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God Is Dead - NOT
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Previous Issue: Volume 23, No .9, Week of March 20, 2005
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California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Created: March 27, 2005
Latest Update: March 29, 2005
Topic of the Week:
God Is Dead - NOT
Now we're past imagining rabbits in red and blue and yellow and purple and green. Now we're into imagining God, about whom we all have beliefs and images and wonderings, but who transcends our ability to capture any essence for our rational and scientific examinatin. This is not a new social issue. We have fought and killed one another over the arrogant certainty that our imagining, belief, images, and wonderings were the "right" ones.
This wouldn't matter so much as a pressing social issue if we could manage to find the humility and wonder that most religions teach. Unfortunately I am reminded of the young man who once said out loud in class, in a moment of bewilderment, "I respect all religions. My parents taught me that I should respect other people's beliefs. But then they added, 'But our God is the 'right" God.' " I share the young man's bewilderment.
Atheists are convinced that religion is the source of all evil, since we kill each other over religion. Some of those who believe are convinced that Satan is the source of all evil. Interesting that we seem to be able to form a consensus on Satan as evil, and share that evil over all our beliefs, but we can't share any such consensus on God. I don't have the answers, kids. This is an independent study about discovering questions. What I do have is a terrible fear of the arrogance that comes with knowingness. We're still trying to eat that forbidden fruit from the tree of knowledge in the garden of Eden. WE WANT TO KNOW. But the tree of knowledge story says we cannot and must not KNOW.
I want you to know about Nietzsche's God is dead statement, so that you will recognize that religion has been a present social issue for humankind for a very long time. We won't find "answers" this semester. I'm not sure there are any. Education is about discovering questions and learning to practice humility and openness in our knowledge. As near as any of us know the world really is flat and gravity is slithering over the edge. That doesn't mean we aren't human with a God or Gods who may exist, and that we mustn't have values by which to guide us in choosing humane ways of preserving the world as we know it.
NEWS, Announcements, and
Current Discussion Topics: Learning Records for Spring 2005 Just started updating learning records from messages on transformdom. sorry for delay. This will take a while, but if you'll send me your messages numbers, it will help me get it up faster. Please be patient with me. I'm retired this semester. jeanne Instructions page for joining transform_dom and transspan
- Link for joining transform_dom:
Famous People and Concepts We Should Have Heard Of, But Often Haven't.
- Karen Armstrong - Former nun. Writes extensively and with great insight on many religions. Many books. Good writing. Requires some background understanding.
- Jonathan Lear - Psychiatrist - University of Chicago. The Arrogance of "knowingness." Suggests that we are often not always rational, but after the fact try to think up a rational explanation that fits our prior behavior. Uses the wolf man story from Freud to illustrate this.
- mythos and logos - from Karen Armstrong's Battle for God. Mythos is the stories that we have inherited throughout the eons, sometimes in words, sometimes in remembered myths, sometimes through art (fertility goddesses and such.) Logos is sceintific knowledge with evidence that can be ascertained in a variety of ways, prefereably meeasured objectively, though all measurement is biasd by perspective. Karen Armstrong points out that we have treated mythos and logos as though one or the other is right. Not so. Both mythos and logos make up integral parts of our knowledge. Mythos puts the flesh of the story on the skeleton of the scientific facts of logos.
- the golden age of the past or the golden future - from Karen Armstrong's Batttle for God. Armstrong describes fundamentalist religions as looking back to the golden age of the past, whereas non-fundamentalist religions are looking forward to modernism and the future. This explains the basic conflict between modernism and fundamentalism, where the fundamentalists are opposing the very change that modernists are seeking. These terms are important to Armstrong's discussion of religion, and relate strongly to religion as a present social issue.
- forgiveness as opposed to retribution and punishment - another basic conflict between religious perscpectives in present social issues. Do we want to incarcerate those who committed the frauds of Enron or do we want to seek more creative approaches that might lead them to thank those same skills and use them for the benefit of the whole community. This, of course, leads to a re-examination of our whole correctional system in terms of its humanity and its usefulness to the rest of the humans in the community.
Jeanne's Lectures for Spring 2005
- Fall 2004 Lectures in Chronological Order
- Winter Break 2005 Lectures in Chronological Order
- Spring 2005 Lectures in Chronological Order
- Backup of The God Racket, From DeMille to DeLayBy Frank Rich
- Backup of Gospel for Both Sides of the Aisle The evangelism of the Rev. Jim Wallis defies stereotypes: He preaches a conservative morality but condemns 'pro-rich, pro-war' views.
- Nietzsche's statement that God is dead With references online.
- Break, Blow, Burn: Well Versed This is a book review of Camille Paglia's new book on explicating poetry. The reviewer, Clive James, suggests that she does a wonderful job of guiding her intended audience, young college readers, to an understanding of the poetry. I haven't got the book yet, but am hoping to get it soon. Sounds like a great deal for those of you who enjoy poetry. She reviews Sylvia Plath's Daddy, including both the fetish with father and husband, Ted Hughes. The review of that book alone makes me want to read the whole thing. In case you don't remember, Camille Paglia is a bit outre. She has a passion for taking on feminists, and other sundry traditions. But this reviewer finds her first rate in her understanding of great poetry. jeanne
- Do You Believe in Evolution and Why? This brief response to Sarah explains what jeanne believes and will give your further insight into her perspective so that you can better fit it into your own perspective. Add March 30, 2005.
- Up soon. jeanne
- A Range of Sources on Global Info- truthout - Museum of Tolerance, Los Angeles
Left/Right Perspectives - Cursor - New York Times - The National Review
Arts and Letters Daily - The Economist - The Sierra Club - The Guardian
Wall Street Journal - The Weekly Standard - The Nation
BBC NEWS | Americas
Los Angeles Times - Chicago Tribune - La Opinion - The Washington Post
Cursor's Al Jazeera Archive - Ha'aretz - Palestine Monitor - Palestine Report
- How to Navigate the Web Site
- Mentoring Help for New Students with Frequently Asked Questions
- Mentoring Help for Returning Students with More Frequently Asked Questions
- Shared Reading Suggestions
- Home Page for transform-dom You can read all the messages on Transforming Dominant Discourse from this page. Just click on messages in the left hand frame. You can read the messages, even if you're having difficulty signing up.
Syllabus for Independent Study: Religion as a Present Social Issue January 30, 2005.
Learning Records from Spring 2005 Started back to work on it Wednesday. This will take a while. jeanne
- Most recent list of Learning Records from Fall 2004
- Instructions page for joining transform_dom and transspan
- Link for joining transform_dom:
Preparing for Graduate Study:
- Test Prep Preview Joshua L. Stewart, recommended this site because it has free practice tests. If you're thinking of taking the GRE, the LAST, or any other graduate entry test, this might be a good place to gather some early information. Joshua suggested it for Praxis Practice, but a quick first look suggests they don't mean by praxis what we do. Check it out, anyway, if you have some spare time. jeanne
- Resource Literacy
- Plagiarism Watch www.streetgangs.com site. The intelligent and effective use of resources means that you have to be careful not to plagiarize other people's material. We have several files on plagiarism, but I think the one that might make the most sense to you is this complaint on streetgangs.com. They give you samples of sites that have taken their material without citation, even at colleges, and they also give you examples of sites that have used their material with proper attribution. I find the irony poetic, and hope that their message will get through to you the importance of attribution. Dr. O'Connor on his Mega Criminal Justice site led me to streetgangs.com and noted that others frequently hack into the site. For that reason I have created a backup copy for your use in case you cannot access the actual site. Please be sure to attribute any citation to streetgangs.com. jeanne Backup.
Using Academic Language Effectively
Merriam-Webster Dictionary Search:
- Letters of Recommendation:
- Letters of Recommendation: How to get me to respond to your request. Many of you need letters. If you will follow this format, I can do them quickly and make them good.
- Dog Letters If you do not give me adequate information, but do manage to get my attention, you may end up with a dog letter. That is a letter that says that you work well with people, that you are enthusiastic, that you persist at getting things done, and that everyone likes you. Of course, my dog gets along well with people, brings his ball to them, is enthusiastic, and persists at getting them to take his ball. Everyone likes my dog. That's a dog letter. It's so general it could be about my dog. jeanne
Sneaky Strokes and Flying Good Dogs
Flying Dog is also a painting by Zhang Kai. Best I've every come across to illustrate our site with magic numbers and unicorns and whipped cream cats and now, flying dogs:
Flying Good Dogs: Whenever something happens in class that works out well, that inspires you, that helps in studying, whatever, take a few minutes to send us an e-mail. We'll post it where all of us can learn from it, including other teachers.
You can also send an email to the Who to Take Site: