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July 24, 2015 / compassioninpolitics

The Problems of Ethical Relativism by Waever

Without this grand source of ordering, our intensities turn to senseless affection and drain us, or to hatreds and consume us. On the one hand is sentimentality, with its emotion lavished upon the trivial and the absurd; on the other is brutality, which can make no distinctions in the application of its violence. Ages which have borne reputations for cruelty are more to be regarded than those renowned, as ours is coming to be, for brutality, because cruelty is refined and, at least, discriminates its objects and intentions. The terrible brutalities of democratic war have demonstrated how little the mass mind is capable of seeing the virtue of selection and restraint. The refusal to see distinction between babe and adult, between the sexes, between combatant and noncombatant-distinctions which lay at the core of chivalry-the determination to weld all into a form-less unit of mass and weight-this is the destruction of society through brutality. The roar of the machine is followed by the chorus of violence; and the accumulation of riches, to which states dedicated themselves, is lost in a blind fanaticism of destruction. Those who based their lives on the unintelligence of sentimentality fight to save themselves with the unintelligence of brutality.

The only redemption lies in restraint imposed by idea; but our ideas, if they are not to worsen the confusion, must be harmonized by some vision. Our task is much like finding the relationship between faith and reason for an age that does not know the meaning of faith.

Ideas Have Consequences By Richard M. Weaver


July 24, 2015 / compassioninpolitics

The Experience of Earthly Relationships and Our Relationship With God

Interesting. Science is magical. The world is mysterious and awesome and wonderful and tragic all at the time time. The God of the Bible is both grace and glory.

I think you are experiencing an idea–you are experiencing and responding. Experiencing God–at least for me–is pretty much all the highs and lows of a relationship with a friend, life companion, or wife. (sans sex).

July 24, 2015 / compassioninpolitics

The best of the Farnam Street Blog: Mastering the Best of What Other People Have Figured Out

12 Cognitive Biases (link)

How to Make Better Decisions in Life and Work (link)
Review of Chip and Dan Heath’s book on decision-making

How to Make Better Decisions (link)
BBC Documentary on Decision making and cognitive biases

Mental Models (link)
An explanation of mental models (its a post in progress, I believe)

July 24, 2015 / compassioninpolitics

Who I am…..

Communication/media & training…deal-maker, coordinator

Blended learning at K-12, university, or corporate level

July 24, 2015 / compassioninpolitics

I Have a Dream Classroom Activity–also Checklist

How many metaphors over time (per minute)?
How many metaphors per word?
What function?

Speech Analysis

Historical Events (Time Travel)
Historical Facts
Historical Trends
Our choice/Our time

What are they?
How often?

Patterns/Tropes (types of claims/sections of speech)

Poetic, Literary, & Rhetorical form (including music)

Emotionally relate to his audience.
Emotional appeals or triggers.
Emotional understanding.


Other strong rhetorical moves.

July 19, 2015 / compassioninpolitics

Best Online Christian Colleges and Universities

Its exciting to have the opportunity to look for Christian education whether online or offline.  I’m creating this guide for the purposes of looking toward online universities that have bricks and mortar campuses.  Why is that?  The for profit universities (which is another word for the online universities, which generally don’t have bricks and mortar campuses) are known for focusing on sales and marketing of their product and investing far less in the services they provide to students.

I have no real alignment to any particular university.  Again, I’m just wanting to make sure that people go with a university that has a bricks and mortar campus and that are credible.  I’m doing this as a free service to you the Christian consumer and reader.

With that in mind I’m going to suggest the following Christian universities:

1) Azuza Pacific University

2) Biola University

3) Ablilene Christian University

4) Pepperdine University

5) Liberty University

6) Regent University

7) George Fox University

8) California Baptist University

9) University of St. Francis

10) Concordia University (Wisconsin)

11) Indiana Wesleyan University

12) Bethel University

An even more extensive list could be compiled by looking at the Forbes Ranking of Christian Universities or US News and World Report Rankings of Christian Universities and cross referencing those by finding out which ones have online programs.  This may take a bit of time, but is well worth the time investment and monetary investment you are putting into your Christian college or university choice.

I have tended to put universities I trust near the top of the list and others near the bottom.  However, this list isn’t a true rankings in the traditional sense, but again intended to provide you a list to start from as well as to get you to focus on Christian universities with bricks and mortar campuses and established reputations as educational institutions rather than online only universities that may have more dubious motives in terms of your long-term education.

God Bless as you search for the best Christian university for you and your family.

If you have any suggestions, commentary, or questions feel free to leave a comment.  I’ll do my best to get back to them as I become aware of them.

* A note regarding two links to Christian university rankings I provide.  The two highlighted links send you to re-compolations of secular which focus only on the Christian university rankings.  This is one of the most credible websites on the topic–they provide you with meat and potatoes of the rankings in terms of Christian rankings (they really help you separate the wheat from the chaff if you will).  I believe it was compiled by the marketing department at George Fox university in an effort presumably to help Christian families select a quality bricks and mortar institution that have higher reputations–rather than alternatives–given that this can be a challenging task.

July 3, 2015 / compassioninpolitics

Does Christianity or atheism have the burden of proof?

Philosopher Paul Copan writes:

First, define your terms — especially atheism. Understand the terms you are using. You can clear up a lot of confusion here and keep the conversation with a professing atheist on track. Ask your friend, “How do you define atheism?” According to the Encyclopedia of Philosophy, the historic definition of “atheist” is one who “maintains that there is no God, that is, that the sentence God exists expresses a false proposition.”2

The late atheist-turned-deist philosopher Antony Flew, defined atheism as“rejection of belief in God” — not merely the absence of belief in God.3 Likewise, Julian Baggini, in his book Atheism: A Very Short Introduction, asserts that atheism is “extremely simple to define.” It is “the belief that there is no God or gods.”4 By contrast, central to theism is that an infinitely good, wise, self-existent, and powerful personal Creator brought into being a creation separate from himself, though He sustains all things in being. This creation is comprised of things visible and invisible. And God uniquely made human beings with distinctive moral, spiritual, intellectual, and relational capacities.

Second, the atheist also bears the burden of proof in making the claim, “God does not exist.” Keep in mind: The atheist is actually making a claim to knowledge just as the theist is. So rather than shrugging off any burden of proof, the atheist should understand that both claims needs justification, not just the theist’s. If you make a claim to know something, you should be able to justify that claim when challenged. The atheist — if he or she is a true atheist — says that God does not exist. But we can ask, “Why think this? What positive arguments are there for this claim?” To date, there just has not been any argument coming close to showing how this is so. Some might say, “Arguments for God’s existence do not work.” But that is not enough. You need to show why God does not exist (more on this below). In my experience, the “atheist” more often than not turns out to be an agnostic.

Third, look out for the “atheist’s” slide into agnosticism, from claiming disbelief to mere unbelief. True agnostics affirm they do not know whether God exists or not. By contrast, atheism is a strong claim and is actually a fairly difficult position to defend. As noted, many professing atheists are not true atheists — that is, one who disbelieves or rejects belief in God. Rather, they are more like “agnostics” — unbelievers. What they mean by “there is no God” is more like “I lack belief in God.”

In April 2001, I was speaking at an open forum at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in Massachusetts. A student told me during the Q&A, “The reason I am an atheist is because the arguments for God’s existence do not work.”

I replied, “Then you should be an agnostic, not an atheist. It is logically possible that God could exist even if the available arguments for God do not work. So, you should be an agnostic, in that case. You have to do more than say the arguments for God do not work to be an atheist. You have to show why God cannot exist. You see, the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.”

The person who claims to be an atheist but simply lacks belief in God is blurring the historic distinction between agnostic and atheist.5 We should gently press him on this question: “What makes your position different from an agnostic’s?”

I would say yes.  Both are advocating change in the other person.



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