The Problem of Presupposition: Part 2

Recently, I wrote an article on the problem of presupposition and ultimately fallacy amongst progressive liberals.  From my experience, it is very difficult to understand, let alone reason with the liberal-minded of today because of their core belief system and their fundamental commitment to that ideology.

Of course, any ideology has a core belief system upon which an individual and/or group evaluates other belief systems and commitments. In a general sense, the aversion that conservatives and liberals have towards each other is rooted in their fundamental and often opposing presuppositions and their commitment to those presuppositions.

Before I venture further into this subject matter, I would like to offer a working definition of presupposition courtesy of another blogger on WordPress.

What is a presupposition?

So what is a presupposition? A presupposition is a core belief or core commitment that we use to evaluate other beliefs or commitments. “Pre” in this sense is not “pre” as in prior in time, as if you make up your mind beforehand. Instead, it means “pre” as in basis or eminence. A presupposition is foundational to your other beliefs and provides a basis or framework for your other beliefs. Additionally, a presupposition is not a matter of the mind only – it’s not a hypothesis or a purely cognitive supposition. It is a commitment – a matter of the mind and heart.

Jed Kampen, A Day in His Court

In many ways, I wish I had referred to Kampen’s article earlier. As one can readily ascertain from the provided definition, a person’s presuppositions are NOT something he or she decides beforehand, a matter of hypothesis or mental reasoning only, but a bonafide commitment to a worldview upon which they view or filter everything else.

This alone should bring more understanding, and perhaps a little humility into our discussion of political ideology. Now, for the sake of brevity, I will not delve into what core values constitute liberalism versus conservatism. Once again, Google is your friend here. I can personally recommend the many articles on Wikipedia concerning the aforementioned as a good starting point.

I mentioned in a previous post, that as a younger person, many of the liberal issues surrounding individual rights, like freedom of religion and conscience and freedom of speech, appealed to me as a Christian or follower of Christ. Likewise, some of the community aspects of modern socialism, including caring for the poor and disenfranchised, appeared to be very similar to my own Christian belief system. Included in that were the sociocultural elements of growing up, at least in part, in a small farming community in western Canada, where faith, the Church, and socialist politics (New Democrat Party, i.e. the NDP) were an integral part of life.

It is my understanding that many of our core values, including our belief system, are instilled in us at a very early age.

Unlike more than a few of my peers in college and university, my core values and commitment to Christ was stronger than I thought. When I encountered the myriad of contrary and contradicting ideologies in a radical socialist university setting, I was not as easily swayed as some of my fellow students. I take no credit for that – I attribute that to the sovereignty and purpose of God in my life.

Many were young, their minds were ripe for the picking by less-than-scrupulous liberal and socialist ideologues who sought to remake them (us) in their image.

Truth be told, I “went to war” against more than one of my professors on matters of morality and ethics, only to suffer some ostracism from a few classmates and retaliation from professors (or TA’s) when it came to marking my essays and exams.

So much for free thinking and open debate in university. The politically correct police were alive and well on campus, even back in the early 1980’s. It might be interesting to note that both the Catholic Church and the Lutheran Church had colleges on campus, neither of which I chose to enrol in. Nevertheless, more than one of the aforementioned liberal-minded socialist professors were tenured at either one of those colleges. No surprise there, but bitterly disappointing to me at the time.

It did not take me long to figure out that modern socialism is rooted in secular humanism, and by definition is Godless. That small community of farmers, mentioned earlier, supported socialism and voted NDP because it benefitted them economically at that time. Nothing more, nothing less. Of course, things have changed over the last 35 years or so. The socialist politics of yesterday have been swept away and replaced with conservatism almost universally in our province. The holdouts are unionists and those who depend on social services and the gravy train, especially those living in the more remote northern regions of the province.

Although modern liberalism is also rooted in secular humanism, there has been more tolerance and latitude for belief systems such as Christianity and its inherit morality and ethics. Unfortunately, what was true two or three decades ago in Canada, is no longer true today. As alluded to in an earlier post, somewhere along the line, liberalism expunged morality and ethics from its core values, at least in terms of absolute morality and ethics. Many of us who were once liberals, and Christian, have now sought shelter amongst conservatives.

Our nation has moved from legalizing abortion to euthanasia (physician assisted suicide). Politicians, lawyers, and judges have diluted the legal definition of marriage and family to something almost unrecognizable. The powers that be have chipped away, eroded, and limited freedom of speech. Political leaders are antagonizing the very principles of freedom of religion and conscience by repeatedly caving in to specific religious special interest groups. Just about anything in our culture that represents Christianity is under attack in the public realm by the aforementioned, amongst others. To disagree with an ideology, other than Christianity (apparently it is Ok to target Christians) and to question the morality and ethics of individuals or groups is to invite a barrage of vitriol and hatred, or worse.

Why do the aforementioned hate anyone or anything that would shine a light on that which is hidden in the darkness of their hearts and minds? Because they are as wholeheartedly committed to their ideology as I am to mine.

The question is “who is right?” Which ideology is vastly superior to the other? These are the questions we should be asking rather than just assuming (based on presuppositions) that all political and religious philosophies or ideologies are equal.

Nothing could be further from the truth. 🙂

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Culture Wars: The Left’s Big Lie

Culture Wars

Like most people who are busy with the process of life and living, rare is the moment that I have the time or inclination to watch or read the news. Nevertheless, this morning as I was reading the news online, I was surprised at the outbreak of another culture war in the US. This time the battle field is the national anthem, with Donald Trump and a rather large representation of booing American public lining up on one side of the scrimmage line to face-off against the Left, the NFL, and many of the football players et al who have decided to protest against Trump’s recent controversial tweets to fire athletes who don’t respect the national anthem.

The American national anthem, once considered to be a public tribute to honour American soldiers at sporting events has now become the rally cry of the Left and Democrats against racism and injustice. Some, like Jon Schwarz from the left leaning site The Intercept claim The National Anthem is a Celebration of Slavery. How misinformed Americans and the ever-present liberal media have moved from honouring American soldiers to racism and injustice is anybody’s guess at this point.

Somehow, I suspect that this is merely another desperate attempt by the Left, more specifically, the Democratic party to rewrite history and pin the racist tale on the Republican elephant instead of where it truly belongs, on the Democratic donkey.

American history, especially civil war history is not my forte, and I had to do some considerable digging to come up with the following facts of American history. Thankfully, journalist Dinesh D’Souza has succinctly summarized the necessary information as follows:

  1. While the secession debate was between the North and the South, the slavery debate was between a pro-slavery Democratic Party and an anti-slavery Republican Party.
  2. Two of the three Democrats that Lincoln identified as the champions of slavery—Stephen Douglas and James Buchanan—were Northerners.  Only one, Roger Taney, was a Southerner.
  3. Even after Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, the Democratic platform in 1864 sought a treaty with the Confederacy that would most likely involve a restoration of slavery.
  4. After the Civil War, the Democrats overwhelmingly opposed the Thirteenth Amendment freeing the slaves, the Fourteenth Amendment granting equal rights under law, and the Fifteenth Amendment giving blacks the right to vote.
  5. Jim Crow is entirely a legacy of the Democratic Party.  Every segregation law enacted in the South was passed by a Democratic legislature, signed by a Democratic governor, and enforced by Democratic officials.
  6. After Republicans shut it down in the late nineteenth century, the Ku Klux Klan was revived in the early twentieth century by a progressive Democratic president, Woodrow Wilson, who screened a pro-KKK movie in the White House.
  7. For decades the Klan served, in the words of progressive historian Eric Foner, as “the domestic terrorist arm of the Democratic Party.”  David Duke is an anomaly; virtually every KKK leader for the past 150 years has been a Democrat.
  8. As historian Ira Katznelson shows, in order to get the New Deal passed, progressive icon Franklin Delano Roosevelt made deals with racist Democrats to block anti-lynching legislation and to exclude African Americans from most New Deal programs.
  9. More Republicans than Democrats proportionately voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the Fair Housing Bill of 1968.  The main opposition to the civil rights movement came not from the GOP but from racist Democrats.

According to D’Souza, “the reason for kneeling during the national anthem is to pretend that America, not the Democrats, is responsible for racial oppression.”

So are Democrats who pull down Confederate statues and protest the national anthem admitting the historical sins of their party?  Are these acts of honest public disclosure and humble contrition?

Not at all.  They are actually part of the Left’s big lie.  The big lie is to take the historical crimes of the Democratic Party and project them onto someone else.  Let’s blame America.  Let’s blame the South.  Let’s blame the white man.  Let’s blame everyone except the people who actually committed those crimes.

Dinesh D’Souza, Fox News, September 25, 2017

Regardless of how one feels about President Trump and his leadership, let’s get our facts straight. From a historical perspective, the actual party of racism was the Democrats. It was the Republicans who resisted that oppression.

So, anyone want to play Pin the Tale on the Donkey?

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An Open Letter to a Friend: A Journey Towards Truth and Reconciliation

Truth and Reconciliation

Thanks my friend for your understanding and encouragement. As as an individual who was raised in Catholic orthodoxy and later studied in a conservative Protestant college and seminary, I too am wrestling with the default orthodox and/or Evangelical theological position that the underlying philosophy and practice of the LGBQT community is erroneous (hamartia derived from the Greek ἁμαρτία, from ἁμαρτάνειν hamartánein, which means “to miss the mark” or “to err”) versus tolerance, inclusivity and acceptance of the aforementioned community in the Church.

As a follower of Christ, I am still learning to be tolerant, inclusive, accepting and loving of people from all walks of life, including my friends and associates in the LGBTQ community. At the same time, I endeavour to develop a deeper theological understanding of what Church history and the Bible has to say comprehensively on the aforementioned subject area. This is no easy or simple task to approach without an open heart and mind, continually trusting for guidance under the direction of the Holy Spirit. I have an innate desire to be a on-going learner or seeker of truth, a Berean, and not merely jump on the band wagon of the accepted norms or the status quo of the institutionalized Church or contemporary society for that matter.

In my life experience, I have come to recognize that there is considerable tension and animosity between the aforementioned orthodoxy and the LGBTQ community. Both sides seem to be “at war” with each other. This troubles me deeply.

As a follower of Christ, I have suffered and endured many things, often for no other reason than identifying with Jesus. As one who has been called to be a peacemaker, I have been deeply hurt and offended by individuals representative of both groups. My only recourse is to forgive, yet only time can ease the sting of misguided animosity perpetrated by less-than-perfect people. As humans, we really are fragile creatures, prone to missing the mark that God intends for our lives.

You are quite right, my friend. We should not require nor desire a Christian culture to dominate society in order to moralistically strong-arm people into certain behaviour. People are free to make their own decisions in this life, for better or worse. Isn’t that what the theological construct of being a free moral agent (free will) is all about?

It is my understanding that our witness to Christ and His influence comes precisely from NOT coercing and enforcing as the world does (regardless of the end behaviour we seek to bring about ) but by demonstrating genuine love and vulnerability to all.

We are not at liberty to be repulsed by contemporary culture. Instead we are to engage with and transform culture – to love and serve all people by seeing everyone as God actually sees them – created in His moral image.

Thanks for reading…

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Stop This Madness!

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As a father, who has raised three daughters belonging to the Millennial generation, I have had some unique insight into how Millennials think and act in response to North American culture and society. As a group, they have faced a tremendous amount of criticism from older generations, part of which is very unfair and part of which they have brought upon themselves – primarily because of their non-stop protest activity and concerted attempts to rewrite history on social media.

Simplistically, the more we write and speak, the more potential there is to make errors and/or ruffle someone else’s feathers intentionally or otherwise.

In my opinion, the far-left amongst the Millennial generation are responsible for much of the political rhetoric, turmoil and violence we see on the national news and on social media. Much of that unrest has been aided and abetted by the left leaning liberal universities and colleges, and the liberal media in North America. No secret there, and I hold the radicalized university professors and the disenfranchised liberal media responsible for much of the hatred and violence that I have witnessed over the last few years.

The truth is that the radical left DOES NOT SPEAK for an entire generation of young people.

The majority of Millennials are well-adjusted, productive, and contributory members of North American society. It is the rotten eggs amongst them that have attempted to tarnish an entire generation.

In case you doubt my observation(s), I would like to invite you to our, now, not so little multi-ethnic church community that was founded by and is composed of predominately Millennials. These young people are some of the most loving and dedicated human beings I have ever had the pleasure of rubbing shoulder to shoulder with in worship.

Deception is rampant in our present society, and it would appear that the aforementioned generation has been the hardest hit with lies, deceit, disinformation, and rebellion.

Take a step back and tell me who you think the real author of all this confusion is – Satan masquerading as an angel of light?

There is one particular young woman on WordPress that stands out to me as a person who possesses wisdom beyond her years. I think this woman belongs to the Millennial generation and has some very good things to say to her own peers. As I thought about what she said about the troubles that America is facing today, and our need to remember our shared history, a somewhat prophetic vision and words came to me concerning her post. In short, it is a comfort to know that our times are in His hands and that He (Jesus Christ) has a very specific calling for Millennials in our time. Take it for what it is worth.

🙂

Continue reading “Stop This Madness!”

Is Canada Still Strong and Free?

f-castrotrudeau-a-20161129-870x580
Justin Trudeau | REUTERS

I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country.

Former Canadian Prime Minister John Diefenbaker

As a Canadian, who continues to advocate for the individual freedoms and rights that Canadians fought so hard for decades ago, I am not so sure that Diefenbaker’s words are true anymore.

Prime Minister Trudeau and the Liberals press on in their attempts to squash and/or limit freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of conscience, including the freedom to oppose that which is wrong in our society.

Are we truly free as Canadians any longer?

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A Pig With Lipstick On Is Still A Pig

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I am amazed at how low the liberal movement in society, including the non-traditional mainline churches, has set the bar. The gospel according to the “modernists” is one of moral and ethical relativity, i.e., truth is “pluriform.” This means that the liberal church in society recognizes no single truth, no single theology, no single pathway to salvation.

This effectively means that one person’s truth is as good as another’s.

This erroneous assumption runs completely contrary to historical Christian faith and practice. Moral relativity may tickle the ears of those who do not want to be held accountable for their actions, whose unsystematic theology and/or worldview can be likened to haphazardly ordering different toppings on a pizza. Their choice of toppings (and beliefs) is often based on an emotional whim, with no rhyme or reason as to the intellectual basis for their viewpoints. Like dumb sheep being led to the slaughter, so is the moral relativist in the Church and society.

And, yet, it is uncanny how the liberal mind can disguise its true nature in the Church and society as we know it. In my opinion, the Biblical analogy of wolves in sheep’s clothing is far too pastoral in its description of the ungodly and wicked in our midst. Few people in the present day (especially in the West) can relate to the analogy of the loving care of a true shepherd (Jesus Christ) towards His sheep, constantly on the lookout for ravenous wolves seeking to devour the sheep. What they can relate to is this:

A pig with lipstick on is still a pig!

One can try to hide the true nature of a pig (e.g. moral relativity) with bright red lipstick, but in the final analysis, it is still a pig, that, after being washed, will return to wallow in the mud and filth.

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Desperado: The Eagles

The Eagles and Dixie Chicks In Concert At The NOKIA Theatre
The Eagles represent over 40 years of music in the American music scene.

Introduction

Part 4 of a series of music artists and their music that has had an impact on my life. It is almost absurd to refer to legendary musicians and their music without mentioning The Eagles. The one song that has the most meaning to me, even more than Hotel California is Desperado.

The Eagles are a American rock band formed in Los Angeles in 1971. The founding members were Glenn Frey(lead guitar, lead vocals), Don Henley (drums, lead vocals), Bernie Leadon (guitars, vocals) and Randy Meisner (bass guitar, vocals).

The Eagles are one of the world’s best-selling bands of all time, having sold more than 150 million records—100 million in the U.S. alone—including 42 million copies of Their Greatest Hits (1971–1975) and 32 million copies of Hotel California. Their Greatest Hits (1971–1975) was the best selling album of the 20th century in the U.S. They are the fifth-highest-selling music act and the highest-selling American band in U.S. history.

Wikipedia

Desperado, why don’t you come to your senses?
You been out ridin’ fences for so long now
Oh, you’re a hard one
I know that you got your reasons
These things that are pleasin’ you
Can hurt you somehow

Don’t you draw the queen of diamonds, boy
She’ll beat you if she’s able
You know the queen of hearts is always your best bet

Now it seems to me, some fine things
Have been laid upon your table
But you only want the ones that you can’t get

Desperado, oh, you ain’t gettin’ no younger
Your pain and your hunger, they’re drivin’ you home
And freedom, oh freedom well, that’s just some people talkin’
Your prison is walking through this world all alone

Don’t your feet get cold in the winter time?
The sky won’t snow and the sun won’t shine
It’s hard to tell the night time from the day
You’re losin’ all your highs and lows
Ain’t it funny how the feeling goes away?

Desperado, why don’t you come to your senses?
Come down from your fences, open the gate
It may be rainin’, but there’s a rainbow above you
You better let somebody love you (let somebody love you)
You better let somebody love you before it’s too late

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