The history of “In God We Trust” becoming the official motto of the United States…
as the country became ravaged by the Civil War, religious sentiment grew… Reverend M. R. Watkinson appealed to Secretary of the Treasury, Salmon P. Chase, to add the phrase to all U.S. coins…He wrote, “This would place us openly under the Divine protection…
Really? The belief that proclaiming a condition brings it into existence is magical thinking. Common in young children but considered psychotic or New Age religion in grownups.
Trust is not created by fiat. Trust is formed by neurological connections in the brain through interactions with others.
Erik Erikson, a developmental psychologist, researched the importance of trust in infancy. He noted that when caregivers are a consistent source of comfort, food, and affection, an infant learns trust. The baby develops a belief that others are dependable and reliable. If caregivers are neglectful the infant learns mistrust. The baby then develops a belief that the world is an unpredictable, undependable, and possibly a dangerous place.
Further research has shown that trust may be established even prenatally, despite the still-developing brain lacking the neurological ability for cognitive or emotional processing of experiences.
Every human is forced to trust that persons, places and things will perform as expected, or hoped. At a minimum, we go through the activities of our daily life trusting that our past experiences will be replicated as our present condition evolves into the unknown future minute by minute.
I had a patient with severe psychotic paranoid schizophrenia. She believed that others were plotting to harm her, was delusional that her parents were aliens and not real humans. In her case, medication helped her brain function more effectively, but medication alone wasn’t changing her delusions and highly distraught behaviors.
It took a relationship with an understanding therapist who could make sense of the real-life experiences underlying her distorted mental processes.
Her delusions – like nightmares – were manifesting her suffering. Her hyper-religious parents were refusing to meet her most basic human needs for social interaction, keeping her in virtual solitary confinement for her “safety”. This is known to induce severe mental harm and even psychosis in prisoners and is not allowed for long periods of time even for criminals.
This innocent young woman could no longer trust her parents to meet her needs, and her world had become a dangerous place. On the other hand, raised as she was in a hyper-religious household, she could not confess that she had, in fact, disobeyed her parents, slipped out of isolation, met an old friend from high school days, and engaged in sex. Her schizophrenic brain split her experience and created a bizarre explanation.
Most of us can trust our knowledge and skills to get through our day-to-day dilemmas. But as the above case study demonstrates, knowledge of the basics of life is not enough when faced with conditions beyond our personal expertise.
We’re forced to trust others whose superior
- knowledge of facts that we don’t know
- can lead to understanding of the root problem
- with wisdom of which option
- is the best action
- to resolve the problem.
In the above case, I proved to this patient that I was trustworthy because
- I had knowledge of the facts that her neurological miswiring was refusing to piece together when I patiently sat with her and listened to her illogical ramblings for hours.
- I had understanding of the root problem by identifying with her: “Yeah, when my dad discovered I had sex with a boy he went crazy.”
- She then chose to put her faith in my wisdom to manage her as-yet unknown future
- by taking prescribed medication despite her paranoia that others were out to harm her in order to effect release from confinement in a psychiatric hospital,
- with placement in a group home rather than isolation in an apartment to resolve the underlying problem of inhumane loneliness.
Her faith in me was proven by her actions – she revealed her reasons for burning her bedding, she complied with prescribed medication, and she agreed with discharge plans.
I was not an “expert” at that time. I was just a student RN in clinical training at the state mental hospital at that time. The “expert” was her psychiatrist. But her psychiatrist was a Hindu, recent immigrant to the US, who had no experience with the deeply fundamentalist form of Christianity in the Appalachian Mountains, or the teachings of the televangelist whose name the patient dropped in her bizarre ramblings of marriage and living beyond the stars. So the MD. was unable to derive any meaningful information on which to form a trusted relationship and treatment plan.
Proven past trust-worthiness is the foundation for having faith in any individual or institution for a good future.
Say, in marriage. One should really know the character, existing social relationships, financial stability, any addictions, etc. before committing to a future with a partner.
According to one Nolan Dalla, philosopher,
Trust is largely based on evidence that’s real according to the senses and to human reason. Trust is the core conviction of judgment based on knowledge, instinct, and experience…
But then he says,
I assert that faith and trust are contradictory...
Faith has been called “the substance of hope.” It requires no evidence for belief nor practice. The very nature of faith surmises that tangible evidence doesn’t exist…
Faith is the abandonment of scientific principles. Faith is the refutation of tangible evidence…
This individual is using Orwellian New-speak: “the language of official propaganda” by the deliberate replacement of one set of words in the language for another.
Let’s go directly to the quotation referenced by this humanist philosopher.
Now faith is
- the substance of things hoped for,
- the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)
The biblical quotation asserts the complete opposite from what Dalla claims it says.
Continuing on with the original source Dalla misquotes, we can discover the meaning of “faith” as used by that source. There are 336 statements made using the word faith or faithful. The consistency with which this term is used over multiple situations and across a wide span of time establishes the essential research condition of reliability, and provides a basis for trusting (haha) the same meaning of the word “trust” in this one occurrence:
- as written in the original language used in composing the Bible,
- and intended to be understood by all readers of the Bible regardless of language or culture.
The passage in Hebrews 11 goes on to provide examples of this definition, so anyone who isn’t educated on the earlier biblical references can readily learn that faith is, in fact,
- based on past evidence for belief as demonstrated by actions / practice.
- By faith Abel
- based on past evidence of his parents – Adam and Eve – being the two unique human creations of God put in charge of the earth
- demonstrated by his action of offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain i.e. according to instructions passed down by their parents.
- By faith Noah
- based on past evidence of abominable beings having almost succeeded in wiping out all of humanity
- demonstrated by his action of prepared an ark to save one family to repopulate the earth.
- By faith Abraham
- based on past evidence that YHVH has the power to deliver his people from what he learned from Noah, Shem and his own experience surviving a tyrant’s attempts to kill him
- demonstrated by his action of when he was called to go out of civilization to a dangerous frontier obeyed; and he went out
This is consistent with Dictionary.com’s definition of faith: “confidence or trust in a person or thing:”
Consistent with the dictionary’s definition, faith is the essence of the scientific method – extrapolating the results of a small sample to a larger population to anticipate a future outcome.
- any action made towards a future result
- without faith based on evidence from the past
- is the abandonment of scientific principles
- of proof of reliability, consistency, guarantee of performance in one’s chosen course of action.
This is the complete opposite of what this guy is saying.
The best example of faith in practice is religion and all its intended and unintended fall-out. Billions of global citizens claim to be believers adhering to one faith versus another…
Take note that this philosopher’s claims are so broad that small minds, or those with a bias, can be easily persuaded that they are accurate. Who can’t call to mind acquaintances whose idea of “faith” is exactly as this philosopher reports it to be?
But when we narrow the focus of the argument to the detail used by this philosopher, we discover that he is a sophist: a teacher who makes money by cleverly deceiving students who don’t know enough to realize that the instructor’s arguments don’t reach logical conclusions.
There is a crucial distinction between
- religion, of which there are many,
- and the (singular) Bible quoted by the “teacher” above.
And I’m not just referring vaguely to Christianity, Islam, Judaism, etc. The fact that there are competing Christian denominations basing their distinctive doctrines on the same source requires us to admit there is, in fact, blind acceptance by followers of those denominations rather than faith based on the shared sourcebook.
But that doesn’t prove this beguiler’s point. He argued against the Bible’s definition of faith, and examination of the Bible proved his argument to be fallacious: containing a fallacy; logically unsound: deceptive; misleading: delusive.
According to the Bible, faith is the end result of reason. So we can’t categorize the Bible with “religions”.
Whether it’s believing in angels or denying evolution, faith is folly.
According to his personal definition of faith. But that requires us to abandon the universal definition of faith used in the Bible. Believing this guy is believing an unproven “revealer of secrets”.
That is folly.
If you’ve ever gone through a relationship breakdown you know what I mean. “I’m sorry, it won’t happen again.” Then it does. And then it does again. At some point you have to put your faith in your own experience for your future and act on the fact that the promised future is never going to happen.
For your own survival you have got to stop putting your faith in an untrustworthy person leading you into a disintegrating future.
Faith is not only wrong — but also bad. The very notion that we rest “in God’s hands,” enslaves greater human pursuits..
And here this liar reveals his objective, which is
- to remove humans from a higher power
- into his control.
There is not a human being who can meet all their own needs. We are all required to trust a higher authority for medical care, groceries, ad infinitum. To do so doesn’t necessarily enslave. It all depends on who we choose to accept as our authority in that matter.
Interdependence – supporting one another – is what empowers greater human pursuits from the most personal twosomes to the greatest empires under Darius the Great, Alexander the Great, Augustus Caesar, ad infinitum.
This absolutely requires wisely placing faith in others by rationally acting on their promised – but as yet unrealized – future actions after determining their credibility.
- Are they reliable within multiple claims?
- Are their claims validated by external sources?
- Most of all, have their past promises come true in their actions?
Are you willing to invest your life savings with a completely unknown investor who promises you unbelievably high rates of return?
Lies are easy to fabricate. Only actions provide essential proof.
Secular-humanism has been defined as “the application of reason and science to the understanding of the universe and the solving of human problems.”
Aha! The recruiter reveals his objective. He is trying to lure you into secular-humanism by playing on the common misperceptions that science and religion are opposites, with scientific discoveries providing a rational basis for belief vs religion requiring blind acceptance of what you are told.
In reality, science is what requires blind acceptance of what you are told. Can you prove for yourself that what you are being told by scientists is factual? Absolutely not.
Scientists can’t even prove it. Without question, science is the latest religion, and scientists are the new gods who have taken it upon themselves to “reveal the truth”.
we must trust in the insatiable desires of our most gifted and dedicated to continuing the ways of discovery that benefit us all, and those who follow. Trust becomes a largely positive ideal not only giving life purpose but reaffirming human value…
Throw out this preacher’s New-speak and apply the true meanings to the word-bait.
Can you put your trust in his a man urging you to
- disregard faith – knowledge of past actions establishing trustworthiness –
- and simply believe / hope that the future created by an elite group of secular-humanist leaders will turn out in our best interest?
When at the same time he admits these leaders have “insatiable desires” and we know absolutely that past actions by leaders with insatiable desires inevitably leads to exploitation and even extermination of the masses they bring under their control.
While the faithful place their lives at the supposed goodwill of a theoretical supreme being,
Press pause. “supposed goodwill of a theoretical supreme being”? Documentation, with legally admissible evidence, of the goodwill of a hyper dimensional being not only more powerful than mortal humans but supremely powerful over other hyper dimensional beings, has been the basis for placing faith in this being for thousands of years. More detail on this in posts to come. Just note at this point the failure of this religious leader to acknowledge facts in evidence against his claims.
we secular-humanists are FORCED to rely on each other. Accordingly, we are REQUIRED to have trust in each other — which is actually the noblest of virtues.
Forced and required are simply softer ways of saying enslaved. This is the noblest of virtues?? Wow, massive Newspeak. For the blatant purpose of enslaving the masses for the benefit of the elite at the top of the social pyramid.
The Netflix series Welcome to Eden is a mesmerizing case study in being forced to trust an unknown entity for your future. There’s lots of sex, which accurately demonstrates one of the most dangerous trust risks we take.
Historical knowledge of the tyranny imposed by despots isn’t needed. Your personal past experience of tyranny in families, workplaces, nations and world empires should drive you to – sensibly – distrust humanity in all its organized means of control. Possibly even to hope that the Bible’s documentation of a benevolent supreme being is true.
This blog investigates that possibility. I’m not telling you to trust me.
In stark contrast to religious strategies to obtain and retain followers, the posts in this blog use the same procedures used in scientific research and literary and legal hermeneutics to assess the reliability – internal consistency -and validity- external agreement – of the historical and scientific statements purportedly relayed by an infinite God.
The reader is not expected to read and comprehend the following, simply to scan over and, frankly, to be impressed with the rigorous methods applied to this blog’s evaluation of the claims made by rival authority figures.
Have you applied the same rigor to determining the trustworthiness of your believed means of salvation from catastrophe in this life and, especially, any possible after-life?
Scientific Research Methodology
- directed toward the solution of a problem…
- In this blog, the problem is determining if there is life after death, and what, if anything, can be done to guarantee it.
- emphasizes the development of generalizations principles, or theories that will be helpful in predicting future occurrences.
- In this blog, that apply to all humanity.
- based upon observable experience or empirical evidences.
- involves gathering new data from primary or first-hand sources or using existing data for a new purpose.
- characterized by carefully designed procedures that apply rigorous analysis.
- strives to be objective and logical, applying every possible test to validate the procedures employed the data collected and the conclusions reached.
There are varieties of ways through which topics are researched. Based on the nature of the topic being researched in this blog, the following types of research are employed.
Qualitative Research: doesn’t involve measurements or numbers but instead characteristics of human perception and behavior.
- Inductive analysis is a major part of qualitative observational research because…questions evolve during the research process. The researcher can form any hypothesis through the answers and work backwards to prove or disprove it or even build on it.
- Naturalism or naturalistic inquiry…focuses on how people react or behave when they are put in a real life situation…hinges on the reality that things in general are coherent, consistent and predictable.
- Context sensitivity – The researcher…should not negate an opinion or thought on the basis of a personal bias.
Basic/ Fundamental /pure or Theoretical Research: Its utility is universal.
Longitudinal Research Examples…historical…genetic research.
Philosophical Research: focusing on the vision of others, that would be revelation reported by the founder of a religion, like Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, or Christianity.
Case-Study Research: deals with unusual events like resurrection from the dead.
And if the idea of being that objective about studying religions wigs you out, wait until you discover the process required to effectively carry out research. This blog has followed this process.
(i) Formulating the Research Problem – Is there continued existence of the self after material death, and do I have any control over what happens?
(ii) Extensive Literature Survey – of various answers to this question.
(iii) Developing the Research Hypothesis – There is hyper-dimensional life after four-dimensional death and many religions document how to access it.
(iv) Preparing the Research Design – Qualitative observations of hyper-dimensional beings’ involvement with humanity as documented in various religious scriptures.
(v) Determining the Research Design – Compare and contrast the statements made about God / gods for reliability – consistency throughout the account – and validity – supporting evidence external to the account.
(vi) Collecting the Research Data – Read through the account systematically to develop a coherent record of God’s / gods’ involvement with humanity.
(vii) Execution of the Project – Compare and contrast internal statements against 1) themselves and 2) external evidence.
(viii) Analysis of Data – Statements that are consistent within the account establish reliability, statements that are consistent with known data outside the account establish validity.
(ix) Hypothesis Testing – If the account is shown to be reliable and valid, the hypothesis is determined to be true.
(x) Generalization and Interpretation – The account is a trustworthy document for using as a guide to life.
(xi) Preparing of the Report or Presentation of the Result – In my case, this blog.
“Hermeneutics is the theory and methodology of interpretation…The word “hermeneutics” is derived from Hermes, the Greek name for the ‘messenger of the gods’.”
Hermes was also the inventor of language, an interpreter, a liar and a trickster. As Socrates noted, words have the power to reveal or conceal and can deliver messages in an ambiguous way. The Greek view of language as consisting of signs that could lead to truth or to falsehood was the essence of Hermes, who was said to relish the uneasiness of those who received the messages he delivered.
The term exegesis is interchangeable with hermeneutics.
exegesis may include the study of the historical and cultural backgrounds of the author, text, and original audience. Other analyses include…grammatical and syntactical features in the text itself.
One of the early examples, and one of the larger corpora of text commentaries from the ancient world, comes from Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq) in the first millennium BCE. Containing over 860 manuscripts…these commentaries explore numerous types of texts, including literary works (such as the Babylonian Epic of Creation), medical treatises, magical texts, ancient dictionaries, and law collections (the Code of Hammurabi)…
They shed light on what the concerns of the Mesopotamian literate elite were when they read some of the most widely studied texts in the Mesopotamian intellectual tradition, a perspective that is important for “seeing things their way.”…
the Protestant Reformation brought about a renewed interest in the interpretation of the Bible…back to the texts themselves. Martin Luther and John Calvin emphasized scriptura sui ipsius interpres (scripture interprets itself).
Eight rules of determining truth by applied hermeneutics.
- Definition – Define terms as they will be used in your research.
- The definition of science according to the Science Council:
- Evidence is collected
- Experiments and/or observations MUST be made
- Then a process that fails to gather evidence and conduct experiments and/or make observations can’t be science.
- The definition of science according to the Science Council:
- Usage – Foreign words, idioms, and slang (Short LANGuage) can confuse the meanings of words.
- cool, hot, wicked, cookies, mouse
- “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day”…(Revelation 1:10) Does John mean Sunday or the Day of the Lord?
- Context – The big picture. The truth, the WHOLE truth, and NOTHING BUT the truth. Matthew 16:24 “If any man will come after me, let him…
deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me.”
- Background – We can’t just read the Bible and interpret it from our way of life. Historical and cultural settings must be understood.
- Logic – Building complex arguments from simple statements to prove something is true.
- Critical thinking uses logic to separate truth from falsehood and reasonable from unreasonable beliefs.
- Studying and judging for yourself “Is this true?” Don’t believe something just because a respected person said it.
- Break Complex information down into smaller pieces of simpler information. If one small piece is wrong, the whole thing is wrong.
- Uncover the source and recognize hidden agendas and bias. Is it to sell you something or use you? Especially in social media.
- Precedence – Once the evidence for a case has been examined and a decision made, this judgment covers subsequent similar cases.
- Basis of legal system in America.
- Basis of legal system in the Bible. Book of Romans describes God’s laws from the Old Testament applying to New Testament believers, stating 15 times “As it is written…”
- Unity – Any document must be understood as a unified message, and any part of the message must be consistent with the rest of it.
- Old Testament: “And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth.” Genesis 6:7
- New Testament: For God so loved the world…John 3:16
- Hermeneutical analysis requires searching for an explanation that brings consistency between destruction of mankind on one hand and love of mankind on the other.
- “There were giants in the earth in those days, and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown….and the earth was filled with violence…And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make thee an ark…”(Genesis 6)
Believe me, the Bible becomes way more interesting when you set aside the boring memories of Sunday rituals and stories dumbed down to grade school level.
- Inference – Using observable facts and logical reasoning to prove non-observable truth. We can’t see God, but there is enough scientific evidence in the observable facts of an amazingly complex physical world to infer the existence of a Creator/Sustainer God who owns & controls it all.