Tag Archives: Plato

The Death of Science: Part One, Natural Law — Michael Findley

plato and aristotle
The concept of “Natural Law” is older than civilization. Classical Greece gave us the foundation of science and method of gaining knowledge we call natural law. They had two very different views of Natural Law, which we attribute to Plato and Aristotle.
Though Plato never used the exact words natural law, his Republic is filled with the concept. Plato’s concept of natural law is that we live in an orderly universe. This orderly universe is made up of forms. The most important form is what he called the “Form of the Good.” Plato believed that we are responsible to support the state in shaping or making the Form of the Good in everyone in the state. So to understand Plato’s concept of natural law, we must understand Plato’s concept of the state, which he lays out with the most detail and greatest clarity in his work, the Republic. Plato’s Republic has, according to Socrates, three pillars. “The conception of a higher State, in which ‘no man calls anything his own,’ and in which there is neither ‘marrying nor giving in marriage,’ and ‘kings are philosophers’ and ‘philosophers are kings;’ and there is another and higher education, intellectual as well as moral and religious, of science as well as of art, and not of youth only but of the whole of life.” These are comments by Republic translator Benjamin Jowett. The actual words of Socrates as quoted by Plato follow. “None of them (citizens of the Republic) will have anything specially his or her own.” “…Their legislator, having selected the men, will now select the women and give them to them [the legislator gives selected women to men they the legislator select]…they must live in common houses and meet at common meals…they will be together…And so they will be drawn by a necessity of their natures to have intercourse with each other…” “ until philosophers are kings, or the kings and princes … have the spirit and power of philosophy, and political greatness and wisdom meet in one … cities will never have rest from their evils.”
The philosopher/king, according to Socrates, was to lay these foundational ideas through education. Though he did not use the phrase “establishment of religion,” Plato clearly advocated and established government religion. It was to be put in place by a philosopher/king, enforced by a class he called guardians, based on a state where “no man calls anything his own: and where there is neither “marrying nor giving in marriage.” Though this education would begin with children, it would continue throughout a person’s entire life.
Aristotle, unlike Plato, uses the phrase “natural law.” Aristotle’s views are much more in line with the modern concept of natural law, or as Aristotle called it natural justice. By natural, Aristotle meant universal. By law, Aristotle meant custom or human made law. The very concept of universal laws or customs accepted by everyone was a contradiction to Aristotle. He believed that there was a common law according to or in line with nature.
This idea of a universal law which governed everyone and everything is further developed by the Romans, especially Cicero the Stoics and Marcus Aurelius. Though fraught with many problems, they developed a legal system based on natural law which permitted the Pax Romana.
The philosophical foundations of natural law were formed by many scholastics, the most notable being Thomas Aquinas. Thomas Aquinas used the Augustine’s works on Divine Law and claimed that God put His law into the creation of the material world. To Thomas Aquinas, Natural Law was the part of Divine Law which governed the material universe. English common law is based on this theory of Natural Law.
Isaac Newton accepted this concept of Natural Law and emphasized the rational and physical aspects. Newton viewed natural law as including the laws of gravity and inertia.
John Locke with his view of the social contract continued on Newton, Aquinas, England and Rome’s foundations to make natural or common law the foundation of nations, such as England, France and America. Voltaire took Locke’s views of Natural Law and removed God. “Human law must in every case be based on natural law.” This is a very good statement; however, Voltaire and the rest of the French philosophers around the time of the French Revolution, used the same words, natural law, but changed their meaning. They believed that natural law meant some type of primitive pure precivilization state. They claimed that natural law needed an elite such as themselves to interpret what was true, pure, natural law and what was tainted by the corruption of civilization.
The modern materialist follows the lead of Voltaire and others of the French Revolution in making natural law completely materialist. Once that is done, he now believes, like Socrates in the Republic, that his views of natural law must be forced on those who do not believe.
“It is essential for evolution to become the central core of any educational system, because it is evolution, in the broad sense, that links inorganic nature with life, and the stars with the earth, and matter with mind, and animals with man.” Julian Huxley “Human history is a continuation of biological evolution in a different form.”

Image credit:Detail of The School of Athens by Raffaello Sanzio, 1509, showing Plato (left) and Aristotle (right) Stanza della Segnatura, Palazzi Pontifici, Vatican Wikimedia Commons

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Information, Please?

“Never Let Schooling Interfere With Your Education,” by Grant Allen and popularized by Mark Twain. “One year in Italy with their eyes open would be worth more than three at Oxford.”

“What a misfortune it is that we should thus be compelled to let our boys’ schooling interfere with their education!”

In the early days of the American Republic, the Frenchman Alexis de Tocqueville toured America and wrote of his observations. He marveled at the education of our children, believing an American education to be the best in the world. Women and children were well educated and could hold their own in any conversation on any topic.

Entrance exams into colleges such as Princeton or Harvard required reading and writing part of the exam in an ancient language (normally Latin, Greek or Hebrew) and a modern foreign language (usually French or German). That included proper grammar and using certain words correctly. One example of a geography question from the 1869 Harvard entrance exam: “Bound the basin of the Po, of the Mississippi, of the St. Lawrence.” One example of arithmetic from the same exam: “Find the cube root of 0.0093 to five places of decimals. Find the square root of 531.5 to three places of decimals.” A section followed this on Logarithms and Trigonometry.

After completing the Freshman year, another round of entrance exams were required to be admitted as a sophomore. The questions were somewhat more difficult. Write an essay comparing and contrasting the following “Leonidas, Pausanias, Lysander.”

While Alexis de Tocqueville was impressed with America’s classical education, he noticed a lack of training in modern thinking. At that time a public versus private education was determined by enrollment, not funding. A public education meant that it was open to everyone. A private education meant that the school was closed to everyone except members.

Even an exam from 1895 Salina, KS would be difficult, if not impossible, for the average college graduate of today. There is some question as to who was being tested; Eighth Grade? High School? Is it a teacher’s certification exam? To be fair, science and arts disciplines were not included in these examinations. No physics, chemistry, music, literature or physical education were required. Each of these disciplines takes time and that time is taken away from these other courses.

Yet today we have high school graduates unable to read their own diplomas. The shift in emphasis is not the reason for their inability to read. It is the lack of discipline, both personal and academic. The books Why Johnny Can’t Read: And What You Can Do About It and Why Johnny Still Can’t Read: A New Look At the Scandal of Our Schools by Rudolf Flesch examine both some of the problems and solutions.

We are perhaps the best informed and worst-educated generation the world has ever seen. Most American students have completely lost the ability to think through any issue. We have access through the Internet to any information we want. But what do we do with it? Problems that might take days, weeks, months or even years to solve are discarded in favor of easy quick solutions.

This mentality began with plays, then switch to movies. Even serial movies had some kind of an end. TV shows had either complete solutions in half an hour; at most an hour or soap opera formats where nothing was ever solved. The open-ended nothing is ever really solved format became the fast paced video game. Quick one-word or phrase solutions are available through Google searches, so we have no need to remember anything. Life has become unending self-gratification where nothing important matters. “Give it to me now” has been the motto of western culture for over 50 years. Did it begin with the Beatles? Elvis? Frank Sinatra?

Solomon reminded us that “there is nothing new under the sun.” Plato wrote of Socrates in his dialogue Phaedrus that writing in and of itself was a step in the wrong direction. Instead of the mental disciple required by oral traditions, humans grew lazy and relied on what was written down. They could read, so they no longer needed to remember or think. “This will create forgetfulness in the learners’ souls, … they will trust to the external written characters.”

Plutarch tells us that Lycurgus, the founder of the laws of Sparta, believed the same way. “None of his laws were put into writing by Lycurgus, indeed, one of the so-called “rhetras” forbids it.”

Our generation easily dismisses the charge that they do not think things through with a “yeah, right,” neither openly accepting or rejecting, just wanting to “get on with life.”

“The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs and tyrannize their teachers.” (attributed to Socrates [Plato]. The exact source is unknown.)

These children killed Socrates when they grew up and came to power. These children also started the Peloponnesian Wars, one of the most barbaric episodes in human history.

2 Comments

Filed under Bible Teaching, Excerpts from our Nonfiction Books, History, Uncategorized

The Republic of Plato: A Review

About a month ago I read that a classical education indoctrinates a student into Socialism. If The Republic of Plato is held up as the goal of classical education then that is certainly true. Plato’s completely man-centered “ideal society” could very well be the government of the Anti-Christ.

With the idea that you keep your friends close and your enemies closer, I have the Republic on my laptop, on my ebook reader and on CDs so I can listen to it as I drive down the road. This will be my first book review on this blog that is neither positive nor what I consider a “must read.” If you are the type of person who is easily deceived or easily upset when you confront evil, then stay away from the Republic. It advocates the very deceptive form of evil know as collectivism. Plato makes this great evil sound so good, so tempting.

How can the Republic, which opens with “a festival to the goddess” and finishes with a scene in Hades, be man-centered? The goddess is never named. All that Plato talks about are the festivities. The scene in Hades is a form of reincarnation which teaches some form of judgment where your actions and choices in this life determine how you fare in your next incarnation. In other words, it exists in the Republic solely to make people “behave.” That is a method of state control. This vague general “judgment” appears throughout the book. For example, in Book One, it says, “(Cephalus) For let me tell you, Socrates, that when a man thinks himself to be near death, fears and cares enter into his mind which he never had before; the tales of a world below and the punishment which is exacted there of deeds done here were once a laughing matter to him, but now he is tormented with the thought that they may be true…”

In form, The Republic is called a dialogue. Though intended to be read, it is written like a play. A character’s name is written, followed by what is said. It is not as easy to follow as a modern novel, but the names certainly make it easier to know who is speaking. Not every translation includes the names. Also, there is no action like we are used to. Actions can be talked about, but nothing is “shown.” The dialogue is an extended conversation, with lengthy interruptions and arguments. It sounds quite believable, but it does not “flow” smoothly from point to point like a well-written research paper.

Benjamin Jowett translated the most readily available version. I highly recommend it because the opening notes (Introduction) clarify some of the more insidious evils of The Republic. The following are just a few of Plato’s main points. He says that The Republic follows the form of a Greek Tragedy. He believes that through The Republic “Plato reveals to us his own thoughts about divine perfection, which is the idea of good –like the sun in the visible world; –about human perfection, which is justice.” Benjamin Jowett also said, “Plato among the Greeks, like Bacon among the moderns, was the first who conceived a method of knowledge” which we know today as Natural Law. Plato would use education to indoctrinate. “In the ideal State which is constructed by Socrates, the first care of the rulers is to be education.” Jowett makes it clear that Socrates meant to impart much more than mere academic knowledge, just as Natural Law means to teach more than mere Science. Socrates promoted “the conception of a higher State, in which ‘no man calls anything his own,’ and in which there is neither ‘marrying nor giving in marriage,’ and kings are philosophers’ and ‘philosophers are kings;’ and there is another and higher education, intellectual as well as moral and religious, of science as well as of art, and not of youth only but of the whole of life.”

Many know that Plato in his Republic based his state on a philosopher/king. Few, however, are aware that he believed in communism and free love and that these two “natural” principles were to be foundational principles of the state.

Plato says “None of them will have anything specially his or her own.” “Their legislator, having selected the men, will now select the women and give them to them [the legislator gives selected women to selected men]…they must live in common houses and meet at common meals … they will be together … And so they will be drawn by a necessity of their natures to have intercourse with each other…” “… Until philosophers are kings, or the kings and princes … have the spirit and power of philosophy, and political greatness and wisdom meet in one … cities will never have rest from their evils.”

There are many works about The Republic. Most will mention Socrates, the philosopher/king, and the great illustration of people chained in a cave going their entire lives only seeing shadows on a wall and never seeing reality. The characters are often analyzed in great detail.

The fact that The Republic advocates a rigid class system where laws are enforced by thugs (my word) whom Plato calls “guardians” is rarely, if ever, mentioned. I find Plato’s Republic to be closer to Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World or George Orwell’s Animal Farm than Thomas More’s Utopia.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized, Writing, Reviewing, Publishing, and about Blogging

Secular Humanism: America’s Establishment of Religion

“Secular Humanism: Religious Mythology” is lettered on my computer bag. So “What is Secular Humanism?” The quick, simple answer is that it is the religion of self-indulgence with no possible consequences for the way we live in any kind of life after death. Beginning somewhere around the Kennedy administration, Secular Humanists learned that if they lied and claimed that they weren’t a religion, they could get federal funds. They also got political power to force everyone to practice their religion. The following more complete definition is from our book Antidisestablishmentarianism.

6. What Is Secular Humanism?

“The United States Supreme Court has held that secular humanism is a religion. Belief in evolution is a central tenet of that religion.” Edwards v Aguillard, U. S. Supreme Court, 1987. 

Almost every American colony had some form of establishment of religion. This was because their religion consisted of proven and necessary facts of existence. Religion was reliable, logical and rational to them. The modern established religion of Secular Humanism teaches that it is the only scientifically-based belief system in existence. It claims that all other religions are not scientifically-based, but the opposite is true. The Bible, upon which true religion is based, is a book of Science, and Secular Humanism is a religion of mythology.

“… Scientific history … is that the method that we use is something akin to the scientific method. It is based on at least three characteristics …. The first is to establish that the evidence is reliable. The second is making certain that the analysis being made is logical. And third, the analysis must lead to a generalisation that is based on rational argument.”2

Since time began man has only been able to take one of three positions toward a scientific fact. The first is belief, which means to accept the fact as it is and interpret its significance correctly. The second is unbelief, which means to reject a fact or give it the wrong interpretation. The third position is some degree of compromise between the other two, such as accepting a fact but wrongly interpreting its significance. It is also possible to misinterpret the true nature of the fact and misapply it to come to other wrong conclusions.

Belief does not mean mere opinion, as modern culture has degraded the word. The legal term belief means to accept something as true based on the facts available. Facts are true whether or not you choose to believe them. The Scriptures are the basis of scientific facts. This is the standard the founding fathers began with and also the colonials before them. All scientific facts are based on the Scriptures. “Facts are stubborn things;” said John Adams, “and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”3

Since the opposite is drilled into everyone through western culture and western education, we need to think the following example through slowly and carefully. The Exodus of the children of Israel from Egypt is told in the Bible as a straightforward, factual, historic event. Charlton Heston, in his narration of the picturesque Bible video series, presents the Bible as part of the “oral tradition in storytelling” as if teachings passed on orally were understood to be less accurate or reliable and therefore merely legends and myths. Socrates, in Plato’s Dialogue “Phaedrus,” addresses the subject of oral versus written history.

“Theuth [Thoth] … was the inventor of many arts, … but his great discovery was the use of letters. … Thammus [the god Ammon] was the king of … Egypt; …To him came Theuth … desiring that the other Egyptians might be allowed to have the benefit of [his inventions]; … when they came to letters, This, said Theuth, will make the Egyptians wiser and give them better memories; … Thamus replied: … you … attribute to them a quality which they cannot have; for this … will create forgetfulness in the learners’ souls, … they will trust to the external written characters … This is an aid not to memory, but to reminiscence, … not truth, but only the semblance of truth; they will be hearers of many things and will have learned nothing; they will appear to be omniscient and will generally know nothing; they will be tiresome company, having the show of wisdom without the reality.”4

Plutarch, in his discourse on the life of Lycurgus and his rule in ancient Greece, expresses the belief that oral tradition is a way of making the law more firmly fixed in the mind.

“None of his laws were put into writing by Lycurgus, indeed, one of the so-called “rhetras” forbids it. For he thought that if the most important and binding principles which conduce to the prosperity and virtue of a city were implanted in the habits and training of its citizens, they would remain unchanged and secure, having a stronger bond than compulsion in the fixed purposes imparted to the young by education, which performs the office of a law-giver for every one of them.”5

There is considerable disagreement about whether the Scriptures were in some part orally communicated before being written down. The point is that even if they were it does not make them less authoritative or reliable. Socrates may not be entirely justified in discounting the value of written records but he reinforces the point that oral communication of history does not make it unreliable or inaccurate. Memorizing and passing on history demands great discipline and does not result in a form of the child’s game “gossip.”

Gossip, sometimes called Telephone or other names, consists of a group made to stand in a line. The first person in line is given a piece of paper on which is written a phrase to whisper into the ear of the second person. Frequently there is only one opportunity to whisper the message. The second person whispers what he heard to the third, and so on down the line. The last person is to write down or speak aloud what he heard the person before him say. When the final form of the “gossip” message is made public, frequently it bears little resemblance to the original phrase. The distortion of the oral message in the game gossip is simply due to the indifference of the people playing the game. In fact, one simple change in the rules of the game of gossip produces correct transmission of the message even by children. Simply offer everyone who is playing a large enough reward, or punishment, if the final message is correct.

Modern prisoners of war, inmates in prison, gang members, spies and others today pass on important information without writing it down and without changing the message. Most American Indian tribes had no written language and saw no need for one, until Europeans demonstrated the ability to talk to people far away. In the popular TV series Mission: Impossible, the leader of the team received his orders on a recording that self-destructed after he had heard it one time. He was forced to memorize the mission immediately or he would be unable to complete it.

In the Scriptures, the Exodus is not recorded as a “story” which only “contains” truth. The Exodus is recorded as an historic event like WWII, Benjamin Franklin hearing George Whitfield preach or the invention of the steam engine.

The established religion of secular humanism would single out the invention of the steam engine as the only scientific fact included in these historic events. The word science, however, means something has been correctly observed and accurately recorded under controlled circumstances. For an event or experiment to be a scientific fact it must normally be reproducible. There are exceptions to this, however. The explosion of a supernova is a scientific fact, though no one on earth knows of any way to reproduce that explosion. And even though some of the information recorded about WWII is incorrect information, the historic fact of WWII is also a scientific fact. In fact, WWII is probably the most well recorded fact of history. The abundance of evidence allows modern observers to cross reference records to make a true scientific picture of WWII. Benjamin Franklin’s observations are just as scientific.

“He [Whitefield] … preach’d one evening from the top of the Court-house steps, which are in the middle of Market-street, … I had the curiosity to learn how far he could be heard, … I found his voice distinct till I came near Front-street… Imagining then a semi-circle, … fill’d with auditors, to each of whom I allow’d two square feet, I computed that he might well be heard by more than thirty thousand. This reconcil’d me to the newspaper accounts of his having preach’d to twenty-five thousand people … and to the antient histories of generals haranguing whole armies, of which I had sometimes doubted.”6

On the other hand, Benjamin Franklin’s observations of George Whitfield’s preaching were the scientific measurements of a single observer. Though a single observer, even a careful one like Benjamin Franklin, might be more prone to error than a large number of observers, Franklin’s measurements were still scientific. Franklin used a step-by-step process of investigation. He physically walked off the distance to determine the range of Whitfield’s voice. Next he compared his observation with previous witnesses of Whitfield’s audiences and range. Finally he adds similar established historic accounts of commanders addressing troops (adding that he previously doubted their truth).

In the following paragraph the Bible presents step-by step scientific proofs of the accuracy of the historical event of the Exodus. Three hundred years after the event Jephthah confirms its occurrence (Judges 11:26). At the time of the beginning of Solomon’s temple construction the official historical record of the event (I Kings 6:1) confirms that 480 years have passed. If someone falsely claims that the Biblical record of the Exodus is not scientific, that is an issue of his unbelief, not an issue of science.

In the book of Judges, part of Jephthah’s speech to the Ammonites includes an approximate date for the Exodus. …Israel dwelt in Heshbon and her towns, and in Aroer and her towns, and in all the cities that be along by the coasts of Arnon, three hundred years? why therefore did ye not recover them within that time? (Judges 11:26, KJV) By the time of Solomon, the date of the Exodus was the foundational date for the kingdom. And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month Zif, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the LORD. (I Kings 6:1, KJV) Though the comparison of modern calendars with ancient calendars is very difficult and it is easy to be a few years off, I Kings 6:1 gives a precise date to the Exodus. Anyone who understands that Solomon began to build the house of the LORD in 966 BC of our Gregorian calendar knows that the Exodus took place in 1446 BC according to our Gregorian calendar. If you are interested in understanding these discrepancies, please see the Section Two Appendix on Calendars. Anyone who uses a slightly different date, such as 1444 BC or 1447 BC is not disagreeing about the date of the Exodus. He is simply disagreeing about the proper method of scientifically reconciling ancient calendars to our modern Gregorian calendar. Clearly this documentation of the Exodus is scientific history, actual events recorded and verified by scientific methods.

The believer understands that the Exodus took place in 1446 BC. In this case the word believer does not mean someone who has put his faith and trust in Jesus Christ. It simply means that he has examined the evidence and chosen to accept the facts. For example, Immanuel Velikovsky, author of numerous works on errors in the currently accepted dating methods of mainstream archaeology, believes the Exodus took place at the time recorded in the Bible, even though he rejects everything supernatural.

The unbeliever, however, does not understand that an Exodus ever took place. He simply rejects anything like the Biblical record. In other aspects of his life he may be a Hindu, a Muslim, an atheist or almost anything else. He looks at the work of Egyptologists since James Breasted’s Ancient Records of Egypt and concludes that nothing like the Exodus recorded in the Bible ever happened. Mainstream history has no room for anything like the Exodus. A belief in the Exodus will keep doctoral candidates from receiving their doctorates, PhDs from getting a job, prevent professors from achieving tenure and will blacklist tenured professors. A brief look at a few people who have experienced some of this prejudice is documented in Ben Stein’s movie Expelled.7

The compromiser examines the Exodus recorded in the Bible and the massive works of mainstream historians and attempts to reconcile them. Though it is possible for as many reconciled dates as there are individuals doing the reconciling, the most common date compromisers arrive at is 1295 BC. The 1295 BC date often makes Rameses II the pharaoh of the Exodus, as in the Stephen Spielberg movie, Prince of Egypt and the 1956 classic Cecil DeMille’s The Ten Commandments. The 1295 BC date is a poor fit and is often ridiculed by mainstream historians who completely reject anything like an Exodus. Though it is the best fit these men can come up with, it is still wrong. As Charles Haddon Spurgeon said:

“A chasm is opening between the men who believe their Bibles and the men who are prepared for an advance upon Scripture. Inspiration and speculation cannot long abide in peace. Compromise there can be none. We cannot hold the inspiration of the Word, and yet reject it; we cannot believe in the atonement and deny it; we cannot hold the doctrine of the fall and yet talk of the evolution of spiritual life from human nature; we cannot recognize the punishment of the impenitent and yet indulge the “larger hope.” One way or the other we must go. Decision is the virtue of the hour.”8

Compromisers want to “get along,” to make allowances for other views, to be tolerant. They won’t stand up for the truth because it doesn’t matter enough to them. These are people who believe that “getting along” is more important than honesty. Dorothy Sayer said, “In the world it is called Tolerance, but in hell it is called Despair, the sin that believes in nothing, cares for nothing, seeks to know nothing, interferes with nothing, enjoys nothing, hates nothing, finds purpose in nothing, lives for nothing, and remains alive because there is nothing for which it will die.”9

Though massive tomes have been written on date of the Exodus, that is not the purpose of this work. The Exodus is but one example of the three possible positions of belief, unbelief and compromise. A juror for an automobile accident can be a believer, an unbeliever or a compromiser. A juror who makes a decision based on the evidence of the case alone is a believer. A juror who rejects the evidence and draws conclusions based on some other preconception is an unbeliever. A juror who combines evidence with preconceptions and jumbles it all together into a mess is a compromiser. We are all compromisers on issues where we fail to stand firmly on principle. Compromise is the most destructive thing we can do to our character. Yet as destructive as compromise is, it is an area in each of our lives that we have difficulty seeing clearly.

Throughout history, unbelief has taken many forms. In the Roman Empire the main form of unbelief was polytheism and Christians were viewed as atheists because they believed in only one God. Christianity was dangerous as a “foreign superstition,” and its followers “notoriously depraved,” said Tacitus, first and second century Roman historian.10Suetonius, a second century Roman historian, called Christianity a “new and mischievous religious belief,”11in his work The Twelve Caesars. In Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations Christians are called a “gang… of ignorant men and credulous women.” He believed they were guilty of lawlessness, or “mere contumacy.”12 Athenagoras, an Athenian who wrote to the Emperor Marcus Aurelius, said that Romans accused Christians of “atheism, Thyestean feasts [cannibalism], [and] Oedipodean intercourse [incest].”13

Justin Martyr, a second century Christian apologist, acknowledged the Roman perspective but made the Christian position clear to those who ignorantly or willfully misinterpreted it. “Hence are we called atheists. And we confess that we are atheists, so far as gods of this sort [the Roman pantheon] are concerned, but not with respect to the most true God…”14 Athenagoras pleaded with Marcus Aurelius to recall that every nation under Roman control was allowed to worship its own gods. Romans believed their vassal states were made better by religious practice, but Athenagoras said that Christians were “harassed, plundered, and persecuted, the multitude making war upon us for our name alone.”13

The Romans founded this empire-wide persecution of Christians upon the charge of Atheism, since Christians were not pantheists like the Romans. But beneath the mask of the worship of many gods, the Romans held the same beliefs Secular Humanists hold today.

Unbelief can take different forms in different cultures. In Japan it was emperor worship; other cultures have even degenerated into cannibalism. But the predominant form of unbelief in the world today is Secular Humanism. We use the term “Secular Humanist” or “Secular Humanism” because that is what they called themselves. The Humanist Manifesto I is a religious document, written by a Unitarian Minister, Raymond B. Bragg, in 1933. Thirty men who believed themselves to be representative of a vast multitude “forging a new philosophy” signed it. “… there is no new thing under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 1:9, KJV)

The Humanist Manifesto I,II and III can be viewed on the website americanhumanist.org. It cannot be reprinted here because of the following notice on the site:

Copyright renewed 1973 by the American Humanist Association. Permission to reproduce this material, complete and unmodified, in electronic or printout form is hereby granted free of charge by the copyright holder to nonprofit humanist and freethought publications. All other uses, and uses by all others, requires that requests for permission be made through the American Humanist Association.15

These men quickly learned that using the word “religion” actually hampered their cause. If they could deceive people into believing that secular humanism was not a religion and that religion was bad, then they could get state funding (follow the money trail) and political power while putting ungodly restrictions on those who actually dared to call themselves religious. Humanist Manifestos II and III call traditional religions “traditional theism” and describe them as “obstacles to human progress.” Many have also dropped the word “secular” and simply call themselves “humanists.”This is an effective propaganda technique, since they are now denying that they are a religion.

The 1973 Humanist Manifesto II is lengthy and filled with doublespeak. It is exactly what George Orwell in 1984 and Aldous Huxley in Brave New World warned us about. It is important because it was signed by more than one hundred influential people, including doctors, university professors, and others like Isaac Asimov, scientist and writer, B. F. Skinner, Prof. of Psychology, Harvard University, Betty Friedan, Founder of N.O.W, and Sir Julian Huxley, former head, UNESCO, Great Britain. All the manifesto texts can be viewed online. Humanist Manifesto III is the most seductive. True intentions are cleverly obscured and it sounds very good. As commentator Bill O’Reilly points out, the term Secular Humanist is not very accurate. It is, however, the oldest and most accurate of the labels they have chosen for themselves.

It is also the term used in court documents, including the US Supreme Court, so we will continue to use it. “Among religions in this country which do not teach what would generally be considered a belief in the existence of God are Buddhism, Taoism, Ethical Culture, Secular Humanism, and others.”16 Justice Black based his comments on the 1957 case of Fellowship of Humanity v. County of Alameda. In this case an organization of humanists sought a tax exemption on the ground that they used their property “solely and exclusively for religious worship.” The court ruled that the activities of Fellowship of Humanity entitled it to an exemption. These activities included weekly Sunday meetings. The Fellowship of Humanity case used the word humanism, not secular humanism.16

Secular Humanism also made a separate manifesto, first published in 1980 as A Secular Humanist Declaration by CODESH (Council for Democratic Secular Humanism) co-authored by Paul Kurtz and Edwin H. Wilson, both editors of The Humanist magazine. Its principle purpose was to declare its compatibility with democracy and how enlightened man should view traditional religions as inferior to secular humanism.

Still, …there is nothing new under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9, NIV). Plato praised many of these same follies in his dialogue The Republic. Since Plato is so verbose, few study him in detail today, which is good. Where Aldous Huxley in Brave New World and George Orwell in 1984 viewed the following principles as deplorable, Plato praised them as necessary. His philosopher king would use thugs he called guardians to enforce the will of the legislators on a hapless society divided into classes. Plato’s philosopher/king together with legislators and guardians would determine what the classes would be and who would belong to which class. The class you belonged to would determine every aspect of your life.

But Secular Humanism is older than Plato. It is older than anything written which is still in existence. “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9, NIV). Contrary to scientific facts, the modern version of the religion of Secular Humanism believes that a simple, chaotic universe evolved into

a complex, ordered universe. To oversimplify, everything came from nothing. Secular Humanists deny that they are a religion for the express purpose of attacking all other religions, collecting tax money and obtaining political power. They also deny that same political power to anyone who disagrees with them. As no two Christians, Jews, Taoists, etc. believe exactly the same way, so no two Secular Humanists believe the same thing. Despite their differences, Secular Humanists hold many beliefs in common.

People who hold beliefs in common can be labeled by those common beliefs. For example, the Niagara Bible Conference is where the term Fundamentalism first began to be used. The term was also used to describe “The Fundamentals,a collection of twelve books funded by Milton and Lyman Stewart. These men collected as many addresses of Christian teachers, preachers and other leaders as they could find. They published the books and sent them to these addresses over a period of time ending around 1910. This group of beliefs became known as Fundamentalism. Fundamentalists defined their beliefs so clearly that anyone willing to be called a Fundamentalist told others something about what they believe.17The term Fundamentalist, however, applies to every aspect of life. A football coach who emphasizes the basics of blocking and tackling as opposed to trick plays or a wide open offence like the West Coast offence is known as a Fundamentalist. An architect who designs simple, inexpensive buildings using the basics of engineering is a Fundamentalist. And a believer in the following list of fundamentals for Secular Humanism makes a person a Fundamentalist in Secular Humanism.

The Fundamentals of Secular Humanism

1.Secular Humanism is a religion based on feelings and emotion, not reason.

2.Secular Humanism denies anything non-material. Anything spiritual is redefined as “energy.” Various humanists use terms such as “Life Energy,” “Life-Force,” “Interdimensional Energy,” etc. The source of the energy is always material or natural, not supernatural.

3.Secular Humanism denies the existence of a supreme being including Intelligent Design.

4.While acknowledging the existence of evil it denies the concept of original sin. It believes in the perfectibility of man.

5.Though Secular Humanism is open to things not yet discovered, at this time there is no scientific evidence for life after death.

6.Man’s existence on the Earth, like everything else in the universe, is a result of chance and not a plan. The most likely explanation for this chance is evolution, which is based on uniformitarianism.

7.Secular Humanism demands that science include only what is within the scope of “natural law” but does not allow for any explanation for the origin of natural law, and therefore the origins of matter or energy; nor is there any reliable information on a possible end to the universe.

8.Only secular humanist beliefs are reasonable; all other religions raise false hopes, restrict personal fulfillment, or both.

9.The purpose of life is to make you a better person. This is accomplished by service to others and seeking

fulfillment in this life. Though each person might have a different concept of fulfillment, no one has the right to tell another person that what he is doing is wrong, unless it harms someone else. This is especially true with sexual gratification.

10. The accumulated improvements of many individuals will drive the evolution of the human race.

11. The best way for society to survive and thrive is to allow enlightened leaders complete freedom to guide all institutions and organizations that serve all people from the beginning to the end of life.

12. Man exists only as a member of the world community. The world community is responsible to provide for the protection and guidance of the enlightened society from the earliest age. Children must not be separated from the world community. Any persons of majority age who oppose the ideals of the world community must be forced into conformity through employment sanctions or reeducation. Opposition must be suppressed by any necessary means.

13. Improvement of society is the essential duty of the enlightened guardians and includes guidance to prevent nonproductive, undesirable or inferior types.

14. Enlightened leaders guide others to fulfillment in this life. The community chooses the values of these enlightened leaders. The enlightened leaders help to guide the community in developing their values system.

15. Compulsory education indoctrinates the citizen of the world community. It is the catechism of the new society.

16. Personal property is evil. This includes any type of marriage since marriage is a property arrangement. Since Secular Humanists recognize evil, it is the responsibility of the guardians to supervise the distribution of material possessions, including social contracts. Individuals corrupt material possessions by unnecessarily hoarding them.

17. National sovereignty is the cause of war, poverty, overpopulation, and waste or destruction of resources. A unified world government is essential to stable economics and freedom in the areas of communication, travel, arts, sciences and education.

18. Unity means eradication of opposition. Secular Humanists characterize anyone who differs from them on these fundamentals as opponents. Opponents are characterized as being oppressive, divisive, fearful of change, bigoted or guilty of hatred.

Some of these items may seem extreme, even to those who claim to be humanists. Some will protest, “I don’t believe that!” As was said before, not all humanists believe all these points exactly in these words. The position of the Secular Humanists has been evolving over millennia, not just centuries, and in the next chapters some surprising adherents will come to light. Prepare to hear from people who lived in times when they could see and touch the gods the state demanded they worship, yet their words produced the echoes secularists proclaim today as “new ideas for new times.” Look for parallels of these “modern” beliefs in the words of ancient writers who were required by law to believe in the gods of Sumeria, Babylonia, Egypt, India, Meso-America, Greece and Rome. They still spoke clearly about how they had already forged their own beliefs with man as his own prophet, priest and object of worship. Moving closer to modern times, hundreds of well-known humanists will make it clear that those who are influencing every aspect of our culture have believed these concepts for centuries and do, in fact, believe them and work for their realization today.

1 Edwards v Aguillard, U. S. Supreme Court, 1987. Justice Antonin Scalia’s dissenting opinion Chief Justice William Rehnquist concurring with Scalia.

2 Professor Romila Thapar, Frontline magazine Volume 18 – Issue 19, Sep. 15 – 28, 2001 India’s National Magazine from the publishers of THE HINDU.

3 John Adams, “Argument in defence of the soldiers in the Boston Massacre trial,” December 1770.

4 From Plato’s Dialogue “Phaedrus,” Translated by Benjamin Jowett, 1871.

5 Plutarch, from his Life of Lycurgus, translated by John Dryden and others, 1683.

6 Franklin, Benjamin. Autobiography. First English version published London, 1793. (The Appendix of the Great Awakening includes the publication history of this work.)

7 Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. Prod. Logan Craft, Walt Ruloff and John Sullivan. Dir. Nathan Frankowski. Writ. Kevin Miller and Ben Stein. Assoc. Prod. Mark Mathis. Ed. Simon Tondeur. © 2008 Premise Media Corporation, Rampart Films Production.

8 Charles Haddon Spurgeon, “Our Reply to Sundry Critics and Enquirers,” The Sword and Trowel, Metropolitan Tabernacle, Elephant and Castle, London, Sept. 1887.

9 Dorothy L. Sayers, “The Other Six Deadly Sins,” Creed or Chaos, Harcourt, Brace and Company, New York: NY, 1994, p. 81.

10 Tacitus, The Annals of Imperial Rome, 109 AD, XIII. 32, Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb, 1876.

11 Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus, The Twelve Caesars, written c. 117 138 AD, translation J. C. Rolfe, 1913-1914.

12 Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, XI.3, 167 AD, translated by George Long, 1862.

13 Athenagoras of Athens, Legatio pro Christianis [translated “Supplication for the Christians”], a letter to Marcus Aurelius written in 177 A.D. Translated by B. P. Pratten in “Athenagoras.” The Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 2, Wm. B. Eerdmans, Grand Rapids: Michigan, 1954.

14 Justin Martyr, First Apology, Chapter 6, “The Charge of Atheism Refuted,” Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, Translators, 1867.

15 Humanist Manifestos I, II, III, http://www.americanhumanist .org/ Who_We_Are/About_Humanism/Humanist_Manifesto_I (II or III).

16 Torcaso v. Watkins,United States Supreme Court, 1961, Justice Hugo Black in a footnote. Justice Black based his comments on the 1957 case of Fellowship of Humanity v. County of Alameda. Where an organization of humanists sought a tax exemption on the ground that they used their property “solely and exclusively for religious worship.”

17 More detailed information on the Niagara Bible Conference and the Fundamentals can be found in the following sources: Ahlstrom.Sydney F. A Religious History of the American People. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1972; Beale, David O. In Pursuit of Purity. Bob Jones University Press: Greenville, SC, 1986; Dollar, George W. A History of Fundamentalism in America. Greenville, SC: Bob Jones University Press, 1973.

4 Comments

Filed under Current Issues, Politics, Excerpts from our Nonfiction Books

Book Review of The Shallows, What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains, by Nicholas Carr

Men’s minds and thinking are getting shallower all the time, but it’s wrong to blame that on the Internet. Many things are just as powerful as the Internet in changing our lives and our thought patterns. Rock music, television, video games and addiction (alcoholism) still play a greater role in “shallowing” the mind than the Internet. The human brain works the same way it has since Adam. The Internet is a minor cultural change compared to the Civil War in the American South, Concentration Camps for Jews, the ten plagues in Egypt and the decimation of Native American culture by Europeans.

(Note that all quotes below are from Carr’s book unless otherwise stated.)

Sabrina’s “workaholic” Linus Larrabee shouts, “My life makes your life possible!” “And I resent that!” playboy younger brother David shouts back. “So do I!” Linus retorts. This popped into my head as I read the repeated descriptions of the deep readers and contemplative thinkers. Nathaniel Hawthorne lay back and experienced nature for hours. Trains and busy working people disturbed him. The “shallow thinkers” Carr brings up are productive people, people with jobs. They have always paid for the lives of these deep thinkers.

Deep thinkers may not be playboys. They still need to be supported to lie in the grass listening to the breeze. Artists and writers from ancient times had patrons or they starved to death. Today their support still comes from those who can handle the world’s distractions. I say this as an artist and writer forced into the distraction of working or helping my husband work to pay bills and buy books like The Shallows.

Carr’s concept of “deep reading” sounds like Eastern Mysticism, opening the mind to everything, rather than reading as the Scriptures teach, “to know wisdom and understanding,” “comparing Scripture with Scripture.” If you can’t lose yourself in a long book you don’t learn properly? Then why does he reduce the Nathaniel Hawthorne tale of his Sleepy Hollow reverie to “snippets?”

Carr quotes wicked men as praiseworthy examples. Emerson, Freud, Nietszche and Marx are just a few of his favorite secularists. Studies are automatically authoritative. In our book Antidisestablishmentarianism we include this: “Dennis Prager, anthropologist and historian, laments the unthinking reliance on pseudo-science in today’s society. ‘In much of the West, the well-educated have been taught to believe they can know nothing and they can draw no independent conclusions about truth, unless they cite a study and “experts” have affirmed it. “Studies show” is to the modern secular college graduate what “Scripture says” is to the religious fundamentalist.'” (Prager quote from “Breastfeeding as a Religion,” World Net Daily, wnd.com, posted November 11, 2003 1:00 am Eastern.)

Carr’s “facts” are lies or skewed into lies. Plato’s Phaedrus strongly supports oral tradition. Theuth and Thamus illustrate oral versus written traditions. “Unlike the orator Socrates, Plato was a writer, and while we can assume that he shared Socrates’ worry that reading might substitute for remembering, leading to a loss of inner depth, it’s also clear that he recognized the advantages that the written word had over the spoken one.” Carr twists it to say Plato is supporting writing over oral tradition.

Plato knew of the honored Spartan tradition that their laws had to be memorized. “Plutarch, in his discourse on the life of Lycurgus and his rule in ancient Greece, expresses the belief that oral tradition is a way of making the law more firmly fixed in the mind.

“None of his laws were put into writing by Lycurgus, indeed, one of the so-called ‘rhetras’ forbids it. For he thought that if the most important and binding principles which conduce to the prosperity and virtue of a city were implanted in the habits and training of its citizens, they would remain unchanged and secure, having a stronger bond than compulsion in the fixed purposes imparted to the young by education, which performs the office of a law-giver for every one of them.”

Carr says Plato’s Republic opposes the oral tradition. “In a famous and revealing passage at the end of the Republic, … Plato has Socrates go out of his way to attack ‘poetry,’ declaring that he would ban poets from his perfect state.” Book Ten of Plato’s Republic starts off by saying that he wanted to banish the type of poetry that did not support his state. His goal was to rewrite the religious and imitative literature. Plato wanted absolute regulation of content, not the banishment of the oral tradition, as stated in Book II. “Then the first thing will be to establish a censorship of the writers of fiction (which includes the Poets) …and we will desire mothers and nurses to tell their children the authorized ones only.”

The book relies on the shallowness of gleaning opinions from others without testing them by researching in the work itself. Carr didn’t seek out the real meaning of the discussions in the Republic and Phaedrus for himself. This would be almost comical if it weren’t for his repeated emphasis on deep thinking and reading.

Carr talks about the cool serenity of library stacks, but we went to a college where the stacks were closed and the frustrations of getting the right books were endless. Open stacks are still time consuming if the book in the card catalog isn’t on the shelf. Leisure reading and research reading are very different. Long novels like War and Peace and Bleak House and technically difficult works like Einstein and Infield’s The Evolution of Physics are worth the time to read cover to cover. But the library is confining and the Internet is liberating when there is time pressure.

Carr loses the struggle to define determinism because he is thoroughly deterministic in his approach to the studies, the experiments, and the use of what he condemns (superficial research and study) to prove his point. He mentions a couple of histories of societies making technology choices, but, “Although individuals and communities may make very different decisions about which tools they use, that doesn’t mean that as a species we’ve had much control over the path or pace of technological progress.”

How dare he say the brains of London cabbies won’t be as interesting if they start using GPS? That thinking isn’t much different from withholding medicine and clothing from jungle tribes. They’ll be “less interesting” for anthropologists to study. “Anthropologists are often faced with situations where members of the tribe they are studying die on a regular basis from easily curable diseases. But administering medicine may be the first step toward the loss of a culture. Many tribes actually express desire to become more technological. Anthropologists usually pressure them not to do so. One Brazilian indigenous tribal chief, after hearing such a recommendation, is quoted saying, ‘Do they think we like not having any clothes? It may be the way of our ancestors, but the bugs bother us…’ Should tribes like these be exposed to the modern world? There are no easy answers.” (Quoted from BBC online, updated April 10, 2002, in our book Antidisestablishmentarianism.)

E-books already outsell paper books on Amazon.com, and have for over a year. The Kindle is easy to read, keeps your place, allows written comments and highlighting. It’s a “real book.” Many small and medium conventional publishers are out of business. Only publishing giants and specialty “boutique” publishers can sustain the costs of producing paper books. The minimal costs of e-books will force this trend to continue.

Carr even quotes Psalm 115:3-8, a description of the deadness and powerlessness of idols, and warps it to fit his thesis about “technology’s numbing effect. It’s an ancient idea, one that was given perhaps its most eloquent and ominous expression by the Old Testament psalmist.” The creation of idols didn’t just “amplify and in turn numb the most intimate, the most human, of our natural capacities — those for reason, perception, memory, and emotion.” This is blasphemy. How can he equate the deadly sin of idolatry with the mere loss of “natural capacities”? He does this because he’s a secularist. (The passage is included here) “Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not. They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat. They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them.” ( KJV)

Placing of scientific journals online does not narrow the scope of research and scholarship, which has always built on past scholarship. An article from 2005 need not cite one from 1945. That research was incorporated into, for example, a 1960 article. Further study, experimentation and research would occur by 1960, or more recently.

At one time many libraries had that 1945 issue, interlibrary loan privileges or microfilm. Libraries today rely on online research, which requires membership fees, payment by the article or both. Some of these charges are prohibitive to keep paying and paying for every article an author wishes he could study and reference. Newer articles are more readily available, often free or cheap, and easier to find.

We have been bombarded with distractions and choices and sensory overloads for centuries. It was happening before the Internet, before Gutenberg, before Plato. It’s up to us to filter.

Nicholas Carr pays tribute to the Scriptures by calling Psalm 115:3-8 a “most eloquent and ominous expression.” Hear then, more of the Scriptures and judge whether Carr has any conception of how eloquent the Word of God can be, and how little he understands about how it should shape our thinking. (The following quotes are from the King James Version)

Ecclesiastes 1:8-11: “All things are full of labour; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing. The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us. There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after.”

Ecclesiastes 12:11-14: “The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd.  And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.  Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.”

1 Comment

Filed under Current Issues, Politics, Writing, Reviewing, Publishing, and about Blogging

Preface to Antidisestablishmentarianism

The most religious people on earth are those who claim not to have any religion. Dogmatic, intolerant, and bigoted, they refuse to allow anyone to so much as speak their opposition. Yet these same people demand political power and tax support. The mildest opposition, such as the mere mention of Intelligent Design (not God), has blacklisted tenured professors. Just two parents in a middle school in Texas made the national news by objecting to Gideon Bibles placed, without comment, on a table outside the school office.1 Such people dishonestly claim that they are not religious and “religion” is a group of mythologies. The truth is that they are the ones promoting mythology. In every aspect of life they promote this mythology with unproven dogmatic assertions under the guise of “Science” vocabulary. After hijacking the word “Science,” they use the courts to elevate their misuse of the term to an established religion.

Science is the study of the world around us, the use of the experimental method and the improvement of our lives through the application of technology. It is divided into various academic disciplines such as Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics and Biology. However, what the federal courts, the academic community and the mainstream Western media mean by science is uniformitarianism. It is the cosmological foundation of the religion of Secular Humanism. “Since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation” (II Peter 3:4). This concise description of Uniformitarianism clearly shows that it is completely and entirely a religious belief in antiscientific myths.

Secular Humanists use words which have been in the English language for hundreds of years but give them “new” meanings. However, “there is no new thing under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9, KJV). The words believe, faith and trust are all historic judicial terms and they also form the foundation of the true scientific method. What Secular Humanists promote as their version of the scientific method consists of preconceptions, presuppositions and assumptions. It is the opposite of an open mind.

A true open mind is founded in belief, faith and trust. The historic meaning of believe is to perceive or understand with the mind and then make an informed decision.2 The most basic use of the word believe which the average American would understand is that of a juror in court. Which witness do you believe? Which piece of evidence is believable? A synonym would be the word credible. When we believe something or someone and then act on that belief, that is faith. The active part of belief is faith. The passive part of belief is trust. Suppose your brother says that he will drive you to the doctor. If you believe him, then you understand what he says and you make a decision to get ready. If you get in the vehicle with him, that is faith. You act on your belief. When you sit in the vehicle as he drives, that is trust, a passive reliance on what you have proven true. You trust in his driving skills. You trust in the vehicle. You trust the roads, etc. Everything we do is a combination of belief, faith or trust. By restoring their historic definitions, belief, faith and trust re-emerge as the clear language of true experimental science. These terms were deliberately segregated from science to deceive people into believing Secular Humanism.

Liberals, Secular Humanists and materialists, however, use the word “belief” as a synonym for a philosophical position, just an opinion. Faith and trust to them are metaphysical words which mean different things to different people. And this is just the tip of an enormous iceberg. Secular Humanists have redefined hundreds of words to support their religion, such as sin, judgment and anthropology. A conversation with them can be very difficult since they use historical English words but mean something entirely different.

The traditional role of religion is to place priesthood as intermediary between God and man. The traditional role of an establishment of religion places the government in that intermediary role between God and man. In the Middle Ages the Roman Catholic Church put itself between man and God, as other religions have in the past. Johann Tetzel, a “professional pardoner,” sold indulgences representing forgiveness for sins in Germany. Indulgences were based on the “storehouse” of good works believed to exist because of the sacrifice of Christ and the good deeds and prayers of past saints. Tetzel was said to promise that, “As soon as a coin in the coffer rings, a soul from purgatory springs.”3

Selling indulgences was the final act of many which brought on the Reformation. People wouldn’t have bought them if they hadn’t believed the Catholic Church alone could placate God on their behalf. Martin Luther convinced the princes of Germany that they did not need to send their money to Rome because they could go to God directly. Rome sent armies to collect the money. Even Modern Roman Catholics who do not believe that their church today claims to stand between them and God have to admit that the medieval Roman Catholic Church did.

The combined power of Church and State restricted personal worship, scientific study and access to historical truth. Today Secular Humanism has done the same by removing foundational truths from education. It excludes study and discovery that contradicts uniformitarianism. It rewrites history to undermine morality and freedom of expression.

The union between the medieval Romanist church and the state came to an end in two ways. In Southern Europe during the Renaissance, art, architecture, literature, and learning opened up to all men, not just those who were part of the church and state system. The Renaissance left the power intact, however. In Northern Europe, the Reformation abolished the need for a church like Rome through the great affirmations of the Reformation: The Scriptures are the absolute authority; Justification is by faith alone apart from works; and every believer is his own priest with direct access to God. The Reformation made a special priesthood class unnecessary because men could pray directly to God and read His Word on their own.

The medieval Roman Catholic Church kept the Scriptures almost exclusively in Latin to prevent ordinary people from studying them, forcing people to come to the priest. The priest would not only tell them what the Scriptures said, but he also mingled that with the church’s interpretation. In order for ordinary people who did not know Latin to read the Bible for themselves, the Scriptures had to be translated into the language of the ordinary people. Translation work by Reformers was essential to enable ordinary men to read the Scriptures for themselves, even though it was punishable by death under the Church-State system. The Renaissance and the Reformation worked together in the development of moveable type to make printing and distribution of translations of the Scriptures easier. Renaissance scholars revived interest in studying forgotten manuscripts and making translations into the vernacular. Erasmus’s Greek New Testament provided a basis for more accurate translations of the Scriptures.

The Medieval Romanist Church-State system took away freedom by forcing man to rely on and accept its teachings. The Renaissance and the Reformation restored freedom by returning art, science, and all forms of learning to ordinary people. In particular the people were able to worship God as the Scriptures taught, without Church-State control. Modern western culture, and American culture in particular, was founded on this religious freedom. American culture is more Christian than European cultures, but neither of these cultures can survive if the foundation of religious freedom is destroyed.

It is this Christian foundation of religious freedom which is the real target of Secular Humanists. These Secular Humanists have taken outrageous liberties in their unrelenting quest to replace religious freedom with their established religion of Secular Humanism, which they incorrectly call science or Natural Law. Their major tool is the US court system. Sympathetic US courts have consistently supported Secular Humanism by using every possible opportunity to replace the word religion with the ancient concept of Natural Law. However, since Natural Law has been used so many different ways, the courts had to standardize the term Natural Law. Their version of Natural Law goes back to Plato’s Republic. Though Plato never used the phrase “natural law” in his Republic, translator Benjamin Jowett’s notes state that, “Plato among the Greeks, like Bacon among the moderns, was the first who conceived a method of knowledge…”4 Plato’s Republic is at least the foundation of modern Natural Law, if not the detailed finished product. Together with Aristotle, Plato is supposed by secularists to have laid the foundation for learning and development of the Sciences. This is really is essence of Natural Law.

Jowett goes on to say that Plato provided for a means to spread his method of acquiring knowledge. “In the ideal State which is constructed by Socrates, the first care of the rulers is to be education.”4 Jowett makes it clear that Socrates meant to impart much more than mere academic knowledge, just as Natural Law means to teach more than mere Science. Socrates promoted “the conception of a higher State, in which ‘no man calls anything his own,’ and in which there is neither ‘marrying nor giving in marriage,’ and ‘kings are philosophers’ and ‘philosophers are kings;’ and there is another and higher education, intellectual as well as moral and religious, of science as well as of art, and not of youth only but of the whole of life.”4

Many know that Plato in his Republic based his state on a philosopher/king. Few, however, are aware that he believed in communism and free love and that these two “natural” principles were to be foundational principles of the state. Though the preceding condensation by Benjamin Jowett is an excellent job, as you can read for yourself, the actual words of Socrates, as quoted by Plato, are much longer and more difficult to understand. “None of them will have anything specially his or her own.” “… Their legislator, having selected the men, will now select the women and give them to them [the legislator gives selected women to selected men]… they must live in common houses and meet at common meals … they will be together … And so they will be drawn by a necessity of their natures to have intercourse with each other…” “… Until philosophers are kings, or the kings and princes … have the spirit and power of philosophy, and political greatness and wisdom meet in one … cities will never have rest from their evils.”5

The philosopher/king, according to Socrates, was to lay these foundational ideas through education. Though he did not use the phrase “establishment of religion,” Plato clearly advocated an established religion. It was to be put in place by a philosopher/king through education based on a state where “no man calls anything his own” and where there is neither “marrying nor giving in marriage.” Though this education would begin with children, it would continue throughout a person’s entire life. This is the Natural Law which the US Court system has imposed.

The US needs to disestablish its Establishment of Religion and reestablish religious freedom. In the 1800’s churches which tried to break away from the Church of England were called disestablishmentarians. The people who fought against the disestablishment of those churches within the Church of England in the 1800s were called Antidisestablishmentarians. Today, the mainstream media, liberal politicians, the academic community, the liberal courts and all others who file lawsuits, blacklist, fire, refuse to hire, tax, legislate against, libel, slander and do whatever is necessary to maintain their positions of privilege and power are modern Antidisestablishmentarians.

1 (No author) “Parents Fuming as Texas Schools Let Gideons Provide Bibles to Students,” Tuesday, May 19, 2009, Fox News.com. “A spokeswoman for the school district said that a number of materials are made available to students this way, including newspapers, camp brochures and tutoring pamphlets. College and military recruitment information is available all year long. The Gideon Bibles were made available for just one day. ‘We have to handle this request in the same manner as other requests to distribute non-school literature — in a view-point neutral manner,’ Shana Wortham, director of communications for the district, wrote in an e-mail to FoxNews.com.

2 Alexander Hamilton, in an 1802 letter to James Bayard. “I have carefully examined the evidences of the Christian religion, and if I was sitting as a juror upon its authenticity I would un-hesitatingly give my verdict in its favor. I can prove its truth as clearly as any proposition ever submitted to the mind of man.”

3 Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, Volume 7, “The Reformation,” Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1910.

4 Plato, The Republic (c. 360 B.C.), translated by Benjamin Jowett over a period of 30 years until his death in 1893, completed posthumously by Lewis Campbell. (Introductory material (in double quotes) and paraphrases of Plato’s ideas (in single quotes) were written by Jowett.)

5 Plato, The Republic, Book Five Dialogue excerpts among Socrates, Adeimantus, Glaucon and Thrasymachus have been placed in parentheses within Jowett’s introductory material.

3 Comments

Filed under Bible Teaching, Current Issues, Politics, Excerpts from our Nonfiction Books, History, Scientific, Writing, Reviewing, Publishing, and about Blogging