Saturday, May 14, 2011

If Madonna Is Right...

>>>>> Say "HI" To Your Cousin <<<<<

On her 1984 album, Like A Virgin", Madonna introduced a song called "Material Girl" in which she claimed that she was simply a "material girl living in a material world". If her statements are true, there are many implications than can be drawn from it. Let's simply look at a few of them.

Rocks Do What Rocks Do

In the picture above, you see a rock. It is simply a rock. It is no more than a rock. It materially exists as a rock. It will always be a rock.

Rocks have no morals. Rocks have no values. You can call rocks good or evil, but they are nothing but rocks until you use them for a specific or certain purpose. Rocks have no value until someone, with a sense of values, ascribes values to them. In fact rocks have no thoughts nor do they have a mind. Rocks don't kill people, people kill people.

What makes one think that this rock or any rock will one day, over eons of time, and environmental pressure, develop DNA, gain consciousness, become self aware, gain a sense of values, start to think, develop a moral "ought" and ultimately make moral decisions, (settle down and have other, "little rocks") and further formulate opinions regarding abstract concepts such as logic, math and science?


Is that even what rocks do? Do rocks become moral agents? Do rocks develop objective moral values? If rocks exist eternally, do they have transcendent values? If they do, how do we know they do? Have they ever communicated such to us? Most of all, where did all that "rock knowledge" and information come from?  

The Study Of A Rock

Petrology is the official name for the study of rocks. However, no rock is ever studied for any of the things I name in this blog. It would be a ridiculous notion to do so. It would be an even more ridiculous notion to believe that time and environmental pressures would change that at some point. One day, after a long process of erosion, rocks may turn to sand or even possibly dust, but the same basic material that they are now will always be even in the sum of its parts. 

Where is science in all of this and what does it tell us? Do rocks have values? Are rock values knowable? Are their values observable and or testable? Do their values lead to higher forms of thinking and intellect?   
 
Carl Sagan
Certainly rocks exist. The late atheist Carl Sagan proclaimed:

"The Cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever will be." ~ Sagan, "Cosmos" Pg. 4, 1980
But is that true? Based on what we know know about the "material" of the cosmos, can it possibly be true for all the reasons and even more that I've named above? If there was only cosmos, if all that there will ever be is cosmos, then there must be millions of moral rocks someplace out there. But there is a problem:

Rocks Don't Have Values, Certainly Not Transcendent Ones.

What I have set forth in this post has been very much tongue and cheek for those who approach life in a rational and reasonable manner considering the possibility that given the complexity of life, that we must of a certainty be more than purely material beings in our existence. The fact we are more than material is easily seen by our ability to communicate, think, have and share memories and reason. We have immaterial parts of our being such as mind and consciousness, which are not accounted for under a purely materialistic construct.

Luke 19:39-40 ~ "39-And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples. 40-And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out."


Those of us who are and have been enlightened, know that a rock can do nothing on it's own or nothing without what we know as the intervention of the supernatural power of God. 

Genesis 2:7 ~ "And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." 

When God formed man of the dust of the ground, man was nothing more than the lifeless and mindless material from which he had been formed. He was shaped into a design, but that design had greater dimensional ability and capacity than the material from which he had come. When God breathed ( נָפַח -naphach - blow) the breath (נְשָׁמָה  neshamah) into man, at that point man became a living soul (חָי   
נָ֫פֶשׁ  chay nephesh) This living soul, that did not exist previously, consisted of certain attributes from God. These attributes and values were called "image" ( צלֶם tselem- form) and "likeness" (דְּמוּת demuth-similitude). That form and similitude included love, compassion, anger, justice righteousness and morality and most importantly, freewill. In part we can identify the attributes of God by assessing what attributes that we have been given. We can also look itnto the mind of God and determine what values are higher by looking at the values that we perceive to be higher values.

Rocks have no sense of self sacrifice, nor do they have a sense of giving. They are morally neutral. On the other hand, among mankind, when given the worst possible set of circumstances, moral neutrality isn't a virtue. No matter where you find man, and no matter what he knows, higer values always include, love, self sacrifice, equity and justice. 

The determinism of materialm was done away with, within man.  Rocks are not and cannot be held responsible for anything they do, or anything they neglect to do  (if there is such a thing) However, man is unusual and totally different than the rocks. He can be held responsible, has a moral "ought" (under most rationalles) and can set forth and follow values and value systems that not only benefit his existence, but als the existence of others.

Man's plight is to walk on rocks and shape rocks into things that are useful to himself and other like himself. Rocks have no such capacity or ability. Unfortunately, man has lowered himself to the status of rocks, reverting himself back to a place that is ultimately foriegn even to himself.     

Boy...You Must Be Dumb As A Box Of Rocks!

Being dumb as as "box of rocks"...Well a rock asks no questions. Certainly a box of them would be silent also. Neither would they provide answers to anything asked of them. The problem is, not the rock or rocks. The problem is the person that thinks that a rock or a box of rocks will one day answer, even the smallest and most simple question.  

Blessed!

10 comments:

  1. Sam Harris says that values and morals are founded in the "well being" of individuals. Aside from the fact that he and his friends totally bypass how we go from simple material to even the point where we have feelings and anything thing known as care or concern...

    But let's assume we can go from a rock to something that has values. In his world the values are purely derived by evolution. Remember the evolutionary process could have taken us to any extreme, but notice how evolution always and eventually works to the benefit and survival and co-existence of mankind once it's started. It's random until it starts then it's directed.

    OK from there that process directs us to have values...let's just say OK for a minute...now who's values do we adopt and what makes some values higher or of higher worth than others? Are those simply human conventions? If so, why are there any values allowed that are not the best of human convention?

    Now if "well being" is where values are founded you can have no progression of anything and no moral value at all. Why, because as soon as someone's well being is denied, let's say a criminal's well being. Lock up a criminal is good for US, but not good for him if he wants to continue to commit crime. However, it is immorality to lock him up, at least according to Sam Harris.

    His concept of morality and why we have it is totally BOGUS and out of the water. It's DOA.

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    1. There's not a shred of evidence that the evolutionary process 'works' for mankind. There are way more insects than there are people. Perhaps it works 'for' insects.

      Values are most obviously human inventions, and like music and art have developed in concert with our collective human culture. This is evidenced by the fact that many 'values' that are espoused in many 'holy books' are today reprehensible, necessitating all manner of apologetic gymnastics to explain them away.

      We adopt, reject, change values through consensus and refinement, no different that we do more formally with say, laws.

      Your well-being argument is off the mark, and you are severely mischaracterizing Harris' thesis, as it also depends on commonsense principles like the golden rule. There's no logical justification for allowing the criminal to treat others as he doesn't wish to be treated.

      Locking a criminal up in order to prevent him from negatively impacting the well-being of other's, is logical in Harris' framework. And by the same token, say viciously beating that prisoner every day is 'bad', giving him an opportunity to educate, reform, etc himself is certainly consistent with values centered on maximizing well-being.

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    2. So basically what you are claiming is that we are all relegated to moral relativism and subjectivism? In absence of real and permanent truth there is only truth that we establish, affirm or ascribe. this is called subjective moral values of truth.

      Not only is this a bad argument it is also a circular one. Espousing that there is only relative truth is an absolute truth and is therefore contradictory or circular reasoning. to invoke a "common sense" rule is the establishment of some sort of universal truth and is certainly not within a materialistic framework.

      Further, if there is no truth then you have no right to lockup anyone for anything when they are simply acting out upon what and who they are. If evolution doesn't work for mankind, then why defend claiming that it has some special function or provides man the special capability of higher existence. It does neither and you affirm that it can't.

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  2. Now this same concept was in the move "End Of Days" with Keanu Reeves. He shows up as an alien to 'save teh earth" from the inhabitants that had evolved on it (humans) because the inhabitants were destroying it.

    He stated that the earth had importance and even teh species of animals had importance while the human population was expendable. That movie was a shocking look into the minds of the environmentalists and how they view humanity as a whole as compared to teh material of the earth.

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  3. Nice read Pastor!

    Loved this comment you made

    "Remember the evolutionary process could have taken us to any extreme, but notice how evolution always and eventually works to the benefit and survival and co-existence of mankind once it's started. It's random until it starts then it's directed."

    Well said.

    These people want to have their cake and eat it too. Is fornication a sin to these guys and do they believe every custom in every culture is right?

    I was watching a show of a tribe (dont remember where they were from) and once a year they have a ceremony where women can pick from a group of men to have an affair with for a time?
    Another set of people whip their young men in order for them to become men. The boys cannot faint or cry?
    These people believe that what they are doing is for the well being of their communities but is it good morals?

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  4. Paul,

    Under the materialist construct nothing could be wrong at all, except for what they ascribe to be wrong or call wrong. There is no value but only a self-ascribed value.

    This means that the most heinous crime cannot be said to be truly wrong or immoral. Neither can the best virtue be said to be "good". That's the quagmire...how can they say that religion is bad or good?

    Now, Sam Harris tries to compensate for this fact claiming that morality is rooted in well-being. That "well-being" is the primary consideration for what is moral or immoral. But is that true?

    Two things to wonder: 1- Where does that thought even come from and how? Is it a product of natural selection?

    2- What provides well-being for one, may be the others discomfort. Look at the floods and the levys that had to be either opened or destroyed so that other populations won't be destroyed. This is called consequentialism. Harris realizes that his views run headlong into this type of moral problem.

    Once again, he has no basis upon which his values are built, it's all a product of men, subjective reasoning and "group think"...

    So this topic, I believe, clearly defines what it means to have the belief that there is no God.

    One thing to note that is telling, animals have no thought on the well-being of other animals. If Sam believes that this is a basis for morality and that basis is built in (which I'm not sure if he believes that or not) then I would think the animal population would be full of that type of thing, not just within the protection of their family group, but within the species in general.

    No matter what, we KNOW that rocks and pure material make NONE of these type of considerations at or on any level.

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  5. If they are really materialists Pastor, I suggest they start believing that rocks and animals are on par with humans.
    They are hypocrites for they dont mind humans living at the expense of other life forms.
    Seriously should we kill termites if they are eating away at our homes?
    Since we are all apart of the same, who are we and what more rights do we have?
    Talking about what is good for people. There are certian businesses that thrive when hurricanes and tornadoes hit. Many roofers look forward to the hurricane season. Its good for many but is that a good moral outlook?

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    1. Paul, the latest I heard was that man simply is a product of reformulated amino acids that came about through the process of "stellar fusion"...OK, let's assume that for a minute...then should we find these amino acids everywhere in space and shouldn't we find abundant life in the vast universe? I mean why did all the 'stellar fusion" only take place here on earth or close to earth???

      Materialism is the biggest myth and fantasy ever. A God that can manipulate material existence is what we can expect if he were a God. Material that simply fuses to create amino acids is a far fetched fantasy.

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  6. Erich OliphantMar,

    You are off the mark with your Golden rule comment. As I heard a Pastor say, if you don't read the text in context, you will be conned by the text.
    Who is it that said the golden rule and what was he talking about at the time?

    Luke 6
    27 “But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. 29 To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either. 30 Give to everyone who asks of you. And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back. 31 And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.

    32 “But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. 35 But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. 36 Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful."

    Surely you can see that Jesus is dealing with righteouness (right living) on a whole different level to what we would call doing right. Also, please note the word "Golden". Gold implies worth, it implies good so you cannot attribute the golden rule to someone acting a blasted clown or doing evil.

    You also have to understand that what was in the bible was judgement for rebellion and sin, if you cannot just say that some things were reprehensible, again context is key (read the slavery article).

    What I find ironic is that what the bible calls reprehensible has now become norm, even though we know that it is destructive - homosexuality, fornication and all sort of lewdness, it is applauded. You try to make is seem as if the bible is backwards but take a look again and you will know that if people live accordingly, we would be in a better place.

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  7. The basic premise of my commentary in this post was reverberated by Dr. Kent Hovind in The Infidel Guy radio show in which atheists disagreed that life would have come from a rock in favor of MULTIPLE rocks????

    Wow! Is that not a difference without a distinction?

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