White Guilt

Whoo, let’s just start the flame wars now.

JK, my followers aren’t like that…so far.

Actually, given how many international followers I have, I wonder if everyone even is familiar with the term White Guilt.

This is a term those of us in the USA who are white have for the feeling of shame associated with the actions of our ancestors, and with our many privileges we have allegedly because of our race.

While people of any other ethnicity claim that they really are worse off and we just don’t understand.

Now I’m taking a World History Class at my public college, and its predictably anti-European.

Not that anyone calls it that, they cal it “Fair and Balanced” “Telling the Real Story” “Coming at it from a different perspective” and not using “The European Narrative.”

Now, there are no really honest generalizations if you’re talking about individual views. The Narrative of history from a European perspective is no more biased than from any other, if you mean in general. If you want to talk about the individuals, than it becomes a matter of each person’s story. Our judgment shifts from national and global to biographical. That’s fine. It’s human nature to be more interested in personal stories than vague histories.

If you want to look at the spirit of the age, that’s another matter. Certainly some ages had a general cruelty to them, others a more general sense of justice. I’m not sure any country has even been overwhelmingly kind, as kindness is always an individual sort of virtue, but some have been more fair, less likely to condone horrible things.

What my point is is that the claim of the public schools, at least in my country, that our older history is slanted toward the Europeans, and therefore it’s inaccurate, is bogus.

Of course it is, and our modern way of telling it slants it against the Europeans and if favor of literally anyone else, no matter how corrupt they are.

For example, a real instance that happened last week in my class discussion. We talked about the Aztecs, an ancient Mesoamerican civilizations (meaning they lived in the general area that is now Mexico or Central America). During the discussion, my professor and classmates criticized the Spaniards for disrespecting the Aztec’s religion by saying its gods were evil for requiring human sacrifice.

A little more history about the Aztecs: They were conquerors in much the same way the Spanish were. They took over and absorbed other cultures around them, took slaves (something that the Spanish did not do at the time) and sacrificed them to their gods as part of their blood ritual religion. Regularly.

My professor and classmates showed no sign of horror at this abominable practice, and when I suggested it was wrong, and the Spanish were right to criticize it, my professor decided to bring up some troubling beliefs in Christianity, the religion of the Spanish at the time (and, I’m certain she had guessed, my own religion, as I wore a cross to make it obvious.)

It’s only fair to share her points. She said that part of Christianity is symbolically eating the body and blood of Christ (which is not human sacrifice, even if it sounds gross) and that Abraham was even willing to sacrifice his son Isaac.

She should have brought up the time Japhthah sacrificed his daughter. That would have been a much stronger case than the time when God stopped Abraham form doing it.

Now, even among the people Jesus said it to, the Sacrament was a pretty weird idea and a lot of his followers left over it. Peter said they would stay because Jesus had the Words of Life. Jesus later established that eating his body and blood was to be symbolic thing, using bread and wine. Common foods that rich and poor alike would be able to eat.

While I agree it’s a strange practice, you won’t find any real religion that doesn’t have bizarre practices. And most are real, not symbolic. In the Bible God forbids cannibalism and human sacrifice (not self sacrifice, however).  God does not contradict Himself. Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac was before God had commanded against it, and God prevented it from actually happening, then later forbids it to make ti clear that it was a test and not something to actually do as an act of worship.

The Holy Communion is one of many parts of Christianity that use symbolism to show spiritual truths. When you eat something it becomes part of you, Jesus is a part of all of us. We are his body, and his blood is for our healing, when we eat and drink the symbolism of it, it is showing our oneness with Christ. IT has nothing to do with cannibalism.

Much the same way the Bible refers to suffering and judgment as a cup, it uses eating and drinking to symbolize the nearness and intensity of an experience or connection, but the followers of Christ understood that it was a symbol. And anyone who confuses a symbol for a real thing is generally starting a cult.

Which brings me back to the Aztecs. They were not symbolically shedding blood, they were actually doing it. The Christians’ own religion is not one that condones this or anything like it, and my Professors using it as such displays her ignorance of it, not my or the Spaniard’s ignorance of history or our own religion.

Why would an intelligent woman, who does not seem unkind, and a class of the brightest students at the college (if Honor Roll means anything) not see that they are defending murder sanctioned by a corrupt religion?

Because in their own words, no one is really right or wrong, there is no black and white.

But just to be clear, it was the Europeans who were in the wrong. They make sure we know that.

White Guilt. This is where is starts. Actually, it starts in Elementary School, with the view of history that justifies everyone but the ancestors of  many of the kids learning it, not to mention our Founders who gave us the country where we have the freedom to question them and our current leaders alike.

No race or ethnicity is perfect. No nation is perfect. Most are not fair. Most have been or are currently cruel.

Human Government as a rule has to be harsher than the individuals in it, because human justice is damage control. Unlike the justice of God, it cannot fix anything permanently, it is simply trying to assuage some of the evils that every society has.

No matter where you live and at what time, some class or race of people is being treated unfairly. Oppressed, perhaps. Though oppression is a tricky word. If the person really has no choice, than sure, they are oppressed. But in the Western world and some of the Eastern wold too, people can choose to quit a job and look elsewhere, or get a divorce, or not marry at all, or move. Then oppression becomes more of a mentality.

We in the USA are taught to feel ashamed of our past, and to strive for a vague idea of equality that the people who promote it do not even understand how to achieve, except by calling the rest of us who dare to have a spine out for being bigots.

I try to stay away from politics in my posts, but this goes beyond politics. It affects relegation, people’s sense of culture, and self respect.

I find it revolting to apologize for being an American and being White. While I do have ancestry that dates back to the colonies, I also have ancestry that dates back only 3 generations in America. And my people are some of the most hated and oppressed worldwide that exist, maybe the most.

I went to a Black Church for 6 years of my life (they were mostly 1st or 2nd generation Americans, so they didn’t feel as awkward about the race thing). There’s people at my current church from Sri Lanka, Africa, China, and Latino America, plus white people.

So I hardly think it’s really a matter of skin color or background. It’s an attitude to feel guilty for something you didn’t do, and to feel like a victim for something that never happened to you.

White Guilt is ridiculous in more ways than one, because it puts all White people into a box. I’m technically white, I look White, but I’m Slavic, with some Scottish, people who were not really a huge part of the European Slave trade. I’ve got Irish too, they were shipped around as indentured servants right along with the Africans, treated badly also.

My point is, you can’t look at me and assume I or my ancestors had any part of slavery or racism. You can’t assume that we were privileged, as Irish and Scottish people were looked down on in America, and still are in Britain, had the worst jobs just like the Africans did, and on my other family side, my people were hated even more.

So White Guilt, as an idea, is just as racist as Racism against anyone else. It’s saying that because you’re white, you’re a perpetrator of these ideas, or you come from people who perpetrated them, and now you need to make it better.

In the end, if you look at history honestly, everyone sucks. Humanity is a mess.

“There is none righteous, no not one; there is none who understands; there is none who seeks after God.” (Romans 3:10-11)

There’s Human Guilt, that’s all there is. No sense blaming it one any one group of people.

That’s all for now, until next time–Natasha.

Phil Paper: Should Intelligent Design be taught?

This is my Philosophy Paper about Intelligent Design being taught. I cut out the title page and formal argument, I figured no one would want to read that, this is just the body of the paper, and the Works Cited, if anyone wants to double check my facts. The post follows the structure of a introduction, terms defined, three premises, and a conclusion. Enjoy 😁👍

Introduction

From the late 1800s people have been debating whether Intelligent Design (ID) or Evolution should be taught in public schools, and since the 1960s, the debate has veered in favor of Evolution. Intelligent Design has been entirely eliminated from most public school curriculum.  Though not considered scientific by the majority of people, Intelligent Design is widely believed as an alternative to Evolution, and I will argue that it should be taught, and at the very least explained to students.

There are valid reasons to teach Intelligent Design. First, I will argue that teachers and school districts have the right to choose their own curriculum. Second, I will argue that many of the parents of children in the public school system do not want their children to be taught to believe Evolution. Thirdly, I will argue that since Evolution is not scientifically verified, teaching it is no different than teaching a religious perspective.

I will now begin by defining a few terms.

Terms Defined

Intelligent Design: the theory that the universe and living things were designed and created by the purposeful action of an intelligent agent. Abbreviation: ID (dictionary.com)

 Evolution: Has 6 meanings, all of which relate to my subject

 Cosmic evolution: the origin of time, space, and matter from nothing in the “big bang”

Chemical evolution: all elements “evolved” from hydrogen

Stellar evolution: stars and planets formed from gas clouds

Organic evolution: life begins from inanimate matter

Macroevolution: animals and plants change from one type into another

Microevolution: variations form within the “kind” (Creationtoday.com)

Creationism: the doctrine that matter and all things were created, substantially as they now exist, by an omnipotent Creator, and not gradually evolved or developed (dictionary.com)

Natural Law: a body of law or a specific principle held to be derived from nature (Merriam-webster.com)

Now that I have defined some of the key terms in my paper, I will proceed to argue that Educators have the freedom to choose their curriculum.

Teachers and School Districts have the Freedom to Choose Their Curriculum

         The right to free speech, or Freedom of Expression, is one of the founding principles of America as a society, and is meant to extend to all its areas of politics, education, religion, etc.  It is simply not constitutional to demand that many teachers, professors, principals, and other educators, teach as truth an opinion they do not believe in. It is in effect making them lie to their students, and denying them their right to free speech.

  Some might be skeptical that teachers really are required to teach evolution and not ID. It is true that teaching Creationism has been outlawed by the Supreme court since 1987 (Wapshott 36-37). ID has not been prohibited by the Supreme Court. However, because many people claim that ID is just Creationism repackaged, it is coming under the same scrutiny. Whether the ruling against Creationism makes it also illegal to teach ID is a subject of great debate, but it is easy to imagine how it might intimidate any teacher who does wish to present it as an alternative. 

  The problem is not in telling students that Evolution, the alternative to ID, is considered the scientific explanation for how things came to be. The problem is in refusing to allow teachers and schools to freely admit they do not accept the theory, or present any counterarguments to the theory that they may find worthy of consideration. I as a student, can freely express disagreement with evolution, but my professors are not supposed to, at least during class time, teach an alternative perspective even if they believe it.

  While a teacher may not get fired for speaking against Evolution, it can be easier to simply not risk it, and even if the head of the school might not have a personal problem with ID, they may enforce the rule anyway, sometimes because parents insist on it. I found one case that went to a federal court in Pennsylvania over the issue: “Dover’s school board ordered that a short statement be read at the beginning of biology classes, which pointed to ‘gaps’ in Darwin’s theory of evolution and endorsed intelligent design as an alternative. Eleven parents filed suit against the district, claiming that the statement violates the required separation of church and state in lessons” (Brumfiel,  607; Sparr, 719-720).  Though this is only one incident, the fact that it went to federal court meant the outcome set up a precedent for the middle district of Pennsylvania. I looked up the case results, and the judge ruled in favor of not teaching ID, which will apply to the whole middle district of Pennsylvania (Sparr 719-720). 

I found out more about this case, “By analyzing the arguments of one of the most prominent and respected ID supporters in the country, the Kitzmiller court’s opinion went to the heart of the ID movement and created an analytical roadmap for other courts to follow” (ibid). In other words, since this case was decided, it has been referred to by educators as a reason not to present ID. What’s interesting is that the Dover School District’s statement did not actually say ID was true.  “Because Darwin’s Theory is a theory, it continues to be tested as new evidence is discovered. The Theory is not a fact. Gaps in the theory exist for which there is no evidence… Intelligent Design is an explanation of the origin of life that differs from Darwin’s view. With respect to any theory, students are encouraged to keep an open mind” (Sparr 719-720). The school also left an option for parents to sign a release for their child to not have to read the statement if they did not want them to (ibid).

I am not arguing that parents should not get to object, but in this case their reason for doing so is weak. I will address the separation of church and state more in my counter argument section, but for now, I want to point out that acknowledging gaps in Darwin’s theory and supporting ID as an alternative was not bringing any one religion into the school district, but simply being honest with the students about possible problems with the curriculum and offering them a possible solution. Furthermore, it was an option, not a requirement. Encouraging the students to keep an open mind and making an alternative perspective available would be fulfilling the right to Freedom of Expression.

Now that I have defended a teacher or district’s right to choose their own curriculum, or at least express disagreement with the school’s openly, I will argue that the current curriculum does not reflect the beliefs of many of the parents.

Public Education about Evolution does not Reflect What Many Parents Want Their Children to be Taught to Believe.

I already mentioned that parents got involved in the case I detailed before, but what is notable is that only eleven parents were involved in the issue (Brumfiel  607). This case ended up in the federal court because of eleven parent’s objections, not to the curriculum, but to the disclaimer. However, is it right to assume that their opinion, in one school district and one area, represented the general wishes of parents in the state of Pennsylvania, or the rest of the country? I would say that there are some good statistics that would say otherwise. 

According to the 2014 Gallup Poll, the percentage of people nationally who believe in Evolution is now at 47%. While the percentage of people who believe in Creationism (which falls under the ID category) is at 40-47% (Bradshaw).  Also according to the poll 79% of Americans who believed in Evolution reported being familiar with Evolution, familiarity with Creationism at 76%. The results for this Gallup poll were based on telephone interviews conducted May 8-11, 2014, with a random sample of 1,028 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. The landline and cellular telephone numbers are selected using random-digit-dial methods. The landline respondents are chosen at random within each household on the basis of which member had the most recent birthday. The samples are weighted to correct for unequal selection probability, nonresponse, and double coverage of landline and cell users in the two sampling frames. They are also weighted to correspond to the national demographics of gender, age, race. 

If we infer that these percentages represent the country with some accuracy, then it is clear that a sizable chunk of the adults (meaning parents) in this country do not accept Evolution as truth. Their beliefs are not reflected in the public school curriculum. I am not arguing that we treat truth democratically, that is what I am arguing against. We are split almost 50-50 currently in what we accept. Yet the state gets to decide what curriculum is approved for its public schools and that decision can be in the hands of a single judge, or a council. I argue that with something as important as a worldview, the state should not be deciding by itself or by majority rule what to instill in our children. This goes against the First Amendment, which is supposed to keep the state from establishing any one worldview. I would argue that the right to Freedom of Expression also means the right to not have your children be taught something you do not believe in, at least until they are old enough to be expected to think critically.

I argue that the better solution would be to do what the Dover district attempted to do, and present both perspectives. It would represent the wishes of more parents, though I think they should be allowed to exempt their children if they do not wish them to be taught both sides. Parents can opt their child out of gym for approved reasons, why not extend that to other classes? I would even go a step further, and argue that the Origin of Life would be better left out of grade school curriculum entirely. If students could wait until College to pursue the topic, they could choose which perspective to learn about.  However, I do not think that this solution is likely to be adopted, so I am proposing at least teaching a more balanced view that would better serve the needs of all the parents, not just the ones who believe in Evolution.

Now that I have argued that an exclusively evolution based curriculum does not reflect the wishes of many parents, I will proceed to argue my last point, that Evolution is not proven, so teaching it is no different than teaching ID.

Evolution is not Scientifically Proven so Teaching it is on the Same Level as Teaching Intelligent Design

 There are some guidelines that have to be met for a theory to be considered scientific, I found them in the book Are Creationism-Intelligent Design Writings Scientific? “Overton defined science as such: ‘1. It is guided by natural law; 2. It has to be explanatory by reference to natural law; 3. It is testable against the empirical world; 4. Its conclusions are tentative; 5. It is falsifiable’ ” (Overton quoted in White’s, 318). 

However, Evolution is not a proven theory by these standards, it has been tested to a small extent. For example, the creation of a few amino acids (which are the building blocks of proteins in your DNA) under highly controlled conditions that would not be found anywhere in Nature, where Organic Evolution allegedly took place (gwu). These tests did not explain how Organic Evolution could happen without those extremely controlled conditions. In the end the article concluded that Earth must have had different conditions, like no oxygen, when life originated. That is a hypothesis that has not been proven, as all testing of the air from crystallized amber reveals that there was more oxygen in the past few thousand years, and the size of the animal and plant skeletons we find also suggests a richer environment in the past (Livina 97–106) . That does not disprove Organic Evolution, but the fact remains that it is still a hypothesis. 

The only Evolution that can be proven to be guided by natural law is Microevolution; all the others are purely theoretical. To be clear, my argument is not that Evolution should not be taught; I already argued that Teachers are allowed to teach what they believe is the best explanation, and many believe Evolution makes sense. The reason I have laid this out is because Evolution is claimed to be scientifically proven, while ID is claimed to be a religious worldview ( Brumfiel, 607; Furigay; Manis). However, the evidence for ID is on par with the evidence for Evolution. That is, it is interpreting the observable things in the natural world as coming from an unobservable cause that cannot be proven, because we were not there. I define proof, in this case, as being able to demonstrate something happening in today’s conditions that would not require Man intervening in order to make it work. 

For clarity, I will give one example of the way in which Evolution and ID are equal. The foundation for Evolution is the Big Bang Theory, the theory that the matter in the universe came from a central location, exploded, and then expanded (see Terms Defined) into what we see today. The foundation for ID is that this was set in place be a designer, or designers, if you are a polytheist. Some intelligent life form, on consciousness. For many people, of course, it is God. The similarity between these two theories is this: No one knows the cause. 

If we take the Evolution perspective, we do not know where the matter came from, or what set off the explosion, or what made the laws of physics take effect. If we take the ID perspective, we do not know where the Designer came from, or why they chose to make our universe, and why they made it the way they did. All either of us have is the observable facts, and our theories. The evidence for both depends purely on interpretation of the facts. This is only one of many examples, but I am not arguing the pros and cons of the theories.

 Now that I have argued for ID being equal to Evolution in terms of proof, I will address two counter arguments to my claims.

Counter Arguments:

Counter argument #1: Intelligent Design is just Creationism repackaged, making it a religious worldview. It is unconstitutional for  government funded schools to teach a religious viewpoint. It violates the principles of freedom of religion, that there should be a  “Separation of Church and State” (Furigay; Manis).

Refutation: The words “Separation of Church and State” are not in the constitution, but in a letter Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1802 to the Danbury Baptist Association. What the constitution says is the government should not establish a State Religion. The government should not insist that any one viewpoint be taught in every public school, or rule that presenting an alternative viewpoint is unconstitutional. ID is not a single religion. It is a summary of what all religions usually claim, except for the humanist ones, such as Evolution, or Existentialism. Therefore, instructors endorsing ID cannot be endorsing a state religion, because it is not one. Within the broad category of ID you can believe in anything from Greek Mythology to Aliens visiting the planet, and it is all technically intelligent design. While it is true that many ID endorsers are Creationists, they are not all one religion. Islam is a Creationist religion, so is Hinduism, so are any number of tribal religions. ID is an inclusive worldview, while evolution is exclusive.

Counter Argument #2: ID does not represent the population as a whole so it should not be taught to the public (Manis).

Refutation: Truth is not democratic. Public opinion is not a reliable source for what is and is not right. This is an example of the fallacy known as ad populum. This is also a weak argument because plenty of subjects that are taught in public school are not necessarily representative of the majority’s opinion/knowledge, such as higher math, yet they are still accepted as accurate. Evolution was not accepted widely for hundreds of years, and statistics vary as to whether it is the most popular opinion even now. Moreover, ID is a far less exclusive view than Evolution, because ID includes any and all religions that believe in God or in gods, as part of the category, and Evolution does not. To represent the population as a whole is impossible. The only truly fair option would be to remove any explanation of the origin of the universe at all from public education.

 Conclusion

In summary, instructors have the right to present ID if they want to do so, parents have the right to choose what their children learn, and Evolution and ID are both unproven and should be presented as equally valid theories. Therefore, we should be allowed to teach Intelligent Design as an alternative to Evolution.

            

                                                                    Works Cited

Bradshaw, William S. “A Longitudinal Study of Attitudes Toward Evolution among Undergraduates Who are Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.” PLoS One, vol. 13, no. 11, 2018. ProQuest

Brumfiel, Geoff. “School Board in Court Over Bid to Teach Intelligent Design.” Nature, vol. 437, no. 7059, 2005, pp. 607. ProQuest.

Furigay, Jane. “Pence in 2002: Intelligent Design should be Taught as Science in Public Schools.”   Targeted News Service, Aug 05, 2016. ProQuest.

Manis, Karalee. “Karalee: Should Intelligent Design be Taught in Public Schools?” University Wire,  Jan 02, 2020. ProQuest.

Martin, Daniel; McKenna, Helen; Livina, Valerie. “The human physiological impact of global deoxygenation Journal of  Physiological Science. 67(1): 97–106. 2017. Online. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Simon, Neal G. “Freedom to Express Unscientific Ideas.” The Chronicle of Higher Education, vol.   52, no. 9, 2005, pp. A63. ProQuest.

Smith, G. M. “Creation and Evolution.” Choice, vol. 48, no. 4, 2010, pp. 700. ProQuest.

Sparr, Phillip.  “Special ‘Effects’: Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, 400 F. Supp. 2d 707 (M.D. Pa. 2005), and the Fate of Intelligent Design in Our Public Schools.” pg 719-720.   2007. Online. digitalcommons.unl.edu 

Unknown Author. “The Origin of Life.” Not Dated. https://www2.gwu.edu

Wapshott, Nicholas. “A NEW AGE OF UNREASON.” New Statesman, vol. 18, no. 881, Oct 17, 2005, pp. 36-37. ProQuest.

White, David J. “Are Creationism-Intelligent Design Writings Scientific? A Content Analysis of Popular Evolution, Creation, and Intelligent Design Texts.” University of South Dakota,       Ann Arbor, 2011. ProQuest.

Thanks for reading–Natasha.

How my Philosophy class had a twist ending.

Well it has been awhile, but I had finals last week, and spent a lot of time writing my Philosophy paper.

Interesting class.

At the end of it, I had some good conversations with my classmates, talking about our beliefs.

But the biggest miracle came at the end, and I want to share this story because I think it may encourage other people, but first I want to explain why I think it’s important.

Christians, and people of others faiths, alike, have a hard time knowing how to talk about their faith at secular colleges.

Actually, I don’t even talk about my faith with other Christians all that often. Sometimes I think the Sunday Sermon is not really conducive to starting real conversations between believers.

At college, it’s a twitchy subject. People steer away from it.

But towards the last part of class, I began researching Intelligent Design for my final paper, and I mentioned in class that I do not believe in Evolution.

My classmates were surprised, one guy asked “Why don’t you believe in Evolution?”

My professor interrupted us, so I said we’d talk about it later, and then I had the audacity to actually follow up and ask him about it.

Well, we got into it, why I don’t buy it, why he does. What our backgrounds were. Why we choose to keep believing what we do.

As I gave reason after reason I doubt Evolution, and he failed to come up with any real evidence for it, I began to question him as to why he believed something he didn’t actually know of any evidence for, as he admitted he did not understand the theory very well.

He said he did not know enough evidence to believe in God, but as I pressed further and got more into why I think religion makes sense, he said he chooses not to pursue Truth any further.

I said he probably had not found truth because he had not pursued it. At which point, he said that might be true, but he was just lazy and content with not knowing.

I was surprised at this amount of honesty, but actually, I’ve seen it before. Sometimes people really know deep down what their problem is, but they don’t want to change it. They’ll even admit that.

However, I believe my classmate was a bit more interested than he gave himself credit for, because at last he asked why I believe what I do.

I gave him the Chesterton answer, because when I read it, it seemed to sum up my own feelings on the subject..

G. K. Chesterton said that he believed in Christianity not because one or two things were explained by it, but because everything was explained by it. All moral, scientific, and intellectual questions are answered in Christianity. All our private desires, and all public concerns (see Orthodoxy.) I paraphrase.

There is no good reason not to believe in God. There are many reasons to believe in Him.

I researched a lot to find an argument for Intelligent Design, since my topic was to prove, objectively, that it should be taught alongside or as an alternative to Evolution.

(Link to my paper, https://wordpress.com/post/drybonestruth.wordpress.com/16959 –if people are interested in reading it with the sources to prove I was not making this stuff up.)

I found very few arguments for ID, because no one was even willing to consider it. The bulk of what I found was people, not always scientists, saying ID was the same as Creationism (it’s not) and accusing religious people of trying to undermine science.

They also accused creationism as being akin to Nazism (I am not making that up) and being the reason the Russians launched Sputnik ahead of us.

Sure

In Philosophy, we call that Fallacy ad hominim, or to the man. Accusation, in other words.

They say too that we have no specific evidence for Intelligent Design. That us referring to the complexity of living organisms, or DNA, or even single body parts like the human eye, is not evidence.

While Evolution has no claim to any evidence that anything can evolve. They have done experiments, but experiments, by definition, are designed, planned, and organized by human beings, who have intelligence. Thereby, making the results products of intelligent design. Nullifying any claim that it proves evolution.

If we can replicate nature with a lot of human effort and ingenuity, all we have proved is that Nature is better at functioning itself than we are at copying it, but it takes endless design on our part to even come close.

If Nature evolved, how can it be more complex than our human intelligent inventions that are just copying it? Planes were designed based on birds, that is just one instance (Google the Wright brothers.)

If then, Evolutionists turn to nature itself, and observe it for signs of evolution, the problem does not get any better. Insect colonies have a structure, animals live in groups and cooperate. But there are not set rules.

You might say a lion will always be a predator, and by natural selection, the weak will be culled. 9 times out of 10, the lions may act that way. But the 10th case, a lion will do something crazy, like adopt an animal it would normally eat, or protect a member of a rival tribe, when it could just let her get killed off, or protect a human being (look it up.)

I see odd behavior just in my pets that I can’t explain by instinct and nature. One of my cats has a propensity for feminine objects, and she will only cuddle if she’s on a bed, usually. I can’t really explain that by nature, my cat just has a personality.

In fact, the truth that animals have personality is one any pet owner can tell you, but it’s not exactly easy to explain by evolution.

After all personality is the expression of someone’s soul. Some will say we just assign certain attributes to people and pets that we imagine. But pet owners and parents can tell you, they are just reporting facts. Living things have quirks. Even plants can have quirks.

Life itself is just unpredictable, while death is extremely predictable. Evolution relies on death of the weak for progress, but death has never, that we can see, progressed anything. It was the living things that changed, adapted, and migrated.

Evolution can also not explain how we have a conscience. Just read Mere Christianity, for Lewis’s in depth explanation of how the fact that we have moral dilemma’s cannot really be explained by survival instinct.

The fact that we feel compelled to consider the truth of things, the whole reason blogs even exists, cannot be explained by survival instinct. Because truth, aside from material facts, is not really necessary to survival in an animal sense.

Even animals, however, have a conscience, that is, they can understand when they have done something wrong. Our dog used to hang his head guiltily when he’d broken a rule, and even if we encouraged him to break one (we were not very fair) he would refuse to do it.

If all a dog can understand is obedience, as some would claim, which might be a survival instinct, then why not obey us when we told him to break a rule? He refused, showing an act of actual willpower, how does a dog rationalize that he should not obey if it means breaking a long standing rule?

I cannot answer, I do not believe animals have Reason, but they seem to have a sense that we, as their owners, do. And that we do things for a higher purpose. They seem to understand hypocrisy enough to know we can go back on our own word.

Christianity would tell me it is because God made man to rule over the earth, and beasts know this instinctively, and follow our lead. Pets can reflect their owners personality. Wild animals will often not even run human beings off their territory, if the human beings don’t do anything to agitate them.

I just do not see how Evolution can explain behavior. And that is the chief thing human beings are concerned about.

So, what was the miracle I alluded to at the start of this post?

Well, when I chose that topic of ID for my paper, my professor said she thought I might have difficulty being unbiased. I thought this was unfair of her to say, and she criticized my rough drafts on that premise.

But after I turned in my final, she wrote, with a tone of some surprise, that it was objective, well researched, and she wouldn’t change anything except a few formatting errors. She also said “I learned a lot.”

I knew going in that she would be hard to convince since she was expecting me to be biased, and it amazed me that she praised it that much. I got 99 out of 100 points.

I worked really hard on that paper, and I’m glad I did. It was never a fair fight, as I had sundry difficulties finding good, unbiased sources. Plus, I had classmates who were skeptical to begin with and criticized things that were irrelevant, a couple of times. My professor also used fallacious reasoning when she criticized it.

All this to say, that I finally won out was a miracle, in my opinion.

Also, one of my other classmates said the paper made them think because they had not really considered the question before, but they agreed with my conclusion that ID should be given a fair chance.

I proved I could be fair but also prove my point. Shooting down two expectations people have of religious people.

And my classmate I mentioned at the start actually told me during our conversation he was surprised at how fair I was, that is, I stuck to my points but was not a jerk about it.

I took from all this that it is possible to talk about your faith with people, and defy expectations.

I think Christians in general accept the label that we hate science way too easily. I don’t know of many in my community who have had these kinds of talks with people. People assumed I hated science because I was religious.

I love science, actually, but not Evolution.

Anyway, I hope this post encourages you about it. If you want to know more about ID and Evolution, I recommend Kent Hovind’s seminars, and a movie you can find on YouTube called “The Atheist Delusion” despite the title, it is not hating on atheists, it’s actually very respectful. Just a play on the book “The God Delusion” (which is anything but respectful).

Until next time, stay honest–Natasha.

 

 

Antisophy–My tale of woe.

Phew! Here we go.

I am taking a Philosophy Critical Thinking Class for the Winter. Which means I have it for three hours a day for three days, 9 hrs a week. For 6 weeks.

That’s around 36 hours.

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It’s been one week, and I’m already so freaking done with this curriculum.

The class itself is fun, I’m in Honors, so the smart people are in this class, the ones who can follow what I’m saying half the time in discussion.

But the textbook–ergh! I’m in chapter one and its already so, so dumb.

Plus, the reading materials we’re given. Is it too much to ask that they not all be leftist, liberal, progressive, and invariably biased.

I know, I know, Public College has to push the liberal agenda, but why not just pick subjects where there’s not as much of a clear bias to have us read about, this is social conditioning, not critical thinking.

(I wonder how many people would go to that class, if they offered it, because they don’t know what Social Conditioning is and think it’s a real subject.–I mean it is, if you’re part of a regime…or the school system.)

On top of that, Philosophy is taught a certain way now that is just ludicrous.

You’ve no doubt hear it before. The Relativistic approach.

I’m supposed to be practicing defining terms for my papers, so I’ll go ahead a define a few here:

Relativism: any theory holding that criteria of judgment are relative, varying with individuals and their environments. (Webster’s.)

Philosophy: the rational investigation of the truths and principles of being, knowledge, or conduct.
the critical study of the basic principles and concepts of a particular branch of knowledge, especially with a view to improving or reconstituting them:the philosophy of science.
a system of principles for guidance in practical affairs.

The Greek words that the word Philosophy comes from are Philo and Soph, that is, Love and Wisdom. Philosophy initially meant the “love of wisdom.”

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When you read the older philosophers, like Socrates and Plato, you’ll notice they really enjoyed what they were talking about, they enjoyed seeking the wisest, most right course of action.

In modern times, people are trying to redefine Philosophy to mean its inverse, Not seeking Wisdom, not seeking truth, but treating all ideas as equally valid. Antisophy, if you will.

It should be obvious that Relativism and Philosophy are actually polar opposites. Who can love anything relatively? Certainly not wisdom. Love is passion, not a mediocre feeling of approval.

Yet, in my philosophy class about critical thinking, I am told that certainty in our knowledge is a “potentially dangerous mental bias”, and that the goal of critical thinking is to be relativistic. To commit to the pursuit of knowledge, for its own sake, and not to any one way of looking at truth.

Why the heck I should care about truth, if knowledge is impossible to be certain about, is not explained.

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Think about it: If we cannot be certain of knowledge, i. e. Truth, then Truth is not real. Therefore, what is the aim, the end goal, of critical thinking?

To discover that one non-truth is preferable to another non-truth?

As long as I don’t believe in Theism and Right and Wrong, by any chance, the Philosophy Course doesn’t really care to answer that question.

I am not kidding when I say the chart we were given to evaluate our level of critical thinking was intentionally trying to shame religious people be putting the belief in a religion and good and evil as the lowest form of thinking a college student can begin from.

(If you don’t believe me, look up Perry’s Scheme, and see for yourself. Here’s a chart of the basic ideas.)Image result for perry's scheme'
The book we’re reading is going a bit further, even, down this Rabbit Hole. Here’s a direct quote from chapter one, the chapter that sets the tone for the whole book:

“But once we acknowledge that our commitments are based on probability and not certainty, we will be much more open to the reasoning of those who are trying to persuade us to change our minds. After all we may well be wrong about some of our beliefs. We have to listen respectfully to those with whom we may disagree. They just may be right.” (emphasis mine)

In literally the next paragraph this enlightened author then says:

“There will seldom be a position on a social controversy about you will be able to say ‘this is clearly the right position on the issue.’ If such certainty were possible, reasonable people would not be debating the issue.” (Emphasis still mine.)

(If you want to see for yourself, the book is “Asking the Right Questions: A guide to critical thinking” by M. Neil Browne and Stuart M. Keeley.)

Yes, students, your opponent maybe be right, but there is no clearly right position for them to be right about…cause that makes sense, in this critical thinking book.

I pointed out to my professor the hypocrisy of someone stating that certainty is a dangerous state of mind with such certainty… She wasn’t amused.😐😐😑

She also said that there is no such thing as “Moral Objectivity”, to which I asked “Are you certain about that?” She looked at me for a split second like “so…we’re doing this” and then said “No, all things change.”

Well, okay, glad we’re clear on that.👍

To do her justice, I do not think my professor is trying to indoctrinate us on purpose. She seems like a nice lady who didn’t even get too irritated at me for calling her out. But she’s still teaching irresponsibly if she does not acknowledge what are clear and oblivious hypocrisies in the philosophy of the people we’re reading.

And this book is full of it just in the first chapter, which she also does not acknowledge.

What’s disturbing about this book is that on the next page, it states that critical thinking can be humane and progressive, if it is not used as a weapon.

Critical thinking is a weapons, no matter how you use it, you are trying to clear certain fallacies and ideas out of your way to make room for the good stuff.

Also, no form of reasoning is inherently humane, Reason is Reason. It’s measuring, assessing, analyzing, it’s neither kind nor cruel.

One might reason that it is better to stick to the old thing than to a new thing. Reason is not inherently progressive. Whatever these guys even mean by that, they don’t specify.

All this tells me is that this is intentional.

It’s silly to pretend it could not be intentional.

Browne and Keeley are deliberately trying to shame students who they suspect hold different values from them into feeling stupid, and accepting their beliefs.

The student is told in a polite, concerned tone that we should listen to other beliefs, but this is not demonstrated, because they authors do not bother to consider the notion that there may actually be a higher truth, they just throw that out immediately. Therefore making an assumption that they do not test their own form of critical thinking on.

It’s condescending as heck, and it’s brainwashing. I normally hesitate to accuse people of doing this deliberately, but there’s just no way so many blatant instances could occur withing two pages, if it was not intentional.

That being said, the inconsistency within their own thinking is rather impressive, as within my professor’s, and the other articles we’ve been reading.

I know what it is, they are muddled, because that is easier.

If you treat truth as real, and clear, and teach people how to pursue it, you run into the uncomfortable fact that truth has to be true for a reason.  There has to be something behind it, or it would not be true. Like a prize on a show where you have to choose between different doors.

That Something behind Truth might just be something more powerful than us, something we might have to take into consideration when we make decisions.

What’s funny is that not everyone who rejects the idea of a Divine standard is living an immoral life, it’s simply that they don’t want to be controlled, even if being controlled would only mean they had to do the right thing, which they claim to care about.

Some people say they don’t need God to lead a moral life, they can just decided to themselves without some Great Power telling them what to do.

These people do not understand what God is, if they believe that they could even have an idea of what is right, without Him. What standard would they go by? What else could make sense bu that God put certain rules in place in the universe.

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Personally, I do not find believing in God to be limiting. Believing in a God who has no limits means that I have far fewer limits than I would otherwise have. The person who does not believe in God thinks flying is impossible without technology, the person who believes in God only thinks flying is improbable, it is not impossible. (Some mystics were said to have floated.)

Believing in God allows me to see good in almost everything, even if I mostly disagree with it, and allows me to judge anything as having flaws, if it does. I do not have to pretend.

While I can allow for some good in this stupid Philosophy Course, it cannot got the other way, The Philosophy Course can not allow for any validity in my perspective.

Those who believe God is truth can love truth, and love pursuing it, even if the path to it is through cold logic and not directly acknowledging God.

But those who believe truth is not certain cannot allow for anyone or anything that would make it certain, therefore they exclude any valid reasoning on a Christian’s part.

If it is not so, then why do they not include religious based arguments int hes classes, what are they do afraid of? If all views are equal, why is a religious view also not equal?

These are questions you won’t see addressed in college.
Until next time, stay honest–Natasha.

The 411 on Spirits (bad and good).

I have a weird subject today. Warning: If you don’t believe in the spiritual realm, you will probably find this post disconcerting.

I think people are surprised to learn Christians believe in demons, it tends to be treated as the same as believing in ghosts, curses, and magic.

What’s more surprising to me is how many Christians believe in angels, but don’t seem to think about there being a dark side to spiritual things.

I wish there wasn’t, believe me, but it’s impossible to believe that if you’re paying attention to what’s going on with the word and the people you know.

So, I am one of those Christians who believes in all of it, I think ghosts are real (but they are not actually people, they are spirits disguised as people); possession; curses; and magic (also demonic); I believe in miracles, I know people who were healed by prayer. I go to a church where that happens frequently, as a matter of fact.

It’s easier to say all this stuff is fake if you’ve never bothered to look into it.

I remember when I was younger, my non-christian relatives were watching a show about ghosts haunting houses, and I objected to it. My grandma said “How’s it any different from what you believe in?” Or was it my aunt, or both.

Well might you ask that, actually.

Not to sound stuck up, but to someone who’s met God, the idea that demonic activity and divine activity are the same thing is… disgustingly ridiculous.

Let me say, people mistake demons for God, it’s happen all throughout history (Idolatry) but, as C. S. Lewis pointed out, you cannot make the opposite mistake. Not usually. Once you know God, you are much harder to fool.

I’ve made the opposite mistake myself, but when God is actually speaking to me, I don’t often think it’s something else.

I know that a lot of people have been burned by Christians obsessed with spiritual warfare and with visitations of the Holy Spirit. I will say, some do focus too much on God showing up in a moment of time, and not enough on the fact that we are meant to be carrying his presence in us all day, everyday.

God is the most important thing, there is no mistake about that. God must be first.

The evil spirits in the world are deadly to non-believers, but more of a nuisance to believers, except in extreme cases.

I believe that many mental health problems are actually demonic problems. Often it’s both that and trauma and life choices combining to leave a person in a very dark place.

Chances are, if you live in a country in Africa or Asia, you may actually already believe in this stuff, I’m aware it’s common knowledge in a lot of the world. If you live in the West…it’s not really as rare as people think.

I’ve read so many stories, and met people who’ve had experiences with that kind of thing. Actual skeptics are rare. In my college, secular college, English class, when my teacher brought up ghosts, not many people didn’t believe in them. I don’t remember any, off the top of my head.

So, I realize you actually may not disbelieve me, and I’m going to write accordingly. If you do think I’m crazy…well, I don’t really care, actually.

That said, people who know this is for real often are scared to death of it. OR prefer not to think of it. The attitude with demons and curses and spirits is that they are beyond our control, and so we had better just hope not to run into them.

The idea in pretty much all horror movies is that monsters or psychos cannot be stopped by people, so you have to hope you’re not the main victim in the story. I hate those movies for that very reason.

It’s not true, actually.

What people arguably find harder to believe than the existence of demons is Christian’s way of handling the matter. Because it’s quite simple. We take authority over it.

That demons cannot be fought against or stopped is the biggest lie about them, and the one they love to perpetuate…I’ve heard them do so.

(I don’t converse with demons by the way, I’ve seen people attacked by them.)

I am not claiming to be an expert on this subject, all this is what you’ll find int he Bible alone, without theology.

The way it works is if you truly know God, he puts His Spirit into you, the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit does not control you, it’s not possession, it’s more like the bond between a husband and wife. Being one and yet still two separate people.

The Holy Spirit is what makes us children of God. It is what brings our own spirit back to life after being dead in sin. It is also our defense against the evil one.

The solution to evil is always to overcome it with good. Overcoming demons is the natural outcome of carrying the Spirit of God, not the goal of it.

Demons seem scary until you’ve met God, and then…they seem small and pathetic.

Actually, the Bible says that at the end of time when the Devil himself is revealed, the kings of the earth will look narrowly upon him and be amazed that such a small thing made the world tremble.

Jesus also commissioned His followers to cast out demons. He spent about 1/3 of his Ministry doing that and healing, if I remember correctly.

Also, the Bible warns us that nonbelievers should never try to cast out demons. There is a story in Acts about it happening, and the demons tore their clothes off and chased them out. Saying “Jesus I know, and Paul (a christian) I know, but who are you?”

Spiritual authority is about identity. Those who belong to God have Christ’s authority, those who do not don’t.

Now, it maybe someone who’s dabbled in this subject will be thinking “What about witches? What about people who claim to do this who are not Christians? What about physics?”

The answer: They’re fake.

the power isn’t, but I read a story in “The Cross and the Switchblade” about a dabbler like that trying to rid someone of a demon, it failed.

Some of these people know Christians are a threat, by the way. My church had a witch show up to curse it for several weeks, nothing happened, I think she eventually got saved actually.

I’m not making this up. Believe it’s real or not, but these people do believe it’s real, and they hate Christians.

As for fortune tellers, we are warned to stay away from them. Even if what they say comes to pass, no good ever came of going to them for it, as Macbeth makes clear.

Since I’m ticking people off, I might as well add that horoscopes are also off limits. Astrology is not something to screw around with.

Get mad at me if you wish, but what do you think is behind it?

However, maybe you aren’t mad, maybe you believe me, and you’re scared.

I know, because I used to be also.

So, I’m going to end this with a reassurance: Whatever you might have seen, the powers of darkness are nothing to God. It might be you’ve been a person who’s had that problem yourself, maybe your whole life. Maybe church didn’t give you an answer for it, I’m sad when I think of how many churches are ignorant of it.

Whatever the case, you don’t have to live in it. God can take the worst darkness and destroy it. Sometimes it only seems overwhelming and terrible because we’ve never seen the alternative.

And if you were a christian and read this far, I’d encourage you to research this if you never have, and learn how to pray about it.

I’m not trying to teach you warfare, I don’t think a blog is the best place to do that on, people might get weird ideas out of context.

I just want you to be aware of it.

I’ve never gone into it a whole lot because I expect people to think I’m nuts, but if you’ve followed me for awhile, you now I’m not obsessed with this stuff, I prefer to talk about normal things most of the time.

I actually only decided to address this because anime often deals with the subject, and I began to think: so many people watch anime, and if they see this and have similar experiences, they may try to apply what they see because it’s all they’ve ever seen about it.

And anime rarely provides the solution to such problems accurately, I plan on doing a follow up post about that with specific characters from different shows, so if you found this interesting but would prefer to discuss it fictionally and not in real life, check that out.

Or if you’re simply curious about what I’ll say, even if you aren’t buying this at all.

Or if the subject bugs you and you want to learn more about defeating it.

Whatever the case, until then, stay true–Natasha.

 

Thoughts from Mentoring.

I got a job!–Last month.

Yeah, I kind of keep forgetting to mention it.

But it’s way cool.

My college has a program for ASD (Austistic Spectrum Disorder) students, where regular students help them along with getting adjusted into school.

Kind of like an assistant who’s paid less and has less hours.

But on the plus side, it’s excellent experience for someone like me who is learning to work with disable people (since technically Deafness is still considered that.)

It turns out this job is suited to my talents almost perfectly for the most part. The only thing I don’t naturally tend to do is askpeople a lot of questions aobut their sceduel and personal lives, even if I want to know, I don’t normally think it’s polite, but as a mentor, I am supposed to do that.

You kind of have to flip a switch in your brain to tell it that you’re in a different mode than before.

My mentee is very high functioning, and I’m pretty sure no one who didn’t know could even tell he was ASD. He speaks normally and remembers things well and makes eye contact fairly easily. Plus can track with a regular conversation with only a slight tenancy to derail onto the same subject.

Actually, at one time in m life, I had a lot of tenancies that could be grouped into this spectrum. The only difference I see is that I was able to learn myself through trial and error, and did not have a label or a class to go to in order to help.

I also got blamed and held responsible for my lack of social grace, whereas these students tend to be excused for simply not getting it.

It makes me wonder, do we choose to blame certain people simply because we think they know better?

There are jerks who will still get mad at people with real disabilities. I have a friend with a brain injury disability. It can be frustrating to talk to her since her memory is effected by it, as well as her ability to understand instructions or questions. She is smart, but processes slowly.

I have been blessed with a very quick mind, not bragging, I know that it’s a gift. I could just as easily have had a different learning style and less ability to process.

Under pressure I tend to kick into a higher gear because I can process quickly and effectively, while some people freeze up.

I feel it’s important to assist people who learn with more difficulty than I do. I guess I never gave it much thought. As a kid, I just naturally explained things to kids, my younger siblings, even my parents. I’m the kind of person who can get people interested in stuff, if I put my mind to it.

As I got to know more of my peers I naturally answered their questions. And I always got a thrill when that change in their tone or expression would come, you know the “I get it” look.

Now that I’ve moved into teaching Sunday school, assisting friends with ASL, and mentoring, (which is kind of like teaching by example and input, more than teaching directly,) I see it more and more.

Even in my Math class, my worst subject (in high school, though I did okay), I’ve ended up working with two older ladies who are much slower at it than I am, and helping them do it. Of course, who you team up with in class is subject to change, but it seems I’m still one of the fastest people.

I end up helping my classmates in virtually every class I’m in. Often people just ask me, like they know by looking at me that I’m a good student.

And being a good student comes naturally. I don’t put that much effort into it. I take notes, do assignments on time, and that’s about it.

All this to say, I know that I’m very lucky to find it so easy. Being home-schooled, I learned to enjoy learning for its own sake.

The Bible actually says, in Daniel 1, of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego:

“(17) As for these four young men, God gave them knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams…(19) Then the king interviewed them, and among them all none was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; therefore they served before the king. (20) And in all matters of wisdom and understanding about which the king examined them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers who were in all his realm.” 
Also, in another place:
“Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance…” — Proverbs 1:5
Skill to learn and understand it a gift from God.
I don’t have a lot of skills in the Manuel labor department. I don’t dislike it, but the opportunity to learn those things has rarely presented itself in my life.
Doing an honest day’s work is nothing to avoid, and many people should take pride in what they do.
Teaching itself is something a lot of people in my generation seem to be interested in doing.
Not everyone who has a message should preach it, not everyone who has a lesson should teach it,
and I say that not because those things shouldn’t be shared, but because they are not always meant to be shared in that form.
I’ve had many people deliver a message who were not good at it. Who should have delegated more to people with gifting in that area.
I happen to be good at that, and hop to grow better in it.
I might be better at other things, though. I prefer to write (no shock there).
This job of mine is only temporary, though I hope to repeat it in the future, but the important thing was, I am strengthening my gifts.
By taking Math, I am working on my weaknesses, but I find that even my weakness is strong if I simply treat it as an opportunity to apply what I am good at within that class.
The real secret of studying is taking the approach that works for you and figuring out how to insert that into every subject in some way.
And if I can help other people get there along the way, so much the better. Because I think everyone should be able to learn and improve. I’m not interested in living in a world of wimpy morons who learn nothing and don’t apply themselves, so why would I encourage people to give up by not helping them?
Anyway, that’s all for today, until next time–Natasha.