Friday, December 21, 2012

What does it mean to say that a Parable is "true to life?"......I604-7-3.

The fact that Jesus spoke in parables was a fulfillment of Old Testament Scripture. "I will open my mouth with a parable; I will utter hidden things, things from of old— things we have heard and known, things our ancestors have told us.” Psalm 78:2-3

“All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.” Matthew 13:34-35

According to the author, a parable is a true-to-life short story designed to teach a truth or to answer a question. The central point of the parable of the wheat and the tares is to not throw the good out with the bad. A farmer had sowed good seed in his field but while he and his men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat. Had the farmer allowed his hired hands to tear out the tares, they would’ve also removed the good wheat. The farmer let them grow up side-by-side until harvest time. The tares were burnt and the wheat was stored. All details are relevant to the parable.

The Parable of the tares is explained by Jesus in Matthew 13:36-40. Matthew 13:40-43 should really put the fear of God into one’s heart.

40 “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. 42 They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear.

In my case I’ve neglected the eBay soapbox for weeks due to workload. Believe me the soapbox has far more tares than wheat when equating tares to those who are hostile to Christianity and the wheat to those who are at least a little more open-minded. I try to visit the soapbox often and respond to some of the more outrageous claims by the Christian bashers. Again, I am looking for the wheat existing amoung the tares.

On a personal note, we can work so hard trying to bring someone into the kingdom and then one comment can destroy all the effort. I saw this firsthand with friend #1 who seemed to be receptive to the Word until friend #2 told him he was going to hell if he didn't charge his New Age believes. Friend #2 is reminiscent of Matthew 13:33. This parable suggests that even a little sin (puffing up due to leaven) will ruin the whole, unlike the parable of the wheat and the tares where some is harvested.

Describe some of the different ways researchers can used Descriptive Statistics to deceive I604-6-2

Figures don’t lie but liars figure!

Misleading Descriptive Statistics include:

Using Average to Mislead
The experimenter may include at least one usually high or low score in test results to distort the average calculated with the objective of misleading those reading the test result.

The Semi-Attached Figure:

From the slides, "If you can't prove, demonstrate something else and pretend that they are the same thing. In the daze that follows the collision of statistics with the human mind, hardly anybody will notice the difference. The semi­ attached figure is a device guaranteed to stand you in good stand."

This type of testing with rather slanted results is reminiscent of the testing that was done years ago with rats and soda containing artificial sweeteners. Yes the poor rats were adversely affected by the sweetener however they would have drowned before they could drink the amount of soda required to contain the corresponding amount of artificial sweetener .

Misleading Graphs:

Graphs can be presented in such a way to suggest misleading results. The example presented in the slides dealing with weight loss would be very deceptive if used in a commercial. Here the results were visually exaggerated by starting the vertical axis at ten pounds rather than zero.
In the lead up to the November election there many graphs produced showing which commercials had greater impact on a group of likely voters, etc.

Perhaps there should have been a greater predictor of how self-identified Born Again Christians would vote. As I understand, more than six million BAC did not vote for “Christian valves.”

Pick a Threat to External Validity, explain what it is and give an example I604-6-6

To quote Henry Virkler, “External validity refers to the researcher’s ability to generalize his or her findings from the research setting and sample to come to some broader population. Clearly research will have little practical use unless the findings will generalize into some real-world setting will find that some things that are threats to internal validity of an experiment are also threats to external validity.”

Threat #10 Novelty & Disruptions''New treatments generally produce hope in subjects, which may activate the placebo effect and disruption between the first testing and the subsequent ones.”

As the expression goes, “hope springs eternal.” When someone is facing his or her mortality perhaps due to terminal cancer he or she may try any and all treatments. I remember when Steve McQueen, the movie star, was dying of cancer. He went to Mexico for treatment that was not approved for use in the United States. He hoped this new treatment would save his life but unfortunately it didn't.

There often is a placebo effect when one starts on a new regiment of medication. The patient seems to improve possibly due to the optimism of the patient with the new meds. Add to that, a positive mental attitude is very important and can give an appearance of a temporary improvement. Many people turn to the healing power of prayer. I believe in miracles and I believe in the power of prayer. If it is God's will, the cancer will disappear. This will be due to the intervention of the Almighty and not due to the expectations of a new treatment.

Threat # 9 The Hawthorne Effect
Simply knowing that one is involved in an experiment may result in an invalid positive due to the subject’s desire to contribute, etc. As an aside and in my opinion the Hawthorne Effect can manifest after prayer treatment. A good friend of mine is very hard of hearing and was prayed over at church. Perhaps there was indeed some improvement as she did think so. However sadly she seems to me just as hard of hearing as ever. Having been the subject of prayer treatment I know there is the expectation that you’ll improve. After several people laid hands on me I felt pressure to not disappoint those praying for me. Actual, my neck did feel a little less painful…..

Added later:

Likely most times it is the Hawthorne Effect instead of a true healing. I managed to get enough time off from helping to care for my mother to return to my home in Arizona over the weekend. Sunday morning I went to the church I regularly attend when home, the First Baptist Church of Quartzsite, Arizona. Then in the evening I went to the local Assembly of God Church with friends. Last New Year's Eve I attended a midnight service at the Assembly of God Church and we closed out a lot of the prayer requests for 2011. Last Sunday evening The pastor passed out a number of prayer requests remaining for 2012 . Hopefully our prayers resulting in some healing. One of the prayer requests I was given was for healing from Fibromyalgia and in the other one the requester asked for healing for somebody who had hurt her child. I would suspect that this generous woman received healing herself from writing the request. As it turned out, the woman's father was in my prayer circle and he broke down in tears. We surrounded him with a circle of healing. Interesting how these things work out, a God thing.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Describe the different ways the Fallacy of Appeal to Authorities can be committed. Where does the appeal to authority ultimately rest? Plus I601 I604-5-2

Fallacy of Appeal to the Authority of The pope:

Roman Catholics seem to hold the belief that papal authority is equivalence in authority to the Word of God. Plus, the current pope is said to be in a continuous line of popes going back to the apostle Peter based on, “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Matthew 16:18 (KV) It would seem that the Catholics have taken great liberty with this verse. The apostle Peter never claimed to be the rock, “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner” 1 Peter 2:5-7 (KJV)

Jesus said “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” Revelation 22:18-19 (KJV) Popes throughout history have ignored this warning and have added chapters to the Bible and false doctrines such as of purgatory and the near deification of Mary.
The appeal to authority should ultimately rest with the ultimate authority, God and His Word !

Fallacy of Appeal to the Authority due to lots of letters following a persons name. In my opinion, no fallacy of appeal to the authority with either Dr. Meter or Dr. Erdmann.

I would rate Dr. Stephen Meyer as an authority on Intelligent Design and would not be concerned about quoting him to others. In addition to his DVDs I bought his book, “Signature in the Cell.” Dr. Meyer has about a hundred pages of supporting notes. Another book to finish reading someday…

I’d like to think that Dr. Martin Erdmann is not an authority on Transhumanism as his thesis is rather frightening. I would accept Dr. Erdmann as an authority due not only to his heavily documented work but also to history. In the last century the Nazis tried to play God with human beings by bizarre experimentation in concentration camps. It seems innate in mankind to want to fiddle with the natural order of things. We see that in Genesis with the Nephilim.

Time permitting to be continued with optional materials from I601:

The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos Is Designed for Discovery”, Guillermo Gonzalez and Jay W. Richards
Tom Horn, “The Pandemonium Engine”, Session 2 of “The Hybrid Age”

Because I consider it so important, continued with optional materials from I601:
The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos Is Designed for Discovery”, Guillermo Gonzalez and Jay W. Richards is both an informative and a difficult read. The movie is extraordinary!

The Anthropic Principle: according to Paul Davies “It seems as though somebody has fine-tuned nature’s number to make the Universe… The impression of design is overwhelming.” CETI & The Green Bank Formula is covered in CM’s teaching “Technology and the Bible.” Not only was this planet designed to support life, its place in the universe is unique in that it allows us to observe the universe.

Tom Horn, “The Pandemonium Engine”, Session 2 of “The Hybrid Age” was supplemental for “1601 Intro to Strategic Trend Briefings.” It was enough to make my hair stand on end. During the last week we covered transhumanism. This is from a I601 DQ:
“This following is just one slide from the teaching, “More than Human,” a teaching I recommend highly.

Changing Human Nature: A Futuristic Perspective:

· Transhumanism philosophy promotes the idea of human enhancement by technological means:
· Futuristic concepts like intelligence enhancement (up to 'super intelligence ')
· Techniques like genetic engineering, psychopharmacology, anti-aging therapies. neural interfaces, wearable/implantable computers, long lasting internal organ replacement, mental uploading and so forth
· Propagated from prominent positions like the US Nanotechnology Initiative and the Oxford University philosophy department.

The possibility of genetic targeting weapons has been suggested as well as combining humans with computers. Likely the military would like to have the Ultimate super warrior equipped with bionic parts. Viruses/diseases that would home in on a certain human genome are rumored to being developed.

Add to that there is ongoing research involving injecting human DNA into animal; Satan is alive and well and really promoting transhumanism.”

And from a few days ago, Medvedev Jokes About Secret Alien Files in The Moscow: "In footage recorded Friday after a television interview, the former president joked that each Russian leader gets two folders with information about extraterrestrials that visited our planet and stayed here."

California Federation of Teachers! New CFT animated FallaciesI I604-5-8

"California Federation of Teachers! New CFT animated video explains economic inequality, need for wealthy to pay fair share of taxes. Tax the Rich: An animated fairy tale"
I posted the following on my Facebook wall:

“I'm currently taking an online course in Analytical Thinking. As a result, a really poorly thought out propaganda item such as the animated clip showing a rich man urinating on the non-rich really resonates with me, NOT. I thought I'd post it on Facebook along with a list of the fallacies that are presented in this animated feature. However, the list of fallacies grew and grew. I now have an excellent essay to submit for my class in Analytical Thinking.” Update: I watched the clip again and this version removed the yellow stream. Perhaps due to all the publicity FOXNEWS gave it.

Fallacies of Relevance - Errors that Don't Address the Issues
Appeal to Force/ Fear – “Arguing for a position on the basis that negative consequences will follow if a person does not accept the position. Accept this argument or I'll beat you up!”
Union thug policies you think?

Argumentum ad Hominem – “An argument that says "reject whatever he says because he is a bad person:"
In this case that “bad rich person.” The recent election and the methodology of discrediting Governor Romney because of his wealth is a great example of the use Argumentum ad Hominem against the rich.

Consensus Gentium - Accept this because the majority of people believe this is true. This is similar to Appeal to Popularity. It is based on the notion that if the majority believe something is right, it must be right.”
Start the brainwashing with young childred!

Inappropriate Authorities

Straw Man - When a person misrepresents his opponent's position and then proceeds to refute that misrepresentation: The fallacy is that it doesn't refute what the opponent actually believes.
In my opinion rich people are in favor of education. Add to that, education assures a qualified workforce.

Red Herring - Accept this argument because the other subject is interesting, funny, witty, etc.: The fallacy is that this simply evades the question by changing the subject and then proceeds as if the point had been made.
Our current administration has demonized success!

Nothing Buttery - "Argues that something is "nothing but" some aspect of it: This fallacy is that it reduces a many faceted question down to a single point."
The Marta here is that the “Rich don’t pay their fair share.”
More Evolution Fallacies

Bifurcation I False Dilemma - Bifurcation means to divide something into two parts: The fallacy of bifurcation occurs when someone asserts that there are only two options open to someone when in reality there are more than two.
Implied that either the rich pay their fair share and the schools, etc. get funded or the Rich don’t pay their fair share and these services don’t get funded.

Appeal to Emotion - "Attempting to persuade using emotion: The fallacy is obviously that you can't base truth on emotion."

Added Later:

Lee Doren of "How the World Works" posted an informative critique of the "California Federation of Teachers! New CFT animated video.

Fallacies continued....
Other Informal Fallacies
Apriorism – “A priori is starting with a conclusion: To start out with conclusions first (a priori) and then use them to decide whether to accept certain facts is the wrong way around."
So here the starting conclusion is that “The rich don’t pay enough.”

Dismissal – “Adopting an attitude of superiority and dismissing an argument by stating something like "I won't dignify that with an answer." The fallacy is that while sometimes effective politically, it does nothing to change or challenge the facts."

Progressives often seem to be looking down their noses at the crass capitalists.

Humor or Ridicule – “Using humor to ridicule or distract the audience's attention or to ridicule the person or the argument of another: The fallacy of course is that while humor and ridicule may draw a positive response from one's audience, it is not a substitute for reasoned analysis and argument.”
A cartoon with a rich man urinating on the non-rich is an extreme example.

Meaningless Claim – “When a person makes claims that by their nature, are impossible to verify or refute: Meaningless claims occur because someone uses vague or ambiguous language.”
I heard conservative commentators ask a lib what percent of my income you consider fair to tax. Rarely is a direct answer offered.

Oversimplification – “Treating a situation as if it contained only a few relevant factors, when in reality, it contains many. Part of the problem of oversimplification of a situation is that we deprive ourselves of important information necessary to fully understand it.”
Could a relevant factor be the questionable quality of teacher due to the protection of the union?

Poisoning the Well – “Laying down an insult and saying that it applies to anyone who would be so foolish as to disagree: The fallacy is that they arbitrarily label all evidence from a different position as unsound, but with no logical basis for doing so.”
Why is it whenever someone wants to either raise more taxes or impose a union demand that children are always the alleged recipient of the benefit? If for one minute you disagree, then obviously you hate all children.

Special Pleading - When a person expects his opponent to abide by a particular standard when he himself does not, i.e., a double standard: The fallacy is that both should be held to the same standards. 

Choose one or more fallacies used by Evolutionists, describe what fallacy is involved and what argument you would use to refute it? I604-4-7

The Big Bang Theory, Also known as something from nothing.

Dr. Stephen Hawking is the author of the best seller, "In A Brief History of Time." A few years ago he said that "The question is: is the way the universe began chosen by God for reasons we can't understand, or was it determined by a law of science? I believe the second. If you like, you can call the laws of science 'God', but it wouldn't be a personal God that you could meet, and ask questions." I would suggest that the fact that the severely disabled Dr. Hawking is still alive is due to the God he doesn't believe in.

Disjunctive Syllogisms from week two (Two Terms)

The universe is either self-caused or caused by a Creator
It is impossible for the universe to cause its own existence (something from nothing)
Therefore, the Universe is caused by a Creator
Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”
The fact that there have been hundreds of fulfilled prophecies in the Bible verifies its truth. God says that in the beginning he created the heavens and the earth and that is good enough for me.

The Fossil Record:

Is the fossil record that depends on the Geologic time scale correct? But does not the fossil record allow geologists to date and compare rocks across geological time?
Circular Reasoning, "begging the question":
Strata are dated by the fossils
Fossils are dated by the strata.
It is counterintuitive that you would determine the date of a fossil by the rock it is found in and then date the rock by the fossils found in it. Add to that there are images of petrified trees standing upright through geological strata. Fish fossils nicely laid out in rock suggest a flood. Then there is Mt. St. Helene developing lots of strata in a few decades after it erupted.

Old Earth:

The second law of Thermodynamics is concerned with entropy, a measure of disorder. In accordance with the second law of Thermodynamics the entropy of the universe increases. However, the entropy of the earth decreased during the six days of creation One of the few times entropy seems to be reversed is in the mother’s womb; however, here the baby is drawing on its mother’s body as it develops.

There is so much about the age and properties of the universe in the Bible, to quote just a few:

Isaiah 64:1 says space can be torn
Psalm 102 says space can be worn out like a garment
Job 9:8 He alone spreads out the heavens, And treads on the waves of the sea

Added Later:

Pat Robinson of the Christian Broadcasting Network/ 700 Club fame has stepped into it once again this time with his fellow Christians rather than with his usual detractors. He said during his TV show that he believes in an old Earth because dinosaurs were on the earth before man.
However, in the Book of Job God tells Job: “Look at Behemoth, which I made along with you and which feeds on grass like an ox. What strength it has in its loins, what power in the muscles of its belly! Its tail sways like a cedar; the sinews of its thighs are close-knit. Its bones are tubes of bronze, its limbs like rods of iron.” Job 40:15-18 (NIV) Also, human footprints have been found in close proximity to dinosaur prints.
So is Pat’s statement due to “The fallacy of Appeal to Popularity? Accept this because it has popular appeal: The fallacy is that the truth of the proposition is not addressed at all. It's based on the notion that if many people believe something is right, that notion must be right.” He does have a large following.

Or could it be “Consensus Gentium. Accept this because the majority of people believe this is true: This is similar to Appeal to Popularity. It is based on the notion that if the majority believe something is right, it must be right.” Again, Pat has the Christian Broadcasting Network/ 700 Club

The lighter side of analytical/ creative thinking I604-4-8

Now and then I like to put my brain on vacation either by solving a “Word Search” in the weekly Pennysaver or by playing a few games of Spider Solitaire. Although I claim this is relaxing my brain I realize that with either one I'm doing quite a bit of what might loosely be labeled analytical/ creative thinking.

Word Search:

Problem/ goal, to find all 15 words in a matrix of letters

Peruse the 15 words buried in the 15 by 15 letter matrix.
Keep in mind that the words can be oriented top to bottom, bottom to top, left to right, right to left or on the diagonal.

Look for the easier to find words that have double letters like collection and seldom used letters such as Z.

Next look for the longer words as they seem to stand out in the matrix

While searching for the longer words be alert for the shorter words as often they will seemingly “pop” out.

When all 15 words are found, word search is finished.

Spider Solitaire:

Spider Solitaire deals cards into ten columns four of which are six cards deep and six are five cards deep. There is a remainder of 50 cards to be death 10 at a time as the bottom card on the 10 columns. I set the game up as medium difficulty using two suits and “unrestricted undo.” There is a “help” hot key and an “undo” hot key. The first objective is to “empty out” a column as then any card can be moved to the open column.

The goal is to arrange all of the cards in suits in descending order from king to ace. As a suit is completed it is removed from the playing area.

First study the playing area.

Move the cards into suits in descending order as able.

First and best choice when only one card meets the criteria of being able to be moved to a given card of the same suit do so.

Where there are two of more cards that can be moved to a given card of the same suit first click on one, undo, and click on the next until determining the best move.
Repeat these steps now placing a card of one suit over a card of the other suit.
Use the help key to check for any moves overlooked.
Once all allowable moves are completed, deal another ten cards.
Repeat until all cards are either in suits or the game is lost.
End of game.
The Lighter Side of Brain Storming:
Project/ problem to solve, NCF

My first job after college was with a container company in a group called Container Concept Development. As an aside, one of the containers that I worked on literally took off as it was used as an in-flight coffee can on 747s for years.

One day our group was brainstorming a project having the acronym NCF short for "non-cut foot." This was in the early days of pull tab metal containers. People would be at the beach, remove the pull tab and throw it in the sand. Other beach goers would step on it and cut their foot.
So what to do with the tab after it was pulled off the can? Well as stated in our reference notes, no suggestion should be criticized or overlooked. You can imagine my chagrin when later in the technical report I saw my “tongue in cheek” suggestions listed. One was to supply a stick of bubblegum with the container so the buyer could chew the gum and stick the tab to the can. The other was to have an edible tab that you would pull off and eat. I don’t remember what other suggestions I or anyone else made but for some reason, this brain storming section really sticks (a pun) in my mind.

The problem was solved years later by making the pull tab non-detachable.

Create a Syllogism, or a series of Syllogisms, that you feel prove(s) a particular belief you have, (doctrinal, political or otherwise). Then do the following: .... I604-3-1

Categorical Syllogism

All those who curse(d) Israel are cursed by God A

Hitler is in the group of those who cursed Israel A

Hitler is cursed by God A

Three terms; God, Hitler and those who curse Israel

Middle term - Those who curse(d) Israel

Valid figure 1

Mood AAA

I cannot believe how many hours I spent on three little statements. And after all that I'm not at all sure that I'm correct in the above. So after struggling for days with the concepts covered in week three I feel that it's okay to poke a little fun at myself.

All women with blond hair are airheads
Sally is among those women having blond hair
Sally is an airhead
So the three terms are women with blond hair, airheads and Sally
The middle term is women with blond hair
Figure 1
My mood - not good, that of the Categorical Syllogism I hope is AAA

Write your own original Type A Proposition similar to "All human beings are Mortal," then obvert the original, convert the obversion, then obvert the resulting sentence which is the contraposition of the original sentence. I604-3-3

In my opinion, the recent election in America was a real indicator of how far into sin America has sunk. I've often say that Pres. Obama stands for the trifecta of things that God hates:

· Abortion (murder) of the unborn
· The acceptance of homosexuality by voter approval of same-sex marriage
· Throwing Israel under the bus.

The liberals ran a very divisive campaign playing the race card, the phony war on women and rich vs. the poor. The continuing mantra of the Democrats was and still is that rich do not pay their fair share of taxes. Actually the rich pay a disproportionately high percentage of the taxes collected each year. Should the entire income of the rich be taken it would only sustain our government for a short time. The problem with our country is an administration totally out of control rather than not enough taxes being collected.

A few disclaimers, I'm not sure what is considered a rich person in America today. Years ago was anyone earning over a quarter million dollars a year. I believe that it's been raised but I'm not certain to what. We hear about the 1% who have most of the money and the rest of us are the 99%. In my way of thinking, one of the great ills of America now is coveting what others have. For me, God’s love is enough.

The Democrats’ mantra

Rich American don’t pay their fair share of taxes Implied Universal Negative or Type E
To express the above in greater detail:
Rich American belong to the group of people who do not pay their fair share of taxes Original Statement Type E
No rich American belong to the group of people who pay their fair share of taxes Obverted Statement Type A
Some of the group of people who do pay their fair share of taxes are not rich Americans Converted Statement Type O
None of the group of people who pay their fair share of taxes are rich Americans.Contraposition Statement Type A

I then changed the Type A Proposition to:

All rich Americans are in the group of people who pay their fair share of taxes Original Statement Type A
No rich Americans are in the group of people who do not pay their fair share of taxes Obverted Statement Type E
The group of people who pay their fair share of taxes includes rich Americans Converted Statement Type I
Not paying their fair share of taxes is not by all rich Americans Contraposition Statement Type O
I don’t know what percentage of rich people pay what the libs call their fair share, and what do the libs pay.... In my opinion, most people pay as little in taxes as absolutely required by law. However at this point I'm calling the above my best effort and I am going back to reading more of the book, "Let us reason together: an introduction to logical thinking."

How do you see interpret Genesis 12? What actions are you taking? 502-5-3

When I think of Genesis 12 the first thought is of God's promise bless those who bless Israel and curse those who curse Israel. Delving a little bit deeper, “The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” Genesis 12:1-3 (NIV)

We know from Stephen’s speech to the Sanhedrin in Acts 7 that Abraham did not leave immediately. Abraham left the land of the Chaldean's and settled in Harran until the death of his father before following God’s directions. God made a promise to Abraham and was still true to his word even though Abraham tarred. From this I understand that we can depend on our awesome God and His forgiveness even when we dither. We have until we draw our last breath to accept salvation. In Paul’s words, “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:” 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 (KJV)

As for Genesis 12:3, eventually there will be the Sheep and Goat judgment. “And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.” Matthew 25:32-33. I’m thankful that I’ll be coming back with Jesus rather than standing in judgment as He separates those who survived the Tribulation into sheep and goats.
Is various KI classes we have had discussions about the Third Commandment involving being an ambassador for God rather than profanity. In my often stated opinion, as a nation the United States is under God’s judgment for our treatment of Israel as evidenced by extreme weather and out-of-control violence. I agree with CM, "God means what he says and says what he means." So in my small way I’m getting the truth out concerning the blessings Israel provides to the world and providing a little practical cold hard cash to her. I often use Facebook to share articles about Israel and the many ways Israel has blessed the world in the medical area as well as demonstrating the maximization of the utilization of her resources.

We are told to pray for the peace of Jerusalem and I do. Prayer is the strongest weapon we have in our arsenal, one that I use. Comments about yesterday's ceasefire to follow.

Arutz Sheva 7 Op-Ed: Gaza is Beslan: "They Love Death, We Love Life" 502-5

Op-Ed: Gaza is Beslan: "They Love Death, We Love Life"

“There is a gap wider than the ocean between the way Israelis look at life and the way the Hamas - and not only the Hamas
I grew up under the ominous cloud of the Cold War. We had one thing in common with the Russians, neither side wished to be exterminated in a nuclear confrontation. Mutually assured destruction kept both sides pretty much at bay.
The Islamic foe is so different. Commercial jetliners were hijacked and flown into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Only the courageous actions of the passengers on Fight 93 prevented a fourth jet from crashing into either the U.S. Capital or the White House. The al-Qaeda terrorists no doubt expected after their fiery death they would be welcomed by 72 virgins and Paradise. Imagine their surprise when instead they were meant by God's judgment.
The following are just a few comments made by the followers of Mohammad and the Quran:
Hamas MP Fathi Hamed, addressing Israel, said, “We desire death more than you desire life".
That SS Death Heads' cry is the root of the conflict in Gaza and in the Middle East.
"We are going to win, because they love life and we love death," said Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah in the same vein.
Usama bin laden. We love death, the US loves life.
"The Americans love Pepsi-Cola, we love death," explained al Qaeda operative Maulana Inyadullah.
Back to the Op-Ed: Gaza is Beslan: "They Love Death, We Love Life," who can forget the tragedy of Beslan? From Wikipedia, “The Beslan school hostage crisis (also referred to as the Beslan school siege or Beslan massacre) of early September 2004 lasted three days and involved the capture of over 1,100 people as hostages (including 777 children), ending with the death of over 380 people.”

DQ#1 What do you think about Pascal’s famous dilemma regarding God? Try rewriting it from an Atheist’s point of view, starting with “If God exists I have everything to lose by not believing in him…” I604-2

I’ve been working for the last two days on my final in Genesis part two as avoidance behavior to completing the second discussion question due this week.

Could it truly be as simple as follows?

If God exists I have everything to lose by not believing in him.
And if God does not exist, I have nothing to lose by not believing in him.
Either God does exist or he does not exist.
Therefore, I have everything to lose or nothing to lose by not believing in God.

I did take a little time to play in the eBay “Sandbox” chat room where most members are new agers, agnostics, atheists or Christian bashers. There are other Born Again Christians who post, just not too many. One of threads recently started is titled “Why do we need God?” So naturally I posted Pascal’s dilemma. Most members skipped over it to bloviate on their views as to whether or not there is a God, god or goddess, etc.

One of the more reasonable chat room members repliedI used to think like Pascal. But then I started to wonder... if God exists and is omniscient then He knows I'm only choosing faith as the best odds for whatever awaits me in the great beyond.

Then I started to wonder... what if God gets pi$$ed off when people choose belief in Him ONLY because it's the best hand in a crap shoot as opposed to genuinely believing?

Now I'm taking the chance that (if God exists) He will more value my being honest with Him and with myself by admitting "I don't know" and not trying to force myself into "believing" something about which I have nothing to go on, out of a selfish idea that I want to 'up my odds'."

This chat room member and I have debated the existence of God before. It is for members like him and the lurkers who visit the chat room but rarely post that I continue to play/ post in the sandbox, an interesting mission field.

As for what I think about Pascal’s famous dilemma regarding God, it's a good tool to get someone's attention. Even if one equates belief in God to buying fire insurance, there is an admission of the likelihood of there being a God. In my humble opinion, once you profess even a halfhearted belief in God the Holy Spirit will start its work.