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Archive for January, 2008

I have started a new course.  The books are great.  I will get to those later. (Hopefully with a review of each one along the way.)  This first week we are looking at basics of “world view”.

Out of context here is my first posting to my classmates in response to an assignment:

Sire p 20
In general, I have to admit that my first take on these questions is somewhere based on my religious experiences and background and the possibility that they could all be “fabricated” fantasies.

Q1: Ultimate reality (and perhaps “absolute truth) are in God

Q2: The external world exists apart from us and as part of us. We exert profound influence for better or worse. Likewise we are influenced by the external. While a tree falling in the forest creates waves of “sound”, it takes a creature capable of receiving and translating those waves to know “sound”. There is an extent to which we create our reality (i.e. our perspective) and there is still a larger reality we don’t see. The qualities of “nature” are both ordered and chaotic; linear and nonlinear; concrete and abstract.

Q3: Human beings are mortal; free to choose (and limited only by their choices); Human beings are spiritual; physical; emotional; and social creatures; complex and adaptive systems.

Q4: At death human beings cease to exist. No “soul floating”; no going to heaven; no reincarnation. Nothing but a ceasing of existence. My belief system does allow for a resurrection of life at a later time.

Q5: At first thought I would say because we were created that way. But I find myself completely comfortable with other explanations. The root for me is that we DO consider “meanings”; we DO seek to know and grow.

Q6: Details of “right and wrong” vary from culture to culture. So some sense of right and wrong are embedded in culture. I believe we all have two “voices” inside: one calls us to agape and the other to selfishness. Agape calls us to consider self and others in our choices.

Q7: Examination of human history allows us to see the workings of our minds in relationship to beliefs. From my perspective, meaning is found in our history by how we understand God’s “big picture” or “great controversy” between good and evil.

Stevenson

Q2: What brought us into being?
I have the concept of a divine being called “God” who created the universe. God is infinite and has existed always.

Q1: What is our place in the universe?
Humanity is not alone in the universe. I believe there are intelligent beings elsewhere in the universe. At minimum I accept that, because God created the universe, he created angels, and most likely other intelligent beings. God’s foundational principle is agape love. Because love cannot be commanded, choice becomes essential to all intelligent creatures.

Q4: What is the nature of humanity?
Only God is immortal. Everything else is mortal. God is life. Abiding in God is life. Not abiding in God is the absence of life. Thus the nature of man was originally like that of all “unfallen” beings in the universe. But through the free exercise of choice, the first humans chose to live apart from God. Rather than allow any of his created beings to reap the immediate consequences of their choice, God extended life (and continues to do so) in order to reconcile the “rebels” to himself. The fallen humanity may be selfish, but each human is instilled with a kernel of agape, which is sufficient for growth, again through free exercise of choice. This then provides a balance of nature (between selfish and selfless) and allows for external forces to influence a person. External influences are also balanced by the internal influence of God on every individual.

Q3: What is our purpose?
All creatures are called to union with God, whatever their capacity. The outward manifestation of this is agape love, freely chosen. Our purpose is to continually grow into a the likeness of God with which we were originally intended to have. AND to help others grow towards that as well.

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