Archive for March, 2018

Have a Wonderful Easter!

March 30, 2018

via Anthropomorphizing God—And More

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Anthropomorphizing God—And More

March 30, 2018

Anthropomorphizing God—And More.

The definition of  Anthropomorphizing, according to Webster, is “to attribute a human personality or form to things not human.”

We commonly do this when we say that “our computer is thinking”, “our dog is like our 2 year old child”, “it is trying to rain”, or the “the lake is angry today”.

I admit to using such language when I am cussing at my slow computer, loving my puppy, trying to plan a picnic, or wishing to go for a sail on Lake Michigan.

I try not to use such language when, as a researcher, psychological practitioner and scientist, I am thinking about any serious topic. For me, serious topics include things like a research article, technology, social/cultural evolution, religion, economics, politics, mental health issues, and more.

I try to be a good Christian, though I confess that my church attendance has been spotty at times. I know, sadly, that some Christians will reject the idea that I am a Christian because I am picking and choosing what I believe from the Holy Bible. 

Still, I want to be a Christian, I want to act like one, and I believe that I am one.

The beloved departed Catholic Saint, Mother Teresa, struggled mightily with her doubts about God, though her faith obviously won-out. I believe it is natural for thoughtful people to encounter this troubling existential challenge.

http://blog.franciscanmedia.org/mother-teresas-doubts-reveal-a-deep-faith

Well, I surely am no Mother Teresa and I can use all the help I can get with my faith.

So, it does not help me when a preacher, high in his pulpit, stupidly screams to our congregation: “I know exactly where I am going when I die, I’m going right up there!”…as he energetically stabs his finger at the church ceiling and presumably the sky above.

Did he not stop to think that when he points up, other preachers standing standing on different sections of earth would be pointing down and sideways?!

I hope and pray there is a heaven, but it is silly to try and point at it.

O.K., I get what he was trying to illustrate, but advise a more grown-up way of leading from the pulpit.

Furthermore, this is the same preacher who used to make fun of scientists, as though there were none sitting in his pews.

Also, does not help me when one of my past preachers vigorously enjoined his congregation to follow the Ten Commandments, yet he was an adulterer with one of his parishioners. Later the congregation is split in half and badly damaged as a result.

My dear sister-in-law Jeanne Ollhoff was a life-long devoted Christian. She was also a marvelous choir director, organist, parochial school teacher and parochial school principle. Jeannie was a staunch and joyful leader in God’s work and was not the least bit naive about church politics.  I once heard her say, with a smile and an wink, that “the only thing wrong with God’s churches is that there are people in there!” Jeanne was not a cynic; she was a happy, buoyant realist and a stalwart servant of God to the very end. 

When Jeanne died of cancer, those who were with her as she passed saw her smile, open her eyes and reach out her arms. When they tried to tried to hold her hands, she brushed them away. Then she was gone.

You may interpret this event anyway you wish. The Faithful by her side easily understood and tearfully rejoiced. They knew that her Faithful dream had come true.

I have tried to believe that every hair on everyone’s head is counted and known by God. I have tried to believe  that the Faithful are favored by His grace in important ways.

But, it does not help when very bad things frequently happen to devoutly Faithful people in my family, among my friends; to Faithful people everywhere and through all time.

It does not help when countless faithful millions pray for the life of their innocent young children and other Faithful loved ones; who are addicted, abused, divorced, crippled, born deformed or die anyway.

It does not help when random natural disasters indiscriminately wipe-out churches of all faiths, along with the Faithful, agnostics, atheists and anything else (animate or inanimate) in their paths.

The facts are that, along with the lawful orderliness of our world,  there is a great deal of destructive and murderous chaos. I cannot believe that God wantonly kills countless millions of Believers every year just because “it is their time to go”, they “are needed in heaven”, or that it will in some way “make the living stronger in their faith”.

The fact is that prayer may have comforted the innocent Faithful who have charged to their deaths in countless battles in God’s name, or were marched to their executions by Kings, dictators and other bad people through all of history. Perhaps their faith in a better after-life helped them to face death, but an earthy reprieve was profoundly unlikely for any of them.

I remember an old man who fought in WWII on nearly all of the embattled islands in the Pacific telling me: “Our prayers in battle didn’t matter”, we got shot, stabbed and blown-up praying all of the time. See the ending of the paragraph above.

I am asked to “believe like a child”, I did this when I really was a child and vividly saw “god” in one of my dreams. I will never forget that experience. My “god” appeared as the owner of the drug store across the street where I bought pop, candy, gum and caps for my cap guns.

No, I didn’t grow up to shoot anyone, or any living thing for that matter.

I have decided to believe as an adult. In order to do so I will simply not trouble myself with  details such as: Did the Red Sea really part? Did a fish and a loaf of bread really feed all of those people? Did he really walk on water, cure a blind man, cure a leper? Etc., etc., etc..

Finally, as in the title of this blog, it does not help me, when I read in my Bible and hear from the pulpit, that “we” have been created in the image of God.

It is a fact that Jesus was a human being. But the idea that we we are all created in God’s image and therefore, logically, God must look like a human being, strains credulity to my breaking-point.

I doubt that God, in the form of a human-being, is floating among the planets and stars anywhere in the universe.

This idea feels too close to secular humanism’s self-aggrandizement and narcissism: An anthropomorphism of God. I do not believe that this perspective is needed for we humans to be God’s spiritual and behavioral representatives on earth and to follow the moral/ethical precepts and Commandments sent to us through Jesus’ and his inspired disciples. I am happy to believe that God’s powers created us, but not that he looks anything like the man in my childhood dream.

I believe that the ability of humans to do science is just one of our many gifts from God. I also believe that humankind and perhaps our whole world will rise or fall based upon how we use these gifts.

It is just this simple, we can follow God’s dictates, or, there will be hell on earth until all is lost.

Science has provided strong evidence that our universe has not existed forever. The preponderance of current scientific evidence is that everything has had a beginning. So, from all we can tell at this time, there was once nothing. Then, according to science, suddenly, there occurred “A Big-Bang” and there was something!

That “something” was our world and universe, along with the laws and principles to which its matter conforms, as well as all that has unfolded ever-since.

Science also asserts that something cannot come from nothing.

As best we currently know, something did come from nothing, including everything we see and know—and everything we do not yet see and do not yet know.

We can choose to believe “creation” was just a matter of statistically improbable random events coming together in a miraculous way. Or, we can choose to believe there is a Higher Power that created the universe and everything in it.

Many, throughout all of history, have call that Higher Power: God.

I do not believe that this Higher Power is a male or a female, that is another anthropomorphism, and a sexist one at that. These distinctions are reserved for many of God’s living creations; even though a small minority of humans have become seriously confused about this matter.

In spite of all the bad things that endlessly happen to good people, faith in God statistically correlates with many good things. Some of these things are increased happiness, increased physical and psychological health, greater longevity and more. Yes, many scientists think that the strongest factor in these attractive correlations is the social support and acceptance among fellow believers that the religious often enjoy. I must agree that emotionally healthy humans tend to be social animals and social isolation is correlated with the inverse of the good things listed above.

Yet, I find it interesting that at times when I do not make it to church, I do not feel deprived. And in the dark, before I shut my eyes to sleep, I frequently say two prayers that my dear and beloved Fraternal Grandmother taught me. Then, I just feel good.

I wonder, is it simply my conditioning/learning history? Perhaps it it just that I have adopted a soothing and health sustaining delusion. Whatever it is, I can assure you that it is real in me and I will keep it.

I just feel better….

In all of this and more, I am reminded: “The Lord works in mysterious ways.”

In the final analysis, I am certain that far-more is unknown than is known about existence…and what is real and what is not.

I also believe it is important to understand that scientific thinking is not incompatible with a belief in God.

See for your self!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Christians_in_science_and_technology

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D., 3/30/18

 

Traditional American Values Win!

March 26, 2018

Traditional American Values Win!

Please follow Prager University: They will lead the way back to better times for all.

Don’t miss this short video!

VTM, 3/26/18

https://connect.xfinity.com/appsuite/#!!&app=io.ox/mail&folder=default0/INBOX

More Grim Grins!

March 24, 2018

More Grim Grins!

VTM, 3/24/18

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School Shooting Lesson!

March 22, 2018

School Shooting Lesson!

My patriot friend Lee Hornack sent this information to  me. 

The following is a bit of Facebook flotsam that is most timely. Perhaps you have been made aware of  the following school shooting. 

This little report illustrates an entire set very important media and 2nd Amendment points of debate. 

Independent of your political preferences, America is best served by your considering this information.

__________________________________________________

Did you hear about the 17-year-old student who attempted a mass shooting at Great Mills High School in Maryland Tuesday morning (3/19/18)?  
You didn’t?  Maybe it was because the story didn’t fit the anti-gun politician’s and media’s agenda, so it barely made the nightly wrap-up on most channels.
 
Let’s Review – What DID NOT stop the Maryland school shooting:
*Maryland’s assault weapon’s ban
*Maryland’s 10-round magazine ban
*Maryland’s universal background check requirement
*Maryland’s law requiring an exhaustive application process to obtain a permit to purchase a handgun
*Maryland’s law prohibiting the purchase of more than one firearm a month
*Maryland’s law requiring handgun registration
*Maryland’s law requiring registration of handgun owner
*Maryland’s extremely limited approval of concealed carry permits
*Maryland’s refusal to honor concealed carry permits from other states
*Multiple laws against carrying a weapon without a permit
*Gun-Free Zone laws prohibiting guns in schools
*Laws against discharging a firearm in public
*Laws against attempted murder
What DID stop the school shooting:
An armed, trained person at the scene who engaged the shooter in less than a minute and took him down before the shooter could kill any students
 
Wake up people, the anti-gunners don’t want more gun laws – that they know that criminals still won’t obey – that’s just a smokescreen.  

They want a disarmed populace.  The Founders of this great country had seen the dangers of government overreach and tyranny, so they created the 2nd Amendment to our Constitution so that our citizens could protect themselves, From Enemies Foreign and Domestic.

_______________________________________VTM, 3/22/18
P.S., It is a fact that Maryland has very strict gun laws.

Progressivism Destroys Nations

March 20, 2018

“Progressivism” Destroys Nations

There is nothing progressive about “progressivism”.

Progressivism is comprised of Godless secular humanism (i.e, the worship of humanity as “god”), socialism/comunism and increasing sociocultural chaos.

If it is anything, it is a progressive-regression into sociocultural pandemonium and increasing authoritarian rule as a comparatively attractive antidote to anarchy.

Wake-Up America! Assemble the puzzle pieces and there you will find the grim reality of your decline.

To find that which has been lost, you must return to where you last possessed it!

Here are some pieces of the puzzle:

https://www.cnn.com/2018/03/02/us/school-shootings-2018-list-trnd/index.html

https://www.cnn.com/2018/03/19/us/austin-explosions-bomb-timeline/index.html

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2018/03/19/teen-suicide-soaring-do-spotty-mental-health-and-addiction-treatment-share-blame/428148002/

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5510589/Spring-Breakers-South-Padre-Island-Texas.html

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D., 3/20/18

Maybe Darwin was Onto Something!

March 18, 2018

Maybe Darwin Was Onto Something!

Yes, I am grinning.

But let’s not forget psychology’s premier Law of Effect: Which states that consequences control behavior. 

Actually, the Law of Effect can influence more that just behavior. Of course it is intimately involved in determining an individual’s behavior. But it is also a major force in shaping species’ biological make-up and behavior patterns, as well as the evolution of human cultures.

Please go to my upper right-side search box on this page for a more detailed explanation of the wide-ranging influences of the Law of Effect. Type “Consequences Control” in the box and press enter.

While scientists look for the “missing link”, here is an excellent example of how the environment can shape bipedal behavior in a biologically exceptional primate.

Gorilla’s can, but normally do not walk on two feet very much.

Perhaps the big guy in the video below, who primarily walks on two feet, is an approximation of one of our great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great grandpas!

By-the-way, he is not as dumb as some might think he looks.

O.K. now, please do not be offended. Maybe you won’t buy-into my line of analysis. But just remember: “The Lord works in mysterious ways.”

The video and article below could suggest that a specie, normally running around on all fours, might produce a few members with a unique physiology (perhaps a very rare helpful genetic mutation), yielding somewhat differently configured brains and/or bodies that facilitate comfortably efficient bipedal movement.

The next step would be for these creatures to discover that they can gather more food, run, intimidate, fight, and attract members of the opposite sex; or maybe care for their babies more effectively on two feet, than can others in their clan stuck walking  primarily on four feet.

He or she would not understand that by walking on two feet their hands would tend to be cleaner, thus making them less prone to infections than others in their tribe. The discovery of germ theory would come much later in the evolution of an associated much smarter (though often self-defeating) lineage of self-named “homosapiens”.

By assembling the pieces of this interesting puzzle, we construct an individual who will be better fed, bigger, stronger, more intimidating, healthier and perhaps more attractive to the opposite sex.

Presumably, therefore they will be able to make more babies and more successfully pass this helpful mutation on to future generations than their competitors still hopping around on all fours.

http://www.phillyvoice.com/philadelphia-zoo-gorilla-prefers-walk-around-human/

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D., 3/18/18

An American Shame.

March 16, 2018

via America’s Auschwitz: Planned Parenthood

America’s Auschwitz: Planned Parenthood

March 16, 2018

America’s Auschwitz: Planned Parenthood.

I believe there are some circumstances under which an early abortion is moral.

These these circumstances would include incest with pregnancy, other categories of rape with pregnancy, and saving the life of the mother. I might be convinced of a very few other reasons…but likely not.

I will never be convinced that it is moral to conduct late-term abortions, abortions as a form of birth control, or for simple convenience.

There are many adults who would love to adopt infants and children. If a mother is pregnant and does not want to have and raise a child, adopting-out the infant to good parents allows the mother, the adoptive parents, the baby and America to all win one of the most precious gifts available on earth.

We should be ashamed and horrified that America killed 44.5 million babies between 1970 and 2014.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_statistics_in_the_United_States

Not only should we should be ashamed and horrified about these murders; we should feel the same way about the fact that America has allowed the sale of dead babies’ body parts for profit.

How could anyone vote in favor of those who support the following?

https://www.prageru.com/videos/what-you-need-know-about-planned-parenthood

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D., 3/11/12

Important Truths About Obama

March 15, 2018

My Fake-News Error on Traitor Obama.

A friend informed me that I may have recently been the victim of a fake-news video on Facebook.

I promised that I would so some further research on the matter: I did and found that I made a mistake. Ugh!

I will apologize to all who saw the mistake what I “forwarded” on Facebook. I will now set the record right here on my blog, as well as on Facebook.

Here is the factual information on Obama’s alleged anti-American statements.

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2014/jun/23/chain-email/video-barack-obama-speech-circulating-internet-was/

Now, please forgive me for not engaging in further self-flagellation.

One of the reasons I was easily duped into forwarding words that Obama actually said, but that were deceitfully presented out-of context, is I judged he would have said the very same out-of-context words in many private contexts…and meant exactly what he said.

However, he would have always made such statements out of earshot of the American media and electorate.

In point of fact, the “doctored” video of his betrayal of America’s core ideals, fits perfectly with way-to-many of President Obama’s documented anti-American actions over the eight years of his Presidency.   

Perhaps you will not understand my reasoning. Therefore, I ask you to please evaluate a couple of my earlier factual blogs about America’s first traitor President, Barack Obama.

Simply, look on the right upper-side of my main blog page and type “traitor Obama” in the search box. 

You may not agree with me, but you might then understand why I still believe that former President Barack Obama is a traitor to America’s Founding Principles.

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D., 3/15/18

 

 


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