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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