Friday, November 28, 2014

Darwinism: The Ideology Behind Marxism and Teenage Nihilism

Where Chairman Mao and Teenage Nihilists Got Their Motivation

Nov 12, 2009

What propelled Mao Zhedong to become the biggest mass murderer in world history? Let a professor of Chinese history answer the question. James Pusey (Bucknell U), writing in Nature this week for a series on “Global Darwin,”[1] was explaining the vacuum left by the collapse of the reform movement in the early 20th century. A “group of intellectuals” found Marxism attractive. It was the fittest ideology:

"Many tried to fill it: Sun, Jiang Jieshi (Chiang Kaishek) and, finally, the small group of intellectuals who, in indignation at the betrayal at Versailles, found in Marxism what seemed to them the fittest faith on Earth to help China to survive.

"This was not, of course, all Darwin’s doing, but Darwin was involved in it all. To believe in Marxism, one had to believe in inexorable forces pushing mankind, or at least the elect, to inevitable progress, through set stages (which could, however, be skipped). One had to believe that history was a violent, hereditary class struggle (almost a ‘racial’ struggle); that the individual must be severely subordinated to the group; that an enlightened group must lead the people for their own good; that the people must not be humane to their enemies; that the forces of history assured victory to those who were right and who struggled.

"Who taught Chinese these things? Marx? Mao? No. Darwin."

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Panspermia Theory for the Origin of Life is Possible, says Russian Cleric

November 22, 2014

Boldly bridging the gap between faith and science, a Russian Orthodox Church spokesman has voiced backing for the panspermia theory of life origin, which holds that life was transported here from elsewhere in the universe.

"God could have created the world through various means," Moscow Patriarchate representative Vsevolod Chaplin was cited as saying Thursday by the TASS news agency.

"This includes the primary material contained in the bowels of a comet," Vsevolod Chaplin added.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

A Question Concerning the Knowledge of God and Orthodox Gnosiology

I received the following question via email and below that is my answer.


Father Romanides taught that when someone experiences theosis, when they experience the uncreated glory of God and His uncreated energies, then "perfection has come" and faith and hope are no longer necessary and only love remains (I Cor. 13.10). Romanides also taught that prayer of the heart is an experience in which the saint is aware of the Holy Spirit praying within them, which is an existential phenomenon and empirical for the person experiencing it.

How does his teaching relate to the following particular idea of Father Alexander Elchaninov in his book Diary of a Russian Priest?

"Those who demand proofs in order to believe are on the wrong track. Faith is a free choice; wherever there is a desire for proof, even a desire hidden from ourselves, there is no faith. The evidences of divine manifestation must not be taken as 'proofs' - this would be to degrade and nullify the great virtue of faith."

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on the Compatibility of Science and Faith

In 2010 Cafebabel interviewed Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on various contemporary topics (see here). Below is a question with the answer of His All Holiness having to do with the compatibility of science and faith:

Finally, are science and faith incompatible or simply have other recipients and content? Recently, Stephen Hawking has caused a stir with his statements that the universe could exist without the Creator. Do you regard such statements as meaningful? What is the answer of the Church?

Monday, November 3, 2014

Q & A: Why Is There No Official Orthodox Position on the Issue of Evolution and Origins?

I received the following important question in an email a few years back for which I have been given permission to reprint, along with my answer, below:


I am having difficulties with a particular issue; the issue of understanding Evolution and its place in the Eastern Orthodox Church today.

I am a "cradle" Orthodox and so my experience, through the Orthodox Church, on this topic has been that "Christ is not a decendant of monkeys/apes". I have been taught to be loyal to these matters and I have always considered it disrespectful to even want to consider Christ as an ape. In fact, Elder Paisios has boldly stated that it is "blasphemous" to think in this way (this comment can be found in his "Epistles"). I place much trust in these Saints and Elders of our Church, since I have also experienced their divine wisdom first hand and so this is the line of thinking I have comfortably adopted without questioning it using man's rational mind.

What I have come to understand is that our modern day Church is in fact divided on this matter. There are two groups, those who are compatabilist or those who are incompatabilist (cf. OrthodoxWiki for an explanation of terms).

Not dwelling on Patristics (since I am not a theologian), I can think of a modern day example of Father Seraphim Rose who holds the position of an incompatablist (ie. he does not support the idea that Christ is a descendant of a monkey).

My dilemma is, and what is eating me I suppose, why does the administrative Orthodox Church not hold a position on this matter when it is clear that many of our Saints do? Is there "room for everyone on this matter" (as a new convert boldly stated to me) when only one group can be right. In Orthodoxy (or even philosophy) there can only ever be One Truth so both groups can not be right and, like I mentioned I prefer to place my trust in divine revelation than man made proofs.

I understand from Scripture that, being challenged by the Pharisees as to whether he is from the devil or from God, that Christ announces that a house divided can not stand ... so then, why is our Orthodox church allowing itself to be divided on this topic please?

Further, for someone like myself, who places a huge trust and emphasis on the enlightened words of not just ordinary Orthodox but amazing saints like Elder Porphyrios ... am I sinning for standing up and defending Christ's image? I have been called an ideologist (which I am not).

I hope I make some sense, once upon a time the Church had no answers with regards to the Arian controversy and was divided. Then God revealed through miraculous means that there could only be "one truth" (on that matter) through miraculous means ... This topic for me IS a modern day controversy and though some people think - what does it have to do with salvation, I wonder how important it is to defend the "Tree of Life" from the "Tree of Death" (Darwinism and its variations).

Your thoughts are appreciated.