Monthly Archives: July 2016
- The Prince — What Machiavelli would say to me: Dear Dennis, your virtue is not what matters, it’s that people perceive you as virtuous that matters, become a master of duplicity. Much good can be accomplished through what is traditionally known as evil, so dispense with those two unhelpful categories. The path to success and power, will of necessity involve lying, murder and extortion. Don’t sweat that, a true leader has a clear end in mind and the means to that end, will always be whatever it takes. One last thing, make sure you are perceived as religious, people will tend to trust you more, which will help you accomplish your goals.
- Discourse in Method — What Descartes would say to me: Dear Dennis, doubt everything, throw everything out! History, philosophy, religion, if you can conceive even for a minute how something does not add up, then junk it! How do you know anything? Well Dennis, you think therefore you are. — Whatever you think is the truth, must be the truth! What is real, truly real, is subject to your mind’s ability to grasp it. Conversely, if you can’t conceive it it must be false. You get to determine truth you see? Isn’t it grand!
- Leviathan — What Hobbes would say to me: Dear Dennis, everyman has a right to everything. Good is whatever gives me pleasure and evil is whatever or whoever stands in the way of me getting that pleasure. The natural man must demand his “rights” which are nothing more than his desires. Conscience is unnatural and should be discarded. There is no such thing as sin, justice or injustice, right or wrong, only my pleasure which is good and my pain which is bad. War is man’s natural state, because we consume each other to get what we want. That’s the good life, the natural life. The problem is when we live that way we end up destroying each other, so in order to stay alive we must, reluctantly, and with distrust and animosity, enter into society, which means we as humans agree to willingly restrain a minimal amount of our natural desires. The governments job is to maximize peoples freedoms to act on their desires, while at the same time doing what they can to minimize other peoples pain which will inevitably result from the fulfilment of those desires.
- Discourse on the origin and foundations of inequality among men — What Rousseau would say to me: Dear Dennis, make love often, work as little as possible, and reject authority. Civilization is man’s down fall, in our natural state, the man animal was happy, free and peaceful. We didn’t own anything, rather we roamed freely, awaiting natures compulsion for sex. When the desire arouse we acted on that desire without guilt or responsibility, and then moved on with life. Children were on their own early and even mothers love did not really exist. Society created unnatural, and artificial restraints on man such as duty, love and morality. These constraints started when some moron settled down and claimed land and women for his own. Dennis the ownership of land and the creation of family is the ruin of us all! By the way, women make a bigger deal of this artificial contrivance known as love, because they mean to control us, when they should be obeying us! Don’t fall for it.
- The Communist Manifesto — What Marx would say to me: Dear Dennis, you have to realize that there is one problem and one problem only that ails the world. That problem is class struggle. We need to create a world where there are no classes. There is currently a corrupted class of rich people who dominate the poor, they need to be eradicated. Any revolution that uses violence to over throw these capitalists is justified, once we are rid of them, our utopian vision of society can be realized. It will be one for all and all for one, the brutalities of capitalism will give way to the peace and serenity that comes with sharing our lives together, without capitalism, without religion, without sexual norms and without nuclear families.
- Utilitarianism — What Mill would say to me: Dear Dennis, I am not unlike Rousseau or even Hobbes in my thinking, I put it this way “The ultimate end…is an existence exempt as far as possible from pain, and as rich as possible in enjoyments. Our system of morality must be understood in terms of pleasure and pain nothing else. There is no God, nor is there a moral command written into nature. You need to understand Dennis, that there are no intrinsically wrong actions. You might want to know who gets to make judgement in society then? To that I say, those with the most experience, those who have tried the most things, because they will know experientially what works for happiness and what does not.
- The Descent of Man — What Darwin would say to me: Dear Dennis, this book is not quite as popular as my other one. I think it is because it’s a harsher truth, in my first book I brought to light the “survival of the fittest” explanation for life. In my next book I apply those findings to the human, and for some, those natural conclusions are rather distasteful. It makes no sense to care for the unfit, we don’t do that for animals why should we do it for the human animals? The other problem is, lousy people like the Irish seem to breed more than that good people like the Scottish, that’s a problem for the human race. Also there is no reason to think that the modern races shouldn’t exterminate the backward races, why not? that’s what happens in nature, there is no wrong here if Europeans exterminate African tribes for example. Skull sizes of Europeans are bigger than Australians, Africans and even most Americans, so that tells you whose on top doesn’t it? There is the trait of sympathy that exists among humans, it must have been helpful in past development, however, if the number of unfit continues to rise, within a people group, it will weigh that group down, then when they come into conflict with another people group unburdened by sympathy the weighed down peoples will not survive. Dennis sympathy is only good so long as it’s useful to survival of the species.
- Beyond Good and Evil — What Nietzsche would say to me: Dennis, you must have no room for gutless cowards like Hobbes and Mill. What the “nice” atheist’s and the liberal christians of your era say is complete garbage. Everyone wants to be nice, well, niceness is what is left of goodness when it is drained of greatness! Humanity has only always ever developed and grown through suffering and pain. Bring it on! That’s what makes us greater, that’s what makes us super men! There is no up or down, there is no good or evil; just sheer human will swimming in an indifferent, if not hostile, cosmos. What matters Dennis is the will to greatness, that is all. There are 2 kinds of morality, master morality which is simply that struggle leading to dominance and greatness, and then there is slave morality which values such anemic qualities as gentleness, humility, and love. — This calamity known as Christianity is nothing but slave morality and you should cast it aside.
- The State and Revolution — What Lenin would say to me: Marx was right. All capitalists must die. All perceived capitalists must die, in fact anyone that disagrees with you on even the smallest points must die! Terror is the best way to run a country, people do what you want if they are scared out of their minds. Class struggle must end. we must liberate the oppressed class. Dennis you might be asking, well if we liberate the oppressed class than won’t the state just take the capitalist’s place as the oppressor of the poor class? Of course not you fool, ask that question one more time and I’ll kill you! Once all the bad capitalists are dead, the state will not really be needed anymore, violence will end, and the state will wither away, everyone will be free to work equally for the good of the state. Utopia, always is just around corner, just beyond the next mound of dead bodies.
- The Pivot of Civilization — What Sanger would say to me: I love, love, love Darwin. Here is the big problem in our world. We are on the verge of evolutionary regress, because we are allowing the feeble minded to breed indiscriminately. Stupid persons are draining off our resources, we spend incalculable amounts of money on asylums, jails, charities, why do we do this? we are aiding in our own demise. We need to develop an IQ system that allows us to determine who is feeble minded so that we can commence with a policy of immediate sterilization. We won’t kill them off of course, but we will breed them out.
- Mein Kampf — What Hitler would say to me: Dear Dennis, I owe everything to Darwin, Nietzsche, Sanger, and Machiavelli, they were truly great people. Darwin was right, certain classes of people are inferior and it’s actually good that they be exterminated — our vision of national socialism is nothing less than applied Darwinian biology. I agree with Sanger, that the feeble minded persons should be sterilized, but even more so, undesirables should be eliminated along with the inferior races. Its easier to slit a throat than it is to castrate. The Arian race is the super man race that Nietzsche spoke of and I will expect my people to do “superhuman acts of inhumanity” in order to become great. We as a nation are so far beyond good and evil we can’t even see them anymore.
- The Future of an Illusion — What Freud would say to me: I am a godless Jew, I presume atheism, and the anti-semitism I have experienced has pushed me to write this revenge work against religion. What than is religion? Nothing more than a foolish illusion by infantile minds. It would be very nice if there were a God who created the world and was a benevolent Providence, if our world had a moral order and an after life, but all of this is just wishful thinking. How did this illusion come to be? Some sons wanted to have sex with their mother, they killed and ate their father thinking that by eating him they would gain his strength & privileges, they felt guilty, so eventually they developed sacred meals, to commemorate, condemn, and cover up the original event. Thus religion and morality was born, with prohibitions against incest, murder, and cannibalism. Any questions? Where did I get this from? Well Dennis its all there in our deep dark past, all we have to do is look.
- Coming of Age in Samoa — What Mead would say to me: Dear Dennis, The western world is full of stress and struggle, full of adolescent turmoil. I think it is because of Christian sexual morality in particular. My thought was that the natural person in his primitive state would be more free of conflict then us in the west. So I packed my bags and shipped off to Polynesian Samoa to hang out with the savages for awhile. What I discovered was that they experienced no problems surrounding romantic love because such problem causing ethics like monogamy, fidelity, and jealousy didn’t exist in their society, only free and easy sex. Also parent child problems didn’t exist because whenever children in that culture didn’t get along with their parents they just moved on to some other relative. Strong familial love is a problem. Less love not more creates less stress and more happiness. So their you have it, with just a few months of observation I quickly figured out the heart of Western problems, and justified a life of personal infidelity (of course I don’t talk about that in my book)
- Sexual Behaviour in the Human Male — What Kinsey would say to me: Dear Dennis your natural state is one of amoral sexual extravaganza. There is no moral law connected to sex. There is nothing abnormal verses normal when it comes to sex, there is only sexual pleasure that exists. There are an infinite variety of sexual forms and practices, It is all natural and normal and should not be stigmatized in any way. I’ve proven it with a torrent of graphs and charts, data and scientific language. You can do whatever you want sexually and it is completely ok. Since I wear a lab coat you need to listen to me. The sexual revolution was upon us when I wrote this book, so people were eager to accept my findings whether they were baseless or not. I was eager to accept my own findings as well as my own bizarre sex life will attest.
- The Feminine Mystique — What Friedan would say to me: — Women are incomplete when they stay at home, love their husbands and care for their families. This incompleteness is actually misery whether they admit it or not. Homelife and child raising is not meaningful work, it only leads to the unhealthy conclusion of a purposeless, boring, insignificant life. Women will only truly find meaning and fulfillment if they cast off these home responsibilities and join the work force like men do. The idea of a bliss-full house wife is a complete myth. Let the government take care of children, the nuclear family concept with mom’s raising children and wives lovingly supporting their husbands is quite possibly the worst idea of all.
- What Jesus would say to me. Trust me, pray, forgive, repent, keep your commitments, follow my commandments, practice fidelity, bless your neighbourhood, help the weak and brokenhearted, because of me and my sacrifice for you embrace an ethos of gratitude, humility, service and worship. Cling to a hope which transcends even the grave.
What’s the better story? To me it’s not even close.
Special thanks to Ben Wiker and his book 10 Books that screwed up the world and 5 others that didn’t help.
Baptism has been around for as long as the church has been around, Sadly, it has a contentious history as various expressions of the church have attempted to silence contrary views. For example in 1527 Felix Manz who believed that only professing adult believers should be baptized was condemned to death by Zwingli and his group of reformers who believed that baptism was for infants as an induction into the church. Zwingli and the council cruelly decided that since Felix was so focused on adult baptism he should have it as his method of execution and so his life was ended at the bottom of the Limmat river.
Thankfully, tensions have subsided, and all parties in this debate are much more amicable, we’ve come a long way forward since the actions of 1527, but there are still differences as this book points out. It should be noted that there is no discussion on the Roman Catholic understanding of baptism as a way of salvation. All four views represented here, do not support the Catholic view.
Baptist View — “Baptism” derives from the Greek word baptisma and denotes the action of washing or plunging in water (Acts 2:41). From the earliest days of Christianity baptism was the symbolic rite of initiation into the body. By this watery sign, made in the triune name of God, people are openly admitted into the life and community of the church. All agree that baptism is the symbolic door into the church but is it more than that? Baptists say no. Also Should this rite of initiation be offered to children? Baptist again say no. When looking at Biblical evidence, the Baptist case seems strong, every reference to baptism in the New Testament is connected to adult confessing believers. Even the two household baptism’s mentioned in the book of Act’s provide rather unconvincing support that anyone other then confessing believers were baptized.
Reformed View —This camp looks at the passages of Scripture on baptism and sees words like “rebirth, renewal, forgiveness, salvation, and union with Christ” intimately connected to the rite. There has to be more than symbol, say the reformers, however, when pressed for details and explanations, reformed theologians stop short, they admit they don’t know, “the precise relationship is mysterious or unexplained” they say.
To sum up, Reformed theologians prefer the term “sacrament” (i.e. mystery) to the term symbol because there is more going on, but as to what, it cannot be said, only that there is no salvation happening, like the Catholics would say.
Regarding infant baptism: “We baptize children to initiate them into covenant with God and to incorporate them into the visible church. As circumcision brought infant boys into the visible nation of Israel, baptism brings children into the visible church.” For me the connection that replaces circumcision with baptism is tenuous at best. It’s a massive assumption to suggest that since, initiation into the covenant was necessary in the old through circumcision, it must be necessary in the new through baptism. Adding to this assumption is the uneasy conclusion that since the visible church is made up of regenerate and unregenerate people, it doesn’t really matter that unregenerate children are baptized.
Lutheran — Luther believed that God enters into conversation with his fallen human creatures through his Word in oral, written, and sacramental forms. Regarding the sacrament of baptism he says “Water can’t save you, but the Word which is in and through the water does.” Baptism is the necessary sign of an eternal covenant, which helps us see that even when we break our promises, God will not break his. Infant’s participate in this because salvation is God’s work not human work, in addition Jesus himself said “let the little children come unto me.” It seems almost impossible not to conclude that at least in some sense salvation is happening with the infant. Luther’s sovereignty of God perspective allows him to do this almost effortlessly.
Church of Christ — This camp doesn’t like “sacrament” terminology and they certainly reject infant baptism. The author of this section, makes the strongest statements against those traditions in this book
“I think it is fair to say that infant baptism (especially indiscriminate infant baptism) may be the single most important reason why Western Europe is becoming lost to Christianity. Many potential converts to an active Christian faith have been rendered immune to evangelization due to their baptism as an infant in some church. I know this firsthand, as I was born in France and lived and worked as a missionary in my native Belgium.”
For the church of Christ, baptism is the occasion of salvation. It’s the ceremony which marks formal allegiance to Jesus. This terminology, in my estimation, is potentially confusing, and is probably why the church of Christ has been accused of supporting the notion of baptismal regeneration.
|Baptist||Reformed||Lutheran||Church of Christ|
A picture of what God has done and is doing.
A mystery, placing one in the visible church.
|Salvation (through Word not Water)
Sacrament as agent of God’s Word
|Occasion of Salvation
Ceremony marking formal allegiance
My thoughts are that baptism is something that should happen after conversion. It serves as both a symbol and strengthener of the gospel. It both visualizes our faith in Christ but also in a very sacramental way builds it up. Baptism is also the rite that welcomes believers into Christ’s body the church.
Regarding the baptism of infants, I agree which the great 19th century preacher Charles Spurgeon when he says “I am amazed that an unconscious babe should be made the partaker of an ordinance which, according to the plain teaching of the Scriptures, requires the conscious acquiescence and complete heart-trust of the recipient. Very few, if any, would argue that babies ought to receive the Lord’s Supper; but there is no more Scriptural warrant for bringing them to the one ordinance than there is for bringing them to the other”