Tag Archives: Social networks

Fake News Goes Back to the Garden of Eden says Pope Francis I

On this day of “News and communication” we can’t escape to ponder on the last two years where we got bombarded with continuous streams of fake news and attacks on people and organisations.

All people who write on the internet should be aware of their social function and be conscious of their responsibility and impact on others. The last few months social media also showed its bad and dangerous side in being a weapon of opponents and misleader of the people. When you look at the fake news that could be spread  in one week it should really alarm us.

Today the Roman Catholic Church Father Francis I looked at what is going on in this world and said

Made in the image and likeness of our Creator, we are able to express and share all that is true, good, and beautiful. We are able to describe our own experiences and the world around us, and thus to create historical memory and the understanding of events.

He is also aware and tells about what happened very early in the history of man, what too many have forgotten. We should remember that there was the inner thought of the mannin or first woman who doubted the sincerity and honesty of her Creator. Pope Francis has denounced fake news as evil, comparing it to the snake in the Garden of Eden, and urged journalists to make it their mission to search for the truth.

In his annual social communications message, Francis said fake news played on stereotypes and prejudices, and praised efforts to make social media users aware of false reports. Question hereby can bye how we ourselves want to see the world around us and how we want to be honest to others. Lots of our way of reaction against others has to do with our background, attitude of life and our pride.

The pope opened his sermon today with a warning.

But when we yield to our own pride and selfishness, we can also distort the way we use our ability to communicate. This can be seen from the earliest times, in the biblical stories of Cain and Abel and the Tower of Babel (cf. Gen 4:4-16; 11:1-9). The capacity to twist the truth is symptomatic of our condition, both as individuals and communities. On the other hand, when we are faithful to God’s plan, communication becomes an effective expression of our responsible search for truth and our pursuit of goodness.

In 1972 Pope Paul VI already for the World Communications Day had its theme: “Social Communications at the Service of Truth”. The present pope want also to contribute to our shared commitment to stemming the spread of fake news and to rediscovering the dignity of journalism and the personal responsibility of journalists to communicate the truth. for this pope it is not the first time he has scolded those who spread false news reports. He called it a “very serious sin” that not only hurts those who have been slandered but also hurts journalism itself.

We have come into a time when it looks like a sport or competition to bring the most deceiving and manipulating messages to the reader. Clearly the spreading of fake news can serve to advance specific goals, influence political decisions, and serve economic interests, and is as such used.

The effectiveness of fake news is primarily due to its ability to mimic real news, to seem plausible. Secondly, this false but believable news is “captious”, inasmuch as it grasps people’s attention by appealing to stereotypes and common social prejudices, and exploiting instantaneous emotions like anxiety, contempt, anger and frustration. The ability to spread such fake news often relies on a manipulative use of the social networks and the way they function. Untrue stories can spread so quickly that even authoritative denials fail to contain the damage.

In Christendom we can see that lots of people are so caught by the arrangement between the clergy and the Roman emperor Constantine. Their agreement to equal the Roman gods with the Christian figures (or better the other way around) made that the Trinity was born and fostered.

The difficulty of unmasking and eliminating fake news is due also to the fact that many people interact in homogeneous digital environments impervious to differing perspectives and opinions. Disinformation thus thrives on the absence of healthy confrontation with other sources of information that could effectively challenge prejudices and generate constructive dialogue; instead, it risks turning people into unwilling accomplices in spreading biased and baseless ideas. The tragedy of disinformation is that it discredits others, presenting them as enemies, to the point of demonizing them and fomenting conflict. Fake news is a sign of intolerant and hypersensitive attitudes, and leads only to the spread of arrogance and hatred. That is the end result of untruth.

In Facebook Groups lots of people go very hard against people who have an other opinion than they or than mainstream groups. Many want others to believe as them and when they do not do that they come to abuse them and call them names.

It is not an easy task to get people to see what really happened and to get rid of the false information Awful is it when such false news is to blacken people or organisations. Since disinformation is often based on deliberately evasive and subtly misleading rhetoric and at times the use of sophisticated psychological mechanisms, plus when it gets multiplied or shared via social media it starts running its own life and often turns up a few years later when people have forgotten about the matter and do not recollect that it was classified as fake news.

The Pope finds it good that

praiseworthy efforts are being made to create educational programmes aimed at helping people to interpret and assess information provided by the media, and teaching them to take an active part in unmasking falsehoods, rather than unwittingly contributing to the spread of disinformation. Praiseworthy too are those institutional and legal initiatives aimed at developing regulations for curbing the phenomenon, to say nothing of the work being done by tech and media companies in coming up with new criteria for verifying the personal identities concealed behind millions of digital profiles.

Yet preventing and identifying the way disinformation works also calls for a profound and careful process of discernment. We need to unmask what could be called the “snake-tactics” used by those who disguise themselves in order to strike at any time and place. This was the strategy employed by the “crafty serpent” in the Book of Genesis, who, at the dawn of humanity, created the first fake news (cf. Gen 3:1-15), which began the tragic history of human sin, beginning with the first fratricide (cf. Gen 4) and issuing in the countless other evils committed against God, neighbour, society and creation. The strategy of this skilled “Father of Lies” (Jn 8:44) is precisely mimicry, that sly and dangerous form of seduction that worms its way into the heart with false and alluring arguments.

The world is taken by its greed. So many people do want it all for themselves. Politicians do whatever they can to degrade their opponents and to let themselves look the better one.

What is at stake is our greed. Fake news often goes viral, spreading so fast that it is hard to stop, not because of the sense of sharing that inspires the social media, but because it appeals to the insatiable greed so easily aroused in human beings. The economic and manipulative aims that feed disinformation are rooted in a thirst for power, a desire to possess and enjoy, which ultimately makes us victims of something much more tragic: the deceptive power of evil that moves from one lie to another in order to rob us of our interior freedom. That is why education for truth means teaching people how to discern, evaluate and understand our deepest desires and inclinations, lest we lose sight of what is good and yield to every temptation.

At Facebook Groups we often find people, claiming to be Christian, using words unworthy for a lover of God and for a follower of Christ, calling those who are not in line with their thinking all sorts of names. By bringing all sorts of false ‘news’ they also try to bring others in discredit. In many of those groups we can see a constant contamination by deceptive language which can end up darkening our interior life.

Dostoevsky’s observation is illuminating:

“People who lie to themselves and listen to their own lie come to such a pass that they cannot distinguish the truth within them, or around them, and so lose all respect for themselves and for others. And having no respect, they cease to love, and in order to occupy and distract themselves without love they give way to passions and to coarse pleasures, and sink to bestiality in their vices, all from continual lying to others and to themselves.” (The Brothers Karamazov, II, 2).

Many people are thrown form one side to the other and become so confused, not able to see what is true , half-true and what is false. Lots of false messages look so engrossing that one can not resit the excitement and love to share it on social media which makes the ball rolling.

So how do we defend ourselves?

The most radical antidote to the virus of falsehood is purification by the truth.

In Christianity, truth is not just a conceptual reality that regards how we judge things, defining them as true or false. The truth is not just bringing to light things that are concealed, “revealing reality”, as the ancient Greek term aletheia (from a-lethès, “not hidden”) might lead us to believe. Truth involves our whole life. In the Bible, it carries with it the sense of support, solidity, and trust, as implied by the root ‘aman, the source of our liturgical expression Amen.

Those who call themselves Christian should have the aim in them to purify their body and spirit and to share the love of Christ with others, not wanting to hurt them by false sayings or awful words. they should work on their character, trying to become like Christ. By their daily meditations and reading of the Word of God they should discover and rediscover the truth when they experience it within themselves in the loyalty and trustworthiness of the One who loves them.

every person should know that the truth will set them free (Jn 8:32).

Freedom from falsehood and the search for relationship: these two ingredients cannot be lacking if our words and gestures are to be true, authentic, and trustworthy. To discern the truth, we need to discern everything that encourages communion and promotes goodness from whatever instead tends to isolate, divide, and oppose. Truth, therefore, is not really grasped when it is imposed from without as something impersonal, but only when it flows from free relationships between persons, from listening to one another. Nor can we ever stop seeking the truth, because falsehood can always creep in, even when we state things that are true. An impeccable argument can indeed rest on undeniable facts, but if it is used to hurt another and to discredit that person in the eyes of others, however correct it may appear, it is not truthful. We can recognize the truth of statements from their fruits: whether they provoke quarrels, foment division, encourage resignation; or, on the other hand, they promote informed and mature reflection leading to constructive dialogue and fruitful results.

When looking at news channels, social media (tweets and Facebook messages) we always should use our common sense and examine the truth as well as the value of the message.

The best antidotes to falsehoods are not strategies, but people: people who are not greedy but ready to listen, people who make the effort to engage in sincere dialogue so that the truth can emerge; people who are attracted by goodness and take responsibility for how they use language. If responsibility is the answer to the spread of fake news, then a weighty responsibility rests on the shoulders of those whose job is to provide information, namely, journalists, the protectorsof news. In today’s world, theirs is, in every sense, not just a job; it is a mission. Amid feeding frenzies and the mad rush for a scoop, they must remember that the heart of information is not the speed with which it is reported or its audience impact, but persons. Informing others means forming others; it means being in touch with people’s lives. That is why ensuring the accuracy of sources and protecting communication are real means of promoting goodness, generating trust, and opening the way to communion and peace.

The pontiff wants to invite everyone to promote a journalism of peace. He said

By that, I do not mean the saccharine kind of journalism that refuses to acknowledge the existence of serious problems or smacks of sentimentalism. On the contrary, I mean a journalism that is truthful and opposed to falsehoods, rhetorical slogans, and sensational headlines. A journalism created by people for people, one that is at the service of all, especially those – and they are the majority in our world – who have no voice. A journalism less concentrated on breaking news than on exploring the underlying causes of conflicts, in order to promote deeper understanding and contribute to their resolution by setting in place virtuous processes. A journalism committed to pointing out alternatives to the escalation of shouting matches and verbal violence.

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Preceding articles

Americans their stars, pretension, God, Allah and end of times signs #1 Abrahamic religions

Americans their stars, pretension, God, Allah and end of times signs #2 War on God’s Plan, Name and title

Americans their stars, pretension, God, Allah and end of times signs #3 Cyberwars and prophesy

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Additional reading

  1. An openingschapter explaining why things are like they are and why we may have hope for better things
  2. The figure of Eve
  3. Bereshith 3 Fall of man
  4. Messianic prophesies 1 Adversary – Root of the first prophecy
  5. Messianic prophesies 2 Adversary – Root of the first prophecy
  6. Delph Radio – Spreading God’s Word to All Nations

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Related

  1. Opinion Journalism
  2. Why Journalism?
  3. So What Happened to the Journalism?
  4. Journalism: A Slow Death
  5. Dumb journalism makes for a dumb nation
  6. The problem with modern “journalism” summed up in one story
  7. Crossed Lines
  8. Sturgeon sets media and Tories straight after latest round of fake news
  9. JT Blog: Examiner analysis
  10. Content analysis of the Huddersfield Examiner
  11. What a ______ time it is to be a journalist
  12. Can you trust social media?
  13. Fake News and the Good News
  14. Politicians Intermix Cyberwar, Information Warfare, And Fake News
  15. Pope condemns ‘evil’ of fake news and its use for political gain
  16. Pope: ‘Fake news’ is evil, journalists must search for truth
  17. Be more responsible journalists, Pope Francis says…
  18. Pope Francis weighs in on fake-news – a sign of intolerant and hypersensitive attitudes pope decries unthinkable barbaric treatment of Yezidis audience cate
  19. Pope Francis Denounces Fake News
  20. Pope Warns Against ‘Fake News,’ Likens It To ‘Crafty Serpent’ In Genesis
  21. Pope Blames Eve for Listening to “Fake News” Serpent
  22. Pope condemns ‘evil’ of fake news and its use for political gain
  23. Be more responsible journalists, Pope Francis says…
  24. Edelman Trust Barometer 2018 – Redefines Media & Gives Journalism Hope
  25. BuzzFeed: This Is Facebook’s News Survey

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Filed under Crimes & Atrocities, Educational affairs, Headlines - News, History, Lifestyle, Political affairs, Religious affairs, Social affairs, World affairs

May we have doubts

Not all of us are sure about all things. Lots of matters may bring questions onto our mind.

Some may say doubt originates in a double minded person. Others say it is because a person is not enough believing in God. Others say he is not believing in Christ. Several Christians look at a doubter as a person not trusting Jesus.

Is this really so. Are we less better than other Christians when we have questions about certain matters? No, not at all.
Is doubt a sign of lacking faith? Perhaps. But it can be that you really do your best to walk in faith.
Is it because you do not believe in Jesus his victory over circumstances and trials? Perhaps, but not necessary so.

Is it because you cannot see the victory in your life you are seeking? Did you try already to check if you are really looking for the right victory?

Have you ever tried to think that what you would love to have and to see for yourself might not be in God His Will?

We are all human beings with our limitations and ‘malfunctions’.  We all have our little problems and as such we should know that every house carries its own cross.

Having all those difficulties coming over us, no wonder that we sometimes worry and question of we are doing it right or if we are following the right coarse.

In the Holy Scriptures we are advised to question everything. This means that God does understand that we more than once shall have questions with what we hear or read, and that is good, because we should question all those sayings.

For many life is an ongoing cycle of wandering and restoration. And though many would wish it were otherwise, this makes many sometimes going to and fro, coming close to God and at other moments being far away from God. Though some may desire to never depart from God, they keep losing track. Also for Jesus it seems for many Christians often difficult to keep feeling him nearby. On many occasions confronted with the realities of life we may have lots of doubts about many things.

The reality of our sinful human condition makes it so that we also have periods where our relationship with other human beings, with Christ and/or with God is disturbed a lot.

In our technological age of communication it looks like many have lost the good communication with the Most High Divine Creator.

James Paulgaard, a fellow traveller on the journey of life, also sees some problems of this time and age. He writes:

For centuries, up until the Sixties, the Church was perfectly designed for our culture. When a group of immigrants settled in a new area, one of the first things that they did was to build a church in the centre of the community. People valued going to church as a good thing. It made people into good citizens. Encouraging the Christian faith was seen as a valuable in our society at the time. There were benefits to going to church. You could build your network of social and business contacts and perhaps even meet your future spouse there. The church was perfectly designed to develop people in that environment into followers of Jesus. {Following Jesus on His Mission: Doing the Simple Things}

Today people have found other networks which they do find more important.

Choluteca Bridge

This bridge was a well-designed and fully functional bridge, but in 1998 Hurricane Mitch dumped 36 inches of rain on the area in just a few days and amidst all the other damage caused by the hurricane, the deluge of water carved a new channel for the river around the bridge and the bridge now spans dry ground. It is a perfectly designed bridge that doesn’t work anymore because the river moved. (Photo from the article: Following Jesus on His Mission: Doing the Simple Things)

Now, being part of a Christian Church is no longer seen as a desirable by our culture. Encouraging the Christian faith is no longer valued by our society. People do not need the church for social or business contacts or to find a spouse. We have websites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Plenty of Fish for all those things. A church that was perfectly designed to make disciples in the world of sixty years ago and older struggles to engage with the mission of Jesus Christ in the world of today because the river has moved. {Following Jesus on His Mission: Doing the Simple Things}

When you follow the articles on Our World and perhaps form your newspapers or journals on television, you are probably aware how bad the state of church attendance is. All over the industrialised countries we do find a secularized community. In some countries there may still be a solid core of people continue to value faith; but a growing core do not. { find a.o. Reginald Bibby, A New Day: The Resilience and Restructuring of Religion in Canada (Lethbridge: Project Canada Books, 2012), 5, 10, 34.}

Lots of people got to hear from their preachers that Jesus is God because no human being is ever able to follow God’s Will. Because of that lie, people have no trust in that Jesus any more and do find it rubbish that at other moments priests or pastors say they have to take the armour of Christ and become like Christ. That then would mean they  had to become like God, which is something impossible.

And in case it is impossible fro any human being to follow the Will of God, what use would it than be to even try, if no man ever could succeed.

Lots of people do forget that Jesus was a man who lived some two thousand years ago. He was a real person, others could see and not fall death (In the Bible is written that people cannot see God and live). That man, born in an Essene family from the tribe of king David, had to learn everything. People should know that God knows everything but this Jesus did not. He also had to disappoint those who wanted to know where they would be seated with him in God’s Kingdom. In case Jesus was God he could have told them because he would have known, but Jesus did not know it and had also to disappoint those who wanted to know when he would come back. Jesus always wanted to do the will of his heavenly Father and did not want to lie, like his heavenly Father does not tell lies. Not knowing when the end times or Last Days of this time system would fall, Jesus could not tell them, nor us, when he would be coming back.

In the Gospels we also can see that Jesus at moments had doubts and even wondered why God had abandoned him. So, in case Jesus dares already to ask God why He had left him, why should not such thoughts may or could come up in our minds.
What is important is how we cope with such thoughts. How we cope with our questioning God? And how we dare to question God.

We may ask God lots of things, but we have to do it in a proper manner. We also may request Him things, but we should know that God knows best for us.

Jesus has already done the hard work of living a perfect human life, dying on the cross and rising from the dead to reconcile all of creation to God. Jesus is the one doing the supernatural work of drawing people close to him and planting faith in their hearts.

as Greg Finke, {Joining Jesus on His Mission: How to Be an Everyday Missionary (Tyler TX: Tenth Power Publishing, 2014), 42-43} and James Paulgaard  {Following Jesus on His Mission: Doing the Simple Things} puts it.

English: A statue of Jesus Christ at a church ...

A statue of Jesus Christ at a church in India. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jesus paved the path to God; He restored the relation between God and man and has become our mediator, now sitting at the right hand of God (notice: not on God’s throne).

The problem of today is that most people do not know the real Jesus.

To help to find Jesus and to get to see better the importance of what he really did, dying for us all, whitewashing our sins, there has been started a new website. “Messiah for all” wants to show the world that Christ Jesus was and is there for the whole world. He does not want to miss any body. He gives everybody the opportunity to get to know him and to get to know the way to the Kingdom of God.

“Messiah for all” is there for you to help you find Jesus and to find he is worth all your trust and all your faith.

Please do find that site for you and me, and start reading: Are people allowed to have doubts

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Find additional reading:

  1. What’s church for, anyway?
  2. Obstacles to effective evangelism
  3. To be prepared and very well oiled
  4. Impediments in our way
  5. Evangelisation, local preaching opposite overseas evangelism
  6. Looking for Free Blogs and blogging
  7. Those who love Jesus
  8. Humbleness
  9. Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God
  10. Humility and the Fear of the Lord
  11. No time for immorality

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  • Augustine on the Difference between Christianity and Platonism (booksontrial.wordpress.com)
    The difference between Platonism and Christianity is not merely a difference of interpretation, but the difference between perception/speculation on one side, and reality/true knowledge on the other. To use a Biblical imagery, there is a great gulf fixed between them. It is the difference between death and Life, between an inanimate object and a living being. Though philosophy may delight man with a magnificent picture of truth and beauty, it is nevertheless dead, and so the greatest philosophical ideas cannot be compared with the smallest life-giving word of God.
  • Most Blessed State of Being for Now (relijournal.com)
    A Christian is saying “I’ve got to be me” when the Holy Scriptures indicate we are to be crucified in Christ? I have to wonder how much spiritual damage was done to other by that worldly thinking. What “Christian” singers sing does not supercede the written Word of God. The Holy Bible does not indicate we have got to be “ourselves,” but it does state we are to be like Christ.
  • Living in the Wrong Time (histruthwillsetyoufree.wordpress.com)
    The best days are when I live in the present,  with my friend, the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ.  With Him, there is no room for Regret or Worry.
  • Evangelists Want to Convert Heathen Computers To Christianity, Create Army Of ‘Robot Pastors’ (addictinginfo.org)
    On Wednesday, Gizmodo’s Zoltan Istvan reminded us that, soon, the world will be full of “autonomous, self-aware super intelligences” created by humans. Obviously, some Christians see this as an opportunity to convert something to their religion.

    Evangelists told Gizmodo that these sciencey, autonomous computer brains probably can, and definitely should, be saved by the blood of Jesus Christ.

  • Equal to Christ. Septuagesima 2015 (deprofundisclamaviadtedomine.wordpress.com)
    Jesus gave Himself for us to make us His own people who are zealous, eager, passionate about doing good works.  Christians have been born again so that they may live a new life of service to God in good works.
  • The Journey of Love and Commitment (vineandbranchworldministries.com)
    When we wonder about in life, do we ponder the meaning of the many gifts before us and offer praise and thanksgiving or do we literally take life for-granted.  Sanctification sets us apart and instills our hearts and spirit with the desire to follow the pattern Jesus gave.
  • Excuse My Scepticism (pastorcharleschipere.wordpress.com)
    In our Christian Faith, we are taught to believe rather than to be a doubting Thomas. We are taught to trust rather than mistrust. We are taught to give a person the benefit of the doubt before we dismiss them. But my journey of faith has had some encounters with reality leading me to embrace some sceptical attitude towards some things I have observed in the land of the living. Before I delve into my observations, please excuse my scepticism. But this scepticism does not take away my faith in God.
  • An Unfathomable Gift (connywithay.wordpress.com)
    “All other religions and sects teach that man has to perform many good works in order to gain bliss – salvation is dependent on man. The Christian faith is completely the opposite. It is God working salvation on behalf of man – salvation is dependent on God,” Jan Blonk writes in his book, The Unfathomable Gift: God’s Astonishing Grace.
  • The Other Side (culturalatheist.wordpress.com)
    Do you have a people or place that you have determined God is not present and the places and people are demonic and unclean?
  • The Call of God (mississippipep.wordpress.com)
    If God were human, how sick and tired He would be of the constant requests we make for our salvation and for our sanctification. We burden His energies from morning till night asking for things for ourselves or for something from which we want to be delivered! When we finally touch the underlying foundation of the reality of the gospel of God, we will never bother Him anymore with little personal complaints.

18 Comments

Filed under Being and Feeling, Religious affairs

Misleading world, stress, technique, superficiality, past, future and positivism

I am convinced that in case we try to bend all our negative thoughts into the direction of good thoughts we can manage better. Very important to avoid stress situations simply is avoiding those people who could bring us into such a situation. We best avoid negative influences and associate better more with people who can contribute positiveness in our life.

Eliminative Materialism

Eliminative Materialism (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We should be careful not to be taken in, by not be focusing on the distribution of material power because that are the matters which can bring us down.  Materialism in the end always will kill the person. Always being aware that no way we ever shall get a good working system or any political system that can solve everything. For that we shall have to wait until the return of Christ, when the Kingdom of God shall at last become a full reality. Before that the reality of a perfect world is an illusion. The reality that surrounds us is not in itself a product of the objective forces but one of our shared perceptions, ideas, social values and understanding. We would be fooling ourselves if we believed the state and the inter-state systems, would not be artificial constructs, meaning that they are constructed by humans, and they can be changed and developed in new ways in extreme cases leading to anarchy and a huge security dilemma.

We all should work on coming to understand how the world evolves and what for influence we as human beings have on nature. when you look how we treat nature it more seems that we are very good at destroying it instead of living in symbioses with it.

At the moment how people are making a mess of the world they are also putting stress on the whole community, using everything and every one to get as much material gain as they can. Not many people are really interested in the spiritual site of life. Most people are also not interested to come to know or to come to an understanding of the universe and the world around us.

All the things that happened in the past can never be undone. This can be hard to swallow and it can bring much sadness to us. But it has no use to linger on such bad events, sad happenings and to keep facing depressing thoughts. the world must go on, and we with it.

Instead of having people to succeed to push us in a hole, getting us not believing in ourselves any more, we better try to understand why such people became so envious, jealous, and so frustrated that they like to bully others. They would like to kill all initiative others would take, because that would put them in the shadow. Often such people looking to get all the power would not mind putting all those on their path, standing in their way,to not only put them in the shadow, but to get them in the dark, not having to play any significant role any more. it is all a matter of control. And when we lose control we might come into a phase of stress and they think they also would come in a phase of no power any more.

Sharing  control and sharing tasks has not to mean you would or the other would loose control. Together more can be managed than on your own. Often when people start feeling their loosing control they do come in afraid to loose their position in the comfort zone. Some may take on the defence mode and try to suppress the other, others may come in the discomfort zone and feeling stress. at first the one feeling the pressure at work might thing he or she could solve the problem with working harder, giving himself or herself more for the job, but many of such hard-working and optimistically minded individuals have lost their jobs and have come so depressed, taken over by the stress or worries.

We best take care we do not get in a position were we could start dwelling on the negative spiral to nowhere. It leads to nihilism. We too can avoid that others get in a stress situation and loose their optimism. By encouraging others to focus on the positives is an act of ‘brotherly love‘. It also shows a faith in other individuals as well as a faith in what is around you or in the organization you are working for.

English: Captain Edward Rickenbacker, America'...

Captain Edward Rickenbacker, America’s premier “Ace” officially credited with 22 enemy planes and the proud wearer of the French War Cross as he appeared upon his arrival on board the Adriatic. Underwood and Underwood., ca. 1919  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We all should remember  what World War I ace and aviation entrepreneur, Eddie Rickenbacker said:

Think positively and masterfully, with confidence and faith, and life becomes more secure, more fraught with action, richer in experience and achievement.” That is an attitude worth maintaining and nurturing especially when times are so severe.

A big problem today is that most people are so focused on the materialism they do not see that there are more important matters and they think somebody else can destroy them. Several people consider atheism as being more useful for the development of life forces and the worldly satisfaction of the larger masses of mankind. {“Materialism Destroys the Eternal Spirit.” Articles by and on Berdyaev, Returning to Berdyaev at the Return to Materialism}

The triumph of the bourgeois spirit led Berdyaev to declare that history was a story of failure. Berdyaev lamented that the will to power and affluence had triumphed over the will to holiness and genius.” (Peter Maurin: Prophet in the Twentieth Century, Paulist Press, l98l.) {Nicholas Berdyaev, Prophet for the Catholic Worker Movement Materialism Destroys the Eternal Spirit}

This world is taken over by materialism, idolatries of power, lust and comfort. Normally you would think all the luxury would bring much satisfaction to the people, but by comparing what others have and what they do not have the  jealousy took them down in a spiral of envy and bring them in a stress situation. Lots of people have created their own god. They do not understand that the for them useful and practically effective god of capitalism cannot be the True God. When you look at their god or gods you might come to see that it is no problem at all to unmask their new and popular gods. We can see that many adore the money and have put away The Only One God of religious revelations far away. For them That God can not be seen nor felt and therefore has no value for them. You could ask them: whenever did you try to look for Him and tried to see Him?

We have become surrounded by technique and many are totally taken by it and also have become very dependant on it. Their relationship with all that technical stuff however did not help to bring them into closer communion with their inner life and soul of nature. they might think it brought them closer together, and has created them having more ‘friends’ on the social networks. But they do not see that many of them are ‘virtual friends’ and have not a real social connection at all. We even see that more people become more isolated in their environment of Linked-in and Facebook relatives. They might have many so called ‘friends’ in their circles but they are very lonely … on their own. They, in their isolation, also seem to loose track of their own possibilities.

The machine sets its stamp upon the human spirit and all its manifestations. Thus civilization has neither a natural nor a spiritual, but a mechanical foundation. It represents par excellence the triumph of technique over both the spirit and organism.

The machine and technique are the product of the mental development and discoveries of culture; but they sap its organic foundations and kill its spirit. {Nicholas Berdyaev, Prophet for the Catholic Worker Movement Materialism Destroys the Eternal Spirit}

With all the focus on material goods not much interest can be found for culture. those working in the cultural field may be tampered and losing positivism as well. They have to find a way to earn their living and are persuaded to greater concessions. Many artists having lost the artistic soul, becoming part of the mainstream ‘civilization’ where spiritual matters are discounted and where quantity has displaced quality.

The assertion of the will to “life,” power, organization and earthly happiness, brings about mankind’s spiritual decline; for the higher spiritual life is based upon asceticism and resignation. Such are the tragedy and fate of historical destinies. {Nicholas Berdyaev, Prophet for the Catholic Worker Movement Materialism Destroys the Eternal Spirit}

Vyacheslav Ivanov, Lev Kobilinskij-Ellis, Niko...

Vyacheslav Ivanov, Lev Kobilinskij-Ellis, Nikolai Berdyaev (standing) and Andrei Bely (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I do not think like that civilization as opposed to culture, which is given up to the contemplation of eternity, tends to be futurist. I do agree that machinery and technique are chiefly responsible for the speeding up of life, but that some might have lost the reason why we could make advantage of such tools. and its exclusive aspiration towards the future. the technique should have helped our society to come more at ease and to be less stressful. Many let the machine take over and concentrated more on the material gain it could bring instead of making use or advantage of the time it could make free for them to do other things.

Organic life is slower, less impetuous, and more concerned with essentials, while civilized life is superficial and accidental; for it puts the means and instruments of life before the ends whose significance is lost. The consciousness of civilized men is concentrated exclusively upon the means and technique of life considered as the only reality, while its aims are regarded as illusory. {Nicholas Berdyaev, Prophet for the Catholic Worker Movement Materialism Destroys the Eternal Spirit}

may think that spiritual culture is unreal, but for me culture is fundamental for a healthy community. Culture is is not a mere instrument of technique, it is the gear transmission of society. It is the sociological controller and instigator for a good relation between end and means. Culture is also the mirror for man to put everything in perspective and the golden thread in history. Today we may see the loss of any sense of purpose in human life, culture and religion.

All historical tendencies which have striven to create harmony, to overcome the dark premise, to subdue the turbulence of freedom and supersede it by compelled and necesary good, are concerned only with the secondary signs of the unique and primal mystery of divine freedom. {Nicholas Berdyaev, Prophet for the Catholic Worker Movement Materialism Destroys the Eternal Spirit}

We as human beings should remember we are only a very tiny element in the universe. We would love to believe that everything turns around us, but we are thoroughly mistaken.

21st Century Materialism

21st Century Materialism (Photo credit: tomislavmedak)

I do agree with Berdyaev that humankind has a solution in front of them, which was already given to them early from the start. And that it is this fundamental moral contradiction we are facing today that invalidates the doctrine of progress, turning it into a religion of death instead of resurrection and eternal life.

There is no valid ground for degrading those generations whose lot has been cast among pain and imperfection beneath that whose pre-eminence has been ordained in blessedness and joy. No future perfection can expiate the sufferings of past generations. Such a sacrifice of all human destinies to the messianic consummation of the favoured race can only revolt man’s moral and religious conscience. A religion of progress based on this apotheosis of a future fortunate generation is without compassion for either present or past; it addresses itself with infinite optimism to the future, with infinite pessimism to the past. It is profoundly hostile to the Christian expectation of resurrection for all mankind, for all the dead, fathers and forefathers. This Christian idea rests on the hope of an end to historical tragedy and contradiction valid for all human generations, and of resurrection in eternal life for all who have ever lived. {Nicholas Berdyaev, Prophet for the Catholic Worker Movement Materialism Destroys the Eternal Spirit}

Our habit of breaking up time into the past, present and future does not entitle us to endow the last with more reality than the first. From the standpoint of the present, the future is no richer in reality than the past, and our efforts should be with reference, not to the future, but to that eternal present of which both future and past are one. {Nicholas Berdyaev, Prophet for the Catholic Worker Movement Materialism Destroys the Eternal Spirit}

More people in this world should make the choice on what they really want to focus. Too much we have forgotten the importance of the choices we have to make and on the direction we have to focus our eyes and mind. We should all be convinced how much we ourselves can regulate our own life and how much depends on the focus on what we want is directly proportional to what we can achieve.

To many of us are more concerned to prove ourselves for man, instead of proving ourselves for the Higher Being. How many of us are not willing to change themselves, just for the sake of wining someone’s approval.

Geetika Garg, who is trying to know more about everything around her, writes on her blog:

You don’t have to prove yourself worthwhile by doing what others wish; it’s certainly not your job. Be confident for who you are, for who you had been all those years, stand strong for all the decisions that you have made and have faith in yourself.  You are enough for your ow. {You Matter}

Too many people have forgotten to be their own self and to dare to speak out for themselves.  A lot of people who would have loved to have more affinity for the spiritual have been pressed against the wall by the materialists. they put their own inner soul aside, thinking they would be less than the other. they looked for ways outside themselves to prove themselves by doing what others wished them to do. they should know that is not the right way and is neither to help them nor the ones they are hoping to please.

May I quote the lady who believes whatever we are seeking is seeking us too, and has hopes that the day the two will meet, it will be complete, perfect as it is meant to be!

Be confident for who you are, for who you had been all those years, stand strong for all the decisions that you have made and have faith in yourself.  You are enough for your own self; you are capable of achieving what all you desire and you require absolutely none to tell you how worthy you are. Instead of focusing on what critics have to say why not concentrate on those who praise you.  Those people are the ones with all positivism and happiness. We often tend to forget that they exist and keep believing on all bad about us. They are the people who matter. Let go of rest. Don’t let your ears used to of those cruel words that inhibit your growth, that steal a part of you and things that change your entire being. {You Matter}

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Recommended readings:

  1. Social Constructivism and Positivism in the Context of International Relations
  2. Put Positivism to Work
  3. Returning to Berdyaev at the Return to Materialism
  4. Berdyaev on the Nature of Spirit and Reality in Relation to Apologetics
  5. The Practice of Philosophy and Modes of Knowing: Hart’s Rejoinder to Zuidervaart?
  6. Searching for fulfillment and meaning through own efforts, facing unsatisfaction and depression
  7. Depression, Anxiety, Pressure and megachurches
  8. Philosophy hand in hand with spirituality
  9. Aligned
  10. Malefactors becoming your master
  11. Control your destiny or somebody else will
  12. Control and change
  13. Science and God’s existence
  14. Do we have to be an anarchist to react
  15. Getting out of the dark corners of this world
  16. Value Positivism
  17. Patience is the ability to count down before blasting off
  18. He who smiles rather than rages is always the stronger
  19. To whom do we want to be enslaved
  20. Power in the life of certain
  21. Know Who goes with us and don’t try to control life
  22. God is my refuge and my fortress in Him I will trust

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  • Nihilism Cannot Be Disproved (Except by Positivism) (pensatwar.wordpress.com)
    Pure nihilism (and not any of the subcategories of it) can be defined simply as: The belief that there is no truth. Positivism is the opposite; that there is truth.
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    Nihilists, pure nihilists, do not have a profound effect on society. They can’t. If one truly believes in 100% Nihilism, why do anything? If a person is dedicated to nihilism all the time for their entire life, they will have had no extra effect on reality whatsoever. They will have simply existed and passed, with no meaning.
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    Nihilism can only be disproved by Positivism. Its a purely democratic philosophical clash.
  • Positivism and The Quantity Theory of Money (syesworldview.wordpress.com)
    The doctrine of positivism is a form of arch-empiricism that tries to crystallise the supposed process of ‘scientific thought’. An adherent of positivism believes that there are general ‘laws’ of cause and effect in the natural/social sciences and the only way to uncover these ‘laws’ is via the tool of research. An adherent of positivism believes that objective analysis – whatever is meant by this – is the only form of analysis; indeed there exists a zero possibility of the observer influencing the observed. Nature is orderly and regular; scientific knowledge is cumulative in character and all objective phenomena are eventually knowable – all characterize the approach of positivism.
  • If you’re afraid to do it, do it afraid. (carolynhughesthehurthealer.com)
    What are you frightened of? Anything that stops you living your life to the full, whether it’s fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of the future can all impact on your life. Yet it is possible to overcome that detrimental negative thinking. You may never be completely fearless but you can learn to break out of your comfort-zone and find the freedom to take your life to a new level.
  • Positivism for Millennium 3 (politicalpipeline.wordpress.com)
    Positivism describes a process to discover and authenticate knowledge (within reality) via the scientific method, which examines and then verifies (it’s positive). There is an initial hypothesis: this is a folded piece of paper, all swans are white, democracies start wars, etc., and then verification would validate or invalidate the hypothesis. Knowledge, in this manner, forms—and there is something for scientists to teach.In order for this scientific method to move forward, we have come to know six basic understandings of positivism. They are: unified science (created an ideology of a one-layered world, reality may be reduced to physics), empiricism (knowledge gained through mental or physical experimentation), objectivism (uninvolved observer), value freedom (no normative value is placed on the object of study), instrumentalism (observing it as a thing in the world), and technicism (value methods over results) (PSS, 13-14). Positivism took root in western philosophy in the 18th century and decayed in the winters and sprang in the summers of the 20th century.
  • The Future of Capitalism according to Nikolai Berdyaev (channelclimate.wordpress.com)
    Most educated people in the West have heard of Fyodor Dostoevsky. But how many have heard of Nikolai Berdyaev? He was a Russian religious philosopher of the first half of the 20th century. And he had some interesting (albeit controversial) insights regarding the future of Capitalism. In his book The New Middle Ages (1933) that I’m currently reading he made several important observations on the issue.


    First, in Berdyaev’s view development of society resembles cycles rather than spirals (in his view, it is somewhat similar to the day-night pattern). Second, the terms progressive and reactionary are relative if not utterly meaningless in a debate; for example, Christianity was progressive compared to the Old Gods but reactionary compared to the Capitalist New History. Third, the philosopher predicted that the 20th century frontier would be between Communism and Capitalism, or between
    God and The Godless (and he wasn’t referring to the production possibilities frontier). Fourth, he claimed that Russia had never fully embraced the Western way of life, including its rationality, laws, and norms. In fact, Russia has stepped directly from the old Middle Ages into the new Middle Ages. How, you’ll ask? By way of the Bolshevik revolution. According to Berdyaev, Communism is a Satanic religion, but a religion nonetheless, that sent Russia back into the Middle Ages (but note: when he used the term “the Middle Ages”, unlike modern Liberals he didn’t think of it in a condescending way).
  • Legal Positivism and the Common Law (allenmendenhallblog.com)
    Legal positivism, in the most basic sense, holds that laws are the manifestation of sovereign commands. It stands in contradistinction to natural law or the judicial conformity with human reason that supposedly defines the common law.
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    What distinguishes the common law from a civil law system is the doctrine of stare decisis (“let the decision stand”), which requires judges to follow precedents established by prior decisions or to distinguish the facts of new cases from the facts of previous cases in order to reach an applicable rule.
  • Surrendering to positivism (thehimalayantimes.com)
    The world is progressing in the field of science and technology, but peace cannot be attained through that. The fact is that peace can be acquired only through spiritual ideas. Until one imbibes the teachings of Swami Vivekananda, peace cannot be understood.
    In today’s context, everybody is striving to be perfect, but there still is inequity everywhere. That is the reason why revolution took place in Nepal and other places — because there is lack of proper attention to every individual’s need. People who lead the country should be selfless, but unfortunately, they are corrupt. They lack spiritual ideas.
  • Negative Positivism (hasarla.wordpress.com)
    Help arises when you arises. But if you stand and watch, they will do the same and feel your loss and you been d positive dude/girl programmed to rise after every fall (which is right), stay positive when all looks downright bleak, just keep moving on.
  • Positivism and Utilitarianism (arulinside.wordpress.com)
    According to Dias the positivist movement started at the beginning of the 19th century. It represented a reaction against the a priori methods of thinking which turned away from the realities of actual law in order to discover nature or reason the principles of universal validity. Hart pointed out that the term positivism has many meanings which one of them is that laws are commands. Law as command is associated with Jeremy Bentham and John Austin that both are the founder of the British positivism.
  • Logical Positivism and the Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics (unfspb.wordpress.com)
    Logical positivism is a more or less loose collection of philosophical theses- some of which are incompatible- which have their genesis in the scientific inclinations of the Vienna Circle members (on this see Friedman 1999 and Uebel 2009). However, one may identify two broadly unifying themes within logical positivism: (1) a verificationist epistemology and (2) an instrumentalist stance toward scientific theories.
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