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The Problem with Scientism

The above tweet links to a good discussion about scientism. The point I’ve quoted in the tweet is basically saying that some scientists – okay most of them – are so brainwashed into their particular outlook that they either ignore or ridicule other perspectives. This actually happened at a government level in Canada, where our new Governor General (and former astronaut) Julie Payette made an outrageous speech, unfitting for her position.

English: Canadian Space Agency astronaut Julie...

Canadian Space Agency astronaut Julie Payette, STS-127 mission specialist, looks through an overhead window while operating controls on the aft flight deck of Space Shuttle Endeavour during flight day two activities. (Photo: Wikipedia)

At earthpages.ca I’ve made a brief sketch of some of the differences between science and scientism:

Scientism has two meanings.

  • One refers to the almost religious belief that science may eventually understand and solve all natural and human problems. This kind of scientism has also been called “scientific fundamentalism.”
  • The second meaning refers to the partial and/or deceptive use of methods generally recognized as scientific. Put simply, some people actively deceive or try to appear scientific for personal, economic or political gain.

 Lawsuit against Kellogg over religion and weekend work back on table (mlive.com)

 Judge sides with faith-based group in case against University of Iowa (thegazette.com)

 

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Witchblade #02

Stuff Jeff Reads

It’s amazing what your mind can accept. Even if the toll of that acceptance will inevitably come due.

This quote from the second installment of the new Witchblade series really resonated with me. As someone who meditates and reads a fair amount of spiritual writings, I understand the importance of acceptance as a spiritual value. But I suppose there can be a dark side to acceptance, especially in cases of abuse where acceptance might lead to complacency and inaction. Too often people accept their suffering and come to see it as normal, and then fail to summon the courage necessary to make positive changes in their lives. I suppose that is why acceptance is only part of the Serenity Prayer. Acceptance must always be balanced with courage.

Serenity Prayer:

God, grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change
The courage to change the things I can
And…

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When Your Morality Squeezes All The Joy Out Of Life

Image via Tumblr

By Marshall Hoffman

Sometimes when I find myself wading in a river with nary a bite I think: ‘If I can’t even figure out where the wily trout is lurking, how can I solve the mysteries of life?’

Every respectable fly fisherman is supposed to be proficient in tying all the right knots. When I try to use my finger to tie the ‘nail knot’ it gets caught every time. The old reliable ‘clinch knot’ somehow becomes a slip knot. Even the so-called improved clinch knot fails me at times. Now what kind of knot do I use to tie the fly onto the tippet? Is it the overhand? No, that’s not secure enough. How about the Palomar? That should hold without weakening the line. Then there’s the surgeon’s knot. It’s all so confusing.

Pardon me, if I see a close parallel between fishing and moral dilemmas. Do you ever feel tied up in knots, by the thunderous negatives of your moral code? ‘THOU SHALT NOT….’ When I was a kid growing up in Sunday school, I often felt that God was a Big Bully who wanted to take all the fun out of life. Everything I wanted to do seemed like a no-no according to my moral code.   As we used to joke: ‘I can’t dance and I can’t chew and I can’t go with girls that do.’  So, I exhausted myself trying to dot all the I’s and cross all the T’s. After awhile I gave up in discouragement.

Now that I have had more time to read the Fishing Manual, I have discovered that for every negative prohibition in the Bible there are several positive affirmations. For every ‘thou shalt not steal’ there is a ‘thou shalt honor your father and your mother.’

I have found the fishing better, when I have accentuated the positive. The bird nests and back lashes of life seem more manageable when I lubricate my line with a positive attitude. I know I can’t eliminate the negative, nor would I want to. There are times when a decisive ‘no’ is needed to shut the door on temptation; ‘I will not!’ But those uncompromising negatives need not tie us up in knots and squeeze all the joy out of life. The next time you tie your shoes remember they can be snug without binding. I like that figure eight knot, symbol of eternity which holds tight but leaves some breathing room.

The Master Fisherman showed us the way when he summarized the 10 Commandments into two; ‘thou shalt love God with all your heart’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’ If we concentrate on those two things, all the rest will fall into place and take care of itself.

Is that good fish philosophy?

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/christianity-articles/when-your-morality-squeezes-all-the-joy-out-of-life-6810174.html

About the Author

Marshall Hoffman Is a retired pastor whose mission is to motivate and inspire believers to love God more and serve him better.  His bible based insights come from a half century of pastoral service.

Since this article’s initial publication articlesbase.com has undergone some changes. We have left the original links intact. 


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Is the Devil God’s Agent?

Illustration of the Devil in the Codex Gigas, ...

Illustration of the Devil in the Codex Gigas, folio 270 recto (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Family Foundation

If God is in Control, Then Why…?
By Craig Hill; 295 pages
Regular Price: $15.00

Excerpt from Craig Hill’s Blog ‘Is the Devil God’s Agent?’ published on September 17, 2013.

When you listen to some Christians speak about the tragedies of life, you might conclude that God uses the devil for our own good.  And even if they don’t believe God authors tragedy, they believe He is complacent and allows the devil to do what he will so God can teach us something.

After all, doesn’t Romans 8:28 say this? ‘And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.’

Most Christians want to comfort people who are suffering in the midst of tragedy and devastation.  Optimistically, they look for the good things that God has worked in the midst of the tragedy.  And when they find one, they use it to explain why God allowed or caused the destruction in the first place.

Therefore, it may seem like Romans 8:28 is an appropriate scripture to use when bringing comfort to those who are suffering, and it is.  But not for the purpose of explaining why God ‘allowed’ the tragedy. If you subscribe to that line of thinking, your heart will ultimately blame God for devastation and destruction on the earth.  Why, because this type of thinking takes Romans 8:28 out of context and then contradicts other key principles in the Bible.

Saint Michael and the fall of angels – painting by Johann Georg Unruhe ( 1793 ) – detail: Fallen angel via Wikipedia

For example, 1 John 3:8 says, ‘For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.’  Destroy is a very different concept from use or teach.  If God were using the devil to teach us something, then He would be in conflict with His own purpose for the life of Jesus.

Craig Hill calls this kind of thinking, backwards theology.  Just because you see firemen on the scene of every fire, does not mean that firemen cause fires. Likewise, God is never the author of the works of the devil, and He never uses the devil to teach us anything.  He sent Jesus to destroy the works of the devil and the Holy Spirit to be our comforter and teacher.

To further gain a true biblical understanding of the interaction of God, Satan, circumstances, and their impact on your life, Craig Hill encourages you to read his book on just this topic entitled, If God Is In Control, Then Why? It will change the way you view God and tragedy on the earth.

About the Book

IF GOD IS IN CONTROL THEN WHY..? deals with that difficult question about the nature of God that plagues the minds of most people. Whether you are a lifetime believer in Christ or you have just begun looking for answers, the question, ‘If God is in control, then why…?’ has probably been one you have heard or asked many times in your life. Craig Hill has gifted insight into God’s Word and an ability to teach through riveting real-life stories. This book brings understanding to the issue of God’s sovereignty and will set your heart at peace, allowing you to trust a just God in an unjust world.

E-book versions for Kindle and Nook for this book are now available. Audio Book is also available.

About the Author

Having a specific interest in ministering to marriages and families, Craig Hill pursued an internship and later a volunteer staff position at the New Life Counseling Center in Denver. He subsequently taught counseling and missions on the faculty of the Marilyn Hickey Bible College. In 1987, the Lord raised up Craig as Senior Pastor of a local church where he and Jan served for seven and a half years, until he was called by God to devote his full-time energy to the ministry of Family Foundations International.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/christianity-articles/is-the-devil-gods-agent-6848818.html

  • Since this article’s initial publication articlesbase.com has undergone some changes. We have left the original links intact. 
  • Earthpages.org has no affiliation with this author or publishing company. In our view, the article contains enough useful information to “stand alone.” Readers need not click on any links to gain information. Therefore this use is non-commercial. For more about our non-commercial blog, see FAQ

 Church defends decision to refer to Jesus with gender-neutral pronouns (pinknews.co.uk)

 Unshakeable (connywithay.wordpress.com)

 Man Accuses Father-in-Law of Using ‘Tasmanian Devil Hair’ to Scare Him (thecut.com)

 Emily from ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ is getting her own novel (mashable.com)

 Drakeo The Ruler rules, and here’s the proof (thefader.com)

 Highlighted Letter: Faithful shall lead (bostonherald.com)

 ‘The Illuminati is not a frivolous subject’: singer of ‘Devil Went Down to Georgia’ slams Taco Bell commercial on Twitter (businessinsider.com)

 Devil May Cry HD Collection coming to Xbox One, PC (windowscentral.com)


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AI – Should we fear, embrace or accept that the battle will go on forever?

I have a sci-fi novel sitting on my HD (external hard drive, so don’t bother trying to hack me, all you sad souls with nothing better to do than to live vicariously thru other people’s private lives) that deals with the issue of AI gone wrong.

Actually, it’s not so much about AI… more about the interface of biological and machine life. Clearly, this is the direction we’re moving toward as a species. But my novel is set thousands of years in the future. I won’t detail any more because, time permitting, I might publish installments at my personal blog.

One of the central themes of my book is that good and evil continue to battle it out through all time. The notion that we are morally progressing over the centuries is flawed because, as so many well-intentioned materialists don’t get, evil imo is real and never going away. Not in the creation of our matter/energy universe, at any rate. Maybe in heaven.

So for me the above tweet is a good, germinal warning of things to come. Or things that may come. Nobody can really know for sure.– MC


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Psychological WiFi – Fact or flaky?

I tend to think this is fact but most of us are not sensitized to appreciate how we are potentially connected on some level. If society – that is human beings – ever evolves so the majority recognizes this kind of subtle connectivity, then claims like this will not be listed under parapsychology but, rather, psychology.

Vincent Brown quoting Steve Jobs via Flickr

What is normal depends on the status quo. We are social animals. And if most human beings believe they are islands unto themselves, then those who see and feel subtle connections probably will be marginalized. Simple as that.

Vincent Brown quoting Albert Einstein via Flickr

I wrote about this for my PhD but had to hint at it through a study of synchronicity. My initial thesis proposal (pdf) was all about this kind of thing. The university accepted me (and my prestigious funding), and then narrowed me down to something more conventional. —MC


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Fear fear fear… but maybe an ounce of truth

Hey guys, the New Year finds me organizing my RSS feeds. I have so many news feeds now that even my best computer lags a bit when I try to sort them. I’ve hooked up Team Viewer so I can access them from older computers and my tablet. So this year I hope to make Earthpages.org more news intensive.

Robert Couse-Baker – cnn breaking news “Nice to know they have a keen grasp of the obvious” via Flickr

It seems the more I watch TV news the more the networks obsess on one topic for several days. Clearly this is more about making news (and money) than getting the news out.

I don’t intend to do universal coverage. Nobody can do that. But I will tweet and comment here on a wide variety of topics, mostly those that I feel are important to personal, social and global betterment.

So here’s one for today. Now that Twitter allows for more characters, I can often make a quick comment right in the tweet, itself. This is great. It saves me time. And if anybody wants to further discuss, feel free to comment here.