Wednesday, April 8, 2015

9. Should there be struggle in the Christian vis a vis God?

There should be struggle in the Christian, as he or she prepares to meet God either now or in the next life. God is God, and we aren't; and God doesn't change.

Here's a pretty good introduction to the topic.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

8. More on Struggle (Ya gotta problem with breastfeeding?)


Good discussion on the link.
The chemistry professor paradox hinges on the idea that small particles don't struggle, but only interact. Therefore, how can large one's be necessarily in struggle?

This is a mere confusion. At higher levels of organization of anything anywhere, there are rules that apply to the higher level that don't apply at the lower levels. I don't remember how this applies, or to what classes this applies, but for animal life at least, there are what they call the four parts of Life: Feeding, Fighting, Fleeing and Reproducing. I suspect that in all life on earth, these four features must either exist or have an apology.

All things have a telos. A telos is a purpose for the thing. If the thing isn't already in the purpose or doing the purpose, then it must move toward the purpose. If the telos isn't revealed by a physical force, e.g., a slide by gravity or some such, then the thing--here a life form--must take action from within itself to move toward the telos.

a) emergent properties
b) The four Fs characterize (animal?) life
c) Anything with a telos and autonomy (self-direction, self-movement) will act with purpose against resistance--i.e., struggle-- to achieve that telos.

I thought this picture captures the discussion.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

7. Happy Easter: What if Jesus wasn't really raised from the dead?

Thanks to my friends at the Gospel Coalition.
What if nobody at all, even Jesus, wasn't and won't be, raised from the dead?

If Christ is not raised, the consequences for a fallen world are catastrophic.
1. Not even Christ is raised.
2. Preaching the gospel is useless.
3. Faith in Christ is worthless.
4. Every witness to the resurrection and all preachers of the resurrection are deluded liars.
5. Christianity is a fairy tale.
6. All of humanity remains captive to sin.
7. Everyone who died is in hell.
8. Christians are the most foolish people on earth.

This argument is by St. Paul, and aimed at Christians who were believing in Jesus the savior and messiah, but doubtful about the coming resurrection, saying that maybe there wasn't a resurrection after all.

I came to faith in a church context that emphasized, quote, asking Jesus into your heart, unquote. Yet a few years later, after being religious, someone ran through a statement of faith with me, and I said to myself, nobody really believes that stuff do they. After I came to an adult faith years later, the memory of that early doubt highlighted for me that asking Jesus into your heart without believing the gospel as fact is --not a good thing. To be generous.

Here is Handel's Messiah, a complete version, by the London Symphony.

Happy Easter.

6. Temptation and Testing

Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
I can resist everything except temptation.
--Lord Darlington, Act I. Lady Windermere's Fan (1892) Oscar Wilde.

In Biblical Greek, the word for 'tempt' and 'test' are the same: crisis.

We can understand the difference by seeing the circumstance before us as one that gives us a choice. If the one who is presenting us with the choice is morally ambiguous about it; or if we ourselves are ambivalent about the morals involved; then it's a temptation. Consider the serpent tempting Eve.
If there is no moral ambiguity, but merely a costly assertion of our own moral backbone, it is a test. Consider God commanding Abraham to offer his own son as a sacrifice.

God will customarily allow cause and effect to rule the day, including letting bad people leading us into temptation. We can avoid those problems if we pray--we have reason to believe.

5. Why is there struggle? Part I.

I'm trying to answer the question "Why is there Struggle." One does not have to be a Darwinian to see that struggle is a metaphysically important (primary?) part of existence. Tell me, dear reader, do you know anyone who has ever addressed this for you, and addressed it well?
Of course, I'm doing a general search, but asking friends is the best way to cut to the chase for many things.

It appears that God has built struggle into the warp and woof of all existence. In God's own Being, it seems there is not this struggle, but love and community between the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. In all created things, angels and spiritual places and beings on down, it seems there is struggle.

End of part I.

Mark Erelli - Mother Of Mysteries Lyrics
Artist: Mark Erelli

Album: Little Vigils
for more information, see Mark's website.

Oh I wish I believed if only for you
In a Sweet Ever After beyond the blue
In an Eternal Father who after the fall
Cast us all out of the garden

Now I've found an Eden I can believe in
Leavened with nothing but time

There is grandeur in this view of life
Where one becomes many through struggle and strife
But the mother of mysteries is another man's call
Why is there something instead of nothing at all
Why is there something instead of nothing at all

If the devil's own chaplain is leading the prayer
From a book that's been written with sorrow and care
Then his hand is indifferent but it isn't unkind
There's no evil design in his sermon

For I hear a chorus of those gone before us
Scored upon pages of stone


Oh what an utter desert is a life without love
Would that your blessings alone were enough
To abandon my doubt in the veil of your tears
Oh my dear how the fabric has fallen

For I see an Eden I can believe in
Free from the master's design


Why is there STRUGGLE?

4. Revisit: Technology and the human arts via music

This article from Premier Guitar is the source of today's reflection.

This article goes along with what I was saying earlier about the Casio Effect, and philosophy of technology more generally.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

3. Ectopic Pregnancy, mother death, fetal death

Here's the link.

Ectopic pregnancy is when the fertilized ovum migrates to the outside of the fallopian tube and attaches outside the uterus. Presently, there is no known procedure by which the life of the unborn child may be saved. Frequently, if not typically, the mother's life is endangered.

There is at present no way to save the life of the child, which will die imminently if not already. Therefore any medical action taken is considered in regard to the mother, to save her life. There is nothing the mother can do to save the life of her child.

Surgery to remove the fetus does not change the prognosis for the fetus, but can possibly save the life of the mother.

It is right to grieve the loss of the child, and to be comforted in the loss of your child.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

2. Vulcan Harp, $1.99, so they tell me. Vulcan Harp. Then again, there's the not so famous or infamous Casio Effect. (I can't find the Casio Effect in the literature anywhere, so if you know about it and where it comes from, let me know and I'll do a post on it.) Let's not forget the lovely GuitOrgan.