A Weak Reason for Leaving the Church

A weak reason for leaving the Church Camille Paglia 2x2 - A Weak Reason for Leaving the Church

Illustration credit: clipart-library.com

Some time ago America magazine interviewed social critic Camille Paglia wherein she discussed her abandonment of Catholicism.

“I asked the nun what still seems to me a perfectly reasonable and intriguing question: if God is all-forgiving, will he ever forgive Satan? The nun’s reaction was stunning: she turned beet red and began screaming at me in front of everyone. That was when I concluded there was no room in the Catholic Church of that time for an inquiring mind.”

Why doesn’t God forgive Satan? According to theologians, even if God did forgive Satan, he wouldn’t come back to God. Angels’ intellects are far superior to those of humans, and once they make a decision – which Satan (i.e. Lucifer) did when he chose to rebel against

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Camille Paglia. Photo credit: Fronteiras do Pensamento via Wikimedia Commons.

God – they accept and embrace that decision as final, with full knowledge of the consequences.

Moreover, God did not provide a plan of redemption for the angels (which includes Satan, a fallen angel) as He did for mankind.

It’s silly to leave the Faith because a nun couldn’t adequately answer that question.

One should not leave the Catholic Church based on personal preferences or based on dissatisfaction with a nun, priest, or other representatives of the Faith. One’s criteria for joining or leaving the Faith only should be based on whether the Faith is true – which it is.

By rejecting the Church, Ms. Paglia is taking an extreme risk. Best not to set oneself up for a rude awakening when it’s time to plop down on that judgement seat.

Zuckerberg, Go With What’s True

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Zuckerberg, Choose the True Faith (Zuckerberg photo credit: Guillaume Paumier.)

A while ago The Wall Street Journal featured an opinion article by Sander Tideman (“Can Mark Zuckerberg Find Enlightenment?”) urging Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to take up Buddhism, evidently because it would help him in business. Zuckerberg is said to be waivering in his faith in atheism.

If Mr. Zuckerberg adopts Buddhism then he’ll feel right at home as an atheist. Theravada Buddhism teaches the doctrine of nonsoul. It teaches there is no God, no Creator. It teaches that life is full of suffering – which Christianity teaches as well (as a result of the fall of Adam and Eve). Unlike Christianity, which teaches that one can escape suffering by meriting heaven, Buddhism teaches that the only way to escape suffering is by attaining the extinction of one’s existence.

Separately, the article promotes the fallacy that one should choose a religion based on what one likes – or in this case, what’s good for business. Instead, one should choose a religion based on which religion is true. There’s good evidence for the authenticity of the Gospels and divinity of Christ. There’s no evidence that Buddhism is true or that the Buddha was divine. In fact the Buddha allegedly even claimed he wasn’t a prophet or a god.

In the end, you want to go with the religion that’s true, not with the one that’s most pleasing to you. Otherwise you may come to regret that decision in the hereafter.

Believing in the Non-God of Nothingness

non god of nothingness 200x300 - Believing in the Non-God of NothingnessAtheists are people of great faith.

Yes, you read that right.

Atheists have amazing faith – in the power of spontaneous self-assembly.

It takes more faith to believe that the raw materials of the universe and that the laws of physics arose from nothing, and that those raw materials somehow self-assembled into stars, objects and living organisms, than to believe that they were designed by an intelligent agent. That’s particularly remarkable because such assembly happened in defiance of the second law of thermodynamics – that things naturally go from order to disorder.

Cup with your hands some empty space in front of you. Then imagine nothing is there – not even any molecules. If you lack faith in God, then you believe in the unbelievable notion that (1) the laws of physics somehow appeared on their own, (2) subatomic particles such as electrons and quarks somehow appeared, (3) those particles somehow self-assembled into atoms, (4) those atoms somehow bonded to form molecules, (5) those molecules self-assembled into inorganic matter, (6) they also somehow self-assembled into organic matter, namely amino acids as well as DNA, (5) those amino acids somehow self-assembled into proteins, all on their own, (6) those proteins somehow self-assembled into cells, and (7) those cells somehow self-assembled into bacteria, insects, plants, animals, and humans.

If you believe all that happened without the input of an intelligent agent, then you have a lot of faith in the impossible. You have faith in things for which there’s no evidence – not even circumstantial evidence. On the other hand, there’s a lot of circumstantial evidence for God. Just as a house is circumstantial evidence that it was created by a human or humans (not direct evidence because we didn’t directly see anyone building it decades ago), a tree or an animal is circumstantial evidence that it was created by an intelligent agent, i.e. God.

Walk into a factory. Tell someone that all the components and functions of that factory randomly and coincidentally fell into place over time. Absurd, right? It’s the same idea with the cell – a factory vastly more complex than any factory man could ever build. (For a flavor for that, watch the trailer at www.unlockingthemysteryoflife.com)

Take a pile of of Lincoln Logs. Watch them during the course of your lifetime and see if they ever self-assemble into a log cabin. Or add a stimulous – keep throwing them up in the air over the course of your lifetime and see if they ever land on the floor in the form of a perfectly assembled log cabin.

It’s much harder for the above-mentioned particles to self-assemble into the above-mentioned complex objects than it is for Lincoln Logs to self-assemble into a log cabin.

(It also takes a lot of faith not to believe in the divinity of Christ and authenticity of the Gospels. As former atheist Lee Strobel said, “In the face of this overwhelming avalanche of evidence in the case for Christ, the great irony was this: it would require much more faith for me to maintain my atheism than to trust in Jesus of Nazareth!” For more info read his book The Case for Christ or see his videos obtainable here.)

So to reiterate, given the abundant evidence of an intelligent creator, it takes more faith (in the non-god of nothingness?) not to believe in Him than to believe in Him.

Scientists Are Almost Sounding Religious

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Background image photo credit (altered): Fkearney via Wikimedia Commons.

There’s an anti-religion website called Disbeliefnet, evidently created by comedian Bill Maher, which trumpets the motto, “You won’t believe what people believe.”

He’s right. People buy into a lot of outlandish and fantastical stuff that defy common sense and the laws of nature – in a word, miracles. Such propositions are so foreign to our five senses that it’s no wonder that so many academics and other highly educated people have no tolerance for them.

Here’s a sampling of bizarre, other-worldly, and downright fanciful notions that some people believe:

* There are other dimensions beyond our own.
* Certain entities can move through solid walls.
* Some things can be invisible.
* Certain things can travel back and forth through time.
* The same entity can be in multiple distinct locations at the same time.
* Certain entities can communicate instantaneously with other entities – that are billions of light years away.

Bill Maher could have a field day with this stuff.

In centuries past, people believed in the supernatural because they didn’t have science to explain things. Now, we’re nicely ensconced in the age of science and reason; if it’s not explainable by science, goes the thinking, then it can’t be true.

Or maybe not.

It turns out that the strange notions described above are championed by top physicists.

That’s right. The weirdness falls into the realm of quantum physics – the branch of physics that seeks to explain how subatomic particles behave.

Physicists often use the adjectives “bizarre” or “weird” when describing quantum physics – because things happen that defy classical physics or common sense. And they admit they can’t explain how such things happen.

So let’s get this straight. The secular elite disparages religion because they find silly the notion that there are spiritual beings that can exist in different dimensions, be invisible, go through solid walls, time travel, and carry out other seemingly miraculous activities.

Yet, renown scientists are telling us that subatomic particles can do all of these things.

If one accepts that, then it’s by no means a stretch to infer that there is a spiritual world in which similar things occur.

Far from being in conflict with each other, science and religion are complementary. Twentieth-century physicist and Nobel Prize-winner Eugene Wigner pointed out that materialism – the atheistic worldview that reality only consists of physical matter – is not “logically consistent with present quantum mechanics.”

Another Nobel Prize winner, neuroscientist John C. Eccles, posited that the spiritual mind and physical brain are independent entities, and that the two interact through quantum physics.

In quantum physics there are systems, laws, and observers. “There is something about observers like us that’s not reducible to (classical) physics,” said University of Delaware physicist Stephen Barr. He explained in a 2012 Research on Religion podcast interview that once you accept the nonphysical reality of our own minds, then it’s easier to accept the reality of greater minds, such as that of God. And given how incredibly orderly the universe is from a mathematical standpoint, which suggests a supreme designer, “Modern physics ought to make every particle physicist in the world get down on their knees,” he remarked.

The dictionary defines the term supernatural as “not existing in nature or not subject to explanation according to natural laws.” It’s also defined as “of or relating to an order of existence beyond the visible observable universe.”

If that’s the case, then to this reporter, modern science indicates that the supernatural must exist. “An order of existence beyond the visible observable universe” immediately evokes dark matter and dark energy. Astrophysicists widely agree that the visible observable universe only makes up about 4 percent of all matter. The rest is matter that is invisible to us, known as dark matter, as well as dark energy. Scientists know it’s there because without the gravitational effects of dark matter, galaxies would fly apart.

Some physicists, notably Lisa Randall at Harvard, theorize that dark matter comes from higher dimensions, and that gravity is “leaking” from these dimensions. Apart from that, string theory has long predicted hidden dimensions. And at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland, they’re working hard on finding evidence of other dimensions.

Oxford physicist David Deutsch considers there to be vast numbers of parallel worlds, and that perhaps someday we’ll be able to contact them using quantum computers.

To be sure, scientists very rarely use the term supernatural when describing quantum physics. And when discussing other dimensions, most physicists don’t touch the word “spiritual”. Whatever the case, all this talk of other dimensions blurs the lines between the definition of physical and spiritual.

And one thing is certain: for evidence of the supernatural, the theologians have a much stronger case than the secular elite. Science confirms it.

 

(Originally published in Newsmax.)

Moral Decay Begets Mass Killings

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No coincidence that as Americans turn away from God and morals, incidents of mass violence proliferate.

Mass killings used to be a rarity in America. What changed? What led to the era of mass killings?

It used to be even easier to buy a gun than it is now – no background checks required – yet people didn’t go around massacring just for the sake of it.

Preventing them from doing so was a stronger sense of morals, propriety, decency, respect for family, respect for life, and respect for God.

The 1960s are widely viewed as a time of accelerated moral decline in America. Recreational drug use, premarital sex, pornography, vulgarity, divorce, and violence shot up – in everyday life as well as in movies and TV. There was less of a sense of community and a sense of trust among citizens, and less involvement in civic and church groups.

It’s no coincidence that the 1960s were the beginning of the era of mass public killings, when in 1966 Charles Whitman killed 14 people and wounded 31 with a high-powered rifle from atop a tower at the University of Texas. The declining morals of that decade resulted in more widespread depression, anger, resentment, and mental illness, and less respect for and sacredness of life. The more people affected by such ills of society, the more likely a tiny minority of them do what Charles Whitman did.

There had been mass killings in previous decades, but those typically were associated with simultaneous criminal activity (such as killings during robberies or gang killings) or with familicides. Those crimes are heinous enough. But there’s something even more heinous, even more evil about mass public killings of people who are unknown to the assailant.

While violent crime overall declined since 1980 (until recent years, when homicides started to go back up in many cities), mass public killings have increased. In the 1970s there were an average of 1.1 mass public shootings per year, according to the Congressional Research Service. They rose to 2.7 in the 1980s, 4 in the 1990s, and 4.1 per year in the 2000s. (And these numbers don’t include the Timothy McVeigh or 9/11 terrorist attacks.) Such shootings have risen dramatically rise in the last five years, happening every 172 days on average since 1982 but every 64 days since mid-2011.

There’s of course a confluence of factors behind the rise in mass public killings. They include the influence of violent movies, TV shows and video games. The desire for fame – or more accurately infamy – is another motivation. The high divorce rate is a factor; most shooters come from broken homes. Another contributor are higher rates of mental illness, and, since the 1970s, a greater tendency to let dangerously mentally ill people roam free rather than commit them to institutions.

But the biggest factor is the declining prevalence of Christianity and Judaism in America. In 1955 Christians constituted 92 percent of the U.S. population and Jews 4 percent. By 2014 the numbers had declined to 72 percent and 2 percent respectively. Far fewer of them attend religious services regularly.

In tandem with the retreat of Judeo-Christianity is the retreat of Judeo-Christian values. They include forgiveness, compassion, humility, generosity, self-control, nonviolence, love of God, love of neighbor, love of enemies, and renunciation of worldly values such as pleasure, status, and fame.

An absence of Judeo-Christianity is associated with a cheapening of human life. The atheist and agnostic worldview presupposes that life arose by pure chance; that we’re merely animals in a more evolved form, living on a tiny, insignificant planet amid the vast universe. Many are led to believe, what’s the point of life? So mass killers seek to end their own life, along with as many other lives as they can.

While mass public killings are correlated with a declining prevalence of Judeo-Christianity, such is not the case of course vis-à-vis all religions. Islam shares many of the same values as that of Christianity and Judaism such as charity, honesty, generosity, purity, and self-restraint. Unfortunately for some practitioners of that religion, exhortations to kill the “infidel” often win out.

The only way to curb the rise in mass public killings, in addition to slowed immigration, is a return to the aforementioned virtues that were once widely held in America.

(Originally published in Newsmax)

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