Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Abortion Stimulates Economy? The Lunacy of the Left.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was recently asked pointed questions by George Stephanopoulos about the congressional move which allocates substantial funds to birth control clinics (read: abortuaries) as part of the economic stimulus package (See article).  She defended this by stating that “ . . . family planning services reduce cost. They reduce cost. The states are in terrible fiscal budget crises now and part of what we do for children's health, education and some of those elements are to help the states meet their financial needs. One of those - one of the initiatives you mentioned, the contraception, will reduce costs to the states and to the federal government.”

This is insane.  It should terrify you that this woman is third in line to lead this country, should the President and vice-president meet an untimely demise.  This single statement reveals an underlying set of assumptions and a mindset that is totally incompatible with reality, and the American way of life.

The justifying assumption for this statement is that babies are an economic drain on the government.  They are wards of the state, and a liability to the state.  State resources which could be better spent stimulating the economy would be spent on taking care of babies and children, from which no return would be realized.  By spending money to actively discourage and prevent these births, in Speaker Pelosi’s twisted logic, we would save the state money in the long run.

There are so many logical errors here, it’s difficult to know where to begin.  Most of us just stand in slack-jawed amazement that anyone could be so phenomenally idiotic with such a straight face.

In the first place, Pelosi’s assumption that the government is responsible for the care of children is in error.  This sort of intrusive governmental assumption of responsibility promotes an abdication of personal responsibility on the part of the individual citizen.  Once upon a time in this great country, unwed pregnancies were a scandal.  Women went to great pains to avoid this condition, because of the harsh personal economic consequences of trying to raise a baby alone.  Yes there were back-alley abortions, but they were exceptional.  There was a social stigma associated with unwed pregnancies.  Unwed pregnancies today should still be a scandal, but for different reasons.  The availability of preventative birth control, coupled with the level of education and empowerment on the part of single women should easily be enough for any woman to exercise her libido without worrying about the consequences of becoming pregnant.  It’s simply irresponsible for any woman to need to resort to an abortion to terminate an unwanted pregnancy.

The government has absolved the unwed mother of responsibility for providing for her unwanted children, by ensuring that she receive welfare funds from the public treasury to care for the child.  Again, personal responsibility has been usurped by the government.  Yet the government as a nanny state simply cannot provide the level of personal care and attention required to turn a child into an exceptional, self-sufficient, independent, productive member of society.  This is a logical fallacy of the left, that governmental support of single-parent households will have a net positive effect.  In the government’s well-meaning haste to help out someone, they end up doing more harm in the long-term than good.

This assumption that citizens are wards of the state, and a financial responsibility of the state leads the State to the logical conclusion that it has the power to regulate the number of citizens to be added to society.  The result of this conclusion should be enough to cause most people to question the validity of the initial assumption.  Unfortunately, the left is so convinced that their assumptions are correct, that they will slavishly dedicate themselves to those assumptions, regardless of the consequences to which they lead.

The second fallacy is the assumption that the State has any power to stimulate the economy through direct action.  Economic history shows time and time again that the only power the State has to positively affect the economy is through inaction.  State attempts to regulate or influence markets invariably lead to less than optimum results.  This was demonstrated in the New Deal actions which only served to extend the Great Depression, Nixon’s wage and price control policies, which served to turn an economic downturn into a full blown recession and led the way to stagflation, and the most recent government meddling in our banking system which led to our current economic crisis.

Children are the promise of the future.  They are the economic engine which will drive this country, this society, this culture, this economy forward twenty to forty years from now.  Babies are an investment, which if properly cultivated, will yield rich rewards in the future.  They are the primary investment in the future, and the investment upon which all other investments are justified.  Only a totalitarian megalomaniac would come to the conclusion that babies are a disposable liability, and advocate allocating funds to restrict the number of children available to the future.

To make a public proclamation that such funding will stimulate the economy is an assault on your intelligence and mine.  The sort of thinking that leads to such a conclusion is that the government is the ultimate power in society, and that all providence flows to and from the government.    This is a dangerous idea, which many Americans have fought against over the last century, and it saddens me that it has not only come to our shores, but has found its way into the highest halls of power.  Our founding fathers took great pains to see to it that the people were the ultimate power in our country.  This is a lesson that Speaker Pelosi would do well to re-learn, and it’s incumbent upon us all to remind her and all her colleagues of this the next time we go to the voting booths.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Islamic Claims that the Bible is Corrupted

It’s a fundamental tenet of Islam that the Christian Gospel and the Jewish Torah are corrupted scripture. This is so fundamental that one would think that it comes straight out of Islamic scripture. The interesting thing is, that it doesn’t. In fact, the Koran is very clear that it confirms what has already been revealed in scripture in many places:

When before it there was the Scripture of Moses, an example and a mercy; and this is a confirming Scripture in the Arabic language, that it may warn those who do wrong and bring good tidings for the righteous. -- The Koran (Pickthall tr), Sura 46:12 - The Sandhills

This theme is repeated in many places: 2:89, 2:91, 2:97, 2:101, 3:3, 4:47, 5:48, 6:92, 35:31, 37:37, 46:12, 46:30, 61:6.

So it’s clear the Muhammad held the Gospel and the Torah in high regard. He seemed oblivious to the Tanakh, either he wasn’t aware of it, or lumped it with the Torah (a common mistake for a Gentile), or he didn’t consider it relevant.

It’s obvious from much of the style of the Koran, the many appropriated stories from the Judeo-Christian tradition, and outright statements to the effect, that Muhammad fancied himself an heir to a long line of Jewish prophets. His endorsement of Judeo-Christian scripture seemed to bolster that argument. His teaching even raised speculation among the Jews that he may have been the messiah, and among the Christians that perhaps he was the second coming. In the seventh century, both faiths were eagerly awaiting these events.

The student of Islam has to keep in mind some essential facts at this point: During Muhammad’s day, the Koran was not written down! It was memorized by heart by the followers of Muhammad, in what is today considered an archaic form of the Arabic language -- a language not known beyond the bounds of Arabia, Jordan and southeastern Syria. Now some might scoff at this, thinking that such a feat stretches the bounds of reason, that people could memorize such a vast tract. It’s not that out of the ordinary. First the Koran is presented as a poem, in a rhythmic, rhyming cadence that lends itself well to memorization. It is highly repetitive, themes are repeated many times in various surahs, so the feat isn’t quite as vast as one would imagine at first glance. Memorization of huge stories is quite common among peoples with no written language. Illiteracy does not mean people are stupid or cannot manipulate the language. Socrates himself bemoaned the advent of writing, for fear that it would erode the memory.

This lack of a written Koran in Muhammad’s time made it very difficult for the scholar to compare the revelations of Muhammad with Judeo-Christian scripture. Nevertheless, it was done. The Jews of Medina listened to Muhammad. As residents of the area, they well understood the Arabic that Muhammad spoke. They compared it to their (Hebrew) scriptures available in their synagogue, and found that the two did not correlate. They rejected Muhammad, which subsequently led to their downfall as he turned his wrath on them. The details of their objection was not recorded. Muhammad spoke of their dissention as if they were lying to him:

And lo! there is a party of them who distort the Scripture with their tongues, that ye may think that what they say is from the Scripture, when it is not from the Scripture. And they say: It is from Allah, when it is not from Allah; and they speak a lie concerning Allah knowingly. - The Koran (Pickthall tr), Sura 3: 78 - The Family Of Imran

Even at this point, Muhammad was holding onto the idea that the Judeo Christian scriptures were reliable.

To understand this, you have to recognize the roots of Muhammad’s association with Monotheism. He was raised a polytheist in Mecca, but had traveled in the employ of his first wife to southern Syria on trade missions. It’s said that he was a student of a Nestorian monk in the trade city of Bosra named Bahira. None of the Christian scriptures had yet been translated into Arabic, and of course neither had any of the Jewish scriptures. If we assume that Muhammad was interested in Christianity, we can speculate that he heard many tales by oral transmission. Lacking a dedicated scholarly approach to translation, there is no way of knowing the quality of the translations from the extent Greek texts then available and the Arabic that Muhammad received. There is no way of knowing if Muhammad was exposed to the entire old and new testaments, but it’s highly unlikely. More likely, the high points were passed to him, as evaluated by the person who was instructing him. It’s also plain from the Koran that many apocryphal stories were also related to him. Lacking the ability to discern for himself, he had no way of knowing that many of these stories were fanciful, and not accepted even then as canonical. It’s clear from his own “revelations” that he was captivated by the stories, but missed much of the underlying meaning and theological implications.

The motivations for his acceptance of the Judeo-Christian writings as legitimate was plain. No one was going to believe someone who invented his own monotheistic religion from whole cloth (Actually, he was probably wrong on this point, and it may have been better for Islam in the long run if he had done so). By taking up the mantle of Judeo-Christianity, he could appeal to a huge population of already practicing monotheists, and thereby gain legitimacy among his own people as well.

The problem came after Muhammad was long dead, when Islamic scholars who could read in several languages, and had a printed codex of the Koran to use as a gold standard, began to definitively tie the Judeo-Christian scriptures to the Koran.

The problem was, they didn’t match. In fact they contradicted each other at almost every turn. Muslims scholars could not accept that their Koran was in error. After all, it was the direct Word of God, dictated word for word to Muhammad was it not? Therefore the Judeo-Christian scriptures must have been tampered with, and were declared corrupt.

Today, it is not allowed in most Islamic countries for Muslims to read the Bible. Consequently, all they know of it is what they are taught in Islamic schools. Much of what they are taught is incorrect.

The contradictions between the Bible and the Koran are myriad, and I won’t go into them here. If you’re interested in the details, you can find some places to start here and here. It was these contradictions, among others that led Muslim scholars to conclude that the Bible was corrupted.

The interesting thing about this claim is that Muslims never say when this corruption took place!

Well, it either happened before Muhammad, or after him. We’ve already established that Muhammad accepted the Bible as legitimate in his time. This is a theme that is prevalent throughout the Koran. So, one could argue that it’s safe to assume that the Bible was uncorrupted in the time of Muhammad. I mean, if it was corrupted, you think he would say something to that effect, right? But no, he said it confirms the Bible!

So by this logic, the Bible was corrupted after Muhammad. Those dirty Christians must have corrupted it just to spite Islam! One Islamic way of looking at it is that the Bible has been translated so many times that it could not have helped but be corrupted.

Well, there are problems with this. Most Bibles today are translated from and checked against the Latin Vulgate codex. This is the authoritative Bible of the Roman Catholic Church, compiled by Jerome in the early fifth century from the Septuagint and Hebrew texts. It was completed in the year 405, a full two hundred years before Muhammad’s revelations. Some Bibles, such as the New American Standard, choose to go back to earlier known codices in the original Greek and Aramaic, when available. All of these sources predate Muhammad by centuries, and are still available today. There is little difference between them and the Bibles we use today.

Moreover, we have the writings of the early church fathers from the second and third centuries. These letters and epistles, sent between far flung congregations of early Christians, were used to teach and answer questions. The early church fathers were fond of quoting scripture. If you compile all the scraps of scripture quoted in their many letters and documents and pasted it together in the proper order, you could completely reproduce the New Testament except for 27 verses! And guess what? It was the same then as it is today!

By Muhammad’s time, there were more than fifty thousand lectionaries in use in the Christian world. To have corrupted the Bible at this point would have been a monumental effort, involving the gathering and replacement of every lectionary and every codex in existence. This in a time when all copying had to be performed by hand, making a single lectionary a thing of such high value that it was often the most prized thing in the community. The wildest conspiracy theory in history would be dwarfed by this event. Only a Muslim would see this as anything but impossible.

This means that if the Bible was corrupted, it had to happen before Muhammad. Let’s examine this. In the first place, Muhammad never hinted at such a thing. But let’s say he managed to miss it, or was just being polite. If we consider the New testament, the corruption must have happened very early. The Latin Vulgate was codified in 405. The content of the Latin Vulgate agrees with that found in the Chester Beatty Papyri, dated to the third century. This leaves a mere two hundred years between Christ and the earliest known texts of the New Testament.   Most scholars place the earliest dates for the Gospels to have been written at around 60-100 AD . . . within the lifetime of the eyewitnesses to Christ. This further narrows the window in which corruption might have crept in. The earliest known texts confirm our Bible today. It’s unlikely for the Bible to have been corrupted in the time of the living memory of the men who actually wrote it. The time frame that this corruption could have taken place means that men who had living memories of the authors were still alive (Think about this for a second. My grandmother, aged 92, knew people in her childhood who had fought in the Civil War, 140 years ago!). 

The problem is even worse for the Old Testament. The discovery of the Dead Sea scrolls confirms the Old Testament of today, and dates back to 250 BC.

Jewish scribes were meticulous about their transcriptions. There was a set of rules that had to be adhered to. Letters were to be printed literally on a grid, like a courier font today, and the resulting text was examined vertically as well as horizontally to ensure through this sort of primitive “checksum” that no errors had crept in.

There is no basis for the Muslim claim that the written Bible is corrupt. Any claims of corruption before the scripture was written are irrelevant, and can be just as easily leveled at the Koran as at the Bible. In fact there is plenty of scriptural reference in Islam that suggests that the Koran is neither complete or pristine. But that is the subject of another article.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Teaching Our School Children About Islam

My son came home the other day upset that the Islam lite that was being taught by his fifth grade teacher was not the same as the classic Islam that I teach him about here at home. I wrote the following letter to her, expressing my concerns.  The response I got was brusque, and clearly indicated that she had not read my letter in its entirety and was closed to further discussion or investigation.  She definitely stated that they do not discuss Islam in school.  I find this hard to believe, because ten year old kids are insatiably curious, and questions always arise about the war in Iraq and Afghanistan and the current conflict in Gaza.  How can you not discuss these things without discussing Islam?  I would cheerfully remove my child from this school if I thought I could get a better education anywhere else.

If you have concerns about the politically correct brand of Islam that is being presented to your children at school, please take the time to contact your school officials and educate them.  If Islam is to be discussed at all to our children, it should be done so with full disclosure.  It's a grave disservice to the next generation to misrepresent the greatest threat to our freedoms and western values in our time.

 Dear Mrs. Xxxxxxxx,
   My son has been discussing with me about your 5th grade studies on Islam recently, and I am a bit dismayed by what I am hearing.

   I have a friend who is a Baha'i, and several years ago we frequently discussed religion over lunch.  The course of these discussions has prompted me to conduct an extensive study of Islamic history over the last year or so.  I have conducted this study from a variety of sources, including the Koran and the hadiths themselves.  I have corresponded with practicing Muslims from Egypt, Pakistan, India and Saudi Arabia, and have learned that they live in a completely different world that we do, where black is white and evil is good.

  Mrs. Xxxxxxxxx, today we are facing a world war against Islam.  It is absolutely essential that we understand Islam for what it really is if this conflict is to be resolved.  What I have been hearing coming back through my son is a series of propaganda ploys and common mistakes that westerners make about Islam.   It is critical that if you are going to teach about Islam, that you thoroughly understand it, and avoid the erroneous, politically correct misinformation that is being promulgated through the media and by our national leaders.  If you take a quick inventory of all the armed conflicts around the world today, a hugely disproportionate number of them involve Muslims who cannot get along with their non-Muslim neighbors.

I'm not a racist or a radicalized islamophobe.  I don’t need propaganda literature to support my positions on Islam.  My position is strongly anti-Muslim, and my only necessary source of material is the Koran and the hadiths and commonly accepted Islamic histories.

Do not misunderstand me, I do not hate Muslims as such.  I think that the people most victimized by Islam are the rank and file Muslims themselves.  Most Muslims are good people who are forced to profess a belief in a cult religion that they little understand.  They are slaves.

John 10:14 says that "I am the Good Shepherd, and my sheep know me".  I have read the Koran enough to know that the deity that Muslims worship has nothing to do with my God.  I recognize the being that the Muslims worship.  He is well known to Christians in word and deed, and his name is Satan.

Let me briefly discuss some common misconceptions.
1. Muslims and Jews and Christians all follow the same God.  FALSE! Muslims claim this legitimacy based on a tradition of descent from Abraham. See my article concerning this fallacy. This tradition states that the Ka'aba was the house that Adam built when he was expelled from Eden, and that Abraham rebuilt it.  There is no biblical or archaeological evidence that Abraham ever entered Arabia.   Any similarity between Islam and Judeo-Christianity is a fabrication of Muhammad, intended to make his cult more palatable to the Jews and Christians he was trying to court into joining him. 
  • My God does not endorse the assassination of people who speak out against him.  (Ibn Ishaq 676)
  • My God does not permit you to rape your captive females.  (Tabari IX:25)
  • My God did not endorse his prophets to  take slaves and "marry" (read: Rape with legitimacy) them hours after publicly executing their fathers.  (Quran 50-51, Ibn Ishaq 466)
  • My God does not share his glory with his two sister goddesses (oops, sorry, Satan dictated that part of the Quran, according to Muhammad.  My bad . . . or his. . .. whatever).  (Ibn Ishaq 165)
  • My God does not endorse 57 year old prophets to have intercourse with 9 year old brides.  (Bukhari:V7B62N64)
  • My God did not advocate his prophet to wage a campaign of banditry from which the prophet got 20% of all the booty.  (Quran 8:41, Bukhari:V1B2N50)
  • My God did not reverse his teachings. (Quran 2:106)
  • My God does not deny the immaculate conception, the divinity of Jesus or that Jesus died on the cross, let alone rose from the dead. (Quran 4:157)
  • My God does not teach that a woman is worth half of a man.  (Quran 2:282)
  • My God does not require that you be killed if you leave the faith.  (Quran 4:89)
  • My God does not consider the mindless recital of scripture in an archaic language that the penitent doesn't even understand as prayer.  (Bukhari:V2B16N108)
  • My God does not instruct the sons of prophets to divorce their wives so that the prophet can marry them. (Tabari VIII:1-3)
  • My God does not instruct his prophets to renounce the trinity. (Quran 5:73)

All of these things are documented in the Koran and hadith.

In actual fact, Islam is primarily based on the polytheistic traditions of the ancient Arabs of Mecca, with a large dose of tortured Torah and fractured New Testament, and a huge serving of self-serving pablum to cement the power of the messenger.  Many passages are contradictory, most of the parallels to the Torah are just plain wrong.  It's plain that the Koran was developed by someone who had heard bible stories, but is not intimately familiar with them. 

2. The conflict between the Muslims and the Jews is a recent one over land rights in Israel.  FALSE. This is only correct in that the conflict is over land rights.  Remember that Mohammed drove out three of the Jewish tribes that had originally welcomed him in Medina, and put the fourth one to the sword,  butchering all the men who had been taken captive, and raping their women that same night.  One of Mohammed's 22 wives was "wedded" the night of the massacre.
3. Muslims are tolerant.  FALSE.  Try to enter Saudi Arabia with a Bible.  They will confiscate it from you and feed it into a shredder right as you process customs.  You cannot enter Saudi Arabia if you are Jewish. Please look at some of these pictures to see the tolerance of these people. 

 4. Muslims are peaceful. FALSE!  Well, "good" Muslims aren't.  A common argument for Muslim atrocities is to turn it back on the accuser.  "Think of all the murder and atrocities committed in the name of Christianity during the Crusades."  Yes, but there is a big difference between committing an atrocity in violation of your holy teachings, and committing an atrocity because your holy book specifically advocates and in many instances requires it of you!  Ironically the "best" Muslims are the radical terrorists.  They are the ones who are following the core teachings laid out in the Koran. The Muslims community routinely turns the discussion of Islamic Jihad back to a critique of the Crusades.  This argument doesn't wash.  The Crusades were a direct result of the brutal attack on Christianity carried out between the seventh and tenth centuries.  Muslims today are taught that Islam spread peacefully.  I have documented a timeline of this spread of Islam and invite you to review it to see how "peacefully" this cult spread.  I would like to draw your attention particularly to the battle of Ullais, where the Muslim General Khalid spent two and a half days executing more than seven thousand Persian prisoners in an attempt to make the Euphrates run red with blood. Also pay close attention to the fate of the refugees who were allowed to leave Damascus under a truce in the Battle of Battle of Marj-ud-Deebaj 

5. Muslim science contributed to today's civilization.  FALSE.  Nothing new developed under Islamic rule.  They stole art and technology from other civilizations.  The "Muslim" shrine of the Taj Mahal?  Predates Islamic India by a couple hundred years.  They only contribution that can be accredited here is the cross-pollination of ideas, as the stolen technologies were consolidated.  Anything to the contrary is misinformation promulgated by Muslims.  Yes, even zero was invented by the Indians.

Below I am providing you with some links.  One of the most interesting of these is the Free Baha'i Library project "Ocean".  In this is a searchable database containing numerous religious texts from Islam (4 translations of the Koran and the Bukhari Hadith), Zoroastrian, Christianity, Bahuallah, Mormon, Sikh, Tao and Hindu.  An invaluable tool for anyone interested in comparative religion.

I also invite you to study the various critiques of Islam.  Use the Ocean database for reference.  You will quickly come to the realization that I did, that Mohammed was a schizophrenic, homicidal pedophile and rapist, who used a cult belief to control his followers that was no different than Jim Jones or Bagwan Shree Rajneesh.  The only difference was that Mohammed's followers had the historical good fortune to wage a war of conquest that was little different from those of the Huns or the Mongols.  A fringe barbarian race had a population explosion backed by cavalry.  The Christian world was in disarray and war-weary from the recent Sassanid wars against the Persians, and was in no condition militarily to turn back the Arab hordes.  A relatively minor cult that should have burned out after the death of it's founder was spread by force of arms and promulgated by mutual fear of the consequences of apostasy.

There are numerous accounts of miraculous visions and tales of the Holy Spirit at work in Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Muslim world today.  The interesting thing about Islam is that those most vulnerable to conversion to Christianity seem to be the most devout Muslims.  Most Muslims don't try to read the Koran, because it's pretty much incomprehensible.  It isn't arranged in any sort of order, except that the longest surahs are first.  A devout Muslim who wants to be the best Muslim he can be will try to read and understand the Koran, and feel that he is not worthy, because no matter how deeply he studies it, it's contradictory and makes little sense.  Give that man the book of John, and it is like a veil lifted from his eyes.  He can read a compelling narrative that confirms everything that he hoped the Koran would say, but it never quite did.  Bam.  Instant Christian.  This is why the Bible is banned in Saudi.

Here are some additional links for you to check out:
World religions free research library. - a downloadable tool that provides all the major writings of the world religions.   
Prophet of Doom - I am providing a link here to the annotated P.O.D. Koran, but this site has so much more to explore. . . . 
History of Muhammad & Islam
Answering Islam  - excellent, well organized site.  I especially endorse the section of testimonials of converted Muslims from around the world -- The Holy Spirit IS working! 
A Hindu take on Islam

I would be more than happy to discuss this further if you wish. I would appreciate it if you would modulate your discussions of Islam to the children and teach the truth, that it's claim of being an Abrahamic religion is questionable.  Teach that Islam's ultimate goal is to enforce Sharia law under a worldwide Islamic theocracy.  This is what Muslim children are taught, it's a disservice not to teach it to our children. Teach that the primary victims of Islam are the peaceful Muslims, who would leave Islam happily if it was not a death sentence.

All of these things are obvious to anyone who takes the time to actually seek the knowledge, instead of relying on the modern day Goebbels' to paint the world the way they want you to think.  Some of your children will find this knowledge on their own.  I hope when they do that they don't look back and think that their teacher misled them.


Monday, January 5, 2009

Are you taking enough Vitamin C?

Are you taking enough Vitamin C?  Chances are your intake meets or exceeds the FDA’s recommended daily amount of Vitamin C, so you could reasonably say “Yes!”

Chances are you’re still not getting enough vitamin C to keep healthy.  You should be aware that the FDA’s requirement is only the minimum amount required to prevent clinical scurvy

Vitamin C is misnamed. Vitamin C is nothing more than ascorbic acid.  Ascorbic acid is a necessary metabolic enzyme, without which complex life would not be possible.  It’s used in many ways by the body.  It's a powerful antioxidant.  It's used as a catalyst for building good quality collagen, which is the connective tissue and building block for cell walls.  It is a critical component used in the manufacture of immunoglobulins used to fight infections.

Conventional wisdom states that we get enough vitamin C through our diet to satisfy all of our metabolic requirements.  If this were true, then it should hold true for all animals, since Vitamin C is fairly easy to come by, right?

The facts dispute this.  There are very few animals that get their vitamin C through diet.  Great apes, guinea pigs, and some fruit bat in India are the only mammals which do not manufacture ascorbic acid in their livers.  All other animals catalyze ascorbic acid from glucose, and do so in huge quantities.  Somewhere along the line, the common ancestor to great apes lost the ability to synthesize glucose into ascorbic acid.  In a temperate climate, this would have been an evolutionary death sentence.  In the tropics, however, it is possible to get enough ascorbic acid from diet to prevent immediate death through scurvy.  That doesn’t mean that enough ascorbic acid is ingested to completely compensate for the inability to manufacture it ourselves.

This is why guinea pigs are such useful lab animals when studying heart disease.  If you want to watch an animal quickly die a horrible death from high cholesterol, deny a guinea pig access to vitamin C.   

I once read a story about a fictional colonization of a planet that had no potassium.  The entire population suffered from chronic potassium deficiency, and those who held the keys to the sole source of potassium on the planet were kings.  I have also had friends who suffered from various genetic maladies that prevented them from producing certain enzymes necessary for proper digestion.  These conditions are manageable when understood, by limiting the diet.

Diabetes is a genetic disease which affects a few people.  It can be a killer, but is also manageable.  I have several friends who live very active, very normal lifestyles, by simply staying on top of their diabetes and managing it constantly.

If the whole human race suffered from chronic, subclinical scurvy, then how would we know it?  Wouldn’t that be considered normal?  Wouldn’t that be considered the “Human condition?”  Look at human medicine, compared to veterinary medicine.  There are a huge number of maladies that animals simply don’t seem to suffer, or from which they suffer very little.  Whenever such a condition is encountered, it’s a good bet it’s related to ascorbic acid deficiency.

Chronic ascorbic acid deficiency has played a huge part in human history.  We think nothing of it today, when we have fresh food available year round. Ascorbic acid breaks down very quickly when not in crystalline form.  Stored or overcooked food is very poor in ascorbic acid. Even up to the early twentieth century, the death rate in most communities would peak near the end of spring, as weakened members of communities succumbed to the debilitating effects of scurvy over the winter with no source of ascorbic acid.  This is confirmed by the funeral registers as far back as records were kept.  In the ancient and medieval world, wars were often decided by which army succumbed to scurvy first, as the military supplies were made for preservation and notoriously deficient in ascorbic acid.  It was not uncommon to find sailing ships completely devoid of life, as the crew had all died of scurvy.

In fact, it could be argued that the human race owes its very existence to ascorbic acid deficiency.  Evolution depends on small populations being placed under reproductive stress to select advantageous mutations and characteristics.  The constant stress of being one meal away from clinical and potentially fatal scurvy placed the entire human race under reproductive stress, and hastened genetic developments that allowed the species to cope with this deficiency. 

Certainly the state of human medicine owes a lot to our inability to manufacture our own ascorbic acid.  The attempts to ease or halt the debilitating effects of this deficiency have caused us to make great strides in the understanding of human physiology that we might not have had incentive to make otherwise.

Digestion of food produces free radicals.  These are molecules with an oxygen atom that is missing an electron.  This molecule desperately wants to have a chemical reaction with something and fill that empty electron’s hole.  The chemical result of this will be for this molecule to bond with another molecule which has a free electron.   If no free electron is present, the free radical may be able to break a weak chemical bond in a protein, freeing an electron with which it can then bond and become inert.  This can be part of a cell wall, or even DNA within a cell.  This bond basically interferes with or destroys the protein with which it bonds, rendering it useless.  If that protein was used for a critical function in a cell, the end will be the death of that cell.  If it bonds with DNA, it can alter, damage, or destroy that DNA’s function. Usually harmless, the result could be a mutation that leads to cancer or other cell malfunction. 
Since ascorbic acid has a free electron, its presence in the bloodstream will serve to neutralize free radicals and render them inert before they can damage cells.

Many bacteria and viruses rely on free radicals, and in fact produce them to be used as weapons with which to open and gain access to cells.  The wholesale manufacture of free radicals by bacteria can cause massive cell damage in a localized area, which we experience as redness and swelling and inflammation.  A high concentration of ascorbic acid in the body tissues will “soak up” these free radicals, prevent swelling and inflammation, and also deny invasive infections one of their prime tools for gaining access and reproducing.  Ascorbic acid in high doses is a powerful anti-inflammatory.

Collagen Building
Collagen is the fibrous material with which cell walls are made.  It is the binding material, the “glue” which allows cells to adhere to one another.  It's tough and elastic.  Collagen which is made in an ascorbic deficient environment lacks toughness and elasticity, and becomes brittle.  As we age, the body’s ability to repair damaged collagen is highly dependent on ascorbic acid.  The cumulative damage leads to wrinkles and weakened muscle attachment points.  This is why humans become more prone to injury as they age.  One critical function is repairing the circulatory system, keeping arteries strong and elastic.  In an ascorbic deficient environment, the arteries become weak and stiff, unable to support the pressures of the heart action.  This can lead to high blood pressure and aneurysms.
Interestingly, humans have evolved a response to this weakening by producing more cholesterol, which adheres to the inner walls of the circulatory system and literally “shores up” the arteries.  Eventually this reinforcement clogs the arteries and becomes fatal in itself, but statistically it keeps the individual alive longer, giving the offspring a longer period of available parental care.  This is a reproductive advantage, but not optimal.

Immune System
Studies have shown that an increase of ascorbic acid boosts the concentration of immunoglobulin in the blood.  Ascorbic acid is a key component of these antibodies.  In an ascorbic deficient environment, the body cannot produce enough antibodies to effectively attack an infection, and must resort to other means of fighting the infection, including using fevers to literally roast the invaders.
The immune system’s response to an infection is to immediately create antibodies, and the ascorbic acid contained in the body tissues are robbed for this purpose.  That icky, achy sick feeling you have when you have a cold is not a direct result of the infection.  What you are experiencing is sudden-onset acute scurvy, caused by the sudden crash of the ascorbic acid levels in your body.

Other Effects
Dr. Frederick Klenner and Dr. Robert Cathcart have used massive doses of ascorbic acid on their patients for virtually every condition, and have reported spectacular results.  Since ascorbic acid is completely non-toxic even in extremely high doses, they have gone as far as delivering hundreds of grams of ascorbic acid per day to patients via intravenous injection.  They have claimed to have cured polio, and certain types of cancers using this treatment.  The benefits of ascorbic acid simply cannot be overstated.
Heavy metal poisoning is a concern in today’s industrialized environment.  These metals get dissolved in our bloodstream, and they collect in fatty tissues, where they form catalyst centers for all sorts of undesirable chemical reactions in the body.  Ascorbic acid, being an acid, bonds easily with metals and helps chelate them out of the bloodstream into the kidneys, where they are passed harmlessly.

But Wait!
About this time, someone trots out a study saying that they did a double blind test and showed that vitamin C doesn’t seem to have any effect on fighting the common cold.  I've seen these studies, and their data is correct.  Vitamin C does not have any effect, when used in the tiny doses they were using!

The next time you see such a study, be sure to look at the doses they were using to observe the effects.  Typically these studies consider 2 grams per day a high dose.  Orthomolecular advocates will tell you that this is about ¼ of a maintenance dose for a healthy human!  There are plenty of studies which show that Vitamin C has a significant effect on the duration and discomfort of a cold, but all of these studies start their doses at 10-20 grams and go up from there. 

Basically the naysayers are fighting a 3-alarm fire with a squirt gun, and drawing the conclusion that water has no effect on a fire.

There's a good reason that pharmaceutical companies don’t want to see unbiased research done on the effects of Ascorbic acid.  It's literally a miracle drug, and it’s dirt cheap to manufacture.  Pharmaceuticals cannot push their expensive kaleidoscope of designer drugs on us if we never get sick!  Follow the money. 

A common criticism is that the body doesn't use the Vitamin C, so it is urinated away.  Higher concentrations of ascorbic acid is detectable in urine.  This does not necessarily mean that the body is not using it.  I see nothing wrong with bathing my bladder in ascorbic acid, and in so doing possibly preventing bladder cancer.  It's also very cheap, so a relatively inexpensive "waste" is a small price to pay to ensure the full benefits of complete tissue saturation. 

My Experience
I first tried megadosing vitamin C when I was vacationing in the jungles of southeast Asia.  My wife became ill with something that gave her a vicious fever and made her very ill.  Not wanting to succumb, I had heard that high levels of vitamin C would stop a cold.  I had a large bottle of chewables available, so I started taking 500mg an hour.  I never caught so much as a sniffle, even though I was in constant close contact with my wife, ministering to her.
It was several years after that that I started researching more about it and discovered the body of knowledge that surrounds this.  I have since adopted a continuous management of my ascorbic acid levels.  I haven't been sick in a very long time – the last time I was sick was with a norovirus which made my stomach so acidic that I couldn't ingest vitamin C.  I've surprised my family physician with extremely low cholesterol levels. 

How Much?
There are several things to know which will help you manage your ascorbic acid levels.  One is the amount of ascorbic acid produced by animals in their livers is huge.  A 50 lb goat produces about 3500 mg per day. 
Another thing to remember is that the half-life of ascorbic acid in your body is about 30 minutes.  To maintain reasonably high concentrations you must ingest it regularly.

Your body will absorb as much as it needs.  When the body reaches tissue saturation, it will stop absorbing it.  Ascorbic acid is absorbed in the upper digestive system.  What isn't absorbed will be passed to the lower digestive system.  There it will irritate the intestines and produce gas and eventually a mild, non-debilitating loose stool.

This knowledge will help guide you to determine how much is right for you.  A rule of thumb: for a healthy person, start with 35mg per pound of body weight per day.  Don’t take it all at once.  Find out what your bowel tolerance is: i.e.  how much you need to ingest in a 24 hour period to produce loose stool.  Then back off from that by about a gram.  This should be your maintenance dose.

When under stress, or when sickness or injury threatens, increase your dose.  You'll be amazed at how much you can ingest without reaching bowel tolerance when you’re sick.  When I've felt myself coming down with something, I've gone as high as 2 grams an hour for 14 hours, without reaching bowel tolerance.  This kept me from being more than marginally symptomatic.  I once caught a bug that was going around the office.  This one was nasty, most people were taking two or three days off work, and fully a third of the office was out at one point, and many more were miserable.  By megadosing at the first signs of symptoms, I experienced only a slight stuffiness that never fully developed into a runny nose, and otherwise felt fine.  Coincidental?  Come on, I've been around a few decades, and I can tell when I'm about to really get sick.  This was one of those times.

I typically start the day with 1000mg, and then 500mg per hour for the rest of the day.  This can be difficult to keep up with.  I sometimes set my watch to beep at me on the hour to remind me.  I carry a small plastic vial in my pocket with cheap 500 mg capsules.  Don’t spend a lot for your vitamin C.  Ascorbic acid is all the same, and the cheap bargain stuff at Safeway is just as effective as the designer stuff you get at the specialty nutrition stores.  I see no reason to pay for a brand name.

One caveat: ascorbic acid is an acid, and sucking on tablets will have same effect on your dental work as sucking on candy.  Try to use ascorbic acid in tablet form, and drink it down with a swig of water quickly to minimize contact with your teeth.

Be healthy.  Take more.

More reading:  The Healing Factor by Irwin Stone