What’s New

Create An Internet Independent Study Project Landing Page and Branch Pages In Response To An Inquiry Question (high school level)

“The task is not to see what has never been seen before, but to think what has never been thought before about what you see everyday.” — Erwin Schrödinger (1887 – 1961)
  1. Sample Inquiry Question: “If Jesus was an apocalyptic prophet predicting the soon end of the age, why the major emphasis on personal and societal growth and transformation?”

2. Sample Product:

Click on laughing Jesus below to enter the project!

free image source https://www.psephizo.com/biblical-studies/was-jesus-funny/

Create A Checklist For Your Project. Here is a sample checklist:

source: free for teachers from https://www.pinterest.ca/pin/201606520800038791/

Create an assessment evaluation rubric to analyze your thinking. Here is a sample:

source: free from Impact, The Journal of the Chartered College of Teaching: https://impact.chartered.college/article/framework-for-defining-assessing-creative-thinking/table-1-a-general-rubric-for-assessing-brainstorming-for-creative-thinking/

ENJOY! Welcome to my web said the spider to the fly, lol

Treat Your Kids Like the Little Philosophers They Are

Great new article suggesting to treat kids like philosophers:

https://time.com/6177632/parenting-kids-how-to-raise/

Here’s an excerpt:

I hope the kids continue to have those sorts of conversations. I want them to think deeply about the world, to ponder big ideas, like truth, justice, and God. But the research suggests that those conversations are likely to trail off as they age. Little kids (age 3-8) often raise philosophical questions on their own (“Why does the world exist?” “What is it like to be dead?” “Am I dreaming my entire life?”). They’re puzzled by the world—and they’re trying to puzzle it out.

But as they age, kids start to worry about what others think of them. They don’t want to seem silly or risk being wrong. And they notice that the adults in their lives don’t discuss questions like, “Why does the world exist?” or “Am I dreaming my entire life?” Over time, they lose some of their curiosity and courage as thinkers.

I think that’s a shame. The world could use more deep and discerning thinkers. We’re flooded with disinformation, and too many people are too easily duped by it. Our society values hot takes and tweets more than sustained thought.

The good news is: we can push back on that. If we support our kids’ philosophical adventures, they’re more likely to continue them. In fact, we can raise philosophers.

CHECK IT OUT!

Does Your Child (age 4-8) have a Philosophical Question? Ask Scott Hershovitz, a professor at the University of Michigan. 

Submit your kid’s philosophy question through the link below:

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2022/apr/11/does-your-child-have-a-question-to-ask-a-philosopher?CMP=share_btn_tw

Scott’s new upcoming book is

An extract from Nasty Brutish and Short: Adventures in Philosophy with Kids, by Scott Hershovitz

I was a philosopher almost from the time that I could talk, and I am not alone in that. Every kid—every single one—is a philosopher. They stop when they grow up. Indeed, it may be that part of what it is to grow up is to stop doing philosophy and to start doing something more practical. If that’s true, then I’m not fully grown up, which will come as a surprise to exactly no one who knows me.

I remember the first time I pondered a philosophical puzzle. I was five, and it hit me during circle time at the kindergarten. I thought about it all day, and at pickup time I rushed to tell my mother, who taught a preschool class down the hall. “Mommy,” I said, “I don’t know what red looks like to you.”

“Yes, you do. It looks red,” she said.

“Right . . . well, no,” I stammered. “I know what red looks like to me, but I don’t know what it looks like to you.”

“Red looks like that,” she said, pointing to something red.

“Right,” I said, “but I don’t know what that looks like to you. I know what it looks like to me.”

“It looks the same, sweetheart.”

“We call the same things red,” I attempted to explain, “because you pointed to red things and told me they were red. But what if I see red the way you see blue?”

“You don’t. That’s red, not blue, right?”

“I know we both call that red,” I said, “but red could look to you the way blue looks to me.” (Philosophers call the puzzle I pressed on my mother the shifted color spectrum. The idea is typically credited to John Locke.)

I don’t know how long we went round on that, but my mother never did see the point I was making. (Mom, if you’re reading this, I’m happy to try again.) And I distinctly remember her concluding the conversation: “Stop worrying about this. It doesn’t matter. You see just fine.” That was the first time someone told me to stop doing philosophy. It was not the last.

The Sins Of The Father 2/2 (Gnostics)

This post is the last in this miniseries looking at the problem of evil. The previous posts are linked below. This last post begins below the linked posts:

This interpretation offered over the above previous posts in the miniseries regarding God as evil/stupid is related to what we find in the ancient Gnostic interpretation of Christianity. What did the Gnostics teach? One commentator explains:

In the arch-dualist ideology of the various Gnostic systems, the material universe is evil, while the non-material world is good. According to some strains of Gnosticism, the demiurge is malevolent, as it is linked to the material world. In others, including the teaching of Valentinus, the demiurge is simply ignorant or misguided.  Gnosticism attributed falsehood or evil to the concept of the Demiurge or creator, though in some Gnostic traditions the creator is from a fallen, ignorant, or lesser—rather than evil—perspective, such as that of Valentinius.  Whereas Plato’s Demiurge is good wishing good on his creation, Gnosticism contends that the Demiurge is not only the originator of evil but is evil as well.

How can we summarize this for ourself? Another commentator suggests:

The demiurge (Greek demiurgos, “craftsman”) is the being who created the world in Gnosticism. The Gnostics identified him with the god of the Old Testament. The Gnostic scriptures portray him as ignorant, malicious, and utterly inferior to the true God who sent Christ to earth to save humankind from the demiurge’s evil world.

So, in agreement with this ancient Gnostic interpretation, the interpretation being put forth in this mini series of posts is God sent Jesus to awaken the divine Law written on our hearts through dis-closing (“a-letheia,” truth) our hidden vileness so as to inspire repentance. This Law written on our hearts that Paul describes (Romans 2:15) is what the Gnostics called the divine spark.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 declares that God has “set eternity in the hearts of men.” In Luke 17:21, Jesus proclaims, “The kingdom of God is within you.” The New Testament teaches that every human being possesses an immaterial soul-spirit, and it is this part of us that connects with God (Hebrews 4:12).

The dual function of the cross was this awakening as a path to redemption for humans, as well as God punishing himself for the mess he created. God planned the horrific torture and execution of his beloved Son because God was eternal and hence unable to torture and execute Himself for the monstrous world he created. In the terrible death of his beloved son Jesus, God the Father experienced an event worse than death – as any father would at the death of their beloved son.

When people realized what they did to God’s chosen one Jesus, this was the catalyst for the divine spark within to awaken and inspire repentance (Truly this was the son of God/an Innocent man, Mark 15:30, Luke 23:47). This allows us to understand Christ is understood as fulfilling the prophesy of Jeremiah 31:31-33:

31 The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. 32 It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt—a covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, says the Lord. 33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. (Jer. 31:31-33)

Sins of the Father

  • Previous 3 Secular Web Kids posts links, new analysis following these below:

In the last series of posts on “What is the problem of evil?” we raised the possibility of God’s supreme recklessness and poor judgment in allowing earthquakes, floods, famine, pestilence, Sin, etc.  God did such a poor job creating and managing that things just got worse and worse until He had to wipe away evil humanity with a flood, but despite this eventually evil Rome still rose up to take over the world and put the Jews under its imperial thumb.  The solution was Jesus, as the specially chosen son of God, to undergo a horrific unjust torture and execution to awaken people to their hidden vile nature as a catalyst for repentance (“Truly this was God’s son/an innocent man.”)

Innocent Son Jesus had to suffer to reverse the sins of the Father.  But also, God, who was the most guilty of all for what the law today calls the monstrosity of depraved indifference murder, could not pass judgment and execute Himself for his crimes (God can’t die), and so had to do the next best thing and plan the execution of his beloved Son.  In this way, God suffered a pain worse than the death he could not suffer, which is he had to plan the horrific death of his only beloved Son.  There was a higher principle than God, that of Justice, that dictated the Son had to be punished for the sins of the Father.  Similarly, in Euripides we read:

“The gods visit the sins of the fathers upon the children. (Euripides Phrixus, Frag. 970)”

Guiltless Jesus had to restore humanity to holiness, that righted God neglecting to make man revulsed by Sin, and in fact man tempted/leaning toward Sin. The mistake in creation of the inclination toward sin had compounded and compounded generation upon generation.  Horace said

Guiltless, you will pay for your ancestors’ failure,

Roman, until you rebuild the temples

and fallen shrines of the gods and

the statues filthy with black smoke.

Because you consider yourself lesser than the gods, you hold power:

Derive every beginning from this, and to this each ending:

Negelcted gods gave many misfortunes

to mournful Hesperia. (Horace Odes 3.6)

In the Jewish tradition a major theme is innocent children being punished by God for the sins of the father.  For instance, we read:

“5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me (Exodus 20:5)”

‘The Lord is slow to anger,

and abounding in steadfast love,

forgiving iniquity and transgression,

but by no means clearing the guilty,

visiting the iniquity of the parents

upon the children

to the third and the fourth generation.’ (Numbers 14:18)”

“You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and fourth generation of those who reject me, 10 but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments. (Deuteronomy 5:9-10)”

“17 Ah Lord God! It is you who made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you. 18 You show steadfast love to the thousandth generation, but repay the guilt of parents into the laps of their children after them, O great and mighty God whose name is the Lord of hosts, (Jeremiah 32:17-18).”

It’s interesting everyone knows God is the Father and Jesus the only begotten son of the Father, but miss the double imagery.  Mark says when Jesus died darkness covered the whole land, which seems to suggest the pain of the Father at the success of his plan for the beloved Son to suffer and die horrifically.

Question

What if you stole a video game from a friend, and later the friend moved away and you couldn’t return it and apologize.  Would you figure out a way to punish yourself?  Come up with 3 good punishments.

What is the Problem of Evil? (Appendix)

In the Jewish tradition, the question of evil is not just about personal failings, but overcoming the temptations of Satan. This is even true for God, who said Satan “caused” him to move against Job, which He wouldn’t otherwise have done simply on His own:

  • The Lord said to Satan,“Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man who fears God and turns away from evil. He still persists in his integrity, although you incited me against him, to destroy him for no reason.” (Job 2:3)

What is The Problem of Evil? (2/2)

The God of the bible was certainly prone to bad judgment.  Even on a simple level, consider with the story of Noah, He had so poorly designed humans that he had to wipe them all out with a flood and start over from square one.  Along these lines we read:

God ‘regretting’ his decisions: Two times the Bible says that God regretted something he had done in the past (Genesis 6:6–7; 1 Samuel 15:11). And in at least 15 places the Bible says he regretted, or that he might regret, something he was about to do in the future (Exodus 32:12–14; 2 Samuel 24:16; 1 Chronicles 21:15; Psalms 106:45; Jeremiah 4:28; 18:8; 26:3, 13, 19; 42:10; Joel 2:13–14; Amos 7:3, 6; Jonah 3:9–10; 4:2). (see desiringGod.org)”

Let’s play a thought game:  Conservative Christians argue Jesus had to die because a just God couldn’t simply forgive sins but had to punish them.  But would such a “righteous punisher” God not also be unable to forgive Himself for His own sins of depraved indifference and recklessness in creation and influence, so that in the absence of his ability to execute himself, he underwent the horror of watching his only beloved Son receive the worst possible torture and execution as the punishment God Himself deserved?

What was God guilty of?  God is supposedly as revulsed by sin as if being presented with sin would be like being offered garbage to eat.  But not only is man not disgusted by sin in this way, he inclines toward it. 

Edouard Tahmizian argues:

[T]he reason Adam and Eve were able to sin is because they were created with an inclination to sin by God, an inclination that simply needed the right stimulus (the tree of knowledge) to become actualized (so that Adam and Eve could experience temptation to sin)…This would, beyond a doubt, make God the final cause of Adam and Eve’s sin. For if God originally created them as morally perfect beings, they would not have been able to feel a motivation to sin (or experience temptation). They would, instead, have only been motivated to choose what was right, which would mean that good is all that they would have been able to have chosen. https://infidels.org/library/modern/edouard-tahmizian-cause-of-evil/

In a created world that is so obviously not a responsibly and carefully thought out creation (earthquakes, floods, disease, hunger, sin), no one more deserves to be held accountable than God for depraved indifference murder. And in fact, the story of Jesus was meant to begin to undo this horror by being a catalyst to awaken the Inner Law written on people’s hearts (Rom 2:15) to begin to fight back against the influence of Satan.  It is in dis-covering this inner light, cultivating it, and getting “righteousness supercharged” by welcoming the angelic possession of “Christ in you” is why Jesus says the only way to salvation, that is the only way to have a chance against the temptations of Satan, is through him.

Question:

This post used a thought game.  Why are thought games helpful in making arguments?

What Is The Problem Of Evil?

The problem of evil is an old philosophy question that has been asked for centuries. In the Christian tradition, it is something like “If God is all Good and all powerful, why does He allow suffering? If He cant stop it, He isn’t all powerful, and if He doesn’t try to stop it, He isn’t all good”

For instance, the objection is that if God is love, there wouldn’t be children dying of cancer or starvation. That isn’t love. God may be evil, indifferent, insane, powerless, but not all powerful and loving.

Famine in East Africa
Children Starving in Africa
Seeking to solve a pediatric cancer mystery - CBS News
Pediatric Cancer

Some would say God is legally guilty of depraved indifference murder, which is when you knowingly could have prevented death but chose not to, so it’s the same as planning the death with evil intent. Others say you can only love God if you hold him to much lower ethical and legal standards than you hold other human beings.

Question

Are there things that don’t seem to make sense about life if there is an all powerful and loving God?