Thursday, September 17, 2009

Ten Things I Believe That Will Shock You!

Here are a list of core convictions of mine, which are politically incorrect, and which may shock you. But who cares; I've got tenure! So . . . you were warned. Get your blood pressure medication ready, make sure you are sitting down and read on!

1. The world needs more people and not enough babies are being born; unless the birth rate goes up soon our grandchildren will face economic disaster.

2. Western culture is not all bad; there is much to celebrate and conserve in the Western heritage.

3. But, on the other hand, the West is regressing, not progressing, morally; the 20th century was the worst since the 14th.

4. Middle class morality, so-called, is more Christian and humane than any of the alternatives.

5. The existence of God can be proven to any person who is rational and not predisposed by sinful rebellion to deny the facts right in front of his face.

6. Second Wave Feminism (since the 60s) has proven to be a disaster for women (and children). On balance, the 50s were better for women than the current mess, even though the 50s were by no means perfect.

7. Canada, Australia, the United States, Russia and Western European countries should not be afraid to declare themselves to be Christian countries - not in the sense of having compulsory state churches - but in the sense of recognizing the Christian heritage that has shaped them in many positive ways. The world is getting less secular, not more secular.

8. Socialism has failed utterly and miserably and should no longer be considered a live option for the future. It has failed both practically (it does not work) and morally (it creates injustice).

9. The Great Commission to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to every creature is just as binding on the Church today as it was on the apostles in the first century and this should be the church's highest priority. Not all religions lead to the one, true God; it is possible to be dead wrong in the matter of religion.

10. The Enlightenment and the rise of modern, technological science, not Christianity, is responsible for pollution and environmental degradation. The Enlightenment is not a legitimate outgrowth of Christianity but a Christian heresy.

I have blogged about many of these issues and I will blog on others in the days ahead. I don't expect everyone to disagree with me; in fact, I know many of these positions are unpopular. Still, popularity is not a crucial epistemological criterion. Truth is not infrequently unpopular. But I'm always up for a debate on any of these topics.

8 comments:

David said...

Loved that last comment: 'popularity is not a crucial epistemological criterion.' Look forward to hearing any comments.
Would like to know though how God can be proved. Would certainly make evangelism easier for me. Personally my belief in God is more visceral than what you might call rational; I just can't imagine not believing in Him.

billysunday said...

You really think this list will shock people? Seems like all these beliefs are pretty obvious from all your other posts.

6p0105358a73e1970c said...

None of this is shocking.

1. The world needs more people and not enough babies are being born; unless the birth rate goes up soon our grandchildren will face economic disaster.

Ok, how many more people? Ten billion? A trillion? The world population had exploded by something on the order of 1000% in the last few hundred years, mostly due to things like medicine and of course the population continues to grow. So why must the birth rate increase, what is an "appropriate" number of people to have on the earth and what's the rationale behind the notion that the population has to double every couple of generations to avoid "economic disaster?" I doubt you really care about the population anyway, my guess is that this is just a flimsy cover you made up to support your mandatory Catholic position against abortion and birth control.

2. Western culture is not all bad; there is much to celebrate and conserve in the Western heritage.

This applies to any culture.

3. But, on the other hand, the West is regressing, not progressing, morally; the 20th century was the worst since the 14th.

What's your definition of "moral progress?"

4. Middle class morality, so-called, is more Christian and humane than any of the alternatives.

I don't even know what this means, so I'm just going to move on.

6p0105358a73e1970c said...

5. The existence of God can be proven to any person who is rational and not predisposed by sinful rebellion to deny the facts right in front of his face.

Ok, prove away. What exactly are these "facts?" Are these "facts" you can only see through jesus colored glasses that make everything look like you're right regardless of whatever nonsense you might be thinking? Unfortunately I don't have a pair of those.

6. Second Wave Feminism (since the 60s) has proven to be a disaster for women (and children). On balance, the 50s were better for women than the current mess, even though the 50s were by no means perfect.

I don't think you or I are capable of making that assertion. That's for the women to decide.

7. Canada, Australia, the United States, Russia and Western European countries should not be afraid to declare themselves to be Christian countries - not in the sense of having compulsory state churches - but in the sense of recognizing the Christian heritage that has shaped them in many positive ways. The world is getting less secular, not more secular.

Every country has some christian heritage, and some decidedly un-Christian heritage as well. What would be the point of declaring these countries as officially "Christian," discounting all the other cultural influences that made them what they are today?

8. Socialism has failed utterly and miserably and should no longer be considered a live option for the future. It has failed both practically (it does not work) and morally (it creates injustice).

What exactly do you mean by "socialism?" There are quite a few "socialist" countries that seem to be doing just fine. The failure is totalitarianism.

9. Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah Jesus Christ blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah . blah blah blah blah blah blah blah, blah; it is possible to be dead wrong in the matter of religion.

Amen to that.

10. The Enlightenment and the rise of modern, technological science, not Christianity, is responsible for pollution and environmental degradation. The Enlightenment is not a legitimate outgrowth of Christianity but a Christian heresy.

It was the "enlightenment" and the development of things like effective medicine that allowed humanity to expand and sustain a population like the 6 billion+ we see today. You like big populations right? Industrialization occurred rapidly as a result and can be blamed for much of the chemical pollution and "environmental degredation" present, however we may be going through a second "enlightenment," or period of rapid cultural advancement (despite the best efforts of clowns like yourself, if you'll pardon the ad-hominem,) where we not only have sea-changing scientific advancements exploding all around us but a newfound environmental sensitivity to go with it. It's my hope that as we continue to make cultural/scientific progress we can find ways to sustain ever-greater populations while reducing our environmental impact. That's the idea anyway.

Craig Carter said...

David,
Evangelism is not converting people. I would distinuish between what we do and what God does. We witness, explain, try to live as though we really believed. But God must convict the heart and regnerate. If we bear in mind that Christianity is rational, we will recall that reisistance to the Gospel is mostly a result of willful resistance to the truth, not intellecutal difficulties.

In the few cases where honest intellectual misunderstandings exist, apologetics has a legitimate place. I'm just saying that converting the world is not dependent on us making the Gospel fit the intellectual framework of non-Christians; nor it is primarily an intellectual matter.

For most non-Christians, the intellectual diffiuculties are not the main obstacles to faith. Often they are a smokescreen for other things and often they fall into place once there is a melting of the will before God.

Craig Carter said...

Billy,
No doubt regular readers will not be shocked, but there are sometimes newer readers who might well be. And seeing a whole collection of non-mainstream opinions in one place might well shock some. The point though in not to shock, but to make people think.

Craig Carter said...

1. All I'm saying is the the population should remain stable rather than declining. A modest increase would be better than a modest decrease. But I dont' see any need to grow as much as possible.

2. To hear the liberals tell it, you would think it applies to any culture except the West.

3. An example: when the early Christians rescued abandoned babies from the garbage dump in Rome and adopted them, they started a movement that eventually led to the outlawing of abortion and infanticide. In the 20th century abortion became legal again. That is moral regress. And a man was elected president of the US who is not even in favor of trying to save babies born alive during a late term abortion. This is moral regress.

4. The work ethic, the centrality of family, a religious outlook, basic sexual morality etc. Come on, Marxists hate middle class morality and see it as an impediment to the revolution.

5. Read St. Thomas Aquinas ST first few articles.

6. First point, you can't tell me that male - female relationships are not any of my business; it's everybody's business. Second, most women are not feminists and feminists do not speak for them. Third, more men than women are feminists.

7. Christianity is being driven out of the public square and privatized by white, middle class, liberals and atheists in the name of multiculturalism. That trend should be reversed. If you can't handle a store clerk saying "Merry Christmas," then you should find a nice Islamic theocracy like Iran or a nice Communist dictatorship like China or Cuba to move to. Rest assured you won't be missed.

8. Where socialism is relatively benign it is a sign it has not been implemented fully.

9. So you think the Great Commission is "blah blah"? To us Christians it is precious.

10. Anyone who has lived through or studied the history of the 20th cenuty and can speak of "continued cultural/scientific progress" is out of touch with reality.

billysunday said...

I'm also a bit curious what the blue and red alternating stripes of text are supposed to signify.