Conscience

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Bible Readings:

Skim these Scripture passages. Pick one that appeals to you and

  1. summarize its main point,
  2. tell how it relates to the theme “Understanding Conscience”,
  3. list one or two thoughts that entered your mind when you read it.

Reflect:

The reflection will take effort, but it is an effort to focus – for yourself – an ego-conscience. If that’s not worth the effort, you will always have a personality, but it is unlikely you will ever develop character.

Draw a line down the centre of a piece of paper. On one side of the line, list the do’s and don’ts your parents, teachers, and media (other external forces) have taped on your Superego that you have already checked against reality and find are now wrong – or at least far too simplified. On the other side, write the elements of your Superego that you now see for yourself are valid.

Quotable Quotes:

“Faith, hope, and love; and the greatest of these is love.” – 1 Corinthians 13:11-13

“The more a correct conscience prevails, the more do persons and groups turn aside from blind choice and try to be guided by the objective standards of moral conduct.” – The Church in the Modern World, 16

“Return to the root and you will find the meaning.” – Sengstan

“A man’s action is only a picture book of his creed.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Rather fail with honour than succeed by fraud.” – Sophocles

“In matters of conscience, the law of the majority has no place.” – Mohandas Gandhi

Activity:

Choose:

  1. Roughly how many of your peers do you guess cheat routinely on homework, quizzes, and tests? What are the reasons most would give for doing that? Why is “Well, everybody does it” not a legitimate excuse? If trust and honesty are the glue that holds together the web of our human ecology, what is the effect of widespread cheating on the web of society?
  2. When schools discover that a great deal of cheating is going on, the administration frequently will encourage teachers and exam supervisors to have greater vigilance and require strong punishment when someone is caught cheating. Similarly, with the increase of crime in our cities, the almost automatic response is to call for an increase in the number of police. What would be a better way to attack the problems of cheating and crime at their roots?

©2016 Mr. D. Sader | World Religions | All Rights Reserved

What Being Human Means

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Bible Readings:

Skim these Scripture passages. Pick one that appeals to you and

  1. summarize its main point,
  2. tell how it relates to the theme “Understanding Humanity”,
  3. list one or two thoughts that entered your mind when you read it.

Reflect:

No human is merely a higher-level animal. Each human has the potential – which no animal has – to be far far more.

  • What is the difference between being human and acting human?
  • What test is there that you can apply to an entity to see if it is human – and not something less?
  • When does a baby start being a human entity?
  • When does a person in a coma stop being human?
  • People in mental hospitals, children who murder without any remorse, mob hit men – are all less than fully human, but are they less than human?

 

Quotable Quotes:

“What is man that you think of him; mere man that you care for him?” – Psalm 8:1,3-9

“No man is free who is not master of himself.” – Epictetus

“I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul.” – William Ernest Henley

“Vision … It reaches beyond the thing that is, into the conception of what can be.” Robert Collier

 

Activity:

Choose:

  1. Read aloud – or even memorize – Shylock’s response to Salanio and Salarino an The Merchant of Venice, Act 3, Scene 1, that begins “To bait fish withal…” What is Shylock trying to justify? What arguments does he use to justify it? Debate the points for and against Shylock’s argument.
  2. Lord of the Flies embodies the thesis: Human beings are evil at the core, and the only things keeping humans from open savagery are control by civilized society and its law enforcement agencies. Catcher in the Rye embodies precisely the opposite thesis: We are all born innocent and are corrupted – or even driven mad – by the wickedness of the society we are thrust into. Which thesis is true? Why? Or are they both true? Why?
  3. Explain these statements:
    • All other natures on earth are commands; only human nature  is an invitation.
    • Guilt is one of the many qualities that separate humans from beasts.
    • Baby : cub = acorn : marble
    • Whatever makes us grow as knowers and lovers is good; whatever makes us shrivel as knowers and lovers is evil.
    • Unless you choose to know and love, you automatically choose to be less than human.

©2016 Mr. D. Sader | World Religions | All Rights Reserved

Whose Truth?

Survey:


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Bible Readings:

Skim these Scripture passages. Pick one that appeals to you and

  1. summarize its main point,
  2. tell how it relates to the theme “Whose Truth?”,
  3. list one or two thoughts that entered your mind when you read it.

The Wealth of Wisdom Proverbs 8:1-10

Nature and Gods Will Job 38:1-7

Solomon 1 Kings 3:6-14

Salaam Numbers 22:22-35

God’s Will Everywhere Acts 17:22-28

 

Reflect:

Most likely you’ve been in an argument with your parents – or with somebody – when suddenly it all became clear: They’re right.

But you keep arguing. When that happens, you’re not honestly looking for the truth. What are you looking for? Why?

 

Quotable Quotes:

“Truth is to be sought in a manner proper to the dignity of the human person and our social nature. The inquiry is to be free, carried on with the aid of teaching … and a dialogue. In the course of these, we explain to one another the truth we have discovered, or think we have discovered, in order thus to assist one another in the quest for truth.” Vatican Council II, Declaration on Religious Freedom, 3

©2016 Mr. D. Sader | World Religions | All Rights Reserved

Concern for the Poor

Virtually all climate scientist are making it plain that the time for drastic action on the environment is now, and they caution that it may already be too late to stop some of the change. Some people reject the scientific consensus and say we need more time to study the problem. Pope Francis says that attempts to discredit calls for radical change come from the same forces that keep the world from addressing the issue of global poverty. Poverty has many faces – neglect of nature leads to neglect of humanity. He urges us not to continue our blindnesss but begin to reach out in love and compassion to the poor.

Ponder
Who and where are the poor where I live?

Pray
God of creation, break the hardness of my heart so that I may hear the cries of the poor and then do more to work on their behalf.

©2016 Mr. D. Sader | World Religions | All Rights Reserved