In past days I remember conversations I’ve held with friends about topics that held my attention. I once was instructed by a friend that there is no meaning when we ask the “why” questions about academic psychological inquiries. I understood the implications of this analysis, but the philosopher in me continues to ask the “why” questions even to this day. Mind you, this was back in the early nineteen-eighties when I was a psychology student and I seemed to question everything. I was thirsty for knowledge, and my studies directed me in paradigms that for me demanded further clarification. My friend whom had asserted his position was far more advanced in this field than I was, yet I seemed to be driven by a beat to a different drummer.
No matter what paradigmatic psychological school of thought you tend to follow, the basic questions I asked went beyond the psychological realm. Thus I entered into the realm of philosophy when I started to ask these types of questions. Even when I was a psychology student, the philosopher in me still thrived years before I decided to double my major in both disciplines.
I can’t really remember the exact topics at the time of this conversation, but I still remember the response of my friend to my questioning these matters that were of interest to me. Maybe this is the reason I decided to also major in Philosophy. Maybe this is also the beginning of the Skeptic in me.
Ironically I consider myself gravitating to the pragmatic philosophies of the world, yet I am still intrigued by many other differing types of philosophical thought. What stirs up a person to question their reality? Why do people become skeptical? Perhaps it is because they find conflicting information in what they see, read, and are told to believe as conditions they should except? Is it that there are fundamental issues with these assertions that contradict their notions of reliability?
However the rubber meets the road, we are still vaulted forward into discovery by our very nature of asking questions, and this is how many approach to learn about their world; by asking questions. I do not know all of the reasons that led me to become inquisitive. I only know that I am that way. I am not always inclined to act in this way, yet much of my being has an affinity with acting in this way.
There are many ancient skeptical schools of philosophy. Foundations of these schools come from India, Zen Buddhist, Chinese, and Greek schools, as well as the foundations from later Western schools of thought expressed by David Hume, René Descartes, and Immanuel Kant. I do not draw on these schools directly into their epistemological constructions as my form of skepticism is tied closer to matters associated with social pragmatic implications.
Doubt can be a useful tool. It is the basis for discovery into any assertion made. When we are told what to believe with little evidence, we can either accept it, challenge it, or dismiss it. I speak more of a way to diffuse opinion than to uncover the metaphysical and epistemological domains of human knowledge. You may think it is preposterous to live by such examinations, but sometimes it can help us achieve a better understanding of our place in this world.
I must say that before I knew anything about Skepticism, it was in my nature to ask these questions despite my intellectual foundations. Why did I ask them? Because I received information that somehow needed further explanation to understand it than to simply accept it as it was received. I was predisposed to question these types of questions. If we look further into my history, and we have demonstrated that it was not an intellectual awakening that summoned this spawn of thought, than where will we find the genesis of my disposition? Maybe the environment in which I was raised?
I was born into a family that did not quite understand the meaning of “intimacy.” The struggle to impart any kind of a healthy world view and skill of becoming a successful person in relationships, were not the best of what my parents could offer. My family had a difficult time just relating to one another my entire life, as with many families who face some of these intimacy issues. As I matured, I withdrew into my own perceptions and observations about the world as it unfolded. I was both the master and / or the slave upon which my beliefs conducted me into this brave new world. I sense that that my family’s interactive behavior had ultimately led me on a lifelong quest to find some answers to the questions that has perplexed so many of us from time to time. Due to the insatiable need that grew within me, questions began to emerge from a skepticism that was derived from the foundation of my family’s interactions and was conveyed through my own family experience. I have always loved my family and wanted closer connections, but my skills to achieve this were not yet formed.
I think this was the impetus of my approach to the world as I became the person known as me. The fundamental skeptical foundation that led me to question what I was told to see the world as it was by proxy of my family’s influence. Moreover, I did on my own accord because the information I was receiving was not satisfying my sense of the world. I had independent confirmation and differences of interpretation to how I encountered the world that was in direct conflict with what I was told. Thus the philosopher in me expressed itself into the world.
Today I am still questioning, I am still drawn to asking questions we are told about the world we live in, but not from my family’s input, rather it is from the world at large: the powers that be!
Clearly there has never been such a push for a dystopian era in past decades then our current situation worldwide. History has shown many such examples, yet we have not learned much from these as our push for a multicultural civilization is thrust upon us. Today I question multiculturalism which I argue is what globalist’s want to achieve as opposed to a multi-ethnic community that has indisputably existed around the world without massive inharmonious complications given one factor: that the multi-ethnic communities adopt the ethical foundations of the land such as the American experiment of governance among other Western Democracies.
In the historical context of the Genesis story there are 48 verses that deal with the consequences of the first temptation and the exodus from Eden which St. Augustine refers as “The Original Sin”. The questions I raise in a novel are the implications of such a story whereby my protagonist is “Human Reasoning”.
What is Satan’s Greatest Lie?
– You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of all lies.”
“Don’t lie to each other.” (Colossians 3:9)
Christians are in warfare against Satan. While it is true that Jesus defeated Satan on the cross, it is also true that Satan never ceases his attack on God’s People. In this warfare, let us look at five of Satan’s greatest lies he uses against people.
GREATEST LIE #1 – GOD WITHHOLDS GOOD THINGS FROM US
A. Genesis 3:4-5 –“‘You will not surely die, the serpent said to the woman. ‘For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’”
B. Satan tempts us to believe God’s goodness obligates Him to gratify our desires immediately, and when that does not happen, it is a sign that God does not care about us.
C. God’s plans are always for out best over the long haul, and not just for the immediate short-term.
GREATEST LIE #2 – TRUST IN THE DEITY OF SELF
A. Psalm 20:7– “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.”
B. Satan always provides a list of alternatives to choose from in place of choosing to trust in God.
Materialism . . . Things . . . Stuff
Denominational-ism . . . Religious beliefs and organizations that did not come from God.
Numbers . . . Satan tempts us to trust in numbers and not God’s provision.
1 Chronicles 21:1
– “Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census of Israel.”
5. Self . . . Self-reliance.
a. Satan wants us to fall victim to the lie of self-reliance.
–“And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”
b. God-reliance . . . Not self-reliance.
GREATEST LIE #3 – GOD’S PEOPLE WILL NEVER SUFFER
A. Matthew 16:22-23– “Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. ‘Never, Lord!’ he said. ‘This shall never happen to you!’Jesus turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.’”
B. Satan tempts us to believe nothing bad will ever happen to us as Christians. And, if something bad does happen, it is just a further sign that God is not all we believe Him to be.” Satan would have us believe that.
C. Satan’s lie sows self-pity that blooms into bitterness of heart.
1. How thankful we should be for the Book of Job.
2. Romans 8:28
– “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
GREATEST LIE #4 – MONEY BRINGS HAPPINESS
A. Matthew 4:8-9– “Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. ‘All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.’”
B. Greed will take our eyes off God.
C. Listening to Satan will short-circuit God’s plan for us.
1. Malachi 3:10
– “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.
2. God will provide things for us . . . But things will not provide God for us!
GREATEST LIE #5 – FORGIVENESS IS IMPOSSIBLE
A. Corinthians 2:7, 11– “Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow.In order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.
B. Refusal to forgive invites bitterness into our hearts.
C. Unable to forgive divides people and kills fellowship.
D. The road to forgiveness begins with remembering how much we’ve been forgiven.
E. In order to reach Heaven, not only must we be forgiven by God . . . But we must also forgive others.
– “I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”
– “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
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