On June 9th, the Mentionables received the following question from Benjamin Watkins:
"What is Consciousness?"
Here are the answers from the team:
Recently, you may have heard on the news about the deaths of designer Kate Spade and renowned chef Anthony Bourdain. Suicide affects people in such a way that no other type of death does. Last year, front man of the band Linkin Park, Chester Bennington, killed himself. When it was made public, the suicide hotline received 30% more calls than normal. What goes on in the mind of someone who is contemplating suicide?
You know the good life you are seeking? Come on, you know the one. The one just around the corner. The one that only requires 1 big lottery win, the prefect spouse, accomplished children, or maybe just that next promotion. Now I think you know what I mean. We all can envision the good life that is just a little bit further away. But does this good life exist?
This post will deal with the difficult topic of depression and suicide. When I even mention that topic I’m sure we all have a few celebrity names come to mind. And for those less fortunate perhaps close friends or family have faced these struggles or given in to the darkness of suicide. Before moving forward with a Biblical look at this subject I want to clear up a couple things from a Christian perspective.
One website which wrecks the curve and offers a staggering catalogue of articles and information drawn from all over the internet is “The Poached Egg." Formerly part of the larger Ratio Christi ministry, The Egg has never failed to offer top quality articles and resources to the community, touching the lives of many. However, The Egg has recently broken free of Ratio Christi, and is in danger of becoming breakfast for good. This writer recently had the opportunity to interview the editor of The Egg, Greg West.
After the American election of 2016, the slogan of “Not My President,” was a very common. Why? Because a significant portion of the country was deeply ashamed of the candidate that had won, and wanted to disassociate themselves from him. It was understood that the words and deeds of this (or any other) president reflected upon the country and every individual calling themselves Americans.
This understanding of honor and shame through association goes a long way toward answering a festering question directed at Christendom. That question being: why would God judge me for the sin of Adam? Why am I responsible for some other person’s actions?
The argument appears to be that, because scientists are able to recognize that there are rules and systems within the universe that support one another so that the universe functions with incredible complexity and unfathomable precision, that galaxies cluster into super-galaxies, while stars orbit a central point of gravity within galaxies all held together by weak and strong atomic forces, that planets orbit the sun, the large super-giants on the outside with their strong gravitation pulling in stray matter that would otherwise bombard the inner planets, while light leaves the sun in intense radiation which diffuses enough so that when it bombards the earth, the atmosphere with its ozone and cloud cover filter out the harmful radiation while accepting the helpful radiation, that plants are then able to accept this radiation on the cellular level and transform it into stored energy, that animals are able to metabolize these greens for their energy, that these animals and plants form an incredibly complex and balanced ecosystem that adjust and stabilizes itself to change, and that humans continue through the sciences and philosophy to grasp and understand this order, that this proves that these systems do not require any sort of originator or designer.
This weekend, I got to speak in Greensboro, NC at the Mentionables Conference. This is a group of lesser known apologists but ones that are considered worth a mention. If a church cannot hire a big time name to come in, we can come in and speak at a church. Our core network consists of myself, Joel Furches, Adam Coleman, Chad Gross, and Tyler Vela. A guest joined us as well in Ben Watkins of the real atheology podcast as he was part of the debate.