Tag Archives: determinism

Absolutes vs. Anarchy

The late Corrie Ten Boom writes of her watchmaker-father who traveled regularly to Amsterdam to record the official timepiece of Holland and then return home to reset, correctly, all the clocks in his shop. On one such trip he inquired of the clock managers in Amsterdam how they verified the time. They said they always set their clocks by checking a little known watchmaker named Ten Boom who lived in a little town in the south. Naturally Mr. Ten Boom discontinued his trips to Amsterdam since he was setting their clocks.

How do you establish what is true

But what should they do? They could contact the Greenwich, England office which sets a standard for time by reference to a number of atomic clock organizations. That should do it. But let us speculate that a sunspot caused that electronic clock to lose a quarter of a second; then all three clocks would be wrong. All the official clocks in the world would be wrong as well.

Circular reasoning

I am going somewhere with this so stick with me. This is called circular reasoning because each individual is using another to set the standard. If we want truth, we must go outside ourselves to find it – to an eternal reference point untainted by error. But where is that?

Truth is outside

I have a Buddhist-Thai friend who pays no attention to her religion. She has no interest in Christianity or any other religion, simply saying that she will be in heaven because she knows she will be in heaven. Her family is Thai and she is Thai and that’s all she needs to know. But her reasoning about life (and I might add death) is circular. She allows others who may or may not know anything outside of themselves set her beliefs. Because Thai people have told her she is going to heaven that seems to be all she knows or cares to know. But of what value is that?

Absolute truth exists

Like the circular verification of the watchmakers there is no absolute reference point outside themselves. Truth is just what someone thinks and that can easily be wrong. The Chinese believe that the sheer numbers of people who believe something makes it true. Now try that with a group of people.  Let’s say a small town of all black people believes, as a unit, that they are all female. How can we do that? It is anti-science.  Think of Galileo here.  Do we jail people for agreeing with science? How can anyone say they are a different gender when science, i.e. DNA, tells the story for all the billions of souls on the planet.

Transgender is antiscience

Enter God. He is outside of everything. He knows. He alone can tell you if the watch of your life is set wrong, who you are and where you are going. There is no one as miserable as a person who allows other people to dictate who they are. This is called determinism which never allows you to change or grow.

Secular theorists bristle over the Judeo-Christian absolutes of a God and His Word. After all if there are absolutes and a God who made them then Man might just face a day of accountability.

Personal anarchy

Without those absolutes, individuals have a free rein of personal anarchy. The opposite of absolutes is the folly of allowing human kind to determine truth while knowing intrinsically that humans are flawed. To say that reality is not reality is the true definition of neuroses.

I worked in a juvenile prison and the most common thing I heard was, “That kid has a record.” Of course he did. They all did.

So I told the students, I don’t care what your record is. I want you to learn what is true about the good and potential in you, and how your life can be ruled. If you don’t rule yourself, the State will do it for you and that is a life of misery. Believing that your opinion is reality makes as much sense as planning a dental appointment for the year 2013.  It won’t happen; it can’t happen. Some of them heard me.

There are young people today who have this notion that they are another gender. This is not necessary. God knows who and what you are, so consult Him.

This is true for everyone. God can and will tell you who you are, where you are going and what you can do with your life. You may find someone who can help you along this line, but if not you are allowing people who don’t know the truth set the time of your life. And it may be wrong.

My own standard is the Holy Bible. I include all secular information which verifies God’s. It is my rock of belief. I am never disappointed.

Ben Ghazi? Who is He?

It’s been a long slide down to this standoff between the two political parties. Time was when they actually worked together, but no more. It is not because people actively wish conflict; they really need to have common ground but the extremes of position are intractable.

On the Left is humanism, a widely held Worldview which starts and ends with the natural or materialistic world. Man is primarily an animal; he is born, lives and dies within the confines of this world, dominated by his physical needs and desires. God, if there is one at all, is far, far away and disinterested or un-involved.

Mankind is perceived to start out as a blank sheet on which culture writes and creates the citizen. Mankind is not good or bad, just perfectible by a healthy culture. Laws and the government must be constructed to manage the culture so that no one is hurt or corrupted. There is no real moral law which defines right and wrong but there is the concept of ethics, which requires individuals to live together in as much harmony as possible so that others are not damaged by the choices others make.

Since there is no afterlife (or possibly the idea that everyone goes to an undefined heaven, whatever that is) there is no God to whom we are accountable. We are under this system accountable only to each other. In order to manage and maintain such as society almost everything is done by a strong government and a group of bureaucrats or elites who control people, projects, the media and finances.

This rigidity results in determinism, because it is a closed system. There are many nations today who practice this; some are quite successful at it, but it does not allow for much movement forward; it promotes a status quo.  One such nation is Norway which is socialist, requiring one language (which is a good idea), and high taxes.  Norway is able to adhere to this political philosophy because it is largely a homogeneous society. Nations with diverse populations, the United States being the most diverse of all, cannot maintain a one size for all administration.

On the opposite side are the conservatives who believe, as did the authors of the US Constitution, that man is flawed, that He has passions and issues that must be controlled by accountability to not just God but also to one’s fellow man. Conservatives do not accept either the perfectibility of man or his complete depravity; mankind can move forward, both as individuals and as nations if it adheres to an agreed-upon moral law and a governing document, in our case the US Constitution.

Religious life is free largely because Man is perceived as a spiritual being; when the body dies there is another world; we are permanent members of eternity. Out of control passions cannot be allowed to flourish because that will eventually lead to the deterioration of the individual and the society or family around him.  Individuals must assume responsibility for their own actions, and groups assume responsibility for the actions of their government as well.

You cannot find more opposite positions and they can’t come together.  For example, a Liberal believes that he or she can, because it is legal, kill a child in the womb and have someone else pay for it through taxes; the Conservative believes that an individual’s actions are handled by that individual and no person should be required to pay for the murder of another person’s child.

We use to call these two groups Democrats and Republicans, terms we can’t use anymore because definitions are fluid and people can change sides so quickly. In addition, large groups of voters are uninformed about a host of issues relying instead on simple sentences to define their position while forgetting that all  important issues are complex.

In all this we find the voter does not have a clue what he/she is ding.  Like the girl who was asked her opinion on Benghazi? Who is he, she wanted to know? When a great body of voters are ignorant the entire process is damaged.

Today we have stalemate at the federal level. The conservatives have not conserved anything they value for 50 years other than their on sinecure while progressives have changed large swathes of social law and practice without zero progress in any area.

The tension between Right and Left is supposed to work, but only on the condition that the country is more important than party. It reminds me of the first World War when opposing armies hid behind trenches to spare themselves and lobbed armaments at the opposing trenches. They called it the Great War but in the end it was not great at all. And neither is this one.