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possibility last won the day on July 20 2018

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  1. I guess it depends on the level of interaction and compliance (or homogeneity) required by both yourself and the group. If no one's going to take issue with you respectfully opting out of certain elements (creeds, responses, etc), and you can be considerate of their customs and traditions (such as standing, sitting, silence or holding/shaking hands), then it really only depends on your own reasons for attending. I imagine 'group thought' has the potential to interfere at any level of community interaction, from family/social gatherings to election campaigns or celebrations of nationalism.
  2. My son has many trusted teachers to go to, plus his father is a teacher at the school, and I also work there. We are monitoring this very closely - believe me - and we're continually surprised when teachers mention that bullying has occurred. My son has no poker face - if he's upset, afraid or angry, he will show it. But he genuinely loves being at school, has friends and does well in all his classes. There is no particular kid who is tormenting him, either. There was a few years ago (his parent was the one I mentioned) but we quickly put a stop to that. His father was also very sma
  3. Thormas I realise this thread has changed direction again, but if you'll indulge me a little longer... I have the opposite experience: that once the victim of bullying, one would never stoop to that behavior. It is not merely the experience of being bullied (which is never in a vacuum), it is our prior experiences, the security and love of family and friends (and the resulting sense of self) before, during and after being bullied. Again, my experience is different. It also doesn't just happen because you are bullied. I agree - I said it was one of several possible outcomes, bas
  4. I'm not talking about conscious fear - the kind of fear you might actually admit to - such as in extreme or life-or-death situations. I'm talking about subconscious fear hidden by structures. When we have internalised the structures of behaviour that our job requires, for instance, we would automatically never choose to do anything that may risk our job, thereby ensuring we never have to consciously fear for our job. This is how we 'eradicate' fear. We have constructed all these eternal, definitive but essentially abstract concepts of family, society, nation, religion, laws, expectations, lang
  5. I understand that your position as a teacher made you fearful of the repercussions should you choose not to step in, and I believe it is still possible to be compassionate while restraining or otherwise preventing damage (especially as a teacher, where your options for 'handling' a student are limited anyway). You were protecting your interests - your position as a teacher requires you to protect the student being bullied as a priority, and ensure that the bullying stops without obvious harm to either student. You are motivated by fear, not necessarily for yourself but for your job: which
  6. I believe a natural motivation as a human being is not to hurt or exclude people, but to protect our own interests - as Thormas says, our self centredness. We attack others when we sense a threat to our interests, to the 'solid foundations' of our world, and we will use whatever we have at our disposal in order to regain control of our situation. Religion was the 'power' that the Pharisees wielded, and they misused it in the same way that the popes of Luther's time (and many others) misused it: to protect their own interests and remove any threats to their sense of control (over themselve
  7. Thormas Please try not to take my comments about general human tendencies and behaviour personally - they are in no way directed towards you. We want to believe the best of humanity and of society, including their laws and procedures. When you speak of society and humanity in general, I believe you speak of the best of us - the ideal. Those who don't live up to this ideal are anomalies - 'they' are individuals whose thoughts, words and actions temporarily position them apart from humanity as an idealistic whole. They are redeemable (as are we all), but have strayed nonetheless. You b
  8. Thanks for your comment, FireDragon. I'm making a connection that I'm pretty confident Hart would never make himself, let alone other Orthodox Christians. Like Thormas, his focus is on God as pure actuality, backed up by rationalistic argument by Aristotle and Aquinas. Regardless of whether or not the source of his 'knowledge' is grace, he nevertheless presents it as reason. It's essentially a 'chicken or the egg' argument - I'm just exploring the 'egg' side of the argument, because I think it has merit in the light of quantum theory and consciousness studies. Incidentally, woul
  9. How do you propose we actively refuse to accept it? By 'justifiably' condoning or causing pain and suffering to those who would cause pain and suffering? Is that Loving no matter the consequences? I'm not saying there is an easy answer, or that we should stand by and allow bullying, racism, war, rape or murder to happen at all. But individually we need to recognise that our lack of love in return - whether in condemning the person(s) directly or indirectly with our thoughts, words or actions, or in condoning or demanding pain, humiliation or loss inflicted on them as 'justice' - is not the way
  10. I agree, and didn't say it was a correct interpretation. I only wanted to address the assumption that I intended to take random snippets out of context. I agree that the Torah should be understood as essentially correct but not literally so, and this illustrates the point that whatever words are used (in verbal and written accounts of Moses' revelations or Jesus' teachings or even in human 'judgement') can only point to a subjective and limited experience of the truth - they cannot definitively state it. However, I don't believe Jesus was only arguing against the literal i
  11. Fair enough, but that was not my intention. I agree these were brief examples, but I believe my interpretation reflects their original context, and I wouldn't suggest that context be ignored. Neither did I intend to make any 'sweeping conclusions' myself - I only queried that this expectation might not be as 'clear' as one might assume. It was an invitation to demonstrate this clarity, and to weigh in on the original question. You have done neither, but that's your choice.
  12. Hi Burl I'm not sure where this is so 'clearly' laid out as an expectation of mankind. I would have thought "Judge not, that Ye not be judged" and "turn the other cheek" suggested an expectation to refrain from judgement or any approximation of justice? I am expected to make adjustments to my own way of being, to my future actions, in relation to the covenant, and to interact with others in recognition of their potential to do the same - but in my opinion judgement is a form of measurement that invites one to interact with the decision (conclusion based on past actions) instead of the pot
  13. I don't deny this, and I'm not dismissing their value. I just don't think we should confine ourselves to these sources. In appreciating the diversity of the universe, we can welcome the subjective experiences of the anomalous and the marginalised as indicative of the potentiality that exists beyond our current understanding. This how we have grown to accept the diversity of gender identity, for example. Humility is a strange word - it suggests an acceptance of limitation. I am aware that I cannot definitively 'know' potentiality in terms of subjective experience, such is its infinitude
  14. I understand that the Word of God is always redemptive, but the word 'judgement' as written in both the Old and New Testament seems to always follow the action rather than preempting choice as in your examples, and also suggests a conclusion or decision in its context. I don't think I'm reading that into the text, and I'd be interested in hearing a non-catholic point of view on the use of 'judgement' in scripture, for clarity. I can see, however, how 'judgement' implied by Catholic tradition and read into the text can be interpreted in the way you describe. But that discourse can also be
  15. I like this. I believe that love is the actualising of potentiality, insofaras we are aware of that potentiality. For you that potentiality appears to be limited to Human, so that (eventually) divinity is dwelling in humanity, whereas for me it is unlimited: 'humanity' as a limitation falls away and we become all, divinity, love. I hope I'm following your understanding of these terms, but I get the feeling this is not quite what you mean.
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