People in general have learned to really abhor exclusive claims. Instead of the full comprehension of outward reality, many people all over the world try instead to exalt their preferences above and beyond the way reality actually is. And as groups of people with similar backgrounds, inclinations, likes and desires go, relativism finds strength in numbers as various peoples insist that truth cannot fully known, cannot be exclusive, and must be relative. Case in point is the story of the six blind men and an elephant. As the parable goes, six blind men, each feeling a part of the elephant, unable to see what it is they are each touching, conclude they are dealing with completely different things. …continue reading »
I recently came across a blog post written by an atheist that was a stumbling block for a Christian acquaintance (we’ll call her Jan). Whether it was this or other factors that led Jan to her rejection of Christianity, I was compelled to examine the article. At the surface, I didn’t see anything particularly compelling. However, since Jan herself did not have any reasonable objections to the contents of the article, I wanted to take some time to delve into the details to examine the blog post and see if any theist, or more specifically any Christian, should rethink his or her convictions in light of the reasons contained therein. I will not be linking to the named piece, the specifics of the author are not relevant, and I do not wish to have my corrections be misconstrued and have such a discussion enflame into a never-ending online debate, as I do not believe such debates are generally constructive. …continue reading »
On the heels of finally completing the booklet I was writing critiquing Jehovah’s Witnesses teachings based on their faulty translation of biblical manuscripts, come to our door, you guessed it – Jehovah’s Witnesses (JWs). Though I was unable to speak with them, they did leave us with yet another pamphlet, this one even more patently misleading and factually incorrect than the last.
I could move along and critique the entire pamphlet, but since I just recently wrote a booklet of my own highlighting many of these false notions and wrote about what Jehovah’s Witnesses believe in a previous article, it may be out of scope here. So what I am going to do instead is to take just a few of the claims made in the pamphlet and briefly examine them. We will examine the back cover of the said pamphlet, titled The Watchtower Announcing Jehovah’s Kingdom, subtitled Do We Need God? …continue reading »
Have you ever had Jehovah’s Witnesses (JWs) come to your front door trying to tell you about Jesus and Jehovah? Have you been agitated by the interruption of your valuable time? I empathize. Most people are annoyed enough to cut the conversation short and quickly get back to what they were doing. However, irrespective of the way Jehovah’s Witnesses may try to spread their message – some may still wonder – what is it that Jehovah’s Witnesses believe? What are they about?
Having spoken to a few Jehovah’s Witnesses and having delved into their belief system has been revealing. One would definitely need to ask more than a few questions to clarify what the exact beliefs of JWs are, how they differ from those of other belief systems and what makes them unique enough to be of the very few who would proselytize door to door. …continue reading »
Why do people just believe in Abraham Lincoln when no one alive has ever seen the man? Not one person has seen him. No one has touched him or spoken to him. I realize that the claim is that he’s been dead for a while, but can we really trust that such a person really existed? Maybe he did, but maybe he didn’t. I suggest that for all intents and purposes, Lincoln never really existed. Blind faith! That’s how people believe in this fictional character. Simply by having blind faith.
Well…maybe not. Let’s get real now. The reason why such a thing would even be proposed is that we’re now removed from the time and place of the person of Abraham Lincoln, and the time elapsed provides more leeway for people to fabricate their own reality powered by their own imaginations. …continue reading »
For millennia human beings have looked up at the sky in amazement, wondering what it must feel like to soar through the air like birds. We’ve marveled at this incredible feature of the natural world. The dawn of modern science allowed for better examination of these magnificent creatures, and finally that curiosity turned into an actuality in the early part of the 20th century, as human flight through the aid of machines was finally achieved in the form of one of the greatest engineering feats of human history. Flight, the Genius of Birds (henceforth simply “Flight“) takes the viewer on a journey into the nature of flight, specifically that of the natural world, and provides insight into the various dynamic cooperative systems that must all be working in unison to allow for such an amazing feature as flight. It is a truly enlightening film that is bound to tickle the curiosity of any thoughtful and open-minded person.
Since the first airplanes greater engineering refinements would take place – faster, more agile and more aerodynamic planes, better instrumentation. And all along one interesting and odd fact has remained – the more we learn about birds, the better we are able to engineer our aircraft. It is no wonder that the poet William Blake referred to birds in flight as “a portion of genius.” Flight offers a compelling display of evidence of design in the natural world, and it is, therefore, no surprise that the brilliant engineering of this kind should be borrowed by other engineers who would try to achieve the same end. …continue reading »
True atheists have an undying unbridled commitment to philosophical naturalism, and usually also to its fraternal twin, philosophical materialism. Though there is a distinction between the two, the commitment to one typically (not always) implies the commitment to the other. Despite any lip service paid to understanding truth and erecting the pretense of vying for the proper understanding of reality, the one overarching modus operandi of the true atheist is to first adopt and cherish philosophical materialism – the position that physical objects are the only things that truly exist. Materialism is the golden child that can do no wrong. It is loved despite its wanton ignorance, temper tantrums, and outright rebellion against the human condition. It is the first option, and only option, for fervent evangelists of atheism; yes, atheists have evangelists too. What these people try to convince others of, is that material reality is the only reality, and therefore, at its core all of material reality is eternal, self-existent, self-sufficient, meaningless, purposeless blunt brute trauma. …continue reading »
One of the reasons that the Bible is thought by so many to be the inspired word of God is because it has writings which predict events far future from the dates of those writings. Through linguistics, archaeology and general historical analysis of various kinds, we can determine the approximate dates (sometimes very precise dates) of certain Old Testament (OT) writings, and we can clearly see the writings to have taken place long before the events they predict. To then be confronted by writings which predict things hundreds of years into the future is quite extraordinary. As they pertain to the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, the writings of the OT demonstrate the amazing quality and accuracy.
The OT writings, which were also canonized as the inspired word of God, contain many predictions of events to come. The main focus of these predictions rests on one central figure – the Messiah, the coming Savior. Judaism expected and continues to expect a future Messiah. However, those closest to Jesus, who became the earliest Christians, did at one point or another see the fulfillment of these prophecies in Jesus of Nazareth. The prophecies written centuries before were being fulfilled in their presence, and though they mostly recognized them in hindsight because of their otherwise inaccurate expectations of what the Messiah would accomplish, the fulfillment of the multitudes of OT prophecies were nonetheless quite staggering. So what were some of these predictions about the Messiah that they found compelling reasons to identify Jesus as that foretold Messiah? There are far more than we can look at. For this specific piece let’s look at some of the ones that pertain to his birth, the celebration that we’ve come to know as Christmas. …continue reading »
The first ever unofficial Thanksgiving is known to have taken place in 1621, as the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast and thanked God for their bountiful blessings. The years that would follow saw many such feasts of gratitude and celebration in the colonies at different times and locations by various groups. But it was not until Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 proclamation that Thanksgiving became an official holiday celebrated at the same time by everyone in the United States. …continue reading »
On September 11, 2001, seemingly out of nowhere (at least to the majority of people) an incredibly organized group of terrorists orchestrated the murder of thousands of Americans. As the horrific images danced in the heads of the watching world, with even a more fervent pace, came some profound questions. Who were these people? Why were they flying their planes into buildings? What was this all about? Among people who engage in discussions about the conflicts in the Middle East there are various perspectives on the source of tension, the reasons for violence, and just why the hostility keeps inflamed. But now, the hostility had moved into the Americas. Depending on the particular perspective, asking some of these important questions, is bound to provide us with just as many variations in answers. Ask a sociologist you’ll get one type of answer. Ask a psychiatrist, you’ll get something different. Ask a philosopher, you’re bound to get something completely different. But perhaps the most important people to help us make sense of all of this are people who are intimately involved with and have a full perspective of the history of the people occupying the Middle East. Since we are well within the land of the Bible, the biblical perspective could offer us a fairly comprehensive understanding of the continued conflict. …continue reading »