Archive for October, 2010

3-Dimensional Space as a Metaphor for the Christian Trinity

October 26, 10

What is length? It space. What is width? It is space. What is depth? It is space.

So what is space? Space is not just length, nor just width, nor just depth. Space is all three together, each dimension distinct but inseparable.

Now let’s go to the Triune God. What is the Father? He is God. What is the Son (Jesus)? He is God. What is the Holy Spirit? He is God.

So who is God? God is not just the Father, nor just the Son, not just the Holy Spirit. God is all three together, each person distinct but inseparable.

Just as for physical space where 1 metre x 1 metre x 1 metre = 1 cubic metre (not 1 + 1 + 1 = 3), the three persons of the Trinity mutiply and enhance one another – not merely add on to one another.

So if we can accept such a concept as three-dimensional space without thinking it odd or incomprehensible, why not the concept of a three-as-one God?

———————————-

See also:

The Trinity: Examples in Real Life – More metaphors for the Trinity in the sciences, including the resonance concept from chemistry

The Christian Trinity in the Old Testament – God is I, Us and He – Long before the New Testament, God Himself testifies to His triune nature

Why Christians Believe Jesus is God in Three Easy Bible Passages – Jesus told us to worship God, yet allowed people to worship Jesus

The Star Letters: Crime Experiences in JB

October 23, 10

From The Star 23 Oct 2010:

Crime rate down but cops must stay vigilant

INSPECTOR-GENERAL of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar should be commended for urging the police not to rest on their laurels despite achieving a significant reduction in the crime rate (“IGP not at all pleased” – The Star, Oct 21).

According to the statistics provided by the police, street crime dropped by 38%, and the overall crime index by 16% between January and September.

Although no details are available, the police should be given due credit for their efforts to bring down the crime rate. The figures have also injected a dose of confidence in the public and uplifted its perception of the police.

However, to the victims of crime, the traumatic experience is not easily forgotten. The figures, no matter how impressive, will not be able to calm their nerves for a long time.

Just ask the victims. They will frown with unease when recalling the upsetting incidents. It requires a lot of courage and determination to overcome their fears.

In some cases, the victims may have been robbed twice or even more times as the perpetrators become braver when their heinous acts are not curbed by the police in time.

One can only sympathise with the victims while praying hard that they will not become the robbers’ prey again.

My family in Taman Daya, Johor Baru, encountered two frightening experiences recently.

In the first incident, three youths carrying a travelling bag sneaked into my wife’s office one afternoon while she was conducting a meeting in an adjacent room. They fled with an expensive laptop. The whole process was caught on a neighbour’s CCTV.

In the second incident, which occurred a fortnight ago, a motorcyclist and his accomplice stopped beside my wife’s car while she was parking the vehicle in the porch one night. The accomplice swung a hammer at the window on the driver’s side in an attempt to rob her.

Luckily, my appearance halted their planned criminal act and prevented further harm to my family.

To add salt to injury, no police personnel appeared at the scene to investigate or gather clues after reports were lodged at the Taman Setia Indah police station. There was no noticeable increase in patrols in the vicinity immediately or after the incidents.

I suppose this is what the top cop meant when he said he was still not satisfied with the quality of investigation. I wonder how the policemen can solve the cases by just merely taking down my statements, and without pursuing further investigations.

When the incident is brought up in the teaching fraternity of my school, the IGP should come to listen for himself my colleagues’ , spouse’s or acquaintance’s harrowing encounters. These unpleasant experiences have left indelible marks in their lives.

May I quote the IGP’s words: “We should work harder to ensure the safety and security of the people.”

The top cop’s reassuring promise can certainly dissipate the lingering worries about safety and security in our neighbourhood.

The men in blue must walk the IGP’s talk as the confidence and trust that we have in the police can only be earned through quality investigations and bringing the perpetrators to justice.

TING LIAN LEE,

Johor Baru.

Global Warming Causes Mini-Kaiju Attacks in Japan

October 22, 10

+0.005 degree = Bear attacks
+1 degree = Giant 300-foot radioactive-breath bear attacks (Bear-jira!)

Better one found by Moonbattery:

Excerpt from AFP:

Bear attacks surge in Japan, climate change blamed

(AFP)

TOKYO — Bear attacks have shot up in Japan this year and sightings of the animals have spiked, a trend blamed on climatic changes and shifting land use patterns, officials and media reports said on Wednesday.

At least four people were killed and 80 wounded in bear attacks between April and September in the island-nation, much of which is covered in mountain forests, topping last year’s total of 64 attacks, said broadcaster NHK.

Some 400 bears were shot dead near human-populated areas by authorised hunters on Japan’s far-northern island of Hokkaido alone, where two people were mauled to death by bears earlier this year, a local official said.

In the mountainous central prefecture of Fukushima, northeast of Tokyo, more than 150 bears were shot dead after they encroached on residential areas.

Some wildlife experts have blamed a record heat wave this summer which impacted the omnivores’ natural food sources and sent the Asiatic black bears foraging for food in more densely populated farming and residential areas.

“The extremely hot summer and other climatic factors may have led to a shortage of acorns or nuts in woodlands this year,” said Tatsuo Sato, an official of the Fukushima prefectural government.

In some areas habitat destruction is blamed for forcing the bears into closer contact with humans. In other parts, farms are being abandoned and reclaimed by nature, reducing buffer zone with the bears’ natural habitats.

Contrary to Tatsuo-san’s conjecture, global warming hysteria has not resulted in any shortage of nuts in the science fields.

JB Crime 2010 A Quarter Lower Than 2010

October 15, 10

Good news from The Star 15 Oct 2010:

Crime rate in JB down from last year

JOHOR BARU: The crime rate in the state is down by 24.17% from January until Oct 11 compared to the same period last year.

Johor police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Mohd Mokhtar Mohd Shariff said the police also reduced street crime by 36% while the success rate for solving crimes was 44%.

“The police force will work round-the-clock to ensure public safety.

“The success in lowering the crime rate in the state is due to our hard work as well as public cooperation,” he said in his speech before launching the Johor Baru North temporary headquarters in Taman Impian Emas here yesterday.

DCP Mohd Mokhtar added that the increased police presence had also contributed to less crime in Johor. He also said the public’s complaints and reports would ensure that the police improve their services.

“We will also be setting up community police posts and police beat bases in 23 locations in the Iskandar Malaysia economic region,” he said.

Marina Mahathir: Send Good Muslim Role Models, Ignore Islamophobes

October 13, 10

Marina Mahathir thinks the send-lecturers idea is a bad one (so do I, but for different reasons) and gives a sensible suggestion for an alternative strategy. And she has a one-sided view of Conservative personalities like Rush and Beck (not cited below), but I can’t blame her lack of exposure – the liberal media’s tentacles are far reaching.

Excerpted from The Star 13 Oct 2010:

An idea least likely to work
MUSINGS By MARINA MAHATHIR

The truth is our people here have no idea what Islamophobia is and how it manifests itself. Islamophobes – just like Christianophobes, Hindu­phobes and Buddhistphobes – are not amenable to reason and facts but would rather delve into scurrilous beliefs.

I met someone once who asked me why Muslims liked to cut off people’s heads. That’s the sort of stuff Islamophobes like to say. No point in quoting the Quran there.

In fact, I’m not sure there is any point in trying to counter such prejudice and hate. But if we really want to, we need to unpack some of those beliefs about us and show them how untrue they are.

For instance, one of the many points held against Muslims is that we oppress our women. So the way to counter that is not to send male lecturers who will undoubtedly get defensive about this issue but to send bright young and articulate women who are doing things people don’t normally associate with Islam.

Send female fighter pilots, artists, mountain climbers, activists and the like and get them spots with the most popular talkshow hosts. There is no need to talk about religion at all; just talk about the amazing things they do. The point will be made.

Another charge often made against Muslim countries is that we are undemocratic. Here I don’t think we should even dream of trying to defend every single Muslim country in the world, least of all those which don’t have elections, jail dissidents and ban the Internet.

The truth is: Who are we to speak for the entire Muslim world? We may say we are peaceful people but then some people from another Muslim country might blow up a few of their country folk, and our credibility along with them.

We may say we have regular elections and then someone would point at those countries ruled by ridiculously wealthy royal families. We may show off our educated women and someone would bring up the torched girls’ schools in Afgha­nistan.

So let’s forget this silly idea and instead deal with our own extremist problems at home. God knows we have enough of them and are doing precious little to counter their many phobias. Lecturers wouldn’t be any good here either.

Hmm, she seems to contradict herself a bit on the second paragraph I cite above – apparently the person who thought Muslims like to cut off people’s heads is an Islamophobe who is not amenable to reason and facts, but then in the third-to-last paragraph cited above, she gives an example of why some people might think Islam is compatible with violence.

And of course, this:

(PARTIALLY CENSORED GRAPHIC CONTENT WARNING)

(more…)

Syria’s Grand Mufti on Islam and Tolerance of Other Religions

October 11, 10

This is an interesting dude.

You might argue with him on the finer points of the examples and precedents cited in the article, and on just how free people were to worship in Jerusalem before 1948, but he seems like he’d at least argue his points reasonably.

Hope he doesn’t get fatwaed as an apostate or anything like that for his views, srsly! I believe many Muslims disagree with his views.

Excerpts from The Star 11 Oct 2010:

The importance of dialogue
BY SHAHANAAZ HABIB
shaz@thestar.com.my

Syria’s Grand Mufti Sheikh Dr Ahmad Badr Al Din Hassoun is no stranger to churches and temples. He has visited more than 300, giving speeches there and calling for tolerance and mutual respect among different religions.

He argues that Muslims who oppose inter-faith debates and dialogues are those who lack genuine and deep knowledge of Islam.

“They don’t truly comprehend what Islam really is so they have closed in on themselves and confined Islam to their own identity.”

He points out that the Holy Quran is in fact a book of dialogues and debates.

“What did Abraham say to his people when he was arguing against idol worship and what did they say to him in reply? Moses was arguing with the Pharaoh and Muhammad with his opponents who are the non-believers. All this is in the Quran.

“God is reciting to us all these debates as part of the Quran. Even the angels protested and argued with God when He was about to create man – and that too is recorded in the Quran,” he says.

His point is that “God is teaching us the discourse of dialogue and exchange”.

Using that argument, he asks, how can a child know about life if he does not have a dialogue with his mother or how can students in primary schools learn without some form of dialogue with teachers?

“How can we build a state or country without exchange of some kind?

“I love Islam and choose it because it doesn’t deny the other religions. Every day I affirm to myself that my Lord is the Lord of the universe, so how can I reject and turn my back on dialogue when my God and theirs is the same?”

And Dr Ahmad Badr puts what he preaches to practice. To date he has visited over 300 churches and temples and spoken in them.

He has even prayed in churches!

“The Holy Prophet was in Mecca for 13 years and he used to go and pray in the Kaabah area. At that time, there were 360 stone idols circling the Kaabah and he would stand in the midst of them and pray to God.

“He wasn’t concerned about the presence of the stone idols there. He never once touched (destroyed) any with his hand. He let those who believed pray to them, while he prayed to God itself. He was patient with them for 21 years but asked how they can worship idols that they made with their hands.”

For Dr Ahmad Badr, it is crucial to engage and relate with the rest of the world.

“We shouldn’t simply fight and oppose non-Muslims. Neither should we turn our back or refuse to go out and reach out to them,” he says.

He notes that the Holy Prophet always reached out to Jews, pagans and non-believers. Prophet Muhammad used to visit the council house of the pagans when they made decisions and even went to their homes where there were idols. He also visited the homes of the Jews in Medina.

“He never had any problems going to those places. He went there to display the true behaviour and virtue of the Muslim. So why are Muslims afraid to go to these places?

“I go to the house of Christians, Buddhists and Hindus. I visit them and bring them presents. This is what Islam taught me to do – to respect the human being.

“I think this is what Muslims need today,” he urges.

Furthermore, Dr Ahmad Badr does not believe in a so-called Islamic state or a state defined by religion because he deems it to be divisive and even dangerous.

He points out that religion and state are relatively recent terms, and that during the time of the Prophet there were Jews, Christians and pagans living together and the Prophet interacted with them. They were allowed to keep their religion and they were part of the state.

Hence, he says, the notion of a “religious state” rejects such an arrangement.

“In such a state, there should be only one religion, which implies a rejection of the religion of others. This is not what is preached by Islam,” he says, adding that there should be no compulsion in religion.

“Religion is my relationship with God and not my relationship to the state,” he stresses, adding that faith is rooted in the heart – and the heart is the house of God.

“Everyone has a heart which is a place of worship of God and this place is lit up by light and faith,” he explains, adding that if the seven billion people on earth had their hearts enlightened by faith, then they would realise that any individual who is slain reflects on God himself.

“I don’t believe in religious wars nor in holy wars. The killing of another human is not a holy deed. I never saw religion bid me to kill anyone. My religion has commanded me to try to reach out to people to bring them to a state of peace,” he declares, adding that it is important to teach people, especially the young, to have respect for all sacred teachings.

Having studied the different faiths in the world, Dr Ahmad Badr says, religions do not conflict as they all invite to one essential value, which is the sacredness of the divine and the inherent dignity of the individual.

But the problem, he says, is that followers do not really comprehend the religion they adhere to and that some political leaders exploit religious sentiment and “light the fire to promote discord and enmity” between the followers of different faiths to advance their own special interest.

“This is what is happening today in the world,” he says.

Educate and enlighten

Touching on the Palestinian and Israeli problem, he says that in the past (before the state of Israel was formed in 1948) Muslims, Christians and Jews used to live in peace and harmony and there were no problems with people of any faith going to worship at the holy sites and shrines, be it in Jerusalem or Bethlehem.

But now, because of the international partitioning, millions of Palestinians have been evicted from their homes and made refugees (so that Israelis can move in) and there are also thousands of armed Israeli troops around the holy sites so “how can I go and pray to God when armed men are around me”.

He also highlights the irony that Europe, with 33 countries, a number of languages and religions, has lifted the borders between them, while in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, it is the opposite.

Some want Iraq split into Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish states, he says, while in Sudan there is a threat of the north and south being divided based on religion.

Dr Ahmad Badr also laments that Muslims are abused more by their own leadership than by the non-Muslim world.

“Don’t ask me about the Arab lands. I am so saddened by what they are doing in those places. I don’t complain about the enemies,” he says.

And what does he think about the Danish cartoons ridiculing the Prophet and the American pastor who threatened to burn the Quran?

He says he had actually invited the cartoonist (Kurt Westergaard) and Florida pastor (Terry Jones) to Syria for a dialogue (but they did not agree) so that they would learn what Islam is really like and what the Quran represents.

“I don’t curse them and I don’t oppose them in fighting. I try to educate and enlighten. If the cartoonist really knew who Muhammad was, he would never ever have distorted the image in such a cartoon fashion.” (The cartoons which first appeared in a Danish newspaper in 2005 and sparked Muslim outrage internationally have been recently republished in a book titled The Tyranny of Silence.)

As for pastor Jones, Dr Ahmad Badr says he did not read the Quran so he does not know there is a most beautiful and profound portrayal in it of Mary, the mother of Jesus.

“The Quran teaches me as a Muslim to respect and value the views of the Jews and Christians. The pastor wants to burn a document that ensures we have mutual respect, which he claims is lacking in us. So he is the one who loses, not me.”

In any case, he says, the real copy of the Quran for Muslims is not on paper but in their breast.

“We keep it preserved pure in our heart. These men should not be opposed or condemned in a violent manner. If they really understood and realised the reality of Islam, then they would learn to love and respect it.”

See here for more on Geert Wilders – he was just repeating the viewpoint of self-proclaimed Muslims, but as mentioned above, one that Dr Ahmad opposes.

Prominent Physicist Resigns From American Physical Society to Protest Global Warming Inquisition

October 11, 10

Via AoSHQ via Watts Up With That.

Excerpts from The Global Warming Policy Foundation:

,..

For reasons that will soon become clear my former pride at being an APS Fellow all these years has been turned into shame, and I am forced, with no pleasure at all, to offer you my resignation from the Society.

It is of course, the global warming scam, with the (literally) trillions of dollars driving it, that has corrupted so many scientists, and has carried APS before it like a rogue wave. It is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist. Anyone who has the faintest doubt that this is so should force himself to read the ClimateGate documents, which lay it bare.

APS management has gamed the problem from the beginning, to suppress serious conversation about the merits of the climate change claims. Do you wonder that I have lost confidence in the organization?

Your own Physics Department (of which you are chairman) would lose millions a year if the global warming bubble burst. When Penn State absolved Mike Mann of wrongdoing, and the University of East Anglia did the same for Phil Jones, they cannot have been unaware of the financial penalty for doing otherwise.

I want no part of it, so please accept my resignation. APS no longer represents me, but I hope we are still friends.

Hal

Harold Lewis is Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara, former Chairman; Former member Defense Science Board, chmn of Technology panel; Chairman DSB study on Nuclear Winter; Former member Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards; Former member, President’s Nuclear Safety Oversight Committee; Chairman APS study on Nuclear Reactor Safety Chairman Risk Assessment Review Group; Co-founder and former Chairman of JASON; Former member USAF Scientific Advisory Board; Served in US Navy in WW II; books: Technological Risk (about, surprise, technological risk) and Why Flip a Coin (about decision making)

See list of Climategate & similar scandals here.

Climategates List

October 11, 10

1) Climategate
2) Climategate Darwin
3) Climategate New Zealand
4) Climategate Russia
5) Climategate USA
6) Pachaurigate
7) Glaciergate (which Pachauri made a lot of money off)
8.) Mountain Icegate
9) Amazongate
10) Boiling Great Lakesgate
11) Climategate 2, good summary here, more here
12) Temperature Discontinuity-gate

By the way: The man at the centre of the Climategate scandal, head of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit Dr. Phil Jones, admits that there has been no statistically significant warming in the past 15 years!

MCA: Down with Racist Leaders and Religious Intolerance

October 11, 10

Vote them out eh? Funny, didn’t happen to Ahmad ‘Pendatang’ Ismail… Or the other members of the UMNO gang. Or the religious pressuring.

From The Star 10 Oct 2010:

Delegates want racist leaders voted out

KUALA LUMPUR: Racist leaders – regardless of their positions – must be “voted out” and not be given a platform to expound their extreme views.

MCA Youth delegate Tan Chee Hiong said one way was to mobilise Youth members to the constituencies of such leaders to make sure these people lose in the election.

“We will bring you down, boycott and reject you. We want them to know that there is no platform for them to promote racism,” he said during debate time.

The Kedah MCA Youth representative also highlighted the challenges faced by the Chinese community in the PAS-ruled state. For instance, he said the Chinese community could not understand the messages on the advertisement billboards as they were written in Jawi.

Tan claimed that business owners were also forced to use Jawi on their billboards or their licences would not be approved.

“The Chinese community is ‘dying’ in Kedah. We hope the party leaders can do something to help us and not let us ‘die’ in silence there,” he added.

Chen Wee Kong, a delegate from Johor, said the Government’s image was marred by the “inaction” against the two principals and the National Civics Bureau assistant director who were alleged to have made racist remarks.

Another delegate, Lee Tick Wah from Selangor, said many had asked why MCA continued to stay as a component party in Barisan Nasional.

“It is because MCA is being responsible to the Chinese community. We want to remain in the coalition to ensure the interests of the community are protected.”

From The Star 11 Oct 2010:

MCA wants zero tolerance for racist remarks

MCA condemns organisations or individuals who utter racist and extremist remarks that cause racial and religious disharmony.

The party also wants the Government to strengthen religious education to strengthen understanding and respect for all religions.

This is among the 14 resolutions passed at the 57th annual general meeting here yesterday.

The AGM also supported the Government’s efforts – through the Committee for the Understanding and Harmony Among Religious Adherents – to implement an open, moderate and inclusive policy in matters relating to religion.

“This is to ensure that the policy is in consonance with the fundamental right of freedom of religion as enshrined in the Federal Consti-tution,” it said.

Some of the other resolutions express full support for:

> THE leadership of party president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek and deputy president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai. All members have been urged to put their differences aside and unite for the challenges ahead.

> THE “Eight-Point Action Plan for the 13th general election” as formulated by the MCA central leadership to ensure victory in the election.

> THE 1Malaysia concept and implementation of the National Integrity Agenda.

> “THE condemnation of Pakatan Rakyat for creating rift and hatred among the rakyat.

The assembly also fully endorsed the 13 Declarations resolved during the Chinese Economic Congress held on Aug 14.

Imagine that, Pakatan Rakyat must have been spouting lots of racist stuff – even more than the UMNO gang – that somehow didn’t make it to the papers all this while. The MSM must be Opposition controlled! /sarc

From The Star 11 Oct 2010:

Najib and Dr Chua want politicians to get over ‘pendatang’ issue

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek took aim at racist politicians by condemning their brand of opportunistic politics, especially on the “pendatang” issue.

The Prime Minister, addressing the almost 2,000 people at the MCA annual general assembly, said Malaysian Chinese were not immigrants and had been loyal to the nation for the past three to five generations.

The MCA president in his speech pointed out that the younger generation wanted to be treated as equal citizens and “do not expect to have to be grateful because their parents were granted citizenship”.

The two leaders also touched on the role of MCA, with Najib saying that the party must become a bigger champion of the Chinese community.

Other developments:

> Najib says Umno and Barisan Nasional will allow MCA more space to highlight the needs and problems of the Chinese community.

> Dr Chua says on certain occasions MCA’s stand will be different from that of Umno’s as it needs to articulate the interest of all races, but this did not mean the party is being disloyal to Barisan Nasional.

> Dr Chua has called on the Government not to make flip-flop decisions by arbitrarily suspending the recruitment of foreign workers and also called for a minimum wage policy for certain sectors, where locals were earning less than RM700.

With all this coming from MCA, no wonder that reassurances have to be given that MCA is still loyal to BN.

Who knows, if MCA finally reforms it might do better than their dismal 2008 results:

IrrelevanceMotivat

Dennis Ignatius: Muslims Can Counter Islamophobia With Actions, Not Words

October 8, 10

Dennis Ignatius manages to undo the damage done to my opinion of him by his last article. Relevant excerpts:

Countering Islamophobia post-9/11
DIPLOMATICALLY SPEAKING
By DENNIS IGNATIUS

Taking a strong stand against extremism will do more to counter Islamophobia than anything else.

Islamophobia in America will fade quickly when Americans start hearing the voices of moderation rise from within the Islamic world.

That is why Najib’s speech was seen as so significant by his US audience; he didn’t just assert the relevant teachings of Islam concerning peace, fairness and tolerance but he also demanded that Muslims live up to them in their interactions with other nations, faiths and peoples.

The Higher Education Ministry, for its part, can best contribute to this effort not by sending its experts on Islam to America but by sending them to our own schools and institutions of higher learning, and especially into the civil service, to promote the Prime Minister’s message of moderation and tolerance.

Our politicians and senior civil servants also need to take to heart Najib’s exhortation to take the high road when it comes to managing issues of race and religion. They must be the voice of reason that he alluded to, the voice that wants to engage constructively, to cooperate rather than confront and threaten.

Makes me recall two things: How Muslims roundly condemned Geert Wilders but not the Islamic extremists he showed in Fitna, and that self-proclaimed Muslims do more to damage Islam’s reputation than ‘Islamophobes’.

And yes please, send the experts on tolerant, respectful, peace-loving Islam to the religio-fascists and politiracists back here.

But as I mentioned before, it’s pointless if they just rehash the Bush-did-9/11 and Jews-rule-world shtick that BTN speakers have been spewing for years.


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