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  1.    #101  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    Happiness doesn't depend on whether you are allowed to show your face or hide it under a burka, whether you are allowed to claim earth circles the sun without being burnt at the stake, etc.?
    No.
  2. #102  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim
    Seriously. Many remain happy in the most dire circumstances. The key is to learn the art of contentment. It is possible for one to be content while at the same time unsatisfied. Likewise, it is possible for one to experience threats without feeling threatened.

    If the source of one's happiness is in his/her possessions or comfortable estate, then certainly coercion and fear would hinder happiness. However, if one's source of happiness is not temporal, such conditions would be of little, if any, effect.
    Amen!

    Viktor Frankl - Man's Search for Meaning is a great study in setting your own happiness.
    Recognizing that I volunteered...
  3. #103  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    Happiness doesn't depend on whether you are allowed to show your face or hide it under a burka, whether you are allowed to claim earth circles the sun without being burnt at the stake, etc.?
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim
    No.
    Then freeing slaves, promoting justice and democracy and the like are a waste of time.

    Why should we care about life on this side of eternety, what matters is your attitude in view of suffering, and the afterlife of course. That pretty much sums up the medieval world-view.
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  4.    #104  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    Then freeing slaves, promoting justice and democracy and the like are a waste of time.

    Why should we care about life on this side of eternety, what matters is your attitude in view of suffering, and the afterlife of course. That pretty much sums up the medieval world-view.
    Happiness is not dependent on one's condition. However, the absence of dependency does not mean that we are not concerned with one's condition.

    We care about life on all sides of eternity because we understand that life has purpose, and that said purpose is is neither bound by time nor space. Likewise we promote the realization of that purpose in all endeavours.

    When I truly understand your value as a fellow Man (capitalized to denote species as opposed to gender) I will not enslave you and I will not defraud you. I will seek your well-being, even in the face of potential for my own undoing (NOTE: in such a scenario, the method of governance, e.g. Democracy, becomes irrelevant).

    These values are pre-eminent in both time and eternity!
  5.    #105  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    Then freeing slaves, promoting justice and democracy and the like are a waste of time. .....
    Interestingly enough, logically speaking, it is within the Evolutionary world view that such matters are without inherent value (NOTE: This does not make the theory false, it simply recognizes the logical extension of unintended and undirected life).
  6. #106  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim
    Happiness is not dependent on one's condition.
    What a noble statement. However, would you be happy while your children starve? While your wife is emprisoned because of her political views? Would your family be happy while you suffer from chronic pain? There are better or worse ways of dealing with misery, but happiness is not independent of one's condition.
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  7. #107  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim
    Interestingly enough, logically speaking, it is within the Evolutionary world view that such matters are without inherent value (NOTE: This does not make the theory false, it simply recognizes the logical extension of unintended and undirected life).
    Interestingly enough, also the theory of gravity, the laws of thermodynamics and the principles of quantum mechanics do not directly lead to a valuation of democracy and a ban of slavery, nor were they ever meant to do so.

    For some strange reason you seem to assume that belief in the facts of evolution leads to an undirected life without inherent value, which, with all due respect, is not so in the least.

    Maybe you fall for this error because you copy all of your ethical values from the Bible, and would lose all sense of direction without it... In case you think there is no other source of ethics outside of religious books, you are greatly mistaken. Why not read e.g. some Kant for a change?
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  8. #108  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    Rumours and misconceptions. With more time, and a minimum of good will, one could clear them. There is no serious controversy about anything you mentioned outside of fundamentalist circles. You cling to those alledged scientific lapses not because of real methodological doubts, but simply because the results don't fit your world view. You try to adapt the real world to your belief system.

    That's sad, because it is not a problem to believe in god and e.g. in evolution at the same time. Two billion Catholics set a good example in this respect.
    I am agnostic about The Evolution of the Species by Natural Secletion as I am about chemistry, cosmology, and nuclear physics. That is not to say that I have no opinion but that I have no knowledge.

    Science is difficult. It requires rigor and discipline. First one must acquire data and information. For example, one must master the fossil record. One must know enough about the myriad species to be able to identify and classify them. Then one must have a hypothesis. This, as in the case of Darwin, at a minimum, requires that one set aside belief and may require genius. Imagine the genius required to identify the hypothesis that mass is not a constant. Most of us use the hypothesis provided to us by the few geniuses. Finally, one must reconcile the data to the hypothesis. All of this takes lifetimes of work, more than most of us are willing to invest in the effort.

    Now, I confess that I have a hard time getting my head around some scientific explanations. I never really understand and appreciate e=mc^2 for more than about 15 minutes at a time. I even have trouble believing that mass and energy are interchangeable or that we add one new chemical compound to the catalog every four hours. I even have trouble believing that the eye evolved.

    So, like most everyone else, I remain ignorant of most science. However, I am knowledgeable about Science, about the scientific method, about its ability to explain and make useful predictions, about its ability to develop and test theories. Therefore, when a scientist, endorsed by his peers, provides me with an explanation for natural phenomenon, I accept it. When, endorsed by his peers, he tells me that the explanation is satisfying, that one need not look to other sources, I tend to accept it. I do so no matter how counter-intuitive it may be, no matter how much more satisfying appeals to the super-natural or magic may be. I do so because to refute him I must know as much as he does, and by implication and God forbid, work as hard as he has worked to gain his authority.

    It is interesting to note that both Newton and Darwin were trained theologians before they were scientists; Newton was ordained. Both were very conservative men. Both feared rejection by the community. Both did their homework. Both published very late in life. Neither lived to see his ideas vindicated. Darwin still awaits general acceptance. It did not come in his lifetime and will not come in mine.
    Last edited by whmurray; 12/23/2005 at 09:36 AM.
  9. #109  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    Then freeing slaves, promoting justice and democracy and the like are a waste of time.

    Why should we care about life on this side of eternety, what matters is your attitude in view of suffering, and the afterlife of course. That pretty much sums up the medieval world-view.
    Why indeed? That is, and has always been, the conservative, not to say fundamentalist, position. History suggests that this view defended tyranny, slavery, and segregation as being ordained by the god that they created in their own communities. Today it asserts that unwanted pregnancy is god's punishment on the half of fornicators that are female. It has resisted, and will continue to resist, all human progress. However, only a small minority are so committed to this view that they will reject the fruits of that progress. Most shop in Wal-Mart, ride in cars, watch godless television and movies, and whine about them on the Internet. Tiresome isn't it.
  10.    #110  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    What a noble statement. However, would you be happy while your children starve? While your wife is emprisoned because of her political views? Would your family be happy while you suffer from chronic pain? There are better or worse ways of dealing with misery, but happiness is not independent of one's condition.
    It is not my preference to experience such things. Yet, I would hope to maintain my joy in the midst were they to occur. Others have done so. So, I know it is not impossible. It is only a question of whether I would remain as faithful as they.

    I have read that there are those who counted it a pleasure to experience such calamities; not for the physical experience itself, but for the realization that they were privileged to suffer for the cause of Christ.

    One of the keys that I have read about and experienced to some degree is remaining keenfuly aware of what is temporal and what is eternal.
  11.    #111  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    ...For some strange reason you seem to assume that belief in the facts of evolution leads to an undirected life without inherent value, which, with all due respect, is not so in the least. ...
    You have correctly identified one of my biases. I would be delighted to explore the notion with you and others. I am open to correction.

    It is my view that the trajectory of life's direction is set by one's value.

    It is my view that value is comparative in its nature. That is to say, there is a standard against which a measurement is taken to determine the value.

    As it relates to the Theory of Evolution (not just the facts, thereof), I ask to whom or to what does the Theory ascribe its cause? From what source does the universe ascribe its direction? From whence does value eminate?

    Incidentally, in my first brush , I find that Kant's three formulations of Categorical Imperative to provide a means of direction. However, they fail, in my view, to demostrate inherent value. They assume inherent value. But it is a valuation defined by the evaluated (also known as the autonomous legislators). Admittedly, these assertions come from reading Wikipedia submissions about Kant and his philosophy. Perhaps I will find a differing view from reading his works directly.
    Last edited by shopharim; 12/27/2005 at 09:20 AM.
  12. #112  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim
    You have correctly identified one of my biases. I would be delighted to explore the notion with you and others. I am open to correction.

    It is my view that the trajectory of life's direction is set by one's value.

    It is my view that value is comparative in its nature. That is to say, there is a standard against which a measurement is taken to determine the value.

    As it relates to the Theory of Evolution (not just the facts, thereof), I ask to whom or to what does the Theory ascribe its cause? From what source does the universe ascribe its direction? From whence does value eminate?

    Incidentally, in my first brush , I find Kant's that three formulations of Categorical Imperative to provide a means of direction. However, they fail, in my view, to demostrate inherent value. They assume inherent value. But it is a valuation defined by the evaluated (also known as the autonomous legislators). Admittedly, these assertions come from reading Wikipedia submissions about Kant and his philosophy. Perhaps I will find a differing view from reading his works directly.
    Shop,

    I continue to respect your postings. They demonstrate that a thinking man can follow the Lord with his eyes wide open.

    I have studied the original works of Kant, Locke, Hobbes, Rousseau, etc. as a student in my quest for truth. I learned of all of the great world religions and understand their truth. As an undergrad, I ended up spending my evenings reading the great philosophers instead of studying (hence the B- GPA). Their collective works thoroughly pleased my brain but none touched my heart (they weren't meant to). Only after reading a few short passages from a book I grew up with (but never REALLY read) did I understand where TRUTH was really to be found. I don't suppose to know it, but I know where it is.

    I know that the critics out there would prefer to see Christians as a monolith of knuckle dragging, drooling, mindless simpletons who don't accept evolution because they can't understand it. Thank you for continuing to defy their stereo-type.
    Recognizing that I volunteered...
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