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Teaching the Mind and Touching the Soul

There has been a great deal of research on human nature. Darwin came to the conclusion that evolution leads us to co-operate:tribes with individuals who worked for the greater good, were victorious over tribes where selfishness prevailed.He came to that conclusion but “The problem, however, of the first advance of savages towards civilization is at present much too difficult to be solved.”

Today's best researchers have come to the conclusion that we are by nature selfish and we need to be taught and reminded to cooperate, share,and care for the other. A balance develops between competition and cooperation. The miracle is that innate selfishness produces selfless people when the culture nurtures selflessness.

Ethical monotheism took us from tribal societies incapable of caring for the other to a culture that has survived more than 3500 years in different versions: each one an improvement over the other.

WORDS THAT BEAR FRUIT: teaching the mind, touching the soul is my web book about the importance of learning about ethical monotheism and its place in Western culture. Sounds exhausting, but I tell the history through stories; mine and others.

I hope you enjoy the journey that began 3500 years ago and brings us to today. Take up your place  as caregiver in maintaining our democracy, a free and just society.

Let the journey begin!   

                                            

 

                                                                                              

 

                                                                                   

  • April 2013

    • Why Should I Read This Book?

      Preface “Man raises himself toward God by the questions he asks Him.” Elie Wiesel The first thing I do when I see a book is read the blurb on the author. Who is this person? What are her credentials? What do others have to say about her body of...

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    • The Beginning:Words That Bear Fruit

      God must be served with the mind, which is His greatest gift to mankind.                                             Jacob B. Agus on the teachings of Bahya Ben Joseph  Ibn Pakuda   In the book of Ezekiel (2:9-10), God held out an unrolled scroll with the writings of “Lamentations, dirges and...

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    • 3: In the Beginning

      IN THE BEGINNING “I cannot think that the world, as we see it, is the result of chance; and yet I cannot look at each separate thing as the result of design.” Charles Darwin.   Think of great artists like Picasso and Chagall, whose art changed,...

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    • 4.The Snake Tempted Me (Genesis 3:13)

      “The business of the philosopher is well done if he succeeds in raising genuine doubts.” Morris Raphael.   I grew up in the city of Toronto. My mother and father met in Toronto during the war. Toronto, Canada’s largest city was at that time, mostly...

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    • 5.The Blue Fairy

      Today, we are faced with growing fear of immigration, the present and the future. We forget that fear opens the gate to authoritarianism. God’s admonition against fear is a major theme of the Bible. God and His prophets constantly preach against...

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    • 6.This is Religion and Spirituality?

      I would have to participate in a 30 hour programme for volunteers in order to qualify. I looked forward to the opportunity. The majority of the volunteers were women and most of them volunteered because they had personally experienced a health...

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    • 7.Asking the Right Questions

      There can be clues in a room, like a Bible on the bedside table or beads or incense, that indicate the level of religious commitment of the one who is ill. By acknowledging these items one can make a visit more profound for patient and care-giver....

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    • 8. Come, let us reason together.

      I could not understand how we could possibly learn about religion and Spirituality without discussing God and monotheism, especially in this community. How did God and monotheism become passé, politically incorrect while deep breathing and...

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    • 9. Revelation is the creation of reason.

        France and Germany had been considered the most enlightened of countries in Europe. They were the leaders in science and reason. They were the hotbed of philosophical discussions of theism, deism and atheism. Nietzsche preached that there was “no...

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  • May 2013

    • 10. Unbridled Human Nature

        “There were peals of thunder and flashes of lightning dense cloud on the mountain and a very loud trumpet blast” (Exodus 19:16). We are all there together to “Hear O Israel,” to listen to the mighty Word from the heart of the fire, through the...

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    • 11. Are we by nature selfish?

       What if Immanuel Kant’s teachings that, “human nature is understood to be composed of selfish natural appetites” is true? Then what? What if the selfishness with which we are born in order to survive, is not replaced with care for others?  We have...

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    • 12. Between two worlds

      Straddling the two worlds requires a balancing act between our animal instincts and drives to take what we want when we want; and the knowledge that we can now control our environment and modify our behaviour. Animals act on their instincts. They...

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    • 13. What ought I do?

      Ethics is the system we choose to help us make moral decisions that answer the question, “What ought I do?”  How we answer that question goes to the very soul of our society because ultimately “The test of the humanity of a human being is the...

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  • June 2013

    • 14. And a Great Nation Began

      Approximately 2000 years before Jesus walked the earth, a family, headed by a man named Terah, left its home in  the city of Ur in Babylonia (now modern Iraq), to make its way to Canaan but they stopped in Haran (southeast Turkey). In Terah’s time...

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    • 15.Democracy without values easily turns into totalitarianism

      In the third decade of the Common Era, the preaching of a young Rabbi known as Yeshua, Jesus, in the Galilee, brought new converts to Judaism by teaching and preaching this change in focus and stressing the prophetic core of Judaism; the passion...

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    • 16.Thus says the Lord

        Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis described culture as “the sum of the achievements and institutions which differentiate our lives from those of our animal forbears and serve two purposes, namely that of protecting humanity against...

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    • 16.What does it mean to be human?

      Many years ago, when I represented the chaplaincy department of my hospital on the Obstetrics/Gynecology ethics committee, we were presented with the case of a woman who had received assistance to become pregnant. An ultra sound revealed that two...

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  • July 2013

  • August 2013

    • 20.Do you choose life for you and your seed?

      For Kant, for an action to be morally good, “it is not enough that it should conform to the moral law-it must also be done for the sake of the moral law. It is similar to the concept of following God’s commandments because they come from God. For...

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    • 22.My Rights, Your Rights, Whose Rights?

      Now it is time to return to the two cases regarding abortion; the woman implanted with two fetuses and the young family receiving terrible news about their unborn child. What values did the two families hold dear, values to which they turned to...

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