The Attraction of Self-Deception

(Carolyn Parsons) #21

One of the most troubling examples of what I believe is self deception is the story of Linus Pauling. He was a brilliant scientist. He is the only person who has ever won a scientific Nobel prize and the Nobel peace prize and the only person to received two unshared Nobel prizes. He is the founder of Quantum Chemistry and has had an indelible affect on science. He spanned the disciplines of inorganic chemistry and organic chemistry.

Then he seemed to descend into a whirlwind of self deception, first with mega doses of Vitamin C for the common cold then to suggest that it could cure cancer. There is no evidence of these claims and he continued to deny the results of subsequent research that showed that Vitamin C was not better than a placebo for the common cold and his beliefs about Vitamin C and cancer border on quackery. It seems like it would take an extraordinary level of self deception to hold his beliefs about vitamins against overwhelming evidence.

(Frankmer7) #22

How does one apply the scientific method as a vehicle to find truth in the arts? How does one measure truth and beauty as revealed in a Beethoven symphony, or Picasso’s Guernica, or Michelangelo’s David? Does this point to a different way of ascertaining truth, or does truth, and revealed truth, not lie in the arts and the aesthetic experience?

With that said, I do not see the bible as placing a premium on positional, doctrinal, truth, as we have in our enlightenment based church culture. Truth was often pointed to in the NT as a lived experience with the person of Christ. Paul described the truth as it is in Jesus (a favorite Adventist catchphrase for our doctrinal platform), in just this way. He said it was something experienced in the putting off of the old self, which was being corrupted by its sinful desires, and the putting on the new self in its place, which was being created in the likeness of God. Thus, truth was a lived experience in connection with, and under the gracious and powerful lordship of, the living Christ. Anything that was a threat to take one away from such an experience and life, was considered untruth…or a lie.

I don’t know how one measures that, other than by what Jesus said, “By their fruits you shall know them.”



(Frankmer7) #23

Upon a little more reflection, I think that the scientific method, while valuable, has its own built in limitations for finding and quantifying truth. I’ve observed that some who stake their claim on it, often seem to resist this suggestion.

As I alluded to earlier, how does this work with ascertaining artistic and aesthetic truth? More on point, how does this measure the type of truth that Paul was speaking of, the truth in Jesus that is lived and experienced… that can only be seen, as Jesus said, in the fruit of a Spirit filled and led life?



(Thomas J Zwemer) #24

The challenge I’ see in this essay seems to be a call for individual action in the realms of social and distributive justice. the denomination Is an active but small response to disaster relief. but what about the member in the pew? Are the tithe and offering enough?

That is the burning question, freely we have received, how free do we share… the Truth is more than key texts. In the third grade a T. Roosevelt public school, the class was organized to gather Thanksgiving food packages for the poor. We then would sort the collection and make gift packages for all the poor… it was in the depths of the depression. my folks contributed a leg of lamb. The son of the butcher contributed a link of hot dogs. when the packages were assembled, the butcher son grabbed the bag with the leg of lamb and offered me the package with the hot dogs. the first I knew of original sin. he marched up to the first house with the keg of lamb. Showing out of the top of the bag. Great fun. Tom Z

(George Tichy) #25

This is very true.
I always worked with my patients on the basis of, “If you don’t have a replacement for their current belief do not destroy what they have.”

An empty hole in their belief system may be worse than what they have. And this one of our duties as therapists, always finding a proper replacement to help the patient. Otherwise, why would we charge for the service?

(Thomas J Zwemer) #26

so the hymn–“I Suureder All”. Means just getting wet for nothing. That’s why the evangelist has his bags packed before the baptism, just time enough for a head count and a report to headquarters… See you later Kemosobi ! Tom Z

(Elmer Cupino) #27

I’m just curious Tom, for you, how long did it take to give up your adventist beliefs? Was it immediate? I’m sure you have been aware of the church’s inconsistent beliefs, what took you so long to discard and jump ship? The “Glacier View” no doubt was the straw that broke the camel’s back, but still, you had to get to that tipping point gradually.

(Thomas J Zwemer) #28

want kept me in Adventism so long were Ted Heppenstall, Graham Maxwell, and Paul Heubach, What got me out were Robert and John Brimsmead, Herbie Douglass, Kenneth woods, and Neal Wilson. what kept me a Christian were. Graham Maxwell, John Stott, Ted Heppenstall, Loyd-Jones, C.S. Lewis, F.F. Bruce, Des Ford, and a done other commentaries. my first glimmer were from my father and My Academy principal that Christsinity was for real but Adventism had its problems. Ellen White ranked way below John and Paul. Daniel and Revelation were coded assurances to a limited group of peoples of history. they had instructional value as to how the devil deviled God’s people. but the war was already won. I am still learning, but SA will add nothing to my understanding of the love of God for me and all mankind.At times He doesn’t know if He should laugh or cry at the games men play. Tom Z

(Elmer Cupino) #29

And that is so true across all religious denominations, SDA or not, simply because the quest to understand God’s love is an individual journey. People join churches whose corporate beliefs come closest to their personal convictions. Moses couldn’t force his people to worship God who was at the summit of the mountain they were camping, even after forcing them to drink the remains of the golden calf they worshipped.

Besides, any person who leaves SA2015 claiming to have a greater understanding of God’s love should immediately make an appointment with @GeorgeTichy for therapy.

(George Tichy) #30

They must stop by “another office” @elmer_cupino before I can do anything for them. When people are properly medicated they are easier to deal with, and respond much better… :smile:

Should I take a leave of absence of 3 months from my job, to be available for whoever needs special attention after SA?
I am sure the “Maltese” will have it as a requirement to obtain their traveling visas…

(Thomas J Zwemer) #31

I was a member of the Augusta Board of United Way. the Chaplain impressed me as a Christian. he happened to be pastor of Reid Memorial Presbyterian Church. . Betty and I attended. he urged us to join. we laid it out plain we were not into TULIP. He said, neither am I. We can arrange your acceptance on profession of faith in Christ plus nothing. so we joined. His sermons are on a text. he then Elaborates on the theme. he then says, this is how I understand it. I would be pleased if you agreed. if not, I still love you and I can assure you that God does also. go in Peace Tom Z

(Rich Hannon) #32

Elmer, I completely agree. Almost no one is going to be willing to go from something to nothing - i.e. subtract a position without a substitute. And the scary thing for many is to approach a cherished belief with openness so you can actually hear a different view - hearing before you have candidates to replace it with should the hearing produce doubt. There is likely a time in that sequence when one’s belief structure is temporarily naked at that spot. Thus it would be better to have an alternate belief in play as the original one is being scrutinized. But too often there is a contentious dialog occurring where the antagonist in the conversation is proposing the alternate and at the same time giving arguments contra the cherished, current belief. This is not exactly a climate where openness on the part of the belief-holder is likely.

(Rich Hannon) #33

Frank, I hope I didn’t leave the impression that my adaptation of the scientific method was the last word in truth-seeking. What I was noting is the importance of openness in the quest, an aspect of the scientific method and a posture too often absent when one is exposed to an alternate belief that is inconsistent with a current, cherished one.

Regarding esthetics & beauty, I’m not sure I would use the idea of truth in consideration of it. But it would be interesting to understand if you differed on this, from your background with music.

But nonetheless I wouldn’t like to see truth reduced to anything propositional, and admittedly that was a slant in my article. Again, I was musing on why people struggle with openness. Even though in epistemology knowledge is defined as true, justified belief - this term “knowledge” (perhaps a reasonable synonym for truth), fails to include all dimensions IMO. I am fond of the Blaise Pascal quote: “The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing”, and this gets at the extra dimensions of Truth (big T) that perhaps your comment is alluding to.

(Thomas J Zwemer) #34

Ah the scientific method. The unique fundamentals of Adventism don’t even pass the smell test…Everybody that can read Hebrew and Greek know it. So they take a woman’s word for it. how scientific is that? Tom Z

(Elmer Cupino) #35

Not anymore as scientific as your paid church Presbyterian minister who doesn’t endorse TULIP, yet is employed by the organization that formulated TULIP.

All religious denominations share a common denominator, that of being guilty of what they accuse others of.

(Cfowler) #36

[quote=“elmer_cupino, post:35, topic:8233”]
All religious denominations share a common denominator, that of being guilty of what they accuse others of.
[/quote]I would thoroughly disagree with this, but my question is, have you ever attended any other church besides the SDA church? And not just a rare visit, but actually been part of a main stream denomination or a non-denominational church?

(Thomas J Zwemer) #37

not so neither the investigative judgement nor TULIP are in Scripture.,There is a vast difference. Adventists claim one , my pastor does not claim the other.,He is forthright about his understanding of Romans 8. He is a Reform pastor with a Methodist view of selection. So he preaches on procrastination not predestination.
Central control are found mainly in the cults and Rome. of course it varies all over the map. My belief system is not tied to man or organization. I am still learning as I study and read. I am a confirmed atheist when it comes to the prophetic role of Ellen White. I take Paul and John at face value. I do believe in soul sleep. They say I died once last December. if so it was a total blank. I believe I am of sound mind and semi frail body. The first thing to go is my typing, but Betty says, that has not changed. Tom Z

(Elmer Cupino) #38

I have attended a number of other churches but have always been an SDA church member. I have many relatives who are members of other denominations. When we get together and compare notes, I can’t help but come to the conclusion that all churches have the same warts. None exempted.

I could be wrong so would you be kind to give me your opinion?

(Elaine Nelson) #39

I’ve heard it many times following an evangelistic campaign: “They would have become JW’s had we not gotten them first.”

There is much truth in that. Most such campaigns are “fly-by-night” get 'em in the tank while their still warm. Those attracted to certitude in Bible prophecies are attracted to absolute answers without doubt or question. Some will later question, but for some, they have found the truth and never search or question again.

(Elmer Cupino) #40

I’m sure Tom who know of credible, dedicated, “good” SDA ministers who would not put any credence on the IJ just like your minister and TULIP.

And just like you, “my belief system is not tied to man or organization.” Amen to that.