A SERIES OF COMMENTS RELATED TO THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION

cevolutionWe are too often full of ourselves, making big fusses about small things — forgetting what matters. Therefore, in my last post the discussion got sidetracked.  Yet we can still use that discussion to make the larger point.

In a comment (on WHY DO CHILDREN NEED A RELIGIOUS EDUCATION?) replying to tildeb (here), Matthew introduced the subject of the Theory of Evolution.

What religious answers provide is a substitution of an honest “I don’t know” with a “But here is what I believe.”

Secular religious beliefs provide the same “But here is what I believe.” An honest Secularist will say, “I do not know.” Both worldviews begin with presuppositions. For instance. Where were you at the formation of the universe? You and I shall answer, “I was not there.” Where were you at the foundation of the earth? You and I shall answer, “I was not there.” Who or what determined the measurements of the universe and earth? You and I shall answer, “I do not know. But here is what I believe. . .” Your worldview beings with evolutionary presuppositions, whereas my worldview begins with creation presuppositions. Get my drift? You and I observe and measure the same facts, but we interpret those facts differently owing to different presuppositions and biases. There never was and never will be an objective scientist, whether Christian or Secularist. Both Christian and Secular scientists go into the lab with their respective religions. (from here)

With that  took off. Here is a sample.

I lend claims about reality – say, the explanatory model we call evolution – a very great deal of confidence not because I first believe it to be true. That’s the apologetic southern product of a northern facing bovine. I lend that confidence about a claim when the explanatory model produces applications, therapies, and technologies that seem to work for everyone everywhere all the time regardless of any contrary beliefs they may hold… compared to lending confidence to an explanatory model that produces no applications, no therapies, no technologies that work for anyone anywhere ever. The explanatory model of, say, evolution continues to consistently and reliably produce not just new knowledge but new and productive avenues of inquiry. It is a model that keeps on giving us insights into how reality operates, how life really does change over time demonstrable and falsifiable through the genetics of common ancestry. All of this has exactly NOTHING to do with my beliefs about it but work regardless. So it has nothing to do with the beliefs I bring with me when I consider the world’s arbitration of claims made about it. (from here)

Of course,   added that the creation model “proposes that a mysterious agency of Oogity Boogity! used a mechanism best described as POOF!ism to create stuff like life.” So   tried explain that the Theory of Evolution is also religious in nature.

Every student of logic knows that definition is a matter of importance in logical discourse. Everything is a religion. Believers and unbelievers cannot escape this fact. Everyone has religious views. The word “religion” derives from the Latinreligio, which simply means belief and devout — nothing more, nothing less. For example, is evolutionism a religion? First, does evolution have a system of beliefs? Yes. Second, are evolutionists devoted to that system of beliefs? Yes. Therefore, evolutionism is a religion. Likewise, creationism is a religion. Question. If the people wish to separate religion and state, which is a religious view, then why are we teaching the religion of evolutionism in our classrooms? (from here)

When that did not go over with , I tried a different tact.

Is the Theory of Evolution a fundamental pillar of biology? Not really. There is a lot written that suggests the Theory of Evolution is important, but very little practical use is made of the theory. Evolution is used to explain taxonomy, for example, but we don’t actually use Evolution to do taxonomy.

So if the Theory of Evolution is ever proven to be seriously flawed (assuming we ever learn enough to discover said flaw), scientists will just edit some textbooks. The difficulty will be admitting the mistake, not dealing with it. (from here)

, of course, did not reply with an example of a practical use for the Theory of Evolution. Here in this excerpt he was as about as polite as he could be.

Perhaps you missed the bit that NOTHING in biology makes sense without the evolutionary explanation. Nothing. But to you, this doesn’t really matter, does it? You seem perfectly comfortable to intellectually shrug as if of little consequence that this explanation works to directly inform applications, therapies, and technologies that – oh, by some strange coincidence, just so happens to work for everyone everywhere all the time. Meh. Probably some chance result. (from here)

Therefore, I offered  a direct challenge.

You say Theory of Evolution is a pillar of biology. Thus far, in support of that contention you have spouted a bunch of meaningless generalities. If you can be more specific, I will have learned something. If you cannot, maybe you will learn something.

So here is a challenge. A man walks into a doctor’s office. He is ill. Is there any illness that man might have that a doctor who believes in the Theory of Evolution would treat differently than a doctor who thinks the theory is not true? That is, how could a doctor apply Theory of Evolution, supposedly a fundamental theory of biology, in his practice? (from here)

 responded mostly with insults (here). Frankly, if  is not defending his religion, his behavior is inexplicable.

Anyway, the comment trail following WHY DO CHILDREN NEED A RELIGIOUS EDUCATION? is more interesting than the post and I suggest perusing it.

As to that challenge I gave . Anyone is welcome to reply at this post. If you can prove me wrong, then I will have learned something, but here is what I currently believe.

tildeb – I asked the question to make a point. The Theory of Evolution is only an explanatory model. If it happens to be a good explanation, that is okay. If not, so what?

An idea can be idea about something we believe true or something we don’t believe. In either case, we can share the idea. If I tell you a car is coming, and you don’t believe me, then if I am telling you the truth, you will wish you had gotten out of the way. Whether or not someone believes or does not believe the Theory of Evolution, however, is not of much consequence.

My point? It is what I have said before. The Theory of Evolution is not a pillar of Biology. It does not hold up anything. We hold it up by speculating upon whether or not it might be true. Except for the fact some people are overly impressed, the fact that our speculations are quite elaborate changes nothing.

Anyway, thank you for visiting. (from here)

When I look at the problem of educating our children, what concerns me is this. If we put parents in charge, then we put the people who are most likely to CARE in charge of the education of children. If we put politicians in charge, we put people who care too much about something else (like the Theory of Evolution or their pocketbooks) in charge.

Posted in Culture War, Information Warfare, Philosophy, religion | Tagged , , , , , , , | 46 Comments

WHY DO CHILDREN NEED A RELIGIOUS EDUCATION?

ministry-of-education

The Root Of The Problem

No matter how we educate children, the topic of religion is inescapable; government-run education does not and cannot avoid it. Why? Ravi Zacharias (an expert in Christian apologetics) says there are Four Questions To Answer In Life.

  • Origin  – Where do we come from?
  • Meaning – Why are we here?
  • Morality – What’s right and what’s wrong?
  • Destiny – What happens to a human being when I die?

These are religious questions. We are practically born wanting to know the answers. Therefore, no educational system can avoid these questions. Even a supposedly secular education (such as that provided by our public school system) must address each of these questions either directly or indirectly.

At best, what a secular education does is try to render the issue of God irrelevant. Therefore, because government-run schools are “secular” institutions, many Atheists promote public education as a way of undermining the Christian faith.

Consider this satirical cartoon as an example. When I argued that no education is complete without religious instruction (here), tildeb (apparently a militant Atheist) threw up the cartoon (here). At first, I thought the cartoon simply absurd. Then I realized the cartoonist was trying to satirize religious education as indoctrination into senseless superstitions.

What Are The Problems With Government-Run Education?

Talk to different people, and you will get different ideas about who needs an education and what kind of education is needed. In America, we generally think every child has the “right” to a basic education (whatever that is). Therefore, we have put our government in charge of the education our children.

Unfortunately, there are three big problems with the American approach to education.

  • An education is not a right. Parents have a responsibility for educating their children, but government has no business forcing anyone to pay for the education somebody else’s child, not even a needy child. That is form of stealing, and it is wrong.
  • We cannot trust politicians, and we don’t trust politicians. Nevertheless, various special interest groups have guilted the rest of us into funding public education. Over the years what these people have demonstrated is their desire for money and power, not a good education for children. That’s why our education system is costly, ineffective, and riddled with politics.  That’s why we have huge bureaucracies filled with cushy jobs for adults instead of a first rate school system.
  • Supposedly, the public education system excludes religious content. In IS MULTICULTURALISM A RELIGION?, we debunked that myth.

Who Are The Advocates For Government-Run Education?

Three basic groups promote government-run education.

  • Those seeking power.
  • Those seeking financial gain.
  • Those with philosophical objections to parental school choice.

Because it gives them considerable power, politicians seek to control how our money is spent on education. Power-hungry men and women want to control who teaches children, what children are taught, how children are taught, and where children go to school.

Because a government-run educational monopoly makes it easier for them them to unionize and demand exorbitant salaries and benefits, teachers unions oppose school choice. Various other special interests who make money off government-run education also oppose school choice.

At least three groups insist upon government-run schools for ostensibly philosophical reasons.

  • Socialists want government-run schools for the sake of equality. Unless government runs the schools, these supposedly fear the poor will not be properly educated.
  • Because Secularists equate religion with superstition, they favor a secular education. Thus, they have used public education as a backdoor method for imposing their godless worldview on our children.
  • Because politicians will sell access to our children, some groups see the public education system as a method for obtaining access to the other people’s children. These different groups use the public school system to indoctrinate children in various politically correct causes including: Socialism, Environmentalism, Moral Relativism, Sexual Liberation, Multiculturalism, feminism, immigration “reform” and so forth.

So What Is The Fix?

 Matthew: January 4, 2015 at 12:55 am

Everything is a religion. Prove to me that I am wrong. Your comment itself is religious.

Contrary to what politicians would have us believe, we cannot compartmentalize our lives. We cannot call one part Christian and another part secular. God created everything. He created us, the world in which we live, and each moment in which live and breathe. He created us for His glory, not to be secular beings.

All that may sound to some like fanaticism, but consider a secular idiom, to find yourself. The Christian version of finding yourself is seeking God’s purpose for your life.

Psalm 37:4 New King James Version (NKJV)

Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

We are God’s children. He wants what is best for us. He wants us to love Him and each other. When we love God and each other, when we do what God has called us to do, we are happiest, knowing true fulfillment. Thus, secularizing the education of our children just increases the risk they will waste their lives.

If we believe in God and the life to come, then we must believe every decision we make has eternal significance. We must believe each decision we make, what we choose to learn, how we choose to spend our time, and how we choose to live, is a religious choice. When we make decisions for our children, that too must be a religious choice.

Consider what we have enshrined in the First Amendment.

Amendment I

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

Various state constitutions also protect the right to freedom of religion. Yet time and sophistry has confused our understanding. Even so the founders clearly did not want a busybody government. They wanted the right to run their lives and exercise the freedom of their own consciences.

Because of poor instruction, we have forgotten what the Bible teaches.

Ephesians 6:1-4 New King James Version (NKJV)

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.”

And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.

Our Creator gave parents the responsibility for the upbringing of the children they bring into this world. When parents pass that responsibility onto politicians, people no one in their right minds would trust with more power than necessary, they risk being disobedient to what the Bible teaches. When we allow our children to grow up without fully realizing their lives are a gift from our Creator, that their owe Him their worship, that they should seek to spend each moment in communion with Jesus, we fail in our duty as parents.

That means parents need to choose who teaches their children, what their children are taught, how their children are taught, and where their children go to school. That’s means we need school choice.

Posted in Constitution, Culture War, Information Warfare, Philosophy, political cartoons, religion | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 68 Comments

WE THE MEEBOTS AND SAME-SEX MARRIAGE

constitution1.png

What Is A Meebot?

Anyone can see it. Our government no longer represents us.  Day after day we see an increasing number of examples, instances where our leaders simply ignore what we want and do what some small special interest wants.  We scream in frustration. We walk away and refuse to participate. We pray. The problem just gets worse. Why?

We tend to blame our leaders. Don’t they run things? Well, don’t they? Yet we elected them, and our elections still seem to work. That is, the guy most of us voted for still wins. So that raises a question? What is wrong with the people we are electing? My answer is an obvious one. These people are too much like us. We vote for people like us, meebots.

What’s a meebot? Here is how the originator of the term defines it.

What is a meebot? It is a person of any gender or age, which views everything and everyone through his own selfishness. It is a person who has a pet, and wants to make it the pet for everyone. It is a person who lacks respect for authority. It is a person with the loudest of voices who has the least to say. It is a person who lacks manners, and it is a little thoughtless machine. (from The rise of the meebot at ColorStorm)

How Do We The Meebots Govern?

Because we the meebots view everything and everyone through our own selfishness, politicians can buy our votes. To get the meebot vote, politicians just identify the special interests that meebots belong to and promise those special interests what they want. Hence, politicians make lots of promises.

Consider just a few examples.

  • Various meebot industry and trade groups want tax breaks, tax credits, tax deductions, tax exemptions, tarriffs on foreign products and so forth. Hence, our tax code has become enormously complicated.
  • Various “civil rights” groups want affirmative action, quotas, minority business subsidies, special rights (example: same-sex marriage), special accommodations (example: building code modifications for the disabled), and so forth. Hence, the term “rights” now confuses privileges with rights).
  • Various unions want government to take their side in labor/management negotiations. That includes forcing workers to join unions and pressuring management and stockholders to cave. Hence, manufacturing costs have gone up, and goods that use to be manufactured in the United States are now being made overseas.
  • Old folks want to be taken care of in their declining years, and they don’t want to be held responsible for the fact they did not bother to save adequately for retirement. Hence, costly programs such as Social Security and Medicare threaten to break the budget.

When we the meebots vote for goodies instead of what is good for the country, we wreck our nation’s budget and we make it extremely difficult to check the ambitions of power-hungry leaders.

Here are the problems.

  • When we had a limited government, we just selected leaders to perform a few tasks. Therefore, when people competed for our vote, we just had to compare the qualifications and records of the candidates with respect to a one or two issues. That made it relatively easy to select the right person. On the other hand, now that our government is running lots of things we must compare the qualifications and records of the candidates with respect to lots of issues. Choosing  the right person has become extremely difficult. When we have government doing a hundred different things, and each of the candidate is “good” on some of the issues and “bad” on some of the others, how do we pick the right guy? If we are a meebot, the only issue that matters is the issue that matters to us.
  • When we had a limited government, by definition our government was a small concern and something easier to monitor and understand. When government is limited, we expect people to take responsibility for their own mistakes. We just expect government to regulate economic activity, not to pick winners and losers. To protect us from frauds, we just expect government to regulate charitable organizations, not to provide charity. On the other hand, if we are a meebot, we don’t care about anything except getting what we want, and government “works” if it gives us what we want.

We the meebots think it is all about us. We the meebots don’t think long term. We the meebots want what we want, and we want it now.

What Do Meebots Worship?

We can worship God, our Creator, or we can worship various idols of our own creation. If we worship God, to please Him, we will try to see His creation from His point-of-view. Of course, we cannot see as He sees, but making the effort forces us to give up many delusions.

Alternatively, we can behave as narrow-minded meebots; we can see God’s creation only our own point-of-view.  Then, all too predictably, we will contrive to make His creation give us what want. Then we will invent gods and make sacrifices to them in return for what we want.

What are the most common gods of our day? They are the secular gods of stuff, sex, state, and self. Do you need proof? Then look at our mass media. In their imaginations, in the world of make-believe, where they can pretend their desires can be fulfilled, that is where meebots worship.

  • Doesn’t the mass media advertise stuff to solve every problem?
  • Isn’t sex with just the right person portrayed as nirvana — all about receiving, not giving? All about me, not the one I love.
  • When the talking heads express an opinion, doesn’t that opinion almost invariably explain how government is the fix to the “problem?”
  • Doesn’t almost every program and advertisement we watch seek to build up — puff up — our self esteem?

Why does the mass media promote the gods of stuff, sex, state, and self? The mass media exists to advertise and sell goods and services, and it is easier to sell something to a meebot than it is to sell to someone who believes that God is the Supreme Being.

An Example: We The Meebots and Same-Sex Marriage

The campaign for same-sex marriage illustrates meebot behavior to perfection, the thoughtless willingness of meebots to sacrifice the good of others to all four secular gods.

  • Stuff: Supposedly, heterosexual married couples have advantages such as tax breaks and automatic marital rights. Even though marriage exists for the sake of children, same-sex couple complain they have the “right” to the same tax breaks and marital rights.
  • Sex:  Even though same-sex sexual relations are demonstrably unhealthy, homosexuals want to force everyone to pretend same-sex relations are normal and healthy. Even our government, with all its Liberal bias, implicitly admits Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Health (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) have behavior-related health issues. The brochures here are comical. Lots of pictures of pretty people of the same sex hugging each other.  Lots of text explaining all the different LBGT terms, and of lots of text explaining all the health issues.
  • State: The primary purpose of our government is to protect our rights, and the Constitution exists to limit the powers of our government so that our government does not itself become a threat to our rights. Unfortunately, for the sake of the “right” to same-sex marriage, homosexual rights advocates insist that we pretend the Constitution says things it clearly does not say. For the sake of getting the “right” to same-sex marriage, they would sacrifice all our other rights.
  • Self: Same-sex marriage is essentially about the revenge of the queers. Because people have made fun of homosexuals for generations, we have some people who want those who ridiculed them to eat their words. That’s why we so often hear references to Gay and Lesbian pride.  It is not about marriage. It is not about what is good for children. It is about pride.

Consider an article in The Washington TimesGay couples’ children oppose same-sex marriage, tell of unpleasant upbringings.  As one might expect, people raised by same-sex couples do not easily reject the teachings of those who raised them. Nevertheless, some do. Consider this excerpt.

Ms. Klein said she was expected to pay “constant homage and attention” to her mothers’ gayness and believe that gays were “much more creative and artistic” because they weren’t sexually repressed.

The heterosexual culture of marriage and children was held in “utter contempt” by the gay adults in her world, Ms. Klein wrote. In fact, the isolation from the “inferior” heterosexual world was so complete, she wrote, that “I had no idea how two heterosexuals behaved toward their children as mother and father” until she was placed in foster care over a medical issue when she was a teenager.

We learn by copying other people. Children learn by copying their parents. Therefore, for children to learn the appropriate use of their sexual inclinations and organs, they must be raised by heterosexual couples.

Are all heterosexual couples appropriate role models? No, but same-sex couples are by definition physically incapable of being appropriate role models. Unfortunately, all most of the mass media want to talk about are the supposed benefits of normalizing homosexuality. Yet if homosexuality was not an undesirable perversion, government officials would not have to force us to treat homosexuality as normal.

Posted in Constitution, Culture War, Information Warfare, news media bias | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

The rise of the meebot

Citizen Tom:

Great post! I think ColorStorm may have coined a very worthwhile word.

Are you a meebot? Am I?

Originally posted on ColorStorm:

There is no place to hide as they are everywhere. In the grocery aisles with Mom, at the mall, at the boardroom on Madison Ave, sports, I’m tellin ya, they are multiplying.

We all know folks like this. They were groomed in the home, practiced the art in kindergarten, fine tuned it in high school, and perfected it in the workplace.  All along, there has also been the aiding and abetting of adults at every turn, who shaped this strange creature from the craft of meebottery.

What is a meebot? It is a person of any gender or age, which views everything and everyone through his own selfishness. It is a person who has a pet, and wants to make it the pet for everyone. It is a person who lacks respect for authority. It is a person with the loudest of voices who has the least to say. It…

View original 633 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Education Does Matter

Citizen Tom:

CHOOSING THE FIELD OF BATTLE received the kindness of a link at this post. The author tends to come across as ambivalent and noncommital. He is not. I seriously doubt any blogger is either ambivalent and noncommital in his heart, and this one is an Atheist who use to be a Christian. Nevertheless, he only sort of favors school choice, and not for religious reasons.

What I think the author of “Education Does Matter” misses is the motivational aspects of belief. In the comments the author offers this observation.

“That point you make about parents caring about the education their kids receive is a very important one. Quality parenting on that front seems to be a decisive indicator on whether a child will learn at all, let alone in what surrounding.”

To accomplish anything in this world, we must have the tools we need, and a good education provides those tools. Parents pass on their beliefs to their children, and those too are tools, tools of a higher sort. In addition to instructing us in how to do things, a good education tells us what we should try to accomplish and why. Those are the tools provided by a good religious education, and that is why no education is complete without religious instruction.

Originally posted on Amusing Nonsense:

As I am watching David Barton’s “American Heritage Series” in preparation for a series of articles about them, I am faced with an idea that there is at least a movement to advocate for changes to how education is administered here in the United States. One such argument involves increasing the capacity for families to choose homeschooling. One example of such a view can be found here, written by Citizen Tom. His broader point also contains an assertion that, “For the sake of our children, we must fight for school choice.”

Interestingly enough, I do agree that school choice should be something available to parents, but definitely not for the same reasons Citizen Tom has listed in his linked post. Furthermore, I don’t think that homeschooling should be the primary focus (although admittedly this was not a major point of Mr. Tom’s post, either). Public schools are not doing…

View original 977 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments