Tag Archives: Non-human values

The I Am to explore

When looking at the world man and animal can be seen moving around, sometimes men going about more than wild beasts.

In that universe where everybody in his worldly life is so busy with working and with earning money to be able to buy as many gadgets as they would like and to make their material dreams realised, lots of people consider those who have faith in a Supreme Being to be loosers or people who live in fantasy worlds. Lots of them do believe that when in faith you just have to accept everything blindly. For them and many faith is a mystery, where you need to ask any questions.

It is true that we mortals can not understand everything. We could even say that we should not even try to understand everything. Question is if you may look at faith on a rational way. Can you believe in a Higher Being Which or Who created everything. And do you have to approach all the saying about It/Him rationally?

Portrait of René Descartes, dubbed the "F...

Portrait of René Descartes, dubbed the “Father of Modern Philosophy”, after Frans Hals c. 1648 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The last few years focus has been on the rationale. René Descartes with many followers could say “I think, therefore, I am”, and we can only agree because when you are not in existence you can not “be“. When born and not able to think the being of that person is also like as if without life and can not do anything. To be able to do something a creature (animal or man) has to think or to use its/his/her brains. Without the use of the brain, without letting the ‘electricity’ go through the nerves, creature shall not be able to do much. It has to receive something, analyse it, act and react to it. But before it can go into action and reaction it has to have knowledge of the self. It has to have a working ‘I am‘ and has to feel as an ‘I am‘.

Though man faces some problems.
First there is the “I am”, the “Self” which it has to come to face and has to try to understand.
Secondly it has to come to see that the “I am” is only part of a bigger part of “I Am”. When it comes to know that it can go searching for that Bigger “I Am” and hopefully shall come to recognise the “I Am Who Is” without nothing can exist.
Thirdly each little “I am” has to recognise that manifesting the “I am” demands interaction, but that such interaction is never ending. One word only points to another word and never to reality itself. Having brains thinking, receiving interpretations and having to make interpretations itself, it shall have to come to the conclusion that no one interpretation can ever be regarded as final.

As in interpretation, so in life: everything becomes undecidable.

Now there is a difference between all who want to understand and try to approach the many “I ams” in this world. Into this decidedly undecided world, there are people who have opened their eyes and have come to see what is behind the ordinary “I am”. They have found The Bigger “I Am.” They might have found it by listening to their inner voice or by coming to read, see and hear the Word of God. For them the curtains have gone open and the biblical message as reasonable thinking person has come to them with common sense. They have come to see and understand that Faith and logic are not really opposites.

Genesis 1 tells us that man was created in God’s image (Genesis 1: 26-27).

“26  Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” (Genesis 1:26-27 NAS)

Diagram from one of René Descartes' works.

Diagram from one of René Descartes’ works. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Being created in the image of God, means also each person we see around us has something which might be found also in God. Each person we do encounter can carry something from God with him or her and can share it with others. The person who has come into the faith, believing there is a Creator Deity, and who has seen the Works of that God (Source of knowledge) shall also come to the understanding of the importance of sharing the knowledge of that “I am” with others. For the one with faith it is like being with child, incredible exiting and giving lots of energy. It is as an extra breath given to you.

In the past many man of all sorts of professions have already felt the special awareness and consequences for them of having faith in the Elohim, Divine Creator of heaven and earth. The “I Am Who Is” or the “I Am that I am” is the Most Almighty God of gods, Who overshadows any other god or “I am”. He is also One God Who demands recognition for His important Pole Position. He does not like to see that His creatures do love other gods more than Him. Believers, man of faith, should recognise that and take it into account, worshipping only that One and Only One True God.

To help us to understand that Bigger “I Am” and our own “I am” This Eternal Being has given His Words and let it hem be notated by the many faithful men. All those writings about the “I Am” are bundled in the Book of books, the Bible, the infallible Word of God.

In the several books of the Bible we can find a.o. the Book of Psalms in which we can find the answers:

  1. God gave us the Psalms and other Books of the Bible
  2. as a prayer book for our lives.
  3. to show the friends of God.
  4. to learn through poetry and song.
  5. to experience the transcendence and the imminence of God at once
  6. to affirm the mystery of life
  7. to educate and to exhort ourselves
  8. to show us our sins
  9. to remind us of the brevity of life
  10. to remind us of the necessity to live the right way
  11. to show us the way to a better and easier life
  12. to express our heartfelt longings
  13. to discover God His Character
  14. to discover God His Will for our lives
  15. to learn to direct ourselves to the utmost important things in life
  16. to learn how to behave
  17. to learn to pray aright
  18. to reveal His sovereign grace to us
  19. to show us the Way to Salvation
  20. to show us and give comfort in finding the Way to the Kingdom of God

Created in the image of God, the image of the Big “I Am” this is not just an outward likeness, for God is Spirit, and is only for our understanding presented in a description which is derived from that of a human. Upon further reading in the Book of books, the Bible, we can see that God’s Word reveals that humans, unlike animals, are provided with rational. Man can think and reason logically, but above all he is able to know God; and the latter goes. An animal has no sense of higher values, let alone God, a man does. But that is also exactly what sets him apart. A man who does not have these capabilities, or does not use them, is indeed no more than an animal:

“Man in [his] pomp, yet without understanding, Is like the beasts that perish.” (Psalms 49:20 NAS)

In fact, it is precisely this ability to abstract reasoning that,

according to the apostle Paul, makes the infidel shall not go unpunished because when he looks around himself he should be able to see the many things God provided. It might be true that the invisible things of God can not be seen, but even his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived since the creation of the world are working with the mind, so that they are without excuse.

“For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20 NAS)
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Preceding articles:

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Additional readings:

  1. What is life?
  2. Looking at three “I am” s
  3. Creator and Blogger God 2 Image and likeness
  4. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  5. Philosophy hand in hand with spirituality
  6. Looking for True Spirituality 2 Not restricted to an elite
  7. Being Religious and Spiritual 1 Immateriality and Spiritual experience
  8. Being Religious and Spiritual 2 Religiosity and spiritual life
  9. Being Religious and Spiritual 4 Philosophical, religious and spiritual people
  10. Being Religious and Spiritual 5 Gnostic influences
  11. Being Religious and Spiritual 6 Romantici, utopists and transcendentalists
  12. Improving the world by improving the Faith
  13. Are you religious, spiritual, or do you belong to a religion, having a faith or interfaith
  14. Faith because of the questions
  15. A Living Faith #9 Our Manner of Life
  16. Fear of failure, and fear of the unknown
  17. Looking for something or for the Truth and what it might be and self-awareness
  18. Leaving behind the lives we have touched.
  19. Only the contrite self, sick of its pretensions, can find salvation
  20. God won’t ask
  21. Pieces
  22. There is no true and constant gentleness without humility
  23. For those who make other choices
  24. Do you believe in One god?
  25. Revelation 1:8 – Who is Speaking?
  26. Use of /Gebruik van Jehovah or/of Yahweh in Bible Translations/Bijbel vertalingen
  27. Without God no purpose, no goal, no hope
  28. Only worhsip Creator of all things
  29. A great man does not lose his self-possession when he is afflicted

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  • Love: Reuniting the objective and subjective… (thosecatholicmen.com)
    The modern world has fallen into a dualism of body and soul in many ways. Descartes, a founding father of modern philosophy described the soul as a “ghost in a machine.” It is only too easy to focus on the body in an animalistic fashion, focused on pleasure and gratification. The opposite extreme is to fall into emotionalism or even a spiritualism that sees no compelling connection to the body.
  • Descartes and the Begining of Modern Philosophy (joshpcb.wordpress.com)

    n the 17th and 18th century Western philosophy was in strife – split between British empiricism (figures such as Locke and Bacon) and continental rationalism (such proponents as Leibniz and Spinoza), both camps disagreed with one another on the topic of epistemology and metaphysics.

    Important to add to the context is that in this time, scholasticism was the most prestigious method of education; it entailed Aristotelian values with a significant religion input. Scholasticism used logical methodology to deduce and then resolve contradictions. It was also qualitative, looking at objects and people and how they worked behaved, i.e., their qualities, and it was this manner in which Descartes was educated

  • Last lecture of the semester: Foucault and Derrida on Madness (foucaultnews.com)
    We need a history of that other trick that madness plays—that other trick through which men, in the gesture of sovereign reason that locks up their neighbor, communicate and recognize each other in the merciless language of non-madness; we need to identify this moment of that expulsion before it was definitely established in the reign of truth, before it was brought back to life by the lyricism of protestation. To try to recapture, in history, this degree zero of the history of madness, when it was undifferentiated experience, the still undivided experience of the division [of madness and reason] itself. To describe…[what] allows Reason and Madness to fall away, like things henceforth foreign to each other, deaf to any exchange, almost dead to each other. (my emphases)

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Filed under Health affairs, Knowledge & Wisdom, Lifestyle, Religious affairs, Spiritual affairs, Welfare matters, World affairs

The natural beauties of life

When we look around us we should be able to see all the beauty of nature. But many of us live in cities where we are surrounded by buildings and not much green.

The beautiful nature is given to us freely, but not many people do respect that free gift as such. We, as human beings are also not so keen to use it properly and to take into account that many after us still have to be able to enjoy as much as we did or even more. Often terrible things have to happen before we as human being want to think about what is going on or what our responsibility should be for making sure lots of people can enjoy those treasures of earth.

In many Asian countries several people are already seriously feeling the effects of the industrial revolution and the technical progress of the last two centuries. People may be happy the world advanced so much and that we do have a lot of gadgets which make life so much easier. But in many poor countries those people do not enjoy such modern domestication? Several families  by powerful storms found their riverside home destroyed already more than once. Millions have already lost more than the modest roof over their head. Millions spend their days collecting cow dung for fuel and struggling to grow vegetables in soil poisoned by salt water. They live on borrowed time in a vast landscape of river islands, bamboo huts, heartbreaking choices and impossible hopes.

Government representatives and scientists on Tuesday March the 25th opened a five-day meeting of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to finalize a report assessing the impacts of climate change on human and natural systems, options for adaptation, and the interactions among climate changes, other stresses on societies, and opportunities for the future.

The meeting, the culmination of four years’ work by hundreds of experts who have volunteered their time and expertise to produce a comprehensive assessment, was to approve the Summary for Policymakers of the second part of the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report, checking the text line by line.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) wants to achieve a stabilization of green-house gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. Such a level should be achieved within a time frame sufficient to allow ecosystems to adapt naturally to climate change, to ensure that food production is not threatened and to enable economic development to proceed in a sustainable manner.
All of us should be aware that limiting the effects of climate change is necessary to achieve sustainable development and equity, including poverty eradication. At the same time, some mitigation efforts could undermine action on the right to promote sustainable development, and on the achievement of poverty eradication and equity. Consequently, a comprehensive assessment of climate policies involves going beyond a focus on mitigation and adaptation policies alone to examine development pathways more broadly, along with their determinants.

We all should also know that we have to take a collective action because we are speaking of problem at the global scale, because most greenhouse gases (GHGs) accumulate over time and mix globally, and emissions by any agent (e.g., individual, community, company,country) affect other agents. International cooperation is therefore required to effectively mitigate GHG emissions and address other climate change issues.

Social, economic and ethical analyses may be used to inform value judgements and may take into account values of various sorts, including human well-being, cultural values and non-human values. But all people should be informed how much they themselves also can contribute to the global effect, even when their personal impact may be very small it is important that everybody does his or her own bit for the protection of the earth.
Awareness and appreciation for the environment is very important, so we should help to get others to be more concious of the importance to safeguard the earth’s future and the future of our children their children.
We would like to present a website where the beauties of nature are nicely presented but where one is not afraid to see behind all that beauty the danger of vanishing worlds. We have evolved far away form the snapshots that have served as surrogates, except perhaps for one surrogate which continues to grow, namely the extended reach of the body’s comprehension of the world.
Doing so more insistently than did other forms of mimetic representation, photography seemed to stand in for the direct, bodily experience of the individual, its lens becoming the roving eye of the beholder. Most obviously one sees this in travel and expeditionary photographs of the nineteenth century, for which skilled professionals travelled forth from Western Europe and the eastern USA to record and bring back views of sites as various as India, the American West and the Middle East. {Oxford Companion to the Body }
Photography, you could say, is the visual medium of this modern world, were events can be captured for the future, but were stories of the past can be a witness of the things human beings did or because they did not want to see, refusing to hear the signs, have been lost for the next generations.
As a means of recording, and as an art form in its own, photography pervades our lives and shapes our perceptions…

A private photobook collector and trader, living in the Netherlands, who has sold many photobooks online (Ebay.nl, Marktplaats.nl & Boekwinkeltjes.nl/Bint) and therefore has also set up a devoted website (see http://bintphotobooks.googlepages.com/)& his Blog (see http://bintphotobooks.blogspot.com/) brings us a variety of artists worth viewing.

We do know that:
“Perception is relative and selective”…If the presenter does not clarify a message, then the receiver imposes his own meaning drawing from his/her experience, needs and expectations.

On his website we can find many beautiful photographs which clearly tell a story which has to be heard by many. Therefore we also like to introduce you to it. Our world is much to important to have it been destroyed by the greed of our consumerism.

The one looking through the lens may capture a whole story in one click and make it easy for others to see that what is behind the picture. Every photographer may put his own statement in the way he looks at things. Behind the pictures may be told also a whole story and the writer of Bint photobooks may carry us away along the threads of reality which often stay hidden for those who live in the cities of the Western world.

In Kadir van Lohuizen: Putting stories into perspective for example we can learn that the celebrated Dutch photographer Kadir van Lohuizen feels that there are many big stories around the world that need to be told and that it is his responsibility to tell them in the right way. He brings us with his camera from the North to the South, from Greenland to Kiribati and Fiji, close to Australia, passing by Panama but also showing us the problems of cities in the United States, like Boston, all places where they feel the rising sees. On the net we also can find some other interesting photographs of professional photographers, like Mitch Zeissler, and non-professional photographers, who do have a very good eye, like Cindy Barton Knoke who is willing to share that what she encounters on her many travels. Having such people willing to share the beauties they managed to see others are allowed to enjoy them too, which is great. This way people who are not in good health or do not have the money or no means to make such trips to far away places can receive their dreams by such bloggers.

Having lots of people living between the structures of living quarters and offices, often confronted with the fumes, dust and pollution, they may value such beautiful countrysides, animals and by Cindy Barton Knoke also beautiful art, which give richness to the world. Those living in countries with wide fields, like in the United States perhaps do not see any sign of pollution in their region, and do think perhaps everything is exaggerated, but when they can see and hear the witnesses of those who can move around, come in different places or do scientific work, they perhaps come to believe that it is really time we do something to protect what we still have. In Belgium we are confronted with pollution and climate change nearly every day, so perhaps the Belgians do feel the urge to look for solutions more than some other citizens.

Climate-Greenland-slide-BJBO-superJumbo.jpgClimate-Greenland-slide-YDQV-superJumbo.jpg
Icebergs in a channel between Greenland’s Eqip Sermia glacier and Ilulissat Icefjord, the most active glacier in the Northern Hemisphere and so many other pictures Bint presents with his article on Kadir van Lohuizen is only showing us the figurative and literal top of the ice sheet melting as a result of climate change.

In 2012 van Lohuizen started project looking into consequences of sea-level rise in the world. Therefore he went to different regions that have been or will be affected quite soon by the rise, and researched where people will have to relocate.

The 50-year-old photographer said he started the project after visiting a delta area in Bangladesh around three years ago, where he was struck by the apparent impact of rising sea levels and noticed that Bangladesh expects to evacuate 30 million people by 2050 due to rising sea levels.

He is also aware that the issue is more urgent than most people assume

“it’s very much knocking on our doors.”

The world has waited already too long before taking the matter serious. Like in most places there has to happen something serious before people do something.

“Too often we start to think about the problem when it has happened, but not before.”

Bint writes

Aiming to raise awareness in the general audience, Kadir hoped that the message would also reach politicians and policymakers.

and gives the word to van Lohuizen who says:

“It’s going to be the biggest problem of the century. It’s not just islands disappearing but also sea water seeping into the mainland, causing soil to become saline, rendering people unable to grow crops and having more difficulty accessing clean water.”

We better make sure others get to know the beauties of nature but also show how endangered the species and our own environment is. We clearly have to share the message of the importance to keep our world in good health.

The "burning embers" diagram above w...

The “burning embers” diagram above was produced by the IPCC in 2001. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Filed under Lifestyle, Nature, Pictures of the World