Monday, March 29, 2010

Labour & Liberal Parties - What's the difference?

Some people may be new to politics and some may not have had the time to get interested in politics before so I thought that it might be worth looking at the fundamental difference between the two main political parties in Australia; the Australian Labour Party and the Liberal Party of Australia.

Now because I am lazy, I thought I would give you a kick start into understanding the difference by recommending that you watch the following videos.

The two types of political vision

Intelligentsia and the vision of left wing politics

The discussions in the videos are held with Dr Thomas Sowell who is an American professor of economics, and political and social commentator.
The discussions by Dr Sowell are in regard to the dominant US political parties of the Democrats and the Republicans.

The politcal views of the Deomocratic and Republican parties in the USA are representative also of the two views of politics which are found in the Australian political parties of Labour and Liberal.

American Democratic Party (Obama)= left wing = libertarian politics = unconstrained vision = Australian Labour Party (Rudd)

American Republican Party (McCain) = right wing = conservative politics = constrained vision = Liberal Party of Australia (Abbott)

So when Dr Sowell talks about central planning (federal control of organisations like health care, instead of state control) you will understand why the Australian Labour party is trying to do exactly the same thing as part of their 2010 election campaign. It is intrinsic to their political vision to gain as much centralized power as they can. The Australian Labour Party tells the Australian people that it wants to federalize health care and if you dig a bit deeper you will likely find that they want to federalize almost everything and do away with state governments.

In these videos Dr Sowell highlights the dangers of this type of politics with central power for the "elite" rulers.

In essence the question that Dr Sowell is posing, is this:
Do you really trust left wing politicians and the intelligentsia enough to give them as much power as they are asking you to give them, and when you give it to them do you really think that they will use that absolute power any better than previous rulers with absolute power have done?

Who Shot the Sacred Cow?

In Hinduism the cow has a sacred place. It is an animal that is worshipped, and its worshippers protect it from harm and give it a place of honour in their lives.

Mahatma Ghandi said of the cow: "I worship it and I shall defend its worship against the whole world".

In secular western societies some new sacred-cows have arisen that appear to be receiving as much worship and protection as the sacred cows of Hinduism.

Here is a hit list of secular sacred cows, which if you dare to speak against or even mention the truth about them; you may find yourself under attack by normally placid and friendly people whom hold these things to be sacred and not to be messed with by anyone.

Secular Sacred Cow #1- Santa Claus
This fictional character has crept its way into the Christian religious celebration of Christmas and usurped from Jesus Christ, the place of central focal point of Christmas.
Hundreds of Millions of little children around the world wait expectantly all year in anticipation of this fictional character bringing them presents at Christmas, riding through the sky on his magical sleigh pulled by flying reindeer from the north pole this jolly fat man in his red and white tights brings plastic fantastic toys to children by landing on their roof and slipping down the chimney (despite the fact that most people don’t have a chimney).
His face adorns shop windows, catalogue, and every piece of cheap merchandise you can point a stick at.
His message of spending big on presents to show people how much you love them lead millions of people to spend more than they can afford on stuff that nobody really needs or wants.
Those who miss out feel rejected because if you don’t get these gifts then you must be unloved or rejected by Santa.
No wonder that Christmas has turned into a time a dramatically increased conflicts, murder and suicide.
And if you dare to speak out against this fairytale commercial event and tell children that Santa is not real and that the real gift of Christmas is the gift of baby Jesus that God gave to everyone, well prepare to be attacked viciously for violating the secular sacred cow of Santa Claus.
Even among Christians you risk being attacked if you dare to expose the myth of Santa and tell children of the real meaning of Christmas.
If your child speaks the truth about these things to other children then they risk being ostracized as parents don’t want their children to know the truth about these secular fairytales, they want their children to believe in the lies and they will protect the lie of Santa even to the point of creating new lies to cover up the obvious flaws in the Santa fairytale. Parents will who protect the Santa myth will actively keep their children away from any other child then dares to tell the truth about Santa.

Secular Sacred Cow #2 - The Easter Bunny
Here is another fictitious character that has somehow crept its way into Christian celebrations.
Parents around the world teach their children that this large rabbit is going to bring them chocolate eggs are Easter time. Where did he get these eggs? Don’t ask. Why is he bringing these chocolate eggs? Don’t ask. What does this have to do with Jesus Christ dying on the cross and being resurrected in three days? Absolutely nothing so we just won’t mention Jesus Christ this Easter.
Many Christians do make vain attempts to make a link between the Easter Bunny, the eggs and Jesus Christ, however any honest person with acknowledge the fact that the bunny and the egg are pagan signs of fertility and they have nothing to do with the Christian celebration of the sacrificial death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Despite this fact the Easter bunny and Easter eggs adorn shopping windows, TV commercials, and advertising brochures for months prior to Easter in a vain attempt to promote the selling of chocolate eggs and any other garbage merchandise that they to the secular masses.
Children live in expectation of a cache of Easter eggs and Easter without chocolate eggs seems to them as though someone has let the air out of an inflated balloon.
Yes this pagan celebration of bunnies and eggs has been inflated with as much hot air as the advertising gurus could blow into it. And every dollar they can take from your open purse has been taken to fill their own pockets.
Now if you dare to mention to children that the Easter Bunny is not real, or that chocolate eggs have nothing to do with Easter but that Easter is about the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, then you will be in for trouble. And worse still if you don’t give you children any chocolate eggs at Easter then you must be some kind of monster that is out to ruin your child's life by denying them chocolate eggs, for that of course is the most important part of Easter and cannot be left out. Yes you will have violated the sacred cow and you will now be treated like the criminal that the secular masses view you as.

Secular Sacred Cow #3 - The Tooth Fairy
What could get ex-wrestling star Dwayne "the rock" Johnson into a pink dress and fake wings?
That’s right, The Tooth Fairy. Which he played in the 2010 film of that same name.
The tooth fairy according to its myth will come if you leave your tooth on or under a pillow and in its place the tooth fairy will leave some money. Why does the tooth fairy want to purchase teeth from children? Don’t ask. What does the tooth fairy do with the teeth after it has taken them? Don't ask.
Yet parents teach this fairytale to children as being a fact of life and children wait in expectation of the tooth fairy coming to leave some money in place of a tooth under their pillow.
Why would anyone want their child to believe such a ridiculous fairytale, I don’t know.
Yet if you tell a child the truth about the tooth fairy, then that child's parents are likely to think you a monster who has robbed their child of one of life great joys. The joy of being innocently deceived.

If you tell children that Spiderman or Superman are just fictitious characters then do you get the same reaction as when revealing the truth about Santa, the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy?
I do not know anyone that would try to trick their children into believing that comic book characters are real and then defend that lie with religious zeal when others speak to truth on the matter.

So then why are Santa, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy given sacred protected status?

Quite simply it is because these fairytales allow people to ignore the true meaning of Christian celebrations and to deny Christian truths whilst maintaining a pretence of spirituality or supernatural in their life.

I hope that people will learn to value truth, and reject false fairytales such as Santa, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy, and that they will get back to teaching the truth of Jesus Christ.

Maybe then the children will start to ask about Jesus and learn that there is truth behind the claims of Christianity, and no longer assume that is it as false as the secular sacred cows that have replaced it.

The New Taboos - Politics and Religion

Are politics and religion really such taboo topics that you shouldn't mention them among friends, family or work colleges?; and if you cant speak to these people about politics and religion then who can you speak with about it?

To think about this, I guess we should first define what is a taboo:
Taboo: " 1. A ban or an inhibition resulting from social custom or emotional aversion.
2. a. A prohibition, especially in Polynesia and other South Pacific islands, excluding something from use, approach, or mention because of its sacred and inviolable nature.
b. An object, a word, or an act protected by such a prohibition."
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company

So something comes under a taboo in order to protect it's sacredness, or to protect people from the emotional aversion that is connected with the thing, or because the thing is considered so impermissible that people should not even think about it, talk about it or attempt to attain it or enact it.

The world has had many periods when both politics and religion were not discussed with genuine openness to disagreement, and at times this unwillingness to allow disagreements has fuelled conflict between religious or political factions. Today there is an enormous diversity in political and religious beliefs around the world, within nations and even within local communities.

Post-modern philosophy promotes the idea that a particular belief can be valid for one person whilst an opposite belief can be valid for another person. Whilst many people have accepted this concept as a way of avoiding conflict and allowing each person to decide what they believe, the reality is that no successful civilizations were ever built upon a philosophy of Relativism. Civilizations are built upon agreements, not disagreements. Nations are governed by laws and laws cannot allow every person to do whatever they think is best for them.
For example some may think that it is okay to have multiple spouses, some may think that it is okay to married off their children at the age of five and some may say that it is okay to kill a child in its mothers womb.
But if a nation allows each person to do whatever seems best to them and dissolves all laws that govern personal conduct then the very fabric of society is being destroyed. Each nation must determine a set of values and enforce them otherwise society does not function properly.

Now if the fabric of society depends on the proper operation of matters of religion and politics then who is to be in charge of these things?
Should we allow a minor few to speak on and determine what is right about these things, or should the population be able to discuss these things openly and freely?

If politics is only about to be discussed by politicians then are we not a step away from having our political freedom taken from us by those politicians?
If religion is only able to be discussed by religious leaders then are we not a step away from having our religious freedoms taken from us by those religious leaders?

Who has generated these new taboos that put us in political and religious peril?
Let us simply look for a regime that restricts political and religious freedoms. Can you name one? I can.
Quite simply, it is Communism!
Communism places taboos on talking about religion accept that state sanctions religion of Darwinistic Scientism, and communism places taboos on talking about politics unless it is the left wing politics of socialism.

How then are we to respond to these new taboos that have been subversively introduced upon us by socialists?

We must recognise these new taboos for the anti-democratic, anti-freedom propaganda that they are.
We must be willing to speak freely on matters of religion and politics.
We must be willing to allow others to speak freely on matters of religion and politics.
We must not allow difference of views to turn into aggressive conflicts.
We must ensure that we use political means to make and enforce laws that are consistent with nation building values rather than nation destroying values.

Australia's political and religious freedom has come under threat before, and our forefathers fought to protect those freedoms.
Every year in Australia war momorials remind us of the following sayings:
"The price of peace is eternal vigilance" and "Lest we forget"

But many people seem to have forgotten that it is the very ideologies of oppressive nations, (not just the occupants of those oppressive nations) that our forefathers fought so hard to protect us from.

Let us remember the sacrifices made to protect us from harmful ideologies. Let us value our freedoms and hold fast to the values that have been protected with so much blood.

Dwight D. Eisenhower who ruled as the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces during World War II said in his inaugural address upon being elected President of the USA:
"A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both".

Let the people of Australia and the world engage openly in political and religious discussions in a respectful and diplomatic manner, for diplomacy must be better than a new cold war.

Friday, March 26, 2010

What is Pornography?

If you have been noticing an increasing trend in the media of displaying sexually provocative photographs and videos then it may lead you to ask yourself, when do we draw the line between what is acceptable for general distribution and what is pornographic in nature or intent.

Historically the amount of flesh displayed was used as an indication of pornographic content, however current secular standards on how much flesh is acceptable in public have drastically altered the way secular society defines what is pornographic.

Prior to world war two public views on sexuality were typically conservative and sex outside of marriage was seldom considered let alone acted upon by the majority of the western populace. However as a consequence of the Eugenics movement the had been started by Charles Darwin's cousin Francis Galton in the late 1800's and promoted by many prominent people including Theodore Roosevelt and Margaret Sanger the Eugenics movement was popularized and was firmly fixed into the ideology of Nazism. So Nazi Germany and many other countries that had bought into the idea of fighting a race war by breading up what they viewed as their superior race, needed a way to encourage people of their own race to breed successfully.
It was hard to break the social and religious morals regarding sexuality and so Nazi German (as one example) set out on a campaign to give the German woman a sexual image. They had scantily clad fitness girls travel the country and promote person fitness to achieve a body shape of sexual potency so that the German woman could breed better. The small outfits that these promotional girls wore was at that time scandalous in its immodesty. Also at about the same time bans on pornography were lifted and limited amounts of pornography were authorized for production. The Nazis actually commissioned official pornography materials of a nature that they thought suitable to promote the breeding of the German peoples. The Nazis also actively encouraged its male members to take on mistresses so that in addition to breading with their wives, they could breed with as many women as possible.

This culture of sexualization and breaking with cultural norms was also taking off in France during the late 1800's and early 1900's and can be recounted in the famous can-can theaters of Paris. One such can-can theater was the Moulin Rouge built in 1889 which has been recorded in books and movies.
Since the wooden box camera had come into use in Paris in 1826 there had always been an underground market for pornography. The early 1900's was a time of increased drug use, prostitution and pornography in Paris. The popularity in Paris during the early 1900's of the Bohemian lifestyle was a draw card to those of a similar inclination to join this movement in Paris and spread the idea of non-monogamous sexual relationships.

During WWII sexual attitudes continued to change due to a number if factors including stresses of war bride marriages and soldiers being promiscuous when abroad.

Post WWII sexual attitudes had been well and truly challenged and in 1946 when French lingerie salesman Louis Reard thought to himself that he would like to see women wearing lingerie in public, the bikini was born.
Even at this time no reputable professional model would dare to wear such a revealing outfit in public and so Louis hired a stripper from the Casino de Paris to demonstrate the bikini in public. It was a hit firstly among men and sales took off.

Within the next two decades television would bring the rock and roll rebellion era to the mass western populace, and sexuality was brought into the homes of the nation through pop idols like Elvis Presley and males crooners like Frank Sinatra, and female bomb-shells like Marilyn Munro and Sophia Loren sexed up the big screen.

Liberal attitudes towards sexual displays in public have grown in popularity ever since the 1970s, most likely because the generation of people that grew up in that age of the "free love" movement and "sexual revolution" are now the ones running the media outlets of the world that form public opinion.

This however has not changed some portions of society that still retain traditional values in regard to public displays of flesh and sexual behavior.
Additionally western societies are now having to reconsider these issues as immigration from Muslim and Catholic areas of the world into western countries is increasing and our secular societies are needed to learn how to live in harmony with people of different cultures and conservative values.

One question now could be asked; Knowing that some people in society are happy to have obscene images and behaviors allowed in public, does that mean that those who don't accept such things should be subjected to it against their will anyway, and told insolently to shut their eyes if they don't wish to see things that offend them. Or we might ask, what exactly is considered pornographic now, or unacceptable for public viewing?

It seems to me that most libertarians who wish to assert there alleged right to do something despite causing public offense, never take into consideration that such offense can actually harm people.
To demonstrate this fact is easy. It is the very reason that we have media restrictions in the first place.
So take the example of a war documentary which graphically shows people being shot dead. This may be suitable (although unpleasant and distasteful) for a health adult to see, but it is certainly not suitable for a child of 7 years old to watch people being killed in war because this will cause disturbance to the child's mind. Similarly we do not show children images of sexual activity or nudity because this too can cause disturbance to a child's mind. It can also be demonstrated by science that watching pornographic or violent images can cause serious damage to the mind of adults. So although some claim that they have the right to these things it is easy to see that, that does not translate into a right to impose such onto someone else and potentially cause harm or offense.

Here is a definition from The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition:
"Books, photographs, magazines, art, or music designed to excite sexual impulses and considered by public authorities or public opinion as in violation of accepted standards of sexual morality. American courts have not yet settled on a satisfactory definition of what constitutes pornographic material."

So if pornography is what is considered by public opinion as a violation of accepted sexual morality, then how much of society needs to be offended before we say you cant do that or show that in public?
And if there is not objective standard then when sexual immorality become popular enough then does what is pornography now cease to be pornography?

I know what I find offensive and too much of it is going on in public, on TV, in magazines, online, and in the movies. There are no restrictions and anyone can see anything with the click of a button. If you want to see a woman passionately kissing a monkey then its a click away, if you want to see one kissing another woman its a click away, if you want to see men doing the same its a click away, if you want to see people exposing themselves its a click away, if you want to see people doing obscene things to themselves or others then it is a click away. And the biggest problems is that it is very often that you did not know that this thing were going to be presented to you before you click. You just go to a site expecting some non-offensive content that is suitable for public viewing and they have these sorts of obscene images and or links to obscene content.

I believe there should be more regulation of the internet so that website which are for public consumption are actually suitable for the public and not of an offensive nature to children. Content of an offensive nature to children should only be accessible by those that know that they are going to be subjected to such content.
Admittedly some publishers are self regulating on this and do a very good job of keeping it clean, but there is certainly room for improvement not only on the internet, but also in teen magazines, public television, advertising, and public decorum.

I am sure that the libertarians are pulling there hair out at the very idea of determining some level of public decorum, but guess what? We already have standards and they say that you can't walk down the street naked or you will be arrested for indecent exposure. The problem is that the word indecent is too rubbery and libertarians are always pulling that rubber as far as it will go before it snaps and societal morals are destroyed.
Lets get back to some public decency, please if not for our own sakes then for the sake of the children that are being subjected to this obscene culture.

What is Scientism?

Scientism is a word that many people may not have heard of, but it is fast becoming a hot topic as its use is growing and more people as starting to understand what it means.

The American Heritage Dictionary defines Scientism as:

"The collection of attitudes and practices considered typical of scientists; or The belief that the investigative methods of the physical sciences are applicable or justifiable in all fields of inquiry."
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition Copyright © 2009 by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Recently as the term is becoming more used Evolutionists are showing themselves to be defensive of having this label applied to them.

The AHD definition does not seem particularly offensive, so it may lead you to wonder why Evolutionists can be so defensive when the term Scientism is directed at them.

This may be because the definition given by The American Heritage Dictionary has been written with a politically correct non-offensive style to it, but the origins of the term in philosophical writings of people like Sir Karl Popper show that the word Scientism was created to imply a religiously blinded view of science by means of applying Methodological Naturalism or Empiricism as a rule to all science and to the exclusion of any other.

So in the AHD definition, the emphasis that is missed is that Scientism is trying to claim exclusivity to truth, reason and science and in doing so it is making metaphysical claims by convention.

Another element of the argument about Scientism is the applicability in science of Inductive Reasoning and Deductive Reasoning.

Deductive Reasoning takes 2 premises (assumed or apparent facts) and combines them to reach a conclusion. So in example you are walking along and you feel that there is a strong wind blowing in your face, then some dirt gets in your eye, so you deduce by taking the premise that wind can blew dirt around, and the premise that you got dirt in your eye whilst the wind was blowing, and from that you conclude that the wind blew the dirt into your eye.

Inductive Reasoning will take a set of common facts to establish a premise, and from that premise it will assume a conclusion (theory). So in example again the dirt gets in your eye, but this time you don’t have a prior knowledge that the wind can blow dirt around so instead you examine many different possibilities of how the dirt could have got into your eye. eg: maybe it dropped out of your hair into your eye, or maybe it was on your eyelash and dropped in, or maybe someone threw it into your eye. If you are able to observe the same thing happening many times then this will start to eliminate some of the potential causes until you reach the premise that each time you go out in a strong wind you get dirt in your eye. From that premise you make the conclusion (theory) that a strong wind will blow dirt in your eye.

So the Methodological Naturalist argument against Christians/Theists is that they are using deductive reasoning, and the Naturalists claim that deductive reasoning is not scientific because there might be millions of other possible explanations (regardless of the improbability of those other explanations) which should be considered.

The other aspect of the Methodological Naturalist's argument against Christians/Theists is to assert that God cannot be a natural/empirical cause for things. They always refer to God as being purely in the realm of metaphysics and not to be discussed in the natural realm.

So when you take these two assertions together that only inductive reasoning can be used and that God cannot be considered a natural/empirical cause of anything, then you have essentially determined that God has no place in logic or reason regarding anything in the natural world.

In this way, the useful method of scientific analysis which is Methodological Naturalism can be hijacked by people that have religious/philosophical motivations to remove all consideration of God as being involved in the natural world. That is what is being described when the term Scientism is directed at Evolutionists today.

The irony of the Evolutionist argument is that they are actually using deductive reasoning themselves, because they always have the following two premises as the basis of every theory and the conclusion is always the same also:

Premise 1. (Whatever happened) God did not do it
Premise 2. (Whatever happened) Something must have caused it
Conclusion - Theory. (Whatever happened), happened by purely naturalistic means

Evolutionary theory changes so much (which even Evolutionists confess) because premise 1 and premise 2 are always the same, and the conclusion/theory is always the same, so therefore what has to change is the (whatever happened) part inside the brackets. eg: if evolution didn't happen slowly then it must have happened fast. If we did not evolve from this animal then we must have evolved from a different animal. They just won't consider that fact that it could not have happened.

It is easy to demonstrate how Scientism is applied by the following steps;
1. Pick something that God is supposed to be involved in. (eg: creation of the universe)
2. Falsely assert that God cannot be considered as a natural or empirical cause of anything
3. Make a rule that Mythological Naturalism and Empiricism are the only valid forms of scientific enquiry
4. Now that you have ruled God out of any scientific reason for things happening, turn your eye back to point number one and start coming up with theories of how that thing which God is supposed to be involved in might be able to happen without Him by some other Natural or Empirical cause.
5. Get a bunch of people to come up with any possible naturalistic reason they can.
6. Pick the conclusion which is least ridiculous and claim that it is what "we" (asserting that you speak collectively for all intelligentsia) now understand to be the truth of the matter as revealed by science
7. Take all the other crazy theories that have been based on your Premise 1 and Premise 2, stick then in a draw and save them for a rainy day because when the current best theory is proven wrong you get out the next best theory and claim that it is now what science has revealed to be true because now technology has advanced.

In this way the gullible masses will be waiting on your every Evolutionist word, not knowing what to believe from day to day because each theory is about good enough for another 10 years. But they can rest assured that each variation of the theory will have essentially the same premises and conclusion as predefined by Scientism.

Now I think it worth addressing the common assertion that God cannot be considered in naturalistic/empirical science as a cause for something.
    First: Naturalistic or empirical causes can be anything which has existence or influence in the material world. Considering that Christians acknowledge Jesus Christ as both a materially existing man as well as being God the assertion that such a God cannot have a material influence in the natural world is patently false. Jesus Christ is recorded in history both by Christian and non-Christian scholars and no reputable historian would deny that He existed as a man in Palestine in the first century AD. Therefore it is perfectly scientifically valid to claim that Jesus walked and talked and did things in this world that would have been observable in an empirical sense at the time that they occurred. The New Testament gospels are written on this basis of written accounts of empirically evidenced events.
    Likewise considering that the Genesis account of God's act of creation are written as documenting the oral accounts of eye witness testimony, this too is able to be accepted as a premise of God's material influence in this natural world. In no way does the Bible claim that God is unable to influence the natural world and therefore the assertion that God should be treated as someone outside of the zone of natural influence is again patently false.
    Considering that the debate between evolutionists and Christians is significantly about how to interpret past events, it a must be acknowledged that to assert that God can have no scientifically valid influence in the world or to be considered by science as a cause for anything is as ridiculous as claiming that Pontius Pilate cannot be considered a scientifically valid cause for anything that ever actually happened.

Now let’s look at the second premise of Scientism and Evolutionism which is to claim that something must have caused things to become the way they are now. In other words they invoke Reductionism to try and go back further and further, because to them there is no start of something existing in its natural form, no point of creation prior to which we need not go.

The theory of Intelligent Design which includes the strong argument of Irreducable Complexity in nature has raised the point in scientific reasoning that if something can’t go back any further in simplicity then it is scientifically valid to accept that it started out that way, and if that implies that someone designed or made it to be the way it is then so what? Tell us why that is so objectionable.
The answer to why it is so objectionable is because it breaches both the first and second premises of Scientism and Evolutionism.

It does seem that in the broader community and in many scientific communities the cat is out of the bag about the nature of ideological Scientism and Theists are starting to reply to the ideologues of Scientism that Theists will not longer accept having such restrictions placed on their freedom of scientific enquiry, and freedom of religion.

Make no mistake about it, Evolutionism and Scientism are inseparable, they are religious philosophies started by religious men. The Atheists assert their claim to be free of Christian dogma, and now has come the time that Christians and Theists are claiming their right to be free of the dogmas of Evolutionism and Scientism.