Monday, January 5, 2015

Pope Francis: Moving The Moral Compass From The Individual Toward The Collective

Francis is clear.
Nothing gets solved until we deal with the structural causes of inequality.

And as long as structural inequality endures, “there (will be) people in the world 
so hungry that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.” 

"A full belly does not believe in hunger."
Italian Proverb

And more often than not, "the hungry" believe in nothing but bread.
And "getting it" by any means necessary.

This fellow is not thinking about The 1%.

He is so focused on survival that political rights and political protest do not rise to radar.

If a government or economic class wants to prolong autocratic power, 
it deliberately keeps the populace poor.

Society is structured so that "The Pure People" 
-- The Chaste Caste (a word deriving from "chaste") -- 
reside at the top, and the ever-undeserving poor at the bottom.

Revolutions are not spearheaded by poor people.
They are led by disenfranchised intelligencias.
To prevent such "intelligencia rebellion," intellectuals are routinely bought off with civil service jobs
or, in modern times, with jobs in the non-profit sector.

Jobs are Gods.
Give someone a job (particularly with "benefits") and s/he will live prone before its altar.

Bone Bag cannot even think about justice.
Hunger occupies - and preoccupies - his field of consciousness.

With no one to fight for him -- not even himself! -- it is time the rest of us woke up.

"Politics And Economics: The 101 Courses You Wish You Had"

"War, Peace And Political Manipulation: Quotations"

The Thinking Housewife will not champion this guy.
Complacency -- or at least the memory of pre-Vatican II complacency -- are as much on her mind 
as hunger is on the mind of Bone Bag.
(Plus, he's the wrong color.)

Compendium Of "Pax" Posts On "The Thinking Housewife," Laura Wood

Enter Pope Francis. 

Nothing will ever be the same.

Thanks be to God.

Dear Fred,

Thanks for your email.

A large part of Francis' mission is to exit medieval moral confinement wherein sinfulness is determined solely by an individual's conscience in dyadic relationship with an individual's God.

Francis on the other hand is keenly aware that sin (from the testamental Greek, "hamartia"  meaning "missing the mark")  has a crucial -- and long ignored/overlooked -- structural/collective dimension.

In this newly-revealed dimension, science -- always contingent -- must serve as a new moral parameter even though it is intrinsic to "the nature of Science" that nearly nothing can be known with "absolutely certainty."(In statistical parlance there is always a "2% chance" of encountering an outlier.)

It is fundamental to science that practitioners try to disprove themselves whereas people who do not understand the contingent, ever-doubtful "nature of science" believe that Truth is determined by a hodgepodge of opinion, denial and decibelage.

If humankind is to emerge its cosmic egg -- if St. Paul's "birth pangs" are to result in progeny -- it is necessary that we abandon certitude (and even the expectation of certitude) in exchange for "doing what reasonable people would do" when their judgments are informed by "best knowledge," not certain knowledge. 

Pro-Science Pontiff: Pope Francis On Climate Change, Evolution And The Big Bang

"The terrible thing about our time is precisely the ease with which theories can be put into practice.  The more perfect, the more idealistic the theories, the more dreadful is their realization.  We are at last beginning to rediscover what perhaps men knew better in very ancient times, in primitive times before utopias were thought of: that liberty is bound up with imperfection, and that limitations, imperfections, errors are not only unavoidable but also salutary. The best is not the ideal.  Where what is theoretically best is imposed on everyone as the norm, then there is no longer any room even to be good.  The best, imposed as a norm, becomes evil.”  
"Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander,” by Trappist monk, Father Thomas Merton

More Merton Quotes


Your email reminds me that I forgot to post selections from today's "Brain Pickings."

One of those "pickings" concerns astronomer/cosmologist, Neil de Grasse Tyson's "8 books every intelligent person on the planet should read." 

Number 1 is "The Bible." 

Neil deGrasse Tyson: The 8 Books Every Intelligent Person Should Read

Pax tecum


Alan: There is a problem with the image above. 

If we were completely honest, it would read "contingent truth" not "TRUTH." 

But the moment we introduce this qualifier, everyone who fails to understand that a measure of uncertainty dwells at the heart of Science immediately feels liberated to deny Science willy nilly. 

It is illuminating to recall that The Theory of Relativity is "just" a theory.

But on that "theory" our lives depend. 

In this very real sense, Science is dependable albeit uncertain. 

Lamentably, the centrality of uncertainty is not a notion that sits well with people who resort to "common sense" to settle arguments.

"The Danger Of Science Denial"
TED Talk by Michael Specter

"Since God Doesn't Heal Amputees, Humankind Will. The Future Of Christian Theology"

"Theological Implications Of Ebola: Praying For A Cure? Creating A Scientific Cure"

"Just Thinking About Science Triggers Moral Behavior"
Scientific American

On Sun, Jan 4, 2015 at 8:56 PM, Fred Owens <> wrote:

Pope Francis -- an expert!!!

Pro-Science Pontiff: Pope Francis On Climate Change, Evolution And The Big Bang

Fred Owens
cell: 360-739-0214

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