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April 4, 2014 / compassioninpolitics

A couple random thoughts on combining virtue ethics and deontology

3 Part Ethics: Intent, Means, Ends (consequentially or telos)

Intent and heart can capture consequentialist aims.
–(nothing good except the good will)

Act Versus Rule Utilitarianism

Categorical Imperative
Hypothetical Imperative

Kant and Virtue Ethics/Kant and Aristotle

Super simple ethical breakdown (link)

April 2, 2014 / compassioninpolitics

Christianity, Atheism, and Families

However, Christianity makes more sense of babies and families as well as love and relationships and community than an atheist or naturalist or physicalist worldview would.

1) Family has meaning in a Christian worldview….in an atheist worldview it has almost none. Divorce is only wrong to the
2) The wonder of the baby is lost. The choices that the baby makes as it grows and develops are lost. Its innocence is lost too.
3) No choice. no meaning. no purpose or goal, beyond survival and sex. Its a hyper-reductionist version of the complex creatures that humans are.

When families lives weave together its a beautiful and wonderful thing….no chemistry equation or experiment or spreadsheet can come close to capturing that beauty, wonder, and purpose.

March 30, 2014 / compassioninpolitics

Best Social Entrepreneur Speeches and Keynotes on Poverty and Social Change

• The Good News on Poverty (Yes, There is Good News) TED Talk (link)

Bill Gates (multiple)
• Innovating to Zero (link)
• Teachers Need Real Feedback (link)

Melinda Gates
• What Nonprofits Can Learn from Coca Cola (link)

Jessica Jackley
• Poverty, Money, and Love (link)

Other Social Entrepreneurs:
Steve Jobs
• How to Live Before You Die–Graduation Speech at Stanford University (link)

Ken Robinson
• How to Escape Education’s Death Valley (link)
• How Schools Kill Creativity (link)

Geoffry Canada:
• Our Failing Schools, Enough is Enough (link)

Sheryl Sandberg
• Why We Have Too Few Women Leaders (link)

Jamie Oliver
• Teach Every Kid About Food (link)

Core Principles for Social Entrepreneurs:
Seth Godin (multiple)

Why? Simon Sinek
• How Great Leaders Inspire Action (link)

The Pursuit of Justice (link)

The Quest to End Poverty (link)

Social Good Inc (link)

Inspirational (link)

March 30, 2014 / compassioninpolitics

The common tropes of bad atheist arguments

1) Overgeneralization/Lack of precision (essentializing & stereotype)
2) Downright myth and stereotype
3) Straw-person attack
4) Under-inclusive logic claiming to be over-inclusive. Over-stating the data.
5) Wrong framework, Wrong paradigm
6) Name calling
7) Denialism about meaning and purpose
8) Denialism they use intuition and emotion or that those are important to the human experience
9) Over-Simplicity

* Stereotyping

March 30, 2014 / compassioninpolitics

Science and the need for Multi-dimensionality

I think the other disciplines are ways of thinking and ways of knowing…..I’m not sure I see a need or reason to draw a distinction…..much less exclude one or the other.

But…when science has ultimate authority….to speak through something like neuroscience….and not be informed by other disciplines and ways of thinking….it misses the point. (see also Neuroscientist at Stanford Professor Newsome). I’ve also seen extensive refutations of the theory of determinism from

Plus….science takes place in the context of the other disciplines both:
1) at the scientist & science community level (interpretive)
2) the level at which that which is studied (data)
3) influence/results
A scientist and/or system theorist must come to terms with these mediations. So for instance, the underlying contexts extend to philosophy and psychology. Without understanding those two you aren’t likely to understand.

Our lives are fundamentally multi-dimensional. The areas science studies are fundamentally multi-dimensional. It needs and we need a full range of multiple-dimensional tools to study those multiple dimensions.

I think also approaching problems from the role of the scientist and the role of an artist or creative (or lateral thinker). I think that’s ultimately what separates a number of our top Nobel prize winners and inventors–because they understood how to integrate the two versus just using the scientist thinking model (Da Vinci, Edison, and Einstein were all noted for their creativity and insights and innovation).

Science isn’t always in a position to make value judgements about itself (biology, chemistry, and physics don’t have all that many ethical maxims). Honesty, consent, respect for human dignity or personhood, etc… are all potentially important.

March 30, 2014 / compassioninpolitics

Twelve quick criticisms for Dawkins Et Al

What is it you think is unfair about Dawkin’s and the New-Atheist attack on religion?

Well, for one thing…..I don’t believe in all religions…..I believe in one religion. Or even more specifically I believe in Jesus. I’ll take Jesus in any debate against anyone thank you very much. Plus Jesus is the

His approach at all religions is disingenuous for philosophical, logical, and scientific reasons.

1) I’m not a Catholic or a Muslim (and don’t buy into any ideology that would cause me to attach myself to their ideologies). This is the same for most of America. Abuses of the Catholic power and mismanagement are not God or Jesus–they are the opposite.

2) Much of the critique falls on isolated parts of church leadership or church institutions….not the core of believers.

3) Its a geneaological account of sorts of religion. All institutions had difficulty which such a critique (science, human rights, the US government, etc…). This doesn’t speak to my issues in my faith-based walk now. What happened 200 or 2000 years ago in the church doesn’t quite matter to my faith. We had slavery and still have racism in America….but understood in context….America is still on balance better than other alternatives.

4) I’m not responsible for those who have abused the name of Jesus–because I don’t behave like that. In fact, the words of Jesus provides accountable.

5) Detachment from the reality. I choose a spiritual home and identity for myself.
I don’t choose all religion. I choose one…..and often in a very nuanced way.

6) Over-generalization, Lack of representativeness, and Lack of precision is a logical fallacy. He’s cherry picking examples.

7) The above suggests his attempts aren’t grounded in an academic search for truth, but rather a Witchhunt. (the ethics of which is truly manipulative and dispicable)

8) He didn’t really look at the real history of philosophy & theology (as a true academic would). His was far more like a manipulate Michael Moore (or worse) than a factual and respected Ken Burns. Michael Moore is an entertainer….Ken Burns is a real educator. (I didn’t borrow this from the NYT review below, but he actually makes this point in passing).

9) Dawkins, et al fail to understand the ways that science and reason are faith based

10) Particularly when inference, intuition, subjectivity, and emotion are actually eliminated or put in a diminutive status……because you ultimately paralize human action.

11) Hate speech against religion, ill informed polemics and hit-pieces, and even eliminating religion doesn’t really do any good. It only stirs the pot and engenders hate. If Dawkins had said the same things gays, women, or racial minorities that he about Christians (this one did bad things….ergo the whole group is rotten there would be 100,000s of thousands complaining to his publisher….and distributors). Playing the guilt by association game is a low blow indeed–not to mention intellectually dishonest (hasty generalization and poisoning the well–mostly the later–not to mention all the hate and vitriol which was created).

12) Using shady either/or logic and science and religion….rather than fully understanding the ways in which one informs and supports the other. Using shady either/or logic with respect to faith and reason. Most Christians I know don’t subscribe to a Kierkeggardian conception of faith… an absolutist sense. Faith doesn’t mean blind faith. Its that simple. And Dawkins avoid dozens and dozens of legitimate scholars he could have engaged…..but cherry picked… make for a tabloid-esque controversial story rather than an incisive and philosophical analysis. There was nothing scientific about his approach.

Ultimately, I see zero justification for war or conflict in the person of Jesus. I only see justification for peace and conflict resolution.

March 30, 2014 / compassioninpolitics

Quotes which Critique Materialist Reductionism

“The reductionist flatting of Shakespeare’s drama was rooted in the larger reductionist-materialist worldview Freud inherited and embraced, a view that grinds the intricate fabric of life, of all life, to a lifeless, homogenous pulp. At the heart of this view is the belief that nothing essential is lost in the grinding because there is no ultimate difference between living and non-living things. This assumption leads to poisonous paradox: a fundamental aim of modern biology, life science, is to eliminate the commonsense notion that “living” is a fundamental category worthy of its own science.”


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