How can we pick and choose which parts of the Bible to follow? One thing is God’s will and another is just cultural differences? What if it’s all cultural? What if homosexuality or saving yourself for marriage is as outdated as women staying silent in church or Leviticus forbidding tattoos?
How can we distinguish what is biologically determined from what people merely try to justify through biological myths? A good rule of thumb is ‘Biology enables, Culture forbids.’ Biology is willing to tolerate a very wide spectrum of possibilities. It’s culture that obliges people to realize some possibilities while forbidding others. Biology enables women to have children – some cultures oblige women to realize this possibility. Biology enables men to enjoy sex with one another – some cultures forbid them to realize this possibility. Culture tends to argue that it forbids only that which is unnatural. But from a biological perspective, nothing is unnatural. Whatever is possible is by definition also natural. A truly unnatural behavior, one that goes against the laws of nature, simply cannot exist.
And that's what we'll do every day. If you or your friends spray-paint obscenities on our walls, we'll scrub them off, and the people will come. if you break our windows, we'll fix them, and the people will come. If you hurt us, we'll wash off the blood, slap on some bandages and the people will come...any wound you inflict, we'll stitch up. We're not going to stop, no matter what you do. This work is too important. Too many lives are at stake.
We are dealing, then, with an absurdity that is not a quirk or an accident, but is fundamental to our character as people. The split between what we think and what we do is profound. It is not just possible, it is altogether to be expected, that our society would produce conservationists who invest in strip-mining companies, just as it must inevitably produce asthmatic executives whose industries pollute the air and vice-presidents of pesticide corporations whose children are dying of cancer. And these people will tell you that this is the way the "real world" works. The will pride themselves on their sacrifices for "our standard of living." They will call themselves "practical men" and "hardheaded realists." And they will have their justifications in abundance from intellectuals, college professors, clergymen, politicians. The viciousness of a mentality that can look complacently upon disease as "part of the cost" would be obvious to any child. But this is the "realism" of millions of modern adults.There is no use pretending that the contradiction between what we think or say and what we do is a limited phenomenon. There is no group of the extra-intelligent or extra-concerned or extra-virtuous that is exempt. I cannot think of any American whom I know or have heard of, who is not contributing in some way to destruction. The reason is simple: to live undestructively in an economy that is overwhelmingly destructive would require of any one of us, or of any small group of us, a great deal more work than we have yet been able to do. How could we divorce ourselves completely and yet responsibly from the technologies and powers that are destroying our planet? The answer is not yet thinkable, and it will not be thinkable for some time -- even though there are now groups and families and persons everywhere in the country who have begun the labor of thinking it.And so we are by no means divided, or readily divisible, into environmental saints and sinners. But there are legitimate distinctions that need to be made. These are distinctions of degree and of consciousness. Some people are less destructive than others, and some are more conscious of their destructiveness than others. For some, their involvement in pollution, soil depletion, strip-mining, deforestation, industrial and commercial waste is simply a "practical" compromise, a necessary "reality," the price of modern comfort and convenience. For others, this list of involvements is an agenda for thought and work that will produce remedies.People who thus set their lives against destruction have necessarily confronted in themselves the absurdity that they have recognized in their society. They have first observed the tendency of modern organizations to perform in opposition to their stated purposes. They have seen governments that exploit and oppress the people they are sworn to serve and protect, medical procedures that produce ill health, schools that preserve ignorance, methods of transportation that, as Ivan Illich says, have 'created more distances than they... bridge.' And they have seen that these public absurdities are, and can be, no more than the aggregate result of private absurdities; the corruption of community has its source in the corruption of character. This realization has become the typical moral crisis of our time. Once our personal connection to what is wrong becomes clear, then we have to choose: we can go on as before, recognizing our dishonesty and living with it the best we can, or we can begin the effort to change the way we think and live.
Often times, we blame others for our frustrations and failures.In doing so,we disturb our own peace of mind and aggravate our happiness.No one can harm us. No one can keep our good from us.Let us not blame others, but look for and find the best in everyone.This will lead us to success and happiness.....
Are there times in our lives when we come across a problem, and we look for our own solution? Are there times when perhaps we try to figure out how WE can solve a problem, rather than taking it to God? Perhaps we like to think we are doing a good thing by solving our own problems. Or maybe we think that the issue is so small, so why bother God with it– we will hold out for a bigger issue. The problem is that God wants to be a part of our lives. He has a great interest in EACH one of our lives. He doesn’t care how small or how large the issue. He wants to be involved. He is always there, ready for us to ask, ready for us to talk. He listens 24/7, wherever we are, and there are no cell phone overages and no waiting to say our piece.
I have often noticed that we are inclined to endow our friends with the stability of type that literary characters acquire in the reader's mind. [...] Whatever evolution this or that popular character has gone through between the book covers, his fate is fixed in our minds, and, similarly, we expect our friends to follow this or that logical and conventional pattern we have fixed for them. Thus X will never compose the immortal music that would clash with the second-rate symphonies he has accustomed us to. Y will never commit murder. Under no circumstances can Z ever betray us. We have it all arranged in our minds, and the less often we see a particular person, the more satisfying it is to check how obediently he conforms to our notion of him every time we hear of him. Any deviation in the fates we have ordained would strike us as not only anomalous but unethical. We could prefer not to have known at all our neighbor, the retired hot-dog stand operator, if it turns out he has just produced the greatest book of poetry his age has seen.
The Wizard of Oz teaches us a valuable lesson about what makes a journey meaningful. It is not mere possession, but also awareness of our unique gifts that enables us to put them to use. We learn that conquering trepidation and taking that first step is the only way to come to self-awareness, master our talents, and seize opportunities to support each other to success.
I think as a society we forget that men also have daddy issues, they've also had bad childhoods, they're vulnerable beings.. They also need love. We are made to think men don't have a hard time, and that's mainly because we've trained them not to show emotion, not to shed a tear.. but I can assure you, we men break down just like every other being. We get depressed. We get heartbroken, we get scared, lonely, butterflies.. We feel every emotion just as women do.
We must make our choice between economy and liberty or confusion and servitude...If we run into such debts, we must be taxed in our meat and drink, in our necessities and comforts, in our labor and in our amusements...if we can prevent the government from wasting the labor of the people, under the pretense of caring for them, they will be happy.
Without the Dreamscape, we can’t sleep.My parents remind me all the time about stories their parents told them, of how things were in the Manic Age. The time before our bodies were upgraded to sync with the amazing invention called the Dreamscape. Thirty-eight years ago, people actually had to fall asleep on their own and, sometimes, they would toss and turn for hours. My grandparents said when sleep, in its mercy, did come, it often brought with it horrible images I’ve heard people used to call nightmares.
How is it that we can punish women who are paid by politicians yet allow freedom and forgiveness to the politicians who pay them? The irony of the situation is that if we allow Sptizer’s deep pockets to buy his way back into our homes and hearts, then it’s not young women he hired who are whores, it’s the people of New York.
How can we hold onto those fleeting moments in our lives? Hold onto the moments that otherwise evaporate into the forgotten past? Or moments that become faded and morphed into our own version of reality as they sit in the corners of our memories, losing their truth and shifting focus? The only way to hold onto these moments and share them for years to come, in all their beauty and truth and glorious imperfections, without losing accuracy is through a photograph.