The Most Important Thing

Until a person understands that they are nothing without the grace of God, they can’t make any real progress in life.

Teaching a child that they are responsible for, or control the climate – is hard core child abuse. Teaching a child that their life is random, accidental and meaningless, is hard core child abuse.

Advertisements

About stevengoddard

Just having fun
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

58 Responses to The Most Important Thing

  1. geran says:

    100% agreement!

  2. Teaching a child that living in a heated house and riding in a gas powered car makes them guilty of destroying the earth…..

  3. Dmh says:

    I agree 100% brother!

  4. darrylb says:

    My wife and I are foster parents and adoptive parents of a special needs child who was considered to be not adoptable.
    He would not understand much of anything about what is written here. But he understands that he has value and with God’s and our love he feels valued and is a contributing and caring member of society.

  5. D. Self says:

    FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT!

  6. Trevor says:

    You have never been closer to the truth. Thank you.

  7. You are right of course, Steven. But in so stating, one should not neglect to mention (since many have forgotten or never knew) that Jesus said on the Cross:

    Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do.

    Easy to say, and easy to remember. But it also can be hard to work into one’s testimony, I know.

    RTF

  8. Truthseeker says:

    Dogma of climate alarmism – bad.
    Dogma of Islamic jihad – bad.
    Dogma of Christianity – good.

    Got it.

    • Dogma of destructive belief systems – bad
      Dogma of constructive belief systems – good

      Hope this helps you out of your thoroughly confused state.

      • Truthseeker says:

        No confusion here. Dogma is bad, regardless of its flavour. That is the nature of dogma.

        • Climate and Islamic Jihadists see humans as evil
          Other religions see humans as good
          Not a very subtle difference

        • Truthseeker says:

          Correct. In terms of morality there is a chasm as wide as the Pacific Ocean between the dogmas that hate humanity and those that don’t.

          However all dogmas are ultimately about control over the individual. The ones that use violence to enforce it are infinitely worse than those that are non-violent. Also some dogmas play well with others but many do not. It is often this characteristic of dogmas that gives rise to the zealots.

        • Everyone discriminates in whom they associate with. Sometimes with good reason; sometimes with reasons held in good faith and without the intention to cause harm, but out of a perceived necessity. Christians have criteria, you have criteria. But hypocrites are the ones who tell Christians, “You can’t discriminate in whom you allow into your life, because if you do you’re trying to control me!”

          Why say something like this, when you can’t possibly believe it? Why demand compliance from me regarding, when it has zero material impact on you?

          It’s because you you want very badly for me to believe as you do, is it not? In other words, you are intolerant of those who do not share your beliefs. Well, welcome to the club. Now you can stop unintentionally mischaracterizing your own belief about dogma.

          RTF

    • The truth seems elusive but it’s out there and can be found, Truthseeker.

      • Truthseeker says:

        That is why the seeking is endless. Something you seem to have missed …

        • If you enjoy being lost, that is your own business.

        • Truthseeker says:

          To seek, you have to travel into the unknown. Otherwise you are just following a routine.

        • That is why the seeking is endless. Something you seem to have missed …

          The older I get the better I know what I have missed and how much I don’t know (and I am old).

          What do you know besides knowing the truth about me, Truthseeker?

        • Truthseeker says:

          “The older I get the better I know what I have missed and how much I don’t know (and I am old).”

          The beginnings of wisdom. I suspect that our ages are not that different.

        • The beginnings of wisdom …

          Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the spring of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.

          And I say unto thee, I have sinned greatly, because I have done this thing: but now, I beseech thee, do away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly.

        • Truthseeker says:

          Scripture Wisdom.

        • Truthseeker says:

          That should have been …

          Scripture =/= Wisdom

        • Oh, you didn’t get it …

        • Anything that originates with Yhvh is wisdom. Anything not originating with Him is folly.

          How to tell the difference? Well, not everyone can. But one can pray and adopt a humble stance, and he may be shown the difference. Remember that the Holy Scripture only takes you so far. True knowledge can come only when one has an ongoing personal relationship with the Almighty. And of course, He may expect obedience and for one to forgive transgressions in order to maintain such a relationship. The original dogma??

          RTF

    • KTM says:

      Religious dogma masquerading as science – bad.
      Mainstream religious principles of self worth – good.

      • Basic biblical principles of the worth of God, and the limitations and corruptions of man — good.

        Common religious principles that man is great with or without God — bad.

        Common religious principles that man should be proud of himself — bad.

        Common religious principles that man gets the credit for his accomplishments, and gets no blame for his failures, because “after all, he was created imperfectly” — really bad.

        Common religious principles that man’s beliefs regarding the supernatural don’t matter, he’s just fine and his beliefs have no effect on his fortune — bad.

        Common religious principles that what matters for a person is what kind of fortune he can get for himself, and not whether he is living as God wants him to live — bad.

        Rejection of dogma in favor of the doctrine that one must accept all men equally as friends — bad.

        Acceptance of dogma, i.e. the doctrine that people have the right to discriminate in their associations based on others’ beliefs — good.

        Belief that you can and should accept as friends only those who have “acceptable” beliefs, but that others whom you do not accept as friends have no right to discriminate in the same way, but rather must accept you as their “friend” and allow you into their space whenever you want to come in and share your beliefs, with the intent to convert all their friends to come over to your group — utter hypocrisy. (That would be “bad”.)

  9. David A says:

    Apart of the truth, seeker, is accepting that it is ok for others to find their own, as long as they allow you the same.

    • Truthseeker says:

      Exactly …

      • David A says:

        Exactly, then why did you equate Christianity in its current form, with dark age Islamists?

        “Dogma of climate alarmism – bad.
        Dogma of Islamic jihad – bad.
        Dogma of Christianity – good.
        Got it.”
        stevengoddard says:
        September 29, 2014 at 3:51 am
        Dogma of destructive belief systems – bad
        Dogma of constructive belief systems – good
        Hope this helps you out of your thoroughly confused state.
        Truthseeker says:
        September 29, 2014 at 4:24 am
        No confusion here. Dogma is bad, regardless of its flavor. That is the nature of dogma.”
        ============================================

        • Truthseeker says:

          It needs to be emphasised that the current Islamic driven violence is many orders of magnitude worse than anything that happened under the banner of Christianity, but then again populations are much bigger these days and weapons are much more powerful as well. The point is that Islam is a very young religion and such an all emcompasing and exclusive dogma is going to clash badly with the current ambient level of enlightenment and diverisity of beliefs that have evolved over time. It is this clash that we are seeing and suffering under.

          The difference between Christianity in its current form with dark age Islamists is that Christianity has already had its dark ages and subsequent reformations. The passage of time and the unrelenting poundig of reality means that it has softenend and evolved into something that is generally life giving and not life taking. My original comment actually says this in a very succint way. The subsequent replies actually prove my argument about dogma, but that seems to have whistled over everyone’s head.

          My point is that religious dogma is an entirely human construct to allow a smaller group of people to control a larger group of people. It serves no other purpose and has no other function.

          Faith is an individual choice that does not need anyone’s approval or permission. There is no authority for your faith choices other than yourself. You can only be judged by your actions which you are responsible for. Religious dogma can give people an “out” to absolve themselves of the responsibility of their actions because it is “allowed by God”.

          Getting back to the original post by Steven/Tony, the first sentence proves my point. The arrogance of it is outstanding and insulting to anyone who chooses a different path or moral foundation. The last sentence compounds this by saying that anyone that does not teach their child the dogma he has chosen they are committing child abuse.

          Personally I think I was being gentle …

        • The arrogance of it is outstanding and insulting to anyone who chooses a different path or moral foundation.

          Truthseeker, I make my choices and you make yours but since you brought it up:

          What moral foundation did you choose? What criteria do you use to distinguish right and wrong?

          The last sentence compounds this by saying that anyone that does not teach their child the dogma he has chosen they are committing child abuse.

          ”Teaching a child that they are responsible for, or control the climate – is hard core child abuse. Teaching a child that their life is random, accidental and meaningless, is hard core child abuse.”

          Goddard did not say what you say he said. Teaching a child that her life is not accidental means to you teaching “the dogma he has chosen”?

          I ‘ve been around far too long to believe that people change their mind easily—especially if they spent a lot of time publicizing their views—and I am not trying to make you change yours. Let me just say that you did not seem to have understood what I was softly trying to suggest to you in the thread above.

        • Gail Combs says:

          Let me first say, I think the Christian religion teaches a good set of moral principles that are very much need by a civilized society. This is completely apart from the belief in a higher being which is up to the individual. My husband’s family are atheists and sent their sons to Sunday School for this reason and to let them make up their own minds. (I find it impossible to look at the ordered universe we live in and not believe in a higher being.)

          Truthseeker says: ….
          As an agnostic I understand where you are coming from. It is the main reason I am an Agnostic. The ‘Church’ has a lot of blood on its hands up to and including modern Northern Ireland. I lived in Boston and therefore was well aware of the $$ going for guns from that city. Some of those $$ coming from my co-workers. The company was heavily Catholic.

          My major complaint is Man organized religions allow the use of the religion to control the lower levels of society while giving the upper levels an ‘out’ (Paying indulgences) We see this in Chaucer’s portraits of The Monk, The Pardoner and The Friar.
          (The lowly Parson however is a true man of God.)

          The framers of the Constitution were just as aware of these problems with State run Religion and therefore banned it.

          At one point I ran across an article by a socialist lamenting the loss of the classic pillars of socialism which included the MSM, Academia and RELIGION.

          Socialists/Progressives take advantage of the Christian ethic of altruism and twist it into slavery, not that this is anything new. I am sure they just LOVE Mark 12:17

          And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. And they marvelled at him. – King James Bible

          Karl Marx twisted that into “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need” with the state run by the Elite as the middlemen skimming the bulk of the wealth for their own use.

          I always thought this song did a fine job of capturing the collusion between the aristocracy and the clerics.
          “For we are the worms of the earth
          Against the lions of might.
          All of our days we are tied to the land,
          While they hunt and they feast and they fight.
          We give our crops and our homes and our lives
          And the clerics tell us this is right.”

        • Gail Combs says:

          And speaking of “Islamic driven violence” I cam across two good articles when trying to find that darn quote on the Pillars of Socialism:

          This article is a MUST READ:
          http://drsanity.blogspot.com/2006/05/four-pillars-of-socialist-revival-and.html

          This is what is happening in South America from a Hispanic Socialist’s perspective. (One of Latin America’s leading Marxist intellectuals.) It is interesting that he spotted the Wolf hiding under the Socialist Sheepskin but hasn’t realized there is ALWAYS a Wolf under the Socialist Sheepskin. He is trying to fix a broken system by doing the same thing all over again. Albert Einstein’s quote “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” comes to mind.
          http://www.politicalaffairs.net/neo-liberalism-and-the-new-socialism-speech-by-alvaro-garcia-linera

        • Truthseeker says:

          Gail,

          As usual your contributions add a lot of value to any discussion.

          Colorado Wellington,

          Everyone makes their own choices about “right” and “wrong” but to live in a co-operative society those choices need to be compatible with those that you interact with. Anything that improves the lives of yourself and the people around you (by their standards) is “good”. Anything that makes things worse for other people (by their standards) is “bad”.
          Allowing people to be who they are, as long as they allow others to do the same is “good”. Forcing people to be something that do not want to be is “bad”. It is not that hard.

          Actually Steven/Tony did say what I said he said, but you choose not to see that. It is the difference between looking at a dogma from the inside to looking at it from the outside.

        • Truthseeker,

          Thank you for your response. Not everyone is willing to think about their moral foundation and define it when asked.

          You say that

          … choices need to be compatible with those that you interact with. Anything that improves the lives of yourself and the people around you (by their standards) is “good”. Anything that makes things worse for other people (by their standards) is “bad”.

          How do you think this would have worked for you if you were living in the Third Reich or the Soviet Union, let’s say in 1939? What moral guidance would it give you? What would you have actually done? And what advise do you have for the people finding themselves in the same setting in 2014?

          You also say that

          allowing people to be who they are, as long as they allow others to do the same is “good”. Forcing people to be something that (sic) do not want to be is “bad”. It is not that hard.

          What would you do if a 43-year old female teacher of your acquaintance had an affair with a 14-year old boy? They both say this is who they are, it improves their lives, and they are fine with others doing the same, so it is “good”.

          Is that it then?

          —–

          You say that Goddard’s attack on “teaching a child that their life is random, accidental and meaningless” compounds the insult and you sound personal there. Now, I met some very strange people in my life but I find it hard to believe that you would actually teach children such crap. Maybe it was just an unfortunate turn of phrase as you got carried away in your rebuttal but if not, why did you find it insulting?

          You also say Goddard’s attack on such cruelty is part of some dogma. You add this about me:

          … you choose not to see that. It is the difference between looking at a dogma from the inside to looking at it from the outside.

          Since I do not know what dogma it is that I am looking at from the inside, would you mind telling me? You are looking at this dogma—and presumably me inside of it—from the outside. Since you have such a superior vantage point, please tell me what this dogma is and how I can crawl out of it.

        • You are confusing dogma with autocratic indoctrination. They are two totally different things. You don’t even know dogma is, and yet you are trying to preach at great length about it.

          The bottom line, I think, is that when it comes to God, if you teach a child what you believe and/or know to be true, and he rejects it, you have to do your best to still accept the child as a family member, until he has grown up. But you have the right to repeat yourself as long as you do not make the child’s acceptance of your words a condition of being there for him or of providing the basic necessities for him.

          But beyond that, to the extent that you have any ability at all to influence the child, you must do your best to refrain from teaching him things that you know, or ought to have known, to be false. So we are held to a standard of understanding that varies based on our own capacity to understand a matter. If our actual understanding at the time of instructing the child is not commensurate with our capacity to understand, then we are at fault for the harm that occurs to the child, because we ourselves could have done a better job of understanding, but didn’t for whatever reason.

          RTF

        • Truthseeker says:

          Colorado, you ask …

          “How do you think this would have worked for you if you were living in the Third Reich or the Soviet Union, let’s say in 1939? What moral guidance would it give you? What would you have actually done? And what advise do you have for the people finding themselves in the same setting in 2014?”

          This is simply a diversion away from question at hand, but let me say that the choices are the same. The decisions may be different, but since I did not live in those places at those times, I can only speculate on what I might have done and that is all you can do as well. The only thing that is real are the choices that we do make and the actions we do take.

          Any advice you or I could give for those living in “the same setting in 2014”, which I take to mean the current hot spots of the Middle East, is irrelevant as we have no understanding of the decisions that they have to make. We can afford to pontificate about the higher points of morality on a blog because our lives are not being continually threatened. They have no such luxury.

          “What would you do if a 43-year old female teacher of your acquaintance had an affair with a 14-year old boy? They both say this is who they are, it improves their lives, and they are fine with others doing the same, so it is “good”.

          Is that it then?”

          You clearly missed my point when I said …
          Everyone makes their own choices about “right” and “wrong” but to live in a co-operative society those choices need to be compatible with those that you interact with.
          It is wrong for an adult to take advantage of a child. At different times in human history, the definitions of “adult” and “child” have changed, but in our society at this point in history your hypothetical situation is a clear example of child abuse. The child may not be physically harmed, but they are being psychologically harmed and that is every bit as wrong. This adult is preventing the child from becoming the adult that they have the right to be. See it is not that hard to determine “good” versus “bad”.

          The implication of Steve’s last sentence is that anyone who does not teach their child about God is performing child abuse. That is the sub-text for “accidental, random and meaningless”. Since you are living inside the dogma, you see the same thing. What you are missing is that there are alternatives that are not based around any concept of the divine but do not lead to the conclusion that life is “meaningless”.

          Who you are is important to you and those around you. Who I am is important to me and those around me. The universe will be a constant source of wonder and we are completely irrelevant to it. Enjoy and revel in the wonder, but do not have the arrogance to think you matter to it.

        • ”Who you are is important to you and those around you. Who I am is important to me and those around me. The universe will be a constant source of wonder and we are completely irrelevant to it.”

          Truthseeker, your bold statement sounds exactly like dogma under the definiton you’ve kindly provided. You sound awfully definitive for a man on a crusade against “dogma”. How in the world do you know these things?

          As for the rest, you confirm that your set of criteria is not so useful after all. You say that “it is not that hard to determine ‘good’ versus ‘bad’” but when challenged about the application of your moral principles you call it a diversion and a “pontificat(ion) about the higher points of morality”.

          The German and Soviet totalitarian states were highly “co-operative societies” and one was not just expected but absolutely required to make choices “compatible with those that you interact with”. What do you do if most of them are Nazis or Commies, and those who are not are disguising themselves so you can’t tell?

          Not so easy after all, is it?

          You may also consider that not everyone commenting here lacks the experience of having had his life “continually threatened”. Some of us did not have such luxury in our lives. Personal experience should not matter in the battle of ideas but since you brought it up …

        • You clearly missed my point when I said …

          Everyone makes their own choices about “right” and “wrong” but to live in a co-operative society those choices need to be compatible with those that you interact with.

          No, I didn’t miss your point, Truthseeker.

          You seem to make a lot of assumptions about things you can’t really know. I spent quite a bit of time thinking about that peculiar statement alone. What does it even mean? We all must be compatible with each other? That’s how we know right from wrong? I wonder why Immanuel Kant and the thinkers before and after him could not just recognize the brilliance of that thought.

          Now, I don’t know, of course, but I suspect that—your dissertation about the psychological needs of children through human history and other such stuff notwithstanding—you actually have a moral foundation much better than what you describe. It’s just that you can’t tell where it came from. Don’t feel bad. I can’t prove where mine came from either.

          And since you chose to ignore my question, I must ask you one more time about an assertion you made:

          What dogma is it that I am looking at from the inside?

        • Truthseeker says:

          Robert, you say …

          “You don’t even know dogma is, and yet you are trying to preach at great length about it.”

          Wikipedia has the following definition of Dogma …

          Dogma is a principle or set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true. It serves as part of the primary basis of an ideology or belief system, and it cannot be changed or discarded without affecting the very system’s paradigm, or the ideology itself

          Dogma means precisely what I think it means …

        • Again, in your comments about “dogma” you are speaking of autocratic indoctrination. Dogma, from the definition you cite, is that which one must accept in order to be accepted as a friend or group member. NOT THE SAME THING. The Bible teaches to practice dogma as I have elaborated on the concept in this comment. But not with one’s children (as I already stated earlier). If you think that autocratic indoctrination is the same thing, in which you have to believe me or else look out, then something is very wrong with you. But I really don’t think you think that. The two are obviously not the same thing, but very different. I remind you for a second time that I clarified my slight difference with Steven in my last comment.

          And it’s Richard, not Robert.

        • The Bible says we are the salt of the Earth. Not the Scotch Bonnet pepper of it….

        • Truthseeker says:

          Richard (my sincere apologies for calling you Robert), it is clear that you have an English language comprehension problem. The independent definition of dogma I provided conforms precisely to the argument I am making. It is you that is creating a straw man by choosing your own definition that does not exist for the rest of us.

        • As I said, we’re using the same definition. But for you it’s only abstract, apparently, so you are not seeing the practical meaning of the definition. I live it and practice it every day, along with many others who actually read the Bible instead of just trying to imagine what is in it, or look in a secular source to see what it supposedly means. The Bible is its own interpreter. As I advised you before, if you want to really understand it, you have to pray, and mean it. If you won’t do so, then there’s really nothing more that can be said to make you understand how exactly it is that we are using the same definition. The truth is not for everyone, unfortunately. For 34 years, it wasn’t for me, even though just like you, I carried on and on and on about how interested I was in it, and how ‘uninterested’ my opponents were. Maybe, with fortune, some day the truth will be for you as well.

        • Truthseeker says:

          Colorado, you say;

          “The German and Soviet totalitarian states were highly “co-operative societies” and one was not just expected but absolutely required to make choices “compatible with those that you interact with”. What do you do if most of them are Nazis or Commies, and those who are not are disguising themselves so you can’t tell?”

          Those societies were not co-operative, they were collective to point of tyrannical. Fundamental to a co-operative society are the preservation of individual rights and choices, because co-operation is a choice, whereas collectivism ultimately isn’t. This is an important difference that you have missed.

          I will agree that I made an assumption about your life experiences that I have no real basis for. Those differences in our experiences may well cause us to make different decisions or at least the same decision for different reasons.

          To answer your question it is the dogma of Christianity (in its current form) as per my original comment on this entire thread.

        • Truthseeker says:

          Richard you say something that I can agree with;

          “The Bible teaches to practice dogma as I have elaborated on the concept in this comment. But not with one’s children (as I already stated earlier).”

          I guess we both have issues with Steves last sentence to some extent.

          The Bible was written by people and has been used as the ultimate argument from authority for centuries. It is a means of control, pure and simple. All religious texts are, without exception. Of course it has content that will resonate with you and probably with me as well. I am sure that the Koran will have passages that we will agree with. These texts would not have had such an impact in our society if they were filled with random gibberish.

          As I said before, Faith is an individual choice that needs no authority to approve of. It is not valid for me to judge your faith choices and neither is it valid for you to judge mine.

  10. wayne says:

    Also agree totally! Well said Tony.

  11. Robertv says:

    The most important thing for humanity is to create a safe environment in which it can procreate . This can only be done with love and respect.

  12. tom0mason says:

    Sadly, it is so, Steven.

  13. BobW in NC says:

    Steve, your comments are absolutely on target! However, we all need to remember that the fight we are fighting is not on a level playing field. Paul pointed out that, “…our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Eph 6:12).

    Witness how the other side sees those who have the temerity to reject evolution. According to one blogger, “I am stupefied by the extraordinary dullness of these evolution deniers. They are lazy uncurious, bigoted, slovenly half-trained learning-resistant people who are only ten hairs away from being baboons that create a large amorphous blob of institutional autism called religion in our society.” (http://the-militant-atheist.org/evolution-deniers.html) Got it?

    None of this should be any surprise to us. Jesus warned us, ““If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.” (John 15:18)

    You are absolutely right, Steve – without the grace of God, we are nothing. God bless us all this day.

  14. Ed Martin says:

    I like it… also like this Bill Cosby quote; “In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.”

    • rah says:

      It’s hard for me to tell which is more important. Perhaps equal parts of both. But I know that when I went through the SFQC I pretty much decided I would die before I failed. Or later as a Team Sergent I served under said it “They can kill you but they probably won’t eat you.”

  15. peterthepainter says:

    50% agree.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s