Reinhold Niebuhr declared: “Man’s capacity for justice makes democracy possible; but man’s inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary.”
Today is a wonderful day. A day for all thinking,believing people to celebrate. Today the following happened:
The Vatican said the Pontiff shared the shame felt by so many in Ireland
He said he shared the betrayal and shame felt by Irish Catholics after meeting senior bishops in Rome.
He now plans to write a letter to the Catholics of Ireland.
In a statement issued by the Vatican, Pope Benedict said he discussed the harrowing detail and cover-up of allegations against priests in the Dublin Archdiocese as detailed in the inquiry report with Cardinal Sean Brady and Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin.
"The Holy Father was deeply disturbed and distressed by its contents," it said.
Which appears, at least appears, to indicate a total change of heart and purpose on behalf of the former Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Josef Ratzinger.
Readers of this blog will remember that many times we have referred to the document
issued by this Prefect on 24th January 2001, in which persons reporting child abuse to civil authorities faced ex-communication.
Regrettably, this present PR exercise is not exactly a meaningful 'mea culpe'. I do not read how Cardinal Ratzinger himself accepts the responsibility he has – if only by the document named above – in the 'cover-up' that is by far the worst aspect of the Church's role in all of this.
But hey, maybe I'm wrong. Maybe 'the light has shone'. But I am mindful that doctrine states a relationship between forgiveness and repentance……gg
"So let us reach for the world that ought to be - that spark of the divine that still stirs within each of our souls. Somewhere today, in the here and now, a soldier sees he's outgunned but stands firm to keep the peace. Somewhere today, in this world, a young protestor awaits the brutality of her government, but has the courage to march on. Somewhere today, a mother facing punishing poverty still takes the time to teach her child, who believes that a cruel world still has a place for his dreams.
Let us live by their example. We can acknowledge that oppression will always be with us, and still strive for justice. We can admit the intractability of depravation, and still strive for dignity. We can understand that there will be war, and still strive for peace. We can do that - for that is the story of human progress; that is the hope of all the world; and at this moment of challenge, that must be our work here on Earth".President Barack Obama: Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, Oslo, 10 December 2009
It would be nice to believe that the 'terrorist jihad movement' was, at last, starting to be rejected by the innumerable 'leaders' within Islam on moral or religious grounds.
Take, for example, the following:
"three of Saudi Arabia’s most influential radical clerics — Nasir bin Hamad al-Fahd, Ali al-Khudair and Ahmed al-Khalidi (once described by Osama bin Laden as “our most prominent supporter”) — have disowned Mr. bin Laden. Another, Salman al-Awda, has excoriated him, asking, “How many innocents have you killed?”
Abu Basir al-Tartusi, an influential Jordan-born cleric living in London, now uses the Islamic concept of “covenant” between Muslims and their hosts to condemn jihadist bombings in Britain. In Qatar, the high-profile televangelist Yusuf al-Qaradhawi has advanced a “jurisprudence of jihad” that forbids the killing of most civilians. And from his prison cell in Egypt, Sayyed Imam al-Sharif — the founder of the Egyptian insurgent group that produced Osama bin Laden’s deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri — has declared that the jihad against the West must be abandoned."from HERE
This seems to be enlightened progress. It seems to be a more thorough understanding of the original words of the Koran.
It would be nice to believe that.
However, what is far more believable is that the revulsion felt by the overwhelming mass of moderate, temperate, loving and compassionate muslims throughout the world is beginning to have an effect upon the extremists.
Furthermore, the jihadist, one caliphate, insurgence within the muslim world has done more harm to Islam by simply illuminating the lack of a basic, unmodified, unadulterated ' doctrinal code of Islam' . It's one of those 'where you stand dictates what you see' relativity issues. In one islamic country, this way: in another, that way.
Islam is not a unified faith and the schisms of moral revulsion rising to expression within the mass of decent law-abiding muslims, these schisms
are becoming tradition shattering tsunamis of tolerance.
"Ninety-four percent of college professors believe they are above average teachers, and 90 percent of drivers believe they are above average behind the wheel. Researchers Paul J.H. Schoemaker and J. Edward Russo gave computer executives quizzes on their industry. Afterward, the executives estimated that they had gotten 5 percent of the answers wrong. In fact, they had gotten 80 percent of the answers wrong" David Brooks, NYT
It seems that the old saying "to thine own self be true" has undergone a hyper-transformation.
Maybe it's good to simply ask oneself, occasionally, 'what if everything I believed was wrong and the opposite was true".
Often it is only when we meet the opposite of something that we can really define the something…
Readers of this blog will often note my lack of conciliation on the subject of politicised religion. I have a fundamentalist, simplistic view about this: when politics and religion mix, the innocent suffer and the 'religious org' clearly distances itself from concepts of higher morality, ethics and, yes, even it's own oft stated dogmas about the nature of God.I have often bemoaned the absence of the 'voice of moderation and tolerance' in the Islamic world in the face of fundamentalist jihadist atrocities, often dismayed by the hijacking of a 'noble religion' by a fringe of power-hungry individuals. It is, therefore, with great respect and admiration that I read today of the continued principled stand of the 72 year old mid-level Iranian cleric, Mehdi Karroubi. When threatened with an 'inquisition style' inquiry he stated “It will be a good opportunity for me to talk again about crimes that would make the shah look good,” More recently he stated “If only I were not alive and had not seen the day that in the Islamic republic, a citizen would come to me and complain that every variety of appalling and unnatural act would be done in unknown buildings and by less-known people: stripping people and making them face each other and subjecting them to vile insults and urinating in their faces,” he wrote in his letter to the nation. “I said to myself, ‘Where indeed have we arrived 30 years after the revolution?’ ”
( above quote VIA).
I am not Muslim, but that does not stop me recognising the courage and determination of a man for whom his faith means more than his life.
I am reminded that it was Gandhi who said "even if you are the minority of one – the truth is still the truth"
The measure of the truth of Islam in Iran shall be seen in the manner in which this 'Islamic Revolution' handles the accusations of improper behaviour , human rights abuses, rape, sodomy, murder ,levelled against it by one of it's formerly highly respected own…
.. Technorati Tags: Mehdi,Karroubi,Iranian,cleric,inquisition,Islamic,Muslim,Gandhi
Well check out what happened to 8 other 14 year olds on this day less than 100 years ago. Not so long ago in human history we did not have the choices, freedoms and economic security that most of us can now enjoy, at least in Europe.
In memory of Senghenydd
"The work demonstrates that we are awash in social signals, and any social science that treats individuals as discrete decision-making creatures is nonsense. But it also suggests that even though most of our reactions are fast and automatic, we still have free will and control.
Many of the studies presented here concerned the way we divide people by in-group and out-group categories in as little as 170 milliseconds. The anterior cingulate cortices in American and Chinese brains activate when people see members of their own group endure pain, but they do so at much lower levels when they see members of another group enduring it. These effects may form the basis of prejudice.
In other words, consciousness is too slow to see what happens inside, but it is possible to change the lenses through which we unconsciously construe the world"Extracts from an article by David Brooks, NYT, about 'social cognitive neuroscience'. See the rest HERE
Peace is, first and foremost, an attitude of mind and emotion. In order for peace to be translated into a physical reality there has to be a willingness to recognise the formula of understanding of the needs of each other.
When we are willing to adopt an attitude of mind and emotion that celebrates the uniqueness of each individual, then we have the tools to progress to a physical enabling of peace.
This blog writer congratulates President Barack Obama on the award of the Nobel Peace prize.
It is a long time since an American President has 'set the world' on a pathway of hope in the possibility of truly peaceful co-existence and shared responsibility for that co-existence.Not all 'actions of peaceful intent' produce immediate result. However, this writer feels that Obama's contribution and leadership in shaping attitudes and emotions that are conducive to future peace certainly warrants this Peace award.
When He - Albert Einstein (often regarded as the father of modern physics and an acknowledged massive contributor to the understanding of modern science and the universe in which we exist) said this…..
about this man – who was born 140 years ago today -
Then I take notice – and find out more about Mahatma Gandhi
(Time magazine named Gandhi the Man of the Year in 1930. He was also the runner-up to Albert Einstein as “Person of the Century” in 1999)…
.Technorati Tags: Einstein,science,universe,Mahatma,Gandhi,Time Magazine,runner,Person of the century
Last May this blog also reported the incredible story of a young teenager from Guatemala whose heart was failing – and the incredible story of all the hearts that opened to help this amazing young man.
Here is a beautiful tribute that has been made by stillchillin2 on you tube
On 26th June we lost the physical presence of Juan – but our hearts
will forever be touched by the story of his heart and courage.R:I:P
"Telling the future by looking at the past assumes that conditions remain constant. This is like driving a car by looking in the rear-view mirror" anon.To be fair and objective, interpreting your own spirituality/beliefs by constant reference to the ancient experiencing/writings/traditions of someone else is a little bit the same as the above.
Be gentle with yourself,Precious One. Allow your heart time to weep - for you, and we, have misplaced a great treasure and we must patiently wait for the floods of our feelings to subside before we shall see the shining of his/her presence in our hearts again.
These days are precious days, let them move at their own pace and have no regard to how it may look to others. Try not to be angry and impatient with yourself but rather,if the burden becomes almost too heavy, decide to light a candle and as you light it concentrate,concentrate on one - just one - happy and joyful memory you have of that loved One…
it will take you the rest of your lifetime and a lot of candles and even then you will not have exhausted the supply of wonderful memories that have been lovingly,magically woven into your being.
It takes the joys of love to heal love's sorrows. gg
Something else also happened this day as well as the 'official' start of WW2.
within 3 days 186 children had been starved, denied water and then
It always seems to be so disastrous for humanity when politics gets all mixed up with religion – especially if the religion is pretty mixed up in the first place
WE WILL REMEMBER THEM
It is a source of constant amazement and, yes, dismay to me as I get older to observe how often people simply cannot dare,or trust, to be themselves or to be fully open.
Fearing they will be used, abused or cheated in some way they so often compromise themselves.
I have even witnessed,regrettably many times, great spiritual principles or beliefs traded and sold for a pocketful of dust.
No one can take your dignity if you do not give it to them.
No one can take your integrity if you do not sell it to them.
No one can steal your love, for in truth Love is only ours to possess in that moment that we give it away.Until that moment we are possessed by love.
I have always tried to believe in the POWER OF LOVE. I have tried to live my life within the reality of that belief.
Occasionally, life has tested that reality and tested it almost to the point of destruction – but never quite!
Always has come some incident,accident,event that has protected and defended the belief.
Today I finished participating in a singing course with angels – and the dancing melodies of their lovingness is as shimmering sunrays in the forests of my doubts.
I have always tried to believe in the POWER OF LOVE.
In almost 65 years it has never failed to triumph though the manner of it's victory may have,at that time,seemed to be the opposite.
LOVE does not concern itself with logic.gg
Character is doing the right thing when nobody's looking. There are too many people who think that the only thing that's right is to get by, and the only thing that's wrong is to get caught.
(ps. I am aware that wrongs is spelt incorrectly but placed it there for the benefit of those people who find such happiness in constantly correcting others. Who am I to deny their joy?)
OK! Everyone has a bad day now and then….so it's good to look around at what is happening,quietly, in this world……it's amazing the caring,sharing,loving that is going on
Check out this story HERE
visit the website that has now been set up about this remarkable man and his family.
Talking about caring,loving, is easy. Doing it is tough – but uniquely rewarding..
According to Chip Cronkite, the son of the legendary and 'most trusted American' of the age Walter Cronkite, his late Father had an ashtray on which was written the saying:
“Just give me the facts: I’ll mix ’em up when I quote you.”
A pretty good saying for people that work in the media……and a brilliant saying for those who 'work in religious orgs'…….
The interplay of energies emanating from a common source,unstoppably expanding the permutations of possibilities of experiencing.Experiences so unique,so individual as to be totally valid in their own right.
Not a galaxy exists, nor a star, a person nor a single ant,not even a single blade of grass that is not equally and powerfully involved in the process of this pathway. It is not only,as Einstein Schweitzer et.al stated as a 'will to live' for expression of the life force is more,much more,than simply existence. This interplay of energies is in constant,ever constant creative mode. It applies to all things, for there is nothing that has been created that is not wholly and entirely unique and the presence of which has enriched beyond imaginings the potentiality of the process
.As quickly as one experience is created,so an infinite number of permutations arise from that one incidence.
(I no longer believe in coincidences)
The Vatican made a loss last year as the weaker dollar reduced the value of donations from the faithful in the United States.
Almost a quarter of the $79.8m (£40.4m) worth of offerings it received came from collections made in US churches.
But as the dollar lost 15% of its value against the euro, the Catholic Church's governing body made a loss of 9.1m euros (£7.3m: $14.3m) in 2007.
That was despite receiving a single anonymous donation of $14.3m.
Oh, you seem so sad.
After all we have discussed I find you looking down upon the ground
as though it was me down there.
I am up here.Here! I am dancing with the dust specks in the air waiting for the Dougaldog to come and change our rhythm.
I had thought that by now you would have come to the realisation that energy,especially spirit energy and more especially the energy of lovingness, never dies. It travels on.It transforms.It transmutes. I am already in the process of another pathway plan,one that will allow me to return to this most pleasurable cycle of experiencing. This next time I will have my snowboard and will go swishing happily down white clad mountainsides. For it is the nature of unconditional lovingness to permit us all that is within our creative energy comprehension in any of our earth- life walks.
What you are looking at upon the ground is simply the clothing that I wore.No less,no more. Clothing that permitted me to be in this metaphor you call existence. Clothing that allowed your senses to perceive me and consequently generate our dialogue.
It was my label.It was not me for I,and you,are much much more than the dusted labels of relativity. For a while we wear the label so that we may experience that which we truly are,in as many potential permutations as we are able within the framework of our chosen life pathway. I am sure you have understood by now that knowing something is not the same as experiencing it.
Dear and treasured One, we will walk together again as we have have done for thousands of years.We will talk together again as we have done from the beginning of time. We are not parting we are simply re-inventing new methodologies of experiencing who we truly are.
There is nowhere for us to go,for we are the Oneness. We neither come from it,nor return to it.
Oneness is omnipresent.All,all is the Oneness. There is nothing beyond the Oneness for it is...for it is....it is.
Yet, the pain in your heart is counterpointed by the joy in mine. That you can have loved me so preciously is a bliss of self-realisation for us both as we have journeyed along this pathway together.
What a truly magnificent,wonderful paradise of experiencing this has all been.
The interplay of energies emanating from a common source,unstoppably expanding the permutations of possibilities of experiencing. Experiences so unique,so individual as to be totally valid in their own right.
Not a galaxy exists, nor a star, a person nor a single ant,not even a single blade of grass that is not equally and powerfully involved in the process of this pathway.
It is not only,as Einstein Schweitzer et.al stated a 'will to live' for expression of the life force is more,much more,than simply existence. This interplay of energies is in constant,ever constant creative mode. It applies to all things, for there is nothing that has been created that is not wholly and entirely unique and the presence of which has enriched beyond imaginings the potentiality of the process.
As quickly as one experience is created,so an infinite number of permutations arise from that one incidence… gg. .
If you stare at it for long enough you will forget your worries,surrender your anxieties……. simply wander through the exquisite detail of it's structure, the subtlety of it's colouring……… it is not such a problem to take the next step into this extravagance of creativity…. you can start to imagine the infinite complexity of a human structure.
Once our hearts open to the potentiality of beauty we begin to see it everywhere
Once we start to see the omnipresence of beauty….we begin to touch the limitlessness of the lovingness that surrounds us…everywhere…all the time. Our life blossoms into a celebration of beautiful lovingness…..In this sense we and the orchid become as one
It's some kind of cactus and we've had the plant for some years now. Apparently it must be happy because for the first time ever it produced this amazing bloom
The flower opens and stays open for about 4 hours.
On this special day I dedicate this special event to….Bruno and Nicole
"we do not achieve truth whenever we seek it, but only when it is forced on us" Dan Kloke
An interesting comment to a Roger Cohen article in NYT. It provoked my thoughts. Perhaps there is a dimension in this that speaks of our seemingly unlimited ability to 'moderate a circumstance to suit our needs/desires.
The reality of a perceived truth often seems difficult to accept – either because of it's freeing effects upon our indoctrinated belief systems – or simply because it's too simple.
To know that you are loved unconditionally is such a simple truth….. is it really too simple to accept?
"unless you become as a child you shall not enter the kingdom…………………"
For the pessimists amongst us, I have some good news
that should make you happy! Perhaps I should re-phrase
that: for the pessimists amongst us I have some bad news
that can make you even more unhappy!
I’m sure I cannot be the only one who has noticed an amazing
sequence of changes in the world.
Just look at a few events and consider what massive shift is
1. A highly unexpected Presidential election result in the USA that is re-shaping world politics
2. A profound shift away from extremist-led politics
3. A powerful movement to separate church and state in Iran
4. The recognition that warfare is not a means of solving problems
5.The rejection of terrorism as a means of achieving politico-religious ends
All these events within this past few months. It is as though
the world is waking up to a NEW ORDER. A period in the
history of humankind when the criteria of existence are being
Capitalism,communism,theocratic government are all being
shown to be inadequate as vehicles to express the
aspirations of the human soul.
This is the true dawning of the Age of One-ness. The age
in the history of humanity when we begin to recognize fully
our inter-dependence and act out the creed of love that
defines itself by mutual respect and co-operation.
Enlightenment is dawning on the horizon of history.
Errrmmm, is this a translation problem? An interpretation problem? Ah, no, it's that usual problem of conflicting interests that occurs between the 'politics of religion' and the 'practice of faith'.
And to think that it is written in the Koran: "Let there be no compunction in religion". I suppose the next thing we'll hear is that it's ok to 'kill these apostates". Yet another thing that is strictly forbidden in the Koran and true Islam..
But hey, what's the truth got to do with it?
The highly influential writings of Sayid Qutb,generally regarded as the 'father of the modern Jihad movement' (a.k.a terrorist movement), such as Fi Zalal al-Koran, have at their core the argument against the western tendency to seperate church and state.
This is the main objection of the Jihad movement and an objection that is vociferously voiced.
As the Vatican discovered in the last century it is highly detrimental to a religion to formally politicise it's actions. Israel has also witnessed the same process – the de-ethicalisation of it's religion.
In Iran we,today,also see the folly of attempting to graft the power of the state onto the roots of a religion. It ends up with an impotent hybrid that eventually withers away.It is not a protesting public that most harms the tenets of a religion – but it is the bitter and power hungry response of so-called 'spiritual men' who deal the death blow.
What happens in Iran today more clearly defines the tenets of Islam than anything the Jihadist movement has done in the last 30 years.It more clearly reveals to the world what is truly meant by a ruling Caliphat. It seems to differ little from self-centred capitalism or elitist communism..
We are witnessing the clearest statement yet of what is really meant by democracy in a Muslim state where the 'church' is not seperate from the state.
“In retrospect, all revolutions seem inevitable. Beforehand, all revolutions seem impossible.” Michael McFaul
photo courtesy of Huffington Post
It is always interesting to watch massive movements of public opinion,political activism,religious fervour. To be a bystander of events that herald massive change, a quantum shift in the perceptions. Of course, it's always easier to opinionate on circumstances in which we are not directly involved.
Much harder to apply Michael McFaul's words on a personal basis.
Or is it?
Consider all the events in your life experiencing that you had one time thought totally impossible and yet which turned out to be absolutely inevitable.
Then,if I may respectfully suggest, consider this:the reality of One-ness,all of us and everything being directly interconnected, may seem wholly impossible to you at this time.Yet a small shift in perception will demonstrate the inevitability of this reality.
Like many people of my generation who grew up with films like ‘Cast a giant shadow’ and the images of concentration camps (I remember being only about 9 years old when I saw my first – and still don’t understand) – like many people my ‘sideline support’ for the State of Israel has waned in the face of the Palestinian tragedy.
The State of Israel,as a political institution, has bankrupted Judaism as a faith of honour – in much the same way as jihadism and Imman silence has bankrupted Islam. I am deeply indebted,therefore, to Andre Aciman for his article which presents some interesting FACTS about the ‘other side of this PR coin’.
If you want some balance in the equation about injustices visited upon the long suffering peoples of the MIddle East (usually in the name of some religion or other) – then take a good read of this
“They’re one of the most pacifistic mammals,” Dr. Rismiller said. “Nobody bothers them; they don’t bother anybody. There’s a lot we could learn from them.”
Does this suggest a link between neo-cortex functions and peace-loving ways?full article here.
updated 9:13 p.m. ET June 5, 2009
Moshe Kai Cavalin, 11, graduated with honors Friday from East Los Angeles College, but he'd rather you not call him a genius.
"I consider myself a regular kid who works hard and does his best," says this only child of a Taiwanese mother and an Israeli father.
When Moshe started college at the age of 8, he may have been the youngest person in class, but he ended up tutoring some of his 19- and 20-year-old classmates in math and science.FULL STORY HERE
Beyond all previous hope, a Guatemalan teenager with a deadly heart condition who found his way into the hearts of many Romans may soon learn if he is eligible for a heart transplant.Follow the story HERE
What people can achieve when they open their loving hearts to the needs of others is a remarkable coagulator of miracles :)
Here’s one of those ‘good to know’ stories about determination,hard work,excellence and achievement…..”
By BOB HERBERT
Published: June 5, 2009
The teenager’s voice on the other end of the phone on Thursday was more than exuberant. It was ecstatic.
“I’m going to college!” she said, virtually singing. “I’m going to college!”
and since Knowledge is power….that’s one of the main reasons I LOVE the internet :).
Beyond that which we see or hear or touch are dimensions of lovingness that glitter and shine like multi-faceted diamonds.Once you have been the recipient of such shinings you can never find fulfillment without shining yourself.
ggIn tribute to a treasured friend who travelled to the light on 28th April 2009.
It would be no exaggeration to call this a holocaust of abuse. Time after time, victims complained, even though in most cases merely speaking out constituted an immense act of courage. And time after time, Catholic priests, monks and nuns claimed the accusations were lies.
Torture, rape and beatings. That’s the story of Roman Catholic Ireland in the 20th century. No one will ever know the true tally of evil in this catalogue of unredeemed sin, but the miracle is that not every victim committed suicide or went insane.
full article HERE…
For if there is one law that we can be most certain of, it is the law that binds people of all faiths and no faith together. It is no coincidence that it exists in Christianity and Judaism; in Islam and Hinduism; in Buddhism and humanism. It is, of course, the Golden Rule - the call to treat one another as we wish to be treated. The call to love. To serve. To do what we can to make a difference in the lives of those with whom we share the same brief moment on this Earth.Barack Obama,Notre Dame 17 May 2009
British soldier Phil Packer was told a year ago that he would never walk again, but on Saturday he finished the London Marathon.
He completed the race 13 days after it started, walking on crutches for two miles a day -- the most his doctor would allow -- in order to raise money for charity.
Flanked by cheering soldiers and supporters, an obviously emotional Packer had defied medical opinion after his lower spine was badly injured in the aftermath of a rocket attack on his base in Basra, Iraq, in February 2008. Read full article »
and do you know this young guy from the film ‘Australia’ ?
The latest star of the film industry – capturing everyone’s heart with his amazing acting (his first acting role). But did you know that Brandon Walters (Nullah in the film) who is now 13 years old, fought with Leukaemia when he was 6 years old?
The Sanskrit term Bodhisattva is the name given to anyone who, motivated by great compassion, has generated bodhichitta, which is a spontaneous wish to attain Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings. What makes someone a Bodhisattva is her or his dedication to the ultimate welfare of other beings, as expressed in the prayer:
If you are experiencing an unhappy time at the moment, check this out:
thks Kristine for the link. .
As readers of this blog will note over the many years that it has been running,I am not exactly unbiased when it comes to ‘religious lies,misrepresentations or downright manipulations”.
In the age of the Twitter,YouTube,SMS texting,blogging – you would think that ‘persons of supposed influence’ would have learnt the absurdity of lying.
Well, just to show how arrogant and disrespectful this can be,have at look at this video from ’MediaMatters’ about the blatant way in which FoxNews
‘misunderstands’ the value of accurate reporting:
Now that’s what they do with modern technology…….. imagine what ‘wrong motivated persons’ managed to do in times when people did not receive education,could not read or write…..If this is what they do with video/tv reports…imagine what could have been done with linguistic/grammatic/translation alterations in some of the more famous religious ‘Holy Books’
I am always fascinated by the ability of the human mind to pole-vault the obvious in favour of the obnoxious.
Take, for example, the creation stories that are fundamental to Middle Eastern originated religions. In the first place ‘God creates…and it is good”
Then along comes another story,added later , which becomes a judgmentalists heaven, full of implications about human failings and such stuff.
And – amazingly – the obvious contradiction that ‘all is not good’, or the assumption that Man can defy God (thus creating a far lesser God), doesn’t seem to arise in the consciousness of so-called ‘dedicated followers
Thus have such intellectual athletics developed and promoted the ‘chaos theory of religious understanding’. This theory postulates that there can be no other truth in the universe beyond that which they themselves are willing to accept and promote.
Coyle and Colvin describe dozens of experiments fleshing out this process. This research takes some of the magic out of great achievement. But it underlines a fact that is often neglected. Public discussion is smitten by genetics and what we’re “hard-wired” to do. And it’s true that genes place a leash on our capacities. But the brain is also phenomenally plastic. We construct ourselves through behaviour. As Coyle observes, it’s not who you are, it’s what you do.
an extract from another David Brooks NYT article which can be viewed HERE
JAKARTA, Indonesia — From Pakistan to Gaza and Lebanon, militant Islamic movements have gained ground rapidly in recent years, fanning Western fears of a consolidation of radical Muslim governments. But here in the world’s most populous Muslim nation just the opposite is happening, with Islamic parties suffering a steep drop in popular support.Altogether, the major Islamic parties suffered a drop in support from 38 percent in 2004 to less than 26 percent this year, according to the Indonesian Survey Institute
Published: April 24, 2009 NYT full article HERE
"An old man walking along the beach at dawn sees a young man picking up the star fish and throwing them out to sea. "Why are you doing that?" The old man inquired. The young man explained that the starfish had been stranded on the beech by a receding tide. And would soon die in the daytime sun. "But the beach goes on for miles," the old man said. "And there's so many! How can your effort make any difference?" The young man looked at the starfish in his hand and without hesitating threw it to safety in the sea. He looked up at the old man, smiled and said, "It will make a difference to that one."
A story told by Sen Edward Kennedy and re-told by Pres.Barack Obama..
“The creative output of the twenty or thirty million Muslims of the Abbasid era [750-1258] dwarfs the output of the nearly one-and-a-half billion Muslims of the modern era.” Per head, the income of the wealthiest Muslim country (the United Arab Emirates) is 200 times that of the poorest (Somalia)”
Ali Allawi’s new book is ‘
an “attempt to understand the factors behind the decay of the spirit of Islam”
read more HERE
Let us also remember that today is HOLOCAUST Remembrance Day….lest we forget.
and just in case some readers object (?!?) to these two items being in the same posting, just check out what religious co-operation,tolerance and understanding really is about:
“Sweden has a law, in force since 2001, covering the practice of circumcision on boys up to 18-years-old. The procedure should normally be conducted with pain relievers by a doctor, nurse or private person holding a special licence from the health and welfare board.
Stockholm County Council does not currently offer the operation within the public healthcare system and parents are referred to private clinics where demand is high, reports Dagens Nyheter.
The newspaper reports that since the man lost his licence there are no longer any people within the Muslim community who are licensed to carry out the practice.
Many Muslims therefore approach Jewish practitioners to circumcise their male offspring.”
By DAVID BROOKS
Published: April 6, 2009
Socrates talked. The assumption behind his approach to philosophy, and the approaches of millions of people since, is that moral thinking is mostly a matter of reason and deliberation: Think through moral problems. Find a just principle. Apply it.
One problem with this kind of approach to morality, as Michael Gazzaniga writes in his 2008 book, “Human,” is that “it has been hard to find any correlation between moral reasoning and proactive moral behavior, such as helping other people. In fact, in most studies, none has been found.”
Full article HEREAn interesting article for those who feel their 'intellect' rules their life and 'judgement making processes'
The founder of a Roman Catholic religious order that ran retreat centers for troubled priests warned American bishops in forceful letters dating back to 1952 that pedophiles should be removed from the priesthood because they could not be cured.
The Rev. Gerald M. C. Fitzgerald, founder of the order, Servants of the Paraclete, delivered the same advice in person to Vatican officials in Rome in 1962 and to Pope Paul VI a year later, according to the letters, which were unsealed by a judge in the course of litigation against the church.
The documents contradict the most consistent defense given by bishops about the sexual abuse scandal: that they were unaware until recently that offenders could not be rehabilitated and returned ‘ to the ministry.
So there we have it! ‘Big tobacco’ said smoking was not harmful to health.
’Big religion said ……..’ehem, we didn’t know*
Ah well, business is business, huh?
I wonder if there are any millstone manufacturers out there willing to talk discounts? Oh, stupid of me, in the supply/demand equation you don’t discount when demand is high do you?..
The jet crashed into Dong Yun Yoon's house, killing his wife, his two young children and his mother-in-law. An unoccupied house was also destroyed.
Days after the incident, Yoon said he did not blame the pilot.
"Please pray for him not to suffer from this accident," Yoon said. "I don't blame him. I don't have any hard feelings. I know he did everything he could".
Full story HERESometimes the loving ability of the human spirit to overcome even the harshest tragedies,or show compassion when you are the one that is really suffering, sometimes.......it is a statement of the highest manifestation of lovingness
No amount of regulation will restore our sense of honour and shame. Economics needs ethics
Markets need morals, and morals are not made by markets.
They are made by schools, the media, custom, tradition, religious leaders, moral role models and the influence of people. But when religion loses its voice and the media worship success, when right and wrong become relativised and morality is condemned as “judgmental”, when people lose all sense of honour and shame and there is nothing they won't do if they can get away with it, no regulation will save us. People will outwit the regulators, as they did by the securitisation of risk so no one knew who owed what to whom.
The big question is: how do we learn to be moral again? Markets were made to serve us; we were not made to serve markets. Economics needs ethics. Markets do not survive by market forces alone. They depend on respect for the people affected by our decisions. Lose that and we lose not just money and jobs but something more significant still: freedom, trust and decency, the things that have a value, not a price.FULL Timesonline article
Sir Jonathan Sacks is the Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth