Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Did Moses Copy The Law From The Code Of Hammurabi?

Both Levitical law and Hammurabi’s Code impose the death penalty in cases of adultery and kidnapping (Leviticus 20:10; Exodus 21:16; cf. Statutes 129 and 14). Also, there are similarities in the law of retaliation, such as “an eye for an eye” (Leviticus 21:23-25; cf. Statute 196). Statute 206 of the Hammurabian Code says, “If during a quarrel one man strike another and wound him, then he shall swear, ‘I did not injure him wittingly,’ and pay the physicians.” The Law of Moses is comparable: “If people quarrel and one person hits another with a stone or with their fist and the victim does not die but is confined to bed, the one who struck the blow will not be held liable if the other can get up and walk around outside with a staff; however, the guilty party must pay the injured person for any loss of time and see that the victim is completely healed” (Exodus 21:18-19).

There are other examples, but in all truth, such resemblances do not demonstrate that Moses plagiarized Hammurabi’s Code. What the similarities do show is that murder, theft, adultery, and kidnapping are problems in every society and must be addressed. Even today, countries throughout the world have similar laws. Such parallels certainly don’t prove plagiarism.

Similarity in penal codes should be expected in civil societies. Both Babylon and Israel had laws against murder, but it doesn’t follow that one stole the idea from the other. Should one country not prosecute a crime simply because another country has a similar law?

The differences between Mosaic Law and the Hammurabian Code are equally significant. For example, the Law of Moses went far beyond the Code of Hammurabi in that it was rooted in the worship of one God, supreme over all (Deuteronomy 6:4-5). The moral principles of the Old Testament are based on a righteous God who demanded that mankind, created in His image, live righteously. The Law of Moses is more than a legal code; it speaks of sin and responsibility to God. The Hammurabian Code and other ancient laws do not do this.

The Code of Hammurabi focused exclusively on criminal and civil laws and meted out harsh, and sometimes brutal, punishments. In this way, Hammurabi has more in common with Draco than with Moses. The Law of Moses provided justice, but it also dealt with spiritual laws and personal and national holiness. As a result, the Mosaic Law dealt with the cause of crime, not just its effects. The Mosaic Law elevates the value of human life, and its whole tenor is more compassionate than that of the Hammurabian Code. The spiritual dimension is what makes the Law of Moses unique.

In his book Highlights of Archaeology in Bible Lands, Fred Wight writes, “The Mosaic Law gives strong emphasis to the recognition of sin as being the cause of the downfall of a nation. Such a thought is entirely lacking in Hammurabi’s Code. . . . The great fundamental principle of the laws of God in the Hebrew Bible may be summed up in the words: ‘Be ye holy, for I am holy’ [Leviticus 11:45]. Such a principle as this was utterly unknown to the Babylonians as seen in their law code.”

There is a dramatic difference in perspective between Hammurabi and Moses. One’s focus is horizontal, while the other’s is vertical. Archaeologist Alfred Hoerth, author of Archaeology and the Old Testament, says, “The Old Testament law code is religiously oriented, while others are civil. The Mesopotamians believed the god Shamash gave Hammurabi his law code so people could get along with one another. In the Bible, the law code was given primarily so people could get along with God.”

This is what sets the Mosaic Law apart from all the other law codes of antiquity: its strong emphasis on spiritual matters. The closest the Hammurabian Code comes to effect such spirituality is its proclamation that those who stole from the gods would be put to death. Unlike the Mosaic Law, Hammurabi’s Code had no provision for forgiveness.

The theory that Moses’ Law is simply a rewording of Hammurabi’s has largely been abandoned today, due to the fact that similar law codes, even older than Hammurabi’s, have been found in various other places. These would include the Cuneiform laws, written as early as 2350 B.C.; the Code of Urukagina, 2380 B.C.; the Code of Ur-Nammu, 2050 B.C.; and others.

Most critics accede to the fact that the Babylonian laws were probably well-known to the Hebrews of Moses’ day. When God communicated His Law, He used language that the Israelites were already familiar with, and this would explain similar wording for similar laws.

https://www.gotquestions.org/Moses-Hammurabi-code.html

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

A Lesson From The Book Of Micah

  • God's Words Exhorts Us To Obey His Commandments:
          -"He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good: and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God." (Micah 6:8)
  • Commentary on The Text Of Micah 6:8:
          -From this text of Scripture, we learn that God anticipates authentic transformation of the human heart from a previous state of transgression. This is externally revealed through sound conduct and language. The people who truly love God will by His grace conform themselves to fit His divine will. Micah 6:8 instructs us to change ourselves inwardly, outwardly, and upwardly. "To do justly" means to treat our neighbors in a righteous manner. "To love mercy" presupposes personal devotion to the precepts of God which thereby offers vindication of our profession to know, love, and serve Him. The phrase "to walk humbly with thy God" necessarily denotes having the proper desire to serve Him. This passage from the Book of Micah indicates that our earthly walk is evidence of what is taking place in us spiritually. We must worship Him in truth.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Thought-Provoking Quote From Sherlock Holmes

“Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.” 

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Sign of the Four

This saying about remaining unbiased when searching for truth is valuable, especially when applied to contexts in which atheists go to great lengths to deny the existence of the miraculous.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

What Is The Relationship Between Doubt And Certainty?

        Certainty entails knowing beyond a reasonable doubt that something is the case or reliable. Doubt is the exact opposite, involving that which is vague or unclear. We need to doubt in order to obtain certainty.

        Discernment is the process of investigating presented options in any given scenario by eliminating all other possible choices to reach a final verdict on that which best corresponds with goodness and truth.

        If we learn to discern correctly, then we have a foundation on which to build in life. Things will have purpose and light.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Science And Underlying Philosophical Presuppositions

"Supporting the paradigm may even require what in other contexts would be called deception. As Niles Eldredge candidly admitted, “We paleontologists have said that the history of life supports [the story of gradual adaptive change], all the while knowing it does not.” Eldredge explained that this pattern of misrepresentation occurred because of “the certainty so characteristic of evolutionary ranks since the late 1940s, the utter assurance not only that natural selection operates in nature, but that we know precisely how it works.” This certainty produced a degree of dogmatism that Eldredge says resulted in the relegation of paleontologists to the “lunatic fringe” who reported that “they saw something out of kilter between contemporary evolutionary theory, on the one hand, and patterns of change in the fossil record on the other.” Under the circumstances, prudent paleontologists understandably swallowed their doubts and supported the ruling ideology. To abandon the paradigm would be to abandon the scientific community; to ignore the paradigm and just gather the facts would be to earn the demeaning label of “stamp collector” (i.e., one who does not theorize)."

Phillip E. Johnson, Objections Sustained, p. 25

Friday, September 15, 2017

A Biblical Presentation On Penal Substitutionary Atonement

  • Defining Vicarious Atonement:
          -Vicarious Atonement, which is also known as substitutionary atonement, means that Jesus Christ died in our place for sin. He bore the punishment of God's wrath that we deserve. He suffered in our place. He paid an infinite debt that we could never pay. The one sacrifice of Christ was a perfect, eternal sacrifice which satisfied God's wrath and righteousness. Justification is not by works of righteousness, but by faith in His work (Romans 3:27-28).
  • We Are Declared Righteous Through The Righteousness Of Jesus Christ:
          -"The gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand the free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification." (Romans 5:16)
          -"For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous." (Romans 5:19)
  • We Are Justified By An Alien Righteousness, That Is, The Righteousness Of God:
          -"But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile." (Romans 3:21-22)
          -"Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness." (Romans 10:3)
          -"What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ-the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith." (Philippians 3:8-9)
  • Jesus Christ Became Righteousness On Our Behalf Through His Atonement Sacrifice:
          -"It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God-that is, our righteousness, holiness, and redemption." (1 Corinthians 1:30)
          -It is worth noting in this text how the Apostle Paul distinguishes between "righteousness" and "sanctification."
  • Jesus Christ Bore The Punishment Of Sin On Our Behalf:
          -"Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: 'Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree." (Galatians 3:13)
  • Our Righteousness Is Based On The Righteousness Of God:
          -"Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord,“When I will raise up for David a righteous Branch; and He will reign as king and act wisely and do justice and righteousness in the land. “In His days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely; and this is His name by which He will be called, ‘The Lord our righteousness." (Jeremiah 23:5-6)
          -"In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will dwell in safety; and this is the name by which she will be called: the Lord is our righteousness." (Jeremiah 33:16)
  • The Offering Of Jesus Christ, Which Perfects Those Who Are Being Sanctified, Logically Entails Him Making Atonement For Sin In Our Place: 
          -"And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God. Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool, because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy." (Hebrews 10:10-14)

Monday, September 4, 2017

Roman Catholic Apologists And Circular Reasoning

  • Defining The Issues: 
          -Following are comments from a brief exchange with a Catholic apologist who goes by the name of De Maria on the issue of Sola Scriptura and defining the Trinity alongside with a critique of my own:

          "...that Sacred Tradition came before the New Testament. And this Sacred Tradition was passed down by Christ, through His Church. All you have for your side is denial of the truth (Matthew 28:16-20)."

           Sola Scriptura is not a denial that the New Testament Scriptures were originally taught orally.

          The problem here is that De Maria is unable to come up with a spiritual standard which judges the validity of "Sacred Tradition," apart from the say-so of the Bishop of Rome (circular reasoning). How does he know that the pope possesses the gift of infallibility?

          "On the contrary, the infallible authority of the Catholic Church is proven by Scripture. You can object all that you want, but Scripture doesn't advise us to go to Scripture alone to learn the Faith of Jesus Christ (Hebrews 13:7)..."

          In what manner does Scripture support the alleged infallible authority of the Catholic Church, apart from the interpretations of Scripture which Rome commands its members to use when questioned about their faith (circular reasoning)?

          How can we submit to leaders in God's church, if we do not have an established standard to judge the validity of their claims? Even Mormons could cite Hebrews 13:7 in telling us to submit to their leadership. 

          Even granting the premise that the Bible does not tell us to adhere to the Scriptures alone to learn the Faith of Jesus Christ, the principle of Sola Scriptura would still kick in by default because Scripture does not tell us to adhere to any other rule of faith as a means of testing doctrine. The only thing that the Bible calls "God-breathed" is itself (2 Timothy 3:16).

          "No, Jesse. The Teachings of Scripture reflect Apostolic Tradition. Apostolic Tradition came first. The New Testament was written based upon the Teachings of Jesus Christ. Not the other way around."

          How can we know with any degree of certainty which oral traditions are inspired (not because the "pope said so")?

          "No one said the relationship was supplementary. That is your straw man argument."

          Who is De Maria to affirm that the material sufficiency view is the *official* position of the Roman Catholic Church? Consider these excerpts from Catholic sources:

          “. . . the Church, to whom the transmission and interpretation of Revelation is entrusted, does not derive her certainty about all revealed truths from the Holy Scriptures alone. Both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honored with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence.” (CCC # 82)

          "Now the Scriptures alone do not contain all the truths which a Christian is bound to believe, nor do they explicitly enjoin all the duties which he is obliged to practice." (James Gibbons, The Faith of Our Fathers, p. 72)

          "...oral revelation serves as an additional source of revelation alongside the written word” (Robert Sungenis, Not By Scripture Alone, p. 126)

          Since De Maria is not the pope of the Roman Catholic Church, his charge of me making a straw man argument has been refuted.

          "On the contrary, the New Testament records the customs, Traditions and Doctrines that were already in place. Here's a very simple proof. Answer this question and don't ignore it. Was the Doctrine of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ written before or after Christ was resurrected? Answer it, Jesse. Don't ignore it. Because it is obvious from the Gospels, that Jesus Christ taught His Resurrection long before it was ever written down."

          Nobody denies that the New Testament teachings (for example, the resurrection) were originally taught orally, but aspects of the redemptive work of Christ were already prefigured in the Old Testament (Isaiah 53). The Gospel in its entirety has been accurately preserved and recorded into the New Testament (1 Corinthians 15:1-8). The problem here is that Roman Catholics are unable to come up with a spiritual standard that judges the validity of "Sacred Tradition," apart from the say-so of the pope, which is circular reasoning.

          "ON the contrary, it is you who is guilty of circular thinking. Your entire process is, "because the bible tells me so." But the Catholic Church goes by the true Bible Teaching. Which is, because we know from Tradition and Scripture (1 Corinthians 11:2; 2 Thessalonians 2:15; 3:6)."

          The charge of Sola Scriptura being circular reasoning is false, and has already been addressed in this article:

          https://rationalchristiandiscernment.blogspot.com/2017/02/is-sola-scriptura-based-on-circular.html

          The ultimate argument offered by the Roman Catholic Church is that we must accept the canon of Scripture because it said so. But how can we even know that the Roman Catholic Church (or its interpretations of Scripture) are infallible (apart from the occupation of circular reasoning)?

          "Because Christ appointed the Catholic Church as the Teacher of His Doctrines...Our Church is infallible because Jesus Christ said so (Matthew 16:18)...."

          In reality, De Maria is simply making a circular argument off the text of Matthew 16:18 by resorting to the Roman Catholic Church's interpretation of that scriptural text. How can we know which oral traditions are of divine inspiration?

        "You are simply ungrateful about the fact that it is from the Catholic Church that you learned all that you know about the Holy Trinity."

          The Council of Nicaea simply submitted itself to the supreme authority of Scripture as it defined the doctrine of the Trinity.

          Why should we bother with submitting to the "Holy See" when people like De Maria invest time into didactically lecturing us on the official Church doctrine? How can he prejudge me as being ungrateful for anything?

          "And of course, your entitled to your opinion. But I have proven that your opinion, is false."

          De Maria's arguments fall short of anything but proof. There is no way for the Papacy to circumvent the charge of circularity in its reasoning processes.

          Karl Keating, in his book titled Catholicism and Fundamentalism, posits that the Roman Catholic Church does not argue in a circular fashion, but instead uses "spiral reasoning." But his attempt at rebuttal does not work for the reason that it itself is an instance of begging the question.

           The Roman Catholic Church claims that only it can correctly interpret the Bible. In other words, the Church's interpretations of Scripture are correct because it declares them to be such. How circular that must be, especially when we are not allowed to examine the truthfulness of that particular religious organization's claims for ourselves!

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Interaction With The Synoptic Problem

  • Why Do The Four Gospels Contain Differences?:
          -The reasons for the differences between the gospel accounts is not that they disapproved of each other's content. Rather, they were writing with a slightly different theological emphasis or intended audience. Matthew, for example, wrote mostly to Jews. Luke is more accessible to Gentiles. There were differences in reporting, which is only natural for reporters as they have biases and different perspectives. There were different points of emphasis. There is nothing wrong with choosing not to include certain content. John himself wrote, "And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that should be written” (John 21:25). The point is that Jesus Christ did many things and all the gospel writers chose to include certain details and not others. That point in no way harms inerrancy or even the general reliability of the gospels. If the material of the four gospels was fabrication, then we should expect very few dissimilarities at all.
  • The Gospel According To Matthew: 
          -The Gospel of Matthew was written for the purpose of convincing the Jews that Jesus Christ is their promised Messiah and legitimate King. Matthew's narrative contains more quotations from the Old Testament demonstrating how Jesus fulfilled Old Covenant prophecies than any of the other three gospel accounts. It also traces His ancestral lineage from King David. In addition, Matthew utilizes language from the Old Testament that the Jewish people would have been more comfortable with hearing. For example, he describes God as the "living God" in Matthew 16:18.
  • The Gospel According To Mark:
          -The Gospel of Mark was originally directed to Gentile Christians, most particularly those who were thriving in the midst of persecution under the Roman Empire. Terms such as "census" (Mark 12:14) and "denarius" (Mark 12:15) are consistent with such an audience. This short biographical narrative of our Lord Jesus Christ was written for the purposes of building up the faith of fellow brethren and teaching what it really means to be a a disciple. In this narrative, Christ seemingly keeps His true identity hidden and reveals Himself as the Son of Man. His character is a point of consideration. Peter's confession of faith was also emphasized (Mark 8:27-9:1). Tradition has it that Mark was a companion of the Apostle Peter and wrote a narrative based on his eyewitness testimony. He was reputed by Paul to be of benefit in ministry (Colossians 4:10).
  • The Gospel According To Luke:
          -The Gospel of Luke strives to bring into light "all that Jesus began to do and teach" (Acts 1:1-2). It was intended to be an accurate, organized narrative that gives readers certainty regarding the teachings of and events concerning our Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 1:1-4). The composition is concise and the Greek is of superior quality. Moreover, this book oftentimes records details that were omitted in the other gospel narratives. Consider, for example, the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). This chronicle which was authored by a Gentile physician and historian named Luke presents Christ as showing compassion to all people of different societal classes. This gospel places a special emphasis on woman that is unique for its time. It has been reputed by some to be the most beautiful work ever written. "The ancient opinion, that Luke wrote his Gospel under the influence of Paul, rests on the authority of Irenaeus, Tertullian, Origen, and Eusebius. The two first assert that we have in Luke the Gospel preached by Paul ; Origen calls it " the Gospel quoted by Paul," alluding to Rom. ii.16; and Eusebius refers Paul's words, "according to my Gospel" (2 Tim. ii. 8), to that of Luke, in which Jerome concurs. The language of the preface is against the notion of any exclusive influence of St. Paul. The four verses could not have been put at the head of a history composed under the exclusive guidance of Paul or of any one apostle, and as little could they have introduced a gospel simply communicated by another." (William Smith, A Dictionary Of the Bible Comprising Its Antiquities, Biography, Geography, and Natural History, p. 492)
  • The Gospel According To John:
          -Rather than providing us with a chronological listing of the major events that took place during the earthly life of Jesus Christ, the purpose of the Gospel of John is to reinforce His divinity. It speaks of Christ as the eternal Logos who took on flesh and dwelt among us (John 1). Moreover, this particular narrative was written to build up faith through the recording of His miracles (John 20:30-31). The Gospel according to John occupies metaphors such as "bread of life," "born again," and "living water," none of which can be found in the other three gospels. In summary, this book has been reputed by many to be the "evangelistic gospel." It is very much distinct from the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke)

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Praying To Departed Saints Is Unbiblical

  • Introduction: 
          -The Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox, and certain Lutherans and Anglicans believe that we can pray to and receive help from certain saints (and even angels) in heaven. In other words, these professing Christians maintain that God has enabled heavenly figures to intercede on our behalf before God in heaven and offer assistance for nearly every aspect of human life.
  • A Practice That Is Not Consistent With The Biblical Pattern Of Prayer:
          -Throughout Scripture, there are literally dozens of references to prayer (Matthew 6:6-14; Mark 14:32-42; Luke 11:1-4; John 14:14; John 17; Psalm 25; 2 Samuel 7:18-29; 1 Kings 8; Colossians 3:16-17; Acts 7:51-58; James 1:5-6; Romans 10:1; 15:30; etc.), and all were directed to Him alone. Furthermore, the theme of the Bible is trusting in God alone (Matthew 6:25-34; Jeremiah 33:3; Isaiah 48:17-18; Psalm 23; 50:15; 71:1; 91:15; Joshua 1:1-6; Ephesians 5:19-20; John 16:23; 1 Corinthians 10:31; etc.). We have no examples in the Bible of calling on entities other than God, with the exception being pagans. We never see God approving of the practice of praying to departed saints. Instead, we are told that God is a jealous God (Exodus 20:4-5; Deuteronomy 24:4; Nahum 1:2). He will tolerate no idolatry. If we are going to be consistent with the principles of Scripture (which we ought to be), then we are forced to conclude that all prayer and religious devotion belongs to God alone.
  • Can Believers In Heaven Really Hear Us?:
          -It is impossible for finite beings with inherently limited abilities to simultaneously hear the requests of every person around the world in different languages. Only deity can perform such tasks. If saints are able to answer our prayers, then the uniqueness of God has been compromised and the self-sufficiency of Christ's work diminished. Notice that in Scripture, all occasions involving two-way communication between or among beings from heaven (with the exception, or course, being God) and earth required the creations to be in the same realm (earth on earth communication), rather than being in two separate realms (heaven to earth contact is never found in Scripture for mere finite beings). Consider the examples of the Announcement of the Birth of Jesus Christ and the Transfiguration. This is perhaps the clearest indication from Scripture that saints who are in heaven are incapable of receiving prayers from earth.
  • Unnecessary Assistance:
          -We do not need any support from Mary and the saints in heaven because Jesus Christ always intercedes for our prayer requests and is able to rescue sinners from eternal condemnation in hell (Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25). His intercession alone is sufficient. Moreover, the Holy Spirit gives us the strength that we need during our times of spiritual weakness and also intercedes on our behalf (Romans 8:26). We can approach God with "boldness" and "confidence" as a result of our trust in the Person and work of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 3:12; Hebrews 4:14-16). Only God knows all of the thoughts and intentions of the human heart (1 Kings 8:37-39; 2 Chronicles 6:30). Consequently, praying to saints in heaven to grant our prayer requests is pointless because they do not have the same abilities that God has.
  • Why The Charge That Roman Catholics Are Guilty Of Necromancy Is Correct:
          -The Church of Rome is known for its continuous engagement with the souls of people who died in centuries past. Roman Catholic Churches across the globe boldly display dressed up corpses in clear glass cases. In fact, they even go as far as to publicly display individual organs and bones in the same manner. This has been done with pride by the leadership of Roman Catholicism. Annually, millions of Catholics go to behold various corpses, some of which have been called "incorruptible saints." Some bow down before these cadavers, kiss on them, pray to them, and give them many other forms of adoration. There are Catholic churches that display thousands of human remains. Such activity clearly resembles worship and has been found in the occult. However, God expressly commanded the Jews to not have any sort of contact with spirits who have departed into the supernatural realm (Deuteronomy 18:9-14; 26:13-14 Leviticus 19:31; 20:26-27; Isaiah 8:19; 19:1-4). There is no indication of the Prophet Samuel being pleased with Saul when he managed to get into contact with him after his physical death (1 Samuel 28:6-11; 1 Chronicles 10:9-14). What Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox prayers to departed saints have in common with pagan prayers to the deceased is this: personal communication. That is condemned in the Law. This is the underlying reason that we correctly lay the charge that the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches are guilty of necromancy. There are no prayers for, to, or through the dead.

Friday, September 1, 2017

A Critical Analysis Of George Orwell's Book "1984"

        In the fictional novel titled 1984 by George Orwell, who himself was an agnostic, describes a human civilization across the globe that was utterly suppressed by totalitarian dictatorships. The setting of this book is reputed to have taken place during the early to mid-nineteen eighties, with the main character being named Winston Smith. According to this story, all countries were amalgamated into three separate super states which are known to the readers as Oceania, Eurasia, and Eastasia through a global revolution against capitalism. In other words, all citizens dwelling in the three large provinces mentioned in 1984 were subjugated to the authority of communist tyrants who controlled every aspect of life within their own territorial jurisdictions. In the novel, innocent people were executed for practically any facial expression, thought, word, or deed that implied any sense of contrariety to the ideological views of the government. Retaliation was not in any way tolerated. The underlying message of George Orwell’s book 1984 concerns the dangers of totalitarianism, propaganda, historical revisionism, and undermining the traditional meaning of words and central aspects of reality.

        What the author of the novel endeavored to accomplish was to proliferate warnings concerning the establishment of communist governments, and the inevitable consequences that we must endure if we fail to defend our morals and values. In the book, a hierarchical brotherhood controls all facets of human life, including what the average citizen can own and even food consumption. The average person in the book is described as being absolutely careless, dull, ignorant, and mentally conditioned. We even see the installation of modern technology into homes so that people can be monitored constantly. The government in the negative utopia called 1984 has arrogated itself to being in a position of an infallible arbitrator of truth. As a matter of fact, the “Big Brother” ordered the revision of history so that he could be presented as not being liable to error. Any photo, textbook, or other forms of documentary evidence that could prove fatal to the falsehoods taught by the governmental cult described in this novel were incinerated by the external members of the party, for history was perceived as being an amorphous, malleable means for spreading communist indoctrination. In the novel 1984, the government was pushing for the abandonment of fundamental scientific laws, a largely reduced selection of vocabulary words in dictionaries (transition from the languages of “Oldspeak” to “Newspeak”), and for the termination of human consciousness. Natural pleasures, desires, emotions, affirming the existence of objective, external truths, and all forms of independent thinking were strictly forbidden by the government. In the novel, we see the regulation of personal property and using fear to ensure the obedience of citizens. The concept of “double-thinking” was also practiced by the government and was forced upon all the citizens. In short, George Orwell has done an excellent job in revealing how the structure of humanity can be manipulated in through coercion by corrupt authority figures.

        Although George Orwell wrote his book 1984 back in the year 1949, the nightmarish vision of our future forewarned by the novel has become more realistic and probable throughout the centuries. Today, any honest observer can readily see that most people in America have been brainwashed by the falsified news stories that the press allows to circulate in our media. Consequently, many people have a terribly misguided understanding of what is really taking place in our world. The issues that people really need to be dealing with are the inconceivably high death tolls from religious persecution, wars, malnutrition because of inadequate food supply, and the global pollution from heartless industries, not celebrities who are in reality just ordinary people who want to make us financially and intellectually bankrupt. Additionally, technology has enabled our governments to disenfranchise our right to privacy though our computers, television sets, and our cell phones. The development of moral relativism in the secular world is another sure sign of the depravity of the human heart. We now live in a society that denies the existence of absolute truths. Indeed, many have chosen to make decisions on the basis of feelings, not in accordance to facts and reason. The spread of ideologies has led up to the redefining of concepts such as gender, marriage, life, rights, tolerance, happiness, and what constitutes freedom. There are even people who are foolish enough to deny well documented facts of history such as the Holocaust. Many people do not even have solid moral worldviews for the simple reason that they have knowingly excluded the biblical principles from their lives. Our elementary schools, colleges, and universities teach our students how to think, rather than encourage people to develop critical thinking skills. Thus, the notion of independent thinking has already become unpopular and scare. The technological development of thermonuclear warfare during the time period of World War Two and the advanced nuclear warfare that is now available to our militaries is so powerful that mankind could end up destroying itself. Never underestimate the power of stupidity.

        We need to realize that the notion of a totalitarian government is unworkable. In the novel, we see that an authoritarian hierarchy was only dedicated to advancing its own personal agendas and to inflicting pain on the common people. Unlike previous dictatorships, this one did not even try to claim being a caretaker of its citizens. On the contrary, implementing this mindset of abuse would never be workable for the simple reason that it would place people into a relentless state of fear, anxiety, and anguish. It would only enhance rebellion against already established authoritative standards (the romance affair between the main character Winston and an inner party member named Julia). The natural psychological pattern of the human mind operates on principles of freedom and dignity. Our free will, emotions, intellect, reason, and consciousness are fundamental components of our makeup. It is not as though we are able to instinctively bear the extinction of these basic human necessities, for a human life cannot cease to be human. Moreover, to alter the original content and meaning of things makes possessing certainty and our ability to make judgments impossible. It utterly destroys the concept of knowledge. We should not be making political orthodoxy a priority over ethical principles. We would do best to adhere to George Orwell’s warning concerning the formation of authoritarian governments, lest we find ourselves suffering in the same manner as did the hypothetical civilization in the book 1984.

        We learn from George Orwell’s book titled 1984 that we must persevere in defending our rights, liberties, and freedoms against corrupt powers that wish to abolish them. It serves as a warning against corrupt individuals who desire to control every facet of our lives. In fact, the prophetic nature of this fictional work has become more of a reality as time progresses. Ideologies that infringe on the rights and dignity of other people simply cannot be tolerated. It would be wise to call into remembrance this famous passage from the Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among men, deriving their powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of Government becomes destructive of those ends, it is the right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government…”