Who r u, ?
Plz explain in words why you posted that symbol. Wouldn't it be cool---'practical evil' aside--- to Google an image in a way similar to how we web-search with a word? I assume "who are you?" translates to "you have some nerve to..."
Before I answer your question, my wife hasn't inserted herself into this conversation, and I'd appreciate you not placing her in it again.
I can honor that, though it seems odd, given ur "Proud" thread and the home page article it referred us to--both of which are parts of a public forum.
I do have a well-developed relationship with my subconscious mind, and I know what that feels like --somewhat adversarial, but basically productive.
It seems far more likely to me that I might be a part of God's "subconscious" --is that a concept you've considered?
I might consider that idea poetically, not scientifically.]]]
(As for how making one's relationship with God the top priority of one's life jibes with following Christ's golden rule,) if you make God your top priority, everything else flows from that.
I've read from Heroes for Christ on multiple occasions the past 3 yrs. Likely, I'd read your descriptions about what it means for u to make God your top priority and how that causally connects to you helping to make the world a place of more well-being and less suffering.
But the other things aren't the primary goal.
Empathy and compassion, combined with putting them into practice via a rational understanding of how people function and how the world works, is pertinent across cultures, regardless of religion. With the scientific method, there can be a replicable, common understanding of morality; whereas, what it means to "make God your top priority" varies from one religion to another, not to mention from one Christian to another, even within the same denominations, or even, for that matter, the same church or the same nuclear family of believers.
I applaud your conscientious commitment to open-mindedness.
Thanks, Chris. But I want critical, honest feedback, not praise.
But if I might be blunt, based on what you've said, I or about a couple dozen other people at my church are doing more --in a concrete sense --to realize your core intention than you are.
That may be, especially if it's 13 of 25 of you against me :) I'd be honored to learn more about your work within and beyond your church to get a better sense of whether that is actually the case. But even if it is, I sometimes suspect we contribute to making the world a better place by forming ideas and sharing them with others (which I'm doing as a writer), even if we have a long way to go in putting them into practice.
But as for putting ideas into practice, basing morality on empathy and compassion seems much more workable than putting into practice what the writers of the New Testament claim Christ commands regarding self-defense (Matthew 5:39), regarding wealth (19:24), and regarding many other matters. What the writers of the New Testament claim Christ said about love seems the most universally valuable idea he expressed and likely embodied in his conduct. But he was not the only human being to express such an idea.
Figurative language and symbols from poetry and myths, including religious ones, can inspire us and they can illustrate moral concepts, but forming moral principles and putting them into practice is best done thru rational thought.
The human propensity for empathy and compassion is emotional and in many respects intuitive. But as a means for getting a better understanding on the importance of empathy and compassion for human well-being and survival, reason, manifested thru science, is superior to intuition, which is manifested thru mythology, poetry, and other forms of art.
You're a seeker, but what are you finding?
Thanks for asking, Chris. So far, I'm finding that compassion is the highest ethic, and that religions include it, but aren't necessary for it. In fact, in my opinion, religion distracts us from the central issue. That core issue is using all of our faculties to do our imperfect best to reduce suffering and promote well-being. The ultimate goal, is not, in my opinion, to love or obey God.
I'm honored that you asked me this, because it prods me to apply the principle of compassion in practical and social ways, instead of only writing about it.
@tdziemia - sorry to ignore you, it's tough just to keep up with the torrent of thoughts that is a TomOver post.
I suspect I'm progressing. During the past year or so, I've distilled many years or rambling scribbles into a core formulation for morality : (1) meeting human needs---air, water, food, shelter, and so on----- by striving for the best relations we can in any given circumstance, (a) among humans, (b) among non-humans, and (c) between humans and non-humans; (2) defining, executing, and assessing that endeavor according to the human capacity for empathy, compassion, intuition and reason.
As for reason and intuition, I suggest the former trumps the latter for deriving a conception of reality capable of being shared among practically all members of our species. We use that shared conception of reality to form systems of knowledge via which we put into practice our empathy and compassion.
I have a concept that I call "practical evil". "Practical evil" is a measure of how much your power surpasses your (moral) wisdom. It roughly corresponds with how much damage you're likely to do to the world. If you don't have much power, you don't need much wisdom.
Plz link us to where you've explained or described this concept at length. Thx.
The problem with science and technology is that it hugely increases our power, but it doesn't necessarily increase our wisdom.
I'm familiar with this sentiment from the speeches, sermons, and writings of MLK Jr. Science and technology would be less problematic if carried out with an inter-disciplinary tie to rational faith, this is, one based on empathy and compassion.
But even with our society's general conception of morality as being a matter of religion,on the one hand; and, on the other hand, science as a values-free system of knowledge, we as a species have used science to enhance our understanding of morality.
Thru biology, ecology, and other scientific fields, we as a species have fleshed out the details of the interrelatedness of all life on Earth. Humans used religion to intuit that inter-connectedness, but thru science, we've discovered myriad causal connections whereby we're more able to put into practice that ethic of interconnectedness.
Similarly, thru sociology, psychology, and other scientific fields, humans have increased our knowledge of how empathy and compassion are vital to our well-being and survival as individuals, communities, and societies.
Though it's not science, this applies also to historical analysis and other fields of human knowledge where we use reason, not intuition, for our final reckoning of what is valuable, in terms of making the world a better place.
The power of guns in the hands of a school shooter, or a bomb in the hands of a terrorist
To be semantically thorough, Chris, to what degree have your considered women, children, and other non-combatants might be terrorized by the US military as our government continues to carry out the 'War on Terror' ? That question might be useful regardless of one's stance on how our political leaders use military power.
(or fossil fuels in the hands of all of us) results in a lot of practical evil.
What do the writers of the New Testament say themselves directly or quote Jesus as saying when it comes to us making the most moral choices pertaining to fossil (and fissile) fuels ?
I suspect science and technology to not comprise our ecological problem, per se.
I suggest the solution involves infusing science and technology with a complementary branch of knowledge where reason has the final say. It's both a new form of spirituality and a new branch of science. Call it 'moral science' or the 'science of morality' if you will.
It's a new form of spirituality; one that emphasizes the pursuit of truth, not belief and obedience; one that is based in reason and (dis)provable ideas about the workings of the world we know exist; one where we don't invest ourselves cognitively and emotionally into an after world that may not exist, and whose rules and other details (about an after world or about divine justice) vary (counter-productively) from culture to culture and epoch to epoch.
Also, as for humans damaging or destroying the habitability of Earth via our usage of fossil and (fissile) fuels, I don't buy into religious ideas about the corrupt nature of humans causing us to be bad stewards of God's creation, nor ideas among some in the ecology movement about civilization being evil. Humankind's problems don't stem from having bitten an apple from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil nor do they stem from our evolutionary expansion of the frontal lobes of the cerebral cortex.
Is our capacity to reason our most viable tool for survival as a species, with intuition as a close second ? Or are reason and intuition inextricable ? Thanks for the discourse.