Monday, October 6, 2008

Faith; Science & Candidates; PC Fixes Anti-Gay Agenda; Free Speech

by Curtis Edward Clark

Not one person on Earth needs formal training to make a judgment about the world he/she lives in, in the sense with which this article deals. We all make those kinds of "world-view" judgments everyday of our lives.

Theology, alike with physics, requires more formalized education with which to conclude such "world-views." As a matter of fact, physics accepts almost no "world-view" that is not its own, naturalistic and unassuming of a supernatural presence in the structure and origin of existence. Theology accepts almost no "world-view" that does not assume a creator’s existence; and theology also assumes the intelligibility of the universe solely on the basis of that creator’s existence.

Without the influence of religion, science seeks the intelligibility, the cosmos-from-chaos, through individual thinking and peer review; yet one man may uniquely stand against all his fellows in science and be correct yet shunned, until one day the world discovers he was correct, in which case the “Copernican effect” alters forever the cosmology of the civilization which accepts the logic, i.e., the line of reasoning; or the scientist stands alone until the world beginning with his peers disproves his theories convincingly.

(proper) seeks to make cosmos-from chaos only from theories of the "faith-based" humanities, as opposed to physically or mathematically provable scientific concepts. Where no explanation of the cosmos results from such faith-based theorizing, religion joins reason to faith, "insofar as is possible" to do so, [Boethius] to create a dogma, a papal bull, or some other form of edict which is taken as policy and as gospel truth, until a proper theological explanation can be rendered. All theological explanations presume the existence of a creator.

The Copernican effect shook the foundations of the Roman Church. Dogma and papal edicts had to be radically changed because of the effect this naturalistic scientific idea had on doctrine. Scientific naturalism is epistemic and the logical metaphysical concomitant for most or many scientists is metaphysical naturalism, which is defined as denial of the existence of the supernatural, and thus of a creator.

Naturalism "holds that the universe requires no supernatural cause and government, but is self-existent, self-explanatory, self-operating, and self-directing" through the cause-and-effect nature of the elements on the Periodic Table interracting with each other. No such effect as "gravity", for example, can exist without being "caused" by such elements interacting as they will by their own scientifically defined nature upon the same defined nature of other elements.

But epistemic naturalistic science does not presume or deny the existence of God. The epistemology of it naturally leads to the search for demonstrable proof, either empirical or mathematical. In the scientist's personal life, God may be a fact, and in fact for some scientists it is fact. But for purposes of peer review using proper standards of math or of physics, any theory or other demonstrable proof of science must be naturalistic in its epistemic foundations. Continued at Irreconciled Naturalism, Faith, and Populist Education

"Science Debate 2008"

"In November, 2007, a small group of six citizens - two screenwriters, a physicist, a marine biologist, a philosopher and a science journalist - began working to restore science and innovation to America’s political dialogue. They called themselves Science Debate 2008, and they called for a presidential debate on science. The call tapped a wellspring of concern over the state of American science.
Within weeks, more than 38,000 scientists, engineers, and other concerned Americans signed on, including nearly every major American science organization, dozens of Nobel laureates, elected officials and business leaders, and the presidents of over 100 major American universities.
See who here. Among other things, these signers submitted over 3,400 questions they want the candidates for President to answer about science and the future of America.
Beginning with these 3,400 questions, Science Debate 2008 worked with Scientists and Engineers for America, the AAAS, the National Academies, the Council on Competitiveness, and the other organizations listed to craft the top 14 questions the candidates should answer. These questions are broad enough to allow for wide variations in response, but they are specific enough to help guide the discussion toward many of the largest and most important unresolved challenges currently facing the United States."

For compete questions and answers from both candidates, see The Questions and Answers--A Side by Side Comparison

Court Clears Minister Who Wed Lesbian Couple
PCUSA OKs Changes to Faith Document, Removal of Gay Condemna

"Three years after conducting a wedding ceremony for a lesbian couple, the Rev. Janet Edwards was acquitted Thursday on charges of violating Scripture and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)'s constitution.

"A 2000 decision by the General Assembly Permanent Judicial Commission, the denomination's highest court, held that clergy could conduct services blessing same-sex couples but could not present them as marriages and that the services should not resemble weddings.

"Although the charges against Edwards contended she "knowingly and willfully" performed a ceremony that was "contrary" to the PC(USA) constitution, Pollock of the regional PJC said the prosecution offered no evidence that Edwards violated Scripture when it listed eight biblical passages defied."

Can anyone answer this question: "Why would a religious order have a Judicial Commission to decide whether secular laws were broken?" If secular laws are broken, is it not the business of the secular admisistrators of law to bring action?

"The Permanent Judicial Commission (PJC) of the Pittsburgh Presbytery ruled unanimously 9-0 to clear the minister on the grounds that she could not have performed the ceremony since the church and state define marriage as between a man and a woman."

It was not just the Presbyterian Church's Constitution the Commission considered, but also the definition of marriage as presented by the state. Since the state does not define marriage as anything but between a man and a woman, the Rev. Edwards "could not have performed the ceremony." for continuation see Presbyterians Work on Removing Anti-Gay Agenda

The Looming Crisis over Free Speech

In a lecture today, October 6, 2008, "Dr. Eric Daniels examines the state of free speech in America and finds that it is under serious threat. From campus speech codes to anti-discrimination and harassment law, fromcampaign finance to commercial speech, Americans today enjoy less andless freedom in communicating their ideas. Today's colleges and universities have become a hotbed of censorship, producing generations of Americans who have accepted suppression of speech as the norm. Daniels argues that the emerging crisis is a result of the lack of aproper understanding of individual rights, especially property rights. Only by understanding the proper basis of rights can we act to secureour freedom of speech and to protect the rights that give rise to it. Where: 101 Morgan Hall, University of California, Berkeley. For more information on this lecture, please e-mail"

Note: I will be the featured speaker at the Center For Inquiry (CFI) meeting, October 16, 2008, in Portage, Michigan. The topic is "Atheism as a 'Religion' Protected by Courts According to the Establishment Clause" CEC

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