I've never been a "good morning, Joe!" bright-eyed-and-bushy-tailed kind of person, but that's exactly what I became. I started getting better at conversations, more interested in people around me, and just generally in more of a "social vibe." I've always been terrible at remembering names, and instead of brushing it off (after all, who cares about remembering random old guy #7 from coffee shop #4?), I started keeping notes of names and appearance in my phone, so I don't forget who's who. It's actually kind of mind-blowing that my personality underwent such a palpable change.
I've since sworn off dating apps and attempting to limit my social media as much as possible. HN and reddit are probably going to get blocked again soon, too.
I was having a discussion with my daughter about this just last night, where I made a similar point.
I was pointing out how celebrities (particularly, but not solely, movie stars) are always playing a role, even in interviews, etc. When they make a public appearance that isn't overtly as a character, the role they're playing is their "movie star" persona. Unless you are an actual friend of theirs, you don't really know what their true authentic selves are.
Social media, it seems to me, has caused everyone to do the same thing. In social media, people tend to be playing a role -- that role being what they view as the best version of themselves. But it's not their true authentic selves any more than with the celebrities.
I think this has caused a serious degradation in the social fabric. Before social media, the most common interactions you had were with friends and family, and you were mostly interacting with their authentic selves. After all, nobody really knows you until they've seen you at your worst.
Interactions in social media are not like that. You're interactive with people playing parts, and that interaction is no longer genuine human contact. It just has the window-dressing of that.
Loneliness and isolation is the logical result of that. It's a bit like replacing most of your food with "dietary fiber" that is made to look and taste like food. It will fill you up and taste good, but in the end you'll still starve to death.
That's the same everybody is doing in their lives.
If you go to buy some groceries you are not yourself. You are playing your "polite shopper persona". When you area talking to your boss ... your subordinates ... your kids ... your spause ... your extended family ... your colleagues ... your students ...
You get the picture. Most people are a mixture of roles they play in front of others.
The people that are themselves and don't play any roles for anybody are perceived to be assholes.
The problem now is that when everything is public, there is no opportunity to be anything that is unpalatable to the general population, or anything that might prospectively be at some point in the future. You can't go be with your weird friends and joke about weird stuff because now it's visible to your boss and your mother and your future boss and your future mother in law.
In many ways this can be solved with pseudonyms, but that's the polar opposite of real name policies and the like, and you still need people to be able to feel comfortable enough that their pseudonym won't be linked back to them in a way that could impact their social status or job prospects, or you'll still get the same self-censorship that turns everything into a bland fake public performance.
Nowadays, the most popular girl in school, always a coveted title, is not the prom queen, nor the most wealthy princess, nor the queen of the clicks.
It's the same exact person in every HS in America, every tween girl hangs on her word and turns on the swings of her moods and hair color.
(It may be Ariana Grande today, or someone else, but back when my SO was teaching, it was Beyonce)
Today, no matter how esoteric your passion is, you can find 1000 other people with the same interest on the internet and talk to them 24/7. This is the golden age of the oddball with the unusual interest.
That's not to say your points are wrong or that things are perfect. But let's not pretend there aren't both pros and cons!
I guess cities today are so fluid people don't make connections, but to me that is a long term bomb ticking.
Oh and I was incapable of social bonding before, so I was pro-internet at first. In a way it's a mediocre medicine for the wrong diagnostic.
I sort of wonder if the idea that we have an authentic self is just as poisonous as the increase in superficial interactions.
Especially since when the people try to determine their true self by subtracting the roles they play, they end up with benevolent inner asshole.
With an assist from Brené Brown and _The Gifts of Imperfection_
Without the Internet, I'd be far more limited in communicating with others who share my interests. Or even have much of a clue what I'm going on about, or why.
In academia, and later in the NGO community, I had coworkers and colleagues. But once I went freelance, and especially since I came to love isolated rural places, there was literally nobody local to talk shop with.
I mean, I love my wife and our family and friends, but none of them are at all technical. The nearest hackerspace is some hundreds of km away. And anyway, OPSEC limits what I could talk about, in any case.
With Mirimir etc, I am "playing a role". But it's a game, and it's fun.
People put on a front for their friends, too. And spouses. Even themselves (who people really are often emerges only when they under extreme stress). Being drunk also strips off the facade to some extent, like being a "mean drunk".
I have different faces for the internet, work, friends, lovers, family, etc. We all do.
The face that people put forth in social media is much more artificial than the faces we put forth to people we have real relationships with. So, in a sense, it's a difference in degree.
When you have a real relationship with someone, you put on a face in a sense, but it's a fairly shallow sense. What your friends, lovers, family, etc., see is, generally speaking, authentic. It's just not the whole story -- I may have a different style and emphasize different parts of myself with my friends as opposed to my lovers, but those are still authentic, true aspects of myself. I'm not pretending to be a person I'm not. Also, over time, anyone you're close to gets to know your true self -- even the parts you wish they didn't (or maybe that you didn't even know existed). If that's not true, then the relationship isn't really that close.
I will exclude internet and work relationships from this, as those are of a different, and much more artificial, type.
So you're saying social media is kind of like Soylent ;) -- I agree!
> Loneliness and isolation is the logical result of that. It's a bit like replacing most of your food with "dietary fiber" that is made to look and taste like food. It will fill you up and taste good, but in the end you'll still starve to death.
What's interesting is that this basically makes social media a honeypot to those with histrionic or sociopathic tendencies. I wonder if, in the long run, we'll tend to look at the typical "influencer's" Instragam or YouTube account the way we today look at an e-mail from some very wealthy prince in Nigeria who somehow needs our help transferring his billions out of the country.
Same with celebrities - some people have trouble disconnecting the fact they're intimately familiar with celebrities (or at least the carefully crafted details they share) and confuse that with actually knowing said celebrities. I think that's what triggers the bizarre behavior of stopping these people and asking for a picture, saying hello, etc.
I sort of have the opposite reaction: I'm viscerally uninterested in the lives of celebrities because we're not friends. My wife has finally learned not to tell me Gwen Stefani is pregnant or whatever after I ask "Really? When's the shower? What should we bring?!?"
It's some times the juicy stuff that gets people interested at first and then they go down to the point of knowing so much more than is necessary.
Another one I find kind of off-putting is how so many of my friends are very well versed in "famous" serial killers and their histories. Why don't people spend as much time learning about things that brought good to the world and not misery/suffering?
It's the same reason you should (though it is harder) have some passing knowledge of local sports teams, because its a big shared cultural touchstone.
It's the reason I'm really happy I started experimenting with vegetarian food, because it gave me something interesting to talk with and a possible point of shared interest as well.
Which is fine, I just choose to opt out of that particular topic. Have you heard the joke about the vegetarian marathon runner? He never knows which one to brag about first. Seriously I agree being prepared to discuss a variety of topics is a good idea but it's something within the confines of politeness I can be honest about.
If someone asks "Oh did you hear Shania Twain got a new puppy?" I can honestly say no I don't keep up with her and leave it at that. I'm happy to talk dogs, just not Shania. We can always find something else to talk about.
1. smart people talk about ideas
2. average people talk about events
3. dumb people talk about other people
I sometimes think about that when I engage in gossip, and am annoyed with myself.
Not really an Ann Landers thing
I'm also reminded of something that Scott Adams wrote in a forward to one of his books.
To paraphrase: we're all idiots, even the smartest of us. Not all the time, but given the right situation...
But the same can be said of SV rock stars, Fortune 500 CxOs, etc. Even if I recognized Donald Knuth or Sundar Pichai on the street I wouldn't approach and say "I love your work, may I have a photo?". I draw the line at assuming I have a personal relationship with anyone just because I happen to know of them or about them. And frankly since we're not friends I'm not invested in learning anything personal about those people.
That's where I think society is broken: making the lives of famous people a miserable hell because they can't have a shred of privacy, and mining every detail of their lives to sell banner ads / click bait click-throughs, TV shows, etc is just a bit too far for me.
How well you really know someone is hard to quantify.
I think that as a single 20- or 30-something, being a social-media-on-your-phone-person is kind of the default. It's a bit awkward at first, but I think most people are pleasantly surprised when you start a conversation with them randomly. I usually start with a compliment ("I like your hat/dress/shoes") or I ask them what they ordered ("that looks/smells great, what is it?").
It's so strange that we've collectively lost this skill in what seems to be less than one generation.
Yeah, super weird. Similarly, people talk on the phone less these days and are losing that skill, too. I’ve been increasingly hearing people say this in recent years.
Good point. Experience of computing before the time of the the 'net is the main reason I've been little-attracted to the 'promises' of phones, or distance -anything-. I learned from the BBS's and Usenet that long-distance-socializing may feel engaging, but is not a life-long nutritional substitute.
Audio and even video may seem like a vast improvement over a crappy 300-baud text-only modem. But it's entirely possible that few people would like Mona Lisa after they saw her in action in a video.
The trouble with illusions is: disillusion. Is the article right about "a rising American hope for a limitless self"? It doesn't come in a box.
It's funny to read now because it predated social media for the most part. When I say social networks in the paper it's a theoretical concept which we might call a "social graph" now.
I didn't mention it in the paper but that class also introduced me to the concept of Dunbar's number (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunbar%27s_number) I guess I'd TLDR it this way now: Internet connections are weaker than in person ones but they probably still take up a slot in your social graph. That graph is probably capped somewhere around 150. So it's not super surprising that when you freed up some space by disconnecting from the internet communities, you felt compelled to fill it back in with people in physical proximity with you. It's a cool personal experiment and it would be interesting if it could be replicated more scientifically.
I think there has been some scientific inquiry into this idea of a "limit" to certain "mental faculties" -- in a graduate seminar I was attending a few years ago, I remember reading about how "attention" is capped to 2-3 points of interest in our visual field. The experiment was done with movies if I remember correctly.
But I agree it's super useful and interesting to think about quantifying and enumerating the limits of human capability where possible. Maybe that's somewhere else we differ from the attitudes of the 18th century romantics from TFA.
I'm actually optimistic that online discussion via various avenues has a lot of positive potential, but I really enjoyed your detailed observations.
Working remotely too, I get a very similar question. "Don't you miss working with people?" I work with people all the time, but I think that being alone magnifies the effect of spending quality time with people, rather than just spending time together for the sake of being together.
I'm almost never lonely when I'm alone, I'm too involved in whatever I'm doing. Even if I'm bored, I'm generally not lonely. I get more lonely when I'm in a group of people I don't really know well than I ever do when I'm alone in my own house. Mostly because I wish I knew them better than I do and wouldn't feel so left out.
Loneliness: Being alone against your choice, seemingly unable to change it, even when you are in contact with people.
My partner and I went on a trip for a few days. While relaying the plans to some coworkers and visiting colleagues while out for lunch I was asked for my instagram handle so they could see my photos. I replied I didn't have one. The group started into shock and said, to summarize, nobody can follow along to my trip. All i could say was I don't care.
Of course, there are many other ways to share photos if I want, but keeping a live journal of it wasn't why I went...
Perhaps it comes down to that there are just very few genuinely curious and intellectually honest people in the world, the result being that the majority (i.e. the others) self-select their environments and then either ignore others or, worse yet, attack them.
On the one hand, I think it's good that people are discussing things like depression, anxiety, etc. more openly. But as someone who has struggled with depression and feeling suicidal at various points, I think there's a healthier way to frame your thinking, so that you're not acting like depression, or loneliness, or sadness are inevitable, and like you have zero control over your mood or feelings.
I had this epiphany after going through a break up, where I could feel myself heading towards a depressive spiral. I was obsessing over how sad I was, replaying happy moments and unfulfilled fantasies about the future in my head...and then I realized I was actually making myself feel worse, and that I could actually make myself stop wallowing in my own sadness by thinking about other things.
I think the most important thing to do is to get away from staying in your own head and overthinking things. Interact with other people in real life (not on social media), do physical exercise, practice mindfulness meditation, and try observing your feelings and separating your sense of self from those feelings.
Glad things worked out for you.
I slowly started seeing more friends, thought deeply about why I felt so horrible via substances, and eventually came out the other side. Now, you simply cannot get me down, and I'm lovin' it. :)
Instead, if you want to think this way (that depression is largely a choice) then you need to reflect on the fact that one can make a series of choices in order to better control one's mood and outlook. A sustained series of choices over a period of time can elevate the mood and mental state.
This isn't ignoring the fact that some should seek professional help, or chemical aides in getting this done. Depression is simply a spectrum (like everything else these days) which may or may not require more outside sources to circumnavigate.
In that way it's a choice, and becomes less of an issue with "someone is broken, but they choose to be". Their selective consciousness is controlling their outlook.
It's certainly perceived to do that, but it can also be read as putting the power to change back mostly on the sufferer. Which is exactly right. Unfortunately it's a chicken/egg kinda situation where the advice is right but entirely indigestible to someone in need of it.
I heard/hold a similar take on depression that sounds a little nicer, for better or for worse: it's an issue for which you must seek the answer to on your own, but the problem is that the condition itself takes away your motivation to do anything about it...
Without that, we have no anchor, and so psychological principles change regularly as the leaders of the field "learn more" about how they were previously mistaken (and then wipe their hands clean of the damage done to innocent people by their incorrect teachings, as they cover it up and move on). Saint Frances de Sales and Saint John Bosco were called masters of human psychology, and secular psychology is only now catching up to them in agreement.
Before we can get rid of negative problems in ourselves or others, we must first understand the nature of ourselves, and of the problems, because if we misunderstand these true natures, we're going to be remedying it the wrong way. And thinking of life or the mind as merely effects of the material world is already starting off on a bad principle, and leads to things like over medication, presuming that the mind can be fixed by changing things in the physical brain, which is really only a telephone by which the soul interacts with the physical world.
I know enlightened minds will scoff at these ideas, assuming religion to be for the ignorant, and maybe I am an ignorant fool, but anyone who agrees that there are absolute and objective truths will see clearly that the world is going insane. Parents proudly teaching their children that they can choose their gender, encouraging safe spaces where intellectual growth is supposed to be sought by mature young adults, grown men and women spending all their free time chasing every physical and mental pleasure as slaves of their passions without ever accomplishing anything of value, left wondering why they feel unfulfilled at the end of each wasted day.
Anyone who recognizes these truths and is frustrated by the world going in the wrong direction, especially with how it has been addressing (or rather enabling and encouraging) mental health issues, should not scoff at the ideas, principles, values, and beliefs that produced men and women who were willing to give up every good pleasure on earth for the honorable and noble goal of selflessly doing good for others in this life, that they may reap rewards for themselves and others in the next life. The Catholic Church has produced so many saints like Saint Benedict, Saint Francis of Assisi, Saint John Paul II, Saint Mother Theresa of Calcutta, and so many more that you'd do well to look further into what biases and inaccurate beliefs you have against its objective, intellectual, noble truths.
His book "The Golden Age" from his younger atheist years is grand post-scarcity sci-fi for those interested.
I've spent years working with scientists in research labs. In my experience, this isn't as true as people assume. There are plenty of hardcore scientists who are also religious.
Religion requires dogma and worship, surrendering free will in the extreme. Those spiritual scientists fall in the same ballpark as agnostics/atheists (myself) that learned some life lessons from Marvel comics, Miyazaki animation, and other modern myths.
I wouldn't venture to guess as to whether they are less common than in the general population (although it wouldn't surprise me), but they certainly exist in enough numbers for me to have met multiples of them. In fairness, though, I have met and worked with quite a few scientists over the years, so I consider it unsurprising to have met religious ones.
Just because hardcore scientists are religious, anything about the religion they choose. They are mutually exclusive.
Gender and sexuality and identity and really all of reality is fluid.
Seriously, it’s good that you’ve found solace in Catholicism, spread the word and help other people who may benefit, but don’t cast judgement on people living their lives.
But we still learn, right? Some things we once thought to be real turned out to not be.
> The matter was investigated by the Roman Inquisition in 1615, which concluded that heliocentrism was "foolish and absurd in philosophy, and formally heretical since it explicitly contradicts in many places the sense of Holy Scripture".
I believe there are plenty of gaps in human knowledge into which people can pour their faith and turn to religion for answers. Some of those answers may one day prove to be correct and others prove to be wrong.
For more than half the existence of the Roman Catholic Church, they believed that the sun went around the Earth. It was a model that seemed plain as day. It was also wrong.
I agree with your statement "we can and must judge right and wrong for ourselves". I also believe in being humble with respect to what we "know" to be true.
Going back up the chain in this thread, pesmhey said:
> Gender and sexuality and identity and really all of reality is fluid.
To which you replied:
> Truth is Truth. Reality is not fluid, our existence is very real, and so are the laws of reality just as real as the laws of physics.
I can't speak to what pesmhey intended with "all of reality is fluid", and I don't agree with that as phrased… What we perceive as reality is limited by our understanding of it. If you look up and watch the sun travel across the sky, it's easy to think that the sun goes around the Earth, just as the moon does.
It would be folly to say that humanity collectively hasn't learned a ton about human biology over the past 100 years. When it comes to gender, sexuality, and identity, we're continuing to learn and what may be seen as "truth" today may prove to be not quite right with more knowledge.
Just this week, in fact, there was the news about Caster Semenya and how the olympic folks think her testosterone levels are too high for her to compete as a woman. 100 years ago, they couldn't have tested for that (testosterone was apparently discovered around 1890, so I don't think they would have had tests for levels of the hormone then).
To be clear, I'm not trying to make a point about the Catholic Church, but rather about truth and reality. The Catholic Church can move forward with time. I wish more people in this country would get on board with Laudato si and see "climate as a common good" that we need to take seriously. (Of course, most people in the US are already on board with respect to the need to address climate issues, but those holdouts are a problem.)
FWIW, I acknowledge that progress is not always forward and that there are, indeed, aspects to our current time that will prove to be objectively problematic when we look back at them from some time in the future (just as there always have been). I don't know how common it is in actual practice, but I think stifling contentious discourse at universities is likely to be harmful for the advancement of knowledge over time.
Anyhow, this has become a ramble, and it wasn't really my intention to write an essay. Given that, I'll just stop rather than write a proper conclusion. Sorry :)
But the physical nature of the universe is only the physical nature. There is another nature of the universe that is above the physical, and that the physical deviates from sometimes due to the corruption brought into the world by the fall of man.
That "metaphysical" nature is real, even though you can't experiment on it in a lab, and some examples are sexual identity and gender. These are not fluid, even if sometimes the fallen world deviates from it. There are exactly two genders, man and woman, and we are born into those genders, which nobody chooses except God. Sometimes we may have the wrong hormones, but that's part of the fallen nature of the world, and our job is to correct those hormones through science to match our physical gender.
This may seem trivial, but it's a very important example for me because the idea of being a Man and a Woman are very little known or understood by any of us today, whereas centuries ago they were widely understood and accepted, and this plays an integral factor in how I should raise my children as a Father and Man and the Husband of my wife, and the model I should set for these roles, and similarly my wife's roles, what they should be, and the example she ought to give them of a Mother and Wife and Woman.
But when we start to teach young people that these roles or even genders are all social constructs instead of roles built into our very nature which we must recognize and learn how to fulfill, we're soon going to have a chaotic world with everyone doing pretty much everything wrong.
There is evidence that there has always been a homosexual subset of the population. One can say that this is part of the "fallen" nature of the world, or one can say that this just an aspect of nature based on the makeup of the individual.
Anyhow, I understand where you're coming from, even if it doesn't match my worldview. This is not the kind of thing that one can easily convince another about given that, as you say, "you can't experiment on it in a lab". At a certain point, we do have to take some things on faith.
Religious structure is good. People do better when they have a compelling framework and a strong social community. The issue with specific religions is it holds specific beliefs as a pre requisite, so it’s hard to just jump in amidst large bodies of diverse opinions and conflicting scientific evidence. Most people would benefit from joining any well intentioned religious group. And most of the moral arguments for any specific one tend to be compatible with the rest. So yeah, religion is generally a good thing for people; no, it’s not fair to claim it’s unilaterally good; and in general, mixing emotional arguments with world views on the nature of existence is likely to annoy others.
> mixing emotional arguments with world views on the nature of existence is likely to annoy others
Perhaps, but the moral framework you cite as a benefit of religion is inextricably tied with a particular view on the nature of existence. People are far more likely to follow rules if they make sense.
But this is the problem with any movement from feminism to Catholicism. It’s defined by its members but it’s members are individuals. If a group of people in the name of a movement do a bunch of things that most find disagreeable it’s not easy to separate them from the vanilla definition of the movement. There’s no objective definition of a collection of ideas. Religions and political persuasions can’t be intrinsically good, (though perhaps they can be intrinsically bad). There are certainly excellent ideas to be found in feminism and Catholicism. Yet Individuals in a belief system still have their own beliefs. There’s no purity of belief that can be identified. It’s a pointless endeavor.
And thus, saying my belief system is good as evidenced by these good people adhering to said system is a meaningless statement. I have no reason to believe that your interpretation of said system is the same as theirs. Similarly pointing to the villains of the system doesn’t mean anything either.
Most people benefit from joining any structured organization with strong-shared belief system. For example, the military very specifically operates and trains this way (it's in the wording - "a soldier will..." etc.). There's of course obvious reasons they should, but the concept is the same - build up a shared base of truth.
If we look to another area, think about the term "company man" and what's actually happened in the last 50 years to how the big corporations (or maybe any?) treat their workers. That used to once be a source of a identity and purpose as well (possibly not the most healthy or reliable one) but it's very much something which has changed. The active effort to kill the Union movement has similar consequences.
You were lied to, my friend.
> enabled and hid a variety of pedophiles
Individuals did that, and that's very sad and damaging.
> and led a variety of violent conflicts for selfish gains
Read up on the Crusades (and Spanish Inquisition) from a Catholic perspective. It's not as cut and dry as people make it.
> The issue with specific religions is it holds specific beliefs as a pre requisite,
That's fine, as long as the beliefs are true.
> so it’s hard to just jump in amidst large bodies of diverse opinions
Look into any religion hard enough and you will find all categories of them to be logically and historically unsustainable except Catholicism. That's why I'm here. It is the only belief system fully compatible with intellectual integrity. Saint Thomas Aquinas said the same thing when he said that anyone who actually looked into Islam would see clearly that it is utterly absurd and full of contradictions.
> and conflicting scientific evidence.
There is none.
Roman Catholicism says that communion will turn wine and bread into literal flesh and blood. How on earth is that "compatible with intellectual integrity"? Or believing in a literal virgin birth? Another thing I can't intellectually justify is insisting on priest celibacy and keeping women out of the priesthood.
I'm not going to debate in favor of Islam, but it seems that mainstream protestant beliefs (or at least those which I'm familiar with, the beliefs of United Methodism) are just as capable of claiming the good parts of Christian philosophy, without insisting on the parts which clearly just exist due to the the Roman Catholic penchant for power wrangling and hierarchies.
That is called Transubstantiation and it is a daily recurring miracle. Miracles, by definition, are God bending the rules of physics, which He created and continually sustains, and is thus allowed to bend. This is philosophical but logically consistent.
> Or believing in a literal virgin birth?
> insisting on priest celibacy
That's a rule, and put there for a very good reason. The less divided your heart is by worldly cares, the more you can care only for the people God put in your care.
> keeping women out of the priesthood
Just as much as men are kept out of giving birth. Consider this quote from G. K. Chesterton: "How can it be a large career to tell other people's children about the Rule of Three, and a small career to tell one's own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone, and narrow to be everything to someone? No. A woman's function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute."
> are just as capable of claiming the good parts of Christian philosophy, without insisting on the parts which clearly just exist due to the the Roman Catholic penchant for power wrangling and hierarchies.
They say "you are saved by faith alone" and "the Bible is the sole authority on religion" and yet the Bible literally says "you are not saved by faith alone". That's plenty enough to disregard all their remaining arguments in my opinion.
After using the process of elimination, only the Catholic Church's doctrines remain intact.
And #3 and #4 are directly at odds. You say Priests are not allowed to have children, which is why they are celibate (fair enough) but we all know children can't be born without both a Father and Mother involved. So when men choose not to have children for the priesthood, it's seen as noble. But Women aren't given that same choice in your view (Except they are, because nuns exist, yet Nuns cannot ever actually lead the Church).
Why don't you admit that the reason the Catholic church does not allow women priests is not because "a women's function is laborious" (a function not all women naturally can even do, otherwise why can't barren women be priests?), but rather because you take the words of Paul literally and do not allow a woman to hold authority over a man? That's the real reason and you know it.
Also, the "faith alone" thing is a bit misunderstood to be honest, mostly caused by how protestants overload that word. They basically mean that you cannot be saved by works alone under any circumstance, and that if you are unable to produce any works but have faith, you can still be saved (the example here is the penitent thief on the cross). After that, they consider works to be a natural outcome of legitimate faith, and that if you have the chance to do works and don't you'll lose your justification by faith.
There's a sermon by Wesley on that here: http://wesley.nnu.edu/john-wesley/the-sermons-of-john-wesley...
It is not intellectually dishonest to believe that God, who governs the universe and it's laws is able to suspend them if he so chooses.
> Why don't you admit that the reason the Catholic church does not allow women priests is not because "a women's function is laborious" (a function not all women naturally can even do, otherwise why can't barren women be priests?), but rather because you take the words of Paul literally and do not allow a woman to hold authority over a man? That's the real reason and you know it.
No, that is not the real reason. The idea that men and women are complementary is rooted in Christian teaching since the beginning. My understanding is that the reason women are not allowed to be priests is partly because during mass the priest stands in for Christ ( in persona Christi ) and Christ was born a man. Women hold authority over men all the time in the Catholic church, many doctors of the Church are women.
> Also, the "faith alone" thing is a bit misunderstood to be honest, mostly caused by how protestants overload that word. They basically mean that you cannot be saved by works alone under any circumstance, and that if you are unable to produce any works but have faith, you can still be saved (the example here is the penitent thief on the cross). After that, they consider works to be a natural outcome of legitimate faith, and that if you have the chance to do works and don't you'll lose your justification by faith.
This is just a long winded way of saying you are not saved by faith alone.
St. John Paul II talked a lot about this subject about 45 years ago, here's a PDF with a clickable table of contents: https://d2wldr9tsuuj1b.cloudfront.net/2232/documents/2016/9/...
>Look into any religion hard enough and you will find all categories of them to be logically and historically unsustainable except Catholicism.
But that may depend on how much a control freak a person is.
An actual quote is: "So for most of human history, loneliness or boredom were just accepted features of the human condition."
In my view it's different to say that boredom and loneliness were accepted _when they occured_, rather than saying they were the norm, which might mean they were experienced most of the time.
So I can attest the hunting part of "hunter-gatherer" can be exceedingly lonely and boring. It's mostly being very still and quiet, waiting for a prey animal to wander by.
In his teens, my dad used to make money by killing foxes for the bounty on their head when one was raiding some farmer's chicken coop. If you could do it in one night, it was good money. The more nights it took you, the lower the de facto hourly pay.
He would lay perfectly still for several hours in the dark by himself with a cocked gun waiting for the fox, often with bugs crawling over him that he didn't swat at because that would involve moving. He usually got it the first night.
Apparently I was raised with outdated values, since I am pretty much always aware of the vain futility of life and the serious limitations of my humanity. I don't understand the current culture of constant self-promotion and especially the public advertising of what used to be considered moral failings.
I lived over half my life without the internet, though, so it's not hard for me to imagine a world without smartphones and the online world. I spent a lot of time in the mid-90s online, then was mostly offline for over five years, then connected again around 2003 or so. For the past few months I have been seriously considering going completely offline again, and my current work situation makes that possible except for a handful of administrative tasks that would take maybe ten minutes a week. If I completely disappear from here, I've followed through on the thought.
I think the point of TFA might be that the damage to our culture due to always being connected outweighs the benefits. It sure seems that way to me.
Like it's not better or worse but it's just how we live and it's extremely different than how we lived 30 years ago (and so on down the pike) and these huge step changes happen more and more often the richer and better at communicating we get. Which is totally, totally fine.
Sometimes you gotta marvel at those fast changes. Glad to see people studying/documenting this. Amazing to think how this suite of emotions will be coded in another 20 years.
I'm not entirely sure I buy the notion: Shakespeare describes characters who troll for entertainment(Don John, Iago), and Jane Austen's characters often grapple with boredom. Our expectations do seem to ratchet up with our technological ability to fulfill them, but I feel like it's more of a hedonic treadmill. Boredom and loneliness may be, on some scale, roughly constant.
I do believe that social media has allowed us to ratchet up the effects of the "angry" and "stupid" part, possibly to unmanageable levels.
And what will you do at concerts? Listen to the music?
if you were born in 1999 i am hard pressed to imagine over the next 100 years you will see this much of a sea-change. in the most hyper-optimistic development:
baby (ivf), child (self-educated), teenager (self-starter), adult (colonist), neural map (biomachine), rebirth (clone).
far more likely you see space stagnation after a manned mars mission in the 2060s, and various forms of "new" movements arising arguing for ethics around engineered reproduction both for humans and animals to be reworked around a global utility model due to various food and water shocks, a type of one-child-world policy.
it could very well be that a dominant monarchy reappears, since empires with long lived monarchs provide at least 50 years of stability if managed correctly, and we are approaching various global inflection points in the 21st century which could cause a large and unnecessary loss of human life due to poor long term planning (family management in the developing world, too many abortions/immigration in the first world causing genetic displacement and social revolutionary movements, extreme weather events stretching global insurance/banking/money markets and the typical decline of the concept of civil liberties for an new enforced set of social civilities with fragmentary groups echoing radical ideas in secrecy - which historically leads to insurrection and civil war).
people don't really change as quickly as their technology does, so it's very dangerous to hear all thoughts without also having some type of pan-humanist framework in which to put them and try to form relative links between superficially disparate ideas. it's much easier to jump to contrast and division, and then force the issue, the radicalization of at risk youth into violent murder in public spaces is especially concerning, the school shooter phenomenon is mutating into a church shooter or a mall shooter, a park shooter, a club shooter. half a dozen coordinated shooters could shut down an entire city, at which point every city will need check points and will have to become gun free, a sort of TSA for metropolitan and then suburban areas. i wonder if at some certain point life would be safer in a prison than outside one. technology will advance towards safety and must necessarily lead to schemes with voluntary basis of total monitoring, eg food credits if you allow permanent personal surveillance. the cheesy 80s dystopia now creeping over the horizon. the hug and squeeze technique of totalitarianism, where you're crushed between abundance and fear is a model that is being exported globally and seems quite profitable and certainly preferable to war, famine and disease.