Monday, 23 October 2017

Know your enemy: Part 2

Know Your Enemy Pt.2


Last post I set a mental exercise of putting ourselves in the shoes of a malevolent spirit trying to destroy all that is good in the West.


I found it quite a daunting exercise, but here is what I concluded:


There are two levels, the microscopic and the macroscopic. The first is the level of individuals or small groups. Here the (usually petty) selfishness, meanness, greed, lust and even cruelty of the individual would be fertile ground for any malevolent spirit to incite thoughts words and deeds to destroy joy and multiply misery. But that situation is universal (except when and where it is better restrained by social mores, laws, or other means), so I thought it more helpful to concentrate on the macroscopic – trends effecting whole societies.


Here I found myself floundering a bit until I added in the idea that this posited spirit would be interested in causing misery over the entire world, not just in destroying the West. Then I saw a place to start looking:


So here are some of the things I thought up:


1. The road to hell is paved with god intentions they say. What if well intentioned human efforts could be cunningly or subtly pushed doff course so that they caused rather than alleviated human suffering. Here are some cases that occurred to me:


a) The Silent Spring. This film and the activism that surrounded it had the worthy aim of preserving the environment. It achieved a 10 year ban on the pesticide DDT. After 10 years research had shown that DDT was not as “bad” as activist had believed. But the damage had been done and could not be undone. When DDT was banned it was the key weapon against the malaria spreading Anopheles mosquito. The mosquito was, after a huge worldwide campaign, on the brink of extinction. This would have been the end, forever, of the killer disease Malaria. The ban on DDT meant the Anopheles rapidly increased and re-infested it former habitat. Tens of millions of people have died because of that one activist campaign.


b) Dams in India and other needy countries. Another activist campaign – doubtless with good motives – has been waged against building the dams needed in places like India to provide safe drinking water and irrigation for agriculture. The Western first world activists persuaded lenders such as the World Bank to refuse loans to these projects. Result: human misery plus a reservoir of hatred in these countries against “the rich West”.

c) Feminism. Good early achievements: the vote for women, equal opportunity for education, independence of property from husband – and so forth. By the early 1970's women no longer had to give up their job when they got married. Women had careers open to them – my sister was hired as a lawyer by a very conservative law firm in '68 and went on to become a partner. When my wife graduated from medical school in '74 about half the class were women. About that time banks began giving house loans to women. In so many ways important things had been achieved.


Then the cracks started to appear. The 1950's middle class dream had been of the garden suburb. Men ventured into the grime of the city to work, but their wives could stay out in their pleasant homes in pleasant suburbs enjoying some measure of leisure and raising a family. The early gain of women now having the choice to follow a career soured. Soon one income was no longer enough to support a family. To maintain their niche in society both had to work. We had poured scorn on the Soviets with children in daycare and both parents working – now we had created a same situation. Women faced a multiplication rather than a redefinition of roles, producing a crushing burden. Family sizes reduced to below that needed to maintain the population. Family stress and dislocation increased: net result: better for some, but worse for many, long term problem for country.


2. Church is a major sociological institution. I won't try to detail all the roles it plays in society, I'll just detail some ways it could be crippled to produce social harm.


By the 70's many protestant denominations were so debilitated by liberal theology that they lacked any spiritual vitality, and looking for a reason to exist turned their attention to social issues or became virtual museums. “Relevance” became an excuse to ape whatever was popular in the secular world, and even dress it up in Bible verses and call it “Christianity” - really just a sophisticated version of Aaron giving in to the people, making the Golden Calf and saying “here are your gods O Israel!


Protestant churches in particular were thus crippled so that even to their own members, let alone to the nation they failed to teach traditional morals. A clever twist was exploiting both the perverted lusts of some clergy and the typical reaction of a human institution to go on the offensive against criticism served to create the child sex abuse disaster for most denominations. As well as the actual harm to children, Christianity was besmirched and institutional churches lost all moral authority I the eyes of the public.


Traditional Christian morals, far from being wowserish, were in fact a prescription for individual, family and societal happiness. So the destruction of these roles of a church have led to less not more happiness in our nations.


Also the demise of genuine Christian influence allowed the rise of all sorts of ideologies based on a false view of human nature. Christianity says we are all sinners: human nature has a bias to evil. This bias has to be continually fought against and necessitates safeguards in all political schemes. The false view that generally replaces this assumes human nature is good: proper education is all that is needed. One can readily see this false assumption in most “progressive” ideologies, and can see then why their schemes are always doomed to failure!


There are many more examples but the above should serve the purpose of illustration.


3. The Long term goal: collapse of the West or it being overrun by some new equivalent of the Barbarians is well under way.


The 70's breakdown of sexual morals has recently extended to sexually perverted teachings to school children and the popularisation by film, television, internet and social media (aided by human nature) of gross immorality and addiction to pornography. Apart from the short term effects of destroying happiness in those seduced by it, there is a long term effect. Previous great cultures and empires have frequently become similarly dissolute just before they collapsed.


Again all over the West children from pre-school up have been saturated in progressive and collectivist propaganda. Just look at today's college students. As Hayek said so many decades ago: collectivism whether under the banner of Socialism or Fascism is the road to serfdom. This is the road we are dancing down to our doom, like mice after the Pied Piper.


We still have brave and patriotic people (especially in the US) enough to repel any immediate attack. But the rise of the “snowflake” generation who have been so coddled and brainwashed that they have no coping mechanisms for adversity means a future generation completely unable to fight and where some ruthless “barbarians” will find they can easily sweep us away. And there is no lack of peoples who would like to do just that!


I fear there is indeed a malevolent plan and a fall back position and it is already in progress! It aims to bring about: Socialism wit its inevitable economic collapse followed by descent into tyranny; or internal collapse and being overrun by some more warlike and ruthless peoples. Looking at the score so far, I fear the malevolent spirit is winning!




Saturday, 14 October 2017

Know Your Enemy Pt.1

Know Your Enemy Pt.1


Let's try an “opposite sketch”. I've been looking at how to save the West; But what would a supernatural opponent of this try to do?


Imagine for a moment that you are some malevolent spirit and you want to destroy the West. I'll be more specific. Imagine you are the sort of spirit that wants to turn happiness into misery, health into sickness, peace into war, prosperity into poverty, freedom into slavery … and so on. What would be your strategy?


For the sake of somewhere to start, let's zoom in just after the close of World War II.


You have suffered a tremendous defeat. Your servants – Hitler, Mussolini and Hirohito have been defeated. (OK Stalin is still in play!). War has given way to peace. The men and women of the Allied armies have fought against evil with courage and self sacrifice and have prevailed. They return to their homelands now seeking to enjoy the rewards of peace, prosperity in return for hard work, family and community. Moreover churches are full. Faith in Jesus and obedience to his commands are at a high. With the Billy Graham crusades true religion expands further and your opportunity for destruction seems to diminish.


Is your situation irretrievable? ...  No. As it happens plans laid a generation earlier come in to play. You cunningly beguiled theologians in the late 1800's. However clever, they were only human. They could be tempted in the area of their pride and prestige. Most fell. Thus was born so called “liberal theology” - the dogma of doubting and often dismissing all the great timeless truths of the Christian faith. Now, a generation later this scourge had filtered down to the level of the theological colleges training priests and pastors.


So even as Christian faith looked to be gaining strength, the seeds of corruption had already been sown in the field!


The new crop on ministers – however genuine they had been on entering their calling – had come out of the training colleges spiritually crippled. Worse, they came out infected with an intellectual disease fatal to faith. They preached human ideas instead of the truths of God. Then, bereft of the real Gospel, they looked for fulfilment outside of bringing men and women to faith and maturity in Christ. They became political activists and second rate social workers forsaking the high calling to which Christ had called them. If they had left the churches they would have only ruined their own faith. But no, like warships flying false colours, they stayed – they went on in churches – often rising to the top – all the while betraying their true Master. So whole congregations and denominations were subverted.


Meanwhile, from let us say the 60's on another string is set to your bow. It starts with Vietnam.


Was it virtuous of the US and allies to try to protect the South from Communist Viet Cong in their midst and straight our invasion by the North? Once I was of the “no” camp. Mature reflection leads me to believe emphatically “YES”. But ... Did the US do it wisely or well? … Sadly…. NO. Of course there were good men – watch the film “Once We Were Soldiers” for one heart-rending example. But you, the malevolent spirit was able to befuddle, mislead and tempt enough minds to bring about bad strategies and bad ideas – like sending drug-addled unwilling and unprepared teenagers against an unbelievably ruthless , cruel and merciless enemy where often one could not tell friend from foe – and in the spotlight of a hostile but ubiquitous media coverage. No … Not ubiquitous …. the widespread and ghastly crimes of the Viet Cong went largely unreported. But US atrocities got worldwide coverage.


So you (the malevolent spirit) bred, so cleverly the rebel generation. The anti-war marches (I'm now ashamed of it, but I was in those) were a start. The things that flourished in that milieux: Woodstock, drugs, sex, throwing away the wisdom, morals and the religion of the wartime generation. That was a good days work – This mixture of behaviours definitely led to an increase of misery and diminution of true joy.


Now so far I have been merely laying out what is plain from history – though from an American and Australian perspective because that is what I know about. For those in other countries you can modify this in the light of your history over this period.


This brings us up to say the early 1970's. Your homework for next week is this: Take again the unpleasant mental role of the malevolent spirit. What would you try to do from the 70's on to plot, with great patience, the destruction of virtue and happiness in the West?




Saturday, 9 September 2017

Left, Right, What does it Mean

Fascists, Communists and Capitalists


I want to look at this question a bit more closely, because I think it may be the key to current politics in the West.


I was brought up to think that politics was one dimensional:
 left wing = Communist and right wing = Fascist
I guess you were too. Some more observant people made it a circle rather than a straight line, with Communist and Fascist “meeting round the back”.


In my reading over the past few years I've come across authors who say this is NOT correct. Some go further and say it was and is a deliberate obscuration of reality, an Orwellian attempt to prevent us from even being able to think in terms of reality: a Collectivist – Individualist political spectrum.


But what if Communism and Fascism are just the Tweedledum and Tweedledee of Collectivism and should be lumped together on the “Left Wing”


OK that may seem weird, so let me first compare and contrast these two ideologies – who naturally each view the other as wicked heresy.


a) What Fascism and Communism have in common:

1. Central control of production: In traditional communism every enterprise is state owned and decisions are made by the central government. Fascists like Mussolini were prepared to have private ownership – as long as all enterprises ran under strict state control. And he warned that corporations should not run for private gain but for the good of the state. In practise there is not much difference between the two. So both are anti- Capitolist.


2. Uniformity of thought. Both Communist and fascist governments ruthlessly suppress dissidents, and, as Mussolini said, use law and education to make everyone think alike and accept the same moral values. The Communists, particularly in China were more effective in using “shaming”, social pressure, deprivation of livelihood and “re-education camps”.
Interestingly These (apart from the camps – so far) are being mercilessly used now in the West by “Progressives” to enforce orthodoxy.


3. Anti-Christian. Both communism and fascism are avowedly atheistic. (Though Hitler did try to re-introduce old Norse paganism and is said to have used astrologers) They have either tried to eradicate Christianity as in Russia, or where faced with a powerful institutional church as in Italy made a compact trading institutional survival of the church for political obedience. In China Christians were persecuted by the Red Guards in the Cultural Revolution, and new opposition seems to be on the rise under Xi Ping.
Modern Western “Progressives” are also coming out stridently anti-Christian.


4. Violently suppress dissent. As Hyack (in “The Road to Serfdom”) demonstrated, the objectives of any state espousing central control of production and redistribution of wealth cannot be achieved without the use of force. Violence has historically been evident as in Mussolini's Black shirts, Hitler's Brown Shirts and later Gestapo, Mao's Red Guard and Tiananmen Square, and the Stalinist secret police.
Some modern “Progressives” such as “Occupy Wall Street” and “Antifas” are singing from the same play-book.




b) what are the main differences between Fascism and Communism?

1. Marx envisioned a class struggle within nations. Mussolini saw this had not happened in England and he could not ignite it in Italy so he changed to a national struggle: Italians all united against “inferior” nations. Similarly Hitler named his party the “National Socialist Workers' Party of Germany”. He also added the racist element (absent in Italy): the Aryan race above all and Jews to be exterminated.


2. Marxism was internationalist, fascist states were, as said above. Nationalist. However currently Communist states Russia, China and North Korea are nationalistic.


3. Marx had an idea of equality, with committees of workers making decisions. Russia started with all being “comrades” (True in practice they ended up with dictator Stalin and the Chinese with Mao) and committees set up at all levels. Fascists had no such illusions: The masses could not organise themselves – they needed leaders. The state needed a strong supreme leader – Hence Mussolini and Hitler. Hitler took it to the extreme with “Germany is the Fuhrer and the Fuhrer is Germany”.
One way authors describe this is: Horizontal collectivism (communist) Vs Vertical collectivism (fascist). Collectivism being their common trait.

………………………...

As we see, Both of these are fiercely opposed to both Capitalism and the idea of a free market in economics, and individual freedom of thought, speech and association in social structure. They are also both anti-Christian. So lets put them together where they belong!


So what am I (among many others!) suggesting “right-wing” actually looks like?



It is the opposite of collectivism!
(the common feature of communism and fascism)


a) in economics: individual decision making in private enterprise (with only natural monopolies state owned). This is “Darwinian” in that efficient and valuable enterprises succeed whereas less efficient or less socially valued enterprises succumb to competition. Other descriptors are “competition” and “free market” In “moderate-right” government regulations are provided to ensure a “level playing field”, restrict anti-competitive behaviour and provide consumer protection. All of which we see in most Western nations at present.


b) Morals and hence laws: traced back to deistic absolutes (in the West, Christian). So whereas collectivist morals are arbitrary – decided by the State - (and precisely because they are arbitrary, uniformity must be enforced and dissenting opinions ruthlessly suppressed). Morals based on absolute principles allow freedom of thought and debate as to how those principles work out in practice. (This does not work for Islam – it does not set out principles, but rather end practices)


c) in society: the enlightenment ideals of freedom of thought, expression, association and religion have been painstakingly built up in Christian and especially Protestant states (often against church institutions!). We should not take them for granted.
They are incompatible with collectivism, and so can flourish on the “right” but will be extinguished by the “left”.


d) in Academia: truth matters – so free debate is encouraged to test theories. This was the basis of Western scientific achievement. It was also what gave us the enlightenment.
It is incompatible with collectivism.
Today we are seeing dissenting ideas brutally suppressed on campus and in left-leaning corporations. And we are seeing – climate “science” is one example – the prostitution of science to political dogma.


e) in government: Government of the people by the people and for the people. Resulting in small rather than large government. Individual responsibility rather than a “nanny state”, private enterprise rather than state control. Individual freedom rather than “red tape”. Free elections to make politicians answerable to the people. And above all: freedom rather than servitude.


Let's simplify all this into a table of Left-wing Vs Right wing.


Politics 1.01½


LEFT WING



RIGHT WING

Tends to
Tends to


Big government


Small government


More government control of businesses


Less government control & regulation


Less freedom of speech, belief etc.


More individual freedom


The individual exists for the state



The state exists for the individual
In its extreme
In its extreme


State controls all means of production


Private enterprise starts & controls all businesses


Individuals give up their rights to the state “for the greater good”


The rights of the individual are paramount


Historically atheistic so ...
MORALS: are decided by the state – so have to be ruthlessly enforced because no higher power (as Nietzsche said: without God there is no basis for morals)


Historically “nominal” Christian so …
MORALS: are an attempt to live godly lives – left to individual conscience
– This ignores sinful human nature! (some people have no conscience!)


TOTALITARIAN: because its agenda can only be achieved by force (as Hyack demonstrated)
(think, Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin & Mao!)


HELLISH: because some humans will use their “freedom” to cheat, defraud, oppress and enslave others (think C18 English factories!)


Aristotle, you remember said that virtue was generally the mean between two opposing vices. So in politics “Ideal Government” is the golden mean between the extremes of Left wing and Right wing.



Do you see our current problem? The present Left – Right definition gives us “the mean between Communism (Collectivism) and Fascism (Collectivism)” … which is … Collectivism! No wonder we can't talk sensibly about politics!


But once we sort things out as above we get:


Ideal Government = the Golden Mean between Collectivism and Individualism



Now we're cooking with gas! On each individual issue we can discuss sensibly with both allies and opponents. We know where our opponents are coming from (collectivist or individualist). So we can understand them. We can now debate whether on a particular issue more or less government control would be better. Not just WHAT the government control should look like!


In Australia at the moment electricity prices are rising because private (and government owned!) enterprises are gaming the system to get windfall profits. One could argue for more government control to protect consumers.


Also at present in Australia gas prices are rising and in part this is the result of state governments banning new gas exploration and development of known gas fields. One could here argue for less government control so the gas can flow.








Sunday, 3 September 2017

a Fascist by any other name

a Fascist by Any Other Name



Name calling is as old as language. The latest pejorative buzz word is “fascist”. It is a wonderfully effective one – it conjures up images of Mussolini and his black-shirts, the terror of secret police and stokes our fears with hints of a possible descent into the hell of Hitlerism.


But as I said last time, I suspect the old terms left-wing, right-wing, fascist, communist have developed a life of their own quite independent of their historical meaning. So I decided to check up on what the Italian Fascist party of the early to mid 1900's actually believed, and what policies they implemented to at least tried to implement when they were in power.


What I found was quite surprising.


The real Fascist platform was much more like the policies of the people now throwing this epithet, than those it is aimed at! Weird, but true! So I developed a 20 point check-list based on the main themes of Giovanni Gentile, who was the 'Karl Marx' of fascism, and what Mussolini tried to implement when he had the chance (he didn't achieve all of them because … well he was Italian! And he was up against a powerful Catholic Church which, much as he despised them, had to be “bought off”, and lastly he was appointed by and could be dismissed by the king.)


So here is a check-list that I think accurately describes historic fascism. Try it on politicians you know: – how do they rate.


Fascist check list – how many of these statements do you AGREE with
  1. individuals should give up their freedom for the good of the state
  2. the state should be like an extended family – providing for everyone and with everyone contributing according to their ability.
  3. People can't manage to form genuine communities unaided – they need to be mobilised
  4. socialism is the bedrock of social justice
  5. the individual trying to live for themselves and their family is selfish and bad. The good, fully actualised citizen willingly puts themselves at the behest of community and state.
  6. Corporations should serve the public welfare, not just the welfare of their owners and shareholders
  7. Marxism is “internationalist” this is wrong, we need to be nationalistic.
  8. Morality and religion should be subordinated to the laws of the state
  9. Society and the state are one and the same
  10. there needs to be ideological conformity and this should be brought about by law and education
  11. legislating for worker participation in industrial management would be good
  12. stopping religious instruction is schools would be good
  13. the state should control all industrial activity and finance.
  14. Unions should be part of the governing assembly
  15. In an ideal world we would abolish all private property
  16. “Our work as teachers is at an end when our students speak our language”
  17. “everything in the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state”
  18. Tax rates should be much higher for the rich
  19. Marxism had everyone equal, this is wrong – we need leaders and for the nation a strong charismatic Supreme Leader.
  20. The state and the individual are one.




I think the answer to the bigger question is that politicians who live in glass houses shouldn't throw epithets.




Friday, 25 August 2017

USA Today

Situation Review.

So what is our situation in the West in a few brush strokes?

The U.S.A.? … A nation divided. True, there has long been a two party state with the inevitable division of half (more or less) supporting Republicans and the other half Democrat. But now it is different, deeper and not along party lines

The difference now is between two totally different mindsets

The old labels don't serve us well. Left, Right, Fascist, Socialist are slung about – usually as insults – with very little regard to their meaning. But what they actually mean is anyone's guess and they are either useless or downright misleading as applied to current political positions.

So how can one name the opposing camps the US is dividing into.
 
Progressives” I think will do for one side. For a start they self describe that way. It then remains to fill in this term with an accurate description.
There is a spectrum from beyond Bernie Sanders through Hilary Clinton to … to something middle-of-the road. In “-isms” they cover a vast array, but with a recognition of kinship between the particular groups. So our task becomes a bit like trying to do facial recognition on a Hydra!
I think the recognition of kinship between progressive groups springs from features they typically have in common. 
These are notable ones:

State rights above individual rights;
State controlled re-distribution of wealth (at one end of their spectrum)
Anti-Capitalist
Censorship of opposing news and views
Rejection of democratic process if it does not give the results they want
Rejection of America's historical roots
Rejection of the role of Christianity in shaping the good things in the nation
Rejection of the role of universal “fallen” human nature in shaping the bad things.
Bias against males, whites and Christians
Utopian dreams, but a man-made utopia without God and without recognition of warped human nature. So a utopian dream that is just a phantom leading to hell-on-earth!


On the other side there is an embarrassing lunatic fringe claiming the limelight – Neo-Nazi's, white supremacists, KKK, and even some of the “alt-right”. But I think (and pray!) they are quite a separate phenomenon to the bulk of people opposed to Progressive ideology. At most they may be just a tail trying to wag the dog.


Hilary's “Deplorables” are I think the dog itself! Ordinary hard working people. People who struggle through life: work, marry, raise families, take part in their community and otherwise try to mind their own business.


On the whole, by-and-large they cherish:
 
Patriotism
America's Christian roots and the ideals of the Founding Fathers
American society (which on a world standard is pretty impressive),
Freedom of the individual - not tyranny by the government.
Freedom of Speech
Individuals being rewarded according to their ability and efforts.
Democracy
Rule of law

Pro-Capitalist

I can't think of a name that does not carry baggage or mean other things as well. In Australia we can turn intended insults into badges, for instance Rommel abused the Australian soldiers holding out against his siege of Tobruk by calling them “rats”. Ever after they proudly wore the title “the Rats of Tobruk”. In that vein I thought “Deplorables” might do as a name – but I'm not sure Americans have the same sense of humor. For now the best I can do is “Conservatives” because it is already popularly applied to this group, even though it does not describe them all that well.


If my assessment if the key points of the two sides is correct, these represent opposite and largely irreconcilable belief systems. Moreover each side cannot even comprehend how a sane person could think what the other side believes!


Now we are seeing signs of violence:
To take the example of the violent progressive protest group Antifas: they say that their opponents are “fascists” and so not real human beings worthy of being allowed to have, let alone propagate, ideas. This is the age old perversion that gave us: “Jews are not real people – so we can exterminate them” by the Nazi's; and “Blacks are sub-human - so we can enslave them” by the nineteenth century Democratic Party and so forth!

In conflict with them at the moment is an equally lunatic fringe of extremists who have an even more ruthless penchant for violence. Surely the riots and murder in Charlottesville recently has brought this home to us. Between them these violent extremists on both sides could drag the rest into violence.


There is, tragically, a real possibility of the nation descending into another civil war. Please God, this must not be allowed to happen!



Can the nation be re-united about some compromise position? I truly pray that it can. However to give a successful solution this must be a position that recognises the real world, not a misguided utopian dream nor a return to past errors. For this I think two things are vital.

1. Free speech: let words not bodies be the battleground.

2. Christian revival: “the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom”



Sunday, 6 August 2017

to All Angry Atheists

To All Angry Atheists

Hello,
Since you are passionate about your opposition to Christianity, I don't need to persuade you further that the question of God's existence is important.

As it is important and I assume you are a seeker after truth, I hope you will play along with me when I ask you to perform a thought experiment. First let me narrow the field. We are only interested in God – not churches (no matter how badly they may have behaved) or priests (and unfortunately we do know how evil some of them have been). A person may be quite justified in being angry at any of these, and angry at their misuse of religion and perhaps angry at “religion” in general as a result. But for our present purposes I ask you to hold this in abeyance. It is your passion for the belief that there is no God that is the subject of our thought experiment.

I am going to ask you to do a simple but difficult mental exercise. To try to look inside yourself and determine what makes you passionate about your belief?

Now I believe that UFO's do not exist. But I'm not passionate about it. I can be indulgent towards people who do believe they exist. And I suppose if a real one landed on my lawn I would become a true believer without any angst!

So back to you: can you pinpoint what puts passion behind your belief? Make, if you will, a note of your reasons.

Now am I right thinking that many of you will have put some variation of “If there is a just & loving God then why is there so much suffering in the world” (In a few posts time I think I can satisfy you on that one). That that may be sufficient reason for thinking Christians are a bunch of duffers – but is that reason for you to get worked up about it? Does it not indicate something further is present?

Please bear with me – since we agree this is an important issue – while I suggest two reasons which I expect none of you will have put down.

The first is guilt. No, I'm not suggesting you are a bad person. Don't we all, if we are driving down the road at a safe and legal speed instinctively slow down. But if we are people with a keen sense of justice, we are not only distressed by the injustices in the world, but also conscious that we ourselves have at times contributed to them. It would be natural indeed laudable if – perhaps at a sub-conscious level – one thought along the lines: “Well there had better not be a God – or I'm for it!”

Now what if I say to you that in fact the God who does exist has done something such that “justice” can be fully served even when He forgives people the punishment “justice” would otherwise demand. Details can come later. But if this is the case and if God has offered to forgive any person who rejects evil and commits themselves to a friendship with him, does this de-fuse the anger you had felt?

The second is an inexplicable surge of anger – pain even, whenever God or Christianity comes to mind or is mentioned. If you have or do feel this, I can give you an explanation.

In the Christian world view there is not only God and a host of good spiritual beings loyal to him, but the devil – a defeated enemy but for the moment an active enemy of God and all that is good – and spiritual beings under his control. These beings assault humans in many ways. One way is stirring up anger and causing a mental / spiritual pain that makes us react against other people. There is solid precedent of these evil spiritual beings doing this to make people flee from thinking about God or Christ. So if you have experienced this sort of attack, you have by experience proved at least the existence of evil spirits. The logical next step is to accept the corollary: the existence of God. The wise move then is to find out more about God and to reject evil and chose to align yourself with the all-good God.








Sunday, 30 July 2017

Angry Atheists

Angry Atheists

How can we tell the good news of God's reality, goodness and mercy to this first category of people: the angry atheists. There certainly seem to be many of them, or perhaps they are just being more strident or getting more favourable mention in the press. Either way, they are out there and we want to reach them for good even though they are trying to drive us from the public scene and eradicate all Christian influence in our societies. Of course what they want to replace Christian influence with is usually some variation of Rousseau's utopian vision. He thought that people are really all good, they just need to be educated better! This idea is counter-factual and wherever tried it has been a dismal failure. However I don't think this is a profitable line of attack. To be more precise I don't think attack is the best approach at all.

I think the key is understanding why they are angry. Why does the very thought of Christianity cause them inner pain.


Now an atheist by definition does not believe in God, or more positively does believe that God does not exist. Well I believe that UFO's (from outer space) do not exist. But I'm not angry about it. It does not cause my blood pressure to rise or my voice to become shrill and my conversation strident if I meet someone who does believe in UFO's. I don't agitate to have such conspiracy theorists silenced. And if a real UFO landed on my front lawn I would change my beliefs pretty smartly!

So why does Christianity or talk of God get angry atheists so riled up?

I can think of three reasons which I'll explain below. If you think of more, please let me know!


1. The “god” they have a mental picture of is a nasty being who really does not exist. Well think about it, they may have been influenced by people whose idea of God is a travesty.
To take an extreme case, a Jihadi believes in a “god” whose character is so warped, depraved and different to the character of the real God, that it is fair to say they believe in a god who does not exist. And we are very glad that this god does not exist!
History, and even the present is replete with people who worship a god made in their own image. They can call this god “the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” but it is so different in character that one must say “No, that is a different god, and one which simply does not exist!” (OK some descriptions may be so depraved that we could say, “Yes what you call “god” does indeed exist: its real name is Satan! But the real God is good, mighty and has triumphed over this Satan”

Read C.S. Lewis' last Narnia book “The Last Battle” for a beautiful exposition of this in the final pages. Here a righteous man who though he served the abominable idol “Tash” meets Aslan and is accepted into heaven. The gist of what Aslan says is: “my character is wholly good: Tash's character is wholly evil. So those who say they worship me but love evil worship Tash even if they call their “god” by my name and those who love good do in fact worship me even if they call me by the vile name of Tash” As so often Lewis has managed to expound in simple terms both profound theology and university level philosophy in a children's book!

To such a person, if accorded a face-to-face dialogue I would proceed something like this. “describe to me the god you don't believe exists”. If, as likely, they said “How can I describe something that doesn't exist!” I would say something like, “well we both agree unicorn's don't exist, but I can still describe one.” And try to get them to spell out exactly what their conception of God is. If this produces as expected a false image of God, I can say, “Well I don't believe that god exists either!”
And perhaps slide over into talking about the character of the One who does exist.


2. They have a strong moral sense and are stung by feelings of guilt when we talk about God. As one psychologist I read put it: “they think, possibly sub-consciously, 'There had better not be a God or I'm for it at the judgement!'”
In Luke 5 we have the account of Peter after he sees Jesus bring about the miraculous catch of fish cry out: “Go away from me Lord, for I am a sinful man” Yet he was probably a fairly upright citizen.
In our own experience, who of us driving along at the legal limit does not instinctively slow down when we see a police car – or as we have in Australia a police speed camera pretending to be an ordinary car parked innocently by the roadside!
So guilt feelings are quite understandable even in the absence of some particularly wicked deed.


3. Many of us who are devout Christians know what it feels like to be under attack by the spiritual forces belonging to the devil. One form can be a very real though spiritual-cum-mental pain. The “anger” of some atheists may indeed be that they are under such attack which manifests itself as an inexplicable inward pain at the very thought or mention of Christianity.


Causes 2 and 3 may be amenable to countering without the dialogue method of Cause 1. It may be something we can present in a blog like this or a YouTube video. So next I will try to formulate something of that kind.