Ancient Humans of Paracas Are Victims of a Twisted Tale by Dr. Elizabeth Mitchell at AIG March 6, 2014 - A response
Ancient Humans of Paracas Are Victims of a Twisted Taleby Dr. Elizabeth Mitchellat AIG March 6, 2014- A response
Ancient Humans of Paracas Are Victims of a Twisted Tale by Dr. Elizabeth Mitchell at AIG March 6, 2014 - A response
I’ve often thought about things I believe, and reasons to defend them. It’s not always easy. Take worshipping God. On the surface, it’s hard to explain away an omnipotent deity who demands our worship. Why demand? Why when we read Revelations are there thousands of thousands gathered around His throne, worhsipping and praising and going on and on. In fact, we even see that in the Bible God has actually created some beings whose sole purpose it is to praise Him day and night, incessantly for all eternity. It seems, say, a little egotistical.
I’ve been reading “Destined for the Throne” by Paul E. Billheimer, a truly great book that used to be on my dad’s shelf, but I don’t think he ever read. Hopefully I’ll blog about the main thesis one day, but I wanted to focus on one quote that really stood out to me yesterday.
“For any created being to make itself or any other thing but God the center of his world is catastrophic and self-destructive” – p.97
Bang – it hit me, one of those thoughts that I’ve had or heard before but it never really sunk in. There is nothing else worthy of our worship, and if we don’t worship the Almighty Creator of Heaven and earth, we will worship something else. And that false worship destroys us. We can’t say that we will worship nothing, because whatever we focus our attention on and our time on becomes worship. If we spend our money on ourselves and on entertainment, we worship those things. If we spend our time and money on doing good works, we worship the good works. If we spend our time and money in worship of Father God, of doing the things He is asking of us, of being His child and His Son’s betrothed, then that’s where our heart is. But we will worship. We can do nothing less.
And if we direct our attention away from Jesus, away from His written word, if our focus is “other than”, we destroy ourselves. Only God is worthy. Only Father deserves our praise. Only Him.
And that’s not egotistical. That’s how it must be, because we are talking about the infinite, omnipotent, omniscient, only true God, who always was, and always will be, the First, the Last, our Redeemer, Saviour, and Lord of All Lords. I was meditating on the upcoming Passover the other night and the blood on the doorposts and lintel, and I felt Jesus say to put down the book for a moment, and when I did, He shouted clearly in my spirit, I AM THE DOOR! I AM THE DOOR! I AM THE DOOR!
And I worshipped Him.
God has these created beings to worship Him because of Who He is. It can’t be any other way, because if it could, He would cease to be Who He is. He would no longer be the centre. He would no longer be the only true and living Word. He would no longer be eternal. He would cease to be Adonai and Yahweh.
So I choose to worship nothing else but the One that must be worshipped. And you know what? It sets me free.
Ever since the launch of Odyssey Dawn, I have been keeping my pulse on Libya. In fact, I admit that I didn’t know much about Libya before. Gaddafi was simply a weird, conceited man that who looked like a combination of Keith Richards and one of those guys who sang YMCA. And he is supposed to have been a brutal dictator who abused and killed his people indiscriminately.
At least that’s what we’re told. But if know anything of my journey the last several years, it gets harder and harder to believe anything we’re told. Why do we anyways? We were lied to repeatedly (as one tiny example) about those WMDS in Iraq. Can we trust anything the media says anymore? There’s only 4 major multinational corporations that are all tied together with other corporations, oil, and governments. Shouldn’t we take a little more discriminating look at the facts before we pass judgment on Libya? A little late now, but the purpose of this article is to set the record a little straighter than “Take the mad dog out!”
Libya has (had….) the highest standard of living in the entire African continent. That’s a fact. As well,
1. Libya is Africa’s largest exporter of oil, 1.7 million tons a day,
which quickly was reduced to 300-400,000 ton due to US-NATO bombing.
Libya exports 80% of its oil: 80% of that to several EU lands (32%
Italy, 14% Germany, 10% France); 10% China; 5% USA.
2. Gaddafi has been preparing to launch a gold dinar for oil trade with
all of Africa’s 200 million people and other countries interested.
French President Nickola Sarkozy called this, “a threat for financial
security of mankind”. Much of France’s wealth—more than any other
colonial-imperialist power—comes from exploiting Africa.
3. Central Bank of Libya is 100% owned by state (since 1956) and is thus
outside of multinational corporation control (BIS-Banking International
Settlement rules for private interests). The state can finance its own
projects and do so without interest rates
4. Gaddafi-Central Bank used $33 billion, without interest rates, to
build the Great Man-Made River of 3,750 kilometers with three parallel
pipelines running oil, gas and water supplying 70% of the people (4.5 of
its 6 million) with clean drinking and irrigation water.
5. The Central Bank also financed Africa’s first communication satellite
with $300 million of the $377 cost. It started up for all Africa,
December 26, 2007, thus saving the 45-African nations an annual fee of
$500 million pocketed by Europe for use of its satellites and this means
much less cost for telephones and other communication systems.
The fact that our newly elected official oppostition, the NDP party of Canada, those saviors of the regular blue collar worker, voted unanimously to support Canada’s role in bombing Libya just serves to remind us that government is no longer to be trusted. I’m a little bitter because I voted NDP this last election. My own MP, when I asked him about this, informed me that the NDP decided to support this mission after being taught by Ed Broadbent, Alexa McDonagh, and Stephen Lewis that this was in the best interest of the world and of Libya, to remove Gaddafi from power.
And, let the drums roll please!!!!! (or are those war drums….), the same scenario is happening all over again with Syria and Iran.
I have a message for the war mongers – we don’t buy it anymore. Take our tax money, fight your wars, kill innocent people. Go ahead. We do not support these wars – we are against them. The blood which you desire so strongly will stain your clothes, your offspring, and your very heart, and the God of Justice will require it all of you. Their blood will cry out from the earth and will not bring what you think it’s going to bring.
March 9, 2009
On March 7, David Wilkerson wrote what he called an urgent message. To summarize, he writes, “AN EARTH-SHATTERING CALAMITY IS ABOUT TO HAPPEN. IT IS GOING TO BE SO FRIGHTENING, WE ARE ALL GOING TO TREMBLE – EVEN THE GODLIEST AMONG US.”
About two years ago, my wife and I began a journey of information that began with the realization that slavery is still going on in the world today. It moved to Naomi Klein’s book “The Shock Doctrine”, which reveals the depths of evil the US and British governments have gone in order to being about our current state of globalization. From there, we found ourselves delving into a labyrinth of information and disinformation that has truly rocked our understanding of the world.
People we were listening to saw this economic crisis coming last May, and yet I still hear the MSM saying how no one saw it coming. Poppy cock. It’s been forecast for about a decade by people with sense who saw that the greed and deception would have to lead to collapse. We just never heard about it, because all the media is owned by four major corporations.
I gave a presentation at a school here to their Social Justice club around April 08. The question always is, when you start learning how the earth is really being run, how does one respond? My answer was then and is now to keep talking about it, keep reading, keep writing. But finally, we need to all disconnect ourselves from the machine and learn to look after ourselves. I mean, wow, in one single generation, we’ve basically forgotten how, as a society, to grow our own food! That by itself is simply incredible. Why? Because we’ve allowed others to do it for us. It’s easier. It’s simpler. It’s cheaper. And it’s costlier. It’s costing us our freedom, our health, and in the end our very lives.
We bought chickens.
We cut off our TV subscription, and were able to cut a $100/month communication bill to $50.
So as my wife and I were living day to day, we were keeping our spiritual ears wide open. And we knew, that soon, we didn’t know when, something was going to be coming down the pipe. Something big, something bad, something earth changing. I sat down last summer with a local politician to get their viewpoint on local food production. She was telling me then how over the last year she had met with scores of people who all felt that something was changing, something in the air. Already we were preparing, slowly.
As Christmas approached, and we turned our hearts toward the New Year, I knew things were going to get bad. I made serious financial decisions that I carried through with in January. And the time came for us to get serious about the thought that had been growing in our heart.
Prepare. It’s time to prepare. The word for us has been that if we are not prepared, in our lives, in our souls, in our heart and spirit, then we are going to be laid waste by what is going to happen. We don’t know what, but we have set our face and feet like a flint towards our soon and coming King.
The idea that humans are to be considered special is more vulnerable than you would think
By Margaret Somerville, Citizen Special August 20, 2010 (The Ottawa Citizen)
Wrestling with difficult questions is routine work for ethicists. But some are much more difficult than others. Recently, an editor asked me one that falls in the former category: What did I believe was presently the world’s most dangerous idea?
I replied, “The idea that there is nothing special about being human and, therefore, humans do not deserve ‘special respect,’ as compared with other animals or even robots.” My response might seem anodyne and a “cop out,” but I’d like to try to convince you otherwise.
Whether humans are “special” — sometimes referred to as human exceptionalism or uniqueness — and, therefore, deserve “special respect” is a controversial and central question in bioethics, and how we answer it will have a major impact on many important ethical issues.
Although I will frame this discussion in a very limited context of whether humans merit greater respect than animals and robots, it should be kept in mind that not seeing human beings and human life as deserving “special respect” would have very broad and serious impact far outside this context. It could affect matters that range from respect for human rights, to justifications for armed conflict, how we treat prisoners, how we run our health-care and aged persons’ care systems, the ethical and legal tones of our societies, and so on.
Although all living beings deserve respect, which certainly excludes cruelty to animals, traditionally, humans have been given special respect, which brings with it special protections, especially of life. In practice, we have implemented this special respect through the idea of personhood, which embodies two concepts: all humans are persons and no animals are persons. But the concept of “universal human personhood” — the idea that all humans deserve special respect simply because they are human — and excluding animals from personhood are both being challenged.
Some philosophers are arguing that at least certain animals should be regarded as persons in order to give them the same rights and protections as humans. Alternatively, they argue that humans should be regarded as just another animal, which results in the same outcome, a loss of special respect for human beings.
Princeton philosopher, Peter Singer, takes this latter approach. He believes that distinguishing humans from other animals and, as a result, treating animals differently, is a form of wrongful discrimination he calls “speciesism.” In short, he rejects the claim that humans are special and, therefore, deserve special respect.
Rather, he believes the respect owed to a living being should depend only on avoiding suffering to it, not on whether or not the being is human. That means that what we do not do to humans in order not to inflict suffering on them, we should not do to animals; and what we do to animals to relieve their suffering and regard as ethical, we should also do for humans. Consequently, we don’t eat humans, therefore, we shouldn’t eat animals. We allow euthanasia for animals, therefore, we should, likewise, allow it for humans.
To such philosophers, the attribution of personhood should not depend, yet again, on being human, but on having certain characteristics or capacities to function in certain ways — for example, being self aware; having a sense of one’s history and, perhaps, of a future; and possessing a capacity to relate to others.
Following logically on that, these philosophers then argue that some seriously mentally disabled humans and babies, who are among the most vulnerable, weakest and most in need members of our societies, are not persons, and, therefore, do not have the protections personhood brings, for instance, protection of their right to life. And, likewise, they propose that at least some animals should be regarded as non-human persons on the basis that these animals have some of the characteristics of personhood that the humans they regard as non-persons lack. They propose that animals which are self-conscious, intelligent, and have free will and emotions comparable to those of humans, should be treated as non-human persons.
But this idea that simply being human does not mean one deserves “special respect,” rather, the respect owed to a “being” depends on its having certain attributes, is not only a serious danger to vulnerable humans. It could also lead to situations in which robots would be seen to deserve greater respect than humans and ethical restrictions on what we may do to change human life would become inoperative.
People who believe the kind and degree of respect owed to an entity depends on its intelligence, would argue that some super-intelligent robots will deserve more respect than humans. They define intelligence narrowly, as logical, cognitive mentation and, for them, these robots are more “intelligent” than any humans. This approach has far-reaching and serious implications, well beyond the degree of respect that should be shown to an individual human, as compared with an individual robot.
If there is nothing special about being human, there is no essence of our humanness that we must hold in trust
for future generations. That means we are free to use the new technoscience, as the transhumanists advocate we should, to alter humans so that they become “post-human,” that is, not human at all as we know it. In other words, there would be many less or perhaps no ethical barriers to seeking the transhumanists’ utopian goal, that humans will become an obsolete model. This would be achieved through our redesigning ourselves using technoscience — or perhaps robots doing
so. Instead of our designing them, they could redesign
We used to regard humans as special on the basis that they had a soul, a divine spark, and animals did not. But, today, far from everyone accepts the concept of a soul. Most people, however, at least act as though we humans have a “human spirit,” a metaphysical, although not necessarily supernatural, element, as part of the essence of our humanness. Some philosophers see the ethical and moral sense humans have as distinguishing humans from animals, which also have consciousness. They believe humans are “special” because of this moral sense and, therefore, deserve “special respect.”
I’m an incurable optimist and I believe that open-minded persons of goodwill, whatever their beliefs, will conclude that humans deserve special respect in the sense that there are some things we should not do to humans, even if we might do them to animals or robots, although what we currently do to animals needs very careful ethical consideration.
Implementing and maintaining “special respect” for humans will require that we recognize humans as having innate human dignity that must be respected, and that we regard as unethical interventions that contravene that dignity, such as designing our children, making a baby from two same-sex people, creating human-animal hybrids, cloning humans, using human embryos as a “manufacturing plant” to produce therapeutic agents, euthanasia, and, with the new neuroscience, perhaps most worrying of all, designing, controlling or intervening on our minds.
It’s true that we need to have greater respect for all life, not just human life. But implementing that respect should not be by way of denigrating respect for humans and human life, which equating humans to animals and to robots does. We are not just another animal in the forest or another robot in the laboratory and promoting the idea that we are is, indeed, a very dangerous one.
Postscript: After writing this article, I was curious to know what some of my friends and colleagues would consider to be the world’s most
dangerous idea at present. When I asked them, a large majority answered, without hesitation, “religion.” That caused me to ponder how their choice correlated with my choice.
Whatever they believe, the adherents of militant fundamentalist religions, or any other militant fundamentalism, certainly do not act according to a principle that all humans deserve “special respect.” Like the secularists, they also categorize people, in their case, as believers or infidels and believe only the former deserve respect. To the extent that my colleagues see religion as a root cause of this lack of respect for some people and view that as a serious harm, my most dangerous idea and theirs are concordant. But, over millennia, most religions have been the main institutions carrying and passing on to future generations the idea that humans are “special” and deserve “special respect.” So, from that perspective, our most dangerous ideas are in direct conflict.
This “dual use” potential sounds an important warning. As with all ideas, even the idea that humans are “special,” or the practice of religion, can be used not only for good, but also for harm. We need to be aware, always, that we must seek to maximize the former and to minimize the latter.
Margaret Somerville is director of the Centre for Medicine, Ethics and Law at McGill University, and author of The Ethical Imagination: Journeys of the Human Spirit.
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