Our Deepest Fear

March 19, 2012

Culture tells us to be nothings in a nothing world.  Life is, on the whole, meaningless.  So live for the moment and the trivial factoids intended to excite you that constantly stream through social media.

We refuse to see that we are powerful beyond measure.  And truly this is a horrifying thought we refuse to consider because of its implications.

What if I told you that your life can make a difference?  What if I told you that you should care?  What if I told you that you had power within you that is meant to be unleashed onto your world?  What if I told you to reject the pump-and-dump society we live in, to refuse to give attention to the fast-paced, mindless social media culture that blurs away meaning and significance from everything?

Would you believe me?

No.

We believe the lie that we are small fish in a big pond.  And that we should just hope to grow to be bigger fish and not get eaten before then.  We think we are not powerful, that we don’t make a difference, that nihilism is ultimately true.  Power lies elsewhere, in another’s hands.  And because we believe this, it is true.  Because we don’t challenge this, we create the reality we believe in.

This is not a pep talk.  Pep talks don’t work.  This is just a gentle wake-up call.  We are powerful, but too afraid to admit it.  Too afraid because of the implications of our power.

Power means freedom and responsibility.  It means I control my own destiny and my impact on my environment.  It means it makes a difference whether I wallpaper or paint.  It means no more excuses and trivializing choices.  It means that it makes a difference whether I choose soup or salad.

Fear can be measured by whether or not you do something.  It is easy to see and smell.  Power cannot be measured because it is something within that is expressed very differently without.  Power is self-confidence, it is developed ability, it is love.  Power is….

Beyond measure.  Believe it.  Or resign yourself to nothing, wave the white flag at society’s barrage of nothings, lie down each night cold inside because you sacrificed the gift.

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“Pettiness and Mud”

March 6, 2012

A few insights from Dr. Sowell before he urges politicians to abandon principles:

What could they possibly have been thinking about, in the first place, when they agreed to a format based on short sound bites for dealing with major complex issues, and with media journalists — 90 percent of them Democrats — picking the topics?

The conduct of the candidates made things worse. In a world with a record-breaking national debt and Iran moving toward creating nuclear weapons, they bickered over earmarks and condoms. I am against earmarks, but earmarks don’t rank among the first hundred most serious problems facing this country.

Issues we face today are often not so simple to be explained in 60 seconds, let have the solutions explained so quickly as well.  The world is usually more complex than we want it to be and less complex than “experts” wish it.  While the masses want quick, easy solutions that fit nicely into a soundbyte, which do injustice to the issue, and experts want drawn out responses to every issue presented, which is unsuitable on television these days, the happy medium in between fits nobody’s tastes.

The format of the “debates” staged the scene for veering away from weighty topics in favor of one-liners about less-important issues the country faces.  The fact that this format has occurred frequently throughout this election cycle is an indicator of a few things

Briefly, first, that party leaders are incompetent, indifferent, or cynical.  Second, that democracy cannot work (in its ideal form) in the age of television because petty issues are more entertaining than weighty issues and thus critical matters are ignored.  And third, that political candidates need not show their qualifications for the highest office in the land but rather their wit and rhetorical skills.

First, let’s start with some science:

If it could be said that the Law of Biogenesis contradicts the scientific evidence, it would be false. However, such is not the case. It is in keeping with all the evidence. Consider, though, that if one rejects the Creation model, the Law of Biogenesis must be false, since without the Creation model, life had to come from non-life—in violation of that law. The atheistic evolutionist’s conclusion: all of the scientific evidence over the centuries which has proven, according to the evolutionists themselves, the impossibility of abiogenesis, should be discarded in support of a theory which has no scientific support.

Evolution is not in harmony with true science. Creation, however, is. If abiogenesis is not true according to science, special creation, which does not contradict the Law of Biogenesis, must, of necessity, be true. Science, once again, is the friend of God and His Word and the enemy of the atheist.

Life cannot come from non-life in the natural world.  Nothing living has ever been observed to be brought about by non-life.  This is a fact Louis Pasteur declared and still holds true today, despite attempts to the contrary.  The closest scientists have come to replicating life through their intelligent designs produces building blocks of sort, but not actual life.

This means, if all natural laws are followed, there can be no life.  Since staying within the system of the natural world would mean there is nothing living, and we observe life be the case, we are left with two possibilities.  The first is a philosophical one: maybe life and existence are not the same thing, and we can exist and be without actually living.  In other words, life is merely an illusion and we are not in the universe, in the environment we perceive to be in.  If this is true, we are grossly deceived about what is true and what is not true, and we have much to figure out–and science is no friend.  We must start from ground zero and reason–and reason alone–will show the true nature of things.

The second possibility is that there is something outside the system we perceive.  While the natural world shows that life cannot come from non-life, and we see life, we must conclude that something (or some force) exists outside what we call “nature.”  Life comes from the thing or this force outside of the system.  Not only must this thing be outside the system, but it must be able to alter the system of the natural world–thus it must be above nature.  We call this thing which has its being above nature “supernatural.”  Whatever this thing is, it exists outside nature and can affect nature at least enough so that it can alter or suspend natural laws that we have discovered through scientific inquiry.

A supernatural thing that is capable of altering the natural universe fits with the scientific facts we see today, not because this thing obeys the laws but rather because it can alter/suspend the laws.  The laws of biology and physics cannot change themselves or stop–they are mindless and blind.  The only way for any scientific laws to be ignorable would be if something outside the scientific system ignored them.  Since life is what we see today and life can only come from life, evolutionists are left in the bind of saying the law can be violated (and thus conceding any arguments over science since their opponents can say, “Well, this law was just violated for this instance”) or by allowing for the supernatural to intervene with the natural and produce the original life which leads to all other life.

There is no such thing as the science of origins, since origins have yet to be replicated, and since science says origins cannot be replicated through experiments.  Creation is not more “scientific” than spontaneous generation.  However, it does fit better with what we know from science, and that is the point being made here.  There had to be something that exists outside the system.

Here’s some great logic for you:

1. If there are frogs, they are purple.
2. If a purple frog exists, no ribbetting will be heard.
3. Ribbetting is heard.
4. No purple frog exists (from 2 and 3).
5. Hence, there are no frogs (from 1 and 4).

Thus by the Argument from Ranine Hiddenness we are able to conclude that no frog exists, even though our conclusion flies in the face of the observable fact that something out there – though clearly not a frog! – can be heard going ribbet, ribbet. And frankly, I think I’d be more impressed with the intellectual prowess exhibited by the average frog’s ribbets than by the cretins who produced this illogical drivel.

This is an accurate, parallel syllogism for the atheist’s Divine Hiddenness argument.

Roughhousing with the kids

February 23, 2012

Brett makes a good case for roughhousing in this article.

Count 'em: six benefits to roughhousing

Sloppiness Makes a Good Story

February 23, 2012

I am usually suspicious when a journalist writes about statistics and studies conducted by social scientists.  Here’s a good example of why.

The flaws in this study can be quickly pointed out.  First, sleep-deprived is defined as having less sleep than other people.  This is a horrible definition, as some people can naturally function on less sleep than others and may be inclined to choose certain professions.  There are other possible reasons as to why the people in certain professions get less sleep but may be better-rested.

Second, the differences in time sleeping are so slight in percentage terms that claiming there is a significant statistical difference between any of the “top ten sleep-deprived jobs” would require an absurdly large sample size from the population at large.  27,157 people were sampled out of 300,000,000.  This does not strike me as being enough to really allow the standard error to be large enough so that these differences can be attributed to something other than chance.

Third, the jobs with most sleep (“well-rested”) also tend to do the most physical labor, so their bodies would need more sleep to be just as rested as other people.  This means that sleeping 23 minutes more than home health aides may not indicate which is more sleep-deprived.  I know from personal experience that when I am highly active during the day, I need at least seven hours of sleep, as opposed to the days when I do little or no activity and can get by on six hours of sleep and feel just as rested.

But maybe the erroneous conclusions about sleep-deprivation can be chalked up completely to the journalist who hasn’t a clue about how statistics work.  The headline is unwarranted by the data.  The amount of rest people have is not (on the whole) caused by the amount of sleep they get.  Working a more physical job does not mean one gets more rested–maybe it means less rested.

Overall, this bit of journalism is sloppy and a nice story to generate debate in the comments section.  Typical.

From CatholicAnswers.com:

the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated. The power of modern means of destruction weighs very heavily in evaluating this condition.

If this condition is to be met, no nation could ever defend itself properly.  History shows that rolling over with little resistance–generally, though not always–will garner mercy and goodwill from the aggressor.  However, defense and war against the aggressor means violence which intensifies and escalates the longer the conflicted is protracted.  Rules of engagement get ignored, “human rights” become less important to each side, and the body count keeps rising.

War is hell.  Anytime a people decide to go to war they decide to multiply violence and death–that’s the only effective way to fight a war.  There is no such thing as a nice war, a pleasant war.  War is no time for picnics.  War is gruesome and bloody and produces evils and disorders even greater than the real prospective evil imposed by an aggressor.

No war is worth fighting if a nation is unwilling to escalate conflict to the point of inflicting destruction, pain, and death greater than what could possibly be inflicted upon itself.  That’s why this doctrine fails–in theory and, more importantly, in practice.

This is the purpose of war.