Quotes & Sayings

We, and creation itself, actualize the possibilities of the God who sustains the world, towards becoming in the world in a fuller, more deeper way. - R.E. Slater

There is urgency in coming to see the world as a web of interrelated processes of which we are integral parts, so that all of our choices and actions have [consequential effects upon] the world around us. - Process Metaphysician Alfred North Whitehead

Kurt Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem says (i) all closed systems are unprovable within themselves and, that (ii) all open systems are rightly understood as incomplete. - R.E. Slater

The most true thing about you is what God has said to you in Christ, "You are My Beloved." - Tripp Fuller

The God among us is the God who refuses to be God without us, so great is God's Love. - Tripp Fuller

According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for this world to recreate, reclaim, redeem, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater

Our eschatological ethos is to love. To stand with those who are oppressed. To stand against those who are oppressing. It is that simple. Love is our only calling and Christian Hope. - R.E. Slater

Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger

Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton

I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. – Anon

Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII

Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut

Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest

We become who we are by what we believe and can justify. - R.E. Slater

People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. – Anon

Certainly, God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater

An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater

Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann

Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument. There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner

“Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh” means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14) or, conversely, “I AM who I AM Becoming.”

Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton

The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens, we show to the world what love, justice, peace, reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. – Anon

The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul

The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah

If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

God's justice is restorative rather than punitive; His discipline is merciful rather than punishing; His power is made perfect in weakness; and His grace is sufficient for all. – Anon

Our little [biblical] systems have their day; they have their day and cease to be. They are but broken lights of Thee, and Thou, O God art more than they. - Alfred Lord Tennyson

We can’t control God; God is uncontrollable. God can’t control us; God’s love is uncontrolling! - Thomas Jay Oord

Life in perspective but always in process... as we are relational beings in process to one another, so life events are in process in relation to each event... as God is to Self, is to world, is to us... like Father, like sons and daughters, like events... life in process yet always in perspective. - R.E. Slater

To promote societal transition to sustainable ways of living and a global society founded on a shared ethical framework which includes respect and care for the community of life, ecological integrity, universal human rights, respect for diversity, economic justice, democracy, and a culture of peace. - The Earth Charter Mission Statement

Christian humanism is the belief that human freedom, individual conscience, and unencumbered rational inquiry are compatible with the practice of Christianity or even intrinsic in its doctrine. It represents a philosophical union of Christian faith and classical humanist principles. - Scott Postma

It is never wise to have a self-appointed religious institution determine a nation's moral code. The opportunities for moral compromise and failure are high; the moral codes and creeds assuredly racist, discriminatory, or subjectively and religiously defined; and the pronouncement of inhumanitarian political objectives quite predictable. - R.E. Slater

God's love must both center and define the Christian faith and all religious or human faiths seeking human and ecological balance in worlds of subtraction, harm, tragedy, and evil. - R.E. Slater

In Whitehead’s process ontology, we can think of the experiential ground of reality as an eternal pulse whereby what is objectively public in one moment becomes subjectively prehended in the next, and whereby the subject that emerges from its feelings then perishes into public expression as an object (or “superject”) aiming for novelty. There is a rhythm of Being between object and subject, not an ontological division. This rhythm powers the creative growth of the universe from one occasion of experience to the next. This is the Whiteheadian mantra: “The many become one and are increased by one.” - Matthew Segall

Without Love there is no Truth. And True Truth is always Loving. There is no dichotomy between these terms but only seamless integration. This is the premier centering focus of a Processual Theology of Love. - R.E. Slater


Note: Generally I do not respond to commentary. I may read the comments but wish to reserve my time to write (or write from the comments I read). Instead, I'd like to see our community help one another and in the helping encourage and exhort each of us towards Christian love in Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior. - re slater

Sunday, June 30, 2024

ChatGPT 4.0 and I Discuss the Church, Part II

Sometimes I use Open AI's chatbot just to see if I can get neutral answers... or answers which might provide a different form of insight than how I might approach a subject. Today, I thought, "Why not discuss the church?... What it is. Why it is. And, How it is." And then, perhaps speak to the church in society both historically and in the present tense of today's global conservative movements. Below is the result of these efforts. Perhaps this discussion might provoke additional thoughts and pursuits among my readers.


R.E. Slater
June 30, 2024


ChatGPT 4.0 and I Discuss the Church
Part II

by R.E. Slater


** Me to ChatGPT 4.0 **

"Argue for the separation of the church
from civil government..."


The argument for the separation of the church from civil government is rooted in several key principles that aim to protect both religious freedom and democratic governance. Here are the main arguments:


Protection of Religious Freedom
  • Freedom of BeliefSeparation ensures that individuals are free to follow and practice their own religious beliefs without state interference. This promotes a diverse and pluralistic society where multiple faiths can coexist.
  • Avoidance of Religious Coercion: When the state is neutral in matters of religion, it prevents any single religion from being imposed on citizens, thus avoiding religious coercion and ensuring that individuals can choose their beliefs freely.

Preservation of Democratic Principles
  • Equality Before the Law: Separation ensures that all citizens are treated equally regardless of their religious beliefs. It prevents the state from favoring one religion over others, maintaining equality and fairness in governance.
  • Secular Governance: A secular government focuses on the common good and public interest without religious bias. This ensures that laws and policies are based on reason, evidence, and the needs of all citizens rather than religious doctrines.

Prevention of Religious Conflict
  • Avoidance of Sectarianism: By keeping religion separate from government, societies can avoid sectarian conflicts that arise when different religious groups vie for political power and influence.
  • Social Cohesion: Separation helps maintain social cohesion by preventing religious divisions from becoming political divisions, promoting unity and stability within diverse populations.

Protection of Religious Institutions
  • Independence of Religion: Separation allows religious institutions to operate independently without state control or interference. This autonomy helps preserve the integrity and spiritual mission of religious organizations.
  • Focus on Spiritual Matters: Religious institutions can concentrate on their spiritual and moral missions without being entangled in political struggles or being co-opted by state interests.

Historical Lessons
  • Abuses of Power: History has shown that when church and state are intertwined, it can lead to abuses of power, such as the persecution of religious minorities, theocratic rule, and the suppression of dissent.
  • Enlightenment Principles: The separation of church and state is a cornerstone of Enlightenment thinking, which emphasizes reason, individual rights, and the separation of powers as foundations for modern democratic societies.

Legal and Constitutional Foundations
  • Establishment Clause: In many democratic countries, constitutions explicitly mandate the separation of church and state to ensure that government remains neutral in religious matters. For example, the First Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits the establishment of religion by the government.
  • Human Rights Standards: International human rights standards, such as those articulated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, support the idea of freedom of religion and belief, which is best protected by maintaining a clear distinction between religious and governmental spheres.

Promotion of Secular Ethics
  • Common Moral Framework: A secular state promotes a common moral and ethical framework based on human rights, equality, and justice, which can be universally accepted regardless of individual religious beliefs.
  • Policy Based on Universal Principles: Policies and laws based on universal ethical principles rather than specific religious doctrines ensure that they serve the interests of all citizens, regardless of their religious affiliations.

In summary, the separation of church and state is essential to protect religious freedom, preserve democratic principles, prevent religious conflict, ensure the independence of religious institutions, learn from historical lessons, uphold legal and constitutional mandates, and promote a common moral framework that benefits all members of society.


** Me to ChatGPT 4.0 **

"Argue for the rule of church over civil governance..."


Arguing for the rule of the church over civil governance involves presenting a perspective which sees religious principles and moral guidance as essential for the effective and ethical functioning of (moral-less) society. Here are some key arguments that could be made in favor of this position:

Moral and Ethical Guidance
  • Foundation of Morality: Many religious traditions provide a well-established moral and ethical framework that can guide societal behavior, promote justice, and ensure ethical governance.
  • Promotion of Virtue: Church-led governance could emphasize virtues such as compassion, honesty, and integrity, fostering a more moral and just society.

Historical Precedent
  • Successful Theocracies: Historical examples of theocratic societies, such as medieval Christendom or ancient Israel, are often cited as instances where religious governance provided stability, unity, and a sense of purpose.
  • Legacy of Law and Order: Many legal systems have roots in religious law (e.g., Canon law, Sharia law), suggesting that religious principles can provide a strong foundation for civil governance.

Unified Values and Vision
  • Cultural Cohesion: A church-led government could unify society around a common set of values and beliefs, promoting social cohesion and a shared vision for the common good.
  • Consistent Moral Standards: Religious governance could provide consistent moral standards that apply to all aspects of life, reducing moral relativism and ethical ambiguity.

Divine Guidance and Authority
  • Higher Moral Authority: Proponents argue that religious leaders, believed to be guided by divine wisdom, can provide higher moral authority and guidance compared to secular leaders.
  • Divine Legitimacy: The belief that laws and policies are rooted in divine will can give them greater legitimacy and acceptance among believers.

Community and Welfare
  • Charitable Initiatives: Many religious institutions have a long history of providing social services, such as education, healthcare, and charity. Church governance could enhance these efforts by integrating them into national policy.
  • Focus on Human Dignity: Religious teachings often emphasize the inherent dignity and worth of every individual, which could translate into policies that prioritize human welfare and social justice.

Conflict Resolution
  • Mediation and Peace: Religious leaders and institutions often play key roles in mediating conflicts and promoting peace. A church-led government could leverage these skills to maintain social harmony.
  • Moral Persuasion: Religious governance could utilize moral persuasion rather than coercion to resolve disputes, fostering a more harmonious society.

Comprehensive Education
  • Moral Education: Integrating religious teachings into the education system could provide a comprehensive moral education, shaping the character and values of future generations.
  • Holistic Development: A church-led educational system could focus on holistic development, addressing not just intellectual but also spiritual and moral growth.

Stability and Continuity
  • Long-Term Perspective: Religious institutions often have a long-term perspective, rooted in centuries of tradition. This can provide stability and continuity in governance, avoiding the short-termism of secular politics.
  • Resilience to Change: The enduring nature of religious institutions can help society maintain its core values and identity amidst rapid social and technological changes.

Sense of Purpose and Meaning
  • Spiritual Fulfillment: Governance infused with religious values can provide individuals with a deeper sense of purpose and meaning, contributing to overall societal well-being.
  • Holistic Approach to Life: A church-led government could promote a holistic approach to life that integrates spiritual, moral, and material well-being.

While these arguments present a case for church-led governance, it is essential to recognize that this perspective is controversial and often opposed by those who advocate for the separation of church and state to ensure religious freedom, pluralism, and democratic principles.


** Me to ChatGPT 4.0 **

"Have these ideals ever been successful?"


The success of church-led governance or theocratic rule is a complex and nuanced topic, with historical examples showing mixed outcomes. Here are some notable examples:

Medieval Europe (Christendom)
  • Successes: During the Middle Ages, the Catholic Church played a central role in European governance. The Church provided a unifying cultural and religious identity, facilitated education and intellectual life through monasteries and universities, and offered social services and charity.
  • Challenges: However, this period also saw significant abuses of power, such as the Inquisition, corruption within the Church (e.g., simony, indulgences), and conflicts between the Church and secular rulers (e.g., Investiture Controversy).

Byzantine Empire
  • Successes: The Byzantine Empire integrated church and state under the principle of "symphonia," where the emperor and patriarch worked together. This created a stable society with a strong cultural and religious identity.
  • Challenges: Despite this integration, the empire faced numerous internal and external conflicts, and the close ties between church and state sometimes led to power struggles and religious controversies.

Calvin's Geneva
  • Successes: In the 16th century, John Calvin established a theocratic government in Geneva. The city became known for its strict moral code, disciplined society, and strong educational institutions.
  • Challenges: Theocratic rule in Geneva was also characterized by strict control over personal behavior, suppression of dissent, and harsh punishments for moral transgressions.

Islamic Caliphates
  • Successes: Various Islamic caliphates, such as the Abbasid Caliphate, successfully integrated religious and political authority. These periods saw significant achievements in science, culture, and governance, with Sharia law providing a comprehensive legal and moral framework.
  • Challenges: Theocracies in the Islamic world also faced issues such as sectarian conflicts, dynastic struggles, and difficulties adapting to changing political and social realities.

Puritan New England
  • Successes: In the early 17th century, Puritans established a theocratic society in New England. Their communities were known for their strong work ethic, educational initiatives, and cohesive social structures.
  • Challenges: However, Puritan rule was also marked by religious intolerance, exclusion of dissenting views, and events like the Salem witch trials, which highlighted the dangers of religious extremism.

Modern Examples
  • Iran: Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Iran has been governed as an Islamic Republic with significant clerical control. The government has been successful in maintaining a strong religious identity and social welfare programs.
  • Challenges: However, Iran's theocratic system has faced criticism for human rights abuses, lack of political freedoms, and economic challenges. The blending of religious and political authority has also led to internal power struggles and resistance from various societal groups.

Overall, while there have been periods of success in church-led or theocratic governance, these systems have often struggled with issues such as abuse of power, lack of pluralism, suppression of dissent, and difficulty in adapting to changing circumstances. The mixed outcomes suggest that while religious principles can provide moral and ethical guidance, the integration of church and state carries significant risks and challenges.

ChatGPT 4.0 and I Discuss the Church, Part I


Sometimes I use Open AI's chatbot just to see if I can get neutral answers... or answers which might provide a different form of insight than how I might approach a subject. Today, I thought, "Why not discuss the church?... What it is. Why it is. And, How it is." And then, perhaps speak to the church in society both historically and in the present tense of today's global conservative movements. Below is the result of these efforts. Perhaps this discussion might provoke additional thoughts and pursuits among my readers.


R.E. Slater
June 30, 2024


ChatGPT 4.0 and I Discuss the Church
Part I

by R.E. Slater


** Me to ChatGPT 4.0 **

"Why is church celebrated?"


Church is celebrated for various reasons depending on religious, cultural, and social contexts:

  • Worship and Spiritual Connection: Many people celebrate church as a place of worship where they can connect with God, seek spiritual guidance, and experience a sense of community.
  • Tradition and Ritual: Church services and ceremonies are often rooted in long-standing traditions and rituals that hold deep meaning for participants. These practices can provide a sense of continuity and stability.
  • Community and Fellowship: Churches often serve as central hubs for community gatherings, fostering a sense of belonging and providing opportunities for social interaction, support, and communal activities.
  • Celebration of Life Events: Churches are commonly venues for significant life events such as weddings, baptisms, confirmations, and funerals, marking important milestones in people's lives.
  • Moral and Ethical Guidance: Many attend church to seek moral and ethical guidance, learning values and principles that can help them navigate life's challenges.
  • Cultural Significance: In many cultures, church celebrations are tied to important holidays and festivals, reflecting broader cultural and historical traditions.
  • Charitable Activities: Churches often engage in charitable activities and community service, providing support and assistance to those in need, which can be a reason for celebration and participation.

Each of these aspects contributes to why church is celebrated and valued by individuals and communities.


** Me to ChatGPT 4.0 **

"Why Does the Church Meet on Sunday?"


Sunday is celebrated as a day of worship and rest in many Christian traditions for several reasons:

  • Resurrection of Jesus: Sunday is traditionally seen as the day of the week when Jesus Christ was resurrected from the dead. This event, known as Easter, is a cornerstone of Christian faith, and Sunday services are a weekly celebration of this resurrection.
  • Early Christian Practice: The practice of meeting on Sunday dates back to the early Christian church. The first Christians, many of whom were Jewish, initially observed the Sabbath on Saturday. However, they began to gather on Sunday to distinguish themselves and to commemorate the resurrection of Jesus.
  • Symbolic New Creation: In Christian theology, Sunday is also symbolic of the new creation and new beginnings. It represents the first day of the new week and signifies renewal and hope.
  • Roman Influence: In 321 AD, the Roman Emperor Constantine decreed that Sunday would be a day of rest and worship. This was influenced by his conversion to Christianity and helped to standardize Sunday observance across the Roman Empire.
  • Liturgical Tradition: Over the centuries, Sunday has become entrenched in the liturgical traditions of most Christian denominations. It is considered the Lord's Day, and weekly worship services are typically held on this day.

These historical, theological, and cultural factors all contribute to why Sunday is widely observed as a day of worship in Christianity.


** Me to ChatGPT 4.0 **

"What is/are the foundation(s) of the church?"


The foundations of the church can be understood from various perspectives, including theological, historical, and practical aspects: Theologically, Traditionally, and Community/Fellowship:


  • Jesus Christ: In Christian theology, Jesus Christ is considered the cornerstone and foundation of the church. His teachings, life, death, and resurrection are central to the faith.
  • Apostolic Teaching: The teachings of the apostles, particularly as recorded in the New Testament, form a foundational basis for Christian doctrine and practice.

  • The Bible: The Holy Scriptures, particularly the New Testament, serve as a foundational text for the church's beliefs, practices, and teachings. Passages such as Matthew 16:18, where Jesus says to Peter, "You are Peter, and on this rock, I will build my church," are often cited as foundational.

  • Creeds: Historic creeds, such as the Nicene Creed and the Apostles' Creed, summarize essential Christian beliefs and have been foundational in unifying the church's doctrine across different denominations.
  • Confessions of Faith: Various denominational confessions and catechisms also play a foundational role in articulating specific theological positions and guiding church practices.

  • Sacraments: Practices such as baptism and the Eucharist (or Holy Communion) are considered foundational rituals that embody key aspects of the Christian faith and community.

  • Church Leadership: The structure of church leadership, including roles such as bishops, pastors, elders, and deacons, is foundational for governance and pastoral care within the church.
  • Church Councils: Historic councils, such as the Council of Nicaea and the Council of Chalcedon, have played foundational roles in defining and defending orthodox Christian beliefs.

  • Historical Tradition: The accumulated traditions of liturgy, worship practices, and church governance provide a foundation that connects contemporary church practice with historical Christianity.

  • Congregational Life: The communal aspect of the church, including fellowship, mutual support, and collective worship, is foundational for its function and identity as a community of believers.

These foundations collectively contribute to the identity, continuity, and mission of the church across different Christian traditions and denominations.


** Me to ChatGPT 4.0 **

"How has the church been meaningful to society?"


The church has been meaningful in various ways throughout history, impacting individuals, communities, and societies as a whole. Here are several key aspects of its significance:

  • Faith and Worship: The church provides a space for individuals to worship, pray, and grow in their faith. It helps people connect with God and find spiritual fulfillment.
  • Moral and Ethical Instruction: Through sermons, teachings, and pastoral care, the church offers moral and ethical guidance based on religious principles.

  • Support Networks: Churches often act as support networks, providing emotional, social, and practical help to members in times of need.
  • Sense of Belonging: Being part of a church community can provide a sense of belonging and identity, fostering close relationships and mutual support.

  • Historical Role in Education: Historically, the church has been a primary provider of education and literacy, establishing schools and universities.
  • Religious Education: Churches continue to educate people in religious knowledge, theology, and biblical studies.

  • Charitable Work: Many churches are involved in charitable activities, such as running food banks, homeless shelters, and medical clinics.
  • Disaster Relief: Churches often mobilize to provide aid and relief during natural disasters and emergencies.

  • Art and Music: The church has been a significant patron of the arts, contributing to the development of music, visual arts, and architecture. Many famous works of art and music were created for religious purposes.
  • Cultural Heritage: Churches often play a key role in preserving cultural and historical heritage, maintaining traditions, and celebrating festivals.

  • Advocacy and Reform: The church has been a voice for social justice, advocating for the rights of marginalized groups and participating in movements for civil rights and social reform.
  • Ethical Leadership: Religious leaders and organizations have often provided ethical leadership and influenced public policy on issues such as poverty, healthcare, and human rights.

  • Life Guidance: Churches provide guidance and support for personal issues, such as marriage, parenting, and personal crises.
  • Counseling and Mentorship: Many churches offer counseling services and mentorship programs to help individuals navigate life's challenges.

  • Missionary Work: Churches engage in missionary activities, spreading religious beliefs and providing humanitarian aid globally.
  • Interfaith Dialogue: Churches participate in interfaith dialogue, promoting understanding and cooperation between different religious communities.

These aspects illustrate the multifaceted ways in which the church has been meaningful, influencing individual lives and contributing to the broader social, cultural, and moral fabric of societies around the world.


** Me to ChatGPT 4.0 **

"How has the church been UN-meaningful in society?"


While the church has had many positive impacts, it has also faced criticism and controversy over various issues, making it unmeaningful or harmful in certain contexts:

Historical Abuses
  • Inquisitions and Persecutions: The church has been involved in inquisitions, witch hunts, and the persecution of individuals and groups, leading to suffering and death.
  • Colonialism and Forced Conversions: Missionary activities during the colonial era often involved forced conversions and the suppression of indigenous cultures and religions.

Scandals and corruption
  • Clergy Misconduct: Instances of sexual abuse and misconduct by clergy have severely damaged the church’s reputation and trustworthiness, causing deep harm to victims.
  • Financial Scandals: Cases of financial mismanagement and corruption within church institutions have undermined its moral authority.

Resistance to Progress
  • Opposition to Scientific Advancements: The church has historically opposed certain scientific advancements and discoveries, such as the condemnation of Galileo for his support of heliocentrism.
  • Resistance to Social Change: The church has been criticized for opposing social changes, such as gender equality, LGBTQ+ rights, and reproductive rights.

Intolerance and Exclusivity
  • Religious Intolerance: Instances of religious intolerance and exclusionary practices have caused division and conflict, both within Christianity and between different religions.
  • Dogmatism: Rigid adherence to doctrines and refusal to adapt to changing societal values can make the church seem out of touch and unwelcoming.

Political Manipulation
  • Political Influence: The church's involvement in political matters has sometimes led to the manipulation of religious beliefs for political gain, contributing to conflicts and power struggles.
  • Support for Authoritarian Regimes: In some cases, churches have supported or failed to oppose authoritarian regimes, compromising their moral standing.

Internal Conflicts and Schisms
  • Denominational Splits: Internal conflicts and schisms, such as the Protestant Reformation, have led to division and animosity within the Christian community.
  • Doctrinal Disputes: Disagreements over theology and doctrine can lead to fragmentation and weaken the church’s unity and effectiveness.

Cultural Insensitivity
  • Imposition of Western Values: Missionary activities have sometimes imposed Western cultural values on other societies, disregarding and undermining local traditions and beliefs.
  • Lack of Inclusivity: The church has been criticized for not being inclusive or responsive to the needs and perspectives of diverse cultural and social groups.

Failure to Address Social Issues
  • Silence on Injustice: The church has sometimes been criticized for remaining silent or not taking a strong enough stance on social injustices, such as racism, poverty, and environmental degradation.
  • Lack of Action: In some cases, the church has been seen as failing to translate its teachings into meaningful action to address contemporary social and ethical issues.

These criticisms highlight ways in which the church has been perceived as unmeaningful or even harmful, impacting its credibility and effectiveness in various contexts.

Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Cobb Institute - Seasons: Summer Quarterly, 2024

Here are a number of postings by process thinkers, theologians,
social activists, pastors, and laity to read since the last spring quarterly.
Enjoy! - re slater

Photo courtesy Matthew Sleeper


The vitality of thought is in adventure. Ideas won't keep.
Something must be done with them. – Alfred North Whitehead


ad·ven·ture | ədˈven(t)SHər | noun
an unusual and exciting, typically hazardous, experience or activity

Most adventures are fun but sometimes they are full of danger. Adventure introduces us to something new that we have not encountered before.

In Whitehead's ontology, the basic units of reality are "actual occasions" or "actual entities." These are dynamic events of experience that continuously arise and perish. Each actual occasion incorporates the past, synthesizes it with novel elements of creativity, and gives rise to a new experiential reality. Talk about adventure!

Within this framework, "adventure" can be understood as the ongoing process of actual occasions unfolding and evolving. Each moment of experience is an adventure in itself, as it involves the exploration of possibilities, the integration of past influences, and the emergence of new forms of actuality.

Please join us for explorations into multiple experiences of adventure.

“If we want a society in which the sense of belonging is strong, people are concerned for one another, and there is strong commitment to the common good, we need a metaphysics that shows that we are in fact part of larger societies and have no existence apart from our relations to others.” - John Cobb

In This Issue

Sunday, June 16, 2024

Biography of Alfred North Whitehead

Alfred North Whitehead

~ Notes and References found at the end of the slide show ~

Page 1 - SOURCES

Page 2 - OUTLINE

Page 3 - LIFE 1

Page 4 - LIFE 2

Page 5 - LIFE 3

Page 6 - LIFE 4

Page 7 - LIFE 5

Page 8 - LIFE 6

Page 9 - WORKS 1











Page 20 - HISTORY 1

Page 21 - HISTORY 2

Page 22 - MP 1

Page 23 - MP 2

Page 24 - MP 3

Page 25 - MP 4




Page 29 - SUMMARY

Alfred North Whitehead

1. Alfred North Whitehead Jessie Paano Vince Millona BA-I Alfred North Whitehead References: Desmet, R. & Irvine, A. (2018) Alfred North Whitehead. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/whitehead/ Herstein, G. (2015) Whitehead, Alfred North. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
https://www.iep.utm.edu/whitehed/ Bracken, J. (2015). Process Philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead. https://www.youtube.com.

2. Alfred North Whitehead I. Life and Works II. Problem of Space III. Problem of History * Mathematics and Logic * Philosophy of Science * Philosophy of Education *Reality IV. Metaphysics *Religion *God V. Process Philosophy

3. Alfred North Whitehead British mathematician and philosopher best known for his work in mathematical logic and the philosophy of science.

4. Alfred North Whitehead LIFE 1861 Born February 15 in Ramsgate, Isle of Thanet, Kent, England. 1880 Enters Trinity College, Cambridge, with a scholarship in mathematics. 1890 Meets Russell; marries Evelyn Wade. 1884 Elected to the Apostles, the elite discussion club; graduates with a B.A. in Mathematics; elected a Fellow in Mathematics at Trinity.

5. Alfred North Whitehead LIFE 1903 Elected a Fellow of the Royal Society as a result of his work on universal algebra, symbolic logic, and the foundations of mathematics. 1910 Resigns from Cambridge and moves to London. 1911 Appointed Lecturer at University College London.

6. Alfred North Whitehead LIFE 1912 Elected President of both the South-Eastern Mathematical Association and the London branch of the Mathematical Association for the year 1913. 1914 Appointed Professor of Applied Mathematics at the Imperial College of Science and Technology.

7. Alfred North Whitehead LIFE 1915 Elected President of the Mathematical Association for the two-year period 1915–1917. 1921 Meets Albert Einstein. 1922 Elected President of the Aristotelian Society for the one- year period 1922–1923. 1924 Appointed Professor of Philosophy at Harvard University.

8. Alfred North Whitehead LIFE 1937 Retires from Harvard. 1945 Awarded Order of Merit. 1947 Died December 30 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.

9. Alfred North Whitehead WORKS 1891 Treatise on Universal Algebra 1903 Principia Mathematica (feat. Bertrand Russel) 1924 Science in the Modern World 1924 Adventures of Ideas 1922 The Principle of Relativity 1929 The Aims of Education 1926 Religion in the Making 1929 Process and Reality

10. Alfred North Whitehead II. PROBLEM OF SPACE 1. Mathematics and Logic In 1884, He began teaching college on Trinity College In the year 1890, Bertrand Russell became his student.

11. Alfred North Whitehead II. PROBLEM OF SPACE 1. Mathematics and Logic Whitehead saw mathematical logic as a tool to guide the mathematician’s essential activities of intuiting, articulating, and applying patterns, and he did not aim at replacing mathematical intuition (pattern recognition) with logical rigor.

12. Alfred North Whitehead II. PROBLEM OF SPACE 1. Mathematics and Logic A Treatise on Universal Algebra 1898 The Principles of Mathematics 1903 Principia Mathematica 1910, 1912, 1913

13. Alfred North Whitehead II. PROBLEM OF SPACE 1. Mathematics and Logic Giuseppe Peano- Makes Whitehead and Russell became aware of the potential of symbolic logic to become the most appropriate tool to rigorously study mathematical patterns.

14. Alfred North Whitehead II. PROBLEM OF SPACE 2. Philosophy of Science Theory of Gravitation- Regarded as dual to Einstein's general relativity. Physics

15. Alfred North Whitehead III. PROBLEM OF HSTORY 1. Philosophy of Education • emphasizes the idea that a good life is most profitably thought of as an educated or civilized life “There is only one subject matter for education, and that is Life in all its manifestations (Whitehead, 1929).” This view in turn has corollaries for both the content of education and its method of delivery.

16. Alfred North Whitehead 1. Philosophy of Education corollaries: A. METHOD OF DELIVERY • Whitehead emphasizes the importance of remembering that a “pupil’s mind is a growing organism … it is not a box to be ruthlessly packed with alien ideas”

17. Alfred North Whitehead 1. Philosophy of Education Rhythm of Education1. Romance 2. Precision 3. Generalization has 3 processes corollaries: A. METHOD OF DELIVERY

18. Alfred North Whitehead 1. Philosophy of Education corollaries: A. METHOD OF DELIVERY “…we must beware of what I call ‘inert ideas’—that is to say, ideas that are merely received into the mind without being utilized, or tested, or thrown into fresh combinations.” It is not the job of the educator simply to insert into his students’ minds little chunks of knowledge.

19. Alfred North Whitehead 1. Philosophy of Education corollaries: A. METHOD OF DELIVERY Whitehead also stressed the importance of IMAGINATION Imagination is not to be divorced from the facts: it is a way of illuminating the facts.

20. Alfred North Whitehead 1. Philosophy of Education corollaries: B. CONTENT OF EDUCATION With regard to content, Whitehead holds that any adequate education must include: • a LITERARY COMPONENT; • a SCIENTIFIC COMPONENT; and • a TECHNICAL COMPONENT. III. PROBLEM OF HSTORY

21. Alfred North Whitehead 2. Religion III. PROBLEM OF HSTORY It isnot necessarilygood. (Taking it so is a dangerous delusion.) For Whitehead, religion served as a kind of bridge between philosophy and the emotions and purposes of a particular society. It is the task of religion to make philosophy applicable to the everyday lives of ordinary people.

22. Alfred North Whitehead 1. Reality IV. METAPHYSICS Scientific Notion: Reality consists of matter. (MATERIALISM) WHITEHEAD: Reality consists of processes. (PROCESS PHILOSOPHY)

23. Alfred North Whitehead 1. Reality IV. METAPHYSICS Concepts such as "quality", "matter", and "form" are problematic. “Identities do not define people, people define identities. Everything changes from moment to moment, and to think of anything as having an "enduring essence" misses the fact that "all things flow.” ”

24. Alfred North Whitehead 2. GOD IV. METAPHYSICS Idea of god differs from traditional monotheistic notions. God is not necessarily tied to religion. Rather than springing primarily from religious faith by metaphysical system.

25. Alfred North Whitehead 2. GOD IV. METAPHYSICS CONSEQUENT NATURE PRIMORDIAL NATURE Eternal and unchanging "the lure for feeling, the eternal urge of desire" God's reception of the world's activity God and the world as fulfilling one another

26. Alfred North Whitehead V. PROCESS PHILOSOPHY Process philosophy is a longstanding philosophical tradition that emphasizes becoming and changing over static being. In actuality, there are no static substances but only events/occasions/processes The smallest processes are called actual entities - drops of experiences that constitute nature

27. Alfred North Whitehead V. PROCESS PHILOSOPHY Actual entities: entities that really exist in the natural world; concrete Abstract entities: also called ‘object’; abstraction one commits the fallacy of MISPLACED CONCRETENESS when an abstract entity is taken as something concrete

28. Alfred North Whitehead CLASSICAL ARISTOTELIAN- THOMISTIC I: Focuses on reaching fixed goal PROCESS I: Working on moving towards a goal that is never truly complete V. PROCESS PHILOSOPHY

29. Alfred North Whitehead Jessie Paano Vince Millona BA-I Alfred North Whitehead References: Desmet, R. & Irvine, A. (2018) Alfred North Whitehead. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/whitehead/ Herstein, G. (2015) Whitehead, Alfred North. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
https://www.iep.utm.edu/whitehed/ Bracken, J. (2015). Process Philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead. https://www.youtube.com.

Editor's Notes
  1. Process philo is his metap6
  2. HIS UNPUBLISHED WORKS WERE BURNED BY HIS WIFE AS ALFRED’S REQUEST. His published works must be the only basis for his thoughts.
  3. From his 1929 work The Aims of Education *Reax on the negative effect of industrial revolution on education: -focus on tech-voc -focus on sci -focus on lit
  4. The first stage is all about “free exploration, initiated by wonder”, the second about the disciplined “acquirement of technique and detailed knowledge”, and the third about “the free application of what has been learned” By skipping stage one, and never arriving at stage three, bad math teachers deny students the major motivation to love mathematics: the joy of pattern recognition.
  5. Culture is activity of thought, and receptiveness of beauty and humane feeling. Scraps of information have nothing to do with it. education with inert ideas is not only useless: it is, above all things, harmful
  6. Imagination works by drawing out general principles and then by an intellectual survey of alternative possibilities which are consistent with those principles. It enables men to construct an intellectual vision of a new world.
  7. In considering religion, we should not be obsessed by the idea of its necessary goodness. This is a dangerous delusion. Indeed history, down to the present day, is a melancholy record of the horrors which can attend religion: human sacrifice, and in particular, the slaughter of children, cannibalism, hatred as between races, the maintenance of degrading customs, hysteria, bigotry, can all be laid at its charge. The uncritical association of religion with goodness is directly negative by plain facts.
  8. Matter - objects; unchanging; change is caused by external factors (FORM / ACCIDENS)
  9. It focuses on change rather than unchanging reality; BEING THEN IS BASICALLY further and further BECOMING (I AM THIS IN ORDER TO BECOME MORE). Perfection is not to be found in actuality but in greater and greater potentiality to become more and more (The process metaphysics/philo of organism elaborated in Process and Reality[17] posits an ontology which is based on the two kinds of existence of an entity, that of actual entity and that of abstract entity or abstraction, also called 'object‘) Actual entity is a term coined by Whitehead to refer to the entities that really exist in the natural world.[21] For Whitehead, actual entities are spatiotemporally extended events or processes.[22] An actual entity is how something is happening, and how its happening is related to other actual entities.[22] The actually existing world is a multiplicity of actual entities overlapping one another.[22]
  10. It focuses on change rather than unchanging reality; BEING THEN IS BASICALLY further and further BECOMING (I AM THIS IN ORDER TO BECOME MORE). Perfection is not to be found in actuality but in greater and greater potentiality to become more and more (The process metaphysics/philo of organism elaborated in Process and Reality[17] posits an ontology which is based on the two kinds of existence of an entity, that of actual entity and that of abstract entity or abstraction, also called 'object‘) Actual entity is a term coined by Whitehead to refer to the entities that really exist in the natural world.[21] For Whitehead, actual entities are spatiotemporally extended events or processes.[22] An actual entity is how something is happening, and how its happening is related to other actual entities.[22] The actually existing world is a multiplicity of actual entities overlapping one another.[22] FALLACY OF MISPLACED CONCRETENESS: Ex - Justice is blind; the blind cannot read printed laws; therefore, to print laws cannot serve justice.