Posts Tagged ‘Philosophy’

Judges Fired!

November 4, 2010

On Tuesday, November 2nd, Iowa voters decided the fate of three of the seven judges who decided that Iowa should legalize gay marriage.

They were fired.

Hopefully this will send a message throughout the country that the people do not want a small handful of people making decisions of that type, and  magnitude, in that fashion.  The decision of seven people did not strike down a new law, but in effect, created a new law of the land.  The attempt by legislatures to put into writing what had been the common practice, understanding, and law, of the state for one hundred and fifty years should not have been declared unconstitutional.

I am surprised by the observed response of the media.  It has been kept pretty quiet.  You would think that something that has never happened before would be a bigger story.  It has been a strange response.  I am curious to see what will be the ramifications of this action of the people of Iowa.

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Iowa’s Opportunity

October 28, 2010

Iowa has an opportunity on November 2nd to send a message to the judicial world.   Three of the judges responsible for gay marriage becoming a reality in Iowa are on the ballot this coming Tuesday.  If enough Iowans vote “no” on the ballot, these three judges will be removed from Iowa’s Supreme Court.  It will not repeal the law, but it would send the message that judicial activism will not be tolerated.  Why do I call the legalization of gay marriage an example of judicial activism?  Iowa became one of a handful of states to allow gay marriage, not because of legislative action, nor by a vote of the people, but because of the decision of the Iowa Supreme Court.  When something that was illegal for over one hundred and fifty years, becomes legal, by the decree of a small group of judges, that is judicial activism to me.

It should not be tolerated.

 

Hegelian Dialectic

October 26, 2010

The basic idea of the Hegelian Dialectic is that ideas fluctuate through time.  There is a pattern of thesis/counter-thesis/synthesis.  It has been suggested that you can use this pattern to manipulate public opinion.  You simply find someone to advocate a position that is more extreme than the opinion that you actually want held.  The resulting synthesis will be your desired goal.  If the movement is extreme, it may take several steps to get to your desired result.

Currently, there are shrill, extreme, voices on both sides of the political arena.  I wonder if those positions are held sincerely, or if they are an attempt at using the Hegelian Dialectic to sway public policy?  It would be better if we sincerely sought a unified means to a common end, rather than using manipulative tactics to get our own way.

From Me to We

October 11, 2010

When we are having problems in our relationships with other people, whether it is in a church, our workplace, our community, or even in our families, the problem is usually experienced as my dissatisfaction with your actions.  I am unhappy, because you are doing something wrong.  I think that we would be better served if we would shift our focus from our personal perspective to a shared goal.  Instead of asking “How can you make me happy?” or “How can I get my way?”  We should ask “How can we make our situation better?”  How can we make our church better?  Our workplace better? Our communities, and our families better?

In seeking solutions to common problems we need to shift our thinking from me to we, from thinking of our personal needs and goals to thinking of the needs of the group.  Problems that exist in a group setting are not my problems, they are our problems.  Solutions then should focus, not on me, but on we.

Over the River

September 16, 2010

World renown environmentalist artist Christo is proposing to cover sections of a forty-two mile stretch of the Arkansas river between Salida and Canon City with large pieces of fabric.  It would take many months to install, and would only be in place temporarily.  It has been in the planning stages for years.  It has broad support from people of the area who would benefit from the increased tourism, and jobs, during the construction and viewing stages.

I wonder about the environmental effects?  How can you deprive such a large area of natural sunlight for this length of time without ill effect?  What about the act of construction?  The project is currently undergoing an environmental impact study before it will be able to proceed.

I hope they know what they are doing.

Is It Art?

September 14, 2010

The other day in my philosophy class we discussed art.  We had basically agreed that art was an attempt to communicate through the creation of something using visual, audio or other sensory experiences.

Then it was suggested that nature itself was art.  At first I thought that nature is often the inspiration for art, or the subject of art, but in itself, it is not art.  However, the more I thought of it I realized that maybe I was wrong.  Maybe it is art.  I found this to be an interesting concept, because normally we think of art as something created by humans.  Obviously, humans did not create the world.

God did.

So is the natural world a work of the Master Artist?  Does God seek to communicate something to us through the created world?

Yes, I think that I can accept that.  So yes,  nature is art.

Eat, Pray, Love (movie review)

September 7, 2010

The film “Eat, Pray, Love” starring Julia Roberts is not so much a love story as it is a life story.  Roberts plays a writer who takes a year off to get her life in order.

The first four months she spends in Italy, basically eating and spending time with friends.  This time period represents the need to find enjoyment in the simple, material, things in life.  It also points out the need to slow down, and the value of doing nothing. Tasting life, you might say.

The next four months are spent in India learning the value of prayer, meditation and forgiveness.  This time period helps her to connect with the spiritual aspect of life.  Her earlier existence had been without spiritual influence.  There is a brief prayer in the beginning where she states that she had never talked to God before that point, so this is very new, and difficult for her to learn.

The next four months she spends in Bali.  During this period she rediscovers the importance of human relationships, and yes, love.   Also, she is taught the  importance  of balance.  Balancing the various aspects of life is the final lesson.

So “Eat, Pray, Love” is a story about appreciating, practicing, and balancing;  the material, spiritual and relational aspects of life.  In some ways, it teaches some very valid principles.  Unfortunately, these principles are discovered by pursuing non-Christian religious paths.  The movie could easily be used to encourage individuals to find meaning for their lives through various Eastern religions.

The only true and lasting meaning for life is to be found in Jesus Christ who said that “I am the way, the Truth and the Life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.”  (John 14:6) and “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10b)

It Is NOT Hate

July 22, 2010

Recently, Kenneth Howell,  an adjunct faculty at the University of Illinois was removed from teaching the two classes that he taught on Catholicism.  He had been accused by a friend of one of his students of “hate speech”.  Specifically, he had stated that he agreed with the Catholic doctrine that homosexual sex is immoral.

So he was fired for saying he agreed with Catholic doctrine?

What happened to religious freedom?

What happened to free speech?

What happened to academic freedom?

The case is under review and I certainly hope that he is reinstated.

Perhaps it would be better if it was called a sin, rather than immoral.  Calling it a sin would clearly identify it as a religious position.  We all know that we have religious freedom in this country.  No one accuses the Mormon church of  hate speech for their position that drinking caffeine is a sin.  If you don’t believe it to be true, it shouldn’t bother you.

Of course, Dr. Howell has no control over what the Catholic church teaches. They have their position.  He was hired to teach the class.  He has the right to  believe in what Catholicism teaches.  He has the right to say so.

It is not hate.

Trading Freedom for Security

July 8, 2010

Last night at Bible study, a women shared that she had quit her job even though she did not have another one lined up.  Someone else commented that  she had traded security for freedom.  She needed the income, but had been discontent for a while at her place of employment.

It got me thinking.

The health care bill is supposed to provide security by providing coverage for everyone, but it has mandatory obligations.

Air travel is much more restricted, for security purposes.

Banking regulations will probably soon be in place, hopefully providing greater economic security.

These are three recent examples of decreasing freedom for increased security.  I suspect that as we examine our lives we would find that there is often a tension, or a trade-off, between freedom and security.  I am certain that there are times that the trade-off is worthwhile.  There are other times that I suspect we have made a poor bargain.

Deal? or No Deal?

Freedom?  Or Security?

Time to Begin

July 1, 2010

I have now been blogging for two years.  This will be my 375th post, there have been over 1000 comments.  For the most part, I have written something every morning Monday-Thursday.  It has simply become a part of my morning routine.

That is about to change. 

I will still blog on those morning when I wake up with something on my mind that I want to share with those in cyber-space.  On those morning when I do not have something to write about, instead of sitting at the computer until some idea strikes me, I am going to use that time to begin writing a book expounding on my philosophical views.  I have been thinking about doing this for over ten years and I am not getting any younger. 

It should be done in about ten more years.

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It’s not goodbye, it’s see you less often.