19 April, 2017

Personal Moral Opinions are Red Herring Arguments

Has anyone ever had the following discussion before? A Christian asserts that "if God does not declare something to be wrong then it isn't wrong" only for an atheist to assert that the existence of an all-powerful deity isn't necessary to think that thing to be evil. How? If God is not the source of all morality, then who is? Is it the mere opinion of the atheist himself? Is it government? Is it culture? None of these make any sense when examined closely.

When someone makes this assertion — namely, the assertion that someone can believe that an evil thing is evil without needing God to tell them — then they are changing the subject. The original subject was the existence of good and evil generally. The subject that the atheist changed it to was his or her personal beliefs about morality. Any change in the subject, no matter how subtle, in attempt to justify one's position is called the red herring fallacy. Oh, wait, is it just evil for you but may be good for someone else? Then why are you judging it?

There is a simple way to refute the assertion that all morality is opinion and belief. Simply ask the question "Is that morality a mere opinion or belief?" It's a moral claim, is it not? Then how can that morality be absolute without contradicting the very standard that it is supposed to convey? Moral relativism is a self-refuting idea. It, like truth denial ("is that true?"), denial of the existence of absolutes generally ("is that an absolute?"), and knowledge denial ("do you know that you cannot know anything?"), is a violation of the law of noncontradiction and, thus, false on its own merits.

Appeals to law to determine morality don't fare much better than the above. If government were the source of morality, then every conflict would just be one government's moral opinion against another's. Would the Nuremberg Trials have had any valid basis to them if this were the case? No, and in fact the people making the arguments at the Nuremberg Trials had to admit this in order to give the guilty parties any sense of conviction. When it comes to morality, societal relativism — appeals to society as the source of all morality; society depends on government to keep it from collapsing — is a bad basis.

Cultural relativism — the idea that morality is a cultural construct — is just like the above. Those atrocities committed by ISIS — are they evil? I certainly believe that they are, and so do most atheists that I have debated. Unlike an atheist, however, I know where to properly ground that belief. Islamic culture is a culture, that much is known, and the rationale that ISIS uses is cultural rationale. In order to declare beheading to be wrong, one must go beyond cultural relativism as well in order to judge it as such, because cultural relativism definitely doesn't give an atheist grounds to tell a Muslim that beheading is wrong.

So, moral relativism — fail; societal relativism — fail; cultural relativism — fail. Relativism in general is always inherently self-contradictory, yet the only possible explanation for morality if there is no God is some flavor of relativism. Either relativism is true or God exists. Relativism is self-refuting and therefore false; thus, the only option is that God must exist.

10 April, 2017

Dear President Trump: Reagan Doctrine, Not Neocon Hawkery

On Friday, April 6, 2017 — 100 years to the day after racist Democrat and Klanophile President Woodrow Wilson signed a congressional declaration of war that formally entered the United States into World War I — President Donald Trump, acting on emotions stirred in him by a heinous Sarin gas attack on a Syrian civilian target, bombarded the Shayrat Air Force Base with 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles. In order to make sense of this, one must ask four very important questions: What is Sarin? Why would Assad use it on his own people? What could Assad have done differently? What subsequent actions could Trump take that will not piss people off in that volatile region?

Being a nerve agent, Sarin acts by causing tetany: it's an acetylcholesterase inhibitor. It causes a buildup of acetylcholine so rapid that the victim immediately loses control of all of his or her muscles, which uncontrollably tense up, ultimately leading to seizures and eventually death by suffocation as a result of inability to control the diapharagm. There are other acetylcholesterase inhibitors that are much less deadly — caffeine and tetrahydrocannabinol, for example — but the reason why those aren't toxic is because they are metabolized much more quickly and don't bioaccumulate (what should be noted about caffeine, however, is that insects don't have the ability that we do to break it down; thus, it makes a great insecticide). Substances like Sarin, Soman, and VX are not only very biochemically stable in the human body, but can also inhibit large numbers of acetylcholesterase molecules at the same time, which makes them very dangerous.

Why would Assad want to use such a gruesome substance on Idlib Governorate? Because Idlib Governorate is ruled by Tahrir al-Sham, formerly al-Nusra Front, which is basically the Syrian al-Qaeda affiliate. TaS isn't as bad as ISIS by any means — ever since Bin Laden's death, al-Qaeda has become a much more moderate organization, which after all is why ISIS decided to break away from it: the more radical al-Qaeda members wanted to stay radical and were shunned by al-Qaeda as a result — but it is still a very dangerous jihadi organization regardless. It is this organization that allegedly had a massive cell in Idlib with plans to carry out an attack on the Syrian government. The Russian explanation — that Assad dropped a conventional bomb directly onto a chemical storehouse — would make sense if it were not for one thing: Sarin's decomposition point. In addition to being toxic, Sarin is also flammable — containing mostly phosphorus and hydrocarbons, it can be ignited relatively easily, especially by a conventional bomb, and the combustion products of Sarin are harmless.

Using a chemical strike instead of a conventional strike on this terror cell, however, was the mistake that Assad made. Chemical weapons, unlike conventional weapons, kill not only their targets, they spread to areas far removed from their targets. Cause an explosion and destroy a terror cell, and, sure, said explosion would cause damage and kill those in the terror cell, but the death and destruction would be limited to that cell. Gas that terror cell with something like Sarin, and that gas is going to spread. Wherever it spreads, poison gas kills, and winds can easily spread Sarin from an intended target to an area packed with innocent civilians, resulting in widespread collateral death. Had Assad decided to just drop a conventional explosive (or incendiary) bomb on al-Nusra, we wouldn't have this problem.

Trump's reaction, although it was seen as an overreaction by some, was not without justification. The entire airfield from which the chemical weapons were allegedly launched was utterly destroyed. Notice, however, that his reaction involved missiles, not boots on the ground — Bush's reaction to Saddam Hussein Sarin-gassing Kurdish rebels was to employ ground troops, whereas Trump basically did to Assad what Reagan did to Gaddafi in 1981. The number of casualties was very low compared to the number caused by Assad's chemical attack, and it was only intended to hit that one base. Had that strike been intended to remove Assad from power, it would have been directed at Damascus, but that was not the case. It was direct at Shayrat and only Shayrat.

Only time will tell what this leads to. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's remarks today, Monday, April 10, 2017 about ISIS, not Assad, being Public Enemy #1 are indeed encouraging, however, and to say that the attack infuriated some of Trump's supporters is indeed a valid assertion. Regime change, however, is NOT a good idea either, because Assad is the only thing standing between ISIS and churches. If there is anyone who needs direct support, it's this: After ISIS is defeated ― and again, ISIS must go before we even think about what to do with the lesser evil, who is still evil regardless ― we need a spillover of the Iraqi Christian Babylon Brigades into Syria. We need to encourage Maronites in Lebanon to start a similar militia, then tell the Christian organizations to unite, surround Damascus, and, finally, put a new dictator from a Christian minority into absolute power. Because Vladimir Putin has been practicing Russian Orthodox since the 1990s, the odds of him agreeing to this solution are indeed high. In the short term, however, between Assad, ISIS, al-Nusra, and the jihadi-corrupted FSA, Assad is clearly the lesser of the four evils.

30 March, 2017

2017-18 ENSO Watch: Pacific, Indian Ocean SST Anomalies Greatly Resemble 1877

In case anyone hasn't already noticed, yes, California has gotten plenty of help this past winter as far as drought relief is concerned. OC, Ventura, and Santa Barbara counties have gone from exceptional drought down to moderate drought during the 2016-17 water year, and in the rest of the state, there is nothing left of the drought at all. However, we are still not completely out of it. That said, if the oceans are any indication, we may well be.

While the flooding rains in California have just about ended for the 2016-17 water year, the same cannot be said about the devastating floods in Peru. What has been forming in the Atlantic and eastern Pacific is a south-based (warm south, cold north) SST dipole, which has allowed the ITCZ to intensify far to the south of its normal position — about 10 degrees south of the equator in the Eastern Pacific in particular, and the result has been an Atlantic that is more or less stuck in winter mode even as we enter spring. The result, in turn, has resulted in strong northerly winds off Peru that have kept the coastal region warm, and, as a result, have kept the air wet. Moreover, strong negative WPO has supercooled the western Pacific, and, to boot, the extreme northeastern Pacific, despite having cooled considerably in March, is now warming up again very rapidly.

In addition, there has been a lot of cooling of the eastern Indian Ocean, and of the West Australian Current in particular, that has been more or less coupled with a warming of the southwestern Indian Ocean between Madagascar and South Africa. This is a precursor to a positive Indian Ocean Dipole, which is capable of helping a developing El Niño event out. Also, a cold Baja California anomaly is coupled with a warm anomaly further north — a high-over-low dipole that favors a Southern Hemisphere Booster response.

Sea surface temperature anomalies at 12:00 UTC on Thursday, March 30, 2017. Note strong positive IOD trying to form, along with rapidly cooling tropical Atlantic.

A similar map, but this time a monthly average of the sea surface temperature anomalies from March 1877. Note the presence of the SW Pacific (near NZ) warm blob, not to mention the same SE Indian Ocean cold pool and the same anomalously cold NW Pacific. This is almost identical to the current situation.

What followed the 1877 precursor was something for the record books to say the least: an El Niño event so powerful that 1997-98 and even, if Modoki events are counted, 2015-16 were put to shame by it. Are we in for a repeat? It remains to be seen, but the odds are indeed high.

24 March, 2017

Debunking the "One God Further" Argument

One of the major problems with atheist logic that I encounter when debating online is that they often place the God of the Bible in the same category as pagan deities. In order to debunk this notion that they are in the same category, one needs to look no further than the Bible's first verse. Whereas pagan gods are seen by their worshippers as creating Earth while residing in the heavens (and thus are indistinguishable from what sci-fi enthusiasts today would call aliens), the God of the Bible is depicted as having created *both* the heavens *and* the earth, and is therefore not only outside Earth but also outside the universe.

Fast forward thousands of years to today, and science now confirms that there was a time when not just matter but also space and, as Augustine asserted in the earliest days of Christianity, time itself did not exist. There was no space, there was no matter, there was no nature, and there was no time. In order to cause space, the "unmoved mover" as Aristotle alluded to must be non-spatial. In order to cause time, that same entity must be eternal. In order to cause matter, this entity must be immaterial. In order to cause nature — which depends on matter existing in order to exist — this deity must be supernatural. The first three of these attributes —  non-spatial, eternal, and immaterial — do not apply to any pagan deity, since all pagan cultures worshipped beings that they claimed created Earth but live within the universe; however, these same attributes are definitely applicable to the God of the Bible.

In addition to the above, the universe is also permeated with over 200 measurements of how it operates, all of which must be infinitesimally precise even to allow the universe to exist at all, let alone to support life. For example, if the expansion rate of the universe were either increased or decreased by one part in 10 to the 15th power, then either A, the "Big Crunch" would already have happened, or B, galaxies would never have developed. If the gravitational constant, likewise, were changed by a similarly miniscule amount, then either A, gravity would be too weak to allow matter to coalesce at all, or B, the only existent objects in the entire universe would be black holes. In order for the universe to have been fine-tuned this precisely from the very beginning, the cause of space, time, matter, and the universe must also have been intelligent, and, since you cannot have intelligence without personality, personal as well.

Appeals to the above natural laws as causes for the universe are futile given that they did not exist before the universe existed. How Stephen Hawking, for example, cops out of this is by circular reasoning: he appeals to the law of gravity as an alleged explanation for the universe creating itself from nothing. Gravity by Einsteinian definition is the force that a massive object exerts on space-time. When there was no matter, space, or time, there was no mass, which depends on the existence of matter, or space-time, which depends on the existence of space and time. See the problem here? Space, time, and matter are the three essential ingredients that must exist in order for gravity to even be logically, let alone physically, possible. It's ironic that people as intelligent as Hawking begin to look like total fools whenever this problem is presented to them.

There's only one entity that fits all of the criteria unpacked in Paragraphs 2 and 3 — non-spatial, eternal, immaterial, supernatural, intelligent, and personal — out of all the countless entities out there that people have faith in, and it's the God of the Bible. The Bible is the only religious text in existence, bar none, that teaches that God created *both* Earth and the universe. It is also the only religious text in existence that portrays its monotheistic entity as highly intelligent and gives the notion that He can make very good arguments to prove that, and Jesus, whom we Christians believe to literally be God Himself turned into man, is definitely portrayed in the Gospels as far smarter than anyone who has ever tried to argue with Him. In addition, Genesis 1 is the only religious text out there that contains a sequence of events that is even remotely consistent with the sequence of events that the cosmological and geological records show. Finally, we see in the Bible (Exodus 3:14) that this deity literally calls Himself "I Am". If there is any name that is perfectly fitting for the self-existent eternal "unmoved mover", it's that one.

16 March, 2017

Secular Attacks on Miracles are Circular Reasoning

WARNING: The following are paragraphs, not individual sentences or phrases. Failure to also quote the rest of a paragraph when quoting a single sentence or phrase out of it is quote mining.

In September 2016, I posted (and subsequently edited) a list of fallacies committed by the mainstream media as they attempt to silence both Christians and conservatives. One of them (namely, number 10 on the list) is circular reasoning. Yes, there are indeed Christians who commit this fallacy, but there are atheists who commit it as well. How? By jumping to the conclusion that any piece of text containing miracles must automatically be regarded as a fairy tale.

Around the same time that now-infamous September blog post was posted, I also attended Stand to Reason's reTHINK 2016 conference at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa. My good friend, mentor, and world-renowned cold case homicide detective J. Warner Wallace made this point very clear at this conference, and I happen to possess video footage, which I posted to Instagram from the conference, of his refutation of this argument. Keep in mind, this was Detective Wallace's own objection when he was still an atheist. When he went on to apply the same methods that he used in his detective work to the Bible, it was this objection that was his last hurdle. How therefore did Wallace go from atheist to Christian? He learned to think outside the box.

That there is the problem with this objection in a nutshell: It is the box! Naturalism, like scientism ("is that provable using the scientific method?"), relativism ("is that relative?"), truth denial ("is that true?"), and others like it, is self-refuting. How? Because space, matter, and time all had beginnings seemingly out of nowhere. Because when applied to the New Testament, the judicial standard links Irenaeus, who we know has plenty of contemporary writings, only two generations back to the Gospel writers themselves. Because chronology and archaeology, if properly interpreted, do a profound job of verifying the Old Testament. Because the historical-legal evidence supporting the New Testament, when compared to that supporting all other ancient documents, is overwhelming. Atheists have to jump over all this in order to justify their claims, and nearly all of their refutations when presented with this stuff are nothing more than cop-outs.

To be fair, the same is indeed true for the Christian side, but my fellow Christians (and some agnostics, you might argue) are at least open to the idea of this stuff being supportive of Biblical veracity. Atheists will claim that a negative can't be proven, but at the same time also claim that they don't want to believe any belief system that can't be proven. This is a contradiction, because atheism is a negative. If you can't prove a negative, then why do you blindly regurgitate the negative that there is no God? Why do you blindly assert the negative that the supernatural does not exist? Merely denying these without asserting the negatives is called agnosticism; atheism is when you assert the negative in addition to denying the positive. If it can't be proven, then by your own definition you shouldn't believe it.

This is what it comes down to: naturalism is circular reasoning, period. Instead of even opening their mind up to the possibility of something outside the universe — which is itself created because it is proven by science to not be eternal — existing, they simply dismiss all evidence presented to them and move the goalposts — a fallacy in itself — based on the blindly asserted notion that anything supernatural isn't reasonable. Because this notion is circular reasoning, it's therefore a plank in the eye (Matthew 7:3-5) of any atheist who judges a Christian for circular reasoning. You say I'm closed-minded? Anyone who uses circular reasoning is closed minded regardless of his or her belief system.

24 February, 2017

Orwellian Hypocrisy: 5 '1984' Plank-Eyes that the Left Must Address

It's Friday, February 24, 2017 — one month and 4 days into Donald Trump's presidency. During this short period, he has indeed gotten a lot done — some of which has been met with relatively little obstruction; others, however, have been met with vehement opposition from the opposition party. One such problem position: budget cuts to the National Endowment of the Arts. In response to these cuts, the notoriously left-wing media has decided to screen the film adaptation of '1984' despite the fact that the regime in that book has much more in common with the left than the right. How much exactly? At least the following 5 points.

For starters, the fictional totalitarian regime in Orwell's classic sci-fi thriller novel is, at the most fundamental level, a surveillance state. Devices called "telescreens" in the book resemble what we know as TVs, but with a sinister twist: they're used by the fictional state to spy on its citizens. The repeated slogan, throughout the entire book, is "Big Brother is Watching You", "Big Brother" being the book's fictional dictator. Although much less obvious and more subtle, the NSA's PRISM program was indeed a program of mass surveillance by the US government — and at the time, the Obama administration was in the driver's seat.

As obviously Orwellian as PRISM was when exposed, however, it wasn't the only Orwellian thing the left has done. There is also a part of the '1984' book, near the back, in which the fictional government gives certain minorities — among them, Jews and blacks — first dibs on high-level officer jobs in the fictional regime's secret police force, and basically tells them to use their jobs to get their revenge on those who once oppressed their ancestors. A similar attitude exists in real life in today's Democratic Party, which gives groups like BLM, the Black Panthers, and the Muslim Brotherhood special favors, not to mention gives them a similar message — namely, a manifestation of the lie that two wrongs make a right, when in reality the exact opposite is true — to spread around.

In another part of '1984', a furnace system is described — a bunch of pneumatic tubes that take papers dropped into them to a furnace, which incinerates them. Why? To destroy evidence. Obviously, if such info were to leak from a totalitarian government and the people were to obtain it, the result would indeed be disastrous, so any totalitarian regime must involve lying and destroying evidence. In 2015, a scandal came to the surface suggesting that as Obama's Secretary of State, 2016 presidential loser Hillary Clinton did exactly this: securely deleted 30,000+ emails from her private server using BleachBit. Why? Again, to destroy evidence — Congress could charge Hillary with perjury if they found any emails on that server containing classified information, which Sec. Clinton denied having ever received in her inbox. To say that destroying evidence is Orwellian behavior is an understatement.

In still another part of Orwell's infamous novel is the subversion of the English language as "Newspeak" — using definitional retreat as a means to turn the English language into a psychological weapon that the ruling party can then use against anyone with whom they disagree. The end goal? Dumbing the people down so that they continue to support the ruling party. What is political correctness? Yup, exactly this. Newspeak is a far more extreme form of political correctness, to be fair, but redefining such words as "racist", "bigot", and anything ending in the suffix "-phobia" with intent to politically weaponize such language is Orwellian indeed.

Finally, Orwell's novel talks about the different parts of cities like dystopian London, in which the novel takes place. There's the upscale areas, which are under constant mass surveillance, and then there are the slums, where the so-called "proles" live. These people are indeed given welfare by the government… but that's about it. The living quarters, despite the provisions, are still in total disrepair, and the people have, to put it in LBJ's words, "just enough to quiet them down, but not enough to make a difference". In 2016, Dinesh D'Souza, in his infamous movie Hillary's America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party, called American inner cities "urban plantations," and they, like the Orwellian "proles quarters," are governed by similar antics: instead of shackles, the people have welfare, and instead of work, they have elections, but they're still, from an economic standpoint, de facto slaves.

So, let's review: PRISM — that's Orwellian, oppression Olympics — that's Orwellian, destruction of evidence — that's Orwellian, political correctness — that's Orwellian, and urban plantations — that's Orwellian. That's five planks in the eyes of the screeners of this movie, which makes me laugh my head off that they're even doing it. By screening '1984' as a means of protest, the American Left is only incriminating itself, and it's an example of gross ignorance on the part of the Democratic Party to falsely attribute books like '1984' with intent to fit their narrative.

22 February, 2017

HowTo: Make Ubuntu GNOME Look Like Chrome OS

As someone who has for a time exclusively used Chrome OS, I have since taken on roles ― like Android app development, which I just took a class last semester ― that have put me at odds with the Chrome OS target audience. As a consequence, I now find myself with three machines — an Asus Chromebit, an HP Chromebook 11 G4, and an HP Pavilion G72 desktop replacement laptop, which was originally my sister's, then got handed to my father, and finally handed down to me. Given that I have literally no respect at all for Windows, I decided to use the Chromebook — which was in developer mode at the time — to flash an Ubuntu ISO image to a 16GB USB flash drive using the following command:

$ wget -O - http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/daily-live/current/ubuntu-desktop/amd64.iso | sudo dd of=/dev/sdb

Then, I used that USB flash drive to  wipe the G72 clean. After installing, I then proceeded to "sudo apt-get install ubuntu-gnome-desktop", install Chrome (the browser, not the OS — particularly the dev channel version), and, finally, remove Unity, Firefox, and Compiz. However, it still took some getting used to — switching from a Chromebook to the G72 and back felt like playing a cat-and-mouse game each time due to the fundamental layout changes between operating systems. How could I make the G72 look more like what I have been used to on the Chromebook and Chromebit?

The first thing I did — and this is literally point 1 — was install the Paper theme, which gives both GTK+ and GNOME Shell Material Design makeovers. It doesn't look exactly like Chrome OS, but it's close. After I changed the GTK+ theme to Paper, I used the GNOME Tweak Tool, along with the Shell extension called User Theme (which I had to use the GNOME Shell Integration Chrome extension to install), to in turn change the GNOME Shell theme to Paper.

But wait, the font doesn't quite match up. For that, I ran "sudo apt-get install font-roboto", then used the Tweak Tool to change the GTK+ font to Roboto. Changing the Shell font, however, meant editing some CSS. I opened a terminal, ran "sudo gedit /usr/share/themes/Paper/gnome-shell/gnome-shell.css", and edited Line 19 to read "font-family: Roboto, Roboto Bold, Sans-Serif". Then I closed the text editor, pressed Alt-F2, and ran "r" to restart the Shell. The result was indeed Material, but still did not have the layout that I wanted. How could I make the desktop layout more like that of Chrome OS?

I decided to browse the extensions page some more, and stumbled across an extension called Dash to Panel, which provided 90% of the changes that I needed. Still, however, it didn't look exactly like Chrome OS because the result wasn't as transparent as the Chrome OS Panel is. So, I had to continue. I then ran across another extension called Dynamic Panel Transparency, which makes the panel fully transparent if no windows are maximized. Finally, to make sure that the notifications were in a position congruent to the position that they are in in the case of Chrome OS, I installed the Panel OSD extension. To improve performance, I also, in the Tweak Tool, opened the Extensions tab, clicked the small gear next to Dash to Panel, clicked on the Behavior tab in the resulting dialog, and unchecked "Animate Show Applications". In addition, on that same page, I also set the "Click Action" to "Minimize window". Ah, but wait, what about the wallpaper? A quick Google search will bring it up, but yes, I decided to make this image the default wallpaper, which can be done simply by right-clicking on the desktop.

Overview Mode
The result is indeed something that is much easier getting used to — and vice versa, when I switch back and forth between Chrome OS and Linux, it is now very easy to transition both ways. Plus, unlike some distributions intended to be Chrome OS clones, like Chromixium and Cr OS, the result of this looks far cleaner — those others use Xfce, which, although great as far as performance is concerned, looks terrible as far as being congruent with Chrome OS is concerned. Why? Because Xfce does not allow pinning of apps/windows, one of the key Chrome OS features. This solution does. Moreover, the GNOME Shell overview mode looks much more like the Chrome OS overview mode than anything Xfce has yet offered. Definitely an easy transition, to say the least.

13 February, 2017

Judges should S.T.O.P. Misquoting the Constitution

While the app that I published to Google Play on New Year's Eve does indeed specifically refer to the Bible in its description and strings, it should be noted that the Bible is not the only document out there that the method that this app educates on is applicable to. An example of a piece of another document that was misquoted was the Ninth Circuit case Washington v. Trump, in which the people making the ruling ruled, while completely ignorant of context and of other laws, that President Donald Trump's travel ban on certain Muslim-majority countries violates the Establishment Clause, in spite of the fact that the Constitution was written for citizens, not for aliens. They should have thought about it further by thinking the same way that I, at least, think about the Bible — that is, by application of exegesis to the Constitution.

What is the situation or setting of the Establishment Clause? It's 1790 in the brand-new United States of America. Having been fed up with how hypocritical the Church of England has been with them, stifling the freedoms of Jews and of other sects of Christianity, the Founding Fathers had decided that enough is enough, and decided that the federal government should not give one church or synagogue official favor over any other. Were there Muslims in early America? Perhaps as slaves, but slaves were not US citizens until 1868. Did the Founding Fathers intend to give resident aliens constitutional rights? Per the Alien and Sedition Acts, supported by many of the Constitution's authors, the answer to that would be "No".

The type of literature that the Establishment Clause conveys, meanwhile, is obvious: a statement expressly forbidding the government from exercising a power that other governments at the time exercised on a regular basis. The Establishment Clause's object is, of course, whether or not the federal government should make one religion or sect thereof the official religion and outlaw all the others, and the prescription of the Establishment Clause is that the government refrain from doing the above. Does a restriction on immigration from certain parts of the world have anything to do with literally establishing an official religion for the United States, which is the only act — the ONLY act — that the Establishment Clause condemns? No. US citizens can still choose whatever religion they want to regardless.

So, in the original context, no, the Establishment Clause is not applicable to aliens, no, it is not applicable to foreign tourists, and no, it is definitely not applicable to those who overstay their visas or cross borders without proper documentation, breaking US immigration laws in the process. Only citizens have Establishment Clause protection, and anyone who rules otherwise is quote mining the Constitution in a manner that people like Neil Gorsuch and Antonin Scalia are/were sternly, vehemently opposed to. The judicial branch is the judicial branch. It was never intended to and is never supposed to have legislative power. Judicial activism is a total usurpation of the separation of powers as prescribed by the Constitution of the United States and is therefore an unconstitutional mindset in itself.

09 February, 2017

Biology Does Not Lie: Why abortion is evil

Is it sexist to make moral judgments about abortion? If it is, then it's also sexist to make the moral judgment that it's sexist to make moral judgments about abortion. If it's intolerant to weigh in on people's choices, then it's also intolerant to weigh in on someone's choice to weigh in on people's choices. If it's bigoted to claim that premarital sex is wrong, then the claim that it's bigoted to claim that premarital sex is wrong is also bigoted. If it's bigoted to force morality, then it's also bigoted to force the morality that morality shouldn't be forced.

Those are all called self-refuting statements, and they're all coming from leftists in the United States. They're completely and utterly false, because they all violate the law of noncontradiction, which states that A cannot be both A and non-A at the same time. It's just like the claim to be absolutely certain that absolutes don't exist. It's just like the claiming that it's true that there is no truth. It's just like, for a more morbid example, using English to claim to be unable to speak a word in English.

When it comes to abortion in particular, it isn't even the woman's body that we're talking about with respect to the above, and anyone who blindly asserts the "my body, my choice" lie is, by the leftist definition at least, a science denier. Why? Because a body part always has the exact same DNA as the body that it's a part of. Is an unborn child's DNA 100% identical to the mother's DNA? No, because you need both a sperm and an egg to make a child. Not only is the unborn child genetically distinct from the mother, but, because of the fact that a female mother can carry a male child, also chromosomally distinct half of the time as well. When it comes to the unborn child, the mother is simply that — a carrier. Saying that abortion is "your body, your choice" is logically on par with implying that someone driving or riding in a car is physically part of the car, which is completely false.

Ah, but a car is not a human being, while the mother is, you say, right? How often is there a dilemma with regard to saving lives? Only 0.7% of abortions are because of rape — the only case where there is no choice 9 months before pregnancy, and even then, aborting what someone else can otherwise adopt is implying the malignantly narcissistic narrative that if you cannot take care of a child then no one else can — and only 0.3% of abortions are because of some life-threatening complication (like an ectopic pregnancy, for example) to the mother resulting from a pregnancy. Another 0.7% are due to birth defects, but a significant number of the birth defects in question are non-fatal (case in point: Down syndrome) and therefore inexcusable (on a related note, even if a defect is likely to cause the death of an unborn child anyway, abortion is merely an addition of an insult to injury and therefore inexcusable regardless). That leaves 98.3% of abortions for purely, get this, economic reasons. Or, as I like to call them, selfish, greedy, sexually narcissistic, lame excuses.

Why do I call them that? Because anyone who cannot afford a child cannot afford sex either, period. It doesn't matter how much you enjoy sex, it's there for one purpose and one purpose only — to manufacture children — and must therefore never be had in vain. When two impoverished youth consent to sex, regardless of whether or not they want to admit it, they are actually having sex in vain, which is the most selfish, self-centered, malignantly narcissistic attitude toward sex that one can possibly have. The sexual narcissism — not to mention greed — that is having consensual sex out of wedlock while being unable to afford a child is the root cause of what the pro-life movement is truly opposed to. Until leftists begin to make this connection between premarital and/or extramarital sex and abortion, they will continue to suffer under the Trump/Pence administration.

Ah, but wait a minute, isn't sex difficult to regulate? Once temptation spreads around, then and only then is it difficult to regulate. Educating people on the dangers of not being abstinent, however, is the easiest way in the world to solve this problem. Sex education must mean educating kids as early as humanly possible — I'm talking the upper grades of elementary school — on the dangers of loose sexual morals. It means gratuitous, graphic images in 4th grade health books of exactly what sexually transmitted infections do to the body. It means correcting the record — before puberty — on the porn industry's narrative of sexual behavior. It means giving statistical comparisons of the various methods of birth control and their effectiveness of stopping pregnancy, noting that only abstinence is 100% accurate. This is choice. Abortion isn't.

27 January, 2017

Cultural Hell Is Not Theological Hell

WARNING: The following are paragraphs, not individual sentences or phrases. Ignoring the whole-paragraph contexts to respond to bits and pieces of them is quote mining.

If God is loving, then why would He send you to hell for rejecting Him? This seems to be one of many key questions that nonbelievers wrestle with in our culture, and very prominent Christian apologists like Frank Turek have been presented with it. The problem, however, is that many people who raise this objection don't even know what Hell is. Some think it's just a place of divinely sanctioned torture, but is that true? There are indeed many words that the Bible uses to describe Hell, but the most basic concept is simply the separation from God. If you reject God, then you're rejecting all of His attributes — justice, order, mercy, faithfulness, humility, and selflessness — and embracing their opposites: injustice, chaos, lack of mercy, betrayal, pride, and narcissism.

Notice, however, that none of these negatives can exist unless their positive opposites are defined. You cannot have injustice if justice doesn't exist or is subjective. You cannot properly define chaos if order doesn't exist. You cannot have a lack of mercy without mercy to lack. You cannot properly define betrayal without first defining faithfulness. You cannot have pride if you don't know what humility is. You cannot have narcissism if you don't first have a standard of self-sacrifice by which to measure it. Either the good that becomes evil (in these cases) exists or it's undefined, and if good is undefined, then evil is also undefined. If evil is undefined, then can you call out any egregiously evil act as such? No, and if there were no God as atheists love to claim then all of the above would be completely undefined.

We can, in a sense, think of anarchy as a kind of hell on Earth: Without standards, without order, everyone can do anything and everything that he or she wants, including that which harms others. The result? A kind of socially Darwinistic society in which the strong become stronger, the weak become weaker, and everyone suffers. Anarchy creates chaos. It gives evil ones free reign to inflict evil on each other, creating and multiplying more evil. Instead of keeping them civilized, anarchy turns men into savages.

Now, take that anarchy and lengthen it to an eternal scale. That's what hell is: eternal anarchy. Without God's order, the result is an evil free-for-all where all inhabitants can all inflict as much evil on each other as they desire, but they only distance themselves further and further from God in the process. It's nothing like the stigma that we've given it by any means. Rather, it's simply what happens when there is absolutely no control whatsoever: inhabitants can do whatever the **** they want to each other, including the most grotesque of evils imaginable, and even including evils beyond comprehension.

In this context, we can see that the answer to the question posed in the introductory paragraph does become clear: You send yourself to hell. The assumption behind this loaded question is that God does the sending — not true at all. It's a quarantine for evil — it's where inhabitants fight evil with evil, and evil magnifies itself in an endless death spiral. If you reject God's order, you create chaos. If you reject God's love, you create hate. Hell is the creation of its inhabitants: like an inner city controlled by gangs or a country controlled by terrorist organizations, it's where eternal infighting creates eternal decay. That's what you get if you reject the gift of substitutionary atonement — the only thing that can keep us from this fate.

22 January, 2017

Hypocrites March on Washington: No Pro-Life Women Allowed

WARNING: The following are paragraphs, not individual sentences or phrases. Ignoring the whole-paragraph contexts to respond to bits and pieces of them is quote mining.

While the peaceful transition of power — one of the things that makes this country great — has indeed been successful, people on the left continue to make hypocritical arguments that in every way are completely contradictory to their own actions. Take, for example, Madonna, who claims to express vehement opposition to objectification of women… after having offered to perform oral sex on men who would have voted for Hillary before the election. Madonna's entire career was built on self-objectification, which shows a total mismatch between her words and her actions — obvious hypocrisy. Her march on Capitol Hill is only more proof of how hypocritical she is, because it completely excluded pro-life women, despite being labeled a "women's march".

It's no surprise, however, that the left continues to traffic in rhetoric and actions that fundamentally contradict each other when their underlying position on which all others are based — moral relativism — is a self-refuting idea to begin with. The idea that it's wrong to impose morality is itself a moral claim that someone is imposing. See the problem? The claim and the standard that it conveys fundamentally contradict each other. It's just like the truth claim denying the existence of truth, the use of English to claim to not be able to speak English, the use of a philosophical assumption to claim that the only way to determine whether something is true is via the scientific method, or the judgment not to judge.

Ah, but wait a minute, doesn't the book of Matthew, second chapter, first verse, say that Christians in particular shouldn't judge? The situation of Matthew 7:1 is the Sermon on the Mount. The type of literature that Matthew 7:1 conveys is a single-verse fragment of the commandment that is and should always be quoted as the Matthew 7:1-5 paragraph. Its object is a judgment not against judging in general (which would be logically self-refuting precisely because it's a judgment), but against committing specific sins and then going on to hypocritically judge others who commit those exact same sins without first repenting, and it is prescriptive, not descriptive. One must S.T.O.P. and think about not only what he or she is quoting but, in this case, the following 4 verses as well before quoting, because if not, then it's completely out of context.

How does this apply to abortion, you may ask? Because all the arguments that the left makes on that matter are completely relativistic. "My body, my choice", "that's not morality, that's tyranny", and countless other arguments like those are relativistic, self-refuting statements. Not only that, but they also conflate the unborn child with a body part, which is science denial to boot. If the DNA of the unborn child is not 100% identical to that of the mother — which it clearly isn't, because you need a sperm *and* an egg to make a child, which in turn means that the unborn child has 50% of the mother's DNA and 50% of the father's DNA — then "my body, my choice" is a lie.

Ah, but wait a minute, aren't there potential health risks to the mother that need to be explored as well? According to the available statistics on the matter, only 0.7% of the 60+ million abortions performed since Roe v. Wade are due to rape or incest and only 0.3% are due to the health of the mother being at risk (and the percentage of that percentage that is merely mental or emotional stress — an inexcusable reason — is unknown but probably high). Another 0.7% are due to birth defects, but again, the percentage of those defects that are incapable of killing the child anyway before birth (like Down syndrome for example) and therefore inexcusable are also high. That leaves 98.3% of abortions, for, get this, economic reasons. Think about that. 98.3% of 60+ million unborn children are killed out of pure lust, greed, selfish ambition, and outright sexual narcissism.

People selfishly think that they can have sexual intercourse out of wedlock and kill the child before he or she is born so that they don't have to pay the price of having the sex out of wedlock in the first place, why? Again, because they're selfish, greedy, and stupid. Either don't have sex in the first place or give the child up for adoption, but it's tyranny of the parents to think that you can use abortion as a mere sexual crutch, greedy to force taxpayers to pay for the sexual crutch in question, malignantly narcissistic to think that if you can't take care of the child then no one else can, and all of the above to have the nerve to think that it's OK to even have that impromptu sex in the first place. It's for this reason that we elected Trump and Pence as President and VP: because at least their administration will treat political dissidents with the same degree of dignity as those with whom they agree, unlike Obama, who gave special favors to lobbyists with whom he agreed while at the same time completely ignoring or even attacking those with whom he disagreed.

06 January, 2017

What Mixing Matter with Antimatter Tells Us About Genesis 1:3

WARNING: The following are paragraphs, not individual sentences or phrases; therefore, picking them apart is quote mining.

Of all the parts of the Bible that come under atheistic attack, which one comes under attack the most? It seems like the first book, doesn't it? Why is that? Is it because they think that it somehow contradicts science? News flash: not if examined closely enough. The verse that really sticks out, based on the interchangeability of matter and electromagnetic energy, is Genesis 1:3.

According to that verse, what existed before matter? Light. Light is energy, is it not? Not only is light energy, but it's energy in its purest form. Granted, the vast majority of light is invisible — radio waves, microwaves, heat (infrared) rays, ultraviolet rays, X-rays, and gamma rays are all just invisible forms of light (some of which can be deadly, but that's another topic entirely) — but it's still light regardless. It's given off by everything from wood fires, to filaments in light bulbs heated by electricity, to explosives, to nuclear weapons, to even the ultimate in thermonuclear reactors: the Sun. Notice, however, that the more you tear matter apart (or fuse it together), the more light you generate?

Ah, that's where we come to the ultimate energy source: combinations of matter and antimatter. Antimatter, by definition, is like matter but with opposite electric charges. The antimatter equivalent of a proton, for example, is of the same mass and composition as a proton but with a negative charge. The equivalent of an electron, likewise, is of the same mass and composition as an electron but with a positive charge. When such particles — antiprotons and positrons, respectively — come into contact with protons and electrons, respectively, they completely annihilate each other, and in so doing convert each other into 100% pure energy — not 4% energy (the matter conversion efficiency of an H-bomb) but 100% pure energy. What kind of energy? That's right, light! Deadly, mostly invisible light, but still light.

If matter and antimatter are indeed convertible into energy, which they are, and if the energy that results from matter and antimatter annihilating each other is light, which it is, then isn't the reverse — energy being converted back into matter and antimatter — also possible? That scenario is exactly what Genesis 1:3 is on about. In a universe where total destruction of matter's (and antimatter's) building blocks yields various forms of light, you'd expect those building blocks to themselves be fundamentally made of light in some fashion. By doing experiments with complete destruction of subatomic particles, that is exactly what we see.

As Frank Turek says, "Science doesn't say anything; scientists do." Science on its own is just a method. It's merely a tool for scientists to use, and the scientists therefore must come up with some interpretation based on the evidence that they see. These experiments with subatomic particles are no exception to that rule, and because of the way the Bible is worded, such that light is the very first thing that ever existed according to its pages, I for one am all the more convinced of its veracity by examining the results of these experiments, which do nothing short of confirm the Bible's implication in Genesis 1:3 that the smallest building block of matter and/or antimatter is in fact a photon.