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Posts Tagged ‘God’

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Eccl 8:15 – Then I commended mirth, because a man hath no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry: for that shall abide with him of his labour the days of his life, which God giveth him under the sun. (KJV)[2]

rlclrose21If we consider the Epicurean philosophy emphasizing its position on death, the existence of God, and the resulting conclusions that follow regarding an afterlife, it seems that a more attractive philosophy than Epicureanism would be difficult to devise, for it holds that a man should arrange his life so that it yields the greatest amount of pleasure with the least amount of pain[3] and worry.  This is accomplished by seeking to be satisfied with the simpler things that come to one in life.  Simple food, clothing, shelter, and the like are good things that are “easy to get.”[4]  Richer fare and fancy goods, while not to be eschewed should they come one’s way, result in exposure to too much stress and strife in their pursuit, and therefore such pursuits should be abandoned.  The gaining of power and high office should likewise be abandoned as being equally stressful. Instead the joys of personal friendship can be relied upon for one’s security.[5]  The writer has lived this kind of life I have lived the last thirty years, and recommends it highly.
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Whosoever spends his days without a wife, has no joy nor blessing, or good in his life. Talmud – Yevamot 62B

The Orthodox Jewish view of Marriage

rlclrose21Any discussion of Orthodox Christians, Jews, and Muslims must logically begin with the House of Israel. According to the Jewish history, God created the world, and its first parents, Adam and Eve, five thousand, seven hundred, and sixty seven years ago.

Approximately two thousand years later, Abraham, Patriarch of the Jews was born and nearly five hundred years after that, his ancestor Moses led captive Israel out of Egypt. (Aklah)  After the exodus from Egypt, the Orthodox Jews tell us that Moses received on Mount Sinai, personally from the God of Universe, the Ten Commandments, and subsequently the rest of the laws written down in the first five books of Moses. This compilation of books called the Pentateuch and others written by the rest of the prophets that called the Torah. It is from the Torah, from the accompanying explanations and commentary about it called the Talmud, and also from the three thousand years of tradition that bring us to the present, that the understanding and customs of Jewish marriage are derived. A study in 1970 determined that there were approximately six hundred thousand orthodox Jews living in the United States. (Elazar)
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Zu bald alt, zu spät klug

rlclrose21I was a child in the sixties, aged six to sixteen, during a time when existentialism was highly celebrated as pop philosophy. Nothing could be more counter-cultural than the words, “God is dead,” or more likely to cause semi-comatose, bushy eye-browed conservatives to sit upright, bristling with indignation. Great fun, but easily diffused if we begin any consideration of Nietzsche’s work by posing the more palatable question, “Well, what if there were no God?” Nietzsche’s explanation of a “Godless” universe is both passionate and robust.
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There is a side-conversation in the comments section of another post  discussing religious experiences and their veracity in affirming the existence of a supernatural or religious ’cause’ of such experiences. This side-conversation reminded me of the discussion of cross-checking procedures beteen Alston and Fales, and so I would like to open up a seperate post for discussion on this topic. Below is an exposition of the largest problem I see with the cross-checking procedure theory.

What I propose is that any attempt to utilize intrapersonal religious experiences in order to justify or prove a specific religious position interpersonally must necessarily fail by virtue of a fundamental disconnect. What’s more, the poverty of cross-checking when applied to transcendent religious experiences is not surprising given the very content of such experiences. By attempting to use the personal to prove the general, the intrapersonal to prove the interpersonal, the profundity of the religious experience is lost and becomes fodder for philosophical skeptics. First I shall begin by discussing the type of transcendent religious experience to which I am referring and by citing specific examples. After that I shall introduce the current discussion surrounding the veracity of religious experiences that has carried on between authors such as Alston and Fales, paying specific attention to the concept of cross-checking. From there I shall argue how, based on the intrapersonal nature of these transcendent religious experiences, cross-checking must be re-evaluated as a verification tool. (more…)

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Originally published in the Jacksonville Observer

It is impossible to keep religion out of politics. Why, you ask? Because a few folks involved in politics actually know God, and others have strong religious beliefs that supersede and drive their political agenda.

rlclrose21

Our religious beliefs may have everlasting significance. In comparison, the history of the United States spans less than three-hundred years. Our First Amendment right of religious liberty ensures that each man and woman has the right to seek the truth about the existence of God without interference from the government. Our First Amendment right of freedom of association recognizes that we join with like-minded individuals in order to ensure that our political, social, religious, and philosophical beliefs will prevail. This is the essence of politics

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rlclrose22

As a political philosopher, I believe that one of my tasks is to reduce complicated issues to basic principles. Hence this graphic. It represents my conclusions on the opposing ideas of war and peace. While war is sometimes necessary, and peace is often sought after, it seems to me that in this world neither are optimal. Instead, I propose that freedom and debate are the ideal.

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