Friday, December 11, 2009

On Tiger

Typically, I do not concern myself with celebrity scandals.  But, Tiger Woods is simply too interesting a scandal to not comment on.  Tiger's infidelity got me to thinking about the true nature of marriage.  Tiger is just the latest example of the fact that a marriage that removes God from its center is no marriage at all.

After all, without God as the center of a marriage, your vows really mean nothing.  All you are doing is making a promise to another human being.  And what is a promise anyway?  Another human being has no authority over you.  Another human being can not make you do anything that you do not want to do.  Another human being imposing his morality on you is just a meddler.  Bring God into the picture, however, and you have a different story.  God does have authority over you.  He can impose morality over you, because he is the law giver.  Further, you are accountable to God for everything you do, in the end.

I totally understand Tiger's actions.  He is a man who has not accepted Jesus as his Lord and savior, and as such there is no good reason why he should not have done what he did.  His oath meant nothing.  Morality means nothing.  All that matters is whether or not you can get what you want.  And he got it, because he is wealthy and powerful.  Everything he wanted was within his grasp.  Except for the fact that there is a God.  And Tiger's conscience is telling him that right now.  What Tiger really wants is God.  He just has not come to that realization yet.  Here's praying that he finds what he wants, the only thing that can ever satisfy him.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Science and Morality

In the debate over embryonic stem cell research, frequently heard was the claim from the left that policy shouldn't get in the way of "science".  First, this relies on a faulty understanding of science.  Science is not a floating body of knowledge.  Science is not an entity.  Science is a method used by scientists.  As such, science should not have some ethereal, platonic, godlike existence that cannot be touched, something like the third rail on the subway train.  Science is man's tool, not his master.

Further, scientists are bound by God's laws every bit as much as other people, regardless of whether or not they are engaging in science.  A scientist who destroys a human embryo in order to extract stem cells is as guilty as the man who kills his 4 year old child.  The mere fact that a scientist is engaging in science does not excuse his behavior.  Also, man's laws must mirror God's objective truth to be just.  Science is no excuse to engage in barbarism.  For instance, capturing all of the homeless people (contributing nothing to society) and using them to test new drugs and treatments on is immoral.  It would be scientifically helpful, and perhaps a net utilitarian gain to society, but still immoral.  Purging society of all mentally challenged people would give a utilitarian gain to society, but it would be immoral.  As such, scientists are not authorized to do so.  Why is embryonic stem cell research any different?

The fact is, that as with abortion, the question of embryonic stem cell research comes down to 2 questions.  1: At what point does a baby become a human being?  2:  In what instances is it right to kill a human being?  Society has roughly come up with good answers for question 2.  It's not acceptable to kill an innocent human being.  So, the question rides on 1.  Therefore, embryonic stem cell research is not primarily a scientific question, it is a moral question.  I believe that public policy should reflect this morality.  If an embryo is a human, it's not moral to kill him and use his raw materials to help others any more than what the Nazis did was moral, or ordinary murder is moral.  A dogmatic adherence to "science" detached from morality will result in the reductions of human to slaves to a method, without regard to right and wrong. 

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Covetousness and Poverty

The way we define poverty is inherently sinful.  A Heritage Foundation study recently found the following statistics regarding those under the "poverty" line:
  • Forty-six percent of all poor households actually own their own homes. The average home owned by persons classified as poor by the Census Bureau is a three-bedroom house with one-and-a-half baths, a garage, and a porch or patio.
  • Seventy-six percent of poor households have air conditioning. By contrast, 30 years ago, only 36 percent of the entire U.S. population enjoyed air conditioning.
  • Only 6 percent of poor households are overcrowded. More than two-thirds have more than two rooms per person.
  • The average poor American has more living space than the average individual living in Paris, London, Vienna, Athens, and other cities throughout Europe. (These comparisons are to the average citizens in foreign countries, not to those classified as poor.)
  • Nearly three-quarters of poor households own a car; 30 percent own two or more cars.
  • Ninety-seven percent of poor households have a color television; over half own two or more color televisions.
  • Seventy-eight percent have a VCR or DVD player; 62 percent have cable or satellite TV reception.
  • Seventy-three percent own microwave ovens, more than half have a stereo, and a third have an automatic dishwasher. 
This cannot be considered poverty.  Poverty is an lack of things that you need.  People who have cable television do not really need anything.  America is a nation in which poor people suffer higher obesity than rich people.  WHAT?  This is the most unique "problem" in human history.  A nation so wildly wealthy that our poor people are fat.  And yet we continually cry for more aid to the poor.

No doubt there are some real poor people in America.  Poverty has many sources.  People are taken advantage of.  People don't plan well for their future.  People are lazy.  People are mentally ill.  People just suffer through a tough time in their lives. But our definition of poverty relies on a sinful desire of humanity; covetousness.  Our very definition is covetous.  We do not ask how much a man needs to survive.  This would be a good question to ask regarding poverty.  We ask, how much does our neighbor have?  What percentage of the average income will it take to declare someone poor?  How can one use random, shifting, determinations to determine poverty?  The "definition" of poverty is determined in money rather than in food, shelter, and clothing.  This cannot be a Biblical definition.  Further, the definition goes up every year.  How can poverty change?

Let's worry about some real poverty abroad, and export the greatest destroyer of poverty in human history, capitalism.  And let's get closer to capitalism at home.  An increasingly centrally planned economy will destroy the very thing that makes our poor people fat.