Monday, October 16, 2017

a News Story of Caring and Medical Wonder, Conjoined Twins

In the midst of all of the political and religious darkness, here's a news story of the WONDER of human caring and medical expertise!

Go and do thou likewise:-) at your own ability and career level.
Help those in need, care for the dying, rescue the perishing...

In the LIGHT of caring,

Daniel Wilcox

Thursday, October 12, 2017

To Live in the Light, to Act Truly Human

Of late, there have been so many negative actions by religionists and politicians, that it's hard not to focus on that chasm, and spend time 'cursing the darkness,'
BUT as the title of this blog emphasizes, instead, become a "lightwave seeker."

So, today,
here is a short summary of Transcendent Humanism and Moral Realism.

To Act Truly Human

Part #1: To Live in the Light, Focus on the New Ought, Not on the Past---of What Is or Has Been

"I refuse to accept despair as the final response to the ambiguities of history. I refuse to accept the idea that the "isness" of man's present nature makes him morally incapable of reaching up for the eternal "oughtness" that forever confronts him."
--Martin Luther King Jr.

Part #2: To Act Truly Human, Be Generous—Freely Give to Those in Need

Part #3: To Live in the Light, Treat All Others as Equal—View All Humans as Inherently of Worth and Value

Part #4: To Act Truly Human, Focus on the Transcendent—Live for the Good, Beyond the Temporal and Transient and Any Action that Is Wrong

Part #5: To Live in the Light, Do LovingKind Acts—Live with Empathy, Compassion, and Caring for All Others; Cherish and Help

Part #6: To Act Truly Human, Seek Justice—Work for Human Rights, Fairness, Impartiality

Part #7: To Live in the Light, Live in Fidelity--Commit to One Other Person in a Covenanted Relationship Meant to Be for Life;

Reject and Resist the Wiles of Adultery, Promiscuity, Polyamory, Polygamy, Pornography

Part #8: To Act Truly Human, Speak the Truth in Love to Everyone--Be Honest; Oppose Lies, Deceptions, Manipulations,
Obscene Cursings, and All Forms of Propaganda

Part #9: To Live in the Light, Cultivate and Cherish Community. Commune with Ultimate Reality (whatever you want to term it--God, the Divine, the Good, etc.) and Commune with Other Humans. Share Deeply

Part #10: To Act Truly Human, Live in Wonder; Rejoice in Beauty and the Mysteries of the Universe

(For instance, Albert Einstein
explained that he wasn't an Atheist
because, unlike them, he was enthralled
with the beautiful structure of the cosmos and said, if he wasn't Jewish, he would become a Quaker.)

Part #11: To Live in the Light, Care for Nature and Its Creatures
(This ethical goal is a good alternative against
the wrong extremes--
that of Paganism and Hinduism which claim that
natural evils such as malaria are somehow "holy"
and okay!
that of Secularism which too often sees
the natural world as only a thing to use,
even exploit.)

Part #12: To Act Truly Human, Create New Concepts and Things of Wonder

Part #13: To Live in the Light, Focus on the New Ought, Not on the Past of What Is or Has Been

"I refuse to accept despair as the final response to the ambiguities of history. I refuse to accept the idea that the "isness" of man's present nature makes him morally incapable of reaching up for the eternal "oughtness" that forever confronts him."
--Martin Luther King Jr.

I'm working on the central concept of what it means to be truly human, not in the basic evolutionary sense, but in the ethical one, in the transcendent sense.

(Most of us know that we are homo sapiens, one branch of primates resulting from over 3 billion years of evolutionary history.
For a biological explanation of our species, check out any fine book on evolutionary biology.)

What ethical truths should I add to the beginning list of 10 for 2018?

Become a committed theist, humanist, Enlightenment ethicist, moral realist, free-seeker.

Do avidly seek the Good, the True, the Beautiful, equality, peace, justice, mercy, compassion, fidelity, monogamy, generosity, meticulous honesty, and so forth.

In the Light,

Daniel Wilcox
Posted by Daniel Wilcox at 9:48 AM 2 comments: Links to this post
Labels: adultery, compassion, covenant, empathy, equality, fidelity, honesty, human rights, justice, lovingkindness, obscenity, polyamory, polygamy, pornography, promiscuity

Monday, October 9, 2017

"A Better Country"

Nationalism in the United States, again, is often far right or far left.

BUT both extremes are actually dead center.

In the U.S. whether we are liberal or a conservative, we, probably, are culpable.

If the latter—Trumpers, right-wingers, you champion the U.S. calling it the best country in the world, but deny
selfhood to emerging nations and minorities, and fail
to admit your own nation’s shortcomings and unethical actions, past and present.

Your whole focus is on U.S. First, U.S. First. (Talk about selfish!)

If the former—BLMers, Antifaers, you enthusiastically support the cause of any ethnic or other religion
or group or foreign nation in the world to be self-determined, yet look with abhorrence
at the U.S. if it defends itself.

Your whole focus is on U.S. Last, U.S. Last. (Talk about negative!)

But those who follow the Light "desire a better country."

In the Light,

Daniel Wilcox

Friday, October 6, 2017


Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

A Las t

Alas, grieving sorrow,
Don’t ask from where—
Shenandoah; Shiloh...Meadows
Down to Sheol

Welted eyes again, shadowed tears,
Wind-cuffed faces with ‘full’d’ lashings
Dusted wind
Of more less and less,

Wiping away
With wept wetness
In a downward swirling wet sweep,

Faces lost, lastless,

The torn night sky, starless in
A multiple series of weeping losses,

Abyss’d fall of all welling reveries
In this wreck--aging.

How long, how many tomorrow’s tomorrow

This a las—ting loss lostness?


--Daniel Wilcox
First pub. In The New Verse News
in different form

Sunday, October 1, 2017

The Tragic Evil of the Holocaust: Whether to Forgive Nazis?

WATCH: Holocaust Survivor Explains Why She Forgave Dr. Mengele
September 27, 2017 By Aiden Pink

"Holocaust survivor Eva Mozes Kor forgave the Nazis, including Dr. Josef Mengele, who experimented on her.

A Holocaust survivor explained in a video for BuzzFeed that has been watched more than 40 million times why she forgave the Nazi doctor who experimented on her and her twin sister.

Eva Mozes Kor and her family were deported from Romania to Auschwitz in May 1944. She and her twin sister Miriam were saved from death and sent to be experimented upon by Dr. Josef Mengele and his team, who sought to study twins.

Her father, mother, and other siblings were sent to the right, she and her twin to the left, never to see their family again.

She explained how, 50 years later, she met with Dr. Hans Munch, one of the doctors there, who was convinced to sign a document attesting to the veracity of the Auschwitz gas chambers. Mozes Kor also signed a document there forgiving him and all Nazis, and later explained that she had specifically forgiven Mengele."

Eva Mozes Kor: “I felt free, free from Auschwitz, free from Mengele...We cannot change what happened. That is the tragic part. But we can change how we relate to it.”

"While she said that most Holocaust survivors had denounced her, Mozes Kor called it “an act of self-healing, self-liberation, self-empowerment..."

Read more:

Live in the Light,

Daniel Wilcox

Monday, September 25, 2017

The Debacle of Empty-Bucket Words

Like in the old days of English literature when books had really long phrased OR titles:

The Debacle of Empty-Bucket Words
How I Learned to Love Humpty-Dumpty
by Shoving the Egg-Head of a “God” off the Wall
How I Learned to Stop Using the Vacuous, Empty-Headed Term, “Love”

“Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. 'Of course you don't — till I tell you. I meant "there's a nice knock-down argument for you!"'
'But "glory" doesn't mean "a nice knock-down argument",' Alice objected.
'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.'

First, the last. I suppose for centuries, “love” has been empty-headed, empty-bucketed, meaning whatever any one in changing centuries applied to the term. Like all words, “love” that chameleon’d-squiggled-word changes in time and place and comes to mean whatever any particular human means it to mean.

Need I give many examples from history, literature, and media, especially movies, to show how ambiguous, contradictory, and empty-bucketed, “love” has been?

Heck, even Christian leaders can’t agree. Millions of them disagree about what “God is love” means. And some leaders get etymological, scholarly, and cite Greek, speaking of the over-inflated word, “agape.” But even in Greek, they don’t agree! (It's Greek to me;-)
Because even then they often mean something entirely different from other Christians.

For instance, Augustinian-Reformed Christians claim that God both loves and predetermines billions of humans to eternal damnation. What?! How could God lovingly torture billions of humans for ever?

And God "loves" some humans so much, he wills for them to get cancer, die in car accidents, drown, burn to death, and so forth!

OR take a look at how the Anabaptist leader Chuck McKnight claims that multiple sexual partner relationships—polyamory--are based in “love,” in “agape-love”!

According to McKnight, and others, the only rule of Christianity is “love.”

We've heard this before!

Paul Tillich, the famous Protestant theologian claimed, "Love is the ultimate law” while himself committing adultery, etc.
Tillich, Systematic Theology, v. 1, p. 152

And Christian ethicist Joseph Fletcher wrote an infamous, controversial book, Situation Ethics, in 1966.

It closed with this view:
“When the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, the plane crew were silent. Captain Lewis uttered six words, "My God, what have we done?" Three days later another one fell on Nagasaki. About 152,000 were killed, many times more were wounded and burned, to die later. The next day Japan sued for peace. When deciding whether to use "the most terrible weapon ever known" the US President appointed an Interim Committee made up of distinguished and responsible people in the government. Most but not all of its military advisors favoured using it. Top-level scientists said they could find no acceptable alternative to using it, but they were opposed by equally able scientists. After lengthy discussions, the committee decided that the lives saved by ending the war swiftly by using this weapon outweighed the lives destroyed by using it and thought that the best course of action.”

Supposedly, the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of civilians was more loving in the long run and therefore more justified!

Whew…Talk about Orwellian…yes, war is peace, hate is love, slaughter is kindness…

"This book is a transcript of the February 11, 1971 dialogue between Montgomery and Joseph Fletcher (who wrote Situation Ethics: The New Morality). Here are a few examples of their exchanges:

FLETCHER: "I think there are no normative moral principles whatsoever which are intrinsically valid or universally obliging.... If we are, as I would want to reason, obliged in conscience sometimes to tell white lies, as we often call them, then in conscience we might be obliged sometimes to engage in
white thefts
and white fornications
and white killings
and white breakings of promises
and the like." (pg. 15)

FLETCHER: “I want to suggest that methodologically there are basically only three alternatives strategies… the three options open to conscience at work are to be simply labeled as legalism, antinomianism, and situationism… In between these [first] two extremes lies situationism… and a mediating position in the spectrum. The situationist enters into troubling moral situations armed… [with] some reflective generalizations about what is ordinarily and typically the right thing to do. But unlike the legalist he refuses to absolutize … any normative principle… he is prepared to depart from a usually applicable generalization if in the particular case the consequence of following the rule is to minimize rather than to optimize … the first-order value to which he’s committed.” (Pg. 19, 23-24)

MONTGOMERY: “The insurmountable difficulty is simply this: there is no way… of knowing when the situationist is actually endeavoring to set forth genuine facts and true opinions, and when he is lying… Why? Because deception is allowed on principle … .as long as the ultimate aim is love. Consider: if Professor Fletcher acts consistently with his premises… he can to this end introduce any degree of factual misinformation, rhetorical pettifogging, or direct prevarication into the discussion… Our restatement goes: ‘If a situation ethicist … tells you that he is not lying, can you believe him?’… [This leaves] the audience entirely incapable of ever being sure that Professor Fletcher means what he says.” (Pg. 31-32)

MONTGOMERY: “This is precisely the claim of the historical Christian faith: that biblical revelation constitutes a transcendent word from God establishing ethical values once for all… Absolute moral principles are explicitly set forth; these inform love and guide its exercise.” (Pg. 44)

FLETCHER: “Are you saying, sir, that we must in conscience always tell the truth? And if there are exceptions, when might we prevaricate and why?... are you saying that tyrannicide is never justifiable? If it might be, when and why?... were you or weren’t you saying that interruptions of pregnancy are always wrong? But if there are times when it might be done, why would it be?... Christian ethics … have never allowed that human rights are anything but… relative and contingent.” (Pg. 49)

MONTGOMERY: “the greatest difficulty in situation ethics is revealed exactly at this point. The situation ethicist properly recognizes the ambiguity of situations and the extreme difficulty, often, in knowing what ought to be done; but he endeavors, in these situations, to JUSTIFY HIMSELF. In terms of the ethical approach that I outlined, one CANNOT so justify oneself. If, concretely, I were put in the position that you described of either informing a killer as to where a child was hidden or lying about it, it's conceivable that I would have to lie. But if I did so, I would be unable to justify this ethically; in short, I would be unable to get off the hook. In Christian terminology, I would have committed a sin which should drive me to the cross for forgiveness. This is what I find almost totally lacking in your writings: no one is driven to the Cross.” (Pg. 51)

FLETCHER: “you have said in reply to my question ‘Is it always wrong to have an abortion?’---‘Yes, it always is.’ It seems to me absolutely unbelievable that anybody could say that… Since the tragic complexities of life sometimes call us to do what we might call the ‘lesser evil,’ you WOULD be an instrument because the alternative to the abortion would be greater evil than the evil of the abortion.” (Pg. 52-53)

FLETCHER: “It is ethically foolish to say we ‘ought’ to do what is wrong! What I want to argue philosophically… is that the rightness or the wrongness of anything we do is extrinsic, relative, and dependent upon the circumstances, so that to have an abortion out of loving concern for everybody’s best interests involve, is not an excusably evil thing to do, but a good thing to do.” (Pg. 53-54)

FLETCHER: “And I have to say in all candor that when I examine the Gospel account of Jesus’ teaching in light of our question… he said nothing directly or even implicitly about it one way or another. Jesus was a simple Jewish peasant.
He had no more philosophical sophistication
than a guinea pig,
and I don’t turn to Jesus
for philosophical sophistication.” (Pg. 55)

MONTGOMERY: “Well, sir, I think that’s your trouble.” [Laughter and applause from the audience.] (Pg. 55)

FLETCHER: “Aren’t you in effect telling us that in your ethics we are sometimes morally obliged to do what is wrong, and does that make any sense in terms of ethical analysis?” [Applause from the audience.]
MONTGOMERY: “No, obviously it does not make any sense in terms of YOUR ethical analysis, but that’s what we are trying to determine---whether that ethical analysis is right… What I’m saying is that it may be necessary to choose a lesser of evils. But such a choice still remains an evil.” (Pg. 69-70) Situation ethics; true or false?: A dialogue between Joseph Fletcher and John Warwick Montgomery (Dimension books)
Quoted by reviewer Steven H. Propp on Amazon

Even the word "LIGHT" means various contradictory things to different humans, including different Friends.

No, we can't escape semantics, so it behooves us to very carefully define words when we use them. And give very lucid examples.

Daniel Wilcox

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Ensaf Haidar pleads with Saudi Arabia at the UN

Ensaf Haidar holds a picture of her husband Raif Badawi

Seek the release of prisoner of conscience Raif Badawi who was sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in prison for writing a blog for freedom in Saudi Arabia.

Urge the U.S. to suspend all treaties and contracts with the Saudi government until it honors freedom of conscience, freedom of religion, and freedom of speech.

Ask the UN to remove Saudi Arabia from the Human Rights Council immediately!

Speak up for human rights, justice, and freedom of speech.

Work for the freedom of all prisoners of conscience.

In the Light,

Daniel Wilcox