We Suffer Because We Are Human

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In my previous post I ended by suggesting that God couldn’t remove all suffering in the world without changing humanity: without making human beings something they are not.  In this post I’m going to explain why I say that.  It comes down to free will, which leads to some surprising places.We human beings have free will in a sense that other animals do not seem to.*  We can choose from among many choices; and though we always choose from among the things that seem good to us, we know we can c … [Read more...]

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Why Doesn’t God Prevent Suffering?

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My atheist interlocutors have presented me with a vast number of questions on my post “Which Monotheistic God is God”, a rich lode that I suspect I could continue to mine for a very long time indeed.  Many of the questions have to do with the question of suffering: if God is truly good, and truly all powerful, why didn’t He create a world without suffering?  Why doesn’t He prevent suffering before it happens?This is one of the truly great questions, naturally, and as entire books have been wr … [Read more...]

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Today’s Aquinas: The Son and the Father are One

ThomasAquinas

We’re blogging through St. Thomas Aquinas’ Compendium Theologiae, sometimes called his Shorter Summa. Find the previous posts here.Having explained just how the Word, the Second Person of the Trinity, is generated from the Father from all eternity, Thomas goes on to explain that, in John the Evangelist’s words, “the Word was God.” Since natural existence and the action of understanding are distinct in us, we should note that a word conceived in our intellect, having only intellectual existen … [Read more...]

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The Dogmat Saw The Beauty

The Dogmat

The Dogmat has seen a lot of neat and beautiful stuff over the last couple of weeks, amid everything else. Being doggy rather than catty, the Dogmat prefers to focus on the beautiful stuff.How to Express Admiration: Scott Meyer explains (in cartoon form) how to express admiration for another; and specifically how to express admiration for Walt Disney because "he's the closest thing we've ever had to a Bond movie villain." After all, did build "an immense complex in the middle of a swamp, … [Read more...]

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A Collection of Mindfulness-ness (Updated!)

Brain Embroidery

Recently I’ve been hearing quite a bit about mindfulness, most recently at Weight Watchers where we are encouraged to be mindful about the food we are eating.  A couple of weeks ago they gave us a “mindfulness exercise”, to wit, spending two minutes counting our breaths.  From what I've gathered, mindfulness involves quieting your thoughts and being aware and alert to your body and your environment.  As such, it’s a way of being present, of living in the moment; and apparently the goal is to star … [Read more...]

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Movie Review: Inside Out

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Go see it. Pixar's knocked it out of the park with this one: there wasn't a single false note.I can't really say any more without spoiling it. You've probably seen a review or two by now, or a trailer, so you have enough of a notion of what it's about already. So go see it, already! … [Read more...]

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Today’s Aquinas: What Did John Say about the Word?

ThomasAquinas

We’re blogging through St. Thomas Aquinas’ Compendium Theologiae, sometimes called his Shorter Summa. Find the previous posts here.In the previous chapter, Thomas showed a way in which we can say that the First and Second Persons of the Trinity are related as Father and Son; and he clarifies his usage in this chapter: Hence in the rule of Catholic faith we are taught to profess belief in the Father and Son in God by saying: “I believe in God the Father, and in His Son.” And lest anyone, on h … [Read more...]

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Danny Deever, by Rudyard Kipling

Kipling's poem "Danny Deever" is about a soldier who is going to be hanged for shooting a fellow soldier while he slept. "What are the bugles blowin' for?" said Files-on-Parade. "To turn you out, to turn you out", the Colour-Sergeant said. "What makes you look so white, so white?" said Files-on-Parade. "I'm dreadin' what I've got to watch", the Colour-Sergeant said. For they're hangin' Danny Deever, you can hear the Dead March play, The regiment's in 'ollow square -- they're hangin' him … [Read more...]

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Which Monotheistic God is God?

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Last time I looked at theological systems that aim at the divine as the ultimate reality, and rejected pantheism and deism for monotheism.  That still seems to leave a lot of ground to cover, but it's actually not so bad.As I've said before I've had personal experiences of the presence of God.  I don't want to make too much of them, but there they are, and they are part of my experience.  I don't claim that you should believe on the basis of my experience, but contrarily it is something that … [Read more...]

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