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  • You are here: Blogs Directory / Personal / Mel's Odd Stuff Welcome Guest
    Mel's Odd Stuff
          Just a bunch of odds and ends. Life is strange sometimes, so this will probably be strange, too...

    Sun, Nov 27th - 5:43PM

    Axioms



    I was talking to the minister who did today's sermon/lesson.  The message could get a little weird for many of you, and if you can't follow this, don't worry overly much.  I have a hard time finding people who understand conversations along these lines anyways.  I don't think your salvation has anything to do with whether or not you can follow this, and some of you may be blessed with not being able to follow this, and thus, possibly obliged to think along these lines.  Let me start with a scripture that I will come back to.  I'm emphasising the part that interests me the most.  It is one of a few that were shared today, and probably a seed for precipitating the ideas that came to me.

    Colossians 1:15-17 (NIV)

     15He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. 17He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

    The point of my post here is to examine scientific thought, which is generally supposed to be based upon the attempt to explain empirical evidence.  At times, scientists are forced to make axiomatic statements that are in line with what they see in the observable world, not contrary to it, but have no way to prove or disprove these statements.  Later, these axioms may be proven or disproven based upon other evidence that does not rely upon the presupposing that such a statement were already proven true.  In other words, they are not  "begging the question" any more.  An axiom cannot be used to prove itself.  That is flawed logic.  If you are not sure what I am talking about here, a good reference is:

    http://www.datanation.com/fallacies/begging.htm

    If you still don't follow, and are pressed in your heart to understand what I am talking about, ask.  I cannot promise that my answer will suffice, but you can always ask again if I still make no sense to you.  Possibly, someone else here could make sense of it for you, stating it in a way I have not thought of.

    I digress.  Very often, scientists, because of the way faith and science have historically (at least recently) opposed each other, reject the idea of 'God' or anything similar in an axiomatic way.  Since it is an axiom, it is valid to take just the opposite side, with only the way in which you see the world to frame the basis for that statement of faith, one way or the other.  I will posit that the evidence that there is no God is not overwhelming.  I will further posit that just the opposite is in fact true.  Some will want to argue that.  I suggest that you examine your thoughts along these lines if you intend to argue with anyone about this.

    Both are religious statements.

    Both are statements of faith.  (even if that faith is a professed lack of faith, it is still undeniably in the realm of faith -- the realm of axioms)

    So, even if you were to buy into the current fashion in interpreting the First Amendment to kicking 'God' or 'Religion' or anything similar out of all public life, such is an impossibilty, a flawed logic that "begs the question" by assuming that the axiom of 'There is no God' can be used to prove itself!  I don't even buy the first part of that hogwash!  Those that argue to kill the idea of God in public schools and elsewhere have it all wrong!  No religion, including their lack of one, if they insist on misconstruing their beliefs to be such, can have any supremacy enforced by the state, which would be the making of a "...law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."  That last part is a direct quotation of the first amendment, which is not shrouded in the political double-speak of today.  The founding fathers made it simple and clear.  People have allowed the politicians to obrogate this clear language with the help of either ignorant or willfully misleading jouralists to the point of having it seem to mean just the opposite of what its clear language states.  Yeah, that is the axe I am grinding here.

    Ok, off on the other track of this thought.  Scientists today are pursuing what holds atoms together.  You can follow all of the fancy theories that they have, but the truth is, even if they can find an answer to their current question, they will find something smaller to explain.  At the very bottom of it all, the One who says: "I AM" will be staring right back at them.  For me to say that Christ's very will holds everything together is not a contradiction of known scientific fact.  Everything that they have found points to something deeper.  They will find that, and go deeper still.  There is no end to it!  (<<== Axiomatic Statement on my behalf for Christ)

    On the other end of the scientific spectrum, which is actually fairly intimately tied to the first part I mentioned, they are looking at the whole universe and how it came to be.  It was shared with me, I have not verified, so maybe I should not say this, but I will with this caveat of possibly being a little premature to say:  Cosmoligical Super String Theory (or something close to that, I may have the exact nomeclature wrong, sorry) may actually have Earth very much at the center of all creation!  For most of you, that means very little.  For me, it amuses me greatly, for great scientists of the past, who stood up to the church and common scientific thought of their day, posited that the Earth is not the center of the universe, and based upon the empirical evidence that they had, were correct and very bold to say such a thing!  I admire them, even, if in the end, they are proven somewhat wrong.  I think their hearts were in the right place and they sought truth, no matter how unpopular.  So looking "Big" we could see that same "I AM".

    Job 26:14 (NIV)

     14 And these are but the outer fringe of his works;
           how faint the whisper we hear of him!
           Who then can understand the thunder of his power?"

    Now where is the end of this search, this scietific quest?  Is it vain?  What is it's true value?  If you say "saving human life" but classify mankind as just smart animals, what is the real value of what you have said.  I say saving the soul is much more important.  It is a matter of faith!

     



    Comment (3)

    Fri, Nov 25th - 1:31AM

    A piece of my History



    Now many of you may have wondered things about me, and how I came to be the person that I am.  This will probably raise more questions than give answers, but I want you to know that you can feel free to ask those questions as you wish.  I may not answer in the way that you expect, but I think that opening this door is appropriate.  Do not fear causing me pain by asking me questions.  By nature, I will have already have caused myself that pain, or if I have avoided it, it will be something I feel that I must think about and face.  For those of you familiar with the DISC personality test, I am High D High C.  The creative personality type.  The hardest thing for me to live with is myself.  And I do a pretty good job of driving those around me nuts, too.  The reality is that I do burden myself more than anyone else can, and in fact, I am very prone to reject a burden you may wish to put on me.  I am a proud, stubborn and, in that, often a stupid person, but nonetheless, God can work that even to the good.  You might see that in what I am about to share.

    This is the season of the highest suicides and I am pretty sure I understand some of it.  It starts with Thanksgiving.  There are many who at this time of year, see little to be thankful for.  Their existance is meager or great, but whichever it is, there is an emptiness that becomes even more painful and rises to the front of their mind that makes them do this desperate thing.

    For some it is a gesture, a cry for help.  For others, it is the only solace they believe they will find and they commit to take the pain away.  The joy of Christmas, even the superficial happiness of giving and recieving gifts, makes the pain worse.  They may have plenty along those lines, and still sense that something else more valuable than 'fine silver and gold' is missing, without knowing what it is.  Others will suffer from physical want, and this physical life is all that they can see.  It is pretty grim for anyone to come face to face with either of those lines of thought.

    Ok, so what has this got to do with me, and my history, you might ask.  I recently had a friend commit suicide and I was caught by surprise by it.  I was not looking, though.  I was worried about my own little problems.  But there is more to it than that.  Suicide is a very personal iconistic thing of meaning for me.

    On my 15th birthday, my Father attempted suicide.  Now whether it was the type that is more of a guesture, or the type that honestly just wanted to end it all to end the pain, I am not sure, and I have lacked the courage to ask my Dad which it was, or if he even knows.  That is a morbid curiousity, however, that does not really need to be answered.  I remember this square cast iron frying pan flying through the air and hitting the wall 'right about there' and the handle breaking off of it.  I was close by.  I was afraid to mention my birthday, and felt quite rejected and demeaned by the goings on.  It was very painful, and I still get a tightness in my chest thinking about it.  My father made a verbal recognition of my birthday before he was taken away, and I can remember the hollowness and emptiness that such a gesture caused me.  I rejected it in my terrible pain.

    So suicide is not a new Demon for me to face.  I have seen it before, and I might say that facing this particular Demon, even as a non-christian, is what set me on the road to becoming a christian.  I struggled to understand what suicide meant, a dangerous path for one as young as I was.  I came across nihilistic philosophy, which I was bright enough to see that it didn't add up, (thank God!) but nonetheless, thought that in a way, that such a thought pattern had to be part of anyone commiting suicide, and I rejected it as well.  I sought purpose in a very real and tangible way, getting sidetracked quite often in my dysfunctional coping mechanisms to deal with pain.  I had already found my uncle's stash of pornographic material when I was about 11 and we were briefly living with them, and not just the plain vanilla 'Playboy' magazines.  I already had a lot of garbage to deal with.  Major dysfunctions.  I had been baptised as a child, confirmed in the Lutheran Church, and yet I still had no understanding of Christ.  I lacked any real power to deal with these tumultuous creatures who had set up house in my mind.  I had great struggles, and still do, to a certain extent.  Ironic, I would say, and typical, I do fear.

    My father went away to the state hospital for a time, and came back, as I called it, a 'Jesus Freak'.  My parents had had other problems prior to this, and as the oldest child, I can remember often being used as a cat's paw in their arguements.  They would often make a point of arguement in my presence and say 'Isn't that right?' and basically ask me, as a child, to strike at the other parent.  That was very painful.  If a child loves his parents, and they do this, what will it do to the child?  I think it hardened my heart a great deal.  I shut off.  I avoided feeling.  I felt more akin to 'Spock' on Star Trek than I did to my own flesh and blood.  If you are a parent, and you do anything like this, STOP!

    My bedroom was also below my parents'.  Voices carry through headboards and ceilings quite well, I am afraid.  So I heard a lot of negative 'pillow talk' that I should not have.  I was also born only 7 months after my parents were married, and I knew I was born five days after I was due, and I knew what that meant, so I carried a burden of guilt for all my parents trials thinking much along the lines that I was somehow responsible for their getting together, as a 'do the right thing' sort of marriage.  This was something I did not confront with either of them until I was around 20 years old.  I saw the hypocrisy in the church, as Jon shared that his kids could see, and combined with my need to rebel to identify myself as someone who was not suicidal, like my father, I rejected christianity.  I saw it in the light of a purely social institution with no real spritual power.  I foreswore suicide, probably one of the few oaths I made to myself as a non-christian, and started a fruitless jorney to 'find myself' or become a 'self made man'.  God saw fit, in his abundant mercy, to thwart that search and put others in my life to bring me to Christ.

    Although you know I have found Christ, you will probably want to hear the rest of the story.  I'll save that for now, as this is getting quite long, and if I expect anyone to wade through this, I have to maintain a somewhat close to reasonable length.

    Peace,

    Mel



    Comment (2)

    Wed, Nov 23rd - 3:18AM

    Abortion



    Well, I am sure that the first thing for me to say will not surprise you.  Abortion is wrong.  I won't debate or go into the whys and wherefores on that at this time.  My belief does not require me to do that every time I am asked to do so.

    This next part will probably shock you.

    I don't think I can impose that will upon anyone else.

    ???

    Correct.  I think it is immoral, wrong in so many ways, and even evil, and yet, I do not think I can tell a person they can not do it.

    I can and do vote Pro Life.  I am not sure that I do that totally to the exclusion of my other political leanings.  Maybe I should.  I think I vote my creature comforts often enough.  But voting to change the law, and more importantly, the landscape upon which this entire debate is centered is not the same as imposing my will (which I think is in line with God's on this issue) upon others.

    Why NOT???

    A story from my life.  When my wife got pregnant both times, I was out of work, with no medical insurance.  Planned Parenthood, which is vilified for making contraceptives and abortions easy to obtain, provided much of our pre-natal care.  Now I don't agree with their well intentioned goals in providing these services that I think help fray our moral fiber instead of building us up as a society, but I do not have the right to bash them overly much for this.

    Why is that?

    There is a scripture that talks about tying up heavy burdens and not lifting a finger to help.  It is in fact, Christ himself speaking there.  Until I get to the point that I can help these young women (who are not the only ones getting an abortion, but are the ones I am personally most concerned with) I can not put a burden upon them.  I am unwilling to do so.  What was Christ's answer to the certificate of divorce given to Moses?  Did he say that was null and void?  Nope.  Divorce saddened him.  Greatly.  Think about that.

    A goal of mine is to be in a position to help.  Yes, these girls got into trouble and are pregnant because they did something wrong.  (and there was at least one other participant in that wrong)  I'd like to get to the point that I can open my house up to at least one of them at a time to get them past this without getting an abortion.  Mercy, Grace -- NOT JUDGEMENT!  One at a time, I can speak to them of how wrong abortion is and offer a way out.  Even then, despite the fact that I might wish to consider myself morally superior and therefore capable of pushing a righteous agenda, I intend to refrain.  I think my sorrow at the evil being done is more powerful than the indignation of a hypocrit like me (which if any blame is there, the world will see it and label it appropriately) raging impotently.  Maybe it won't be in my house.  Maybe I'll sponsor them somewhere else.  I do not know for sure.  I do know this:  Until I can help, I will not cast a stone.  If I do not help, I am not blameless.

    Pick up your cross.  Carry it.

    Mel



    Comment (2)

    Tue, Nov 22nd - 2:08AM

    My definition of Conservatism



    From Answers.com

    con·ser·va·tism:

    1.) The inclination, especially in politics, to maintain the existing or traditional order.

    2.) A political philosophy or attitude emphasizing respect for traditional institutions, distrust of government activism, and opposition to sudden change in the established order.

    3.) The principles and policies of the Conservative Party in the United Kingdom or of the Progressive Conservative Party in Canada.

    4.) Caution or moderation, as in behavior or outlook.

    Well, that does not quite do it for me; number 4 is close, but...

    From Bartleby.com:

    A general preference for the existing order of society, and an opposition to efforts to bring about sharp change.

    Still not very much what I mean...

    Ah, here is an interesting one:

    http://www.blackcrayon.com/library/dictionary/?term=conservatism

    Seems a little against conservatism, but despite its leanings, I find glimmers of the truth in the historical and negative conotations of the term...

    And one I really liked:

    http://www.maartensz.org/philosophy/Dictionary/C/Conservatism.htm

    Still doesn't get to what I mean when I say conservatism. Hm...

    Maybe I need a new word for this... How about "Minimalism"?

    http://www.tiscali.co.uk/reference/dictionaries/difficultwords/data/d0008329.html

    Yup. That is what I mean. To me, this is what government should be. The effort should be to define what the true minimums are and to seek it. When I call myself "Conservative", I guess I am using a derivative from that number 4 on the first definition. And I know that by using this term, I set myself to be labeled into being something that I am not, a supporter of the Status Quo!!!

    Guess what? If that can actually lead to dialogue and give me talking points to call out every slimeball who would twist my words in cowardly attack because their own philosophy lacks the substance to stand up in a debate, I think that is good, even should my message only reach a few rational and thoughtful people who refuse to have their strings pulled and buttons pushed by those segments of society that seek to control them for their own gain in power!

    That is Right! I state that there are too many for there not to be some in it for their own gain! They speak with honeyed lips full of deception! Where have all of the statesmen gone? Those with upright values, and motivations beyond reproach?

    They have been eaten up by the machines of politics, and high powered media, two status quo bastions I know will be humbled eventually! I would like nothing better than to give them a headache or two as a precursor to that day!

    Maybe I should go with Minimalistic Conservatism?  Do you think that the media types would have either the intelligence or the integrity to not try and twist that into the most negative meaning of Conservatism that they could?  I have my doubts!

    Get ready for a bunch of wild ideas, for I am going to pitch them like a professional brainstormer on some serious amphetamines!

    Hopefully, this will bless you! I hope to have fun!

    Mel



    Comment (0)

    Sun, Nov 20th - 1:21AM

    An Illustration from my children



    Today, as I was taking my children to McDonalds, I buckled the littlest one in.  I buckled myself in (which honestly, I am better at doing when they are in the car than when I am alone, something I need to improve upon and you can pray for me on...) and told the older one to buckle up.  She did not do so immediately and her little sister decided to pipe up and tell her to buckle up.  Right thing to do, wrong way to to it.  The older one responded in rebellion against her little sister telling her what to do.  I told the younger one not to order her sister around, told the older one to buckle up and the told the little one that she could tell her sister that I said she should buckle up, but that she could not just tell her to do that.

    Now honestly, they are young enough that that message may not get through the first few times, but they will get it eventually.  Often I wonder, as Christians, and fellow children of God, if we don't do the exact same thing.  Speak as if on our own authority when we really should not.

    The thought is this:  Give recognition in all that we ask or even demand of each other as to what authority it comes from.  Even in those situations where we truely do have the authorty to bluntly tell our brothers and sisters in Christ what to do, we should always be mindful of where that authority ultimately rests.  In doing so, I think many heated arguements could be cooled before they even begin.

    I might have to search for a scripture for this, or maybe a few.  If you already know of a good one, please share it!

    Thanks to God and to those of you who encourage me,

    Mel



    Comment (4)

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    About Me

    Name: Mel Miller
    ChristiansUnite ID: lylejr
    Member Since: 2005-09-28
    Location: Aurora, Colorado, United States
    Denomination: Christian
    About Me: I've been a christian for some time, but squandered my time and talents 'in a foreign land' I have been in the military (active and reserves) for 33 years. (now retired) I have two lovely daughters, and life seems to often be strange to me.

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