Differences in Eastern and Western Views of War If anyone would like a helpful primer on the motivations Middle Eastern society, I cannot recommend highly enough a book given to me by a friend who worked at the NSA. The book is called Balkan Ghosts, by Robert Kaplan, and while it is a travelog, it gives an invaluable history of the clash of East and West over the centuries, including insight into the different perceptions of war. In the West, due to its Christian heritage, a theory of just war was developed. Among those principles in just war theory was a respect for the protection of non-combatants (civilians) and the establishment of justifiable reasons for war, such as protecting the nation from aggression by foreign powers. Since the late Middle Ages, the West has recognized slaughter of non-combatants as unjust, and nations which ignored those principles were identified as rogue nations (Nazi Germany, e.g.). But the Eastern view of warfare has always been entirely different, in part because the respect for the individual is not native to their value system. While this summary does not do justice to the book, it may begin to expose the vast cultural differences that exist … Read more
The United States is at its most vulnerable point since the Cuban Missile Crisis. Aside from the possibility of total annihilation due to global thermonuclear war, the United States is at its most fragile point in its entire history. This vulnerability is largely due to its dependence on the infrastructure of computer technology powered by the electrical grid. As we have seen in the recent super-storm, hurricane Sandy, when the power went out, many people were reduced to living in the dark and scrounging up what food and blankets they could for weeks. They were without power, without gasoline, and without transportation. They were miles from the nearest food supplies and electricity. From what I read, the response was far from immediate. Now imagine this situation hitting the entire Eastern Seaboard at one time, extending 300 miles inland to middle of the Appalachians. Power gone with not only no way to call in extra power crews, but no way to communicate and coordinate with them. But this time, the problem is not downed power lines, but every transformer blown and no way to replace them. Imagine food stores empty and no deliveries available or planned for weeks. Surely there would … Read more
“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife… or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” – Exodus 20:17 To covet is to desire to possess what rightfully belongs to another. It is not simply admiring what another has, but is the desire to take it. Covetousness is a form of greed. You don’t have to be rich to be greedy. You can be poor and greedy, and you can be poor and envy what others have. We now have an entire political party dedicated to stoking the fires of envy and greed. It is called the Democrat party, and its chief strategy is intent on dividing Americans by stirring up envy towards the rich. It also appeals to people’s greed, because it promises to take what others have and give it to those who have “less.” This is covetousness, pure and simple, and that means the entire Democrat strategy is built upon a violation of the Ten Commandments: You shall not steal (take what belongs to another) and you shall not covet (desire to take what belongs to another). Anything built upon the evil of sin cannot be good. I am a populist. The fact … Read more
The latest rulings by the supreme judicial committee of the Presbyterian Church(USA) have made an absolute mockery of their Book of Order and the votes of the General Assembly. The attempt to exert absolute control over the local churches gives lie to the appearance of tolerance that liberals so much advocate. If you disagree, you are still forced to accept the views of the elitist bureaucrats. Lately the GAPJC (General Assembly Permanent Judicial Commission) has ruled in 3 cases which void any ruling of the General assembly as a whole, while threatening to take the property of any presbytery or church that wants to leave over matters of conscience. If you want to leave, I have some strategies for you. If your presbytery wants to leave, quickly vote to relinquish all presbytery claims to church property to the respective churches, then vote to leave the denomination as a presbytery. When the synod for comes in with an administrative commission to remove the presbytery leaders, it will be too late. For an individual church: give all your endowments away to valid missions and ministries, indebt your buildings, and then see if the presbytery still wants them. Walk away if they … Read more
Introduction: The Love of Wisdom In ancient Greece, the first schools of philosophy flourished. They were called academies, or colleges, and their goal was to prepare young people to lead the State by giving them instruction in morals and ethics, mathematics, dialectics [or logical reasoning], and the natural sciences. The crucial aspect of this education was not simply to gain knowledge but to build wisdom and character. A greedy, corrupt, and selfish person could not be a good leader of the State. Citizenship and virtue were requirements for a true education. The schools established by Socrates and Plato were not started simply because they had a desire to know facts. Facts by themselves do not reveal ultimate meaning, nor do they reveal the purpose of life. Socrates, Plato’s teacher, was interested in discovering truth. The very meaning of the word philosophy is the “love of wisdom.” This pursuit of truth is not a dispassionate and disinterested inquiry into the nature of things. Philosophy is a journey of ultimate importance, a journey whose purpose is to discover the meaning of life – the ultimate meaning of all things – the reason “why.” No one can enter such a pursuit dispassionately and … Read more
I thought about titling this article “Jesus is More Jewish Than You,” because most people don’t understand just how Jewish Jesus and the early church were. I just want to point out some things from history that may strike you.
Roger Bacon (c.1214–1294) is sometimes credited with the modern establishment of the scientific method, following Aristotle. From the previous articles, we have shown that no one can disprove the existence of God, and that atheists believe there is no God but cannot know for sure, and so their belief is unsubstantiated. We have also shown that because the supposed nature of God as Creator of all things, if He exists, is trans-dimensional, exists outside of the 4 palpable dimensions of time and space, and not subject to the causal laws of material physics. Therefore, the scientific method has no means of verifying or measuring the reality of God. In other words, God is supernatural and axiomatic and therefore not subject to testable hypotheses or “proofs.” Furthermore, we have demonstrated that atheist objections to the existence of God often rest upon assumptions about the nature of God illegitimately acquired from a Judeo-Christian worldview. The idea of justice and fairness, for example, assumes too much, if one starts with the assumption that the creation is evolutionary and accidental. This God could be just as uncaring and uninvolved in human affairs as we are in the life of ants. Therefore, the question of God’s goodness does not … Read more
a·the·ism noun: atheism disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or gods. Origin late 16th century: from French athéisme, from Greek atheos, from a- ‘without’ + theos ‘god.’ Atheism is a faith just like any other faith. It is founded on a belief, not on fact or science. The word “atheism” means “no belief.” However, atheists actually do believe; it is just that they believe in “nothing.” They believe that there is no God. In spite of all their claims to the contrary, atheists must still rely upon the same resources for their convictions as do all other believers: namely, their faith. The only difference is their faith is directed towards nothing. They believe there is no “thing” out there. No God. No supernatural. No Devil. No purpose or meaning to life. Yet, they are no more rational in their beliefs than Christians are in theirs. The atheist’s lack of belief in God is simply an article of faith. The problem atheists face is that you cannot prove that “nothing” exists. Nothing is the “absence” of some-thing. It isn’t a thing. It isn’t there, so you can’t show it. You cannot prove “nothing” is true. At most, you may find nothing where you are … Read more
Corollary 1. Why Doesn’t God Heal Amputees? or Why Doesn’t God Do Miracles?