Skip to content
August 17, 2014 / compassioninpolitics

Design Thinking in Education


link to pintrest on design thinking (link)

More from Compassion in Politics on Design Thinking

August 8, 2014 / compassioninpolitics

Critique of the Worldview of Scientific Materialism

1) Qualitative vs. Quantitative
2) Beauty, meaning, and purpose
3) Quantum physics
4) Irreducibility of all Life
5) Complex cell & replication
6) Mathematical and biological meeting (interesting)
7) Lifes Irreducible Structure, Michael Polyani
8) Origin of Life–Chemist (replicator before life)
9) Anthony Flew abandons atheism
10) Intelligent design movement (including Michael Fenton, Michael Behe, Stephen C. Meyer, and himself)
11) Aristotlean vs. Darwinian purpose
12) Belgian Astronomer–Universe is expanding at constant rate (God & the Astronomers). “Big bang is a serious challenge to materialism–its not the ultimate explanation.”
Coincidences built into structure of universe–fine tuning of universe. Thought experiments. (17 minutes)
Carter and Fred Hoyle–Dials set/fine tuned

Dr. Robert Koons, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin, author of Realism Regained (2000) and Paradoxes of Belief (2009), and co-editor of The Waning of Materialism (2010), gave a public lecture entitled “The Waning of Materialism: How the Revival of Aristotle’s Philosophy is Reshaping the Intellectual Landscape” at Texas Tech University.

If you want to learn more I suggest my posts on scientific materialism, naturalism, and physicalism as well as this page that I maintain on the subject.

August 5, 2014 / compassioninpolitics

Is church a waste of time? Why does it make sense to attend church and learn about God?

The God of the Bible claims to be the creator of the Universe. If its true, it is the single most important pursuit to which all other pursuits pale in comparison.

We are earthly bodies on a spiritual journey. Spiritual journeys filled will love, loss, relationships, community, success, failures, highs, lows, and almost everything in between.

We as complicated organic systems built on systems which run on emotions, energy, blood, oxygen had to come from somewhere. Our value as human beings had to come from somewhere…we are not just atoms bouncing around….we are more. You wouldn’t be reading this….you wouldn’t thinking….you couldn’t reflect on this in your minds eye.

Science requires a:
1) a thinking mind
2) a reflecting mind
3) an imagining and visualizing mind
4) a mathematics to undergird it
5) mouth and ears to communicate it
6) a predictable, rule bound would

At each level these are integrated processes and systems that are interdependent……that are vital to the functioning of science.

August 3, 2014 / compassioninpolitics

A Case for Christian Spiritual Arts as Part of Apolegetics and the Church

The first 25 minutes are pretty good….I’m sure the rest is as well.

He quotes Cicero along the way….

August 2, 2014 / compassioninpolitics

Subjective and objective ethics in the Bible–Getting God out of your box

If the bible is an instruction book, inspiration and guide to morality and life, why are so many of its passages vague and open to interpretation?

I think this is an interesting question…..but its looking in the wrong direction in some respects. I think it also misses the point of what the Bible is about–why it exists and how we are to use it now.

First, this seems sufficiently broad to provide flexibility and freedom of choice, but sufficiently targeted such that anyone can

The Fruit of the Spirit
22 By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things.

Or for instance:

Luke 6:31 New International Version (NIV)
31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.

Why is ethical flexibility good?
Lets look at this from an analogy. Did your art teacher tell you how to paint by numbers to be the next DaVinci or star of the art world?

An ethical standpoint that understands the following means that precision isn’t always of utmost importance in terms of how ethical principles are communicated:
growth and development over time (personal ethical evolution–via a developmental model)
the state of your heart as being most important (i.e. trying & striving)
grace and forgiveness

Life isn’t supposed to be like a math problem.
There is a benefit to perspectivalism.
Life would be boring without change over time.
Live would be boring without differences in perspectives.

Humans aren’t robots. Effort, wrestling, conversation, and debate is good.

The challenge of dealing with diversity of perspectives in terms of interpretation is part of the joy, experience, and excitement of the faith when seen in proper perspective.

Ethics in the Bible is living, dynamic, and perspective and experience can breath meaning into its most important principles.

Gods grace means that the place of our heart and our faith is more important than our ability to follow doctrinal rules.

In some ways this allows people to come to God on their own terms–rather than a copycat or . We assemble a **grounded** ethical system based on the principles, narratives, and themes of the Bible. This model transcends the problems of typical rule based morality. It incorporates the need for objectivity in principle, but some degree of perspective and subjectivity.

Ultimately, the question misses both the value of the beauty and meaning of the way that God thinks about the ethics of person, the way in which grace and forgiveness, the importance of the state of our heart (our fundamental intent).

August 1, 2014 / compassioninpolitics

Bible Verses about Atheists and Agnostics

18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.


August 1, 2014 / compassioninpolitics

The Ethical and Practical Case Against Anarchism

Here are 15 criticisms of anarchism (actually not all criticisms per se–for instance some address the issue at the heart of the question from a different perspective and there are actually 27 to 29 arguments with the extra updates):

1) Law is imperfect executed by imperfect individuals. The best way to fix it is from the inside. You shouldn’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. We have 200 years of history….and a history thats improving over time as the basis for these claims in the US.

2) Not all coercion is the same. US vs. dictatorships. Also, not al instances of freedom invasion are bad. Grouping all coercion together is really, really unhelpful from a utilitarian or truth perspective.

3) When I’m asked not to infringe on the rights of others–that doesn’t infringe on my rights. I would imagine that form most people this is fine. And I seriously question those who think this is a real infringement.

4) Clear expectations and lack of extra-stress is incredibly helpful.

5) Anarchism would experience rather difficult issues in the realm of national security.

6) Law deters vigilantism which risks cycles of violence.

7) Private security forces risk arm races and cycles of violence.

8) Other forms of power and coercion would likely fill the gap. Plus the unpredictability of such a situation would create the risk of misperception…along with arms races and violence.
If we all started from an exactly equal place, it might make sense. But thats not the case due to class, educational differences, etc…. I think those at the bottom would be expected to gamble (i.e. be irrational) even more so than they are now.

9) Perfect rationality doesn’t exist in human form. People sacrifice the long term for short term interests. We need the force of the law. Humans are emotional, make decisions based on imperfect knowledge, and even some based on pleasure seeking in the short run.

10) Many of the reason why relativism is a bad idea seem like reason–seem like the same reasons why anarchism would experience similar problems.

11) Even Rand wrote a short indict of anarchism (I think its in Virtue of Selfishness).

12) Also, you can always vote with your feet. You have the freedom to choose the types of freedom that are most amenable to the types of freedom you want or desire.

13) If anarchists want more freedom in society, the way to do so is to is to help reform our prison system or other specific manifestations of injustice. That is a far, far more viable form of effective social change.

14) Debating the areas where government should be reduced is much more helpful on a case by case basis. You more accurately and concretely target the actual issues you have with government and its policies.

15) I would suggest that many of the issues outlined here also at an underlying level provide significant problems for anarchist type configurations: What are the best arguments against efficient market theory?

• Reputation management systems for judges wouldn’t work–because the losing person in the case almost always has a reason to spike the judgement. Moreover, judges have a reason to be lenient to get reputation for both people in the dispute.

• The time and efficiency issues associated with not having judges would also be a massive drag on productivity and time.

• Poor people would likely be priced out of the market.

• In some cases government + informal arrangements don’t solve problems–why would removing one of these possible solutions “help” the situation:

• Anarchism amounts to the Old West where justice was problematic and real security was in short supply. Moreover, native american cultures who have been said to be anarchic….got overrun by settlers….but even beyond this had significant problems beyond their borders.
Small failures can be potentially catastrophic. When issues of justice and security are undermined……freedom and efficiency suffer.

• History and human behavior dictate that getting rid of the state will re-emerge due to the need for a justice system and protection of individual rights. But in the mean time…..we will endure cycles of violence and injustice while the state re-emerges.

• The history of utopian community experiments like Anarchism in the US are’t particularly good. I think most that went as far as anarchism or very close….died out. And those people self-selected and had a very short time of existence to draw from.
The economic value of the speed of trust….you know what shared values to expect from the majority of people you encounter. Imagine this parallel scenario: if the person you were talking to at any point in the day were randomly assigned a language (1 in 25)….the number of calculations and additional brain power which would make this. Either….people will be incredibly insular….or won’t and will have sooooo much extra time devoted to managing expectations in order to maintain freedom, justice, fairness, and not getting beat up for no reason.

Gut checks/Update 2:
One that I didn’t fully develop though deals with human irrationality or even semi-rational calculation.

1) Almost any risk of irrationality on the part of 5%, much less 50% of the population seems to be a reason to favor. If you look at a bell curve….what percentage of the time are our decisions “irrational”?

2) At a minimum…..perspectivalism and/or phenomenology means that we don’t have. Not everyone agrees on what rational is. Multiply this times of number of decisions per day X number of people.
This is still a problem for a state based rational actor model….but at least some of those actors have trust in the law as semi-fair to resolve disputes and to provide accountability if those disputes end up being unjust/biased.

3) The basis of the elephant-rider model which comes from behavioral economics. Irrationality is baked in. I tend to think state-based systems have more “safety nets” for us to make irrational decisions.

I don’t have the theory to back it up, but shared goods and commons areas (aka tragedy of the commons) is probably better solved via.

The foreign policy problem….this becomes incredibly massive as the number of anarchist communities increases because these are now countries that you have to have relationships with (based on their power and geography). The empirical problem of outside invaders that are still states is also a problem.

I simply trust reformism as a means to change the abuses of the state in a just, predictable, and accountable way. This seems more consistent with an experimentalist model of government–which has enabled us to reform over time.

Don’t think we get the ROI on government now….or we could get better ROI….apply Six Sigma, so you don’t have to throw out the baby with the bathwater….and you can optimize for what the society does best.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 201 other followers