We More Stupider Now?

Are we getting more stupid? Have we always been stupid? If we are stupid, how would we know if we were stupid?

As I often do, I dropped some content into a blog post so that I can find it for myself easily later. If for no one else, a blog can be written for your future self. If you’ve stumbled onto this article, enjoy.

Above, I’ve included two videos and one PDF file titled The Basic Laws of Human Stupidity written by Carlo Cipolla.

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Increases in COVID-19 are Unrelated to Levels of Vaccination, Recent Study Suggests…

About three months ago I started to hear the phrase “pandemic of the unvaccinated.” Several politicians were saying it, including Joe Biden, which means there was a memo sent down from the higher ups to the minions below (which includes Joe Biden).

A recent study is available which suggests that new cases of COVID-19 are increasing at the same rate in populations with high vaccination levels as in populations with low vaccination levels.

Of course this is just one study, and there are many variables when investigating how COVID-19 is affecting whole populations. I suggest you read the study for yourself. It is not long. The authors offer some sound advice in the “Interpretation” section of the article.

Here is the direct link to the study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8481107/

Here is the archived link to the study: https://archive.ph/tA3wC

Here is a PDF file of the study:

Let’s go Brandon!

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The Sovereignty of God and Douglas Wilson – Expanded Thoughts

Two plus two equals four. Why does 2+2=4? Because God is God. God created the universe ex nihilo. God did not consult any preexisting laws or rules before creating. God did not consult any preexisting law of mathematics in order to discover what kind of universe He could create. The only thing God consulted and had to conform to when creating was Himself (see John 1:3 and Hebrews 1:2). Therefore, 2+2=4 because the very nature of God demands that it does. Two plus two equals four because “I AM WHO I AM” (Exodus 3:14).

Because God created ex nihilo, the universe is a reflection of His nature and character. There is nothing outside of God which influenced creation. Evil then, is either a reflection of God’s nature and character, or a deprivation of it. God’s word tells us that God is good (Psalm 25:8, 27:13, 31:19-20, 33:5, 34:8, 86:5, 100:5, 107:1, 8-9, 135:3, 145:5-9 — and that’s just some of the Psalms. There are many verses throughout the bible declaring God’s goodness.) Nowhere in the bible do we get a sense that God is evil or acts out in evil ways. Even a verse like Isaiah 45:7 is not saying God created evil as the devil would do evil, rather the evil (or calamity) there is a judgment from a good and just God against demonic and human evil.

In Doug Wilson’s video, he tries to reconcile God’s predestining of all humanity’s actions with human freedom. God has the sovereign power to predestine all a man’s choices while at the same time giving that man freedom to make uncoerced decisions. This is not a contradiction according to Wilson and the Westminster Confession because…. well just because. Wilson actually does not say anything to support this claim in the video. He simply declares it as truth. According to Wilson there is an infinite divide between Creator and creature, and as God is not a part of the universe, He is not displacing the freedom of man by imposing His will on man. Wilson does try to use Jeremiah 18:5-6 to support his idea, but as I show in my last article, that does not work.

It is true that the divide between Creator and creature is infinite, but it is not true that truth itself changes from one side of the divide to the other. Two plus two equals four, and that is true on the Creator side of the divide and the creature side. It is true on the creature side because it is first true on the Creator side. Evil is evil, good is good, on both sides of the divide. If a man freely chooses to rape a woman on the creature side of reality, it is evil. If God freely predestined the man to rape a woman from eternity past, it is still evil. To suggest that God is doing something good when He predestines the free and evil acts of men is to suggest that good is not the same thing on both sides of the Creator/creature divide.

Read the bible as a whole. What you see is God calling out to His people, to turn to Him, to repent of their evil, to trust in His salvation. Never do you get the sense that God has already predestined some to reprobation and others to salvation. Again, I am no Arminian. I agree with Wilson that we lost our moral freedom at the fall. No one is free-willing themselves into heaven. But the Calvinist understanding of God’s sovereignty is an equally false idea.

Read the first part of this subject here.

Related reading: Calvinism is Pantheism

The Sovereignty of God and Douglas Wilson

I recently came across a certain video by Douglas Wilson. It is a video about the sovereignty of God. I like Douglas Wilson – I like his eschatology, and I like his politics (mostly). I’ve read several of his books. His writings on the family are excellent. Wilson is also a Calvinist, and that is where I disagree with him, along with his definition of God’s sovereignty.

Calvinists define sovereignty in a way which seems to be unique to Calvinists. The definition goes something like this: All that happens in this universe happens because God ordained for it to happen exactly as it happens. This can get confusing. If God knows the future of an uncreated universe to the smallest detail, and then creates that universe, He automatically ordains, or predestines, all those future events to happen simply by creating. He may not like any of those events, but still allows them to happen. This could be called a negative predestination through allowance. Some Calvinists would be satisfied with this definition.

With Wilson, however, God positively predestines all events in creation just as an author of a play writes out all the actions of his characters. You bought a cookie dough flavored ice cream cone on Saturday, and you were predestined to do that from before the creation of the worlds. However, according to Wilson, you still bought that ice cream cone freely. You were not coerced against your will to do so.

How can a man be free when all of his actions have been predestined by God before the man even existed? If God is forcing His will on the man, does that not displace the will of the man? Yes, but only if God Himself is confined to and a part of the created universe. When one resident of the universe forces his will on another resident, the freedom of the forced is displaced by the enforcer. But since God is not a part of the universe, and the divide between creation and the Creator is infinite, God can predestine the actions of a man while not displacing that man’s freedom in making those decisions. God, being God creating ex nihilo (not god creating while confined to preexisting conditions), does indeed have the power to ordain all of a man’s actions while also ordaining that same man’s freedom. Make sense? You can watch Wilson’s video to hear a more detailed explanation.

Wilson also distinguishes between man’s creaturely freedom (Should I have pasta for dinner, or steak?) and moral freedom (Should I do evil or not?) We all still have our creaturely freedom, but we lost our moral freedom at the fall.

Is Wilson’s explanation of God’s sovereignty correct? He quotes Jeremiah 18:5-6… Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying: “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter?” says the Lord. “Look, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel! (NKJV) Just as the potter does with the clay, so does the author with the play. Wilson acknowledges that his analogy of the author and his play is insufficient when comparing God to mankind. He counters that by stating that God is not a part of creation as a human author and the characters in his play are part of the same creation, and that God is powerful and can predestine the actions of His characters while not violating their freedoms.

Wilson considers his author/play analogy to be the same as Jeremiah’s potter/clay analogy. But they are not the same. In Jeremiah God is very much acting as a character within His creation. Jeremiah’s verse has nothing to do with God predestining the actions of Israel from before time. Read verse seven and following. God is warning Israel: If a nation is evil, God will destroy it, and if that nation repents God will not destroy it. There is nothing there about God acting as a predestining playwright deciding the actions of His characters from the infinite divide of Creator/creature. God is in the “story”, sword in hand, giving His creatures a choice. Wilson states in his video (at 12:06) that the potter/clay analogy breaks down and cannot fully capture the Creator/creature divide, but since the Jeremiah passage is not about God predestining the supposed free actions of Israel, Wilson is eisegetically infusing his own philosophy into the passage. (As all Calvinists do with this passage. You can blame their misreading of Romans 9 for that.)

Wilson has little to say about the character of God and how that fits into his definition of God’s sovereignty. He only quotes the Westminster Confession of Faith, as though that is any kind of authority (well, it is for Calvinists). It says: God from all eternity did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass: yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin, nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established. (WCF 3.1) Now, if God ordains by negative allowance (see second paragraph above), He is not the author of sin. But, if God ordains by positive predestination, He is the author of sin. If God positively predestines a rapist to freely rape, God authored that rape. The infinite divide between Creator and creature is not sufficient to refute this logical fact. Two plus two equals four on both sides of the divide after all. And, if God authored the rape, he authored the evil act. If God authors evil acts, He is evil, or at least He transcends evil (and subsequently also transcends goodness) which is no different than being evil. I feel as though I am blaspheming in even writing this. I can go along pretty far with Calvinism, but this is where I turn in disgust. God is light and in Him is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5).

I am no Arminianist. Arminianism seriously calls into question the power of God. I will probably write an article about that sometime in the future (I’ve kind of touched on it here). But just as Arminianism calls into question the power of God, Calvinism calls into question the goodness of God. I have written a couple of articles about Calvinism here and here.

This article might be part one on Wilson’s video. If I have more thoughts on it I might do a part two. And I encourage you to take the time to watch Doug Wilson’s video.

The truth transcends Calvinism and Arminianism. Let us look forward to the glorious day when we can leave behind our inadequate theologies.

Related reading: Sovereignty