Bill Maher proves atheism does not guarantee rational thinking

[this is a sample of text from the book “Living on the edge” by Jonathan Burke]

 

Bill Maher proves atheism does not guarantee rational thinking

English: Bill Maher attending a ceremony to re...

Bill Maher attending a ceremony to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Arch-skeptic Bill Maher, famous for his anti-religious stance, has spoken out repeatedly in opposition to Western medicine, in particular against vaccination. In his show ‘Real Time With Bill Maher’ (4 March, 2005), Maher said he did not believe in vaccination, and made the false claim that Louis Pasteur had recanted the germ theory of disease.[1]

In his comments on the Larry King Live show (15 December, 2005), Maher claimed that ‘A flu shot is the worst thing you can do’, that flu vaccinations don’t prevent flu, and that repeated flu shots increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.[2]In a 2008 interview on ‘Late Night With David Letterman’, Maher opposed Western medicine and dismissed medical journals.[3]

In an interview on his own show with a heart surgeon (9 October 2009), Maher denied the efficacy of the swine flu vaccine, denied the value of vaccines, and expressed doubt that the swine flu was dangerous.[4] [5]

During the same show, Maher expressed the view that pregnant women should not receive the swine flu vaccination.[6] In a later interview with HBO, Maher insisted he does not deny the germ theory of disease, nor that vaccines can be efficacious in some circumstances, but still maintained his anti-vaccination stance and said he would not be vaccinated himself.[7]

Maher also wrote an enthusiastic endorsement of the book ‘What If Everything You Thought You Knew about AIDS Was Wrong?’ (4th rev. ed. 2006), by Christine Maggiore.[8]   Maggiore’s book denied that HIV causes AIDS, and insisted that people who appear to die from AIDS-related complications in fact die from lack of general health, and illness caused by factors unrelated to HIV or AIDS.[9] Maggiore’s claims have been dismissed by the professional medical consensus, and she was condemned by doctors for contributing to AIDS-related deaths resulting from promotion of her ideas.[10]

In 2009 the Atheist Alliance International presented Maher with the ‘Richard Dawkins Award’ (an award unrelated to Dawkins’ own ‘Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science’). The award is granted each year to ‘an outstanding atheist’ on the basis of criteria including the promotion of ‘public awareness of the nontheist life stance’, and the advocating of ‘increased scientific knowledge’.[11]

This decision was publicized and criticized widely by a number of high profile atheists and skeptics.[12] [13] [14] [15] [16] On 21 July 2009, Richard Dawkins posted a response pointing out that the award had been granted by an organization unrelated to his own, but acknowledged he had been contacted over the decision, agreed with it, and defended it.[17] Dawkins’ defense of the award has also been criticized by prominent skeptics.[18] [19] [20]

________________________

Albert Edelfelt - Louis Pasteur - 1885

Albert Edelfelt – Louis Pasteur – 1885 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

[1] ‘I don’t believe in vaccination either. That’s a… well, that’s a… what? That’s another theory that I think is flawed, that we go by the Louis Pasteur theory, even though Louis Pasteur renounced it on his own deathbed and said that Beauchamp(s) was right: it’s not the invading germs, it’s the terrain. It’s not the mosquitoes, it’s the swamp that they are breeding in.’, transcript, ‘Real Time With Bill Maher’, 5 March, 2005.

[2] ‘MAHER: I’m not into western medicine. That to me is a complete scare tactic. It just shows you, you can…  KING: You mean you don’t get a — you don’t get a flu shot? MAHER: A flu shot is the worst thing you can do. KING: Why? MAHER: Because it’s got — it’s got mercury. KING: It prevents flu. MAHER: It doesn’t prevent. First of all, that’s… KING: I haven’t had the flu in 25 years since I’ve been taking a flu shot. MAHER: Well, I hate to tell you, Larry, but if you have a flu shot for more than five years in a row, there’s ten times the likelihood that you’ll get Alzheimer’s disease. I would stop getting your… KING: What did you say? MAHER: That went better in rehearsal but it was still good. Absolutely, no the defense against disease is to have a strong immune system. A flu shot just compromises your immune system.’, transcript, Larry King Live, 15 December, 2005.

[3] ‘Maher: You know, I do love health as an issue. This is what I read about when I have time off. Letterman: Are you interested in medical journals and that sort of thing? Maher: Not Western medicine, I think we’re being poisoned…I would love for you to investigate the possibility that your health issues might have arisen from the fact that you’re being poisoned by America.’, transcript, Late Night With David Letterman (2008).

[4] ‘Mr. Maher: Why would you let them be the ones to stick a disease into your arm? I would never get a swine flu vaccine or any vaccine. I don’t trust the government, especially with my health. Dr. Frist: On the swine flu, I know you really believe that. And let me just … Mr. Maher: (interrupting) You say that like I’m a crazy person. Dr. Frist: Well, here you are. I think here you are.’, transcript, ‘Real Time With Bill Maher’, 9 October, 2009.

[5] ‘Mr. Maher: This is not a very serious flu. Let’s be honest. There must be something more to this. I cannot believe that a perfectly healthy person died of this swine flu. That person was not perfectly healthy. Western medicine misses a lot.’, ibid.

[6] ‘Dr. Frist: I know you don’t believe this, but I’m telling you the facts. Because if you send a signal out telling pregnant women not to get this vaccine … Mr. Maher: (interrupting) I do.  Dr. Frist: Well, you’re wrong. I’m serious.’, ibid.

[7] ‘What I’ve read about what they think I’m saying is not what I’ve said. I’m not a germ theory denier. I believe vaccinations can work. Polio is a good example. Do I think in certain situations that inoculating Third World children against malaria or diphtheria, or whatever, is right? Of course. In a situation like that, the benefits outweigh costs. But to me living in Los Angeles? To get a flu shot? No.’, Slotek, ‘Needling Bill Maher’, Winnipeg Sun, 28 October, 2009.

[8] ‘This is a book everyone should read, and not a moment too soon! One of the most corrosive flaws in America is our tendency toward conformity; in the quest to understand AIDS, it has been stifling. Christine Maggiore prompts the kind of questioning that is the lifeblood of scientific inquiry.’, http://www.aliveandwell.org/html/top_bar_pages/whatif_eng.html.

[9] In 1992 Maggiore tested positive for HIV, but insisted she never had AIDS; a daughter subsequently born to her died on 16 May 2005 (the autopsy revealing HIV, and evidence of AIDS-related death), and Maggiore herself died on 27 December 2008 (although there was no autopsy or biopsy, Maggiore’s death certificate indicates contributing causes which are congruent with HIV infection and AIDS-relatead death).

[10] ‘AIDS researchers and public health advocates have overwhelmingly condemned her work and personal life as deadly. “They caused the death of thousands of South Africans by delaying treatment and spreading infections,” said Dr. Charlie van der Horst, a professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Van der Horst referred to a journal study that estimated 330,000 lives were lost to new AIDS infections during the time Mbeki blocked government funding of AZT treatment to mothers.’, Cox, ‘Death of an AIDS Skeptic’, ABC News Medical Unit, 1 January 2009.

[11] ‘The Richard Dawkins Award will be given every year to honor an outstanding atheist whose contributions raise public awareness of the nontheist life stance; who through writings, media, the arts, film, and/or the stage advocates increased scientific knowledge; who through work or by example teaches acceptance of the nontheist philosophy; and whose public posture mirrors the uncompromising nontheist life stance of Dr. Richard Dawkins.’, Atheist Alliance International, 6 May 2011.

[12] ‘Don’t you think you’d better find out about the stances he’s taken on medical questions, Professor Dawkins? After all, Bill Maher is going to be given an award with your name on it, but his level of rationality when it comes to science is more appropriate for the homeopath and alternative medicine mavens you interviewed in part 2 of Enemies of Reason than for the recipient of an award that bears your name. Heck, his level of rationality when it comes to medicine is more appropriate for Deepak Chopra (whom you also interviewed in Enemies of Reason) than it is for a recipient of the Richard Dawkins Award. No, I’m not exaggerating, either. There’s a very good reason why a number of people are ticked off at Maher’s receiving this award.’, Orac, ‘Bill Maher gets the Richard Dawkins Award? That’s like Jenny McCarthy getting an award for public health’, 23 July 2009.

[13]‘Maybe some of the people attending the Atheist Alliance International Convention can educate Professor Dawkins about just what an anti-science loon is being given an award, part of the criteria for which is to champion science and reason.’, ibid.

[14] ‘Thanks to an anti-religion movie (Religulous) and his frequent stance as a “skeptic,” many of my fellow skeptics consider him one of our own, even to the point of giving him an award named after Richard Dawkins. Yet, when it comes to medicine, nothing could be further from the truth. Maher’s own words show that he has anti-vaccine views, flirts with germ theory denialism and HIV/AIDS denialism, buys into extreme conspiracy theories about big pharma, and promotes animal rights pseudoscience. That’s not a skeptic or a supporter of science-based medicine.’, Gorski, ‘“Oh, come on, Superman!”: Bill Maher versus “Western medicine”’, 7 September, 2009.

[15] ‘Note one of the major criteria for the award: “Advocates increased scientific knowledge.” Certainly Maher earns an EPIC FAIL on that aspect, at least. Given that Richard Dawkins made an excellent two-part documentary about pseudoscience for the BBC, entitled The Enemies of Reason, the second part of which was primarily about quackery and medical pseudoscience, you’d think that he’d be unhappy about having an award bearing his name be given to a person who would not have been out of place as one of the quacks that Dawkins skewered in the second half of his documentary, The Irrational Health Service.’, ibid.

[16] ‘Giving the Richard Dawkins Award to Maher was the equivalent of giving a prominent advocate of creationism and intelligent design a science award because of their opposition to the 911 truther movement. I suspect that such a decision would not sit well with Richard Dawkins and some others who were perceived to be soft on AAI’s decision. The analogies to Miller and Hitchens are not apt – Maher is so far outside the scientific mainstream on medicine that it is incongruous to give him any science award.’, Novella, ‘Bill Maher Followup’, 12 October 2009.

[17] ‘The Richard Dawkins Award (RDA) has no connection with the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science (RDFRS). The RDA was instituted by the Atheist Alliance International (AAI) several years before RDFRS was founded, or even thought of. This year, the committee of AAI took the decision to give the RDA to Bill Maher. They asked me, as an individual, if I approved, and I was delighted to do so because I find him, and especially Religulous, very funny. I know nothing of any stance he may have taken on medical questions. This year, RDFRS agreed to jointly sponsor the annual conference of AAI. The decision to do so had nothing to do with the AAI’s decision to give the RDA to Bill Maher.’, Dawkins, 21 July 2009.

[18] ‘In essence, the great Richard Dawkins, the man who is viewed as standing up for science and reason against the forces of superstition and pseudoscience, the man who made a documentary largely about medical pseudoscience (The Enemies of Reason) that contained one of the best illustrations of why homeopathy is nonsense I’ve ever seen, in essence pled ignorance. That in and of itself wouldn’t have been so bad. What was so shocking to me was that, given his history and prior stances on medical pseudoscience, Dawkins showed such an utter lack of curiosity over whether there was anything to the allegations against the person receiving an award that bears his name. In other words, he came across as simply not really caring much about whether Maher promoted anti-vaccine views and quackery or not, as long as Maher was against religion.’, Gorski, ‘“Oh, come on, Superman!”: Bill Maher versus “Western medicine”’.

[19] ‘It’s a shame that neither Bill Maher, Richard Dawkins, the Atheist Alliance International, nor a fair fraction of other self-proclaimed “skeptics” seems to “get it” with regard to this simple fact. From Maher, I don’t expect any better. Richard Dawkins and the Atheist Alliance, however, should know that actions speak louder than words, and right now their actions belie their dedication to science and the promotion of scientific knowledge.’, ibid.

[20] ‘On RichardDawkins.net Josh Timonen gave was [sic] appears to be the official defense of the decision: [“]Whilst Richard was not involved in the decision, he is nevertheless happy to go along with it. Just as he worked with Bishop Harries to protest against creationist schools in the UK, and just as he regularly recommends Kenneth Miller’s books on evolution to religious people, he understands that it is not a prerequisite to agree with a person on all issues in order to unite in support of a common objective. Richard and Christopher Hitchens don’t see eye to eye on all political matters, but that doesn’t stop them from working together against the dangers of religion. Honoring the creation of ‘Religulous’ does not imply endorsement of all of Bill Maher’s other views, and does not preclude Richard’s arguing against them on future occasions. It is simply showing proper appreciation of his brilliant film.[”] This misses the point, in my opinion. If the award were solely for Religulous, and that were clear, I don’t think anyone would have a problem with it. But the award specifically cites “science” as a necessary criterion for the award’, Novella, ‘Bill Maher Followup’, 12 October 2009.

+++

Is faith rational?

[this is a sample of text from the book “Living on the edge” by Jonathan Burke]

Is faith rational?

Faith is confidence for a reason. Everyone understands faith in this sense, as applied to ordinary matters. It is the same in divine matters. There is no truth in the popular view that places faith outside the confines of reason.’[1]

A typical dictionary definition rightly informs us that faith is belief which is not based on proof.[2] However, this is not the same as saying faith is blind, or that faith is belief for no reason, or that faith is not based on evidence.

Blind Faith (film)

Blind Faith (film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Proof is a body of evidence which demonstrates a belief or statement to be conclusively true (typically through testing); evidence is a body of facts which provide rational reason for belief, without being conclusive. Faith is belief on the basis of evidence, where actual proof is absent.

There are many aspects of our faith which we cannot prove: we cannot prove the existence of many of the characters of the Bible, and many of the events recorded there; we cannot prove the resurrection took place; we cannot even prove the existence of God.

In each of these cases we have no opportunity to test the claim and prove it conclusively. However, in each of these cases there is sufficient evidence to warrant belief. We do not hold these beliefs without any evidence whatsoever. Throughout the Bible repeated appeals are made repeatedly to evidence, in support of truth claims; eyewitness accounts,[3] [4] verifiable historical monuments,[5] and direct personal experiences.[6] Blind faith is never encouraged.[7] [8] [9]

Early Christians appealed to evidence in order to argue that their faith was rational. Accordingly, the earliest defenders of Christianity (known as the Apologists), presented it as rational and worthy of belief,[10] and in harmony with science,[11] which appealed to thoughtful non-Christians.

The 4th century Latin commentary known by the name ‘Ambrosiaster’, identifies prophecy as ‘the first proof that our faith is rational’.[12] The famous 13th century theologian Thomas Aquinas likewise argued that faith is rational and that reason could be used to demonstrate theological truths.[13] Christian belief, if it is to be both rational and defensible, must be based on a faith which is not blind. [14]

‘The certainty of and trust in the Christian faith cannot be made hard in a scientific, deductive or inductive way. But neither is it based on arbitrary opinion.’[15]

 

_______________________________________

[1] Roberts, ‘The Visible Hand of God Or Miracles, Signs, And Wonders’, The Christadelphian (18.199.16), 1881.

[2] ‘1 complete trust or confidence. 2 strong belief in a religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof.’, Concise Oxford English Dictionary (11th ed. 2004).

[3] John 3:11 I tell you the solemn truth, we speak about what we know and testify about what we have seen, but you people do not accept our testimony.

[4] Acts 5:30 The God of our forefathers raised up Jesus, whom you seized and killed by hanging him on a tree. 31 God exalted him to his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 32 And we are witnesses of these events, and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.”

[5] Deuteronomy 3:11 Only King Og of Bashan was left of the remaining Rephaites. (It is noteworthy that his sarcophagus was made of iron. Does it not, indeed, still remain in Rabbath of the Ammonites? It is thirteen and a half feet long and six feet wide according to standard measure.)

[6] Acts 10:39 We are witnesses of all the things he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a tree, 40 but God raised him up on the third day and caused him to be seen, 41 not by all the people, but by us, the witnesses God had already chosen, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.

[7] ‘It required a robust faith to undertake a journey of four months, cumbered with women and children, and the valuable vessels of the temple, lying through a country infested with robbers and enemies of the Jews, without making every possible arrangement for protection. But theirs was not a blind faith. God would not be pleased with such.’, Roberts, ‘Sunday Morning at the Christadelphian Ecclesia’, The Christadelphian (54.633.109), 1917; Roberts is referring to the Jewish exiles who returned to Israel after the Babylonian captivity.

[8] ‘In other words we rightly endeavour, as the early brethren did, to find the real meaning behind the English words we read and so come to the true message of God for man. This approach marks us as distinct from Fundamentalists; it has, I believe, always commended itself to  people of reason who are not prepared to follow a blind faith.’, Draper, ‘Fundamentalism’ (letter to the editor), The Christadelphian (121.1437.109), 1984.

[9] ‘But Bible faith is not blind faith. We are given more than sufficient evidence to prove that Christ was raised from the tomb.’, Cresswell, ‘Proving the Resurrection of Christ’ The Christadelphian (137.1634.296), 2000.

[10] ‘In addition to the refutations of calumnies and the presentation of Christianity as a rational faith the Apologists were also concerned withthe questionings of thoughtful men.’, Barnard, ‘Justin Martyr: His life and thought’, p. 3 (1967).

[11] ‘According to the early Fathers, science and Christian doctrine were to be developed side by side, each on independent grounds, and each in harmony with the other.’, Mahan, ‘A Critical History of Philosophy’, volume 1, p. 483 (2003).

[12] ‘Paul begins with prophecy, which is the first proof that our faith is rational, for believers prophesied when they received the spirit.’, Ambrosiaster, in Bray (ed.), ‘Commentaries on Romans and 1-2 Corinthians’, p. 96  (2009).

[13] ‘For Aquinas faith is rational; it involves, like all knowing, the assent of the intellect. And reason can demonstrate the truth of some theological propositions.’, Hicks, ‘The Journey So Far: Philosophy Throuth the Ages’, p. 201 (2003).

[14] ‘We believe this, and that the Bible teaches thus and so. Both these propositions are topics of investigation, and the man accepting them as true, and acting them out in his life, is not justly chargeable with fanaticism. It is not “the blind faith of a fanatic” that impels him, but the resolution of a sane man who acts from the perception of the facts.’, Roberts, ‘Rejoinder to MacMillan’s Notice of “An Obscure Sect”’, The Christadelphian (27.316.369), 1890.

[15] Stoker, ‘Is Faith Rational?: A Hermeneutical-phenomenological Accounting for Faith’, p. 199 (2006).

+

Preceding articles:

Where is the edge

The mythical conflict of science and Scripture (1)

The mythical conflict of science and Scripture (2)

+++

Where is the edge

The rim of the unknown

Are we living on the edge? How far do we want to go in our life?

Many of us are afraid to come into the unknown. Because of that they never come further. Because of the fear for what they do not know they shall never know.

Cover of "Unknown World (B&W)"

Cover of Unknown World (B&W)

The unknown, the do not see, may just be that place filled with wonder, curiosity, joy, gratitude, compassion and integrity. An extraordinary place that lives beyond our fears, beyond our wants and desires, a place filled with peace, a place silent but for the vibration of love. the Creator God provided it for us but we do have to be willing to go and see it, feel it and experience it.

To live in certainty

Lots of people prefer to live in the certainty and want to keep on to the traditions which they have kept from generation unto the next generation. They are afraid for that unknown world and do not understand their fear may just be the mask shielding us from fully experiencing life. We encounter many people who dare to ask us some things, but have to notice that mostly they consider the “what if”, “why so” and when we offer them different views they come up “what would my family say”, “what would others think”. And then they answer us “maybe” and “someday,” before going back into their old routine of the certainties they think they have with their ‘old thinking‘.

It shows how difficult it is for many people to encounter different ideas than they are used to and how more difficult it is to change the ideas which were brought into their minds by the years of denominational habituate. the things people are accustomed to is not easy to liberate from.

To follow people or to choose a path

Do you ever think about it that when you just follow the path everybody is following, you might perhaps having a smoke screen in your life? Did you ever thought that by continuing the way you were used to from childhood, enjoying the sphere in the community, you could perhaps been lying to yourself? How many people are not trying to have an unauthentic life filled with trying to look good and with the aim to please others?

When we look at the people around us, we can not ignore that we see a lots of people having a life filled with waiting. Waiting for the weekend, for a better life, for time to pass. A life longing for a made up past, or a mystical future that does not exist. A life devoid of passion and inspiration. A life absent from the present. A life hidden from the miracle of right now.

Using own personality

Though the Creator God, who created each person in His own image, has given each member of humankind the possibility to use their brains. To let the streams of knowledge come into the brains. The Supreme Being prepared man so that he can explore the world and be a unit in the universe.

Each individual has to go his or her own way and has to find out himself or herself what the world can offer to him or her. Each individual has to make it for himself or herself. They may want to go the easy or the difficult way. they might go beyond any thought of what is possible, fully experiencing and embracing all of life without fear. It is here on the edge that life transforms, that we see things we couldn’t see before. It is here that the world is no longer flat, or the sun orbits around the earth, or that we are the only sentient beings in this universe. It is here on the edge that we do not know the truth as the truth is only a context.

Squeezed between beliefs and the sceptic world

Also in our congregation we can find people who have doubts about our beliefs, like in so many denominations where people have to grow up and consider or question what they do want to believe. We all should question what we do believe and what we should believe. Each believer should have a moment where he or she goes ‘Living on the edge of certainty’.  Then they should come to  ‘Live on the edge of credibility’, addressing the challenge of defending their beliefs and preaching to other religious people and atheists. For sure we who believe in One God may be ‘Living on the edge of society‘, addressing the challenge of belonging to a Christian community with beliefs and values typically rejected by modern society. this should not frighten us and should not have us to let us run away or let us to hide for others.

We as Christians should value scepticism and should have no fear to meet people who do not believe in the One God Creator of heaven and earth. We should not mind facing ‘New Atheism’ and its critics and understand that atheism is not a guarantee of rational thinking. When we see how many people in this world are ‘Living on the edge of doubt’ we may consider the challenges to belief in the Bible.

Christadelphian writer Jonathan Burke

A book about living on the edge

The archaeology columnist for a theological journal, Jonathan Burke, a Bachelor of Arts with a Classics major (including a working knowledge of Greek and Latin), provides the background for his interest and knowledge in history related to Christianity, and a Masters of Information Management and Systems has trained him in research methodology and information verification. He had three theological books published in Australia. Two of his books are available on Lulu. As an expatriate Australian, brother Jonathan has been living in Taiwan since 2004. He is a regular volunteer worker with Taoshan Elementary School (桃山國小), Garden of Hope Foundation (勵馨基金會), Harmony Home (關愛之家), Zhong Yi Foundation (忠義基金會), Brightside (臺灣嚮光協會), Taiwan Sunshine, and Rangi (人跡協會). His latest publication brings an overview of “Living on the edge”.

In this new publication Jonathan Burke talks about upholding and defending the Christadelphian beliefs and values. Many may wonder if those beliefs are relevant to the modern world.  This book aims to provide that evidence which non-religious people hopefully will find convincing.

The book does address issues such as the relationship of science and Scripture, the age of the universe and the earth, and whether the flood was local or global. However, the author aims to minimize controversy. For example, since evolution is a highly divisive issue the book does not address it at all.

I have not read the book, but look forward to read some parts of it in the coming days. (Look at the coming publications on Stepping toes: The mythical conflict of science & Scripture (1+2); Were Gnostics the original Christians?; Is faith rational?; Bill Maher proves atheism does not guarantee rational thinking; and Ian Plimer proves atheism does not guarantee rational thinking)

Today I wanted to open this matter of debate about “Living on the edge” because it looks like many people today do not dare any more to stick out their neck and to try out new things. Lots of people want to make sure that they can keep their job, and are afraid to question what happens at work and how it happens.

Taking a poor view

Today several Christians do think we are in the midst of a ‘war’ on Christians all around the world mostly being perpetrated by radical Muslims and mostly ignored. On the other hand others think that most Christians in the West aren’t really aware of how huge this resistance against Christians really is.

But we can resist those opposing us by letting them understand how we think and how we are willing to handle them and how we would like to find peace in the world. We can show them that they do not have to be afraid of real Christians who are like them, created in the image of God. Having elements of that Creator we, like them, cannot travel the path until we become the path itself. We should show them that we also are parts of this world willing to share it with others.

Respectful thoughts

The other believers should come to recognise that we, as believers in a Creator God, have respect for that Creation of the Supreme High Being. As followers of His son who loved his Father and loved the world, we also should love the Father and the world the Father allows us to live in. With the love of God should also come our love for others and also our happiness which we should be willing to share with others, believers but also to non- or unbelievers or better: different believers.

Seeing the beauty in the depths of unknown

The Fear of God

The Fear of God (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We should not mind going onto the edge of the cliff, which people push us to the boarder of it.  On that edge we should like to see the beauty of this world and find happiness which can rise from the depths of our soul. We should be able to find ourself smiling, smiling because we are a witness to the grace and beauty of the universe, to that of some greater power beyond ourself, beyond those superficial concerns that held us so tightly before.

We should not get blackened or fall out because of the fear for the bottomless abyss. The yawning chasm should not bring us willed with horror, but there we should encounter the challenge of the classroom of the universe where we can learn so much. It is here that we can see the beauty in every moment, that our concerns and frustrations in life are self-induced, illusions of suffering that we are clinging to in the midst of such wonder and beauty around us.

Standing on the edge of life, Showing happiness

We should not be cordoning off or stake out our beliefs nor our faith-life. Standing on the edge of life we should see the opening in the world where so many can live together in the best circumstances, in case they are willing to open their mind as well.

Those who love God and who are feeling and believing in the love of Christ Jesus, the Messiah, should call to action and bring, like Jesus asked them to do, the Good News, the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. To bring that Good News we should ourselves become part of those Good Tidings and being identifiable as good news ourselves, spreading happiness.

To show more happiness we should get id off the fears which may still be there tempting us. Sometimes we are not fully aware of those fears, therefore we should first of all identify the fears in our life that are blocking us. We should get to see them, recognise them and go against them, looking at them for their insignificance.

Not postponing the action

Fear of the Unknown

Fear of the Unknown (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We should not tarry. Procrastination may be big fashion now, but a dilatory attitude may bring us nowhere. We should not show tameness for the matters that need action and to wipe out those things that stops us in life. Do not postpone and take action to step beyond these fears. Confront them head on. We should see where we are going, were the world is going, where the world wants to push us, where the borderlines are and how far we can go to the edge. Make sure you have the good ‘Foundation to go the distance’ and ‘Live on the edge’.

God of gods has given us this life. It is short. God also warns us that we should make the best out of it and not wait until it is to late. We do have to live each moment as if it is the last because it might be. For this reason Jesus has warned us more than ones, and given enough examples with his parables. We should learn from them and take them at heart. Living today according to the Will of God and preparing ourselves to be ready when the end of our life shall confront us with death. Remember when that moment shall be there it shall be to late to change course, to walk strong on the edge or to fall from the edge in the depths of nothingness.

+

Continuation of: Preparedness to change

++

Additional reading:

  1. A time for everything
  2. If you want to go far in life
  3. Live …
  4. Control and change
  5. A Living Faith #8 Change
  6. Only I can change my life
  7. Change
  8. Control your destiny or somebody else will
  9. Foundation to go the distance
  10. When discouraged facing opposition
  11. Suffering produces perseverance
  12. Compassion and Discipline
  13. If you have integrity
  14. Faith and trial
  15. Concerning Gospelfaith
  16. Faith is knowing there is an ocean because you have seen a brook.
  17. Everything that is done in the world is done by hope
  18. Hope is faith holding out its hand in the dark
  19. Wondering
  20. The thought of losing rekindles the joy of having
  21. Joy is not in things, it is in us
  22. Joy: Foundation for a Positive Life
  23. Better loaves when the heart is joyous
  24. Happiness an inner state
  25. Happiness is like manna
  26. Be like a tree planted by streams of water
  27. Even in tough times remembering the blessings
  28. Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience
  29. A man who cannot forgive others
  30. The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands
  31. Be kinder than necessary
  32. Growth in character
  33. Be holy
  34. A tongue to speak slowly and well-considered
  35. Life in gratitude opens glory of God
  36. God should be your hope
  37. Give your tears to God
  38. We will all be changed
  39. Church sent into the world
  40. Bringing Good News
  41. Proclaiming shalom, bringing good news of good things, announcing salvation

+++

  • Mkmma… Week #5 (daw2621masterkey.wordpress.com)
    My goal in life is to have one 24 hour period where I didn’t fear something in my life. I’d love to meet and interview the person that doesn’t suffer from this universal disease … I don’t know if I would believe a word they said because I’ve never met anyone that lived without fear to some degree.To live without fear and hesitation would be an absolute paradise. What kind of lifestyle could you live? How much personal power would you possess if you could meet every challenge with total faith that you were up to the task? Now
    +
    Why doesn’t every person live on a higher plane of thinking and life condition? Where there is total belief there is no fear. Where there is light there is no darkness and vice versa. Where there is paralyzing fear there can be no belief. Where does this fear originate? Isn’t belief and fear total opposites? Isn’t poor self-esteem, self-confidence, self-image all cousins to ignorance and lack of belief?
  • 90 Days With Yeshua- Day 66: Reconciling the Banished Heart (soulfullheartblog.com)
    The heart has nothing to hide. It’s only the mind conditioned by fear and scarcity that needs to hide certain motives and plans from another in order to win. The dis-integration is the disintegrity, and the source of most stress.
    +
    It’s only the mind conditioned by fear and scarcity that needs to hide certain motives and plans from another in order to win. The dis-integration is the disintegrity, and the source of most stress.
  • Beliefs,living outside your comfort zone (nerdvolution.wordpress.com)
    Have you ever noticed that you have a certain belief about how everything needs to be done? Like maybe how you should behave on a date, how fast you should go and stuff like that. Or even like how you should respond when something bad happens or someone wrongs you. It’s like that for me; I have certain beliefs wired in my brain that direct how I do everything. The weird part is, the beliefs never seem to match with reality. My actions, based on my beliefs usually produce the opposite reaction to what I expect.
    +
    I now seriously think growth is outside your comfort zone.
  • How to answer top 10 Atheist contentions (short version) (intellectualrevival.wordpress.com)
    blind belief is prevalent in many cultures/religions/worldviews including atheism and not necessarily a feature of religions. In fact, the basis of atheism and secularism was founded upon blind belief. Secularism, for instance was born out of a clash between the Church and state in 18th century Europe, where any person who held a view contrary to religion was deemed heretic and was persecuted. The authority of the state was not to be questioned as it was granted by God. Therefore thinkers called for the scientific method of enquiry as the more rational method and used it to challenge the authority of the Church’s religion which they saw it as blind and based on imitation.
    This gave way to an emotional reaction causing 2 kinds of blind belief
    +
    What is most troubling for the atheists/agnostics/skeptics is that their views are purely naturalistic and empirical. So they imagine this infinite cause to resemble like us and then find it troubling how this cause is infinite. The case is that we cannot from our limited human mind rationalize how he exists in the infinite realm. The limited mind cannot understand the nature of the unlimited Cause. All we can know and reason is that this cause must be infinite, unlimited and independent.
  • The Quarter Life Crisis (courtneyheff.wordpress.com)
    A few years ago, I heard my older friends talk about their experience of a ‘quarter life crisis.’ Of course I understood the premise of it, but the expression seemed melodramatic and self-aggrandizing. I didn’t understand how anyone could face a life crisis at that age. A few weeks before my twentieth birthday, I realized that my friends weren’t being melodramatic, as I faced a substantial quarter life crisis of my own.
    +
    We’re told constantly that we can change our minds and change our careers many times throughout our lives. My only vision of the future when I think of career changes is an image of my seventeen-year-old self crying because I couldn’t even get a job at a grocery store. Most of us require an illusion of certainty in our lives, and don’t necessarily want to face the idea that we have no idea where we will be a year from now, let alone in a decade. If you’re one of those people who can face an abyss and jump right in, I envy and applaud you. Though I very much valuable spontaneity – you never know where you’ll find me on a given day
  • Fear (anemptyroomofmyown.wordpress.com)
    “Fear!”, says the old man / His voice grating the edge / Of the abyss of civilized / Polite, sincere insanity
  • Remembering Albert Camus and Longing for the Old Atheism (ekhava.com)
    as an unbeliever, Camus offers a powerful counter-example to the stridency and animus of the “new atheism” associated with Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, and others. Indeed Camus makes us long for the days of the “old atheism” when religious people weren’t mocked for their so-called irrational beliefs; bullied by the charge that “religion poisons everything”; and told to step aside while secularism sweeps clean the religious debris from public life.
  • What Would You Say to the Religion Professor Who’s Had It With ‘Strident,’ ‘Bullying’ New Atheists? (patheos.com)
    When, post-9/11, atheists no longer felt forced to use only their inside voice, people of faith — and the media — were quick, almost gleeful, to attach the adjective “strident” to the noun “atheist,” as if the two are conjoined twins.
    +
    for close to a millennium, being found out as an atheist all too often meant persecution, imprisonment, torture, forced conversion, and death — thuggery perpetrated by men of the Church and the state alike, who all claimed to do God’s business. I’d say that kind of actual violence goes a damn sight farther than “bullying,” wouldn’t you? Are we supposed to brush that chapter aside, but believe that when academics like Harris and Dawkins retreat to their studies and tap away at their keyboards in scholarly fashion, they’re the real bullies?
  • Answering Top 10 Atheist contentions (intellectualrevival.wordpress.com)
    The article ‘Does the Belief in a God make sense?’ raised some interesting responses, both positive and negative. So I thought it would be of benefit to write on the common atheist arguments against the case of a Creator including those specific to the previous article. These answers are only my attempt at addressing questions which I have come to understand from more learned people.
    +
    science has a scope and should be used in its proper areas (medicine, technology, etc.), however it has limitations to its scope which makes it irrational to use for questions which are beyond the scientific method and it certainly has no place in answering or proving the existence of an unseen omnipotent Creator that is beyond time and space.
    +
    To atheists another ‘blind belief’ is that all religions including Islam enjoin ‘blind faith’ in their beliefs and teachings. There are several verses in various places in the Qur’an asking and urging man to reflect and contemplate his own existence and that in his surroundings.
  • When Your Purpose is Found in a Transcendent Creator (str.typepad.com)
    As an atheist, I was satisfied with the purpose I had created for my life. I found meaning in my work, my family, and my responsibilities as a father and husband. I also loved the idea that I was in charge of my purpose; that I was the one who got to decide what life was all about. It wasn’t until I became a Christian that I realized my ideas about purpose and meaning were far too small and limited.