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Archive for the ‘Philosophy’ Category

The other day my mom said “I hope there is no dust in heaven.”  To that I said, isn’t heaven supposed to be perfect?  How can there be dust in heaven if heaven is perfect?  Plus we don’t know how heaven is physically.  Aren’t we outside of our bodies in heaven?  Aren’t we in heaven in spirit only?  I don’t know.  What are your thoughts on heaven?

Right now due to circumstances I am living with my parents apart from my husband.  I don’t want to be but maybe that is best for me and for us for now.  Kevin and I are rebuilding.  I think it is good that I am able to spend time with my parents, especially my mom since she is having trouble with her health.  This also gives me time to focus on me and I think I need that for now.  It is so hard being apart from Kevin.  Somehow this is part of God’s plan and I am trusting Him but this is so hard.

I have tried to keep up on what happened at the recent Synod on the Family but I need to read up on it a bit.  I am waiting for the English version of the final synod report to be released.

A friend suggested that I read James in the Bible so I have started reading James.  In chapter 1 James talks about having perseverance when going through trials.  Even in trials we are called to trust in God and have faith.  We need to lean on God in these tough times.

I have started my own jewelry shop on Etsy.  I am excited and will be posting more items to sell soon.

Have a blessed Sunday!

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A leading Catholic architect named Duncan G. Stroik is making the case for bringing back traditional church design.  Are there any churches today that have been built in modern times which can be considered objectively beautiful? Does the inside of these modern constructed churches “contribute to an atmosphere of transcendence”?  When Catholic churches are built today do you think the architecture should return to traditional church design?  Does the Catholic Church need an art revival? Do these churches draw in the sacred?  Could restoring traditional church design help spread the Gospel and contribute to conversions?

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In the very beginning of Lumen Fidei, the new encyclical by Pope Francis, he mentions Nietzsche and how Nietzche encouraged his sister to seek new paths saying “this is where humanity’s paths part: if you want peace of soul and happiness, then believe,to be a follower of truth, then seek.” Pope Francis interprets Nietzche’s words as meaning “Belief would be incompatible with seeking.”

I have a couple of questions.

Is Nietzche the person who ignited the cultural pitting of faith against reason?  Was this the precursor to modern day’s animosity toward faith, the reason society has driven a wedge between science and faith, portraying them as antagonists instead of compatible partners of necessity?    Did Nietzche open the flood gates for scientists to reject faith?

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One morning when I was having trouble sleeping I opened and started reading one of my husband’s old philosophy books called The Selfhood Of The Human Person by John F. Crosby.  I didn’t make it that far into reading when I found myself in contemplation of the paragraph below:

By the way, one sees on the theological level a parallel work of reception in the teaching of the Second Vatican Council on religious liberty.  It is a deeply personalist idea that believers, even when they err, have a right to their belief and to the public expression of it and even to the attempts to share it with others.  The old cuius regio eius religio (“the religion of a principality is to be determined by the faith of the prince”) is profoundly depersonalizing, however much it may serve to promote social solidarity.  And yet the reception by the Catholic Church of this personalist idea has not been without friction.  Some say that the idea is more congenial to the religious individualism of Protestantism than to the Catholic tradition with its stress on the social and corporate dimensions of salvation.  Others do not see how it is consistent with being fully committed to the revealed truth.  Catholic theologians are still working at the task, not yet completed, of showing how the Council’s teaching in religious liberty springs from the deepest sources of the Church’s faith and how it coheres with all that the Church wants to say about social solidarity as well as about our duty to uphold revealed truth.  This is akin to the properly philosophical task of receiving within the philosophia perennis the personal selfhood of which I will speak. — John F. Crosby The Selfhood of the Human Person (1996), 3.

We are called to uphold truth while at the same time respecting a person’s right to believe as they believe. Upholding truth does not have to collide with a person’s right to believe under their own volition even if their beliefs are contrary to certain truths.  It is unethical for us to constrain a person’s free will through the use of coercion just so the person believes the truth.  It has to be an act of the free will chosen by the person, their choice whether or not to believe the truth.  When the person chooses using their unconstrained will to believe the truth this makes their belief more authentic. If the person put on the facade of belief because he was coerced to believe the truth then the belief would be a fraudulent one because the person’s will would have been broken.  The decision ultimately lies with the person whether they want to believe the truth or not, and this act should be done freely.

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When looking at my emails this morning one of the first things that I noticed was the news that Lance Armstrong had been stripped of his Tour de France titles.

Here we have a case where accusations trumped 500 negative blood tests. After years of being on a witch hunt the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency failed to come up with any physical evidence to prove that Lance Armstrong had in fact doped up during his cycling career – when he won the Tour de France five times. Instead the agency found other cyclists who were not only accused of doping up but had in fact tested positive for doping to give testimony accusing Armstrong of the very same thing that they were guilty of doing . Their testimony seems dubious IMO. Tracee Hamilton of The Washington Post makes a great point about the vicious cycle of accusations and denials and asks who, and what are we supposed to believe?

In a broader scope I want to explore the whole accusations versus truth scenario. To do this we need to look at their definitions.

Aristotle’s Metaphysics defines truth as: “to say of what is that it is, or of what is not that it is not, is true”. 

Kevin has written a semi-simplistic explanation of Thomas Aquinas’ definition of truth: a property of statements or propositions about things, not a property of things in themselves. Truth is something understood and spoken of, not something physical or material. It is not of the order of being (reality), which is a First Order issue. It is derivative – it is a Second Order issue. It is of the order of our knowledge of being, or of a being. It is not a property of the being itself.

Definition of accusations: A charge or claim that someone has done something illegal or wrong.
The action or process of making such a charge or claim.

An accusation doesn’t equal truth. Could an accusation be true? Yes. But it could also be false. An accusation in and of itself does not provide proof to establish whether that accusation is true or false. Their needs to be evidence to go along with an accusation in order to establish whether or not the accused is guilty of the accusation. We should all be striving to know the truth at all times.  We shouldn’t allow any agenda to predetermine the so-called truth because in reality that would obfuscate the truth.

We need to be very careful when making accusations. We need to have absolute certainty (to the degree that is possible) that the person has done what we are accusing them of doing. Making accusations – especially false ones – can rock a person’s world, crushing a person like boulders that have come tumbling down upon one’s life.

Being falsely accused can feel like your heart has been ripped right out of you. I know. I have been there. I have been falsely accused and this affected my life tremendously.  I had been betrayed by a university that I trusted. You can see my story on this here. Things happen for a reason. After this happened to me I struggled quite a bit in my faith.  My faith was tested.  God allowed me to go through a dry period of faith so that I would return stronger in my faith.

We are all called to martyrdom, dying to self in union with Jesus Christ. A while after I had gone through my struggles at the university I came to realize that at that time I was being called to take up my cross, to be closer to Jesus in a more authentic way. He had been falsely accused and so had I.  I was called to experience a tiny bit of what Jesus went through similarly to when Jesus was put through the trial before He sacrificed Himself for our salvation. We are all called to unite our sufferings with Jesus Christ on the cross, called to redemptive suffering.

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I can relate to much of what Kyle states in The Bonds of Faith and Love.  We are called to have faith and believe that something *is* even though we haven’t seen that *is* or don’t know that *is* really exists.  I can relate to this because I still have a fear of dying because of it being an unknown.

We are called to believe in faith that our loved ones are in the afterlife, whether it be heaven, purgatory, or hell.  We pray that our loved ones are with Jesus in heaven.  Faith gives us the knowledge to believe.  But not knowing in the physical sense of being can cause us to question what is beyond life on earth after death.  If we knew what was in the afterlife through our earthly experiences then we wouldn’t need faith to believe.

Accounts from near death experiences have allayed some of my fear related to dying/death.  With the accounts of near death experiences I think we can intuitively say two things (1) that reports about the afterlife support our faith in belief that the afterlife exists and (2) that the afterlife has good within it.

 

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This is going to be a rambling post.  My surgery is this Monday  After having a trial run a couple of weeks ago. LOL!. I am a bit nervous, kinda sad for my loss, but happy at the prospects of having a new start to my life, a greater quality of life.  Even though I know through talking to God that He says “this is the right time for me to have the surgery.  You need to do this for you, to stop being in pain” I am still sad because of the fact that Kevin and I don’t have any children.  I also hear God saying “there’s a special little one out there waiting for you to adopt” so that gives me great hope.  So I trust in God’s Will.

God is awesome! God is everywhere.  We can see God in all of creation and all the good in our lives.  He has truly blessed me so much by bringing such great blogging friends into my life.  But I guess I am most blessed because he brought Kevin into my life in a most special way, at a time when I needed him the most.  So, God Our Father does know best.

Yesterday as I was pondering ideas for a blog post first I came up with a couple wacky questions.  Then I thought a bit more and decided to delve a bit into St. Thomas Aquinas’s Summa Theologica.  In the Summa, Thomas Aquinas answers objections to his positions.  The first objection stated is the claim that it seems that God is not in all things. This was based on the scriptural passage Psalm 112: 4, “The Lord is high above all nations,” etc.  Thomas Aquinas responds with this:

On the contrary, A thing is wherever it operates. But God operates in all things, according to Is. 26:12, “Lord . . . Thou hast wrought all our works in [Vulg.: ‘for’] us.” Therefore God is in all things.

I answer that, God is in all things; not, indeed, as part of their essence, nor as an accident, but as an agent is present to that upon which it works. For an agent must be joined to that wherein it acts immediately and touch it by its power; hence it is proved in Phys. vii that the thing moved and the mover must be joined together. Now since God is very being by His own essence, created being must be His proper effect; as to ignite is the proper effect of fire. Now God causes this effect in things not only when they first begin to be, but as long as they are preserved in being; as light is caused in the air by the sun as long as the air remains illuminated. Therefore as long as a thing has being, God must be present to it, according to its mode of being. But being is innermost in each thing and most fundamentally inherent in all things since it is formal in respect of everything found in a thing, as was shown above (Q[7], A[1]). Hence it must be that God is in all things, and innermostly.

Reply to Objection 1: God is above all things by the excellence of His nature; nevertheless, He is in all things as the cause of the being of all things; as was shown above in this article.

Here are a few scriptural passages:

Revelation 22: 13  “I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” 

Colossians 1: 16  “For in him were all things created in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, or dominations, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him and in him.” 

John 1: 1-5  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.  All things were made by him: and without him was made nothing that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men.  And the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

Each of us is created in God’s image. We are all created for a special purpose.  God loves us so much.  He only wants what’s best for each one of us. Our Father knows best.

God is both omniscient and omnipotent.  In pondering one thought came to mind: Since God is everywhere in the world, is omniscient and omnipotent, does He allow famine, wars, sickness, persecution, floods, earthquakes, fires et al to happen for a greater purpose or purposes?  Is this all in His master plan?  I believe that God has a reason for everything but this question came to mind when I was in thought.

 

 

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Don’t citizens as well as elected government officials have a right to know the backgrounds and associations (questionable or not) of unelected (appointed) government officials?

Well, by the way some people have reacted to Michele Bachmann’s questioning and examination of the State Department’s deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin’s background, beliefs, and associations one would think that the congresswoman had committed some horrible crime.

Oh yeah, that’s right, according to RINOS such as McCain, progressives, Democrats, and others who just want to get along for fear of offending others while continuing to have their heads in the sand she committed the ultimate faux pas in politics – Bachmann challenged the status quo and chose not to be politically correct at a time when political correctness is considered to be sacrosanct. She chose to put the security of our country over political correctness.

Do you think that it is legitimate to question any person’s political philosophy? If so, what is so wrong with questioning a person’s religious beliefs when that religion brings political implications along with it? Such as if the person’s beliefs are incompatible with our form of government and our constitution? If you think it is legitimate to question President Obama’s Communist ties why would you be opposed to someone investigating Huma’s family ties to Muslim Brotherhood organizations and/or operatives? Is it for fear of being labeled ‘Islamaphobic’? When the Muslim Brotherhood follows the same methods and philosophies as other organizations that are declared terrorist organizations? There are certain religious precepts within Islam that are incompatible with our constitution so finding out whether or not Huma holds beliefs which are in opposition to our Constitution is a very important thing to know. If Huma’s beliefs are not aligned with that of her mothers that is great but if she does hold the same beliefs as her mother, ascribing to beliefs associated with radical Islam, doesn’t the American people have the right to know?

I know some of you are probably asking “but what about freedom of religion?” If that religion is not tolerant of other religions, does not believe in religious liberty, but believes in global dominance and death to anyone that insults that religion and is unwilling to coexist with people who practice other religions or those who don’t believe in any religion or even those who don’t believe in God’s existence, and wants to dismantle our constitution in order to replace it with Sharia – Islamic law – then as citizens of the United States we are called to oppose this type of philosophy which threatens the very existence of the United States of America. I am highly confident that the majority of Muslims who reside in the U.S. are peaceful, have been westernized to some extent, and are able to follow both their Muslim faith and the Constitution without seeing the two as being in conflict with one another.

 

This is one example of what Bachmann and the other signees wrote that the squishies and progressives have found so offensive is this:

“The [State] Department’s deputy chief of staff, Huma Abedin, has three family members – her late father, her mother and her brother – connected to Muslim Brotherhood operatives and/or organizations. Her position affords her routine access to the secretary and to policy making.”

Now the Congresswoman has been criticized viciously by dhimmis who want to think that Islam is a religion of peace. I am not saying that all Muslims are violent but if you really think that a strict adherence to Islam is peaceful I would love to know what hole you’ve been hiding in the last 20 years or so. Strict adherence equals jihad. This is how Bachmann responded to Boehner and his ilk:

“Not once in the letter to the inspector general of the Department of State, as you summarize, was it stated that by extension (Ms. Abedin) may be working on the organization’s behalf. That her family members are connected to the Muslim Brotherhood has been reported and referenced widely in the Arab-language media, including Al-Hayat, The Arab Times and Al-Jazeera.”

Mychal Massie makes a good point:

If McCain and Boehner have such concern about not painting everyone with the same brush, why do they sit silently as Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and extreme racist bigots like Jehmu Greene publicly attack whites with racial pejoratives? If they care about justice and fairness, why have they not demanded Eric Holder and Obama’s Justice Department prosecute members of the New Black Panther Party for voter intimidation and for deaths threats made against George Zimmerman?

More from Mychal:

July 20 I received a lengthy letter from a professional person who had called McCain’s office to protest his condemnation of Bachmann. The person who wrote me requested I not use his name. He spoke to a McCain staff person named Will (who refused to give his last name) at approximately 3:52 p.m. Eastern at 202-224-2235. Following is part of that letter shared with the author’s permission – the person wrote:

“I called chastising McCain for his comments chastising Michele Bachmann and four other [members of Congress]. I said we are in dire times and that we don’t need attacks like this within the party. The person on the phone commented that Bachmann’s attack on Huma transcended politics and that she did not have evidence to smear Huma’s name in front of the whole world. The man said there was no evidence supporting what Bachmann wrote about. I said Bachmann only asked questions. He said she didn’t have enough facts to ask those questions and that she defamed Huma’s name in front of the whole world. I said Bachmann didn’t smear Huma’s name, that she wrote the letters to government offices, not to newspapers. I said whoever released those letters and then made it a public issue are to blame.

“The man … said no, the person who wrote the letter is to blame for thinking such things. I said she wrote the letter as internal documents to other government agencies, and he said if she didn’t want everyone to read them she shouldn’t have written them. … This man blames Bachmann for asking question; he says Bachmann asked pointed questions about Huma and that as a congresswoman she shouldn’t have. … I mentioned Humas mother and father; he said … everything Bachmann asks about were unfounded. He said they were only directed at Huma because she was Muslim. He asked, should we look suspect at all Christians due to Timothy McVeigh being a Christian? I replied that Timothy McVeigh was not a Christian. The man argues that he was. … I say next you are going to tell me that Hitler was a Christian, and the man replies, ‘He was.’ I said, Hitler was not a Christian – and he replies, ‘Yes, he was sir.’”

There you have it. McCain’s office believes Hitler was a Christian … and we wonder why and how the Republican Party has become what it is.

Timothy McVeigh grew up as a Catholic. Then he wandered into the darkness and became either an agnostic or atheist, and he was either an agnostic or an atheist at the time of the Oklahoma City bombing.

So according to a McCain staffer we as persons are not allowed to think certain things, or to question anything even if something smells rotten in Denmark? How Orwellian of him. Geesh. Yet another reason that both McCain and Boehner need to be voted out of office. More people adhering to the “see no evil hear no evil” way of life. Please people wake up before our whole country turns intoDearbornistan (watch here).

 

 

 

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