Friday, August 30, 2013

Matt 24 watch, 218: The other shoe drops in New Mexico, USA as a panel of judges -- using an inappropriate, loaded analogy to racism -- tells a Christian photographer: your conscience or your livelihood . . .

(NB: CP has a useful related article here;
particularly see the comment war there
in light of the disproportion noted below.
Todd Starnes documents further cases here.)

It is a classic of law, that if a stick-up man points a gun to your head and tells you, your money or your life, he is in fact threatening both.

Just so, we must now clearly understand that:
He who would rob me of my livelihood . . . 
      threatens my life;
He who would rob me of my conscience . . .
     threatens my soul:
He who would rob me of my children . . .

     threatens my posterity.
This is blatant in the case we looked at yesterday, with Asia Bibi of Pakistan, who sits in a gaol cell that is threatening her health. For, she has been dragged away from her family and put there by an unjust judge who has sentenced her to death on a false charge of blasphemy. A false charge that was brought against her by a rampaging mob that -- acting through a local cleric they dragged Asia to (while beating her) -- had demanded that she convert to Islam (in violation of her conscience) or face such injustice under a false charge of blasphemy brought under a law that is itself unjust.

That is part of why I told her story yesterday, and it is why I then asked all people of decent conscience to pause and sign a petition for her release, then see if the authorities in our own region would be willing to act in the name of decency, justice and principle with an innocent woman's life so obviously at stake.

However, we face very similar challenges today, much closer to home -- threats linked to the radical agendas of the sexual revolution that (as we looked at a few days past) Gabrielle Kuby so solemnly warned us against. (The difference in our own civilisation is that things are a tad more subtle.)

Q: What am I getting at?

A: The manipulation of public opinion and eduction, leading to abuse of human rights law to rob Christians of livelihood, and threaten conscience by unjust judgements under false colours of law.

Courtesy Christianity Today, this development in a New Mexico "civil rights" case is an apt case in point:
Elaine and Jon Huguenin of Elane Photography
(HT: Women of Grace)

In a closely watched case on gay rights, religious freedom, artistic freedom, the speech rights of businesses, and a host of other legal hot button issues, the New Mexico Supreme Court today ruled that wedding photographers could not refuse to shoot gay ceremonies.

"When Elane Photography refused to photograph a same-sex commitment ceremony, it violated the [New Mexico Human Rights Act, or NMHRA] in the same way as if it had refused to photograph a wedding between people of different races," the court said in a unanimous verdict.

The court rejected each of photographer's Elaine Huguenin's arguments, particularly one in which Huguenin had argued that her refusal did not discriminate against same-sex customers. Huguenin had argued that she would happily photograph gay customers, but not in a context that seemed to endorse same-sex marriage. Likewise, she said, she wouldn't shoot heterosexuals in a context that endorsed same-sex marriage. [More details courtesy ADF, here.]
As the CT article continues:
. . . it is Justice Richard Bosson's concurring opinion, not the majority opinion, that is already getting the most attention. The Huguenins, he wrote "now are compelled by law to compromise the very religious beliefs that inspire their lives. Though the rule of law requires it, the result is sobering. It will no doubt leave a tangible mark on the Huguenins and others of similar views."
All of this is an outrage.

The solution to this is very simple, and should have been done before injustice like this was enshrined under false colours of "law" and "rights": consider the asymmetry in impact of the two alternate decisions before the court, in light of impact on right to livelihood and right to conscience

That is, if photographer A, for reasons of principled conscience objects to taking photographs in a given situation -- say, refuses to photograph nudity (and there are nude weddings and there is such a thing as nude photography or even pornography that has been made acceptable under law. . . ) or any other morally questionable event E -- the person seeking a photographer, X, could easily go elsewhere, to photographer B who would be happy to get the additional business. In short, A is doing no significant material harm to X by giving up the opportunity to have X as a customer for event E, as an alternative is readily available

Plainly, A is not sitting on the only source of food or water for miles around in the middle of a desert and is not acting in defiance of obvious and legitimate universal human needs. 

A is simply saying, that under circumstances E, on principle, I am willing to forgo money as I refuse to endorse E. 

That is, A is expressing principled freedom of conscience and of conscience-guided speech, at cost to themselves of business foregone.

In this case, X -- in the teeth of easily available alternatives --  is obviously saying: I demand that you endorse E, and will resort to force to make you violate conscience, or go out of business or face the force of the state acting under colours of law.

This action of X is blatantly wrong.

Do I dare call it by name?


And X did go to the state to intervene to enforce such censorship, under what is now so plainly unjust law -- under false colours of "rights."

(Where, if you have been taken in by the talking points on how homosexual behaviour and choosing to identify oneself by one's questionable sexual proclivities are genetically innate so a right that justifies a demand for "marriage equality," etc etc, I suggest you take a moment to read here on the "my genes made me do it" claim, and then ponder the other matters addressed in the list of links appended below. {U/D, Nov 28}  Likewise, the just linked online book shows just how unjustly the bench of judges acted to make a false and loaded analogy between (a) objecting to morally questionable and socially destructive volitional behaviour that simply does not bear the marks of unalterable genetic stamping and (b) improper bias against people exhibiting particular racial/physical characteristics evident from birth that have no reasonable moral questions attached to them whatsoever. Junk science -- multiply refuted junk science -- is here being used to prop up injustice based on popular myths promoted in the media and under false colour of education. This is a sad day for our civilisation, and for justice.)

So also, if a Judge, J, now intervenes and demands that photographer A lend her skills and effort to the promotion of that which is offensive to her conscience, or go out of business or suffer penalty under colour of law, that is a direct threat to both livelihood and conscience, as well as to freedom of speech guided by principled conscience.

Jesus' statement about what value must come first if we are forced to choose (even on pain of death) is plain:
Matt 16:24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.  

25 For whoever would save his life[g] will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.  

26 For 
what will it profit a man 
if he gains the whole world 
and forfeits his soul? 
Or what shall a man give 
in return for his soul? [ESV]
Conscience guided by the Word of God comes first, period.

And, he who would rob me of my conscience, threatens my soul.


And, no, the half-baked notion that putting up a statement on a web site is sufficient to compensate for stifled conscience and censored freedom of expression, as the New Mexico ruling put forth, simply does not address the material issue of the REAL violation at stake here.

This violation is here multiplied by the slanderous pretence that principled objection to perversion of sexuality and marriage from creation order into that which is inherently, inescapably disordered and patently damaging, is the moral equivalent of racism.

"Racism," being the Western equivalent of  Pakistan's laws on "blasphemy."

I am sorry, I must speak out as a black, Christian man who sees the pivotal importance of creation order for sexuality for the survival of our civilisation and the safety of our souls: hiding a blatant and unnecessary threat to livelihood and conscience under the pretence that  this is just "views" -- views seemingly equated to racism -- to be trumped by "gay rights," is an outrage.

I therefore solemnly say to the judges of the New Mexico Supreme Court and elsewhere: the God of heaven who made us male and female and created marriage as the union of man and woman through which the race may be propagated and sustained, will hold you to account, individually, for justice. And -- whether or not you believe it, you will one day stand before HIS bar of justice. 

Of this -- cf. here on -- God has given assurance to all men by raising Jesus of Nazareth, the prophesied messiah,  from the dead, with over 500 witnesses who simply could not be broken in the face of dungeon, fire, sword and worse. 

If you doubt me on this or are tempted to dismiss it out of hand, I suggest you take time to inform yourself more adequately by watching and reflecting on this video:

Likewise, many are tempted to dismiss biblical strictures on homosexuality and objections to the perversion of marriage by suggesting that Jesus of Nazareth did not object to homosexual conduct. They are wrong, he plainly stood foursquare in the defense of the creation order institution of marriage and the linked designation that the act of union is intended for the context of Creation Order, God blessed covenantal union of man and wife. 

That is why we read:
Matt 19:4 . . . [Jesus said] “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” [ESV]
In short, marriage between man and woman is embedded in the order of creation for the propagation of the race and is  blatantly evident from the things that have been made, here, that we are made from the beginning in two complementary sexes meant for marital union and family. 

So, what God joins, let not man separate; which is exactly what the counterfeit distortion of marriage under false colours of "equality" and "rights" is now doing and is obviously doing under false and unjust colours of law.

Nor is it a reasonable retort to suggest by way of a smear that standing by such compellingly evident Creation Order principles is the moral equivalent of "racism. "

Such a false accusation -- our culture's equivalent of blasphemy -- simply reflects viciously slanderous malice,  verging on hate. 

That sort of malicious slander against principled conscience is the REAL hate speech.

Where also, in regards to the vicious suggestion that Christians are racists or the moral equivalent of racists, we should note how in the very same passage where Paul pointed out that we face judgement before God by the standard of Jesus of Nazareth, the Mars Hill Discourse of Acts 17, that Apostle first says:
Acts 17:24 The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man,[c] 25 nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. 26 And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, 27 that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, 28 for
“‘In him we live and move and have our being’;[d]
as even some of your own poets have said,
“‘For we are indeed his offspring.’[e]

Then, he goes on to call the nations to repentance:
Acts 17:29 Being then God's offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. 30 The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, 31 because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.” [ESV]
The attempt to smear the Christian faith and gospel-based principles of sexual ethics with the taint of racism is a blatant, vicious, hateful, spiteful slander.

It is high time for such to stop, in the name of common decency and basic respect.

But if not, let it be known, that we will not violate Word of God-enlightened conscience before the bar of injustice under false colours of law


For, we must all -- including the legislators that pass wrong in the name of law, and the judges who set out to enforce wrong under false colours of law -- . . . we must all answer to A  Much Higher Court and its Just Judge.

And, if some of us Christians are tempted to waver in the face of threats and false accusations designed to make sound moral principles seem to have the odium of racism, let us reflect on Asia Bibi who -- beaten, falsely accused of blasphemy and sentenced to death under unjust law -- has remained steadfast in witness to our common Lord.

So, let us now take courage and remain steadfast, recognising that some pretty ugly things are being done today in our civilisation, through the imposition of radical and destructive but favoured agendas under false colours of law and rights.

Therefore, we must insist that nothing done under the name of "rights" for politically correct causes or on any similar excuse, should put us in our region in the position where principled people of conscience face the sort of threat to livelihood and conscience we see exposed here. 

Last but not least, we here see openly revealed the plain end-game of the homosexualist agenda: the outlawing of the gospel and of principled conscience under the gospel, under false colours of rights and law.

Let us be vigilant and let us be steadfastly faithful, as the heirs of the apostles, martyrs and confessors of The Faith once for all delivered unto the saints. END

PS: Here are some links for onward reading on this important but widely misunderstood matter and linked issues:

Answering the porn-perversion agenda:

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Matt 24 watch, 217: The Asia Bibi case of false accusation of blasphemy, demand to convert to Islam to escape unjust judgement and a questionable death sentence and incarceration in Pakistan

Asia Bibi, unjustly in gaol under life-
threatening conditions and under
false sentence of death for "blasphemy"
in Pakistan (Fr: Facebook page)
For four years now -- as I have just learned, Asia Bibi, a poor Pakistani farm worker and Christian mother of five who is now 42 years old, has been falsely imprisoned in Pakistan under a highly questionable death sentence, having been patently falsely accused of blasphemy against Mohammed (and so also, Allah), and after refusing to violate conscience by "converting" to Islam in compensation at the demand of a mob that had just been beating her. 

I must ask a question: 
Do not those who seem to have taken a minor dispute over a goat, and built it up into a manufactured dispute over a poor Christian farm-worker in the heat of day daring to drink water from the same well as Muslims, then making disrespectful accusations against Jesus to provoke words in defence of her conscience,  then twisting those extorted words into a blatantly false accusation and then physically assaulting a poor mother working to support her family, then using the unjust Blasphemy law of Pakistan to threaten her conscience as the alternative to being tried before an unjust judge [Hon Mr Muhammed Naveed Iqbal, this means you -- you are individually, personally accountable before God for justice . . . . ] under a law that it is all but impossible for the accused to vindicate him or herself, not see that it is they who have committed the real blasphemy?
The apostle James puts it this way:
James 3:7 . . .  every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers,3  these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water. [ESV]
In short, to disrespect, curse, oppress and abuse another human being, who is equally made in the likeness of God as we are, is to disrespect God who made that human being.

And yes, I know this is a radical challenge to us all, let us pause and ponder it soberly before God.

Let us also pause and watch a CBN video news report, bearing all of this in mind:

Next, The Voice of the Martyrs has a petition, A Call for Mercy, which I highly recommend. 

Any person of good conscience -- it matters not what your beliefs are, justice for the oppressed must be priority -- should immediately pause from reading this and take the couple of minutes required to sign it.

Before closing, let us hear Asia Bibi in her own words, as reported in the New York Post, Aug 24/5th:
June 14, 2009, is imprinted on my memory. I can still see every detail.

That morning I got up earlier than usual, to take part in the big falsa-berry harvest. I’d been told about it by Farah, our lovely local shopkeeper. “Why don’t you go falsa picking tomorrow in that field just outside the village? You know the one; it belongs to the Nadeems, the rich family who live in Lahore. The pay is 250 rupees.” . . . .
A hard-faced woman dressed in clothes that had been mended many times came over to me with an old yellow bowl.
“If you fill the bowl you get 250 rupees,” she said without really looking at me.
I looked at the huge bowl and thought I would never finish before sunset. Looking at the other women’s bowls, I also realized mine was much bigger. They were reminding me that I’m a Christian.
The sun was beating down, and by midday it was like working in an oven. I was dripping with sweat and I could hardly think or move for the suffocating heat. In my mind, I could see the river beside my village. If only I could have jumped into that cool water!
But since the river was nowhere near, I freed myself from my bushes and walked over to the nearby well. Already I could sense the coolness rising up from the depths.
I pull up a bucketful of water and dip in the old metal cup resting on the side of the well. The cool water is all I can think of. I gulp it down and I feel better; I pull myself together.
Then I start to hear muttering. I pay no attention and fill the cup again, this time holding it out to a woman next to me who looks like she’s in pain. She smiles and reaches out . . . At exactly the moment Musarat pokes her ferrety nose out from the bush, her eyes full of hate:
“Don’t drink that water, it’s haram!” . . . .
“Listen, all of you, this Christian has dirtied the water in the well by drinking from our cup and dipping it back several times. Now the water is unclean and we can’t drink it! Because of her!”
It’s so unfair that for once I decide to defend myself and stand up to the old witch.
“I think Jesus would see if differently from Mohammed.”
Musarat is furious. “How dare you think for the Prophet, you filthy animal!” [Read it all here.]
Now, obviously this is the result of a longstanding dispute between two women (it seems tracing to some damage done by a goat), now carried to false accusations and unjust threat to life.

Enough is enough.

And, Salman Taseer, the Governor of the province of Punjab -- a Muslim -- saw that.

He protested the oh so easily abused Blasphemy Law and the unjust sentence in this case, and was murdered by his own bodyguard. Who -- tried, convicted and sentenced for murder -- is being treated as a hero by extremists..

His son seems to have been kidnapped.

Likewise, the sole Christian in Pakistan's Cabinet, Minister for Minority affairs, objected to the law and was murdered by gunmen near his residence.

False accusation, unjust sentence to death, incarceration under conditions that are so unhygienic that Asia has become gravely ill, and the murder of two prominent persons who spoke up for her and against the unjust law that threatens to put a rope around her neck. All, tracing to the barbarous terms of the Sharia law that in effect treats people as inferior for the crime of not being Muslims. Indeed, one of the reasons why one cannot vindicate oneself under this law, is the deeply ingrained presumption in Islamic judicial thought, that a non-Muslim's words are in effect worth nothing in testimony when opposed by those of a Muslim.

For shame!

It is time that we recognised the true blasphemy here, gross disrespect for, abuse of, threatening the conscience of, and unjustly sentencing to death -- death for a drink of water from a well in a hot field! -- a human being made in God's image.

It is high time for reformation of law in Pakistan, and it is high time for the countries of the Caribbean -- sister Commonwealth countries and countries who play cricket in the same field as Pakistan's International teams -- to speak out. 

Loud and clear.


It is long since high time to free Asia Bibi from an unjust sentence, and return her safely to her family, which will doubtless need to be given a home overseas, one beyond the reach of proven murderous extremists.

Can our region not rise to the occasion? END

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Improv -- making a thread bobbin holder for fly tying (and craft work) . . . and several other angling or craft related tools

Paul Adams has an interesting approach to home brew fly tying bobbins:

I would do it a bit differently (based on my own experiments):

1 --> Bend the wire in half around a nail or the like -- or use round nose pliers.

2 --> Use a pair of flat nose pliers to bend up the U  so the tube can cradle in it

3 --> Wrap the cradled tube -- and a plastic tube is just one way to go -- between the arms, with of course a projecting spout.

4 --> Bead and bend to get the desired springy grip on the bobbin. (And, the holder can be set to take a sewing machine sized bobbin not just the usual cotton reel, too).

5 --> To go with it, you need a long nosed threader. 

6 --> I would use a hollow plastic tube like some plastic hangers or -- perfect -- those tubes that sometimes come with shoes.

7 --> With fine stainless wire, I would bend a tight U with several inches on either side. Epoxy the other end into the tube, suitably cut to length. A bit of broken off toothpick or two may help, Or also, a dab of CYA "super" glue (or even hot melt) to set before epoxy. Epoxy is very strong.

8 --> I also go down about 1/4 inch and make a diamond by bending in two inward facing V's and a bit further on, two outward facing ones. Much like a typical sewing needle threader. (Make an extra or two for wife, Mum, or sis!)

9 --> Similarly, a length of tube can be used to mount a sewing needle point out, to make a fly tyer's bodkin. (This is a very useful general purpose light duty probe and pick.)

10 --> If a pair of thicker wire lengths are whipped together at one end with thread and are mounted with the two points outwards, that too is useful. 

11 --> You can home brew scalpel-tipped knives by splitting ends of pencil-sized dowelling and binding in then gluing scalpel blades. (I suspect much the same can be done with broken bits of hacksaw, which can be sharpened into surprisingly effective mini knives.)

12 --> Once you see patterns, you can similarly bend whip finishers (Matarelli style is probably best), and even hackle type pliers (double over at the jaw ends, and cover with tubing . . . in my days of a lot of soldering that would have been of great help).

13 --> Then of course there is the home brew fly tying/craft workstation.

14 --> I forgot, you can mount a needle nose Vice Grip type pair of pliers on a stand and use as an extra or improv fly tying hook or jig etc holding vice.

A few thoughts for what to do on a rainy day with a few tools . . . END

Matt 24 watch, 216: Sociologist Gabriele Kuby on implications of the global sexual revolution and the linked porn-perversion agenda

In the Homeric epics, Cassandra was given the gift of prophecy, on condition that no-one would believe her.

So, it is with conscious irony that The Catholic World Report recently -- Aug. 14 -- published an interview with sociologist Gabriele Kuby of Germany under the title, Europe's Cassandra. 

Let's clip:
Ms Kuby
Gabriele Kuby: . . . the deregulation of sexual norms leads to the destruction of culture. Why? Because, as established in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, the family is the basic unit of society—and it needs some basic moral conditions in which to thrive.
But children—brought up today in a hyper-sexualized society in which they themselves are sexualized by the entertainment industry, the media, and mandatory school programs—are increasingly unable to become mature adults that are up to the demands of marriage, and the obligations of responsible fatherhood and motherhood.

Furthermore, such a hyper-sexualized society cannot do without contraception and abortion. And the outcome of all this is the “culture of death,” a term coined by John Paul II.

CWR: Your book [The Global Sexual Revolution] is subtitled, The Destruction of Freedom in the Name of Freedom. What do you mean by that?
Gabriele Kuby: In the wake of the dictatorships of the 20th century, and after a few centuries of the philosophical glorification of the individual, the highest value in our time is “freedom.” The deregulation of sexual norms has been “sold” to people as part of this freedom.

But what happens if you do not control and master the sexual drive? You become a slave of that powerful drive—a sex addict who is constantly on the prowl for sexual satisfaction. And as Plato already showed 2,400 years ago, this leads to tyranny.

Of course, this is all a rather complex process. But a simple thought can make it readily apparent: If people live in a culture where they lose sight of self-giving love—and, instead, use each other for sexual satisfaction—they will use others for anything that satisfies their needs. The only limits will be determined by how much power an individual has. And the ensuing social chaos produced by such sexual deregulation eventually calls for ever more control by the state.

CWR: But doesn’t real freedom mean being able to live without any rules, norms, mores, or laws?

Gabriele Kuby: Freedom is, indeed, a fundamental human value. The freedom of the will is one of the essential differences between man and animals. Even God respects our freedom and allows us to destroy ourselves—and our world.

But freedom can only be realized if it is related to truth—the truth of man, the truth of the relationship, the truth of the situation. Jesus says “the truth will set you free” (John 8:32). Freedom depends on people who take responsibility for the consequences of their actions on themselves and on others.
In every society, the achievement and preservation of freedom is a battle that can only be fought by mature human beings—people who have realized an inner freedom within themselves. The idea that “freedom” means the ability to do what we like is adequate for a three-year-old child but not for those beyond that age.

In short, we must never allow liberty to be interpreted as licence. Genuine liberty is not that each man does what seems right or advantageous or desirable, but that we must mutually respect one another.

But, there is a lot more (e.g. an eye-opener on Yogyakarter, and stuff on key instititions and financial backers of the emerging Rom 1 world.) 

A sampler, on the porn-perversion agenda:

CWR: What role does pornography play in what you have diagnosed?

Gabriele Kuby: Pornography plays a huge part in the revolution. Maybe it is a kind of male revenge for the feminist war against men. People who drug themselves regularly with pornography lose sight of love, the family, the ability to become a father and mother. They become addicted and many end up on a slippery slope into the criminal use of sex. The alarming fact is that pornography has become “normal” for young people: 20% of teenage boys in Germany look at pornography daily; 42% view it once a week. What kind of people will they become? [--> notice, too, how porn has become a largely visual phenomenon. That is of serious concern, given the power of visual images.]

It is hard to understand why the EU fights so aggressively against pollution through smoking but not against pollution through pornography. The latter is more serious because it destroys the family. One cannot get rid of the images in one’s mind, even if one wants to.

There is much more to ponder, here. END

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Outdoors Improv -- making an effective spinner from a soda can pull-tab (or a similar item)

In an Intense Angler's tip of the week, we see how to do just that, turn a soda can tab into an improvised and demonstrably effective Panther Martin-type spinner blade:

I should add that if a split ring had been used, two hooks could be mounted "ice tongs" style with the points facing each other like how ice tongs grab a block of ice, pincer style. That gives a bit of weed-guard effect and the free-to-swing double hooks can be deadly effective. On contact the hooks separate and both tend to go in. If they are sharp -- I believe in using a fine stone to put a cutting edge on the back of a small hook point. If a sharpened hook point tends to stick and cut in when slid across a thumbnail, it is sharp enough . . . now you know where the scratches on my left thumbnail come from when I have been fishing. Bigger hooks can be sharpened to have three cutting edges, by using the stone to cut three facets. Of course you can use modern chemically sharpened hooks.

A subtlety of the lure above, is that the split shot provides a keeling effect that reduces line twisting.

A mod would be to use a stainless steel shaft, and to put a weight (and attractor body) on the line, putting a knee-bend to similarly reduce line twist. A swivel on the leading end of the wire shaft would be helpful. (NB: W E "Bill" Davies, of a former generation, always recommended separating the weight for casting and control from the lure, using a trace rig, with a weight and swivels -- sort of like how a fly line carries the casting weight and is usually some feet from the fly, and like a float and suspended bait, but for spinning:  

--//-----sw--WT-- sw---------sw LURE. 

It is wise to make such non-reflective as that reduces profile and bite-offs from aggressive and toothy fish we tend to see in the tropics. As in Mr Barracuda, this means you.  It will also be possible to put a plastic or hair tab on the hook, or to mount a small grub or even a bit of bait. This last would be for survival situations.)

A similar lure is the old folded crown bottle cap fish lure. (Also, proved effective.)

For a more conventional lure, an old stainless steel teaspoon can be made into a fishing spoon:

Of course, some will use a grinder (protective eye-wear vital) to cut down the sides to get a narrower profile, and others will saw off and smooth down -- a lot of work -- to get much the same effect. I have found that the spoon handle also makes an effective lure, just give it a rather gentle S-bend. (A knife handle makes a good jigging spoon or heavy-weight casting spoon.)

If we are going that way, we might as well instead use copper, brass or stainless steel sheet [in a pinch, cut copper pipe open to make sheet), and a ball-peen hammer, with maybe a hard-wood base gouged out to give the desired profile. For reasonable fish, 1/2 - 1 inch is good enough for pan sized fish and 1 - 2 inches would cover quite considerably sized fish. A 3 inch spoon, especially with grub and decorated hook, is a big lure.

As just hinted at, I tend to decorate spoon and spinner hooks with v. small -- perhaps 1 inch -- plastic grubs. (I recall the day early in the volcano crisis here that I was playing around with a 000 sized Drone spoon so decorated on a very light spinning rod, when BOOM, a Jack Crevalle the size of a soda bottle flat -- probably 15 lb -- blew up on the spoon, and then took it all away, as I had been fishing without a serious leader.)

Lessons learned!

A few "frugal angler" ideas to stir the imagination -- and great father-son or father-daughter family fun fishing projects. END

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Rom 1 reply, 39: The unreasonableness of today's common atheistical burden of proof shifting and of the typical taunt, "there's no evidence for god . . . "

In following up in the issues regarding Patrick White, I just ran across this example of a "fundamental atheist argument," which gives a typical -- and inadvertently utterly revealing -- illustration of a typical bit of intimidatory atheistical rhetoric:
The fundamental argument for atheism is that there is no evidence or proof for God. [--> my emphasis, this is the evidentialist form of selective hyperskepticism] There is no solid or tangible evidence for God nor a logical argument for God. The existence of God is taken on faith and not by evidence. [--> In fact, all worldviews rest on faith-points, as is shown below and as is discussed here on, including the importance of self evident truths and especially first principles of right reason and more]

-God can not be proven by science which is the main way we study and understand our universe or natural world. There is no theory of God [--> scientism, which is blatantly self-refuting]
-There is no conclusive logical argument for the existence of God. His/her existence is continuously debated. [--> debate proves only disagreement, which is no proof that here is no cogent and compelling logically justified case for God]
-There is no comprehensive definition of God. There are many definitions for the same God as there are many gods. This is problematic if one is to ascertain the characteristics of God to judge if God exists or not. [--> That we may disagree on some aspects of what God is, or that some may disagree that God is, does not mean there is no coherent understanding of God, OED defines: "
(in Christianity and other monotheistic religions) the creator and ruler of the universe and source of all moral authority; the supreme [--> we safely add, Eternal, Spiritual] being," and the Nicene Creed puts it: "We believe in One God, the Father,t he Almighty, maker of Heaven and Earth," cf. also WLC's discussion here.]
The fundamental fallacy in this, is that it sets up and knocks over a series of strawmen, driven by a selective hyperskepticism that fails to understand that when it comes to worldview foundations, as my grandpa used to say, every tub must stand on its own bottom

This is of course multiplied by the now all to familiar implicit a priori but question begging and self-refuting assumption -- or even ideology -- of evolutionary materialist scientism.

And, before I go further, I should note that the "no evidence" talking point rings decidedly hollow. 

What is really meant, is that there is no evidence that the atheistical objector is willing to accept or acknowledge as cogent or compelling

That is, too often such an objector is playing a shift the burden of proof rhetorical tactic, buttressed by selective hyperskepticism or even outright closed minded refusal to entertain contrary evidence and reasoning. (A dead givaway of this is a rudely sneering resort to dismissal of "fairy tales" or comparison of principled and serious theism with belief in "Santa Claus" or the like. )

All of this takes on a very different colour when I must note that I have recently had considerable experience of atheists (who in this case are ever so certain that we are always uncertain in our beliefs, knowledge and reasoning . . . ) refusing to accept the patent certainty of outright self-evident, undeniable truths such as that it is undeniably certain that error exists, or that once we are self aware and conscious -- though we may err on what exactly we are -- that first fact of conscious experience is also certain:

What this speaks to is the importance of key self evident treuths, that are like a bull in the china shop of today's popular radical relativism and subjectivism:
a: We may symbolise the Royce proposition, E: error exists. We can then see that if we try to deny it NOT-E, the joint proposition (E AND NOT-E) will necessarily be false, and it is plain that this is a case of error so E is undeniably true. It is a case of absolute, objective, certainly known truth; a case of certain knowledge. "Justified, true belief," nothing less.
b: It is also a matter of widely observed fact -- starting with our first school exercises with sums and visions of red X's -- confirming the accuracy of a particular consensus of experience.
c: So, here we have a certainly known case of truth existing as that which accurately refers to reality.
d: Also, a case of knowledge existing as warranted, credibly true beliefs, in this case to certainty.
e: Our ability to access truth and knowledge about the real, extra-mental world by experience, reasoning and observation is confirmed in at least one pivotal case.The certainty that we are uncertain, is not only absurdly self-contradictory but shown false by direct examples to the contrary
f: Contemporary worldviews — their name is Legion — that would deny, deride or dismiss such [including the point that there are such things as self evident truths that relate to the real world], are thence shown to be factually inadequate and incoherent. They are unable to explain reality.
g: Such worldviews are, as a bloc, falsified by this one key point. They are unreasonable. (And yes, I know this may be hard to accept, but if your favoured system contradicts soundly established facts and/or truths, it is seriously defective.)
h: Of course the truth in question is particularly humbling and a warning on the limits of our knowledge and the gap between belief and truth or even ability to formulate a logical assertion and truth.
i: So, we need to be humble, and — contrary to assertions about how insisting on such objectivity manifests "arrogance" and potentially oppressive "intolerance" – the first principles of right reason (implicit in the above, drawn out here on, source of this clip) allow us to humbly, honestly test our views so that we can identify when we have gone off the rails and to in at least some cases confirm when our confidence is well grounded.
 That also sets a very different context for assessing the issue at stake, as can be worked through step by step here on.

In more blunt terms, if the real problem is rudely closed minded arrogance, or question-begging selective hyperskepticism that exerts a double-standard in examining what one is willing to accept vs what one will stoutly resist to the bitter end at any price, then the problem is not want of evidence, argument or proof, but irrational ideological militancy in atheism and/or its fellow traveller beliefs and/or its near equivalents.

Such cannot really be reasoned with, the can only be identified and exposed.

But, there's no proof for God, you theists are using . . . FAITH!

So -- demonstrably -- are atheists and anyone else for that matter. We must all think, reason and live by faith rooted in finitely remote first plausibles, some of which are self evident, but many of which are taken as a matter of trust as reasonable and helping to make sense of the world. Such need to be assessed on comparative difficulties analysis across worldviews, on factual adequacy, coherence, and explanatory power.

As will be shown in brief, in a moment. 

(Sneers notwithstanding.) 

When it comes to worldviews and their foundations, the most we can hope, aim and work towards is reasonable faith:

Or, from another angle, we can cite Christian Philosopher William Lane Craig, in a response to Biologist and atheism advocate Clinton Richard Dawkins on arguments to God:
. . .  let’s get clear what makes for a “good” argument. An argument is a series of statements (called premises) leading to a conclusion. A sound argument must meet two conditions: (1) it is logically valid (i.e., its conclusion follows from the premises by the rules of logic), and (2) its premises are true. If an argument is sound, then the truth of the conclusion follows necessarily from the premises. But to be a good argument, it’s not enough that an argument be sound. We also need to have some reason to think that the premises are true. A logically valid argument that has, wholly unbeknownst to us, true premises isn’t a good argument for the conclusion. The premises have to have some degree of justification or warrant for us in order for a sound argument to be a good one. But how much warrant? The premises surely don’t need to be known to be true with certainty (we know almost nothing to be true with certainty!). Perhaps we should say that for an argument to be a good one the premises need to be probably true in light of the evidence. I think that’s fair, though sometimes probabilities are difficult to quantify. Another way of putting this is that a good argument is a sound argument in which the premises are more plausible in light of the evidence than their opposites. You should compare the premise and its negation and believe whichever one is more plausibly true in light of the evidence. A good argument will be a sound argument whose premises are more plausible than their negations.
He then continues: 
Given that definition, the question is this: Are there good arguments for God’s existence?
Where of course, we need to identify two caveats. First, that a given argument is not persuasive to the sort of skeptics we are addressing will be no surprise, as they will be found objecting to things that are self-evidently so on pain of patent and immediate absurdity. Plausibility here must mean, to a reasonable, open minded, critically aware, reasonably informed person. 

Second, once we touch on worldview foundations, we are not just dealing with proofs in the strictly deductive sense but grand inferences to best or at least highly plausible explanations anchored in relevant facts, coherence and balanced explanatory power that is neither simplistic nor a patch-work of after the fact assertions and assumptions that are only justified by their plugging ever more and more holes.

With these in mind, we can then address the reality of God as the root of being, from which all other realities come.

So, can a reasonable and plausible, reasonable faith case be made that allows a reasonable person to think there is good reason to accept the reality of God?

The first, and in many ways the best answer is to ask those who know the reality of God as they have met him in life-transforming power. 

For instance, if it had not been for a miracle of guidance in answer to my Mom's prayer of surrender, I simply would not be here today, these forty years now. So, as one who knows God by having met him in transforming power, I have very good reason indeed to think it just as plausible that God is, as that my Mother is. Where the man who has the reality of knowing God personally, is simply not at the mercy of the man who comes armed with a skeptically dismissive or disdaining argument.

But, we are actually at no loss for good reasons to accept the reality of God, e.g., (as I often point out) Jesus is an excellent reason to believe in the reality of God:

Similarly, Peter Kreeft's five arguments here 

1. Argument from Design (0:40)
2. Argument from First Cause (8:04)
3. Argument from Conscience (18:20)
4. Argument from Desire (28:47)
5. Pascal's Wager (34:05)

. . . are not simply "no evidence" and "no proof":

Likewise, his more extended set of twenty arguments here make a lot of sense as a cumulative case in light of the issues faced by alternatives that try to deny the reality of God. (Not to mention the more extensive discussion here on and elsewhere. And, if you want to see my own 101 level worldview foundations survey, cf. here on.)

Believing in the reality of God -- never mind dismissive skepticism -- is quite plainly, reasonable faith. END