Sunday, November 18, 2012

"Believers who feel defeated by this election have actually been given a great gift"

Elizabeth Scalia on Obama's re-election:

Our job at this point is not to save the nation. The nation is tumbling precisely the way the philosophers said it would when it became over-reliant on government. Our job, now is to save each other; to help spiritually strengthen each other for all that is yet to come.
Believers who feel defeated by this election have actually been given a great gift; they’ve been given the opportunity to divest themselves of the sin of idolatry and pride. The battle is not between parties; it is between things seen and unseen. It is between light and dark. The stuff before our eyes, all these earthly concerns, earthly governance—it plays out ultimately for the profit of our souls, not our retirement accounts. If we are professing Christians then we understand the narrative is moving forward to a certain conclusion; the pageant of salvation leads, always, to a complete divesting of everything that has come before. The only way to victory, now is to put the Gipper to rest, and play strictly for God. And God’s ways are not our ways, his thoughts not our thoughts, his “shining city on a hill” like nothing in our imagining.

She has a good point. We must not worship at the altar of politics (a weakness of mine). But we must keep telling the truth, about profound things like God's sovereignty and the sanctity of life as well as mundane things like not spending money we don't have.

We are to be a lamp to the world. That undoubtedly involves political action. But this is a spiritual battle at its root, and we must, as Scalia wisely observes, "play strictly for God".

If we succeed politically, that's good, but if not...


  1. profound things like God's sovereignty

    What? There's no truth about "God's soverignty". Your god doesn't exist, bro.

    1. We can prove that God-denial is false, which is to say, we can prove that there is a God, who is very like Christianity says God is. Even I have done it

      You cannot prove that your blusterous assertions are true. And, in fact, were you ever to try it rationally, all you'd prove is that you cannot get anywhere without assuming the truth of the very things you want to deny.

    2. Ilion,

      No you haven't proved that your God exists by asserting as a given that everything can't be reduced to energy and matter. Minds are a product of brains. They don't exist outside of brains. Affect the brain physically and you will affect the mind in some way.

      Previously you dismissed my example of the split brain, in which the mind can also be split into a right mind and a left mind, which you dismissed with just the assertion that the mind can't be split.

      To repeat the scenario, the left cerebral hemisphere has the motor speech centre, controls the right side of the body and gets vision from the right visual fields (both eyes). The right cerebral hemisphere controls the left side of the body and gets vision from the left visual fields.

      The cerebral hemispheres communicate through the corpus callosum, which is occasionally split surgically to treat otherwise intractable epilepsy.

      As a result, it's possible to present a photo only to the right cerebral hemisphere by displaying it in the left visual field. And a separate photo to the left cerebral hemisphere by displaying it in the right visual field. So you can show the right cerebral hemisphere a photo of a snow covered driveway and the left cerebral hemisphere a photo of a chicken.

      If you then present both a number of photos including one of a snow shovel and ask the person to pick out the photo with the left hand (controlled by the right cerebral hemisphere and which saw the snow covered driveway) which photo 'goes' with the previous one, the person will pick out the one with the snow shovel.

      If you then ask the person to say (remember the speech centre is in the left cerebral hemisphere which saw the photo of the chicken) why the person picked out the photo of the snow shovel. The answer is usually along the lines; chickens live in henhouses, poop and occasionally you need the shovel to clean out the henhouse.

      Logical, sort of, but contrived. But it clearly indicates that the mind has been split too. The left mind is unaware of what the right mind is doing. How else can you explain it? Give it a try...

      Also, you have no evidence that an immaterial soul exists.

    3. The hallmarks of mental acts are immaterial-- intentionality, qualia, etc.

      Materialism is a rudimentary philosophical error, hardly worth refutation. For a materialist to attempt to defend materialism, he must employ mental processes that are immaterial.

      How much does your opinion weigh, bach?

    4. Michael,

      Thoughts do have weight. To have a thought you have to convert chemical energy in the form of glucose into electrical energy (and waste heat) in the selective firing of a large number of neurons. And by Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity, to have a thought you're using up energy and as a result also mass, via the equation e = m c^2.

      So a thought (and an opinion is a thought) does have weight, not much, but it still does. This is similar to the fact that if you add heat energy to a pot of water on the stove, the weight of the water increases because the mass increases as energy is added.

      You haven't refuted the materialist position by simply asserting that mental processes are immaterial. What evidence do you have of that assertion?

  2. "How much does your opinion weigh, bach?"

    Even if thoughts did have mass and weight, could the thoughts of a mental midget possibly be all that hefty?

    1. Ilion,

      The sign of a mental midget is the refusal to answer a challenge. And anyway, thoughts do have mass (and weight, unless in a zero acceleration frame).

    2. Hey, Magnum PI. 1982 called it wants it hairstyle and mustache back