Sunday, January 26, 2014
I will not be blogging for time now, here is why:
Ray Hinman (June 20, 1956-Jan 24, 2014) He was 57 years old. As he himself once wrote of his own birth, "when I was born there were two of me." I was the other one. He was my twin brother. He died of pneumonia probably form flu. He died in our home. Ray was a remarkable guy: he was a poet and he great literary talent. He tried real hard bot make but never did. He was published here and there, had one book of his poetry. He wrote a fine novel, or rather wrote a large portion of one. Never finished it. This was not due to laziness he sent things to publishers constantly. He spend years and years shuffling papers and getting rejection slips. That's an old familiar story. He really did have talent and his poetry is great. Great poetry doesn't sell. Most publishers dont' want to publish it even if it's top quality. He could not write commercialism crap or do other things. He was one of those people who its easy to look at and say "he just gave up" or "he was lazy" or whatever, but the truth of it is he was just too sensitive to do anything but the one thing he had the real talent for, that one thing doesn't pay bills.
I read one of his poems in a poetry call at UTD. This was graduate class taught by two top literary professors. One of them was Fred Turner the son of famous anthropologist Victory Turner, who is himself a renown poet. He said "I love his poetry" referring to Ray's poetry. The other professor was a woman from Hungary, Zsuzsanna Ozsvath.She was crying and saying "eet ees so be=U-teeful. both of them though Ray's poetry was great.
This is the bio I put on his poetry website.
Born: Dallas, Texas, 1956, with his twin brother Joe.
Education: University of Texas At Arlington, University of North Texas (Denton)
Occupations: Market Researcher; Paid campaign worker; poetry editor (Academic Journal Negations) and fellow of Negations Institute.
Life Experience: Mr. Hinman has lived in Dallas, Arlington, and Austin Texas. He's traveled extensively around North America, Mexico, and Central America.
1970's In the early 70's, as a highschool sophemore Mr. Hinman worked as a volunteer in for the McGovern Campaign in the senator's 1972 Presidential bid. As a young man he hitchhiked from Dallas to Colorado. In a Second trip, up the West Coast to Van Couver. In a Third trip, hitchhiked up the East coast to Montreal. [That hitching odyssey was a major even in his life. He met Joan Baez on the west coast trip. He had many great stories of adventure from those trips.] He also Attended University of Texas at Arlington.
1980's lived in Dallas and Austin. In this decade he travailed in Mexico. It was in this decade that he had his career as a Market Researcher in Dallas,Paid campaign worker in Austin, and attended University of North Texas in Denton. From about 86 to 90 a major portion of his life was occupied with volunteer political organizing over the issue of Central America. Mr. Hinman worked with the infamous CISPES group (Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador) of Dallas which is known to have been spied upon by an FBI informant, and Mr. Hinman may have been target of surveillance.
1990's: Mr. Hinman worked in the anti-Gulf War coalition in the early 90's. He settled in Dallas and began to work for the Negation Institute, first as the contributing Poetry editor for their journal Negations, then as researcher. In the late 90's he spent several years providing full time care for his parents until their deaths.In the 90's that he wrote some of his best work.
After the death of his parents, Mr. Hinman withdrew from society and lives a hermit like existence devoted to study. These are the venues in which he was published. some of them multiple poems were published.
Negations: an Inter disciplinary Journal of social Criticism
A Rule of Three(chapbook).
Our Cities Vanish (book)
To read samples of his poetry see the blogger site I made for him: Our Cities Vanish.
Ray Loved the Byrds, this was one of his favorite songs by the Byrds:
I am a pilgrim
Buy a copy of his book Our Cities Vanish on Amazon
or click on the mimage in the right side bar at bottom.
Friday, January 24, 2014
We have a comment from a friend, an atheist (former Christian--I keep telling him he still is one)
Mike aka MonolithTMA said...
People that argue that God doesn't hear the honest and honorable prayers of unbelievers, remind me of the folks who think Jesus was actually named Jesus, and that he spoke in King James English.
I recall the part in Lewis' Narnia Chronicles, in The Last Battle, mentioned here in this Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tash_(Narnia)
"Emeth, who expects Tash to smite unbelievers with heavenly fire, goes searching for Tash in Aslan's Country, but instead meets Aslan. It is revealed that Aslan and Tash are opposites, with each existing as the antithesis to the other. Aslan tells Emeth that 'all the service thou hast done to Tash, I accept as service done to me' and further explains that 'no service which is vile can be done to me, and none which is not vile can be done to him'. He explains that Emeth's pious devotion, because it was rooted in a love of justice and truth, was really to Aslan rather than to Tash, although Emeth had not been aware of this; Emeth finds great happiness in this revelation."
I like that passage. That's pretty much what I'm saying on the thing about Acts 17. In connection with that I will continue the discussion on Monday by taking up the question "then what good does it do to be a Christian?"
One thing I like the most about this passage is that it identifies God with ideals like truth and justice. To me I identify God with Love. I know the passage in 1 John "God is love" is a metaphorical statement but metaphors have their reality. The reality is that God is the source of love. If we understand and appreciate fully that love is more than just an emotional feeling, but embrace it as a philosophy then we see that understanding is derived from a basic description of God's character. God's character is love and that is the true and original source of love. Thus in that sense God is love.
God is truth in the same way. Truth is what is, God is the basis of all that is. This is a way of thinking that is less and less understanding in the postmodern world.I laugh as the CARM atheists just boggle their minds trying to ridicule such ideas and saying things like "how could God be truth, it's truth that i have do nut on my desk, is God the fact that I have a donut?" That's what comes of literalistic thinking.
I think Paul was saying that those who seek the truth source of goodness are following Jesus defacto even if they don't know it's Jesus. That does not mean all non Christians are automatically saved, any more than it means that all people who sit in churches on Sunday morning are saved. Being in a chruch doesn't make you saved any more than sleeping in a garage makes you a car. So I distinguish between being in the Christian social club and acutely "knowing Jesus." It is possible to do one without the other, but salvation is not automatically guaranteed for the chruch goer, and non salvation is not automatically befallen upon the "non Christian" adherent. But salvation is promised by God for all those who seek him and who gives their lives to Christ. Giving your life Christ makes you born again and that is salvation. I'll discuss this more on Monday.
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
The Guy recalls the famous prayer fuss in 1980 when Oklahoma pastor Bailey Smith, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, made this off-the-cuff comment: “It’s interesting to me at great political battles how you have a Protestant to pray and a Catholic to pray and then you have a Jew to pray. With all due respect to those dear people, my friend, God Almighty does not hear the prayer of a Jew. For how in the world can God hear the prayer of a man who says that Jesus Christ is not the true Messiah? It is blasphemy.”
This issue has arisen on a message board with atheists asserting that God wont hear the prayers of sinners (oddly enough, since he doesn't exist--one would think an non existent God hears no prayers).
God clearly hears everything in the sense of knowing about it. By "hear" is meant a special relationship. If God never heard the prayers of a sinner how could sinners ever repent? So the real question is "how does God regard the prayers of non Christians? Or, how does he regard the prayers of other faiths? There are Christians who assert bold faced "God doesn't prayers of non Christians." It's tragic but amusing what they have to do to scripture to justify saying this. Let's look at a "typical" example by someone I would call a "fundamentalist": main verse John 9:31. This is so ironic because it's actually saying the opposite.
The Bible clearly says that God will not answer prayer requests of those who are not saved nor will He even listen to their prayers (John 9:31). Believers have had their sins forgiven but those who are not Christian are separated from God by their sin (Isaiah 59:2). I Peter 3:12 plainly says that God will hear a believer’s prayer but not those of the unsaved: “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
Let's take a quick look at that passage in John (9:31). First of all who is speaking? Did Jesus say this? No, first the guys who are marveling that the man born blind has been healed! These are the guys who are saying this. Then the pharisees confront the man healed and actually tell him he has not been healed. The spiritual giants show us their Biblical acumen by telling the guy who has been healed that he's not healed. This is pure irony, yes it is intentional. They are so blind themselves, they are telling the guy who got healed that he's not healed! They refuse to believe that Jesus is anybody. These guys are in the same theological camp (pharisees) as those who blasphemed the Holy Spirit. How much more Biblically ignorant we get? Could we find a more ignorant and narrow minded segment?
The passage begins with the Apostles ignorantly asserting that the man was born blind either because he sinned or his parents sinned. How the guy could be born with sin I don't know. Some might think this is a proof of reincarnation in the Bible, I'll leave that for another time. Of cousre Jesus says neither one, he was born this way "so the works of God might be displayed in him." To me that does not mean God creates people to have bad things happen to them just so he can make examples of them and heal them. Literally that is the logical inference, and I can't prove the didn't mean that, but I just think this is just a euphemistic way of saying "it just happened." Everything is an opportunity for god to manifest his glory. He doesn't need to create people born with infirmity to do that. It's a poetic way of saying "'stuff' happens." I just offer as evidence that statement in Matthew 5:45: "He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous." He brings good to both.
30 The man answered, “Now that is remarkable! You don’t know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes. 31 We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does his will. 32 Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.”
Of cousre this doesn't convince them they assert that the healed man can't tell the truth or know what's what.34 "To this they replied, “You were steeped in sin at birth; how dare you lecture us!” And they threw him out." So that ends the interview with the narrow minded crowd refusing to even examine the evidence. That seems familiar. What about the healed man echoing this idea? "Se know that God Does not listen to sinners." Obviously it must mean he doesn't listen to sinners (which is everyone--all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God--) except and unless they are sincerely seeking forgiveness. The man born blind, the healed me, he was not a sinner. Jesus says he wasn't a sinner. Since we are all sinner we can assume this means he wasn't living in sin. He was seeking to do right even though like all of us he screwed up from time to time he was not living in a manner that took the concept of sin lightly. That he healed man believed what he said about God not hearing the prayers of sinner, he was arguing for Jesus not being a sinner. He was no Bible scholar either.I will argue and prove that God listens to "sinners," not in a manner that ignores their sin, but when they are seeking truth, forgiveness, are just desperately turning to God for help. He did me. That's the first bit of evidence i present. If God did not hear sinners at such a time I would never have been saved.
The back up reference Wellman offers: 1 Peter 3:12
For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous
and his ears are attentive to their prayer,
but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil
Of course this passage doesn't really say what he wants it to. It doesn't say God doesn't hear sinners, it says he searches for the righteous and his face is against those who do evil. It doesn't say that he doesn't hear the prayers of sinners his face is against those who do evil. So that would mean those who live in a manner that sloughs off sin and takes lightly the idea of pleasing God. That would be those not calling out to God in desperation or seeking truth or seeking to repent. So we can assume that when the Bible asserts that God doesn't hear the prayers of sinners it means those who actively peruse sin not just anyone who has sinned. We can see this in the cross references. These cross references I found on Bible Hub when I looked up John 9:31.
One example is the house of Cornelius in Acts 9:11. He was praying to God and he was not a Jew, or a Christian. He was a Roman solider. God sent Peter to him to preach the gospel. Obviously then God does hear the prayers of non Chrsitians who are seeking God.
You came back and wept before the LORD, but he paid no attention to your weeping and turned a deaf ear to you.
In this one he was not taling to unbelievers, he wasn't talking to people of other faiths who worshiped other God's but the Children of Israel who followed Moses in the wilderness. So they were the believers. Here he's not listening to the prayers of believers. They had not been faithful and not been faithful. This verse can't be used to say that God doesn't listen to the prayers of non Christians. From a Christian standpoint the Children of Israel were the Christians of heir day so to speak, we Christians are spiritually part of Israel according to Paul.
For what hope have the godless when they are cut off, when God takes away their life?
That does not say that he doesn't hear their prayers. It's speaking of after they die. So if you die in teh condition of enmity with God and you have repented then you are cut off from God. It's too late to pray anyway.
Indeed, God does not listen to their empty plea; the Almighty pays no attention to it.
First of all, he might not listen becuase it's empty. Meaning, they are sincere. They didn't quote the full passage:
12He does not answer when people cry out
because of the arrogance of the wicked.
13 Indeed, God does not listen to their empty plea;
The plea is empty becuase they are prideful and arrogant and they don't seek truth or to seek to change.
The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry;
That's casting an inference but it's really argument from consequent. We are supposed to think well if God is listening to the righteous then he must not listen to the unrighteous. Not logically proven. It's an informal fallacy. This comes under the heading of my first comment that "hearing" refers to a special relationship. The eyes watching the good that is also a special relationship.It does not mean that God is no attentive to people seeking help or who want truth and want to do what's right, or want to change who realize they are separated from God and repent. The view Bible Hub takes in using this to back the idea that God doesn't' hear sinners is in contradiction to the guy in Job Elihu who is not rebuked, the only non rebuked friend and he is not rebuked specially becuase he says God punishment on both, good and evil, for different reasons. 
If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened;
By now it should be obvious how to answer this one; it doesn't pertain to all non Christians, all sinners, but to those who cherish evil, not seeking to change, don't seek the good.
Psalm 145:19Again, just becuase it says he hears one group doesnt' mean he never heards another group.
He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them.
The LORD is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous.
He doesn't have this special relationship with those who seek evil and who do not seek truth and don't care about the good, or about God. In addition to this we are told he does listen to those who seek good, that doesn't' say "to Christians only."
Grace to You does a good job of explaining, on their page "Does God answer the Prayers of unbelievers?
Acts 10:2 House of Cornelius. Donald P Ames Truth Magazine good article arguing that God does hear all prayers. We can also look at Paul's message to the Greeks on Mars hill. He didn't tell them "you old Homsexualite Greeks are just a bunch hell bound pagans!" What did he say?
He made us to inhabit the earth that we might find him. He quotes Greek poets saying he is not far from us. In saying they are ignorant of what they worship he's saying they know God, they just don't understand the set up. Why didn't he tell them God doesn't hear their prayers? In Romans he says:
22 Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: “People of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. 23 For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you.
24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. 26 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. 27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. 28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’[a] As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’[b]
29 “Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by human design and skill.
He made us to inhabit the earth that we might find him. He quotes Greek poets saying he is not far from us. In saying they are ignorant of what they worship he's saying they know God, they just don't understand the set up. Why didn't he tell them God doesn't hear their prayers? In Romans he says:
6 God “will repay each person according to what they have done.”[a] 7 To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. 8 But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. 9 There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; 10 but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 11 For God does not show favoritism.If you are following the moral law upon he heart you are following Jesus even though you may not understand that. To that extent the heart may excuse them or defend them. they may be justified because they are living up to the light that they have. I'll explore this theme more compeltey in reference to the Church next time.
12 All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. 13 For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. 14 (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law.15 They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.)
 Richard Ostling, "Does God Hear Prayers from Just Anyone," Get Religion, December 2, (2013)
 Jack Wellman, "Does God Answer the Prayers of The Unsaved or Unbelievers?" What Christians want to Know. May 21, 2011. Blog: http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/does-god-answer-the-prayers-of-the-unsaved-or-unbelievers/
 Donald P. Ames, "Will God Hear the Prayer of a Non Christian?" Truth Magazine.
 "Interpretations of Elihu in Job," Stack Exchange biblical Hermeneutics,
 No author given, "Does God answer the Prayers of unbelievers?" Grace to You, Blog
Monday, January 20, 2014
I am Reprizing a blog piece I especially like (if I do say so myself) in honor of Martin Luther King on King day. I am not sure if I mention him in this but surely it's obviously pertaining to what he was about and so I present it in his honor. (originally published June 26, this year in repsonse to supreme court decision on voting rights act).
New York Times,
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Tuesday effectively struck down the heart of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by a 5-to-4 vote, freeing nine states, mostly in the South, to change their election laws without advance federal approval.
The court divided along ideological lines, and the two sides drew sharply different lessons from the history of the civil rights movement and the nation’s progress in rooting out racial discrimination in voting. At the core of the disagreement was whether racial minorities continued to face barriers to voting in states with a history of discrimination.“Our country has changed,” Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote for the majority. “While any racial discrimination in voting is too much, Congress must ensure that the legislation it passes to remedy that problem speaks to current conditions.”The decision will have immediate practical consequences. Texas announced shortly after the decision that a voter identification law that had been blocked would go into effect immediately, and that redistricting maps there would no longer need federal approval. Changes in voting procedures in the places that had been covered by the law, including ones concerning restrictions on early voting, will now be subject only to after-the-fact litigation.
So the question is, is this just more political hot air, or is this a time to take a stand? To answer that question I ask "what is the relationship between this questoin and the Gospel?" Is doing away with the voting rights act a matter of not living up to the truth of the Gospel? What Jesus say about politics? His statement "render unto Cesar the things that are Cesar's, and unto God that which is God's" (Mark 12:17, Mat 22:15-22) should be a clue. Funny thing about that, he didn't seem to be ready to start a tax revolt. He seemed to think they the Romans do some stuff for us, (ever see the Life of Brion?) so springing for some Taxes to pay for it shouldn't be that big a deal. Yet, what belongs to God? Human life belongs to God, so things that destroy life, or that make it impossible to preach the Gospel or keep it from being heard, one would think do not belong to Cesar. But surely the voting rights act has nothing to do with that stuff, it's just a little voting. We might think voting belongs to Caesar because it's politics, and Cesar is king of politics, politics is of the world. Is that the answer right wing fundamentalists use when they field armies for the Republicans? Caesar is not a democratic figure. He's a symbol of power, becuase the real Cesar was a dictator. Cesar is a symbol of the power elite, the temporal realm. We have to decide weather or not democracy is more than just a silly little game of politically minded pundits, or is it a sacred right and duty to allow people the dignity that goes with being made in God's image?
Paul tells us there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female in Christ Jesus." (Gal 3:28). We might infer from this that class divisions and race divisions are wrong. Discrimination is wrong. We might infer that "love your neighbor as yourself" means don't take away her civil rights? We have forgotten the horrible price that was paid, the struggle, how long it took, it bitter and divisive it was for whites who watched it on tv, and for blacks and the few whites who dared who lived it and died for it in real life. The dogs the fire hoses all things of the past no one thinks about that the young of tv of today never new. I actually watched live as cops in Alabama sicked dogs on defenseless women and sprayed them with fire hoses to keep them from sharing the same rights that white men enjoy.
Of course the court denies that we will have to do this again. The court's logic is based upon a sham argument about how we have changed:
“Our country has changed,” Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote for the majority. “While any racial discrimination in voting is too much, Congress must ensure that the legislation it passes to remedy that problem speaks to current conditions.”(see NYT Link above)
The redistricting plan that Texas is putting into effect means that the Replicans will never be out of office in Texas. It will change the balance of power in congress. Texas is notorious for Gerrymandering (we call it "Perrymandering."--that's really how Rick Perry got in office). They re-draw the distinctions every time the Democrats do better in an election.
As for the argument that the country has changed, I have a black friend who was denied a hair cut in barbershop in Farmer's Branch Texas in 1992. That is the same community that tried to start it's own immigration service to kick out Spanish speakers and tried to make English the official language. How long before decisions regarding those things get reversed? This is a right wing coup d'etat. The same kind of mentality I talked about before, perhaps a bit more rational. But the same refusal to admit the people want the other guys. We don't care what the people, we are the country not the people. We the rulers, the elite, "the good Chrsitains," the right wing, we are the real people, the poor don't count.
It's going to take a long time to build up to the point where we can have another civil rights movement. We had a election stolen from us in 2000. They did everything they could to stop blacks form voting in Floria so they could steal the election and put Bush in.
Independent investigations in that state revealed serious irregularities directed mostly against ethnic minorities and low-income residents who usually voted heavily Democratic. Some 36,000 newly registered voters were turned away because their names had never been added to the voter rolls by Florida’s secretary of state Kathleen Harris. By virtue of the office she held, Harris presided over the state’s election process while herself being an active member of the Bush Jr. state-wide campaign committee. Other voters were turned away because they were declared--almost always incorrectly--“convicted felons.” In several Democratic precincts, state officials closed the polls early, leaving lines of would-be voters stranded.Under orders from Governor Jeb Bush (Bush Jr.’s brother), state troopers near polling sites delayed people for hours while searching their cars. Some precincts required two photo IDs which many citizens do not have. The requirement under Florida law was only one photo ID. Passed just before the election, this law itself posed a special difficulty for low-income or elderly voters who did not have drivers licenses or other photo IDs. Uncounted ballot boxes went missing or were found in unexplained places or were never collected from certain African-American precincts. During the recount, GOP agitators shipped in from Washington D.C. by the Republican national leadership stormed the Dale County Canvassing Board, punched and kicked one of the officials, shouted and banged on their office doors, and generally created a climate of intimidation that caused the board to abandon its recount and accept the dubious pro-Bush tally.
In the next election, 2004, there were irregularities that help up blacks form voting in states like Ohio and Missouri. But as injustice mounts it will take time to prove it, time to prove the extent of it, time for the next court to conclude "ma bye things aren't that different after all." In the mean time a lot of "eschatology" is going hit the fan.
As Phil Ochs said "let it never be again." Now it will be.
 For these various irregularities, see New York Times, 30 November 2000 and 15 July 2001; Boston Globe, 30 November 2000 and 10 March 2001. A relevant documentary is Unprecedented: The 2000 Presidential Election, L.A. Independent Media Center Film, 2004. (the author's fn form his site).
I fee I should include the comments made back in June when this first appeared:
I fee I should include the comments made back in June when this first appeared:
Thursday, January 16, 2014
part of "the Rest" the Professor!
"Russell David Johnson is an American television and film actor best known as "The Professor" on the CBS television sitcom Gilligan's Island. He is one of three remaining cast members from that series, the last surviving male. Wi"
I am sad to see this. I loved Gilligan's Island. Now the Professor is gone. I guess it's just Ginger and Mary Ann now.
AOL has a page about him.
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Atheists go on the high horse about science gives them factual knowledge of things we know exist, and they can prove anything with science. That's their concept of the counter to religion, as though science and religion are opposites. Part of that argument is set in terms of "I don't see any God out there but science can show us real things." I have an argument to counter this notion, even though I argue always that analogies don't prove, it is best illustrated with an analogy. I am not arguing from analogy I don't analogy prove it, what proves the argument is the logic of the case. But the analogy actually helps to clarify what is being argued.
Several things that science assumes are real or is investigating as probably real based upon theory, are not yet proved to be real. None of those can be seen. So the idea that if you don't see it it can't be real is not taken seriously by science. yet the worshipers of science still think in this primitive pre scientific way.
things that scinece accepts as probable but has no proof for:
self regulated capitalist ecnomy
singularity and big bang
laws of phsyics
In physics, string theory is a theoretical framework in which the point-like particles of particle physics are replaced by one-dimensional objects called strings.(a) In string theory, the different types of observed elementary particles arise from the different quantum states of these strings. In addition to the types of particles postulated by the standard model of particle physics, string theory naturally incorporates gravity, and is therefore a candidate for a theory of everything, a self-contained mathematical model that describes all fundamental forces and forms of matter. Aside from this hypothesized role in particle physics, string theory is now widely used as a theoretical tool in physics, and it has shed light on many aspects of quantum field theory and quantum gravity.(a)
Contray to what atheists want to think, string theory has not been proved. It's not likely to be proved because we probably can't find any collider big enough to bash things together hard enough. They are still working on proving and taking like they are getting closer,they have been talking about it as a reality for decades. So obviously science doesn't need to to see it to believe it either. Of course they always answer this by saying "you dont' understand" (the first thing to say) we can describes things with the theory and its reality. What's my point? I can describe reality with my ideas of God and it fits reality. This is true in relation to mystical experience and the nature of human psyche.
Then they fall back on the the idea that it's possible to detect the existence of scientifically valid things because they are real (becuase they are scientific) that means we have ways to detect them.
We can produce theoretical verification of God's reality in the same way that science produced theoretical verification of neutrinos before they had the proof. This was due to the theoretical way other particles behaved suggesting that they were being effected by the theoretical nutrios even though they could not be proved. We can do the same thing with God thorugh religious experience. The Co determinate argument:
Co-determinate: The co-determinate is like the Derridian trace, or like a fingerprint. It's the accompanying sign that is always found with the thing itself. In other words, like trailing the invisable man in the snow. You can't see the invisable man, but you can see his footprints, and wherever he is in the snow his prints will always follow.Because the effects of the experience can be traced and understood as that which would be produced by God, that which God promises if we understand certain sacred texts as promises of God, we can see these are effects of divine encounter. With this theoretical understanding, just like with the nutrino effecting other particles around it we can understand that God is effecting us in a long term positive way. thus we do have empirical confirmation at least on a theoretical level, science can't do any better on these harder aspects of reality such as the sub atomic.
We cannot produce direct observation of God, but we can find the "trace" or the co-determinate, the effects of God in the wrold.
The only question at that ponit is "How do we know this is the effect, or the accompanying sign of the divine? But that should be answere in the argument below. Here let us set out some general peramitors:
(1) The trace produced content with speicificually religious affects
(2)The affects led one to a renewed sense of divine relaity, are transformative of life goals and self actualization
(3) Cannot be accounted for by alteante cuasality or other means.
(1)There are real affects from Mytical experince.
(2)These affects cannot be reduced to naturalistic cause and affect, bogus mental states or epiphenomena.
(3)Since the affects of Mystical consciousness are independent of other explaintions we should assume that they are genuine.
(4)Since mystical experince is usually experince of something, the Holy, the sacred some sort of greater trasncendent reality we should assume that the object is real since the affects or real, or that the affects are the result of some real higher reailty.
(5)The true measure of the reality of the co-dterminate is the transfomrative power of the affects.
But we can provide reasons to believe that are just as equivalent and are analogs to the search for neutrinos.For at least 40 years scinece they could not detect neutrinos they had to go by the behavior of other particles and the theory of how neutrinos would effect them. I"m not sure if that has change but even if it is it was true for decades and it didn't stop scientists from taking it seriously.
Atheists will go on pretending that they can judge these things by the same standards as one judge scientific things. Yet they will not accept the analogy between this argument and the history of neutrinos.
A neutrino (// or //) is an electrically neutral, weakly interacting elementary subatomic particle with half-integer spin. The neutrino (meaning "small neutral one" in Italian) is denoted by the Greek letter ν (nu). All evidence suggests that neutrinos have mass but that their mass is tiny even by the standards of subatomic particles. Their mass has never been measured accurately.
Neutrinos do not carry electric charge, which means that they are not affected by the electromagnetic forces that act on charged particles such as electrons and protons. Neutrinos are affected only by the weak sub-atomic force, of much shorter range than electromagnetism, and gravity, which is relatively weak on the subatomic scale. Therefore a typical neutrino passes through normal matter...
We have no direct proof of them, we have to assume they exist by their effect on other particles. This is analogous to God in that we can't have direct empirical proof bu we have probable effects upon humans, such as the effects of religious experience.
the only answer to this argument they have is to try and shame religion with the demonstrability of science to assert faith that scinece will one day find all of these things they can't find. That will probalby never be the case for laws of physics or the singularity or other univeres. Even if it is that doesn't really answer my argument. They are dealing with empirical matter, we should expect them to be demonstrable.
Their original argument is illogical to begin with because what they are really saying is "this area of study that is subject to empirical verification can be verified. So therefore we should not believe in God becuase he's part of this other area that is not empirically verifiable." That is not logical becuase if God is not empirically verifiable then we can't expect him to be verified empirically. The assertion that only empirically verifiable things can exist is silly.
Even more silly when we see that some things in empirically verifiable realm are not yet empirically verified but science is willing to assume their reality or plausibly of it anyway. Yet atheists want to rule God out on this basis when he's not part of the empirically verifiable domain.
 "String Theory," Wikapedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/String_theory
(a) Sean Carroll, Ph.D., Cal Tech, 2007, The Teaching Company, Dark Matter, Dark Energy: The Dark Side of the Universe, Guidebook Part 2 page 59, Accessed Oct. 7, 2013, "...The idea that the elementary constituents of matter are small loops of string rather than pointlike particles ... we think of string theory as a candidate theory of quantum gravity..."
Klebanov, Igor and Maldacena, Juan (2009). "Solving Quantum Field Theories via Curved Spacetimes" (PDF). Physics Today 62: 28. doi:10.1063/1.3074260. Retrieved May 2013.
 David Albert, Interiview, Big Think, January 7 (2010) http://bigthink.com/videos/can-we-prove-string-theory
 "Neutrino," Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neutrino
Monday, January 13, 2014
Rabbi Tzvi Freeman writes about the dichotomy between natural and supernatural and how unnecessary it is. He quotes a question ask him form the general public, a question that shows the extent to which supernature has been discredited and slandered:
The supernatural seems irrational, superstitious, archaic and primitive. So far, the natural world has provided explanations for the previously mysterious unknown: social psychology, psychiatry, chemistry, mathematics, biology, medicine, physics, astronomy, geology and history have aided humanity and preserved our mental and physical health and extended our lives.
So why do we refer to G-d to as a supernatural being? Where is the evidence that the supernatural exists, or has any bearing on our lives? Does the word "supernatural" even mean anything, other than "I don't understand this (yet)"?
Here we see several of these misconceptions about the supernatural, not only because it’s linked to superstition, which it clearly has nothing to do with, but also the idea that God is “a supernatural being” (whatever that is) and that there’s no evidence for it, when in reality the evidence everywhere, in the previous article Dawkins gives us a bunch of it, even though he thinks it’s disproving supernatrue. The questioner puts this dichotomy in terms of the known (nature) and the unknown (supernature). The Rabbi’s answer takes off along these very lines; known and unknown. “Superntural” he deduces is based upon whatever doesn’t’ fit the categories of knowledge listed; all of course are scientific categories. That’s the only form of knowledge that atheists will think about or accept. Everything must be scientific or it doesn’t exist. Dawkins concept of a rational form of religion is a scientific (“Einstein”) religion.
The Original Concept of Supernature
All of these objections assume a certain version of the supernatural. The supernatural has become a catch-all for anything non materialistic or naturalistic that scientistic types want to snub without really having to disprove it. Supernatural today means anything from ghosts, Bigfoot, UFO to psychic powers, and angels and demons and God in heaven. Not so with the original concept. In the early centuries of Christian philosophy the original Greek fathers thought of God as transcendent but they did not necessarily conceive of that as “supernatural.” The Supernatural was something very different then than it is now. This is important because that original meaning, which Christian spiritually was predicated upon, is empirically probable and completely naturalistic and can be shown to be real by simple scientific means. We have to understand the original concept, there are two thinkers who tried to restore the concept to it’s original form and we need to listen to what they tried to say. The first one was Matthias Joseph Scheeben (born, 1 March, 1835; died at Cologne, 21 July, 1888.) His major work was Nature and Grace. Scheeben was a mystic who contemplated and studied divine grace and hypostatic union. He was also of greatly accomplished academically and was a fine scholarly of scholastic theology. He studied at the Gregorian University at Rome and taught dogmatic theology at the Episcopal seminary
at Cologne. Scheeben was the chief defender of the faith against rationalism in the nineteenth century.
In the summer of 1888, Scheeben died in Cologne, having spent most of his fifty-three years teaching dogmatics and moral theology in the archdiocesan seminary there. He was Germany's most persuasive defender of Vatican Fs decision on papal infallibility and an impassioned advocate of religious freedom in the Kulturkampf, Bismarck's determined but finally unsuccessful effort to subject the Catholic Church to the control of his new German state. He was also the author of three major dogmatic works: Nature and Grace (1861), The Mysteries of Christianity (1865), and the massive Handbook of Catholic Dogmatics, left unfinished at his death.
The generations that followed Scheeben regarded him as one of the greatest minds of modern Catholic theology. His books were repeatedly republished in Germany up into the 1960s and translated into other European languages, including English (the Dogmatics, alas, only in highly truncated form). Since the Second Vatican Council, though, he has mostly been neglected by theological teachers and students who have wrongly imagined the nineteenth-century Catholic tradition to be a period of antimodern darkness.
The Catholic world of a hundred or more years ago was quite right, I think, to see the Cologne seminary professor as perhaps the finest modern Catholic dogmatic theologian. His writings not only yield rare insight into the mysteries of Christian faith, they draw the attentive reader ever more deeply into the mysteries themselves. Scheeben is more important now than he has ever been. He can teach a theological generation that has sold its inestimable birthright how to restore and renew dogmatic theology.
The other thinker is Eugene R. Fairweather (2 November 1920-) was Anglican scholar and translator of Church fathers from Ottowa. MA in Philosophy form University of Toronto (1943) Ordained priest in 1944 and became tutor at Trinity college Toronto same year. He studied theology at Union theological seminary and earned his Th.D. in 1949. He had an honorary doctorate from McGill University. At the time he wrote his article “Christianity and the Supernatural” he was editor of the Canadian Journal of Theology and professor of dogmatic theology and ethics at Trinity College, Toronto. Fairweather quotes Scheeben and bases part of his view upon Scheeben’s.
Fairweather’s view of the supernatural is contrary to the notion of two opossing realms, or a dualism. He uses the phrase “two-sidedness,” there is a “two-sidedness” about reality but it’s not a real dualism. The Supernatural is that which is above the natural in a certain sense but it is also working in the natural. There are supernatural effects which in the natural realm and make up part of human life. Essentially we can that “the supernatural” (supernature) is an ontology. Fiarweather doesn’t use that term but that’s essentially what he’s describing. Ontology is a philological description of reality. Supernature describes reality in that it is the ground and end of the natural. What that means is unpacked by Fairweather to mean that it is an ordered relation of means to immediate ends with respect to their final ends. “The Essential structure of the Christian faith has a real two-sidedness about it, which may at first lead the unwary into a dualism and then encourage the attempt to resolve the dualism by an exclusive emphasis upon one or the other [side] of the severed element of completely Christianity.” He explains the ordered relation several times through paring off opposites or supposed opposites: human/divine; immanent/transcendent; realm of Grace/realm of nature. All of these he refers to as “ordered relations.” If this was Derrida we would call them binary oppositions. In calling them “ordered” he is surely saying one is ‘above’ the other in some sense. They are not necessary oppositions because that’s his whole point, not a true dualism.
Supernature is working in nature. It’s not breaking in unwelcome but is drawing the workings of nature to a higher level. Fairweather describes it as the “ground and end of nature.” In other words is the basis upon which nature comes to be and the goal toward which nature moves. Now it’s true that science removes the teleological from nature it doesn’t see it as moving toward a goal but that’s because it can’t consider anything beyond its own domain. Science is supposed to be empirical consideration of the natural realm and is supposed to keep its nose out of the business of commentary on metaphysics. Of course modern science does the opposite it become a form of metaphysics by infusing itself with philosophical assumptions and then declaring there is nothing beyond the natural/material realm. That is to say, when it is dominated by secularist concerns that are the direction science is put in by ideological interests. Be that as it may, theological we can take a broader view and we see a goal oriented aspect to the natural. Supernatural effects draw the natural toward supernature. That is to say human nature responds to the calling of God in elevating humans to a higher level of consciousness. Another example of the ground and end of nature that Fairweather doesn’t give, but I like to use, is Martin Luther King’s statement about the arch of the moral universe is long but it bends towards justice. Nothing in nature bends toward justice, if by “nature” we mean rocks and trees but there more to the natural realm than just those aspects that science studies. Humans are part of the realm of the natural and it’s part of our social world that we understand concepts of justice. Due to our own purposive nature we bend the arch of the moral universe toward justice.
The term Supernatural (SN) comes to us from Aquinas. He gets it from John Scotus Erigena and Burgundio of Pisa, who in turn take it from Pseudo-Dionysius and John of Damascus. The latter used the adverbial form Supernaturaliter. This is coming from the Greek hyperphuos. “From an early period the concept of ‘that which is above nature’ had been seized upon by Christian Theologians as an appropriate means of stating the core of the gospel, so far example, Origen tells how God raises man above human nature…and makes him change into a better and divine nature.” John Chrysostom speaks of speaks of humans having received grace “health beauty honor and dignities far exceeding our nature.” “In the West the most concise expression of the idea is to be found in the Leonine prayer ‘grant us to be partakers of his divinity who deigned to become partakers of our humanity.’” “In these and a multitude of patristic texts the essential point is just this, that God, who is essentially superntrual perfects with a perfection beyond creaturely comprehension. Nevertheless elevates human creatures to a true participation in divine life an indwelling of God in man and man in God.” The important point here is that human nature is being raised to the higher level of divine. We can see this manifests itself through the experience commonly known as “mystical.” That I will take up shortly, First, let’s turn to Scheeben to document further that is the nature of the supernatural. Supernatural is the power of God to raise us to this higher level.
Scheeben deals with the distinction between natural and supernatural faith. Throughout his writings we see this typified in terms of the tendency of the power of God to elevate humanity to a higher spiritual level. This means consciousness as well as habit. He speaks of “supernatural effects,” the effect that the pull of the supernatural has upon the natural. This is why it’s valid to think of the supernatural as an ontology, it’s a description of reality, or what is. Empirically that description tends toward the realization of human consciousness reaching to a higher level as a result of certain kinds of experiences. Scheeben expresses this in terms of “higher nature.” Super nature is the higher nature to which human nature is being elevated.
If the lower nature is raised in all of these respects to the level of a higher nature, and especially if this nature modifies the lower nature so deeply and affects it so powerfully that the limits of possibility are reached; if God, purest light and mightiest fire, wishes through to permeate his creature with his energy, to flood it with brightness and warmth to transform it into his own splendor, to make the creature like the father of spirits and impart to it the fullness of his own divine life, if I say, the entire being of the soul is altered in the deepest recesses and in all its ramifications to the very last, not by annihilation, but by exaltation and transfiguration. Then we can affirm that a new higher nature has come to the lower nature, because it has been granted a participation in the essence of him to whom the higher nature properly belongs.
He seeks in one point of his work to resolve a fine point of difficulty between the Thomist-Molinist dicthotomy. Scheeben didn’t like dichotomies and thus seeks a third way. His solution is to see the natural as a mirror of the divine. The dichotomy deals with predestination, grace and free will. That’s not the issue I don’t want to get off into that. For Scheeben the authority of God is the sole formal object of faith. Thus faith is divine both in its source and object. According to this position faith is neither the result of rational self interest nor a consequence of the human spirit. We must not mistake the manifestation in experience for the motive of faith. Faith is the result of obedience to the drawing power and call of God. Nature (Greek Physis, Latin natura) is the realm of life from life, according to Scheeben. Super nature is the overarching principle toward which nature strives
The whole point is that the life of the children of God is directed to such specific objects and ends as cannot be striven for or attained, at least in a way that corresponds to their loftiness, except by acts of a supernatural perfection, that is, of a perfection unattainable by nature, —in other words, by acts which are kindred and similar to the proper life of God in its loftiness.
We can see in his answers to the Thoamsit/Molinist issue the basis of the claim that Super nature is the power of God to rise us to a higher level. This is how Schebeen construed it. In summarizing Murry speaks of “power which flow from the new nature,”
that is his starting point(16). One conclusion follows immediately: the new powers which flow from the new nature must themselves be “an image of the divine vital powers”(17), i.e. the specific perfection of the divine vital powers must reflect itself in their working. That is Scheeben’s “Grundanschauung”, on which rests all his theorizing about supernatural acts. In a word, to the divinization of man’s nature corresponds a divinization of his activity(18). And Scheeben is occupied wholly in drawing out the nature of this divinization and its consequences. The immediate consequence, in which I am here interested, is that man’s divinized activity must be directed to objects of the specifically divine order. The essence of Scheeben’s thought is revealed in this sufficiently characteristic passage:
The passage in Scheeben to which he refers:
If we have truly become partakers in the divine nature, and by this supernature have become most intimately akin to the divine nature.... then we are taken up into the sphere of its life; then the Godhead itself in its immediacy and in its own proper essence as it is in itself becomes the object of our activity. Then we shall know God Himself, illuminated by His light, without the mirror of creatures; then we shall love God immediately in Himself, no longer as the Creator of our nature, but as One Who communicates His own nature to us, —penetrated as we are by His fire, and made akin to Him in His divine eminence . . . In a word, if we become partakers of the divine nature, our life and our activity must be specifically similar to the divine. To this end it must’ have the same specific, formal, characteristic object as the divine activity has.
Murray summarizes again:
This one passage, out of many(20), is sufficient to show how the theory of the supernatural object enters into Scheeben’s system, namely as a consequence of (or if you wish, as a postulate for the completion of) his favorite parallelism between the divine life of God Himself and the life of grace in His creature(21). That parallelism suggests the formula that man’s supernatural activity is “an image of the divine activity”, and this formula in turn commands on the one hand the introduction of a supernatural object (i.e. “God as He is in Himself”), and on the other hand dictates the consistent use of the term “immediate” to characterize the nature of the union with God that is effected by supernatural knowledge and love(22). In this last detail, — that supernatural activity unites the soul immediately to God, — Scheeben’s theory culminates. The idea appealed immensely to him, though practically speaking it merely means that “God as He is in Himself” is the immediate object of supernatural activity. Its contrary is that natural activity effects no immediate union with God, since it reaches God only through the medium of creatures, and not “as He is in Himself”
In all of these descriptions we see one standard concept: that supernature is a life, an experience, an inner relation between the divine and human nature. He says supernture is that which we partake of divine life. Human nature is elevated to the higher level by super nature and this primarily the way Scheeben speaks of supernature. This is what super nature is, the power of God to elevate to a higher level. There is an indication form what is said that “the supernatural” is a level of being above he realm of the natural. That must be the case because the power of God to elevate would surely be centered upon a higher level than then natural. That doesn’t mean that we are free to associate the supernatural with psychic powers and ghosts and unexplained phenomena and anything “x-files” like. The sense that the supernatural is above the nature is an implication of the ontology; the ground and end of the natural would sure be on some higher level in a sense. The more important aspect that all of these writers speak of is “participation” in divine life. Shceeben speaks directly of super nature just that, the divine life in which we are elevated to participate in.
The important aspect of all of this in relation to science is that super nature is not some juxtaposed belief in the unseen that has no analogy in the empirical. The experience of being raised to a higher level through contact with the divine life is clearly empirical. It may be a matter of interpretation as to the cause of the effects, but the effects of what is called “religious experience” are certainly empirical. It’s not hard to link those experiences with the divine; the content of them is that of God and the divine relation to the world. This is what most of those who experiences these things think they experienced.
 a reader writing to Rabbi Tzvi Freeman, “What is the Supernatural?” Chabad.org Essentials. Blog URL: http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/356494/jewish/What-Is-the-Supernatural.htm visited 1/23/2012
 Matthias Joseph Scheeben, Nature and Grace, Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2009 (paperback) originally unpublished 1856.
 Bruce D. Marshall. “Renewing Dogmatic theology.” News Edge. Blog URL: http://dialog.newsedge.com/portal.asp?site=2007100814443105593225&searchfolderid=pg2007100814522209759333&block=default&portlet=ep&nzesm=on&display=Religious+Cults&action=sitetopics&mode=realtime&nzenb=left&criteria=[topic%3Dcults]&searchID=730376&datetime=[t-minus%3D7]&hdlaction=story&storyid=[storyid=zFhV9A4ingKfyJKkM7SYF60h7bzyuSst6cpLFPeF_KF10rs2TkU8gQnIhJL0BsKdSpTF6QIOR0rsVM2GIwVDyw**]&rtcrdata=on&epname=EFORE&
Visitied August 14, 2012. Bruce D. Marshall is professor of Christian doctrine at Perkins School of Theology.(c) 2012 Institute of Religion and Public Life
 Editor’s introduction to Eugene R. Fairweather, “Christianity and the Supernatural,” in New Theology no.1. New York: Macmillian, Martin E. Marty and Dean G. Peerman ed. 1964. 235-256.
 Ibid. 237
 Fairweather,ibid, 239
Pseudo-Dionysius Ep 4, ad Caium (PG 3:1072)
 Fairweather, ibid (239).
 Fairweather quoting Leonine prayer, ibid.
 Maithias Jospeh Scheeben quoted in Fairweather (239-240). Fairwether fn Scheeben the version he uses. M.J. Scheeben, Nature and Grace, St. Lewis: Herder, 1954, 30.
 Avery Dulles, S.J. An Assurance of Things Hoped for: A Theology of Christian Faith. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, 1994, 90.
 Scheeben, quoted in Works by John Courtney Murray Chapter II “Natural and supernatural Faith.” Website, Woodstock Theological Center Library. P100 URL: http://woodstock.georgetown.edu/library/murray/1937-2.htm visited August 14, 2012
Mathias Joseph Scheeben on faith, Doctoral Dissertation of John Courtney Murry
Woodstock Theological Center Library.
This volume in the Toronto Studies in Theology reproduces the doctoral dissertation John Courtney Murray, S.J. (1904-1967) completed in the spring of 1937 at the Gregorian University in Rome. From then until now, the Gregorian University archives contained the original typescript of “Matthias Joseph Scheeben’s Doctrine on Supernatural, Divine Faith: A Critical Exposition”. A carbon-copy was incorporated into the Murray Archives housed by the Woodstock Theological Library in the Special Collections Room of the Joseph Mark Lauinger Library at Georgetown University in Washington D.C. John Courtney Murray eventually published the third chapter, modified and disengaged from its original context (1). The complete, original text is published here for the first time.
 John Courtney Murray summarizing Scheeben, ibid.
 Scheeben quoted in Muarry, ibdid, p101
 Murray, ibid.