Showing posts from September, 2016

Freedom, Hope, and Heaven: Why Christianity Best Explains the Human Condition

In “The Matrix Reloaded” (2003), the second of the Matrix film trilogy, is a fascinating scene in which the prophesied liberator of the human race, Neo, confronts the Architect, the creator of the Matrix. As laid out in the first movie, the Matrix is an elaborate computer simulation into which captive humans are “plugged” from birth to keep them from rebelling against the system. While continually distracted by the living of their lives, so to speak, in the Matrix, humans provide an unending energy source for machines, which have become self-aware and have taken over the world. Neo is one of a handful who have been “unplugged” and are now in the “real world” leading a resistance. When Neo finally arrives at the Source of the Matrix, the machine mainframe, he faces the Architect, himself a machine who speaks with godlike authority and precision. The Architect explains why the Matrix has been intentionally redesigned with its numerous and transparent fundamental flaws: The first matrix I…

Bi-Weekly report: The Historicity of Daniel

In light of what Gary had to say about the Book of Daniel, I wanted to share some articles that dealt with the time period in which it was written.

Article 1:

Tektonics: Daniel Defense

At the beginning, J.P. talks about the Maccabean theory:

Generally, the Maccabeean theory holds that the Book of Daniel was written around 168-165 B.C. Most modern radical critics hold that the book was completed in it’s final form at that time, but some allow for parts of Daniel (mainly chapters 1-6) to have an earlier date prior to 168-165. Some say the editor in the 2nd century used certain traditions to compose the final form of Daniel. This next article (published in 1992 by the late Dr. Gerhard Hasel) focuses on evidence from the Dead Sea Scrolls: New Light on Daniel from Dead Sea Scrolls

Here was his conclusion:

Thus the canonical acceptance of the book of Daniel at Qumran suggests an earlier origin of the book than the second century B.C. In 1969, based on the evidence ava…

Meaningless universe built into modern secular ideology

We want to know origins. We want to know why we are here even if there no real reason (we want to know that too). This is why we don’t see scientists just throwing up their arms and saying “there's no way to tell it's all here that's all.” They are still making theories because we want to know. We don’t find it satisfying to just leave it hanging. Perhaps there is no actual reason and saying that is not satisfying than sloughing off the question as though it's not important; that is most unsatisfying of all. Yet modern secular thought can't even ask the question much less answer it. It's not enough to merely talk about planetary formation and how the galaxy emerged. That's not an answer to the question “why are we here?” Even if the answer is “there is no way to know” we still want to know that definitively. Modern secular thought can't give a definitive answer because the question is out of bounds. That is a metaphysical question and modern though abho…

Another Problem Pops Up for the Life Arises Naturally Paradigm

The last time I posted in a piece entitled "Star Trek, Proxima b, Nanovehicles and the Unlikely Appearance of Life," I wrote about the Star Trek Vision - a view point that has existed for a long time (thanks to fellow CADRE member Jason Pratt for pointing that out), but has become more in vogue over the last 50 years. The unsupported idea is that the universe is absolutely teeming with life such that any time a planet is thought to have water, it is almost automatically assumed that life exists on that planet. Just this morning, there is a story on Yahoo! News which provides more evidence of this rule.
According to Business Insider, NASA is set to announce surprising news about Europa -- (spoiler alert) -- it appears to have oceans of liquid water below its frozen surface. In the article entitled "NASA will soon reveal a 'surprising' discovery about a moon of Jupiter that may support life." To say that it "may support life" isn't really all tha…

God and Gratuitous Evil

Rashomon, 1950 Kurosawa's great classic film reflecting upon the Human condition (see my Review)

Keith Parsons enters the discussion about God and evil on Secular Outpost [1] with a look at gratuitous evil. That means evil that God doesn't allow for any rational reason. In other words the kind of thing about which one says, "there's no excuse for that, God could have no reason to allow that." An example of gratuitous evil might be what happened to the woman gunned down in Chicago while pushing her child in the stroller. She was hit by a stray bullet. One might be tempted to think -- I can see why God would allow the gunman to waste his life or even why he would allow the other member he was shooting at to be shot, but why did God have to allow this woman to be hit by the stray bullet? In this piece I'm not going to deal with the inductive issues but to disagree with the approach to understanding gratuitous evil.
Gratuitous evil is evil that God would not permit…

Star Trek, Proxima b, Nanovehicles and the Unlikely Appearance of Life

Star Trek turns 50. Wow! 
We have likely come to the point where the majority of the American population has been raised on what I call the Star Trek Vision. It's a very positive and optimistic vision that is easy to embrace. It is the vision of humanity traversing the galaxy in a sleek spaceship (more of a space hotel, actually) in search of "new life and new civilizations." And the universe responds to this search by being populated by a whole host of alien races that are largely like humanity or somewhere on the road between becoming like humanity or having evolved beyond humanity. The Star Trek crew has the "Prime Directive" of not interfering with the developing populations, but when it encounters alien civilizations at our level or beyond, the crew aspires to befriend any and all who accept the Federation's vision of universal peace. (Rarely, if ever, has the crew encountered the likes of the aliens in Independence Day, although the Borg are a reasonab…

Why Doesn't God "Do Something" About Evil?

A man walking down the beach comes across an old bottle. He picks it up, rubs it and out pops a genie! The genie says, "In exchange for freeing me from the bottle, I will grant you three wishes."The man says "Great! I want one billion dollars in a Swiss bank account." Poof! There is a flash of light and a piece of paper with account numbers appears in his hand!He continues, "Next, I want a brand new red Ferrari right here." Poof! There is a flash of light and a bright red, brand-new Ferrari appears right next to him!He continues, "Finally, I want to be irresistible to women." Poof! There is a flash of light and he turns into a box of chocolates. ~ Edited from Christiansunite Clean Jokes It is probably the most consistent challenge raised to the existence of God: the problem of evil. It has been most succinctly and accurately stated with the following syllogism:  If an all-good, all-knowing, all-loving, all-powerful God exists, then evil (sufferin…