Syria – What ethical principles apply?

Syria

It is now clear that in Syria the Assad regime has employed nerve gas against the civilian population and has committed other atrocities in its willingness to pursue a civil war. For example it is documented that government forces last year went into villages and conducted wholesale slaughter. In Syria the human misery is intense … Continue reading Syria – What ethical principles apply?

Inconsistencies in the Bible – Why?

inconsistencies in the Bible

Don’t many people, who have given up on the Christian churches, just see inconsistencies in the Bible? Maybe. But the footballer Darren Bent doesn’t mind. He reads the Bible every day before he gets up and finds this has helped him cope with missing out on England’s Euro 2012 squad through injury. What makes this … Continue reading Inconsistencies in the Bible – Why?

Conviction or doubt about spiritual ideas?

conviction or doubt

General ideas about what is true about life come from all around us — family, the mass media, books. These concepts have often seeped through from current and past thinking for example from politics, philosophy and religion. We absorb such ideas because we tend to be interested in making sense of our lives, why we are here, where we come from, and where we are going, not to mention fathoming the reality of suffering, misfortune, and chaos that we find all around us. But life goes on and we are obliged to make the best fist of it using what values and principles we have learned about and accept. The question arises: Is it better to have conviction or doubt about your ideas?

Punishment of hell – Can this be real?

punishment of hell

If doing bad things is caused by environmental circumstances rather than individual moral choice, then surely an eternal punishment after death would be unjust? And if you balk at the idea of evil then you may dismiss the idea of hell.

Criminal punishment – How might this work?

criminal punishment

Nearly 75% of those aged over 18 and charged with offences committed during the riots, had prior criminal convictions. A few commentators have adopted a condemnatory attitude. “These people are just scum and that’s the end of it.” And there is a common view that trying to throw light on the riots in terms of social problems is tantamount to excusing individual actions. Social explanations do not erase responsibility of individuals but labelling these people as criminals does not help us understand why they became the way they are. Examining any relevant factors in society is not to justify behaviour but to try to throw some light on it. I would suggest a spiritual attitude is to condemn the behaviour but not the person: it is to look to enhance civil and moral order.

School discipline – how should it operate?

school discipline

There are probably several complex factors that can throw light on the causes of the riots. Examples are the culture of consumerism and acquisition as well as the possible effects on
moral values of permissive parenting. This is the third of four articles trying to understand what is going wrong from a spiritual dimension.

One view expressed in The Times newspaper is that “these disgraceful scenes were perpetuated by people who have not experienced any meaningful consequences for misbehaviour at school ” And so one spotlight is falling on social discipline in the education system.

Life after death – What’s it like?

life after death

In the post Is there an afterlife? I pointed to a similarity between Swedenborg’s reports of his mystical experiences of life after death and numerous accounts of the near death experience. There are also striking similarities between what various modern psychic mediums have said concerning a realm of spirits with Swedenborg’s writings. These similarities are … Continue reading Life after death – What’s it like?

A Vision of Utopia

Turn on the television news and there is an almost overwhelming focus on financial mess, social problems or crime. So what actually is the meaning of life? When I look around me I can’t help longing for a better kind of world. Sometimes I feel we are so used to the unsatisfactory state of things that we have given up hoping for something better.

Is idealism completely out of fashion? Have we become too cynical to have a vision of utopia? Or are we too scared of being tarnished with the same brush as the fanatical extremists who have not been slow in broadcasting their own hate filled criticism of modern life. Perhaps I’m being hopelessly idealistic but surely society could be better. How can I find my perfect society? What follows are the prejudices of an idealist.

Can I find forgiveness?

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Spiritual healing can be needed for guilty feelings. Not all that is going on in our mind is the working of a true conscience. Some of us find ourselves at times on a guilt trip. Even if we have a sound mind, we may sometimes feel guilty over the smallest thing – without rhyme or reason painstakingly worried about something we have done that really is unimportant.

One example is children who, having been trained by their parents to follow certain rules, like never putting one’s elbows on the table at meal times – feel guilty when they have grown into adulthood feeling guilty if they ever break this rule. Other examples of illogical guilt are saying `sorry’ a lot of the time and unfairly criticising ourselves. Trying too hard to get friends to like us, feeling easily embarrassed when asking for favours or doing anything that might displease them.

Many hopelessly sick people feel constantly guilty. This may result from the suspicion that their sickness and fate are self-inflicted and their own fault. Alternatively, they may assume, more or less, the role of the utterly dependent child. Some consciously apologize for the trouble and fuss they are causing. (Our Western culture fosters a sense of guilt in most of us when illness places us in the dependent role). If we are dying, we may even feel as if we are forcing the living to face the necessity of their own deaths for which we suppose they will not be thankful.

Medium Gordan Smith – Book review.

medium

By Gordon Smith, 2004 Published by Hay House, Inc

There have been many books written by psychics on spirit consciousness but this has got to be one of the more credible. Gordon Smith has been hailed as Britain’s most accurate medium. I saw him the other day at a theatre in Birmingham and clearly the audience were astonished at the detailed factual information he gave that was confirmed by the individuals he was talking to.

Of course our western culture tends to be sceptical about anything that is not rationally understood and claims such as those by Smith are highly contentious within the world of science. Having said that many people nevertheless embrace paranormal beliefs. Gallup has conducted several polls and find that about three-quarters of the American population believe in the one or more paranormal processes.

The author comments on how amazing it is to watch the reaction on someone’s face when a certain piece of evidence comes through from the other side. It can put a light back on in a person’s life.