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Persons and things. Crudely, but insightfully, the world can be divided into these two categories: The world of persons. The world of things.
The great advance of contemporary science is to ever increase our understanding of the world of things. Whether those things be molecules, or oak trees, or the human brain. Science with her methods studies, pokes, prods, and for good measure, measures the thing. And through these determines the determinate properties of the thing—its inner workings and cycles.
The great advance of contemporary technology is to take our new knowledge of things and use it to manipulate the world of things to our advantage. Science tells us that electromagnetic waves have certain properties, and the engineer manipulates those properties so that electromagnetic waves communicate information, and incredibly, we have fiber optic cables.
Here comes the danger: when we confuse the world of persons with the world of things. That is, when we treat the persons that populate our world merely as things, things that we can define, put in a box, and fully comprehend. You see, once you have fully defined someone in your mind, they become a static thing to you, and you surreptitiously subvert their personhood. And once the person is counted as a defined thing, a determined thing, then the person easily becomes something to be manipulated for our advantage. The person becomes like a technology to be used for our own desires, and we become engineers of persons for our own ends.
Immanuel Kant, possibly the most influential modern philosopher, postulated that people should not be means, but only ends. That is, we shouldn't use people merely as things in service to our ends, but we should respect persons as ends in themselves—who we are in service of. Kant understood the danger in confusing the world of persons and the world of things. And his postulate is meant to keep them separate. But how do we do that? How do we not treat people as means? How do we respect them as ends?
Kant is not very helpful in answering these questions. Fortunately, seventeen centuries before Kant, there was One wiser than Kant who did give an answer. Jesus Christ instructed us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. You see, respecting your neighbor as a person, as an end, begins with realizing you are a person—a person who loves, and hurts, and hopes, and longs, and most of all who needs God. That is how we learn to love our neighbor. We realize they have needs, hopes, wants, and hurts, just as we do. And as we learn to see our neighbor in this light, then loving them becomes a realizable aim. And in loving our neighbors as God has first loved us, we do not confuse the world of things and the world of persons.
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Howdy says: "FORWARD TO FRIENDS & YOUR MAMA!" First Published In Last Century - July 26,1997 Thought For The OPEN Mind - Humor From American Culture
"It is the duty of nations, as well as of men, to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God and to recognize the sublime truth announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord." -- President Abraham Lincoln
If you stop believing what your professor told you had to be true and if you start thinking for yourself you may come to some conclusions you hadn't expected. You may find the Bible makes more sense than you thought or were told to think. Allow yourself to be ruined, ruined with regard to what you always thought could be true. Can you believe what you don't understand? You and I believe everyday what we don't understand unless it comes to the issue of salvation. - - - Dr. Woodrow Kroll
Depressed, Troubled, Worried??? Big Problems??? Want to talk with a LIVE trained counselor??? Want to get REAL help??? (FREE - English/Spanish)
(Not amalgamated with 'Thought & Humor')
There are three proven rules for good teeth; brush after each meal; see your dentist twice a year and mind your own business. - Henry Boye
We hide all our valuables in the bathroom, with three teen-agers in the family, there is no way a burglar is going to get in there!.
Raising children teaches you many things, most of which come too late to do you any good.
The average woman likes a strong, silent man because she thinks he's listening.
When it comes to blessings in disguise, it's pretty hard to beat a poor credit rating.
A politician is a person who divides his time between running for office and running for cover.
"How to Be Sure You're a REAL Christian" 1-888-NEED-HIM (24/7 - free call)
The first known oil wells were drilled around 347 AD in China. These wells, drilled with rotating bits attached to bamboo poles, were as deep as 800 feet (244 meters). Western science did not catch up until the mid-1800s, when several wells were drilled in Asia, Europe, and Canada.
The first successful commercial oil well was drilled in 1859 by a retired railroad conductor named Edwin Drake. His well near Titusville, Pennsylvania tapped a layer of oil only 69.5 feet (21.1 meters) below the surface. Another well nearby still pumps oil today.
After the first success, Drake's designs were used by others in nearby oil-rich zones. In May, 1865, a boom-town named Pithole City sprang up after the Frazier Well came in with 250 barrels of oil per day. By September, there were 15,000 people in Pithole. But the town's life was short, as fires burned several wells and other wells opened up nearby.
Visit the Drake Well Museum: http://www.usachoice.net/drakewell/
The history of the oil industry: http://www.sjgs.com/history.html
MORE SITES FOR WEB EVANGELISM -- Looking for tips on developing an evangelistic web outreach? Try these:
The Bridge Site Strategy is explained. You can use your hobbies & interests to "bridge" into the world of one who does not know the Lord.
Opportunities are also to join a "Bridge Site Team" to develop an evangelistic website centered on one of your favorite interests.
"Adventures of a Web Evangelist" by Scott Reese, on how the Internet can be used strategically for world missions.
A good place to go to learn about Internet Evangelism. (Thanks, Scott, for these suggestions!) As always, you can learn tons just by going to the Brigada site...
Just click on "Evangelism" in the top line menu. (By the way, if you do a Google search on the word, "Evangelism", the Brigada article comes up 9th in the rankings. If you check it out, please do us the favor of clicking the Google link so it continues to affirm the relevancy of the material there, largely gathered by our good friend and partner, Tony.