By Stephen Russell-Lacy. There are lots of cultural and individual differences between people, but do humans have something innately in common? According to philosopher John Locke, there is no such thing as human nature. In his view, the mind is at birth a “blank slate” without rules, so data are added, and rules for processing … Continue reading Human nature – Does it exist?
By Stephen Russell-Lacy. Are you old enough to believe, that for every drop of rain that falls, a flower grows? Or, that somewhere in the darkest night, a candle glows? What about the notion that for everyone that goes astray, someone will come to show the way? Even when they were written some people didn’t … Continue reading Belief – Must it make sense?
The brain, is a soft, mass of gray and white matter. It has been estimated that there are more connections between the nerve cells within each one than all the particles in the universe! But how on earth can a piece of mere biological tissue – albeit an incredibly complex one – have consciousness? How … Continue reading Consciousness: can brain matter have it?
Our pets are loyal and affectionate members of our family and we don’t ever want to be parted from them. Lucy a beautiful black cat has lived with us for seventeen years and is nearing the end of her days. To ask ‘Do animals have a soul?’ implies that you do believe in the soul … Continue reading Soul – Does my pet have one?
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.
Some people drift aimlessly through life reacting to events and never making things happen for themselves. However, whatever the personal problem, it is often necessary for us to take the initiative in doing something about it, rather than letting things drift. Otherwise, it is only when some crisis occurs that eventually the situation forces us to make decisions about say a job, home, or even a close relationship. Better to prevent difficulties getting out of hand than allow circumstances no longer under our control to push us into a corner.
Often and in various ways we may slide into letting life around us govern how we think and behave – in a way that enables us to blame ‘it’ if ever we feel criticised. So it tends to be “someone else’s fault – not mine!” But spiritual healing may be needed.
Perhaps we are willing to be of help to others even when it is an inconvenience. It is good to be selfless and charitable. However, do we sometimes allow others to exploit our better nature? One sign of this is if we were to feel fed up with the way others take advantage of us or feel quietly resentful when sidelined, or put on.