One of the basics in the traditional philosophy logic is to assume your opponent is arguing in good faith. That is a fine ideal. It works somewhat well if everyone sticks to the rules – being as honest as possible with the information available and being genuine. Honesty and genuineness naturally comes into conflict with the desire to win. Most people have Machiavellian or manipulative side to their personality. Let us assume that these people are being genuine. They have searched their personal knowledge bank, their sense of morality and acted in good faith. James Madison made it clear the U.S. government should not entangle itself with religion, “What influence in fact have ecclesiastical establishments had on Civil Society? In some instances they have been seen to erect a spiritual tyranny on the ruins of the Civil authority; in many instances they have been seen upholding the thrones of political tyranny: in no instance have they been seen the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wished to subvert the public liberty, may have found an established Clergy convenient auxiliaries.” Thus when citizens or their legislators desire to inject religion into public institutions such as education, they are violating the basic principles on which the U.S. was founded. That did not stop Louisiana Governor Gov. Bobby Jindal’s perversion of that state’s education system, which included a voucher program that allows state funds to be used to send students to religiously affiliated schools. Nor did it stop Rep. Valarie Hodges (R-Watson) from voting to allow that to happen. They among many other conservatives violated both the spirit and letter of the law. Let us assume they acted in good faith. They want the USA to be a better educated and more moral country. They planned to accomplish this goal by way of what they consider freedom of religion. That is that there should be no restraints on their practice and government financing of religion. This is where it might behoove people not to live in a mental or intellectual bubble – no matter that they did their best to act in genuine good faith. It runs out that the conservative fundamentalist Christianity they had in mind when passing said voucher program did not take into account the possibility that yes, there are a multitude of religions in the USA and even in the fine state of Louisiana – Louisiana Republican Supports State Funds For Religious Schools, As Long As They’re Not Islamic. If I was still the kind of person who occupied themselves with finding common ground I could say that Rep. Hodges and I share a distaste for financing an Islamic based education. That really is not the case. It is against the law and the best interests of the people of the U.S. to finance religious teachings, period. If we assume that very religious people on both sides of an issue hold their opinions with a careful search and consideration of their basic tenets, than what is one to think when they come to opposing opinions. Accused Of Witchcraft, Congolese Children Face Scorn and Abuse. Who is accusing these children who are guilty of the crime of occasionally mi shaving. Some Christians. Who is seeking to protect the children and denounce these beliefs that the children are guilty of being possessed. Other Christians. Two sides, both have very similar beliefs, but are guided by slightly different doctrine and group behavior. Those that believe in witchcraft are attracted to that set of beliefs. That that think it highly unlikely, even dangerous or backwards to believe that children can be possessed belong to another group. Honesty and genuineness only take us so far. There are lots of opinions on the internet about James Madison. One that relates to the Congolese children is a minister who says the only thing that matters is not that the early colonies of North America included Baptists, Quakers, Menonists, and Anglicans – they were all Christians, thus a Christian nation ( forget that hanging Quakers stuff and the witch trials). So we’re only expected to brush aside doctrinal differences within each of those religious denominations, but forget, ignore, pretend – that these denominations exists because none of them can agree on what their god thinks, wants, feels or teaches. Denying these fine points is one way for the larger doctrine of beliefs under which these Catholics and Protestants can deflect responsibility for torturing children with hot water or throwing them out on their own to starve. What book of the Bible should a judge assign someone convicted of drunk driving, property damages and personal injury. That’s a trick question. No judge in the USA can, by law, make someone engage in religious study. Yet since South Carolina Circuit Court Judge Michael Nettles did pass a judicial judgment that included forcing religious studies on a perpetrator, let’s assume that he did so with the genuine conviction that studying – the Book of Job – in this case would help the perpetrator see that drunk driving was a bad thing. This is the book where Jehovah and Satan play games with Job and his family as a test of faith. Job cries, “now my soul is poured out within me; days of affliction have taken hold of me” (30:16). Having suffered extensively, Job says, “I cry to you and you do not answer me; I stand and you merely look at me” (30:20). As with Madison there are many defenses of God’s behavior on the net for those interesting in pursuing the various interpretations and justifications for God’s behavior. God offers up his own explanation at one point in response to Job. In those passages God explains his total sovereignty over his creations – man, the earth, the universe. In philosophy arguments of this nature are usually called arguments from authority – this person, book, entity is the ultimate authority and all other arguments are null and pointless based on the superiority of the source rather than any rational empirical evidence. God insists that since the universe is his kingdom and his alone, with his rules – of which a mere mortal could never understand it is beyond Job’s knowledge or mortal insight to question why the supreme being should or can do what he does. How would knowing this reform a drunk driver. She could read Job and claim that God made her drive drunk as a test. That the people she hurt were hurt because it was God’s will and beyond our understanding to fathom the reasons who God would use her as an instrument to cause pain and suffering to others. Furthermore that she, the victims, property owners and insurance companies were – via the drunk driving, being tested in the way Job was tested. As this is the case it is beyond the authority of any mortal to pass judgement on her or any drunk driver. Acting in good faith and assuming others are doing the same it not always in the best interests of getting at some essential truths.
painting by Ernest Zacharevic. The three-dimensional bicycle is part of the two-dimensional wall painting. Zacharevic has his own website where he has more of his interactive paintings and some graphics he has done for music videos.
If the anxiety does not subside: researchers decipher a molecular mechanism by which to remember a trauma to the brain may( This link is in German, but Goggle has a fair translation)
Scientists at the Universities of Bonn and Berlin, have discovered a mechanism that after a stressful event prevents forgetting of fear. They demonstrated experimentally that the decay remains under the fear that if too few are released dynorphins in the brain. The results may help to identify new ways of treating trauma patients. The study is published in the latest issue of the Journal of Neuroscience.
Juts knowing that chronic anxiety can be organic might help those who suffer from anxiety attacks from blaming themselves as though it was a personality flaw. Being able to manipulate the bio-chemical pathway might also help veterans who suffer from PTSD.