Saturday, February 28, 2009

RIP --Broadcasting pioneer Paul Harvey dies at age of 90

I just wanted to show how badly the media reports things in such a politically correct manner, this is what the story Drudge linked said about his 2001 episode:

Harvey had been forced off the air for several months in 2001 because of a virus that weakened a vocal cord. But he returned to work in Chicago and was still active as he passed his 90th birthday. His death comes less than a year after that of his wife and longtime producer, Lynne.

Now here’s “The Rest of the Story,” as a tribute to you Harvey:

Radio legend Paul Harvey, who has been voiceless for three months this year, is crediting God with healing him in order to broadcast an important message to Americans regarding the war on terror.

"Americans, this is the testing time, and we are at our virtuous best," the 83-year-old journalist told the nation on his "News and Comment" program Thanksgiving weekend. "America is falling in love again with America."

Based in Chicago, Harvey has been a mainstay of U.S. broadcasting for over half a century. His trademark "Good day!" greeting is heard on some 1,200 radio stations across the nation and on 400 Armed Forces Radio stations around the world, reaching approximately 24 million listeners daily. ''Reaganomics,'' and ''guesstimate'' are among the words and catch phrases he coined over the years.

But in May, the host who had never missed a broadcast for health reasons, fell silent from the nightmare of all broadcasters – lack of any voice.

"At first I imagined that being able to sleep past 3:30 in the morning would be a luxurious indulgence," Harvey said. "Well, that enjoyment lasted exactly two mornings, after which from 3:30 on I lay wide awake wanting to be with you."

The ailment kept him completely mute and off the air through most of the summer, as he sought treatment at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. Harvey was diagnosed with a virus with no set time for recovery, while substitutes filled in for him on the air.

"Inescapably, I was haunted by the possibility that I might not broadcast again," he said.

Miracles of God are a reality! Find out details about the ones you know, and the ones you don't in "Shocked by the Bible: The Most Astonishing Facts You've Never Been Told," personally autographed!

Many friends including fellow broadcasters Mike Wallace of CBS and ABC's Sam Donaldson – both of whom had endured their own periods of voicelessness – called Harvey to provide encouragement. "Don't let anyone touch those vocal cords with a knife," Harvey was admonished.

The broadcaster was told he should feel fortunate, because sometimes the virus attacks the eyes. "Well, I was grateful, but I did not consider myself fortunate," he said.

Ironically, Harvey's voice problems came in the same general time period that another American radio giant, Rush Limbaugh, began to lose his hearing. Limbaugh has since announced on his daily show that he's gone deaf, and still continues to host his program.

In Harvey's on-air explanation of his absence, he said he was invited to speak at a Salvation Army event in Cincinnati, but sought to be excused due to his voice problem. The organization, though, had sold thousands of tickets, and asked him just to show up to the event without having to utter a word.

"I'll never forget the delegation who met my plane," said Harvey. "I was unable even to return their greeting."

On the tarmac of the airport, Harvey recounted how Salvation Army Maj. Philip McMichael led a prayer with his colleagues for the speechless newsman. "Lord, we know something good will come from Mr. Harvey's silence."

"Well, by George, something good did," Harvey continued. He says over the ensuing days, an epiphany taught him a new way to pray.

"You remember Jesus had prescribed for his disciples a perfect prayer, the essence of which is 'Thy will be done.' My prayers so often had been a shopping list of things I wanted to be done, and I began to pray for what He wanted.

"And doors began to open. I was led to a voice specialist. An outpatient procedure reinforced a weakened muscle alongside a vocal cord and within minutes, the voice which had been mostly mute for weeks came back to life."

The experience is making Harvey appreciate his daily visits with listeners much more now, and he thanked his longtime sponsors who did not abandon the program during his hiatus.

But the miraculous cure is hardly the end of Harvey's tale. And now, as the plainspoken Midwesterner would say – the rest of the story.

"Sentenced to silence, I had to confront the possibility that I would not be back on the air ever, and I was not ready for that," Harvey said. "There were a few more footprints that I had hoped to leave behind for my [journalism] colleagues, especially the very young ones."

Having returned to the microphone in late August, he calls it fortuitous that his rusty pipes were renewed in time to help put Sept. 11 in perspective.

"We remember the Crash of '29, and the Dustbowl of the '30s and Hitler's Holocaust and Dien Bien Phu and Saddam Hussein," Harvey began his analysis, referring to himself as a professional observer for several lifetimes.

"During each test, some Americans feared that our country was going to hell. Well, it did not. It went through a little hell, but it came out of the crucible a little heat-tempered and stronger than before."

Harvey then set his sights on the Taliban. "Osama bin Laden epitomizes for this generation what we called hippies or flower children in the last generation. These anti-establishment unwashed counterculture rich kids have hijacked Islam for their personal aggrandizement."

He explained how mature, experienced Americans have already been there and done that, and that crisis handling was nothing new. "Since 9-11 of this year, Osama bin Laden has been utterly confounded. The victims have displaced the victimizers."

Harvey says the suicidal hijackings have aroused a patriotic and humanitarian spirit that was not obvious in recent years. "New Yorkers of all people are smiling at strangers, and honking their horns less, and giving people more of themselves and their resources. ...

"Americans are pledging allegiance again, soldiers are saluting again, college-agers are taking baths again, and the kids are coming home."

Harvey concluded by focusing on the brighter side of events, stressing that storms are part of life's normal climate, and that Americans need to learn to ride them.

"Don't let noisy news distress you, don't let the headline writers rain on your parade," he said. "My goodness, there's resiliency in this country we've not yet begun to use."

And now, page two ...

Hugh Hewitt Interviews Evangelical Turned Atheist, William Lobdell, for 2-Hours


Let me here disagree a small bit with Hugh Hewitt. In the interview with evangelical turned atheist, William Lobdell, author of, Losing My Religion: How I Lost My Faith Reporting on Religion in America-and Found Unexpected Peace (, Hugh mentioned that this is not an apologetics issue. Which is partially true, apologetics does not regenerate, only the Holy Spirit can do that. However, after listening to this interview, I believe a strong apologetic can break through the weak responses I heard by Lobdell to sometimes strong, sometimes weak as well, challenges to Lobdell’s atheism via callers to the Hugh Hewitt show.

The 2-hour interview can be found either in the free podcast section of the ITunes store under the Hugh Hewitt show, or one can listen here:

Hour 1 of the interview with Lobdell (hour-2 of actual show);

Hour 2 of the interview with Lobdell (hour-3 of actual show);

I will work my way through a few of the rejections found in the interview in a fashion that deals with Lobdell’s reasoning behind rejecting his faith. Some of these rejections are implied implicitly by him, other are explicit rebuttals by Lobdell to callers to the show.

In hour one, near the beginning, Lobdell starts out with the sex abuse cases that have hit the Catholic church. He seems to be saying that these abuse cases made him begin to deconstruct his faith. I will deal with this issue in two ways: first, I will make the case that atheists, Buddhists (atheists), and others commit these crimes, which should make the skeptic ask if he or she is rejecting an ideology for this reason seems to be just as strong for atheism as it is for Christianity. In other words, if the rejection of Christianity is because of the evil it produces, then what about the evil seemingly produced by atheism. A deeper explanation of this will come shortly. Secondly, to judge an act “evil,” one would have to have a metaphysics, excuse me, a coherent - non-self-refuting - logical worldview in order to judge some act on a scale that says an act is morally wrong while expecting another person to know (inherently) this scale by which to judge an act and agree with said person. Okay, here we go with the critique.

Sexual Abuse -- Catholic Church. Other religious and non-religious organizations practice this abuse... wherever there is a person of authority over children and the chance to be alone with such a person, you will find people who fill these positions for the direct purpose of abusing these young victims. For instance:

Religious News Online reports from an original India Times article, another source that cites this is Child Rights Sri Lanka:

Two Buddhist monks and eight other men were arrested on Wednesday, accused of sexually abusing 11 children orphaned by the island's 19-year civil war, an official said.

Investigations revealed that the children, aged between nine and 13, had been sexually abused over a period of time at an orphanage where the men worked, said Prof. Harendra de Silva, head of the National Child Protection Authority.

"There are maybe more who have been abused and we are continuing investigations," de Silva said, after a special police unit attached to the authority arrested the suspects.

The men, including the saffron-robed monks, will be produced before a magistrate and held in custody for further investigation, he said.

Child abuse in Sri Lanka is a non-bailable offense and with a maximum 10-year prison sentence.

The children's home where the suspects worked was established to care for thousands of children from all over the country who lost their families during the war.

Washington County Sheriff's Office Media Information reported the following:

Mr. Tripp was arrested for sexually abusing a former 15-year-old foster care child.

The investigation started when the Oregon Department of Human Services was contacted by a school counselor who learned that there may be sexual abuse involving a student and Mr. Tripp. DHS workers then contacted Sheriff’s Detectives who took over the investigation.

Detectives learned that Mr. Tripp has been a foster parent since 1995 and has had at least 90 children placed in his home during that time. Sheriff’s Detectives are concerned that there may be more victims who have not yet reported sexual contact involving Mr. Tripp.

Channel 2 news reports on a psychologist abusing a child:

A psychologist accused of performing oral sex on a 13 year old boy has been fired by the Baltimore City Public School System.

Baltimore County Police have arrested and charged 54 year old Robert James Stoever with the second degree sex offenses and perverted practices.

According to charging documents, police discovered the contract employee with a 13-year-old boy in a car located at the Christian Temple in Catonsville on Sunday. Police say that an officer approached the vehicle and discovered both Stoever and the young boy in the front seat of the vehicle.

Police say that when questioned, Stoever admitted performing oral sex on the boy and told the officer that this was not the first time it has occurred.

Stoever had been working at the Booker T. Washington Middle School #130 in Baltimore City., where the boy is a student. In a letter sent home to parents, city school officals say Stoever was not employed by them, rather he had been contracted by the school system through an outside vendor since September 2007.

Tammy Bruce on pages 90, and 99 of her book The Death of Right and Wrong: Exposing the Left’s Assault on Our Culture and Values, says this:

“... and now all manner of sexual perversion enjoys the protection and support of once what was a legitimate civil-rights effort for decent people. The real slippery slope has been the one leading into the Left's moral vacuum. It is a singular attitude that prohibits any judgment about obvious moral decay because of the paranoid belief that judgment of any sort would destroy the gay lifestyle, whatever that is…. I believe this grab for children by the sexually confused adults of the Gay Elite represents the most serious problem facing our culture today.... Here come the elephant again: Almost without exception, the gay men I know (and that’s too many to count) have a story of some kind of sexual trauma or abuse in their childhood -- molestation by a parent or an authority figure, or seduction as an adolescent at the hands of an adult. The gay community must face the truth and see sexual molestation of an adolescent for the abuse it is, instead of the 'coming-of-age' experience many [gays] regard it as being. Until then, the Gay Elite will continue to promote a culture of alcohol and drug abuse, sexual promiscuity, and suicide by AIDS.”

These folks are atheists, Catholics, Buddhists (which are ontologically speaking, atheists), and every other ideology and stripe of life and culture in the world. The argument is as strong as this:

There have been many cases of dentists’ drugging men and women and groping them against their will, therefore, I do not believe in dentistry.

The conclusion just doesn’t follow the premise. In the case of religious comparisons, you would have to isolate the founders and their lives in order to properly judge a belief, not the followers. I would engender the reader to consider well this quote by Robert Hume:

The nine founders among the eleven living religions in the world had characters which attracted many devoted followers during their own lifetime, and still larger numbers during the centuries of subsequent history. They were humble in certain respects, yet they were also confident of a great religious mission. Two of the nine, Mahavira and Buddha, were men so strong-minded and self-reliant that, according to the records, they displayed no need of any divine help, though they both taught the inexorable cosmic law of Karma. They are not reported as having possessed any consciousness of a supreme personal deity. Yet they have been strangely deified by their followers. Indeed, they themselves have been worshipped, even with multitudinous idols.

All of the nine founders of religion, with the exception of Jesus Christ, are reported in their respective sacred scriptures as having passed through a preliminary period of uncertainty, or of searching for religious light. Confucius, late in life, confessed his own sense of shortcomings and his desire for further improvement in knowledge and character. All the founders of the non-Christian religions evinced inconsistencies in their personal character; some of them altered their practical policies under change of circumstances.

Jesus Christ alone is reported as having had a consistent God-consciousness, a consistent character himself, and a consistent program for his religion. The most remarkable and valuable aspect of the personality of Jesus Christ is the comprehensiveness and universal availability of his character, as well as its own loftiness, consistency, and sinlessness.

** The World’s Living Religions (New York, NY: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1959), 285-286.

While Steven Crowder did not expect his comedic skit to be used in a serious apologetic, sometimes humor best illustrates a point as well:

The point is this, if you are to judge an ideology by the merits of its followers, then atheism is to be judged by the same standard, and it does not fare well. For instance, while on a six-winery tasting tour north of Santa Barbara, California, in Santa Ynez (a sweet-spot for wine lovers), a discussion was struck between a high school history teacher - whom I refer to as a theophobe - and myself. (I wish to point out that William Lobdell displays no theophobia whatsoever.) The point becomes clear as the debate continues (entitled, Defending My Faith Over a Syrah -- which, by the way, I cannot think of a better way to defend my faith) towards this all too often used premise by atheists:

At this point the usual litany of "straw man" arguments proceeded to spill forth as they normally do when ones precious bumper-sticker beliefs are challenged and shown to be vacuous. The next thing out of Felicia's mouth was that organized religion has killed more people and started more wars than any other reason in history. This is where I cringed -- a teacher that is charged with children who makes such false claims is a red-flag to me. These types of people repeat such lines not because they have studied history or religion in-depth, but because a politically motivated historian like Howard Zinn or Noam Chomskey said such a thing, or they simply picked up the saying from another friend (who themselves had heard it from another) and it fit so well in their theophobia framework to make the rejection of religion an easy thing in their mind's eye. This is more of a commentary on said person's psychosis than making any sort of valid argument. This being said let us deal with this charge:

  • The Bible does not teach the horrible practices that some have committed in its name. It is true that it's possible that religion can produce evil, and generally when we look closer at the details it produces evil because the individual people [Christians] are actually living in rejection of the tenets of Christianity and a rejection of the God that they are supposed to be following. So it [religion] can produce evil, but the historical fact is that outright rejection of God and institutionalizing of atheism (non-religious practices) actually does produce evil on incredible levels. We're talking about tens of millions of people as a result of the rejection of God. For example: the Inquisitions, Crusades, Salem Witch Trials killed about anywhere from 40,000 to 80,000 persons combined (World Book Encyclopedia and Encyclopedia Americana), and the church is liable for the unjustified murder of about (taking the high number here) 300,000-women over about a 300 year period. A blight on Christianity? Certainty. Something wrong? Dismally wrong. A tragedy? Of course. Millions and millions of people killed? No. The numbers are tragic, but pale in comparison to the statistics of what non-religious criminals have committed); the Chinese regime of Mao Tse Tung, 60 million [+] dead (1945-1965), Stalin and Khrushchev, 66 million dead (USSR 1917-1959), Khmer Rouge (Cambodia 1975-1979) and Pol Pot, one-third of the populations dead, etc, etc. The difference here is that these non-God movements are merely living out their worldview, the struggle for power, survival of the fittest and all that, no evolutionary/naturalistic natural law is being violated in other words (as non-theists reduce everything to natural law -- materialism). However, and this is key, when people have misused the Christian religion for personal gain, they are in direct violation to what Christ taught, as well as Natural Law. (Adapted from, The Real Murderers: Atheism or Christianity?)

So the historical reality that this teacher of history seemed to ignore is that non-religious movements have killed more people in the Twentieth-Century than religion has in the previous nineteen (or for that matter, all of mankind's history).
I also pointed out to Felicia during our conversation that the non-religious view of origins has no moral law to point to any of the above acts as morally wrong or un-ethical. They are merely currently taboo. For someone to say the Nazis were morally wrong they have to borrow from the theistic worldview that posits a universal moral code. If there is no Divine moral law, then as Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s maxim makes the point, "If there is no God, all things are permissible." Without an absolute ethical norm, morality is reduced to mere preference and the world is a jungle where might makes right.

This portion out of a larger debate I was in touches on my second point... but before moving on, I want to reiterate the first point: if one were to use evil or wrongs done towards innocent persons as a criterion of an ideologies validity, no faith or unfaith stands this test. It is more a commentary on human nature. The question is which worldview explains best human nature and has the best answer to resolve it. In fact, another criterion is well used for the validity of faith; here I will post a blog I did quite some time ago entitled “Religion's Positive Influence: Faith-Based Society Healthier, Lives Longer:”

Social Scientists Agree:

Religious Belief Reduces Crime Summary of the First Panel Discussion Panelists for this important discussion included social scientists Dr. John DiIulio, professor of politics and urban affairs at Princeton University; David Larson, M.D., President of the National Institute for Healthcare Research; Dr. Byron Johnson, Director of the Center for Crime and Justice Policy at Vanderbilt University; and Gary Walker, President of Public/Private Ventures. The panel focused on new research, confirming the positive effects that religiosity has on turning around the lives of youth at risk.

Dr. Larson laid the foundation for the discussion by summarizing the findings of 400 studies on juvenile delinquency, conducted during the past two decades. He believes that although more research is needed, we can say without a doubt that religion makes a positive contribution.

His conclusion: “The better we study religion, the more we find it makes a difference.” Previewing his own impressive research, Dr. Johnson agreed. He has concluded that church attendance reduces delinquency among boys even when controlling for a number of other factors including age, family structure, family size, and welfare status. His findings held equally valid for young men of all races and ethnicities.

Gary Walker has spent 25 years designing, developing and evaluating many of the nation’s largest public and philanthropic initiatives for at-risk youth. His experience tells him that faith-based programs are vitally important for two reasons. First, government programs seldom have any lasting positive effect. While the government might be able to design [secular/non-God] programs that occupy time, these programs, in the long-term, rarely succeed in bringing about the behavioral changes needed to turn kids away from crime. Second, faith-based programs are rooted in building strong adult-youth relationships; and less concerned with training, schooling, and providing services, which don’t have the same direct impact on individual behavior. Successful mentoring, Walker added, requires a real commitment from the adults involved – and a willingness to be blunt. The message of effective mentors is simple. “You need to change your life, I’m here to help you do it, or you need to be put away, away from the community.” Government, and even secular philanthropic programs, can’t impart this kind of straight talk.


  • Sixth through twelfth graders who attend religious services once a month or more are half as likely to engage in at-risk behaviors such as substance abuse, sexual excess, truancy, vandalism, drunk driving and other trouble with police. Search Institute, "The Faith Factor," Source, Vol. 3, Feb. 1992, p.1.
  • Churchgoers are more likely to aid their neighbors in need than are non-attendees. George Barna, What Americans Believe, Regal Books, 1991, p. 226.
  • Three out of four Americans say that religious practice has strengthened family relationships. George Gallup, Jr. "Religion in America: Will the Vitality of Churches Be the Surprise of the Next Century," The Public Perspective, The Roper Center, Oct./Nov. 1995.
  • Church attendance lessens the probabilities of homicide and incarceration. Nadia M. Parson and James K. Mikawa: "Incarceration of African-American Men Raised in Black Christian Churches." The Journal of Psychology, Vol. 125, 1990, pp.163-173.
  • Religious practice lowers the rate of suicide. Joubert, Charles E., "Religious Nonaffiliation in Relation to Suicide, Murder, Rape and Illegitimacy," Psychological Reports 75:1 part 1 (1994): 10 Jon W. Hoelter: "Religiosity, Fear of Death and Suicide Acceptibility." Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, Vol. 9, 1979, pp.163-172.
  • The presence of active churches, synagogues… reduces violent crime in neighborhoods. John J. Dilulio, Jr., "Building Spiritual Capital: How Religious Congregations Cut Crime and Enhance Community Well-Being," RIAL Update, Spring 1996.
  • People with religious faith are less likely to be school drop-outs, single parents, divorced, drug or alcohol abusers. Ronald J. Sider and Heidi Roland, "Correcting the Welfare Tragedy," The Center for Public Justice, 1994.
  • Church involvement is the single most important factor in enabling inner-city black males to escape the destructive cycle of the ghetto. Richard B. Freeman and Harry J. Holzer, eds., The Black Youth Employment Crisis, University of Chicago Press, 1986, p.354.
  • Attending services at a church or other house of worship once a month or more makes a person more than twice as likely to stay married than a person who attends once a year or less. David B. Larson and Susan S. Larson, "Is Divorce Hazardous to Your Health?" Physician, June 1990. Improving Personal Well-Being
  • Regular church attendance lessens the possibility of cardiovascular diseases, cirrhosis of the liver, emphysema and arteriosclerosis. George W. Comstock amd Kay B. Patridge:* "Church attendance and health."* Journal of Chronic Disease, Vol. 25, 1972, pp. 665-672.
  • Regular church attendance significantly reduces the probablility of high blood pressure.* David B. Larson, H. G. Koenig, B. H. Kaplan, R. S. Greenberg, E. Logue and H. A. Tyroler:* " The Impact of religion on men's blood pressure."* Journal of Religion and Health, Vol. 28, 1989, pp.265-278.* W.T. Maramot:* "Diet, Hypertension and Stroke." in* M. R. Turner (ed.) Nutrition and Health, Alan R. Liss, New York, 1982, p. 243.
  • People who attend services at least once a week are much less likely to have high blood levels of interlukin-6, an immune system protein associated with many age-related diseases.* Harold Koenig and Harvey Cohen, The International Journal of Psychiatry and Medicine, October 1997.
  • Regular practice of religion lessens depression and enhances self esteem. *Peter L. Bensen and Barnard P. Spilka:* "God-Image as a function of self-esteem and locus of control" in H. N. Maloney (ed.) Current Perspectives in the Psychology of Religion, Eedermans, Grand Rapids, 1977, pp. 209-224.* Carl Jung: "Psychotherapies on the Clergy" in Collected Works Vol. 2, 1969, pp.327-347.
  • Church attendance is a primary factor in preventing substance abuse and repairing damage caused by substance abuse.* Edward M. Adalf and Reginald G. Smart:* "Drug Use and Religious Affiliation, Feelings and Behavior." * British Journal of Addiction, Vol. 80, 1985, pp.163-171.* Jerald G. Bachman, Lloyd D. Johnson, and Patrick M. O'Malley:* "Explaining* the Recent Decline in Cocaine Use Among Young Adults:* Further Evidence That Perceived Risks and Disapproval Lead to Reduced Drug Use."* Journal of Health and Social Behavior, Vol. 31,* 1990, pp. 173-184.* Deborah Hasin, Jean Endicott, * and Collins Lewis:* "Alcohol and Drug Abuse in Patients With Affective Syndromes."* Comprehensive Psychiatry, Vol. 26, 1985, pp. 283-295. * The findings of this NIMH-supported study were replicated in the Bachmen et. al. study above.

Second point is this, and I will take also from a previous critique of a Hugh Hewitt show where he had atheist Christopher Hitchens, polemicist extraordinaire, debate Mark D. Roberts, professor at Fuller Seminary, for all three hours of his show. In my opinion, Hitchen’s won the debate on style/rhetoric, not on substance. However, in my critique entitled “Responding to Christopher Hitchens and a Friend: Explaining the Failings of a Worldview,” I quoted Tom Morris and his erudite refutation of determinism, which would result if atheistic evolution were to be the truth in the battle for origins:

Robots and Cosmic Puppetry: The Scientific Challenge to Freedom

Since at least the time of Sir Isaac Newton, scientists and philosophers impressed by the march of science have offered a picture of human behavior that is not promising for a belief in freedom. All nature is viewed by them as one huge mechanism, with human beings serving as just parts of that giant machine. On this view, we live and think in accordance with the same laws and causes that move all other physical components of the universal mechanism.

According to these thinkers, everything that happens in nature has a cause. Suppose then that an event occurs, which, in context, is clearly a human action of the sort that we would normally call free. As an occurrence in this universe, it has a cause. But then that cause, in turn, has a cause. And that cause in turn has a cause, and so on, and so on [remember, reductionism].

“Everything is determined, the beginning as well as the end, by forces over which we have no control. It is determined for the insect as well as for the star. Human beings, vegetables, or cosmic dust, we all dance to a mysterious tune, intoned in the distance by an invisible player” ~ Albert Einstein.

As a result of this scientific world view, we get the following picture:

Natural conditions outside our control…


Inner bodily and brain states,

which cause

mental and physical actions

But if this is true, then you are, ultimately, just a conduit or pipeline for chains of natural causation that reach far back into the past before your birth and continue far forward into the future after your death. You are not an originating cause of anything [this includes brain activity of all degrees, that is, love, pain, etc.). Nothing you ever do is due to your choices or thoughts alone. You are a puppet of nature. You are no more than a robot programmed by an unfeeling cosmos.

Psychologists talk about heredity and environment as responsible for everything you do. But then if they are, you aren’t. Does it follow that you can then do as you please, irresponsibly? Not at all. It only follows that you will do as nature and nurture please. But then, nature on this picture turns out to be just an illusory veil over a heartless, uncaring nature. You have what nature gives you. Nothing more, nothing less.

Where is human freedom in this picture? It doesn’t exist. It is one of our chief illusions. The natural belief in free will is just a monstrous falsehood. But we should not feel bad about holding on to this illusion until science corrects us. We can’t have helped it.

This reasoning is called The Challenge of Scientific Determinism. According to determinists, we are determined in every respect to do everything that we ever do.

This again is a serious challenge to human freedom. It is the reason that the early scientist Pierre Laplace (1749-1827) once said that if you could give a super-genius a total description of the universe at any given point in time, that being would be able to predict with certainty everything that would ever happen in the future relative to that moment, and retrodict with certainty anything that had ever happened in any moment before that described state. Nature, he believed, was that perfect machine. And we human beings were just cogs in the machine, deluded in our beliefs that we are free.

(Philosophy for Dummies, 133-134)

J.P Moreland agrees with this summation that there would be no standard to judge whether a particular position about reality were true if we are the products of a completely naturalistic, chance, chain of atoms bouncing off one another happened. To be clear, if atheistic origins of the universe were true, then one liking chocolate ice cream over vanilla would be just as true as someone choosing atheism over theism:

Mind/Body Physicalism Refuted

A number of philosophers have argued that physicalism must be false because it implies determinism and determinism is self-refuting. Speaking of the determinist, J. R. Lucas says:

If what he says is true, he says it merely as the result of his heredity and environment, and nothing else. He does not hold his determinist views because they are true, but because he has such-and-such stimuli; that is, not because the structure of the structure of the universe is such-and-such but only because the configuration of only part of the universe, together with the structure of the determinist’s brain, is such as to produce that result…. Determinism, therefore, cannot be true, because if it was, we should not take the determinists’ arguments as being really arguments [say, whether or not homosexuality is a right or not] as being really arguments, but as being only conditioned reflexes. Their statements should not be regarded as really claiming to be true, but only as seeking to cause us to respond in some way desired by them. (Freedom of the Will, by John Lucas)

H. P. Owen states that:

Determinism is self-stultifying. If my mental processes are totally determined, I am totally determined either to accept or to reject determinism. But if the sole reason for my believing or not believing X is that I am causally determined to believe it I have no ground for holding that my judgment is true or false. (Christian Theism, p. 118)

… if one claims to know that physicalism is true, or to embrace it for good reasons, if one claims that it is a rational position which should be chosen on the basis of evidence [as one does when they reject theism], then this claim is self-refuting. This is so because physicallism seems to deny the possibility of rationality. To see this, let us examine the necessary preconditions which must hold if there is to be such a thing as rationality and show how physicalism denies these preconditions.

At least five factors must obtain if there are to be genuine rational agents who can accurately reflect on the world. First, minds must have internationality; they must be capable of having thoughts about or of the world. Acts of inference are “insights into” or “knowings of” something other than themselves.

Second, reasons, propositions, thoughts, laws of logic and evidence, and truth must exist and be capable of being instanced in people’s minds and influencing their thought processes. This fact is hard to reconcile with physicallism. To see this, consider the field of ethics. Morality prescribes what we ought to do (prescriptive); it does not merely describe what is in fact done (descriptive). Objective morality makes sense if real moral laws or oughts exist and if normative, moral properties like rightness, goodness, worth, and dignity exist in acts (the act of honoring one’s parents) and things (persons and animals have worth) [this all applies to the debate over homosexuality]. If physicalism is true as a worldview, there are no moral properties or full-blooded oughts. Physical states just are, and one physical state causes or fails to cause another physical state. A physical state does not morally prescribe that another physical ought to be. If physicalism is true, oughts are not real moral obligations telling us what one should do to be in conformity with the moral universe. Rather, “ought” serves as a mere guide for reaching a socially acceptable or psychologically desired goal (e.g., “if one wants to have pleasure and avoid pain, then one ‘ought’ to tell the truth”). Moral imperatives become grounded in subjective preferences on the same level as a preference for Burger King over McDonald’s….

(Scaling the Secular City: A Defense of Christianity, by J. P. Moreland, 90-92)

The atheist has no way ultimately to point out that an act that society currently considers taboo, such as rape, is morally wrong. The atheist, unlike the theist, would not be able to say that rape is morally wrong at all times and places in the entire history of the known universe. Again, all that can be said is that at this point in our evolutionary history and culture it is currently outlawed in most societies by the majority of peoples. This majority can change thus making an act morally acceptable that is currently outlawed, or immoral. Back to the chemical, or biological basis for rape though, a couple of books that deal with this specifically have addressed this issue by philosophical naturalists. For example, in this exerpt from a larger paper I did for a class on Natural Law and homosexuality, I point out that without creation ex nihilo, rape is not morally wrong in the ultimate sense:

Idolatrous Tools

Idolatry is referenced in connection with human sexuality by Anthony Hoekema who points out that while “primitive man use to make idols out of wood and stone, modern man, seeking something to worship, makes idols of a more subtle type: himself, human society, the state, money, fame.”[1] Thusly, an idol can be fallen man using the gift of relationships as a tool to manipulate others for his or her selfish ends,[2] idolizing pleasure by making it an end-to-a-means, so to speak. In doing so, the person seeking gratification (whether emotional or physical) utilizes or instumentalizes another in order to worship self-gratification. This concept is seen in the slang term “tool”[3] used by today’s generation either to reference a man’s genitalia or to reference another person.[4]

The reader by now should have clearly established in his mind that homosexuality rejects the created order and designs its own contrary vision.[5] Moreover, part of this vision is an atheistic, naturalistic (almost Epicurean[6]) rejection of Creation ex-nihilo.[7] How does the “carnal” person deal with the unnatural order of the homosexual lifestyle? Since it is a reality it is incorporated into their epistemological system of thought or worldview.[8] Henry Morris points out that the materialist worldview looks at homosexuality as nature’s way of controlling population numbers as well as a tension lowering device.[9] Lest one think this line of thinking is insane, that is: sexual acts are something from our evolutionary past and advantageous;[10] rape is said to not be a pathology but an evolutionary adaptation – a strategy for maximizing reproductive success.[11] How do the naturalist, those who have rejected the created order and the moral laws of nature, view such an instrumentalizing of the human body for the end-result of idolatrous worshiping of pleasure?

Liberal sexual morality, based in an ancient epicurean view of the nature of man that “denies that marriage is inherently heterosexual necessarily supposes that the value of sex must be instrumental” in order to pleasure oneself, which makes such an act a tool in the hand of a person’s desires, or, an “end-in-itself.” In other words, the traditional understanding of marriage rejects the view that sees the ultimate point or value of sex in marriage as an instrument to attain either affection or sexual pleasure, which is what the epicurean is left with. Sex, in the homosexual context, then, is the instrumentalization of the body.[12]

Ethical Evil?

The first concept that one must understand is that these authors do not view nature alone as imposing a moral “oughtness” into the situation of survival of the fittest. They view rape, for instance, in its historical evolutionary context as neither right nor wrong ethically.[13] Rape, is neither moral nor immoral vis-à-vis evolutionary lines of thought, even if ingrained in us from our evolutionary paths of survival.[14] Did you catch that? Even if a rape occurs today, it is neither moral nor immoral, it is merely currently taboo.[15] The biological, amoral, justification of rape is made often times as a survival mechanism bringing up the net “survival status” of a species, usually fraught with examples of homosexual worms, lesbian seagulls, and the like.[16]

This materialistic view of nature will give way to there being no difference in the emerging ethic between married couples, homosexual couples, or couples in a temporary sexual relationship. Some go as far to say - rightly so - that with the acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle follows shortly thereafter the legalization of polyamorous relationships,[17] which is already considered as a viable option by many in Sweden for instance.[18] After polyamory is legal – about the only thing left is for the Peter Singer’s (professor at Princeton’s Center for Human Values) of the world to argue for “cross species” sex acts.[19] Columnist George Will aptly calls this type of legislation “the moral equality of appetites.”[20]

According to atheistic evolution, these appetites are driven by some chain of events that go back through history to the big bang. Everything is the way it is because of this chain of chance events that resulted in our environments and firing of neurons and their chemical reactions in our brain... making us believe and do what we believe and do. It is really fascism, or so called:

“Everything I have said and done in these last years is relativism by intuition…. If relativism signifies contempt for fixed categories and men who claim to be bearers of an objective, immortal truth… then there is nothing more relativistic than fascistic attitudes and activity…. From the fact that all ideologies are of equal value, that all ideologies are mere fictions, the modern relativist infers that everybody has the right to create for himself his own ideology and to attempt to enforce it with all the energy of which he is capable.”

(Mussolini, Diuturna pp. 374-77, quoted in A Refutation of Moral Relativism: Interviews with an Absolutist [Ignatius Press; 1999], by Peter Kreeft, p. 18.)

So since all acts are of equal value in the struggle for survival, the acts that only temporarily determine the highest possible survival of the species at that moment in evolutionary progress/history is the most beneficial... which could be interpreted as being the most “moral” in evolutionary vernacular. Therefore, atheists (which include Lobdell) have no metaphysical basis to say that rape, or the killing of innocent people by religious persons, and similar actions like unjust wars by Marxist revolutionaries, are morally wrong in a meaningful way. They are merely pointing out that they personally disagree with the action they are describing. Arguing, then about the immorality of acts committed by the religious (and I would contend, non-religious peoples) would be just as powerful morally if the same person argued with a friend about the superiority of chocolate ice-cream over that of vanilla ice-cream.

Ravi Zacharias answers a similar veined question during a Q&A at Harvard:

Since that took longer than I expected, I will only give one other critique of a response by Lobdell to a caller that was tongue-tied and wasn’t getting his point across well. Lobdell cut him off mid sentence (after politely allowing the man to try and make a coherent point) and asked if he thought that all the animals that exist on earth were on the ark. This is a red-hearing. It is a mischaracterizing of the opposing argument, setting up a straw man in other words.

Broadly speaking, yes, all the animals were on the ark. But that is the same as Bill Clinton and John Kerry during their runs for office (successfully and unsuccessfully, respectively) saying that women make 73 cents on every dollar earned by a man. While broadly speaking this is true, and very “impactful” for making their proposed policies all that much more important... it just isn’t true. In the same way, the volume of animals proposed to be on the Ark by Lobdell and other critics is skewed as well.

YES! If you compare all men to all women, then yes, there is a disparage present. This stat doesn't take into account a few things. It doesn't consider the fact that women tend to choose the humanities when entering college and men seem to choose the hard sciences. So by choice women tend to choose professions that pay less. Not only that, when you compare oranges to oranges, you get something much different than expected, or that we would expect from the liberal side of things. If a woman and a man have had the same level of education and have been on the same job for an equal amount of time, the woman makes (on average) up to $5 more than the man a year on every $1,000 dollars earned. Another sobering note reported by USA Today: According to a U.S. Department of Education study, 135 women receive their bachelor's degrees per every 100 men.

(Adapted from Larry Elder, 10 things You Can’t Say In America)

The same applies to this dilemma. In Lobdell’s mind every finch was on the Ark. That’s hundreds of species. A finch with a ¼ centimeter smaller beak is a separate species according to Darwin and Lobdell. Every dog, from Chihuahua’s to Great Danes, and everything in between, was on the Ark. This is a straw man. Rhetorically it sounds great, I would have responded back rhetorically rather than the detailed response I am giving here if I was on the radio myself. Short and sweet! He is trying to make the questioner sound insane by mischaracterizing his argument, I will clarify -- properly -- his argument to make him sound “just as crazy.” I would have said,

“Well, that isn’t nearly as incredible as one believing he came from a rock, as you do.”

Which is what evolution teaches. After the earth cooled and the rock began to solidify, it rained making the early oceans and lakes. These rains eroded the minerals from the rock which began to pool in a particular spot on earth coming together to finally form the first life, which over millions of years became you or I judging that the Crusades were morally wrong and that religious people, more than non-religious, should live up to some ideal found originally in molten lava!? “You shouldn’t kill innocent people because we were brothers in crystalline from side-by-side... minerals to the end brother.” This is “just as crazy,” rhetorically speaking that is. The question remains: do you have to have every dog on the Ark or just one dog, say, like the wolf? You see, the wolf has most of the parent genes in it that over a 1,000 years we end up with the
Chihuahua to the Great Dane by man’s input of knowledge... not natural selection. I say “man’s input of knowledge, and not ” of knowledge and shelter because natural selection would weed out the Tea Cup Terrier from even surviving. Outside the arms of Paris Hilton, that is.

Back to Noah’s Ark and the rhetorical divide between the atheist and the biblical literalist, if you take all the dinosaurs known to scientists, the average size is that of a lamb. Not to mention that the largest -- taking the most extreme end of the biblical literalists argument -- T-Rex or Superasuarus started out in an egg. So they were small in their juvenile stage. Not every type or species of Bull had to be on the Ark, just one. Some say that natural selection could not move that quick. Well, humanity has been farming and trying to produce better “species” for some time. For instance,

In 1811 French chemist Benjamin Delessert set up a small factory at Passy and, following the example of German chemists, made the first small quantity of crystallized sugar from sugar beets. At this time cane sugar was a strategic material denied the French because of their war with the other European powers, so Napoleon was immensely impressed by this scientific achievement. He ordered no less that forty factories to be set up in France.

However, now that France had the capability to manufacture beet sugar, it urgently needed to find, or breed, a type of beet that contained the maximum amount of raw sugar. To achieve this, Bonaparte enlisted the greatest botanists in France, through the Academia des Sciences. A program was begun to breed selectively those sugar beet plants that gave a higher-than-average yield of sugar, a program which succeeded. At first the common varieties of sugar beet contained, but this was rapidly improved -- 5 percent; 10 percent; 15 percent. Then things started to go wrong. At 17 percent average yield, the sugar content of the new plants stuck, and it has stayed there to this day. In addition, the French discovered, repeated attempts to continue crossing high-yield varieties eventually resulted in the hybrids reverting to the low yields of their ancestral stock.

(An adaptation from a paper I did many years previous. That was taken from a source I do not currently recall.)

There may be many “species” of sugar beets, but they are all from one. In a study, probably one of the most in-depth done to date put into book form is that of evolutionist Jonathan Weiner. In his book, The Beak of the Finch, pages 178-180, he mentions that the speciation, in general, is considerably faster than had been supposed by earlier beliefs. So could we get a Dingo, a Great Dane, and other types of dogs from one or two kinds (species). This is what the biblical literalist argues; not that every animal on earth today was on the Ark, but that every animal on the earth came from a common species that was on the Ark. Of course, now you can argue the finer points of how fast speciation can happen and how this argument hurts or helps these two opposing sides, but that is neither here nor there. At the very least, however, we are beyond the oft repeated mischaracterization thrown the way of the biblical literalist. It also makes the opposing side, in this case Lobdell, seem fair in its summation of arguments from whom he is trying to refute.

More to come.... maybe?


[1] Created in God’s Image (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1986), 84.

[2] Ibid.

[3] “One [person] that is used or manipulated by another.” Merriam-Webster, Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 11th ed (Springfield: Merriam-Webster, Inc., 2003), cf., “tool.” This concept of using another was also known as “cat’s-paw,” which is defined as “one used by another as a tool.” (ibid., cf., “cat’s-paw.”)

An aside: the term “cat’s-paw” comes from an old fable in which a monkey was cooking chestnuts in the fireplace. When it was time to remove the chestnuts from the coals, he found that the fire was too hot, and he could not pull them out. He looked around for something to help him pull them out, but did not see anything -- until his eye fell on the cat sleeping by the fire. He grabbed the cat, and held it tight while it struggled, using its paw to remove the chestnuts from the fire. (Author/origins unknown)

[4] Example: “She’s a ‘tool’.”

[5] DeYoung, 15.

[6] “Epicurus (341-271 B.C.) was a Greek philosopher who was born on the isle of Samos but lived much of his life in Athens, where he founded his very successful school of philosophy. He was influenced by the materialist Democritus (460-370 B.C.), who is the first philosopher known to believe that the world is made up of atoms…. Epicurus identified good with pleasure and evil with pain.” He equated using pleasure, diet, friends, and the like as “tools” for minimizing bad sensations or pain while increasing pleasure or hedonism. Taken from Louise P. Pojman, Philosophy: The Quest for Truth, 5th ed. (New York: Oxford Press, 2002), 499.

[7] Romans 1:25; 1 Timothy 6:5, 20.

[8] Worldview: “People have presuppositions, and they will live more consistently on the basis of these presuppositions than even they themselves may realize. By ‘presuppositions’ we mean the basic way an individual looks at life, his basic worldview, the grid through which he sees the world. Presuppositions rest upon that which a person considers to be the truth of what exists. People’s presuppositions lay a grid for all they bring forth into the external world. Their presuppositions also provide the basis for their values and therefore the basis for their decisions. ‘As a man thinketh, so he is,’ is really profound. An individual is not just the product of the forces around him. He has a mind, an inner world. Then, having thought, a person can bring forth actions into the external world and thus influence it. People are apt to look at the outer theater of action, forgetting the actor who ‘lives in the mind’ and who therefore is the true actor in the external world. The inner thought world determines the outward action. Most people catch their presuppositions from their family and surrounding society the way a child catches measles. But people with more understanding realize that their presuppositions should be chosen after a careful consideration of what worldview is true. When all is done, when all the alternatives have been explored, ‘not many men are in the room’ -- that is, although worldviews have many variations, there are not many basic worldviews or presuppositions.” Francis A. Schaeffer, How Should We Then Live? The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture (Wheaton: Crossway Books, 1976), 19-20.

[9] Henry M. Morris, The Long War Against God: The History and Impact of the Creation/Evolution Conflict (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1989), 136.

[10] Remember, the created order has been rejected in the Roman society as it is today. This leaves us with an Epicurean view of nature, which today is philosophical naturalism expressed in the modern evolutionary theories such as neo-Darwinism and Punctuated Equilibrium.

[11] Randy Thornhill and Craig T. Palmer, A Natural history of Rape: Biological bases of Sexual Coercion (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2000), 71, 163.

[12] Robert P. George, The Clash Of Orthodoxies: Law, Religion, and Morality in Crisis (Wilmington: ISI Books, 2001), 81.

[13] Nancy Pearcy, Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity (Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2004), 208-209.

[14] Steven Pinker, The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature (New York: Penguin, 2002), 162-163.

[15] Norman L. Geisler and Frank Turek, I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist (Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2004), 176-180.

[16] Daniel C. Dennett, Darwin’s Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meaning of Life (New York: Touchstone Book, 1995), 492.

[17] Defined as having more than one intimate relationship/spouse at a time with the full knowledge and consent of everyone involved.

[18] Alan Sears and Craig Osten, The ACLU vs. America: Exposing the Agenda to Define Moral Values (Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 2005), 42.

[19] The following is from an on-line article:

“To prove this is no joke, here's a passage from a recent article on the website by Prof. Peter Singer of Princeton's Center for Human Values:

· “The potential violence of the orangutan's come-on may have been disturbing, but the fact that it was an orangutan making the advances was not. That may be because Galdikas understands very well that we are animals, indeed more specifically, we are great apes. This does not make sex across the species barrier normal, or natural, whatever those much-misused words may mean, but it does imply that it ceases to be an offence to our status and dignity as human beings.

“This is not a marginal figure, by the way; this is a professor at Princeton whose ideas are spreading widely in the respectable academic circuit. The problem with his argument is that it is impeccably logical if you accept the premise that there is no fundamental dividing line between man and animals. And if one swallows evolution whole-hog, it sure looks that way, doesn't it? Those anti-Darwinist hicks may be right after all, at least with respect to the consequences of believing in evolution.”

Taken from FrontPage Magazine website, -- The article itself was by Robert Locke, “Bestiality and America's Future,” published on March 30, 2001. Found at:{AD996DD5-80D9-49C9-BCA4-C37D60C97669}, (last accessed 9-24-08).

[20] Francis Canavan, The Pluralist Game: Pluralism, Liberalism, and the Moral Conscience (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 1995), 126-127.