Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
- Romans 5:1-11
“THOMAS HOBBES (1588-1679) was dealing with problems similar to those addressed by his contemporary René Descartes. Hobbes was a contentious old codger who dabbled in everything. (His experiments in math led him to claim that he had squared the circle and cubed the sphere.) At one point or another he managed to antagonize every political party in Britain and had to flee to France.
“Hobbes solved Descartes’s dualistic dilemma simply by dismantling dualism. He loudly proclaimed a form of mechanistic materialism reminiscent of Democritus’s atomism, thereby rejecting one side of Descartes’s diagram [rejecting the mind, but leaving the body]; and Hobbes’s thinly disguised atheism rejected Descartes’s ‘infinite substance’ as well [meaning God]. For Hobbes, the only things that existed in reality were bodies in motion. Despite his claim that ‘there exist everywhere only bodies,’ Hobbes did not actually deny the existence of thoughts. He simply held them to be ‘phantasms,’ shadows of brain activity, mere epiphenomena that had no practical effect on the physical system. Similarly, though he was a determinist, he was, like the stoics and St. Augustine, a ‘soft determinist.’ (A soft determinist believes that freedom and determinism are compatible.) It was OK to talk about freedom as long as all one meant by it was in impeded movement.’ (Water flows down a channel both necessarily and freely.)
“Hobbe’s psychology is very pessimistic. Every living organism obeys laws of individual survival; therefore, all human acts are motivated by self-interest and the quest for power. Altruism is not just a bad idea; it is impossible. Far from being immoral, egoism is the only show in town. … ‘Of the voluntary acts of every man, the object is some good to himself.’”
- Donald Palmer, Looking at Philosophy, The Unbearable Heaviness of Philosophy Made Lighter
As for the title, anyone who says that they can square a circle and cube a sphere must be a flat earther.
Sorry for the lengthy quote. Next week I wish to contrast Hobbes with John Locke, so I had to get the juicy parts in the beginning and also the concept of self-survival at all cost. The lack of altruism is just a bonus.
Joey on Friends said that there is no such thing as a selfless good deed. Since then, the media and the internet have exploded on the subject, as if it was a novel notion. Hobbes said it hundreds of year ago, but his philosophy was based on the only things that existed were bodies in motion. Since he thought of the idea himself, he could not rule out ‘thoughts’ as non-existent, just thoughts facilitating the body in motion. Thus, his mouth stayed moving when he should have not been talking.
Reading the description of Hobbes’ philosophy, does it not make you feel hopeless? And the key is that he eliminates God from anything to do with thought or action.
If anyone is wondering why I am writing these things on philosophy, I hope three things come forward: 1) Our constant quest, among the thinkers in the world, to determine what existence is, what consciousness is, and to discover the difference between the mind and the soul. AND 2) That we cannot get very far in our discovery if we leave God out of the picture. AND 3) The modern philosophies of the liberals (mostly), that they taut as being original concepts, are only old ideas that died and faded away as being illogical and unprogressive. In other words, the progressives are not only regurgitating old ideas, they are regurgitating old failed ideas.
Why is this philosophy so interesting, or maybe it is just me? Does it not resemble, and maybe explain, a few origins of the present madness in our society? They aren’t inventing something new, just rehashing things that failed in the past. When we eliminate God from the equation, then everyone is free to go his/her own way, although Hobbes felt freedom abhorrent in the determinist sense. Forget free will.
I listened to a Ken Ham, founder and CEO of Answers in Genesis that runs the Ark Encounter and Creation museum, interview the other day and he quoted Judges 21:25. “In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.” Ken Ham explained the current trend to ignore Biblical teaching in the same way others would describe the current madness. And they are related. When we have no king (Jesus), we are free to do as we see fit. We are free to change the laws of the land or interpret them our way, but let’s not stop there. Let’s interpret science our own way while ignoring real evidence that disproves the millions of years and evolution; let’s consider that “2+2=4” is a racist construct; let’s decide that killing unborn babies is a choice and not killing at all; let’s ignore biology in preference to preference; let’s jumble a few words together and consider it deep thought. Does anything matter? My truth is more important than your truth, anyway, so don’t answer that question. Just kidding, but ask most people who are shouting, and they will tell you that your ideas do not matter at all. People are in denial if they cannot see that we are in a Post-Truth age. See how we get to the madness? By first ignoring the King, ignoring Jesus. That is madness in itself, and then it can degenerate in any direction you see fit. Just Heaven help you when your philosophy runs head long into someone else’s, for no one will be on the same path.
Can reality and truth and something unchangeable be restored? Yes, in turning to God.
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”
- Hebrews 13:8
Might we change the message, please.
“Help me, Jesus. You’re my only hope.”
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.