented by this avalanche of emails is perfectly illustrated by the comments of Stephanie Dillon, a local yoga instructor here in Louisville who attends the best-known church in our area:

Stephanie Dillon, who has injected Christian themes into her studio in Louisville, said yoga brought her closer to her Christian faith, which had faded after college and service in the Army.

“What I found is that it opened my spirit, it renewed my spirituality,” Dillon said. “That happened first and then I went back to church.” Dillon attends Southeast Christian Church in Louisville and says many evangelical Christians from the church attend her yoga classes.

She said she prayed on the question of whether to mix yoga and Christianity before opening her studio, PM Yoga, where she discusses her relationship with Jesus during classes.

“My objection (to Mohler’s view) personally is that I feel that yoga enhances a person’s spirituality,” Dillon said. “I don’t like to look at religion from a law standpoint but a relationship standpoint, a relationship with Jesus Christ specifically.”

Now, in fairness to Ms. Dillon, she might have said or have meant to say more than is reported here, but taking her comments at face value, we see Exhibit A of the problem. She comments that yoga “renewed my spirituality,” with no reference to anything remotely Christian and Gospel-centered about this renewal. She insists that yoga “enhances a person’s spirituality” without any recognition that this is not what biblical Christianity is all about. But, she prayed before deciding “to mix yoga and Christianity,” so everything must be just fine.

5. I have heard from a myriad of Christians who insist that their practice of yoga involves absolutely no meditation, no spiritual direction, no inward concentration, and no thought element. Well, if so, you are simply not practicing yoga. You may be twisting yourselves into pretzels or grasshoppers, but if there is no meditation or direction of consciousness, you are not practicing yoga, you are simply performing a physical exercise. Don’t call it yoga.

6. We are in worse shape than we thought. I have heard from a myriad of souls who have called me insane, incompetent, stupid, vile, fundamentalist, and perverted. Some others are best left unrepeated. These souls claim to be Christian, but offer no biblical argument nor do they even acknowledge the basic fact that yoga, as a spiritual practice, runs directly counter to the spiritual counsel of the Bible. Instead, I have been treated to arguments like these. From a “devoted Southern Baptist church member who resents your ignorance”: I get much more out of yoga and meditation than I ever get out of a sermon in church. From “a Christian who goes to church every service”: My favorite image I use in yoga is that of Jesus assuming a perfect yoga position in the garden of Gethsemane as he prays. And, to cap it all off: How do we know that the apostles and early Christian guys did not use yoga to commune with Jesus after he left?

My email box is filling back up as we speak. This is going to be a very long day.

Categories: Apostasy, Biblical, Culture, Deception, History Tags:
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