Why Our Children Don’t Think There Are Moral Facts

What would you say if you found out that our public schools were teaching children that it is not true that it’s wrong to kill people for fun or cheat on tests? Would you be surprised?

I was. As a philosopher, I already knew that many college-aged students don’t believe in moral facts. While there are no national surveys quantifying this phenomenon, philosophy professors with whom I have spoken suggest that the overwhelming majority of college freshmen in their classrooms view moral claims as mere opinions that are not true or are true only relative to a culture.

A misleading distinction between fact and opinion is embedded in the Common Core.

What I didn’t know was where this attitude came from. Given the presence of moral relativism in some academic circles, some people might naturally assume that philosophers themselves are to blame. But they aren’t. There are historical examples of philosophers who endorse a kind of moral relativism, dating back at least to Protagoras who declared that “man is the measure of all things,” and several who deny that there are any moral facts whatsoever. But such creatures are rare. Besides, if students are already showing up to college with this view of morality, it’s very unlikely that it’s the result of what professional philosophers are teaching. So where is the view coming from?

A few weeks ago, I learned that students are exposed to this sort of thinking well before crossing the threshold of higher education. When I went to visit my son’s second grade open house, I found a troubling pair of signs hanging over the bulletin board. They read:

Fact: Something that is true about a subject and can be tested or proven.

Opinion: What someone thinks, feels, or believes.

Hoping that this set of definitions was a one-off mistake, I went home and Googled “fact vs. opinion.” The definitions I found online were substantially the same as the one in my son’s classroom. As it turns out, the Common Core standards used by a majority of K-12 programs in the country require that students be able to “distinguish among fact, opinion, and reasoned judgment in a text.” And the Common Core institute provides a helpful page full of links to definitions, lesson plans and quizzes to ensure that students can tell the difference between facts and opinions.

So what’s wrong with this distinction and how does it undermine the view that there are objective moral facts?

First, the definition of a fact waffles between truth and proof — two obviously different features. Things can be true even if no one can prove them. For example, it could be true that there is life elsewhere in the universe even though no one can prove it. Conversely, many of the things we once “proved” turned out to be false. For example, many people once thought that the earth was flat. It’s a mistake to confuse truth (a feature of the world) with proof (a feature of our mental lives). Furthermore, if proof is required for facts, then facts become person-relative. Something might be a fact for me if I can prove it but not a fact for you if you can’t. In that case, E=MC2 is a fact for a physicist but not for me.

But second, and worse, students are taught that claims are either facts or opinions. They are given quizzes in which they must sort claims into one camp or the other but not both. But if a fact is something that is true and an opinion is something that is believed, then many claims will obviously be both. For example, I asked my son about this distinction after his open house. He confidently explained that facts were things that were true whereas opinions are things that are believed. We then had this conversation….

By Justin P. McBrayer – New York Times –

Research About Nativities, theResearch about the traditional Christmas Story that may surprise atheists

The Christmas season almost always brings along with it good tidings, great joy — and a series of contentious battles over the separation of church and state.

Atheist activists make it known each year that they oppose nativities and other religious displays on public land, but where do Americans really stand on the contentious constitutonal issue?

A new Pew Research Center poll found that 44 percent of Americans believe that Christian symbols like nativity scenes should be permitted on government property — even if religious symbols representing other faiths aren’t present to balance them out.

And an additional 28 percent of the public believes that Christian symbols should be permitted, but only if other symbols are there for balance. That said, 20 percent of Americans do not believe these symbols belong on public property, according to the Pew Research Center.

Taking a deeper look at the numbers, this means that 72 percent of the public supports faith-based displays on public property in some form.

But on the flip side, 48 percent of the Americans do, to some degree, have concerns about nativities and other related elements on government property; this latter proportion includes those who believe there should be a balance of symbols on display.

By Billy Hallowell – The Blaze –

Logic in the Eternal Security Debate

It has been 25 years since I first understood the implications of believing salvation can be lost, especially from the preterist perspective. Also, why is this debate so incredibly important? Some think it is a trivial debate, but is a difference between believing in salvation by grace versus believing in salvation by works. We must not view this difference as secondary, peripheral, non-essential etc. It is a critical difference between the Gospel and a false gospel.

Paul disputed daily about the difference between salvation by grace vs. salvation by works. So must we. In the process of doing this we are often accused of being unloving. While we love people, we can openly argue against error. But some take this as unloving. Therefore we take great care to not attack a person or character but instead we stick with the argument and facts, and we avoid ad hominem attacks. Such attacks are not loving. We judge no man, nor do we state our view of the status of their salvation, pro or con.

But we may freely judge bad philosophy and erroneous doctrine, and if that is considered unloving, then so be it:
1) If we can lose your salvation, who is maintaining it?

If our answer is: we are maintaining it, then is this not salvation by works?

If our answer is: God is maintaining it, and we lost it, then God failed
Now, if we are in the kingdom now, and physical death doesn’t affect our status, but we simply continue living in the kingdom after we die, then, if we can lose our salvation now, why can we not also lose our salvation after we die? That is, if our will is free to lose our salvation now, why is it not also free to lose our salvation after we die?

If we argue that we cannot lose our salvation after we die, are we saying that our will is no longer free after we die? What Scripture teaches that our will is free before we die but not free after we die?

If we answer that our will is not free after we die, what is wrong with saying our will is not free before we die? Spiritually speaking, what is the theological difference? Rather, we conclude that our will is neither free to lose our salvation before we die nor after we die:

John 6:37-39 All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will in no way cast out. (38) For I came down from Heaven, not to do My own will but the will of Him who sent Me. (39) And this is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all which He has given Me I should lose nothing but should raise it up again at the last day.

In which part of these promises has God failed? Since we do not believe that God fails, the promise is sure:
1) All that the Father gives to Christ *will* come to Christ. There is no failure in that. It is a guarantee, for it is impossible for God to lie. We believe that Christ told the truth. And this giving us to the Son must happen before we come to the Son. The promise is sure. All those given to the Son *will* come. What is the next promise?
2) and the one who comes to the Son He will in no way cast out. Again, this is a promise and a guarantee. Why? “This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all which He has given Me, I should lose nothing…” Again, there is no possibility of an alternative here. Our will is not free to counter the will of the Father. He gave us to the Son, and we came to the Son because we were first given to the Son. And because we were given to the Son, we came to the Son, and the Son promises that we will not be cast out. If one loses their salvation, they were never given to the Son, and they never truly came to the Son: 1Jn 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they were of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out so that it might be revealed that they were not all of us.

John is clear in both books. “They were not of us.” He did not say, “They once were of us…” When they went out, *that* was the revelation that they were not all of us: “That it might be revealed that they were not all of us.” Christ did not say, “Depart from Me. I once knew you but then you left.” Rather, Christ says, “Depart from Me. I *never* knew you.” But John doesn’t stop there: He reiterates the promise of God:
John 10:26-29 But you did not believe because you are not of My sheep. As I said to you, (27) My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. (28) And I give to them eternal life, and they shall never ever perish, and not anyone shall pluck them out of My hand. (29) My Father who gave them to me is greater than all, and no one is able to pluck them out of My Father’s hand.

Notice the order: The Pharisees did not believe because they were already not His sheep. All His sheep hear His voice. And the guarantee is certain: “And they follow Me.” That is, they never go away. But they first must be His sheep, whether they were pre AD 70 sheep of the house of Israel or post AD 70 sheep. God’s promise is sure. And it is also sure that “I give them eternal life and they shall never perish.” If a believer perishes, then Christ lied. If a believer perishes, then they lost their eternal life, and thus their life was never eternal. Christ would have to lie multiple times if a person can lose their salvation or suddenly stop believing. “No one is able to pluck them out of My hand.” But this promise fails is we pluck ourselves out of His hand, thus we would make God a liar. Why did the Gentiles in the book of Acts believe?

Act 13:48 And hearing, the nations rejoiced and glorified the Word of the Lord. And as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.
This goes hand in hand with, “All that the Father gives me will come to Me.” The “ordaining” and the “giving” came first–not the belief. The belief is the result of the ordaining.

Here are the implications of believing one can lose their salvation, and such slander and maligning of God is obvious, if we believe we can lose our salvation:
1. He is not able to perform what He had promised Romans 4:21
2. He will not present me blameless 1 Thessalonians 5:24
3. He did not predestine me unto the adoption as a child Ephesians 1:5
4. There is condemnation for me even though I am in Christ Jesus Romans 8:1
5. Christ has not risen from the dead Romans 6:8-12
6. The Holy Spirit will take back His deposit Ephesians 1:13-14
7. The Holy Spirit did not seal us 2 Corinthians 1:22
8. He will leave me and He will forsake me Hebrews 13:5
9. He will not keep me from falling Jude 24
10. He will not preserve me forever Psalm 37:28
11. The truth (Jesus Christ) will not be with me forever 2 John 2
12. He did not cleanse me from all unrighteousness 1 John 1:9
13. His foundation is not sure 2 Timothy 2:19
14. He does not know them that are His 2 Timothy 2:19
15. He will cast me out John 6:37
16. He did not perfect me Hebrews 10:14
17. His prayer for me was not answered John 17:11-12
18. He is not interceding for me Hebrews 7:25
19. He did not complete the work He began in me Philippians 1:6
20. My life is not hid with Christ in God Colossians 3:3
21. I have not passed from death unto life John 5:24
22. He is not able to keep that which I have committed to Him 2 Timothy
1:12
23. I am not at peace with God Romans 5:1
24. I can be plucked out of His hand John 10:28-29
25. I can be separated from the love of God Romans 8:39
26. His righteousness is not everlasting Psalm 119:142
27. His love is not everlasting Jeremiah 31:3
28. He is not immutable Hebrews 6:18
29. He did not keep His promise Hebrews 6:17
30. He is a liar Titus 1:2
The belief that one can lose their salvation has catastrophic effects regarding the nature and character of God and theology proper. Such a belief is not the Gospel but instead is a human-centered fabrication designed to manipulate people by fear and guilt. Such a doctrine produces only fear and torment. Such a doctrine is not a doctrine of love, but rather of fear, self-centeredness, self-worship, and self-deification. It is not the Gospel. It is another Jesus and another Gospel rooted in fear, torment, guilt manipulation, and self-righteousness. It produces a judgmental spirit and creates division.
1Jn 4:18-19 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear has torment. He who fears has not been perfected in love. (19) We love Him because He first loved us.
Gal 1:6-9 I marvel that you so soon are being moved away from Him who called you into the grace of Christ, to another gospel, (7) which is not another, but some are troubling you, and desiring to pervert the gospel of Christ. (8) But even if we or an angel from Heaven preach a gospel to you beside what we preached to you, let him be accursed. (9) As we said before, and now I say again, If anyone preaches a gospel to you beside what you have received, let him be accursed.
Gal 3:3 Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, do you now perfect yourself in the flesh?

By Ward Fenley – Chosen People Royal Priesthood Holy Nation –

SOCIAL ENGINEERING, BRAINWASHING AND HYPNOSIS

“Brilliant , that is how all dictators, fascists, socialists and communists have high jacked entire generations of unsuspecting citizens and have indoctrinated them without even knowing that their brain is being remote controlled. That is what is happening to our children and students in today’s schools every day by design.” —Marius Forte – Author of “The Answer” Proof of God in Heaven

In the entire history of man, no one has ever been brainwashed and realized, or believed, that he (or she) had been brainwashed. Inevitably all those who have been brainwashed will usually passionately defend their manipulators, claiming they have “seen the light” …or have been transformed by recently discovered scientific knowledge. The question is how is it possible to brainwash (or induce mental illness in) an entire country? If we look at the former Soviet Union and Communist China to name just 2 examples, we see that it has been done successfully to the masses for hundreds of years.

Conversion is a “gentle” word for brainwashing…and any study of brainwashing has to include a study of the use of the technique by Jonathan Edwards in early America. Apparently, Jonathan Edwards accidentally discovered the techniques during a religious crusade in 1735 in Northampton, Massachusetts. By inducing guilt and acute apprehension, and by increasing emotional tension, “sinners” (today’s equivalent of being persecuted for being politically incorrect) attending his revival meetings would completely break down and submit to their accuser.

Technically, what Edwards was doing was creating conditions that wipe clean the “chalk board of the brain” so that the mind was then susceptible to new programming. The problem was that the new input was negative. He would tell them, “You’re a sinner! You’re destined for hell!” As a result, one person committed suicide and another attempted suicide. And the neighbors of the suicidal converts related that they, too, were affected so deeply that, although they had found “eternal salvation,” they were obsessed with a diabolical temptation to end their own lives.

Once a cult leader (Jim Jones), manipulator or authority figure creates the right mental conditions to wipe the chalk board clean, his unwitting subjects are wide open to any replacement idea. New input, in the form of suggestion, can be substituted for their all previous ideas. “Personality Change” was modeled by Kurt Lewin as a three stage process: Unfreezing the current worldview, changing the worldview, and refreezing the new worldview (Schein, 1961).

Stage 1 – involves reducing our alertness (awareness) and forcing on us various kinds of sensory or information overload, confusion, or distraction. This builds a tremendous psychological and physiological tension that needs to be released (this is roughly analogous to the first step in a stage hypnosis induction, creating confusion or distraction by means of a sudden shock). When longer-term effects are desired, the means of destabilizing people include inducing anxiety and terror.

Stage 2 – involves reducing the tension and anxiety generated in the first stage, and providing something to focus on. This is the step where we enter “trance,” as our welcome relief. The person temporarily becomes weak, with no strong convictions or standards about what is logical, and begins thinking in a magical, wishful way (Holt, 1964). They become unable to distinguish fantasy from reality, dependent upon authority….

By David Ruben – NewsWithViews.com –

You Keep Using That Word? Religion v. Liberty

By Gregory Williams – HigherLiberty.com –

Several people approached me last week about their personal efforts to fight the erosion of liberty in the world today. They were soliciting our help in spreading their plan to return to the freedoms they believed the Constitution afforded America at one time in our history….

While they believed that understanding the contents of my books, like The Covenants of the gods, is essential to groups like the Tea Party and other patriot organizations for educational purposes they expressed concerns that most of them did not want to hear anything about -religion.

I thought that was funny and immediately thought of the line from the movie The Princess Bride where Inigo Montoya comments to Vizzini, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

I understand why people seeking liberty do not want to hear about “religion” and I would not want to spar with them concerning the stuff posing as religion today. The real reason for their mental taboo of the term is that today the word religion does not mean what they think it means.

The definition of the word religion has changed in the minds of modern society since the Constitution1 was written and even more so since James defined pure religion in the Bible. It is important to understand the meaning of words at the time they are used. There is power in words because “the generality of mankind is wholly and absolutely governed by words and names”.

If you are going to study the words of older documents like the Constitution of the United States you need to use the dictionary used at the time men wrote that document. Modern dictionaries often cite much different definitions. The most common dictionary used for the Constitution is John Bouvier’s Law Dictionary but that is not where most of you get the definitions you have in your mind for the words you use every day.

When someone uses the word religion today they might think the word means:

“a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs or a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects…”

But if you look up the same word in a dictionary published just a hundred years before, when many words we commonly used today were being changed, you will see that the word “religion” according to Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) meant:

 
Continue Reading