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Saturday, 07 May 2011


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You can't deduce physical facts by conjuring with the meaning of words.

Oh God, DM, my brain is already hurting from having written that load of old - well, call it what you will - but to save me time in deduction do you think you could point me to the words you have in mind?

Prestidigitation with stuff like "1) If nothing existed 500 trillion billion years ago, nothing would exist now, simply because it is impossible for "nothingness" to bring anything into existence. Thus, something always had to exist (because here we are today.)" Empty windbaggery.


An infomal defintion of forgivenes.

"I give up right to grind his worthless a** into the ground which he so richly deserves."

Which means I can forget about him and go about life without a grinding resentment.

That may not release him of any debts short of bing ground into the ground, especilly to others.

It does not mean forgeting he has bad habit. (We may forgive a durnk but we don't offer him a beer to celebate.)

It does not mean others have to forgive him.

It does not absolve the state of it's duties to protect people, and the state is much more guilty in ignoring it's duty here than Dr Nathenson.

In the case of Dr Nathenson forgiveness is mostly a matter between him and God and the thosusands of lives he destroyed before his change of heart. They have their say in a far higher court than the blogisphere. But the thousandes he saved later also also have a say.

I say I forgive him of any mionr damge he may have indirectly caused me, honor the good he did, and get on with life.

DM, yes, I was slightly surprised at that argument being put forward because normally the theists propose that because there was nothing and now there is something then God must have made it happen. I have to admit that I think it is not an unreasonable hypothesis but that's all it is.

Hank, you seem to suggesting more or less my second version of 'forgiveness. I understand what you mean by it but somehow it is not entirely satisfactory. To paraphrase it seems ot be a version of 'I hate the SoB who murdered my wife but I personally will do him no harm. That seems to me to be very human but does not comply with the precise meaning of forgiveness. And on that theme, I would suggest that in reality no-one having suffered a vicious attack (in whatever form) is ever actually capable of true forgiveness.

I'm so over god.

[I have transported Gabriel's comment in full over to this post for which it is better suited]

Hello David, and thank you for your response, for which I have a few comments.


There is a significant contrast between these two men. For one, Dr. Mengele showed little regret or remorse for his crimes, and he forced the deaths of innocent prisoners. Mengele was known for his cruelty, and for his experiments on human beings in the name of Eugenics.

As for Dr. Nathanson, all the women who came to him wanted to kill their babies in the name of Women´s Rights and freedom of responsibility. But Nathanson repented and for decades did much to stop abortion.

Interestingly, the at the Nuremberg trials after WWII, the Nazis who were accused of atrocities had rationalized that they did nothing wrong, as they were merely following their own laws. But they were told that they broke a higher law, namely, Natural Law.

[I am doubtful of the whole concept of 'Natural Law' which, from the little I know of the subject, is open to different interpretations by different people in different ages and societies. Whilst I grant you that Mengele (as far as I know) never expressed regret or remorse, I still think Nathanson's crimes amounting to some 75,000 babies is enormous and probably exceeds Mengele's personal atrocities. The fact that Nathanson was, in effect, an accessory to the crime, makes no difference to me. The fact that he genuinely repented and attempted to make restitution by good works is a mitigating factor, I admit, but the monstrosity of his crime is hard to over come.]


Understand the difference between loving someone and liking someone. Love in the Christian sense of charity toward neighbor is a faculty of the will---not emotion. Liking someone is an emotion.

To show you that true love is in the will and not an emotion, I will give you an example:

Two mothers who said they loved their sickly babies.

When the crying child woke the first mother in the middle of the night, she did not feel like tending to her baby, but nevertheless the mother rose from her bed despite her slumber and tended to the sick child.

The second mother heard her sick baby crying in the middle of the night, and she knew that she should get up to tend her child. Instead she slammed the door shut to muffle the sounds so as not to be bothered because she didn't feel like getting up.

Sacrificial love is not an emotion, it is a decision to do what is right and good. I may not feel like forgiving someone who seeks my forgiveness, but as a Catholic Christian I am called to forgive, and must call on God to give me the grace (empower my weak human will) to do what I am called to do.

Incidentally, the English Language is that it only has one word for love, and can be used to say "I love my spouse" or "I love pizza". The love spoken about in the Sacred Scripture is from the Greek word Agape, which signifies a self-sacrificing volitional act.

You see, Christianity isn't easy. I am called to pray for my enemies, and to even do good to those who persecute me. This is what Christ meant when He said: "If any man will follow me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me"(Mark 8:34). The cross may seem like a stumbling block, but it is one we must embrace, as it is the means which God uses to purify and sanctify the human soul.

In other words, no pain, no gain. This is the paradigm which governs all accomplishments worth crowning: The pain of study produces perfect score. The pain of excruciating practice blossoms into world class violinists. The pain of exercise builds a man's muscles and beautifies the body. The pain of forgiveness brings peace'''and makes the soul grow closer to its ultimate end: God.

Christianity is not easy, and forgiveness is sometimes very hard to do. But all things are possible with God because He empowers those who seek His sanctifying grace.

[I think I wrote some time ago on this blog that 'love' is a four-letter word that has been gang-banged out of all meaning. However, whilst I recognise that Christianity, unlike, I guess many other religions, does enjoin its followers to attempt to practice perfect love it is not, of course, confined to Christians. I, as an agnostic, might, or might not, feel inclined to 'forgive' a malefactor who has done me harm. If I accede to that feeling it does not require the working of a God for me to do so.]


If you're truly sorry for breaking my window, I could choose to forgive you, yet still ask that you pay restitution for the damage you caused to my property.

But since I am a free agent and have dominion over my own choices, I could choose NOT to forgive you despite your sincere sorrow. Instead, I could choose to seek revenge and throw a big fat brick through your window just so you know what it's like to have a broken window.

The first example uses the intellect and will in the name of peace, justice, and goodness. The second example acts in the name of anger, which might satisfy my festering rage as I relish the fact that I destroyed your window to bits, but in the end the act of revenge does not make me any better.

Love and forgiveness is an act of the will in the name of what is good. To not forgive and to seek revenge often simply mimics what the perpetrator did. This does not mean we have to be against the death penalty, which society has a right to employ in order to defend the sacredness of innocent human life, and to draw a line in the sand as a testament that certain lines must never be crossed.

Christians are called to forgive those who harm us, and to pray for our enemies, so that enemies may repent of their ways and seek peace, justice and goodness. Forgiveness has different degrees of expression, depending on the closeness a person has to God (Who is Truth, Goodness, and Love itself). The closer a man is to God the more he operate with God's grace, which empowers a mere man to want to forgive the offender.

God always forgives those who seek His forgiveness, and He calls upon wicked men to repent of their wicked ways. But wicked men are free to not repent and to reject God's grace. "Hell" is merely the consequence for those who do not repent and choose to separate themselves from God (Truth, Goodness and Love) for all eternity.

[Before I deal with the heart of your words in this paragraph let me offer my solution to what is, I suppose, my problem! I still cannot accept the word 'forgive' or 'forgiveness'. It implies to me, as I wrote earlier, a total renunciation of all revenge and hate for the person who did you wrong. Personally, I simply do not believe that is possible. One might refuse to take *personal* revenge but that, in my mind, does not come under the wide meaning of 'forgiveness' which must be total and whole-hearted to the point that you will positively love your enemy. Sorry, but I simply do not believe that is possible. Time might heal old hurts but that is reliant on the outside factor of the passage of time which rather obviates the sincere whole-heartedness of one's 'forgiveness'. I have resorted to my Thesaurus to find a word which sums up the act of standing back from exacting personal revenge whilst not standing in the way of legal punishment for which one might eagerly anticipate and I think I have the exact word - 'forbearance'.

That's all from me tonight and I am in London all day tomorrow but I will return on Thursday.]


Every single day in the United States of America alone, there are thousands of human beings being slaughtered through abortion. But not all doctors who perform abortions repent and regret their actions---or try to put the monster of abortion in America back to its cage.

Dr. Nathanson was not a saint, but he himself acknowledged that his actions were monstrous. Once he faced this truth about abortion, he did much to stop it. After his conversion to the pro-life cause he produced the film "The Silent Scream" and the documentary "Eclipse of Reason", which exposed the abortion procedures in graphic detail in an effort to sway the public against the horrors of abortion. Both films made a huge impact on the abortion debate and his books also exposed the deceptive origins of the abortion industry.

Now, this does not make up for all the deaths he legally presided over, but he is one who truly repented and regretted his actions and did much to save many children from abortion. In his biography he wrote:

“Abortion is now a monster so unimaginably gargantuan that even to think of stuffing it back into its cage is ludicrous beyond words. Yet that is our charge --- a herculean endeavor.”

Abortion is legal in the U.S.A., and it is through the support of Americans who demand to make it legal that the slaughter continues today.


Believing in the existence in God does not take faith, it takes reason. It takes faith to trust in God's revelation. Thus a man may believe in the existence of a Creator God but the Christian has faith in Jesus Christ .

When you see a airliner jet in the sky, you don't have faith that an intelligent mind designed it. Instead, reason tells you that an intelligent mind designed the airplane. In fact, reason demands it. But it's quite another thing to have be a passenger on the airplane. For that, you've put your faith in the airplane and pilot of the airplane.

As for your pastors telling you that you must have faith, they are right. But this means having faith in God's purpose and design for you, and trust in the teachings of His Son Jesus Christ. Now read what the New Testament tell us about this faith:

"What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? . . . Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder. You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless" James 2:14-20 [Sorry, Gabriel, but I simply do not accept that belief in the existence of God can be arrived at via reason. At the most it is an hypothesis to explain the inexplicable. As for "God's purpose and design for you" perhaps that question should be addressed to the unfortunate Englishwoman stabbed and then beheaded by a lunatic stranger in a supermarket this week. Was that God's purpose for her? Perhaps the concept of a 'prime mover' in the creation of the universe will eventually prove to be correct but I doubt very much whether he, she or it will resemble in any way the image of a Christian God.]


Again, read carefully: If nothing existed 500 trillion billion years ago, nothing would exist right now, because it is impossible for nothingness to produce anything. But since we exist right now, this is logical proof that something always had to exist. [Not so if the hypothesis of a 'prime mover' proves to be correct. Also, in logic, something that exists must have had a beginning.]

Scientist will tell you that the "Big Bang" brought time and matter into existence. Thus the Cause of the universe IS outside of time and matter.

All the evidence supports the "Big Bang" theory and has become THE explanation and foundation for modern day astronomy, much like all the evidence supports the Theory of Evolution. Buttressed by the findings of Georges Lemaitre, and later confirmed by the discoveries of Edwind Hubble, the idea of an expanding universe that had a certain beginning is the universal belief among reputable scientists.

I would suggest you watch the History Channel's series on the universe, specifically the episode titled: Beyond the Big Bang, which presents these facts quite beautifully.

Incidentally, the story behind how the Big Bang theory got its name is rather telling. The term itself was coined by an atheist scientist who was mockingly attempting to dismiss the theory, which was first proposed by a Catholic priest and physicist by the name of Georges Lemaitre and which supports the narrative of Scripture in the Book of Genesis, which speaks of an act of creation---a beginning. [Actually, as I understand it, there is now a growing body of scientific opinion which casts doubt on the big bang theory - scientists - heh!]


There's a reason why we can calculate the exact moment in time for a sunrise 10,000 years from now. This is because of the Laws which Govern the cosmos. The Cosmos is everything that is, and science will show you that the cosmos itself is made up of systems which are in turn governed by Laws. From micro to macro, these systems are everywhere.

Realize and understand thoroughly once and for all that everything within the cosmos is composed of systems which are all interrelated and governed by laws. Even you are made up of unified and dynamic systems. (i.e. Respiratory Skeletal, Muscular, Nervous, Digestive, Reproductive, etc.) No system is independent; rather they are interdependent.

For example:

Your lungs are part of your respiratory system which enables you to breathe oxygen in order for your brain to function. But the oxygen which you breathe is dependent upon the ecosystem, which is dependent upon Earth's atmospheric system, which is dependent upon our Solar System, which is dependent upon our Galactic System, which is dependent upon the laws of the universe.

The universe is comprehensible through logic. We measure the laws of the universe through logical equations. The science of mathematics calculates logic of quantity, logic of shape and logic of arrangement. The universe is teeming with balance, order and proportion. The DNA Code is comprehensible and scientists describe it as a language. Language requires logic. Logic requires intellect. Intellect requires a thinking mind. A thinking, reasoning mind. [ Whilst that describes certain features of the world as we know it it is by no means all. I have already pointed out the vagaries of chaos theory in which iterated algorithms will suddenly produce totally unexpected and unforecastable results. Similarly, the world of sub-atomic particles is full of inexplicable, illogical and contra-sensical activities, for example, how can an electron when energised increase its orbit from one state to another without any in-between states, ie, one second it is here, the next second it is there, but never in-between?]


You can reason why you don't put milk into your gasoline tank. When you commit evil your conscience reminds you. Human invention fulfills a purpose. This world is full of things with purpose.

All you can reasonably conclude that it all just magically bubbled-up?When you observe architecture do you reason that the mind of an architect was involved? Or do you adamantly demand proof of the architect's existence? Is it not illogical to assume that the architecture accidentally just "bubbled-up?"

Sin is the misuse of the intellect and will. Through sin we introduce disharmony within our life and within our families and within our societies and within out world. We sin when we violate a properly formed conscience. Just as your ears can sense disharmony, your sense of smell can detect a beautiful fragrance---or the stench of a rotting fish. Likewise, your sense of taste can enjoy a delicious warm omelette, or recoil from the taste of rotten food. In the same manner, your conscience reminds you when you've done something evil: Guilt plagues the mind of those who violate their conscience. When remorse and guilt is suppressed, the guilt tends to come out in a myriad of strange complexes and psychological snafus. But what is "sin"? When ancient peoples sacrificed children, or virgins, or whoever, did they commit a sin?]


The notion that all living things have a soul is not a New Age or a Save The Trees blather. It is basic Christian theology. There is a hierarchy in all living things, and the word "soul" simply describes a unifying principle of the internal activity that exists within all living things. There is no inner activity inside a rock, but there is much activity inside a plant). Plants and animals are highly active organism. By Man has a Rational Soul, with an intellect and a will to know love and serve the Creator---(Truth, Goodness, Love and Beauty). The purpose of human life is to be supremely happy. The only way we can be supremely happy is to be perfectly united with God for all eternity.

To go through life not knowing these things is to be wrong about everything. If a person omits God, they see nothing as it is but everything as it is not---which is the very definition of insanity.

God is not just an extra topic of conversation. God is the explanation of everything. Leave out God. then you leave out the explanation of everything. Science studies what things are made of and how they work. Science cannot tell you what the universe was made for. Only its Maker can do that—because He knows what He had in mind when He made it. And it's not only the universe which you see wrong if you leave out God: You don't see a single thing right:

The Sun is not just an extra item in the sky: We see everything sun-bathed. Likewise, God is not just one more item; we must see everything God-bathed. Only then can one see everything at it really is. Striking against God who sustains our existence is hacking away at our own support. What can be more foolish than that? That's like a person despising the Sun. This is not the mind of a psychologically sane person.

Every civilization has formulated their own ideas about who and what God is. But because the human mind is finite, the infinite God had to reach down to man in order to reveal Himself. Thus we have Divine Revelation unfolding in time and culminating with Jesus Christ who is the Truth, The Life and The Way--God Himself entering history and becoming man for our sake, to lead us to Himself, Who is Truth Goodness and Beauty itself.

[That ends my inserted comments in response to Gabriel's excellent and passionate advocacy.]

Posted by: Gabriel | Tuesday, 10 May 2011 at 08:36

This quietly passionate and reasoned comment deserves a considered response which, as my regular readers will know, might take me some time.

In fact, I will use my prerogative as the site owner to insert my responses into Gabriel's comment so they follow on immediately from the specific point he has raised. I hope that will make it easier for people to follow the argument. This piece-meal approach might take a while but I will indicate when I have finished.

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