Scott Adams

Best Web Junk (October 17)

The scariest fish story of all time.  (BTW:  There's no way I'm ever eating this kind of catfish (Not that I would eat anything that came out of a river full of dead bodies)) A messed up fail

I actually know some people who are predicting this.  But I hope it's just pessimism.

A great scene from last week's office, if you like BSG (and I do) this is awesome.  (Dumbledore Calrissian ftw)

I don't know who thought of this but they deserve some sort of nobel Prize for awesomeness


Legislating Morality pt.2

Yesterday I began answering the question of whether we can allow Christian beliefs to affect the laws of our nation.  The conclusion reached was that somebody's morals are going to affect all our laws, and there is no grounds for Christian morals to be excluded.

Now we come to the second part of this discussion, and the more difficult question - Where does morality come from? I hope that all the readers of this blog will agree that morality MUST come from somewhere outside of mere democracy. If mere democracy determined morality, then chattel slavery was morally correct. Also I hope that we can agree that morality has to have a non-human source. If morality is based in humanity, then whose morality matters more?   The ones who are powerful enough to whip everybody else, of course. Power to control others or to set laws does not make moral authority.  (Think about it, if morality was people-based, then it was perfectly moral for Hitler to murder Jews in WWII Germany, it only became wrong after we were able to impose our morality on them by winning a war. How dare we do that.)  Power to control peoples’ minds or control how they look at the world also does not grant moral authority. If so, then the artists and entertainers of the world would set morality, and all it takes is a look at a museum to see that the tastes and opinions of artists change like the weather.

If it is non-human in origin, then we are only left with only two possibilities of where morality comes from. It is either from God, or inherent in a godless nature. I find the second possibility to be completely indefensible. This is no new thought, but it is simple. If there is no God, there is no morality. Ivan, in The Brothers Karamazov, had this one right a long time ago. Scott Adams’s view that we are only moist robots comes from this same thought. I can see no logical way out of this conclusion, therefore leaving us with only one possibility...

Morality comes from God

We are now down to only one issue. I first was introduced to it when I read Plato’s The Death of Socrates in my philosophy of law class as a political science student.  It is known as Euthyphro's Dilemma, and it is presented with this question - is an action moral because God says so, or does God say so because it is moral?  (In Socrates’ original question gods was plural, of course.) in other words, is he law above God or is God above the law?  I am not going to get in to a full discussion of this dilemma but if you want to read an excellent summary, go here.

In short, the answer is, neither. An action is moral because of who God is. The law is not over God, nor is it subject to the whim of God.  God always acts in a way consistent with His character, therefore the law, (morality) emanates from who God is. It is not subject to change because He is not subject to change.

So if I can address the original question. It is not a violation of church & state to allow biblical morality to color the law, any more than it is a violation of physics to allow gravity to effect the design of an airplane. The fact is, biblical morality is true morality whether anyone believes it or not. My pastor often says right is right if nobody does it, and wrong is wrong if everybody does it.  SOMEBODY'S morality is going to affect every law. Let's hope that it is true morality.

I truly hope these posts were not too convoluted or unclear.  Feel free to coment.

My First Post

Recently I decided to launch a regular blog. This post is the first fruit of that decision. I realize that there is a certain amount of arrogance in putting out a blog. To quote Scott Adams, “the decision to write a regular blog is tantamount to saying What the world needs is more of me and my opinion.” Having said that, I hope to not seem too arrogant or boring as I do this. The students in my youth group were complaining about having a state writing exam today. They didn’t want to do it. Most people don’t want to write. But I told them that it would be good for them to learn, because pretty much every essay test they take in college will be the same thing as this exam.

“But Jeremy,” you ask, “You’ve already graduated college, and seminary, why would you want to keep writing?” Because it is good practice for people, including myself, to learn to write. Writing teaches us to organize our thoughts and makes us better communicators. Also, hopefully I have something useful to say about the world. I hope I will be interesting to read as well as organized and well though out.

Another reason that I chose to begin a blog is that I am horrible at keeping my daily journal. For years, (actually since I was 15) I have kept a daily journal that is really just a rundown of how I spent my days. But in the last 5 years I’ve missed more days than I’ve kept, including a gap of over a year. This blog is a way of replacing that journal. Hopefully the accountability of knowing others are reading will keep me doing it. And I’m sure that literally a quarter of a dozen people will read this blog regularly, including such luminaries as my mother and some guy who just randomly stumbled here because I tagged a post with NFL.

Also I decided to begin a blog rather than just go back to my journal because I would feel silly journaling about how much I hate the in-car view of racing in NASCAR coverage, and I want to be able to occasionally write about something that won’t matter in my journal after I’m dead.

I have two friends who keep a regular blog that also inspired me to do this. One is Adam Reed, a youth minister in South Carolina. The other is John McLamb, a missionary to Bolivia who is currently in language school in Costa Rica. (Go leave him an encouraging comment in Spanish)

My plan is to post three times a week, with something silly like a comic or video on Fridays. (Another idea I stole from Adam) I may post on any of the following topics:

· My life (This will be most posts)

· Church

· Sports (I particularly follow NFL, NCAA basketball and football, NASCAR, and BASS & FLW fishing)

· Theology

· Book reviews

· Witnessing

· Whatever strikes me as interesting

Please feel free to comment at any time, that helps me know that somebody is reading and that I’m not only doing this for my own practice.

Thanks for reading this first one