Saturday, May 20, 2006

moral evolution

Michael Williams disputes an atheist who suggests that Christianity morality has "evolved":
What you see as the evolution of morality among Christians is actually a different phenomenon. Most of Christian history was dominated and warped by the Catholic Church, which propounded purposefully incorrect teachings about God's revelation to man (the Bible) to sustain its political power. With the Reformation, Christians as a whole reclaimed the gift God gave them and resumed interpreting the Bible in the correct manner rather than as a tool for social control.
I don't agree. I think one can say that Christianity evolved, but not by Darwinian or any other sort of blind evolution, rather it has evolved towards an ideal, much as each healthy Christian life is constantly evolving towards an ideal. This is teleological, not natural evolution. It is growth, a striving towards a goal, that goal being, of course perfect harmony with God.

When people look at the cruelty and barbarity of the early Christians, they often forget that these Christians lived in a cruel and barbaric world. Take the Inquisition, a common example of Christian cruelty: Christians didn't invent religious persecution, they grew up in it. From the first Christians persecuted by the Jews, to later Christians persecuted by the Romans, to even later Christians persecuted by Muslims, religious persecution was just they way things were. Christians did not first invent a new form of evil and then "grow out of it", rather, Christians came into a world in which that evil already existed and they had to grow out of it. Yes, they were wrong to do the evil even if it was common in their day, but they were imperfect human beings and could not become perfect immediately.

The same can be said for other things that Christians are chastised for , things such as witch-burning, religious wars, conquest, slavery, and forced conversion: in the days when Christians did such things, they were just doing what was typical in the day. When Christians stopped doing such things, only then was there anything remarkable about their behavior.

This incidentally, is why the humanist idea that mankind makes moral progress is so ridiculous. The idea of moral progress comes from a brief segment of human history --the West from about 300AD to about 1900AD. Nowhere else is this sort of progress seen except for short periods in isolated areas. And in fact it doesn't even hold in regards to the West, as Communism and Fascism were clearly backward steps in "moral evolution", backward steps that we have yet to recover. Even more ridiculously, most people who believe in moral evolution despise the primary factor that led to this moral progress: Christianity.

But all know that the world is badly broken and all feel the need for faith in some sort of redemption. If it isn't God's Blood Sacrifice, then it is moral evolution or science or Marxist theory or solipsism or space aliens that will come and save us from ourselves. Each person knows that he needs to be saved. Everyone has faith in something.

Ink Magic 12


Ink Magic (part 12)

"You're dead?"


"You have a lot to say for a dead person."

"The demons have magic, Steven. When they found out that I had invented a way to spy on the Dark World, they captured me and brought me here. They killed my body to prevent any chance of escape, but they had a use for my knowledge, so they kept my soul imprisoned to serve them. That's why I can be dead and still be here to tell you my story."

"Who did this?"

"The demons who serve Baal. That is the name of the Dark Power that holds dominion over this area."

"What are you doing for them?"

"Mostly, I work on setting up and maintaining a high-tech infrastructure: communications, computing, surveillance."

"Why are you helping them, Dad? Can they hurt you even though you are dead?"

"Well, I was serving them because they held you and your mother hostage. They offered me a pact, that as long as I served them and as long as you were no danger to them, the two of you would be left alone to live your lives. By entering my old lab, you gained a way to spy on them and you became a danger to them just as I had been."

"Then why are you still helping them?"

"They don't know that I know that the pact is broken so I was buying time for you to get away. As soon as they find out that I know, they will put all of their resources into capturing you, and you will not stand a chance. That's why I'm pleading with you, Steven: get out. Go back to the bright world and get away from the West Coast. The Dark Powers are territorial so Baal won't be able to get to you once you are out of its principality."

I checked the battery on my cell phone and then sat down to think about that for a moment. If my father had sacrificed so much to get me out, maybe I should go. But … I raised the phone back to my ear, "What will happen to you once mom and I are safe?"

"Don't worry about it, Steven. I've made plans for this."

"What are your plans?"

"I can't tell you, you might be captured and they would find out."

That could only mean one thing, "You have some sort of sabotage in mind."

"I guess it's pretty obvious, isn't it?" There was a pause, "OK, Steven, I didn't want to tell you this until you were out of the picture, but there is something very big going on. Baal is planning to cross over."

"That sounds like a bad thing."

"It's a very bad thing, Steven. Baal is a vile, hideous creature that takes pleasure in the suffering and death of others."

"What happens when it crosses over?"

"Well, we can only go by history, but there have been many periods in the past when the Dark Powers had major influence on Earth --think genocide and human sacrifice. The orbits and rotations of the Dark Earth and the Bright Earth make communication across the Gulf between the two worlds more difficult or less difficult over time. When masses are similar in both worlds, the Dark Powers and other demons can see into the Bright Earth and can cast mental influences over humans and other animals. The demons have often influenced history with these powers, usually for the worse.

"When the masses correspond even more closely and over a very large area, the most powerful demons can create Passages that allow physical movement across the Gulf. These times have typically been times of great horror for the Bright World. But until now, only lesser demons have dared to cross over and risk being cut off from their territory. The Powers never had enough to gain that they would take the risk … until now.

"But now, there is a whole host of new technologies for mapping the terrain and the geology with great accuracy and there are computers to do modeling. The servants of Baal can predict with great accuracy when and where it will be possible to open gates and how long they will stay open, and California is set to be very close in mass to the Dark World for the few next dozen years. Baal is planning to take advantage of this long period of stable Passages to establish a principality in the Bright World. In fact, Baal intends to conquer all of the West Coast over the next few years."

I sat stunned for a moment after my father finished speaking. He hadn't said what Baal might do, but it wasn't hard to come up with times of human history that were candidates for this close interaction between the Worlds. Genocide and human sacrifice. "Can it be stopped?" I asked.

"No," he said, "But it can be resisted. I will ensure that the communications doesn't work as well as Baal expects it to. And Baal is relying on ignorance; people will not understand what his happening and so will be less able to resist. That's why I've arranged for you and thousands of other people to receive an email detailing everything I know about the Dark World. But no one will believe until it is too late. There is no stopping this. For you there is only escape."

My shoulders slumped. A man has to know his limitations, and my limitations were well south of taking on an army. Besides, I had the information that I had come for and I had no idea how to rescue someone who was already dead. "OK, dad, I'll get out of here. Any message for mom?"

"No, I don't want her to worry. Leave me dead and gone."

"OK. Goodbye."

"Have a good life someplace far from here, Steven. Good bye." There was a click and my phone was dead.

I turned back toward the Passage walking quickly until near the end, but slowing to a crawl as I approached place where I had left the troll corpse. My eyes and ears strained for any sign that there were other trolls about because something was wrong. It eluded me but something just didn't smell right. I eased up to a scrub pine from which I could view the head of the stairs and as I carefully pushed the brush aside, it suddenly hit me what was wrong: something really did smell wrong, and my tattoo buddy was trying to make me aware of it. The faint animal smell had been bothering me for a short time, the smell of the troll I had killed. But why should I pay attention to that smell when I knew the creature was nearby? My tattoo had been trying to tell me that the wind wasn't blowing from the dead troll to me, it was blowing from behind me.

The hairs on my neck stood on end. I put my hands into the pockets of my trench coat and casually turned around.

There, about twenty feet away, the air shimmered like a heat wave in in the form of three humanoid figures, a man-sized one flanked on both sides by larger shades. With a concentrated stare, I was able to pare away the distortion. A moment later I could see the three clearly: two trolls and tall, thin man with sharp features.

When he saw my eyes focus on his the man smiled widely, "Well, Steven, you are full of surprises, aren't you? It is very rare for a human to be able to pierce an Encloudment."

"I'm a prodigy." I answered shortly.

"So it seems," the man laughed. "And shortly to be a dead prodigy."

Monday, May 15, 2006

Republican privacy and Democrat privacy

As Patterico and others have pointed out, it is a bit rich for these leftists to be screaming and moaning and beating their breasts over privacy violations by the federal government when they are the ones who constantly want to give the government more power to invade our privacy. It is because of the left that the government knows where you work, where you invest, where you bank, how much you make, what your mortgage payment is, what political organizations you support, what church you attend (assuming you donate), and when and where you are traveling if you go by plane.

If the leftists had their way, the government would also have all your private medical records and know all the guns that you own. Similarly, there are many other privacy-invading programs and proposals that if not quite leftists, are only opposed by those on the right: national ID cards, requirements for cell phone and cars to broadcast their location, red-light cameras, invasive airport security, security cameras everywhere.

So how about a little thought experiment? Suppose it were revealed that during the Clinton administration, these exact same kinds of records were being collected in order to track down violent abortion protestors. How many of these outraged leftists would be outraged about it then? How about: almost none.