Joseph Carson (
17 Jul 96 23:25:25 EDT

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#: 592252 S0/Outbox File [MAIL]
17-Jul-96 22:52:00
Sb: Re: morality
To: "Paul Arveson" >


Your reply merits further discussion, but I really want to keep it to the
practical end I have in mind - growing ASA to 50,000+ members. If I'm wrong
to want this, if most ASA'ers are opposed to this, then I'm not sure what
ASA stands for, operatively.

To grow ASA by an order of magnitude, several things need to happen:

o ASA must add more value to the average ASA'er

o ASA needs to "hitch its wagon" to some known Christian leaders or vice

o ASA must get into the news more and ASA'ers must be quoted more in both
Christian and secular press.

There are about 500,000 members of the six "founding" Engineering Societies.
How many are ASA'ers - 250? Noll's critique of ASA as found in THE SCANDAL
OF THE EVANGELICAL MIND, is too kind. I'm preaching to the choir, but
what's the story?

I mentioned gay marriages as being a current litmus test for how our society
approaches questions involving ethics. "Natural Law" didn't seem to me to
be overtly used as a guidance point of the discussion. Best I can tell,
most opposed said "they (or the people they represent) weren't ready for
it yet." No objective basis, merely chasing votes in a popularity contest.

I'm reminded of newspaper beauty contests where the winner is the one who
picks the top beauties most chosen by the other contest participants. The
winner, instead of deciding who he thinks is prettiest, bases his decision
on what he thinks the average contestant thinks. Go figure. (Sound similar
to the stock market?!)

I don't want to talk Schaeffer at this point. I'd prefer to know how many
new members you've brought into ASA and what changes, if any, are needed in
ASA for you (and the average ASA'er) to be more successful at it (read
desirous of doing the necessary work to enlist new members.)

I think connecting ASA, in some (very modest) form or fashion, to
Engineering Societies
would be very benefical to everyone involved.
I assure you, they are very hungry for new members
and to get them, they need to "add more value" to the average Society
member, who is nominally (at least) Christian.

I appreciate the feedback I've received here, but most tacitly (to me at
least) says something like "be quiet, the Christian metaphysic has no
rightful place in an Engineering Society, no matter how many members are

I feel rather estranged from my Engineering Societies right now. I think
they represent engineer employers more than engineer employees, who
constitute most of the membership. Maybe that's because Engineer Employers
pay the dues in the Societies for many of their employees, while many engineer
employers are trashing their long-term engineer employees and using the
contigent engineer to do essentially "piece work." Maybe engineers are
victims of their own success - there is no military-defense buildup on the
horizon, the country's infrastructure is essentially complete - what role

The world of work in the sciences is changing rapidly, one would think
ASA would have a
stake in it, but ASA, as best I can tell, is mute.

Donna Schnala, HEW Secretary, has a report on her desk about improving
scientific integrity in USA, including whistleblower reprisal protection to
researchers who voice reasonable concerns about fraudulent research. One
would think ASA would have a stake in it - ASA seems, again, mute.

I'm quite tall (6'6") which I mistakenly thought could equate into athletic
success in basketball in HS (and I grow up in NYC, where I had many "living
color" examples of good basketball flesh around me - the foolishness of
youth!) My coach once told me that I could be an NBA All-Star if they
changed one rule - no jumping allowed! I've played for some dog b-ball
teams and I'm been a member of some good teams (naturally I played for the
dogs, and sat on the bench for the winners, but I know the feel of both
kinds of teams.)

ASA, we have our heads down, collectively, best I can tell. What price do
we individually and collectively have to pay for ASA to assume its proper
place in the Christian and secular order? When will the SCANDAL OF THE
EVANGELICAL MIND no longer fit?

Paul, I'm not addressing this to you, specifically, you've been a source of
encouragement, prayer, and strength in my troubles at my place of employment,
but I'd like to know
what vision others have for ASA at the approach the turn of the millenium.

If I sound like I'm on a soapbox, then throw some tomatoes at me, as I don't
intend to get off it quite yet.