Tag Archives: truth

What Is the Best Way to Learn What Your Opponent Believes? — post by Michael J. Findley

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In answer to a Quora question: What’s the best way to learn the opposing side’s arguments when it comes to politics?

What is best varies from person to person. I read Plato’s Republic, then acquired an audio version to listen to it many times. Rather than the Communist Manifesto, Plato is the real foundation of the left. Communism/socialism is older than Plato, but Plato is a good beginning. I also read the works of the French revolutionaries, such as Voltaire.

While they were influential in their day, they lack an overall depth of thought. Next I read the Communist Manifesto and Das Kapital, which I bought for 50 cents. When a dog ate them, I did not think they were worth replacing. Next I read the personal experiences of those who lived in countries where these religions where forced on the populace, such as Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s The Gulag Archipelago. 

I learned that the term “the left” came from the French Revolution. Revolutionaries took over the French Parliament and sat on the left side of the King. Everyone who opposed them sat to the right of the King. So the term “the Right” means opposed to the Left. “The Right” is not a specific belief or position. It simply means opposed to Communism/Socialism/Fascism. All are various versions of dialectical materialism; tyranny, to use the language of Thomas Jefferson. With Communism, dialectical materialism is god, controlled entirely by the government.

Socialism permits business to join the ruling class of government. Fascism permits anyone who is willing to join the party to rule over those who resist Fascism. Conservatism is quite different depending on the country. In the USA, it stands for private property, personal responsibility, free enterprise, and the understanding (belief), that these gifts are rights from God as explained in the Word of God. Government can only take rights away. It cannot bestow God given rights on anyone.

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Why I am, For Now, Staying on Facebook — post by Michael J. Findley

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Friends, other people; it really is that simple. If I could, I would leave. But the people I like and often love are not on these other sites. These are people I trust. Friends who supply better news links than the MSN, better sports analysis than ESPN, funny animal videos, wacky UFO/paranormal humor, touching military stories, interesting cars and hobbies, history and science links, and many other things I usually cannot imagine.

Facebook is public. Never, ever post anything you will not stand by in the future. And do not ever quote other people out of context. Like most of my friends, I wish Facebook was like it was ten years ago when I first joined. Every change (update) has degraded the Facebook experience. It used to be faster, easier to find what you wanted, and was not drowning in leftist political censorship.

Like many people, I spend too much time on Facebook. My tablet makes typing responses almost impossible. And I post things things I shouldn’t even think. But these are my sins. Facebook makes my sins public. Closing my Facebook account will not make me less of a sinner. It will make my sins less public. But I glorify God by confessing and forsaking my sins, not hiding them. Facebook, at least for me, is the opportunity to confront my sinful nature and ask the Spirit of God to both forgive me for the sins I post and to not commit the same sins in the future.

 

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What Is A Lie? — Post by Michael J Findley

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For all of those friends of mine who post on facebook that someone is a liar, we must understand that there are 3 requirements for a statement to be a lie.

First and most obvious, the statement must be incorrect.

Second, the person making the statement must be aware that the statement is incorrect. This too seems obvious.

Third and the most difficult to detect, there must be an intent to deceive.

Suppose that you are given, without your knowledge, a counterfeit $20 bill (or use your currency if you are not an American). Someone asks you if you have $20 and you respond in the affirmative.

1) You are incorrect.
2) You are not aware that you are incorrect.
3) You have no intent to deceive.
You are wrong, incorrect. But you are not a liar.

You are in bed and someone in another room asks you, “Are you in bed?” You immediately stand on the floor and respond, “No, I am not in bed.” This is a little more nuanced. Though your statement is technically correct, there is the issue of intent. If the questioner simply wanted to know if you were out of bed, you told the truth.
“Are you in bed?” often implies more. Are you getting dressed? When will you be down for breakfast? When will you be ready to leave for work/school/shopping? If you understand that the question means more than just “Are you in bed?” then your simply answer, “No, I am not in bed.” Is a lie. You basic information is correct, but you are aware of the intent of the question. You answered with the intent to deceive.

In everyday life these subtle nuances, and often not so subtle, are the rationalizations we give to ourselves in order to delude ourselves. We convince ourselves that we are technically correct, so everything is fine. Continuing to tell these lies of intent or lies of convenience makes understand right and wrong, truth and a lie increasingly difficult.

When we become skilled at shading the truth, we will unable to discern when others are lying to us. At this point, truth will no longer matter to us. We will only be concerned we self-gratification.

You will know the truth and the truth will make you free. John 8:32 NASB

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Basics Of Reality

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Words mean things. “This is a green fence,” can be parsed, the adjective “green” and the noun “fence” can be made more precise, but the basic meaning of words is clear. I once had a business trip to plant where everyone spoke French. They found the one man who knew a little English. Between my knowledge of a little French and his knowledge of a little English, we completed our transaction. The old I Love Lucy show has a classic skit of a trip to Italy and the difficulty of a language (in that case several languages) barrier. No matter how difficult, language barriers can be overcome because words have meaning.

While some people believe that all reality is nothing but an illusion, for the rest of us, the material universe exists. We use words to describe it. The simple existence of the world is consistent with our experience. As John opens 1 John “what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands.” Reality either came into existence at some point in time or it is eternal. We describe this material existence with words.

Entropy says that all mass/energy transformations either conserve existing mass/energy at the level before the transformation or make the mass/energy less useable (a downward transformation as to the total available mass/energy). There has never been an observed exception to entropy.

This is consistent with the statement “In the beginning God created.” In six days God input and organized the mass and energy of the universe. Then God rested, that is, ceased inputting and organizing mass and energy. Later, God told Moses what He did and Moses recorded it in writing.

Today, the vast majority of mankind chooses to believe that this record is not true. They claim that their belief in deep time is based on evidence. But the evidence available to us today must be interpreted. We observe the surface of the sun, interpret that data and make assumptions about how the interior and core of the sun operate. These can be valid scientific theories, as long as we accept the limitation of being unable to verify our theories with observations.

These limitations apply to everything dealing with the past. In the recent past, we have written records to support the observable data. The recent past can be as recent as the assassination of JFK, or it can be the eruption of Mount Vesuvius burying Pompeii in A.D. 79. But without written records, we depart from science and rely entirely on interpretations of what we can observe today.

A light year is a unit of distance, not time. A God Who can speak the universe into existence can also place the photons of light across billions of light years in an instant of time.

Radometric samples are accurately handled and honestly evaluated in laboratories all over the world. But using the result of accurate laboratory information to arrive at a deep time date is a leap of faith. It is simply impossible to know either the original condition of the sample or the conditions prior to any witnesses who wrote down their observations. Since we know nothing of the condition of the original sample or what has happened to the sample since then, the laboratory results can only give us the oldest possible date in a range of dates. The interpreter also believes that nothing ever had any affect on the sample. A true scientific interpretation of the data would say that the age of the sample could be anywhere within a range beginning just before the sample was tested up to the oldest possible date.

Any date relying on counting existing material, such as the salt content of the ocean, varves, the number of craters on the moon or the layers in a glacier all require assuming deep time to be true to return a value using deep time. There is no observable evidence possible to scientifically prove that present processes formed the salt in the sea, the position of the continents, the number of craters on the moon, the formation of glaciers or any other current process.

The Grand Canyon was formed by an upthrust (uplift). Once we recognize that catastrophes, even local ones, formed the world we know and see today, we must state scientifically that the present is not the key to the past.

Using language in the normal way we use language, the only evidence of deep time is a religious leap of faith. If you believe in deep time, it is because you choose to. Not only is there no evidence of deep time, because we cannot send observers back in time (not even with the Hubble telescope), evidence is not possible.

“Unbelievable” is the proper response if you do not believe. Because it is completely belief.

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Verifiable Evidence

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Secularists, when asked for evidence to support their position, reply with comments that show they neither read the article in question, nor do they understand the issues being discussed. Instead they reply with mockery, insults and ridicule. Their comments are usually off-topic.

They constantly ask, “What evidence would you accept?” like verifiable evidence is a matter of opinion. They also frequently ask, “What are your qualifications for saying that?” Perhaps they believe that truth and verifiable evidence changes depending on your degree, certification or some other way you meet their approval.

However, there are a few exceptions. Out of hundreds, perhaps thousands of Secular Humanist comments on the facebook page “Creationism,” I have seen a few attempts to present actual evidence.

First, I wish to thank Secular Humanist James Dickson for defining the Humanist position so clearly in two brief paragraphs. He opens by saying, “When I was walking home from work, I noticed people putting salt on their walkways. I know that salt will create a reaction that will melt the ice. I know this for a fact. I, however, could not see a reaction taking place with my eyes. We would be able to measure the reaction with the proper equipment, but just with my eves, I couldn’t notice a difference.”

Twice he says, “I know.” How do we know this common piece of knowledge? Someone with “the proper equipment,” to use James Dickson’s words, examined, measured and published the results of placing salt on an icy sidewalk. People like James, myself and the rest of you reading this article believe those test results. We have faith in the “proper equipment” and we trust the people publishing the results of their measurements of the reactions. That is exactly the way the words believe, faith and trust are used in the Bible. Those words mean examine and verify evidence, then accept the results of that examination.

James Dickson then continues. “We can’t see evolution over just one generation. It takes eons. It takes a LOT of time for evolution to occur. Why then, do creationists insist that we should be able to see great changes in a few generations?”

[ James has said we misquoted him in this statement. Here is the correction he asked us to include. “Why do creationists ask to see great changes over SHORT spans of time when they take eons?” You cut out ” over SHORT spans of time when they take eons?” This is very important information!]

I, as a Creationist, have often written similar statements and said that this is what secularists believe. I am always called a liar, because this is such obvious circular reasoning. “Why then, do creationists insist that we should be able to see great changes…?” means “Why do you insist on verifiable evidence?”

In this statement James Dickson is first accepting evolution on faith. He then says that evolution “takes a LOT of time” so of course there is no evidence.

Second, Ecotropic Recombinant Viruses, ERVs, or retroviruses, were presented as proof of evolution. ERVs exist today. They can be examined. However, when I asked how that is a proof of evolution, an article was linked to which “proved” that ERVs are responsible for mammals developing placentas. The article contained many observations of the way ERVs act and react in modern laboratories.

The article had no record of anyone observing anything like a placenta developing from nonplacental tissue. When I brought that key point up, the comments were all along the line that placental evolution occurred millions of years ago. They say that the current evidence proves that ERVs are the mechanism by which placental development must have happened.

Once again, this is circular reasoning, not evidence. Accept evolution as a fact, then believe that EVRs are the mechanisms that caused at least some part of evolution.

I am not this writing to question any of the laboratory work done on EVRs. But neither is any of the research done on EVRs any kind of verifiable evidence of what happened millions of years ago. The current lab work on EVRs demonstrates without question what can be done now, in a laboratory, directed by a human intelligence. There is no verifiable evidence of what an EVR could have done millions of years ago by random chance.

The scientific fact of a placenta today has no scientific connection to EVRs millions of years in the past.

But both of these points collapse if the earth is only 6,000 years old. Evolution requires time, a great deal of time, millions of years. As James Dickson said, “It takes a LOT of time for evolution to occur.” Creationist Science agrees with this statement completely.

So I was very pleased when Jake Benicio Lorenzo attempted to defend the concept of deep time. These earlier points are moot without deep time. He said, “”There are many processes which are simply more than 6,000 years.”

Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary proof.

“It takes a photon a minimum 17,000-50,000,000 years to reach the surface of the sun once it is released, and our sun is a comparatively small star compared to others that have been discovered which are much greater in size and density.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_core#Energy_transfer”

When Olaf Roemer made “the first true measurement of the speed of light” in 1676, he did not know the actual distance from the earth to Jupiter. He measured the time discrepancy between the disappearance and reappearance of Jovian moons behind Jupiter when the earth was close to Jupiter and when the earth was maximum distance from Jupiter.

This measurement is not perfect. It is, however, considered very good, exceptional for the equipment and information available to Olaf Roemer. Even before this, men were measuring the diameter of the sun. They concluded that the sun was losing mass (shrinking) at a rate of .01 percent per year, on average. They used the same type of equipment and had access to the same information as Olaf Roemer.

Based on centuries of measurements of the diameter of the sun, Lord Kelvin worked with Hermann Ludwig Ferdinand von Helmholtz to develop the Kelvin-Helmholtz contraction theory for the power of the sun. This theory would have the sun too hot for life on earth a mere 50,000 years ago. The current orbit of the earth would have been inside the sun about a million years ago.

The point is that humans have no instruments inside the sun. We have no way of knowing for certain how the sun is powered internally. So the statement that “It takes a photon a minimum 17,000-50,000,000 years to reach the surface of the sun once it is released” is belief, not science.

His next point was craters on moon. (Note that the writer used hyphens as bullet points)

“-When we look at craters on the moon and other bodies in the solar system, we find many craters. Debris are constantly bombarding the moon, however the impact craters that we observe are generally due to more substantial impacts. The newest crater (named Giordano Bruno) is thought to have hit the moon in 1178 AD which was observed by an estimated 5 people – this eyewitness account coincides with the results of independent tests. Many craters have craters within them and those craters often have more craters within them. This helps us to determine how old some of these craters are, and the estimates go way beyond 6,000. Even if you are skeptical about the testing processes, it is difficult to explain how our moon, peppered in many craters could only be 6,000 years old.”

http://science_nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2001/ast26apr_1/”

This is very believable. That is, if there was no change in the rate of crater formation on the moon for millions of years. That is an act of faith, not science. It is physically possible for almost every single crater on the moon to have been put there on the same day. Not likely, but possible. Once again, this is not science. The scientific, verifiable fact is that we have no idea when most of the moon’s craters were formed.

The last evidence offered by Jake Benicio Lorenzo is fossil evidence on different continents.

“-When we look at certain fossils, we find that they are present on different continents. This is most reasonably explained by continental drift, which is known to take a lot longer than 6,000 years. The following image shows examples of this:

http://rationalwiki.org/w/images/2/22/Snider-Pellegrini_Wegener_fossil_map.gif”

Once again, a superficial look at the evidence might cause someone to come to the conclusion that the earth is “a lot [more] than 6,000 years old.” The fossils are very real. They are very good evidence that there was only one continent sometime before the fossils were embedded. And there are far more fossils which can be presented as evidence.

The problem is “continental drift, which is known to take a lot longer than 6,000 years.” Yes, there was once only one continent. And yes the continents split apart. But scientifically, there is no evidence that the continents “drifted” apart. That “assumes” the continents have always moved at the same, or similar, rate of speed as they are moving now. That is not science. That is faith.

In a paper which does not support creation-science, “Not Continental Drift but Plate Tectonics,” this statement is made. “Plate tectonics enjoys nearly universally acceptance, and Wegener’s continental drift is recognized as a perceptive but fatally flawed forerunner of the modern theory.” The position supported here is that plate tectonics, a comparatively rapid movement of the continents, is true, and Continental Drift is not. The paper can be found at:

http://www.csa.com/discoveryguides/drift/review.pdf

It is possible that plate tectonics caused continents to move apart very rapidly, perhaps in less than one year. It is also possible that this is not the way the continents moved. But the scientific evidence does not support the statement than continental drift is known to take more than 6,000 years. People may choose to believe that, but the evidence does not support their beliefs.

Everything that I have seen presented as evidence of deep time by secularists falls into the same pattern. First, observe some current phenomenon, such as the number of craters on the moon, the amount of salt in the oceans, the movement of the continents or the Grand Canyon. Second, carefully observe how the phenomenon is acting now or in the near past. Third, assume both deep time and uniformitarianism. Apply deep time and uniformitarianism to the current phenomenon. Fourth, claim that the current rate of the phenomenon is proof of deep time and uniformitarianism.

I used the Grand Canyon as an example because even though creationists and the National Geologic Society disagree over the amount of time it took to form the Grand Canyon, we agree on the method. The physical evidence proves that the Grand Canyon was formed by an upthrust. The National Parks Service has two monuments explaining how this happened, one in Flagstaff, AZ and the other at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon at the national park. On these signs it explains that the “Kaibab Uplift” took place “at least” 75 million years ago. Even though the physical evidence forces them to admit that the Grand Canyon was formed by a catastrophe, they still use uniformitarian beliefs to date the catastrophe. Since the physical evidence demands that the Grand Canyon was formed through a catastrophe, that catastrophe which formed the Grand Canyon could just as easily have taken place less than 5,000 years ago.

Nothing offered as evidence of an earth more than 6,000 years old stands up to true scientific scrutiny. And without millions of years, evolution is not possible.

Graham Hancock, author of Fingerprints of the Gods and other books about archaeological sites he has personally explored and studied in his search for facts about ancient times, is certainly no creationist. Yet he said, “The further back you go, the more that the history that’s taught in the schools and universities begins to look like some kind of fairy tale.”

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What Is Your Authority?

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Whatever I command you, you shall be careful to do; you shall not add to nor take away from it. Deuteronomy 12:32

If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead. Luke 16:31

The Scriptures Cannot Be Broken. John 10:35

All Scripture is given by Inspiration of God. 2 Timothy 3:16

No prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation 2 Peter 1:20

I testify to everyone who hears the word of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book. Revelation 22:18, 19

The Bible claims absolute authority. Secular Humanists, who often call themselves atheists, agnostics or just secularists, are proud of their rejection of the Bible as authoritative.

After working for decades to be recognized as a religion, secularism has now decided that because they neither worship a deity nor recognize one book such as the Bible, the Qur’an, the writings of Confucius or Buddha, that they are not a religion.

However, that is simply a dishonest position. The desire of secularism is, as with all religions, immortality. Their authority is “science.” Not science as found in the Bible and used by Jews, Arabs and Christians, but the “corporate agreement” of peer-pressured (falsely called peer-reviewed) papers published by those of similar faith and belief.

One denomination of the religion of secularism believes that human consciousness (their substitute for the soul) can be transferred into a machine (combined computer/robot). As one machine wears out, your consciousness can be transferred to another, hopefully better, machine and you will be able to live forever, simply transferring from one machine to another better machine. Some call this process Singularity.

Has anyone ever done anything like this? No? Then why does anyone believe anything like this? Because God has created each and every one of us with a desire for immortality. More importantly, someone they regard as authoritative has said that this is possible. They choose to believe that authority because the authority says what they want to believe.

This has nothing to do with science. It is totally a choice and a belief. People are elevated to a position of priesthood (which they choose to call a scientist) and from this position of priesthood they make authoritative pronouncements. The belief in immortality through singularity is just one of their authoritative pronouncements. Other authoritative pronouncements, announcements without evidence or proof, include the belief that there is no God, that we do not face judgment after death, that the earth is millions of years old, and that mankind is evolving and getting better and better. A century where hundreds of millions died in wars is something they ignore.

Everyone lives his or her life according to some authority. The authority might be the Bible, it might be government, science, self-indulgence, doing good for your neighbor, making the world a better place to live, an allegiance to a gang or mob, but you get the idea. As John Dunne said, no man is an island unto himself.

As Jesus said, no man can serve two masters.

As Joshua said, choose you this day who you will serve. As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

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Love Does Not Rejoice in Iniquity

We are to speak the truth in love. At the same time, Jesus began his ministry by knotting together a whip of cords and driving animals out of the temple (John 2). He did the same thing the week before He was crucified. Though the Bible does not say this, I believe that Jesus probably cleansed the temple every time he came to Jerusalem. So what does God expect from us? How are we to handle open sin?

Jesus preached the same truth over and over again. Yet at the end of his life on earth, his disciples still did not understand. Paul commands Timothy to “preach the Word, be instant in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and doctrine.”

God loved Israel so much that he sent them prophet after prophet. The message of Isaiah was the same message of Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, etc. We are commanded to “preach the Word, be instant in season and out, reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and doctrine.”

There are Jews who believe just like I do in the OT, yet they reject the entire NT and do not trust in Jesus as the Messiah. Some of few of those Jews actually believe the NT to be good history. They just reject Jesus as the Messiah and believe the NT is not inspired.

Yet Jesus still says “I am the Way the Truth and the Life. No man comes to the Father, except through Me.” John 14:6

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