On Hell, from Moorad Alexanian, April 29 2022

On hell

There is no doctrine which I would more willingly remove from Christianity than this, if it lay in my power. But it has the full support of Scripture and, specially, of Our Lord’s own words; it has always been held by Christendom; and it has the support of reason. If a game is played, it must be possible to lose it. If the happiness of a creature lies in self-surrender, no one can make that surrender but himself (though many can help him to make it) and he may refuse. I would pay any price to be able to say truthfully “All will be saved.” But my reason retorts, “Without their will, or with it?” If I say “Without their will” I at once perceive a contra- diction; how can the supreme voluntary act of self-surrender be involuntary? If I say “With their will,” my reason replies “How if they will not give in?”. . .

The doors of Hell are locked on the inside. I do not mean that the ghosts may not wish to come out of Hell, in the vague fashion wherein an envious man “wishes” to be happy: but they certainly do not will even the first preliminary stages of that self-abandonment through which alone the soul can reach any good. They enjoy forever the horrible freedom they have demanded, and are therefore self-enslaved: just as the blessed, forever submitting to obedience, become through all eternity more and more free.

From The Problem of Pain

Compiled in Words to Live By

The Problem of Pain. Copyright © 1940, C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. Copyright restored © 1996 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers. Words to Live By: A Guide for the Merely Christian. Copyright © 2007 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

On Kindness, from Moorad Alexanian, April 29, 2022

On kindness

Love is something more stern and splendid than mere kindness. For about a hundred years we have so concentrated on one of the virtues—“kindness” or mercy—that most of us do not feel anything except kindness to be really good or anything but cruelty to be really bad. Such lopsided ethical developments are not uncommon, and other ages too have had their pet virtues and curious insensibilities. And if one virtue must be cultivated at the expense of all the rest, none has a higher claim than mercy. . . The real trouble is that “kindness” is a quality fatally easy to attribute to ourselves on quite inadequate grounds. Everyone feels benevolent if nothing happens to be annoying him at the moment. Thus a man easily comes to console himself for all his other vices by a conviction that “his heart’s in the right place” and “he wouldn’t hurt a fly,” though in fact he has never made the slightest sacrifice for a fellow creature. We think we are kind when we are only happy: it is not so easy, on the same grounds, to imagine oneself temperate, chaste, or humble. You cannot be kind unless you have all the other virtues. If, being cowardly, conceited and slothful, you have never yet done a fellow creature great mischief, that is only because your neighbour’s welfare has not yet happened to conflict with your safety, self-approval, or ease. Every vice leads to cruelty.

From The Problem of Pain

Compiled in Words to Live By

The Problem of Pain. Copyright © 1940, C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. Copyright restored © 1996 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers. Words to Live By: A Guide for the Merely Christian. Copyright © 2007 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

Posts From Moorad Alexanian April 29, 2022

“When you have realised that our position is nearly desperate you will begin to understand what the Christians are talking about. They offer an explanation of how we got into our present state of both hating goodness and loving it. They offer an explanation of how God can be this impersonal mind at the back of the Moral Law and yet also a Person. They tell you how the demands of this law, which you and I cannot meet, have been met on our behalf, how God Himself becomes a man to save man from the disapproval of God. It is an old story and if you want to go into it you will no doubt consult people who have more authority to talk about it than I have. All I am doing is to ask people to face the facts—to understand the questions which Christianity claims to answer. And they are very terrifying facts. I wish it was possible to say something more agreeable. But I must say what I think true” (C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity). We encourage you to also read Acts 3:1-26.

Thoughts of Doug Groothuis, April 28, 2022

Four books have influenced me in profound ways over many years.

1. C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man (many editions)

Considered one of Lewis’s more difficult and less read works (at least in comparison to his fiction or Mere Christianity), Abolition has been indispensible to my intellectual development. I first read it in my sophomore or junior year in college as a philosophy major. It gave me very solid support for the existence of moral values beyond the contingencies of culture. Technically, it is a work of meta-ethics — or the metaphysics of ethics. He argues for “the Tao,” by which he means the objective basis for moral values that transcends culture and preference.

Lewis warned that abandoning this objective standpoint would lead to a culture where people attempt to invent new values and then condition others to accept them through force and propaganda.

It is no wonder that I liberally quoted this work in my book against postmodernism, Truth Decay (2000). While not an apologetic for the biblical God as the basis for eternal values, The Abolition of Man lays that foundation. Its argument for objective moral value should be combined with the moral argument for God found in Book One of Lewis’s Mere Christianity. I have read this book at least six times and always benefit from it. In that sense, it is much like Francis Schaffer’s work, The God Who is There, which I have read about the same number of times.

2. Francis A. Schaeffer, The God Who Is There, 30th anniversary ed. (InterVarsity Press, 1998; originally published, 1968).

Originally published in 1968. 30th anniversary edition published in 1998. I first read The God Who Is There by Francis Schaeffer in the fall of 1976, my sophomore year in college—just a few months after my conversion to Christ. It is not an overstatement to say that it revolutionized my view of Christian faith and endeavor. I had spent the first few troubled months of the Christian life not knowing how to think about the great intellectual issues I had been introduced to in my first year of college. This caused considerable distress of soul. But Schaeffer, the savvy evangelist and apologist, wasn¹t afraid of the great ideas. In fact, he argued that the Christian world view is objectively true, rational, and that it offers unique hope and meaning to a post-Christian culture awash in despair and confusion.

Schaeffer did not answer all my questions, and I have come to question a few of his judgments (particularly his reading of a few philosophers), but The God Who is There helped spark a grand view of ministry that has never dimmed. We must love the lost, take culture seriously, and outthink the world for Christ!

3. Blaise Pascal, Pensées (various editions).

I have been reading Pascal’s profound reflections for forty-five years, and I don’t plan on stopping. I wrote a book called On Pascal (Wadsworth, 2003). I find myself quoting him in my writing and speaking frequently. I first picked this volume out of my mother’s collection of The Great Books in the summer of 1977. The volume consists of over 900 fragments of a book Pascal never completed, which would have been an apologetic for the Christian faith. Nevertheless, many of the fragments—some more developed and refined than others—were so brilliant that Pascal’s family published them after his death in 1662. He was only 39.

Pascal, a celebrated scientist and mathematician, understood that the gospel was the only key that could unlock the meaning of the human condition. His reflections on the greatness and misery of humanity are unparalleled in their wisdom and apologetic power. We are great because made in God’s image and likeness; but we are miserable because we are fallen. We are deposed royalty in need of the Mediator, Jesus Christ.

4. Søren Kierkegaard, Purity of Heart is to Will One Thing (various editions).

Although I cannot agree with much of Kierkegaard’s religious philosophy (particularly his fideism), this devotional book was pivotal in my sense of divine calling. Kierkegaard (1813-55) aimed to reform the dry and dead Lutheran orthodoxy of his day by stimulating his readers to rediscover the Christianity of the New Testament and to stand naked as individuals before God himself. This book summons the reader to consider their lives before the “audit of eternity” and to order all their affairs so as to “will the good in the truth,” without excuse and without wavering and against the crowd, if need be.

Through reading it, I discovered that God was calling me to engage the life of the mind as a lifelong pursuit. At the time (1977 or 1978), I did not know what shape this commitment would take, but the Lord’s will was made known to me through this remarkable and penetrating book.

Polar Zen Abandonment

First flight of my new Polar H10 Heart Rate Monitor.

I stopped in the park to break open a diet root beer. The voice prompter interrupted my audio book every couple of minutes to tell me I was improving fitness. It is tempting to talk back to the robot. Dont need it’s opinion. I will have to listen to the book again, and search under rocks for wherever my zen skittered away to hide.

Purple Hair Day.

From Earth Day to Purple Hair Day.

Having some purple-haired loser in a nose ring convince your six-year-old to get a sex change is not why most people send their children to school,

However, apparently its just another normal day in the White House, and protesting it is seen as some sort of horrible threat to democracy by the ruling junta of the NWO, (the new world order).

Politics 2022

Nevertheless a certain class of dishonesty, dishonesty magnificent in its proportions, and climbing into high places, has become at the same time so rampant and so splendid that there seems to be reason for fearing that men and women will be taught to feel that dishonesty, if it can become splendid, will cease to be abominable. If dishonesty can live in a gorgeous palace with pictures on all its walls, and gems in all its cupboards, with marble and ivory in all its corners, and can give Apician dinners, and get into Parliament, and deal in millions, then dishonesty is not disgraceful, and the man dishonest after such a fashion is not a low scoundrel. Instigated, I say, by some such reflections as these, I sat down in my new house to write The Way We Live Now.[7]

by Anthony Trollope.

An Independent Voice Says

I as a Black person do not want to hear this demeaning message about how I need help from you, and how I need help from the rich and how we need to invest in Black business. What is Netflix doing for Black people or for lower income communities? Virtually nothing. When this whole Black Lives Matter scandal broke out and people were taking to the streets – what did Netflix do? They opened up a category on their streaming service for Black creators and Black content, not only segregating their consumers and creating a divisive climate, but doing nothing for Black people in their efforts. It makes no sense. It’s all virtue-signaling and it’s all propaganda. That’s all that they want. 

Hmmm. Interesting.

I had been thinking of cancelling Netflix because it is a wasteland of sleaze.

Star Trek Picard and Star Trek Discovery (on Paramount) are almost unwatchable. Cringe worthy. The current western culture is a toxic waste dump that ruined future centuries. I am searching for just one program to make the fee worth paying.

Disney Opposed to Parental Rights

Democrats join Disney in opposing parental rights, BOO parents advocates.

On Thursday, the Florida state legislature passed a bill seeking to dissolve a special district that allows the Walt Disney Company to act as its own government within the outer limits of Orange and Osceola counties. The bill passed the state Senate on Wednesday with a vote of 23-16 and sailed through the state’s House of Representatives by a vote of 70-38.

The proposal was first introduced Tuesday by Republican state Sen. Jennifer Bradley, but opponents say it’s really driven by DeSantis. Widely seen as a contender for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, DeSantis is locked in a bitter and public feud with the entertainment giant over the company’s denouncement of Florida’s HB 1557 law last month. HB 1557, dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, limits early education teachings on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Until recently, there had been no major public discussion about dissolving Disney’s long-established special district, which it’s occupied for 55 years, leading opposing senators and other critics of the bill to question its timing and the speed at which it’s being pushed through.

State Rep. Randy Fine told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Thursday that the bill isn’t retaliatory but said “when Disney kicked the hornet’s nest, we looked at special districts.”

“People wanted to deal with the special district for decades,” he said. “Disney had the political power to prevent it for decades. What changed is bringing California values to Florida. Floridians said, ‘You are a guest. Maybe you don’t deserve the special privileges anymore.’”

Fine said the bill was introduced to even the playing field in Florida for theme park operators. He noted that Disney’s competition, Universal, SeaWorld and Legoland, do not have special districts to operate in.

Democrats in the state Senate, though outnumbered, came to the theme park’s defense on Wednesday during a special session of the body

How to explain Wokeness to a Democrat, Part II

In Part I, Wokeness was described in terms of it’s practical outcomes and policies.
Part II has to do with fundamentals.

Forgiveness and redemption do not exist in the world of wokeness. They are not allowed.
Wokeness is a moral world view that seeks to divide people into two classes: Oppressor and Oppressed.

Why is this?

Marxist Queer Theory

Wokeness is a marxist queer theory. This theory isn’t about sex; instead it is about everything. NORMAL is not allowed as a concept in marxism. Anything that is deemed normal creates oppression. The woke believe that in a world where normal exists those who are normal enjoy privilege as a class and those outside normal are oppressed because they lack privilege. The non-normal are an oppressed class. And this must be stopped.

There is only one moral belief in marxism: All oppressed classes must be eliminated. Normal must be opposed and eliminated.

Consequently, everything in human society must be made into an issue of contention. Existing traditions, conventions, and power structures must be torn down and transformed. Why? Those who believe in normal are oppressors.

As I said, forgiveness and redemption are not allowed in the world of the woke. These ideas have to do with good and bad. They handle a case where someone has gone from good to bad but now seeks to be restored to goodness and be forgiven. And to be restored to a condition of peace. What’s wrong with this? It is based on the idea that good is normal. And normality is not allowed in the moral system of the woke. Good oppresses bad.

The woke are at war with the concept of normal at all levels. The issue isn’t really race, or sex, or gender, or group identity. These are mere tools the marxists use to disrupt, transform, and destroy.

Democrats, the real democrats, believe in peace, and goodness, and normality. And fairness too. They also believe in doing no harm. But when you eliminate normal the result is harm. Harm to everyone. This isn’t what democrats wanted. They have been deceived by the woke.

Naked Sun?

Random thoughts on sci fi authoring.

We finished The Naked Sun (1957) tonight. Second in a sequence the Caves of Steel (1954) / The Naked Sun by Isaac Asimov.

He had already written Foundation (1951) before Caves of Steel. It is fascinating to have read these books but years later to go back and think about how Asimov developed his ideas and stitched these stories together. What I had never realized was that Robots were intended to explain Foundation. This was affected in part by Asimov having been criticized for writing stories about superior aliens. So he decided not to ever write about aliens. and he wanted to explain why the universe was void of alien life. This was why he never produced Star Trek or Star Wars type universes. I always wondered about that. it was planned, but planned after an evolution. Fascinating is what Spock would say.

Surprise Ending

I noticed the Naked Sun story ends in a major Story Pivot Point in the “I, Robot” saga. I believe Asimov wrote this pivot point first when planning these two Elijah Bailey books, then designed the detective story of Elijah Bailey and R. Daneel Olivaw to produce the pivot point.

Story Arcs A’Plenty

There are many other story arcs involved in the I,Robot saga. Some stories in Asimov’s universe have no robots at all.

I have been ruined.

Unfortunately I have been ruined by Clifford Simak. He too writes about robots, but in a totally different fashion. My thoughts run far ahead into a Simak future.