Saturday, October 4, 2008

Horvath and Revelation, Part X;Obama and Muslim Money;Ayn Rand Center

A Response to Anthony "stjohnny" Horvath
On "Road-to-Damascus" type Revelations
To read the original blog by Horvast,click on Guest Author Rev. Anthony "sntjohnny" Horvath
Note: I have been mistaken in the title to use for "sntjohnny." Here is what he wrote to me recently: "For quick reference- I am not a pastor or a reverend. I did finish the pastoral ministry degree in college which in many denominations is sufficient to receive ordination but in my denomination an additional four years on top of the bachelors degree is required- and I didn't do that. (and no complaints about it, either!)"
Introduction by Tony Horvath:
"Recently an atheist [Clark] stumbled upon my site and put [there]
a post responding to a post on my own blog on
The reader has all the information in the links above to follow this exchange, if they like.
"In my blog entry I indicated that many atheists won’t be convinced by anything less than their own ‘Road to Damascus’ experience. Mr. Clark responds:"

Part Two, (or is it Three?)
Atheists don’t believe such revelations as "revealed" or "natural" are possible, because the cause of them does not exist. A revealed revelation, as Horvath points out, "concerns that which is known and can only be known because God himself reveals it." A "natural" revelation is one which comes through contemplation about the nature of existence.

Any "atheist" who could possibly be looking for a revelation, revealed or natural, would be a contradiction, in terms of what his beliefs were, as concerning the lack of a god who could give such revelations versus what he expected as either an epistemic or metaphysical quality of knowledge. In other words, he either believes no god exists, in which case no quality of knowledge can be called "revelation" in the religious sense; or he believes religious-type revelations are possible, in which case he is wrong about being atheist.

By definition, an atheist knows there is no god, in the sense that all the resolutions of logic one has in one’s mind is what he “knows.” This is sometimes called “justified true belief,” as opposed to “unjustified.” The justification comes from the soundness of the argument that there are only two choices: naturalism and supernaturalism; and from the soundeness of the proposition that faith is the negation of reason.

Theists, on the other hand, 'know,' by the same standard, that God exists. Atheists 'know' he does not. Each of them has found the soundness, the justification, within his own logic that to doubt it would be to doubt his own mind. To go looking for a revelation, or even to expect that perhaps such a supernatural quality of knowledge will be imparted to him, implies that he knows nothing either way, and perhaps has no beliefs one way or the other.

You say I am engaged in an unnecessary discussion on what constitutes an atheist, that there are different kinds of atheists, including what we construe in technical terms as weak and strong atheists. You say your problem as a Christian Apologist is that these issues are largely an internal matter among atheists but each atheist insists on telling you what atheism absolutely is! "Atheism," you say, "reduces, ultimately, to each individual atheist’s perception of atheism."

My contention is that just as there cannot be such a thing as a strong chair vs. a weak chair--which would be what: anything not manufactured as a chair but which works as a chair anyway?--and just as there cannot be a thing such as a strong apple versus a weak apple......The point is, "chair", "apple", "naturalist," numismatist," and "atheist" are concepts. What is a weak concept versus a strong concept?

It is true that "naturalist" and "atheist" are concepts indicating epistemic determinations. But a definition is still a definition, and the only one that can be argued is the one that takes the idea to its logical extreme. Anything less than the extreme is less than the essence of the concept. Why debate things which are not the essence of the debate?
You say you recently had one instance where you asked an atheist if he agreed that revelations were possible if one happened to him. He answered, “You’re asking me whether if god came to visit me (like some amplified Jehovah’s Witness) and explained the whole thing, then would that change my opinion? Uh, yes."

Tony, I myself will tell you the same thing: If God came to me it would be less than rational to ascribe his identity to him. But I will also tell you that since the concept of "atheist" means denial of the supernatural realm, asking your question is like asking whether one would believe in sapient army ants if one showed up. Of course I would believe in sapient army ants if one showed up. It isn't going to happen. MORE

Check out and discover the wonderful world of rational Christianity. Now THAT is a "breath of fresh air." CEC

Compiled from "Act! for America"
"The article below was written by Kenneth Timmerman, President and director of the Middle East Data Project. He has authored a number of books including Countdown to Crisis: the Coming Nuclear Showdown in Iran. For his work in exposing the Islamic Republic of Iran's nuclear weapons program, he was nominated for the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize. Mr. Timmerman is also a member of the Board of Advisors of our sister organization, American Congress for Truth.
"Timmerman's article reveals that [because of] foreign nationals from the Muslim world [making] illegal contributions to the Barack Obama campaign, the Federal Election Commission has compiled a list of questionable foreign contributions totaling nearly $34,000,000!"

Read Timmerman's article here.
From Cato @ Liberty; The blog of the Cato Institute.
"It was recently announced that Strong American Schools, the group founded by magnates Bill Gates and Eli Broad to put education high on the presidential-election docket, will die in March. It will, in all likelihood, expire in relative anonymity.
"The initiative’s biggest problem has been having to compete against behemoths like war and Wall Street for headlines–a struggle education couldn’t possibly win–but as I
wrote back in May, the group also hasn’t offered anything new or noteworthy, a sure way to go unnoticed. Top-down, “government should do more of x” reforms just don’t fire anyone’s imagination because, well, that’s what we’ve been doing for decades and things just haven’t gotten much better.
"And so, Strong American Schools, you will be missed…but not for very long.
posted by
Neal McCluskey on 10.02.08 @ 7:23 pm
Filed Under: Education and Child Policy "

The Ayn Rand Center Responds to the Financial Crisis
"Americans are now facing an historic economic crisis. What was the cause? What is the cure? How do we prevent it from happening again? While pundits and politicians blame the current housing and financialcrisis on "greedy" businessmen and lax regulators, and are frantically urging the government to expand its control over our economic lives, the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights has launched a new Web pageto defend a different view--that the actual cause of the crisisis government intervention, and the only cure, laissez-faire capitalism.

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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