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You know, it's a shame, so many of these younger people, escapees from reality by virtue of being 'realistic' - by which they often seem to mean, reeling at the real, which gave them birth, and relishing mean means while disregarding the purpose of living.
Oh I don't know - the purpose becomes to keep on going, anywhere you know, that's living!
Yes that's often the goal of the purposeless generation, existentialees, you could put it. A car that makes a god of petrol ?
While it ponders its own exhaust to make a philosophy of aimlessness.
Sounds Buddhistic, don't you think ?
Possibly, although there's a navel rather than exhaust involved, I hear. Still, similar principle - birth is a coming, food is for proceeding ... regional matters, there eh ? Coming, proceeding, but where, why ?
Poor kids, in the grip of an angst that is trivialised as to rationality; and disdainful of revelation from their own source ... as if their own revelation was the main thing, in finding out the meaning provided ... by what isn't there ?
Revelation from within... or from the speechlessness without: meaning from the meaningless, philosophy from process, with no conception of the author, the original or any basics for believing themselves, or their insights - except this irrational mental meandering.
Oh, yes and more too. Since description cannot provide objective and objectives are for many of them a sort of rudderless drift... inspired by the murmur of the waves, it becomes... I mean, it becomes a worship of what is happening although it neither knows nor yet speaks, a brash assertion of anything... that occurs among the mental mists. A sort of existential breathing, taking their own inner pulse, or that of the universe, which neither knows, nor cares, nor thinks or - on their delusion - could be known.
Ridiculous mental rioting and morbid state of the soul. After all, if you know - or worse, can know nothing about reality, or it is possible that reality is like that - then that is something you can know about it - and something is not nothing!
That is the flat generation, is it ? the one of flat contradiction ? As a trend or leaven, as Jesus would have put it, I suppose.
That's it! They have no perspective for evaluation, since they deny the requirements of logic to live in a limbo of the objectively valueless and meaningless - something they subjectively assert - often surreptitiously, it seems to me. Here come their values and their doctrines! arbitrary and out of reach, both in theory and practice - like trying to wring blood from a stone. It's worse really. They are doing it to a stone when Someone has already verified to perfection what logic requires: that He gave His blood. There is no need to have a frustrated courtship of a stone!
If you assume no basis, it's useless to act on one, isn't it! Talk about the words of Paul - "Because they did not receive the receive the love of the truth, God sent them an active delusion, that they should believe the lie!" It's here!
Actually, in doing this, they become 'god' - whilst rationally, you know, they are not!
They pay. They always pay for this sort of presumption. Except of course they repent and believe the Lord.
Yes, this sort of style is ... well, just the irrational end of an arbitary rejection of reason, and with demanding dynamism directing ruthlessly to God, and to what He has to say.
No other way to secure the truth, than to have its source speak, so that you, not the criterion, do not try to run in that role. Statistics, you know, flux, that sort of thing, it's a view without a viewer. I mean the religion of statistics in the amorphous globe! It's a pulpit without a preacher: a series excluding knowability, a snapshot without a camera, a wallet without a thief - or even an owner; arithmetic that excludes its own arithmetician, knowledge based on ignorance, reductionism in riot... a phase in frenzy, a construction of purpose that excludes purpose, a scene minus surveyor, an ascription of the cause that denies causality, thought minus thinker. It's an orphan of the necessities of logic, a deposition of meaning that constructs a house that denies to meaning an entrance. It declares itself while denying itself; and it's very hard to do anything with what denies its own grounds.
Yes! and its grand, a great thing to verify the speech of the Almighty! It makes logic have both its end - as fulfilment, and its beginning, as consistent with realism. It can work because it has been made that way, and it does work, verifying itself not only in avoiding, in this way, flat self-contradiction, but in pointing like a compass to the wise Creator, who - having made man, made it impossible for him so much as to think straight, without Him, and then presented the bill ... you know the evidence.
Yes the series that speaks about what series are; and the unknowable that knows what it is, and the unspeakable that somehow tells you about itself: it aborts logic and there's your own blood on the floor. Intellectual suicide really. You can't use it, logic I mean, in that sort of play, even to pretend any more!
Yet they do! Irrationalism and fantasy religion.Then they have to forsake even their own lingo when they forsake logic; after all, it's basic logic, to its concepts, in any ordered communication.
Well we're not forsaking logic! and we can speak with objective rationality, when the necessity for truth is the verified actuality we live by: God Himself.
But to many of these younger people, you know, it is this. They don't relish the love of the God who speaks, that logic demands and reason rests on.
Wonderful! that's what He is, giving rest on all sides, in heart, in head and in life. And His speech, it shows the remedy for all the enigmas of the world, how sin makes men foolish and God is wise who gave men wisdom, while sin needs cure, not cursing of the Lord as if He were inferior in wisdom to us, His product, and having power, did less than we might if we ruled. He is ruling, and His remedy is largely ruled out.
Yes we can consistently assert what it is all is, is all about, for we proclaim and do not deny the speaking absolute, the Lord, by whom alone is truth even knowable at all, rather than the state of one's current reactions.
Without this truth, this word, this remedy and this Lord: angst readily degenerates to anxiety, and that to anguish, a sort of terminal illness for the death of the soul.
Who knows! It may be that right now, one of them, these poor deluded kids, might be seeking the anodyne of drugs to sustain the irrational delusion ...
Drugs? That is playing with it (perhaps a game of Russian
Roulette)! Many - and not all young - may instead be working at it, seething
in some insubstantial, inglorious or bloody rebellion against something
or other... as like as not for the exalted sake of some substitute
god, like regionalism, nationalism, rationalism, communism, intellectualism,
anti-intellectualism, obstructionism. All a-glow with making phases into
ultimates, like some physicists really, a sort of Arts equivalent: and
seeking it in vain. Ah! The pathos and the anguish, the seething
rebellion, blood and perspiration, the tumult and the dust ...
In the end, NOTHING is inadequate to account for what is; from nothing comes nothing; nothing has neither past nor future nor potential nor office nor competency as basis, principle, essence or being. But such things are. What therefore is being attested is not nothing but a BEING which AT LEAST has the potency and particularity to perform all the necessary functions so freely attributed to it, and to negate the denial of realistic specificity - an affront as blasphemous as irrational. The fact that Brahman - 'cannot' be given such a structure (or essence), but has such function is merely one more evidence that it is a construction of the imagination; and the fact there is such divergence on its nothingness, consciousness, essence and so on is again, a testimony to the difficulty of forming a character estimate of what is not there!
In general, atheism does not account for what is: symbolic atheism differing only in symbols, fares no better; capacious atheism, into which desires are poured has no bottom to receive them or entity-ship to have them. Human intellection thrown at the universe, it has neither form to discover, nor force to create, power to sustain, personality to invent personality, nor logical consistency, and far less does it have power to explain what is ... in its own metaphysical nescience.
Endlessly unknown, it cannot explain what is illusion; an empathetic experience source, it cannot instruct on perspective. In the end, atheism is a tired failure to face the force of logic and evidence, using a concept which, hiding in the unknown, is declared as if known. It is a semi-constructed god of the imagination, incapable of performing the work which has been done in this universe. Irrelevant as its cause, source or sustenance, it is one more human invention distinguished chiefly by an act of creating it, on the part of part of its creation! This is done by first denying what creation itself has to show, and then letting it, this 'creation', this religious quiddity, die into nothingness; and then dying with it, as an optimum. This vanishing act is fine for those for whom the world is a lost cause; for they vanish where causeless they come, they might think, hoping perhaps to be uncreated and unavailable to an outraged Creator, for whom their attribution of nothing is the ultimate impertinence, blindness and wilful obscuration.
Not thus, however, are evidences abolished and not by irrationality, denial of one's gifts and capacities, is truth made available; mental mirages do not create kindly consequences. Indeed, instead of assaulting the sin which deforms the creation, such devotees are in reality assaulting the Creator whose creation they already defile, visiting on Him their distaste for His ruling of their sin, and for His judgments which are far from illusion, and from which no illusion will produce rest.
The original Creator-God of the Aryans was known among all the Indo-European nations... Daus Pitar ('Divine Father')... Zeus Pater... Jupiter or Deus... Tiu or Ziu... Norse Tyr... 'The Friend' (Sanskrit Mitra, Persian Mithra). By metaphor and simile other names were added... 'The Sun', 'The Powerful One', 'The Guardian of Order'." However, Brow acknowledges that by "say, 1000 BC" ... "THE VEDIC LITERATURE HAS CERTAINLY BECOME POLYTHEISTIC."
The Vedas, with their enormous length, not only have a great variety of text but a variability of concept. To be sure, Charles Hodge (Systematic Theology, Vol. 1, p. 311) finds most of the apparently monotheistic ascriptions in the first or earlier period of Hinduism, really pantheistic in underlying concept; yet he acknowledges that "it is also true in all probability that the Vedas, which are collections of ancient hymns, contain some which belong to the monotheistic period..." He considers that pantheism derived with spreading polytheism, from Nature worship (cf. Romans 1:20-23).
Indeed, one may, on such a scenario, expect a fluctuation of nature, myth, metaphor, monotheistic reference, as Nature comes to receive divine status, reflects it or is held by it in a natural fluidity ... when, as at Ebla, as we will shortly see, more anciently, the base was clear first, and the corruption became compelling last, as with any other addiction. There is then a flicker of light that is not entirely swallowed by darkness (John 1:5), that comes across the vacuity and multiplicity of this meandering religion that knows no deliverance in speech or action from God, and scarcely knows what to think, except in division and diversity; or contradiction and dismantling. In fact, as Hodge points out, India became the classical example of this kind of error, allowing it to be studied culturally and socially as to its products. In effect, error gained systematic domination, and long held it, though not always excluding the natural light; and proliferation wandered freely, in companies and groups.
It is not then surprising that something needed to be done. Let us first note however that all this is long after Abraham, whose Genesis-outlined culture is so abundantly confirmed at the Ebla excavations in Syria. Of particular interest is P.J. Wiseman's detailed indications of evidences, from within Genesis, of tablet bases for much of early history recorded in Genesis, making this, as it declares, to cover periods of history in clear historical fashion, with specific records, genealogies and details, back before the very flood itself: the oldest coherent literature of religion (New Discoveries In Babylonia About Genesis. Wiseman examines the relevant ancient methods of writing and recording, in making his analysis.)
In fact, Dr Clifford Wilson of Monash University Department of Linguistics, Melbourne, has given some detail from Ebla, which relates closely to what P.J. Wiseman has to say. In his book, The Impact of Ebla, Wilson notes that Ebla tablets date back to around 2300 B.C., or perhaps a hundred years earlier (p. 15), one text ascribing to it a population of some 260,000 (p. 14); that they evidence knowledge of sacrificial systems (p. 19), rituals, hymns, with 'all sorts of details about the administration of justice' (p. 24), with reference in particular to sex offences in a way 'remarkably close' to what is given in Deuteronomy 22:22-30. Further customs, names and culture fit to a singular degree with what the Bible attests of Abraham, whose date has at times past been challenged with routine spiritual effrontery based on ignorance, rationalism and possibly evolutionism. In fact, the Bible and its cultural correlates are constantly confirmed, and Ebla goes further.
It even gives names in striking accord with those in the Bible for a period of such antiquity, including Eber in the Biblical Table of Nations (Genesis 10:24), one which Wilson (op.cit., p. 66) considers to "have some ethnic connection with 'Hebrews'". Indeed, as Allbright points out - that ancient Table of Nations itself, in Genesis:
stands absolutely alone in ancient literature without remote parallel even among the Greeks' ('Recent Discoveries in Bible Lands', found in Young's Analytical Concordance, 22nd edition, p. 30).He notes here the discovery on monuments of the names of many of the peoples and countries mentioned in this chapter. Not only so, on pp. 70 ff. of his Recent Discoveries in Bible Lands, he states categorically, that this Genesis Table of Nations:
shows such remarkably 'modern' understanding of the ethnic and linguistic situation in the modern world, in spite of all its complexity, that scholars never fail to be impressed with author's knowledge of the subject.Ebla, discovered long after this statement of Allbright, markedly confirms the historical realism of the early chapter of Genesis, with a whole hinterland of social, legal, commercial and religious cultural background, intimate with that assumed in the Bible.
Genesis' statement of creation makes evident that so far from the Biblical picture being a revised improvement of the Babylonian account: it relates closely to what is given an attestation before the Babylonian, in the creation statement of Ebla. This more ancient account, now discovered and set back in time over two millenia B.C., is far more like that in the Bible. From such a base, the polytheistic extravaganzas of the Babylonian account of creation appear as a fall; and that of course is one of the things the Bible talks of, the fact and the proclivity of man to fall, both initially, as to event, and later as to the trend (Genesis 3:17,1-16, 6:3-8). It does not speak of elevation of man's understanding towards God, but of falling; and the record here is just such a movement. Back behind is the relative soundness of Ebla, with this witness to a knowledge concerning God, far beyond subsequent debased references, such as the later Babylonian myths. All this is verificatory.
The trend is diffusion, dispersion, confusion, distancing, with time, with some soarings momentarily reflecting the initial brightness; something fascinatingly paraded in Plato's Timaeus, where his 'form of the good' failure (in his Republic)- his idea of something categorically back of things, and their good, empty like a husk, and without stability in the face of the profound realities of evil - is surpassed. For alittle, Plato talks of a God of righteousness and even with an oversight, as if to leap past the littleness of ideas to the grandeur of divine power and righteousness that has no failure in the disposition of this world's events.
That is merely customary, the occasional element of lucidity, as man's waywardness not merely draws him to religious and associated moral follies and intellectual confusions, but to tilted endeavour to attack whatever is sound, concerning God. Hence came the more modern-time, the un-historical reconstructionist follies, painstakingly removed by evidence and reason. These would try to make the trend for man to move up in his religion in early history, in obvious contradiction of the testimony of his early belief in one Creator God. Of this, Arthur Grimble also bears careful witness from the Gilbert and Ellice Islands, in his Pattern of Islands, as do so many others; this too Ebla now so dramatically and categorically shows. The attestation of ancient evidence is the reverse then of upward spiritual progress, and that, as we have noted would seem the case with Hinduism where the ostensibly monotheistic hymns, in some earlier writings, later yield all restraint to more rampant polytheism, in precise parallel with the Ebla-Babylon direction of flow! In the last named, however, it is more obvious.
Indeed, in Hinduism, principles, personification and even the 'unknown god' syndrome, this time made by dismantling creation and leaving a conceptual space: these alike attest to the evacuated God. Him they did not choose to know, while drawing up a synthetic, spiritual chemistry, that forgets who is making whom! and ends creatively incapacitated. In the end, you get diffusion, confusion, and ultimately, in sprees of polytheism, profusion.
In just such a suppressive trend, bewitching men and belittling God, mesmerised scholars of another generation tried to deride so ancient a literature, so advanced a composition of concepts, such a sacrificial system, so well expressed in such complexity, as in the writings of Moses, seeking to evacuate them from history, to some later time. So much, so early ? Writings like those of Moses at so early a date ? they queried. Oh no! how could they be ?
Now in fact we find several hundred years before Moses, evidence of literature and sacrifice, law and complexity and records ... such as, we noted, Wiseman evidences as attested in Genesis; and it is found in an historical base both conducive to such records in principle, and intimately culturally in accord with them, as to background in practice. That, in view of Ebla, would be just what might serve in the data base side of things, adapted as Luke adapted his New Testament records, under the inspiration of the Lord, to bring His factual requirements to man. Indeed, it would amount to a sort of World War 1 and World War II situation, used as a basis for a visionary and political challenge, such as we might have now: the information would be a base for dealing with the people who had lived through it, or near to it.
Further, Wilson notes that Professor Pettinato, a primary and much noted researcher in the Ebla field, intensively involved, describes the Ebla vocabulary lists as the oldest recorded in history, 500 years before any others.
Our specific point then is this: the Bible is internally attested and externally confirmed for an ancient date for its earliest records and actions, one that reaches back into an early monotheism - the creation statement in Ebla tablets, being described as notably similar to that in Genesis 1:1- while other tablets exhibit close cultural affinities to the time of Abraham, around two millenia before Christ.
Ebla exhibits not merely this extraordinary and high level of development and coherent thought, but together with it, polytheistic intrusions and usages in entire conformity also with the Biblical picture of wickedness, and a turning to naturalistic imaginations (cf. Genesis 6:5, and the Genesis 11:1-9), to humanistic naturalism, allied with theological adventurism of a robust wildness. From such developments, the crusading Hebrews were warned in direst terms (cf. Joshua 23:7-16); their theocratic invasion was divinely blessed if they did not join the follies they were to replace, and was subject to extreme disciplines, if they did (e.g. Leviticus 26).
This element of background is therefore also abundantly attested. Further, Professor Pettinato observes, as Wilson notes (op.cit. pp. 84-85), there was at Ebla an early impact of a highly distinctive name for the one God. This was closely related to a basic Hebrew name for God, found in the Bible. In fact, Pettinato considers the name Il, the former name to which new impact related, to be the same as that used in the Ugaritic, Canaanite religion: El. That in turn is the one who is, in that religion, deemed the "father of mankind" and the "father of years", and indeed the father of gods (Zondervan, Pictorial Bible Dictionary, p. 240). It is, then, with this connotation that Ebla was linked in this way, and then Pettinato's finds evidenced the entry of a second divine name also - one in fact used by the Hebrews: a name of no less towering importance, found in this ancient city, operative some time before Abraham, and the times to which his Biblically stated activities belong.
This record, the Bible, attests actions of God from the first, evidencing customs, literature and monotheism, tribal and city names in full accord with secular finds, and in striking harmony with this - despite the enormous and ignorant attacks made for so long, now shown contrary to the facts. The Bible moves on in direct appeal to the name of God, in a strictly factual way, without any polytheistic motifs, and in the name of God, brings these things on to man, with no departure, variation or defeat. It traces divine desolations wrought because of departures, and divine reformations and calls, moving like a sportscast, on a known base. The celestial perspective is now exposed so that one can almost feel the tide of events, impacting on the contemporary realities now so overwhelming confirmed.
Archeology now abundantly and superabundantly verifies and confirms that man was no ignoramus, but by the time of the call of Abraham was already deeply involved in misuse of stores of knowledge, broad and cultural, moral and religious, sacrificial and legal, and an awareness of the Creator: for his misuse of which, judgment was assured, and though delayed, not discarded. Moreover, it was just.
The Bible attests the tensions, the evils, the background knowledge, the wry and unreasonable religious actions of man, the refusal to repent in the face of the sort of knowledge which its early chapters make clear, man possessed. It exhibits the judgment of God, and His call of a special people with the continued promise of the Coming Deliverer before them.
Meanwhile, it proceeds to the consolidation of the divine program for man, and its increasingly massive movement into history, until the Exodus and the invasion of Canaan make mighty impact, post-flood on a still straying people. This is done with great restraint, as we have seen in the divine reference to the cup of the Canaanites not yet being full, with much mercy, and without mere favouritism, there being standards rigorously promoted from the first, and required without confusion or synthesis. The Hebrew 40 years in the wilderness, for a lack of faith in the face of magnificent divine aid, is an example.
The Biblical statement comes into, and precedes history now secularly exposed, with the intimacy of an aircraft landing, from time to time, laden with prophetic messages... from God. It grows organically, integrally, being thematically consistent. It is alight with the fire of the divine desire for man, made in God's image, misusing his own facilities: met with words of appeal, words of justice, words of mercy, of coming events, of appraisal of what came. It is delivering the mind of God on, to and for man.
It is an account of divine purity and righteousness, and the only program for remedy for the plight of man, executed without revisionism of any kind.
From the very dayspring of history, it points to God, and in the name of God, it continues its unchanged testimony, prophesying forwards and attesting backwards, in a way without parallel in any religion. Consistently confirmed in its statements, it meets the pragmatic and practical demands of archeology as it does of logic; and it wanders never from the irresistible realism of the absolute God making absolute declarations of absolute truth to mankind, relativised by his sin, and impoverished by his own corrupted imagination.
In sharp contrast, then, Hinduism shows some approach to this earlier clarity, but moves fitfully, without system or coherence of concept, held in a polytheistic posture, in which this or that remnant may be seen.
What we have then in Hinduism is immensely and intensely variable literature of no coherent address to God. Understandably then, it reveals nothing from God! (Indeed, in the end they will not let Him speak, that they might listen: for such religious philosophies, following the popular model of the race, oppress even that residue of divine knowledge, which some of the earlier religious writings evidence.) Sardonic is the humour associated with their much speechifying, and their austere denial to the Maker of rationality and speech, for man, of His own power to speak to them! This acutely recalls Romans 1:18,28:
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness... And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind...It is of course convenient for many so to do, as our child-parent analogy displayed; and this is far more portentous than the already significant relationship between child and parent. Here is the profound distortion by the child of creation, of the God of all. Creator-creature relationship, however, has this marvellous power in it: to distort and pervert and deny, until judgment come.
Such is freedom: such is the marvel of being created by such a hand, with such patience and power, that human mischief even can imagine through abundant creativity, the weakness of the divinity whick formed it! Such is perversity and such is man, who then inherits the confusion which, in one sense, is already a judgment. Great is the power of freedom, and great are its consequences: but who can pay! (Psalm 49:7-15.)
The 'reform' of Buddha then was not wholly unexpected. That reform was one which, in the founder of this movement at least, moved away from God altogether to one, and then sadly made the One to be not God at all, though some do violence to Buddha by worshipping him!! Thus is confusion confounded. Vos (op.cit. p. 40) notes: "Buddhism as taught by Gautama Buddha is pure atheism," while the New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, Vol. ll, p. 293, notes that Buddha ignored in his teachings 'any real conception of the divine'.
With Buddha then rejecting the actual God of reason and verified revelation, and 'advancing' on the pantheistic, polytheistic tendencies of the unco-ordinated thoughts of the Hindu scriptures about things, we find the Asiatic bin is empty of a God in whom rationally to believe, or evidentially to whom to relate: there is talk, without a self-verifying One God. There is none to meet the reasoned need of revelation. Even the talk is very variable.
What we do have however, even moving on from Buddha to the forecast Maitreya, is a mirage-Messiah, in a Johnny-come-lately prediction, one made many centuries after the extensive and precise Biblical predictions of the Jewish Messiah, already long, manifoldly fulfilled. But where would the Maitreya come from ? This is an interesting question... He appears as a very particular irruption from what is termed 'absolute emptiness' or the unknowable 'roaring silence'. Or he may come from the unspecified vacuity of an unthinking mind (to which alternative, all the logical problems of Hinduism apply) on behalf of a Buddha who found ... there was no God! (See Sir Norman Anderson, op.cit., p. 97.) That is quite a ... basis for anyone to come from!
There is, as noted, no room for multiplication in religion. Christ has shown the only way that reason and evidence can confirm, and history follows His words like a lamb.
As Scripture indicates, there will be those from "all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes ..." (Revelation 7:9).
If the Jews in many cases thought they had any claim to superiority, their history and their prophets have, as has been abundantly shown, removed any ground. In races and in individuals, none has any prior claim: only Christ. Those who have Christ have the prior claim, because He is prior, and provides pardon and adoption for redeemed sinners. These are born again, not racially reproduced, by the Spirit of God. Failure to distinguish between the truth that men and races are not to be elevated or reviled, as such, and that there is but one God who is far more precise in thought and speech and requirement than are men, and who does not tolerate toying with truth, is one of the greatest follies.
In Australia, it is threatening the very continuance of the nation. Appropriately, it is falling rather heavily into debt; for the One to whom this land is so much indebted in its early stages, as it was being built, is increasingly being distanced, like a plague, just as the plague of Aids is becoming nearer, to so distant a people, led with sometimes exultant but often blind dynamism, to the nearer viewing posts of hell.
'Nobody knows the truth about religion,' cry the dogmatically authoritarian breed of agnostics, who are really, because of their convictions, negative creed-makers, credulous credalists, showing how much they 'know' in the very act of denying it is possible to do so. It is to this elevated and austere mystery that modern-day Australia is being introduced by many of its political high-priests, who could certainly not pass elementary logic on such performance. Or again, we may find the deliciously portentous 'new' approach that religion is really just a matter of statistics and comparison, comparative religion and all that, the only fault other than physical harm being that someone else's religion is not... respected. As with all dictators, it is a monolith of authoritarian inconsistency; for this devious subterfuge happily condemns while itself, condemning condemnation, raising its fist to attack the glorious realism of Biblical Christianity, because this condemns what is wrong. On this principle, this secular philosophy first condemns itself before proceeding to assault the word of the Lord on the ground that it condemns! Hypocrisy knows no finer product than this! Reason dismisses it not only with logic but with contempt.
Apart altogether from the hypocritical inconsistency, what of the canon that you must not condemn ?
Apply that criterion in any other field and your mental nullity would at once be transparent. As for knowing that this is so when you cannot know anything, that too is a marvel to be added to the seven wonders of the world. This tired and dissipated irrationalism is the pit into which thousands of Australians are falling, their sails open to the gentle breezes so often emanating from the cooled and magnificent ... sanctuary in Canberra.
Indeed, as Professor Gordon Clark points out (Religion, Reason and Revelation, pp. 1-20, esp. 20), you cannot even define religion on this statistical approach. HOW do you choose your examples in order to determine the result, on assessment: that is, find what a religion really is? You in fact START with a de facto definition and then find what meets it, and from this take the 'examples' which, in sum, point to your conclusion. It is however, as Clark points out, merely an exercise in application of a rule. If you know what it is, the 'research' does not tell you, being a mere result; if you don't, then you do not know where to find examples. Further, the examples chosen, in accord with the culture of the time, may be as diverse as needles and haystacks. It becomes like like some brilliant individual 'noticing' that scrap-metal and Boeing 767's are both largely metal, and classifying them as the same. By such devices, a people in the field of religion may be even more distanced from the living God, while almost anything gains access to the name... of religion.
As always, indeed, you cannot invent morality from description, obligation from actuality or rational results from formal ignorance used as a criterion; far less when that criterion is shamelessly abused at the outset, by being stated in such general terms that it legislates for the whole area saying ... 'no one knows'!
How knowledgeable is this ignorance; how declarative this dumbness; how determinative is this agnosticism; how complete the knowledge that allows such determinations to be stated in advance of all enquiry, contrary to all reason, with a form of self-contradiction so total and manifold in kind that the unknowable has become a law, the law a lord, and the whole a cultural command! And what are these commands? Never state a religion is the truth; this is the first and the great commandment; and this religion which says so, it states that this is the truth by a glorious exception which feels at home in the imposture, because it is already dashed on the rocks of unreason. This it does by making any assertion concerning reality on a base which omits both reality as a knowable person, and means of access if it were.
Follies! Ignoring the evidence, the necessities of logic and the fulfilments of every particle of God's word as it requires history to act, this tedious spiritual Aids virus that is so prolific in Australia - but not here alone - is guilty of the woe of the ultimate racism. It elects the human race as its own arrogant assertion, its crux and centre, and recklessly disparages what reason attests, what deity declares: any command, any truth, any peace, any power or anything indeed, not sanctioned by this most perfect of races, in whom one may, it is made to seem, safely put one's trust. Meanwhile it intones the 'truth' that there is no truth, yet observes the canon of the creed, that no one can be wrong in religion; except of course those who say that others are wrong, or something is wrong. And how is this known ? ah, by 'revelation' for how else, and the revelation ? from a source conscientiously denied objective existence; for IF it were to be 'allowed'... that! who knows into what extremities this nation might fall!
And that ? to sell the truth for convenience, to sacrifice reason for survival, how exalted it is! To tell the 'truth' that there is no truth in the process, is it not to be the saviour of the nation! How exalted are its morals, how glorious is its vision, how victorious its living under such preaching, such political preaching. Indeed, in such a fantasy world, even facts can become the enemy of this civic righteousness! Illusion is chief and continuance is king! (Cf. pp. 1064-1072 infra.)
Alas, God is not mocked; and this is but idle mockery! He has spoken His answer.
This irrational, self-contradictory call to affirm where affirmation is denied, to know where ignorance rules, and to possess the knowledge of the holy while insisting all such knowledge not only lacks, but is impossible: it is for this liberty from logic and lordly self-assertion in a vacuum, that the nation is to be directed to serve ?
For the ultimate racism, the new political international racism, this human racism, this creed is equal in the frenzy of unreason to any other spiritual squalor invented by man. Its practical effects, as we see it in action, are the same denial to liberty as to logic; lest, you see, anything be said which awakes from sleep.
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