Christianity and Psychology

Christianity and Psychology

My current perspective on Christianity and psychology is that the two are distinct yet complementary because they differ in approach and nature. I believe that the Bible is infallible while Christianity is subject to man’s flaws. The Bible is specific revelation and psychology is a manmade science. The field of psychology fits within my Christian worldview because I do not accept psychology uncritically and understand that Christianity is not infallible.

Nature of Truth

To begin with, both Christianity and psychology are manmade, which means that neither can be said to be the sole source of truth. Truth is essentially the unchanging, objective reality that persists regardless of our perceptions. Human beings are subject to the physical senses and therefore incapable of truly knowing reality on its own terms. In the words of Paul,

Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. (I Corinthians 13:12, New Living Translation).

As human beings are incapable of directly perceiving reality, it is necessary to use rationality, deduction, logic, and testing to determine truth. Because humans are subject to their senses, no single field can claim to be the sole source of information or truth. Therefore both Christianity and psychology must back up their authority with reasonable arguments and methods for determining truth.

Christianity and the Bible

Christianity refers to the human element of the relationship with God. This means that Christianity is not infallible and therefore cannot claim absolute wisdom or discernment. My Christian faith relies on the Bible for its core beliefs, which means that my Christian faith is tied to biblical interpretation. My Christian beliefs are formed by rational and reasonable, at least in my own estimation, interpretations of Scripture. If my Christian faith is incorrect or flawed, I believe that it is because of an error on my part rather than an error in the Bible itself. Therefore my view of Christianity is a humble yet critical view that is open to new insights and changes in opinion.

I prefer to place emphasis on the Bible as my intellectual bedrock and must therefore make a distinction between Christianity as Christians attempting to understand God and the Bible, God’s Word written through men to mankind. This in turn marks Christianity as fallible while keeping the Bible as the infallible Word of God. I believe that this distinction is what enables the Christian to be open to exploring alternative fields and sources of knowledge like psychology. Accepting that Christianity is separate from the Bible allows Christians to utilize other techniques and theories without compromising biblical truth.

Psychology and Christianity

Psychology represents a human study of the human mind through observation and experimentation whereas the Bible represents divinely inspired writings on the relationship between God and man. Psychology is essentially a scientific method for acquiring systematic knowledge; akin to a tool. Because of this, Christianity is able to incorporate psychological principles, techniques, and specific theories without compromising biblical truth.

Psychology can be divided into two parts, facts and the conjecture. Psychology produces demonstrable facts through direct observations, experiments and results, and proven therapeutic techniques.  These facts are separate from psychologists’ overarching theories, hypothesis, worldviews, and explanations for the observed phenomena. Christians are able to use psychological theories and techniques without compromising Christian faith in the same way that a Christian can use a hammer made by a non-Christian. Using the tool does not require accepting all of the beliefs of the person that made the tool.

Conclusion

Christians are human beings and therefore not above error. When Christians keep proper perspective and distinguish between Christian thought and divine revelation, they are able to take in new insights. Because psychology is a scientific method, it can provide greater insight into God’s creation. With these observations in mind, I personally see God’s word as the primary unchanging element with psychological theories and techniques being used in biblically acceptable ways. In other words, the counselor ought to be a Christian first and a counselor second.

Christianity should not fear nor reject psychology because psychology is a field of science, which means it is fundamentally meant to be questioned, tried, and considered. Christians are to be salt and light to the world around them, which requires liberally applying Christian views to other fields and issues. Light illuminates and must not be hidden behind the doors of the church.

Experimental Page

Hi, if you’re here it’s because you’ve either misclicked or you’re interested in seeing me experiment on my website. I feel fairly confident that we will not accidentally open a wormhole or radically change the mass and dimensions of any people.

If you know of any cool things you can add to a website, please share it in the comments below!

 

 

Science and Technology News: A Brief History Of Modern Architecture Through Movies

This is an Architectural Article illustrating the popular architectural design styles of the 20th Century. The article offers a movie that showcases a particular style and then  provides a brief description of the architecture’s history along with a few examples of the style.

The Art Nouveau style was quite interesting, although my personal favorites are still the Fascist and Brutalist styles.  Including movies that typify the styles was a nice touch because it offers an engaging way to continue learning about the architecture.

 

http://j.mp/1I8PtY9

via Science and Technology News: A Brief History Of Modern Architecture Through Movies.

Economics in a Post-Apocalypse Setting

Economics in most games are pretty basic and self-absorbed. Acquire 16,000 gold pressed latinum coins to buy the uber sword which does +14 damage against deathbeasts. No one bothers to ask why there are 16 thousand latinum coins when the largest city in the country seems to have less than 60 people living it, or why an adventurer who drops that much gold in one city does not immediately unbalance the entire nation’s currency and economy, but hey why should logic get in the way of glowing death swords?

For this reason, and many aside, I like to add a hint of real world principles into my campaign settings. Take for instance money. What is money and why does anyone care about it? If everyone died, would money still be valuable?

Picture this, you are rough and ready mercenaries in a zombie infested land and you’ve just saved a a small settlement of survivors. They repay your kindness in trade tokens that represent their settlement’s goods and services to the outside world (Same concept as banknotes). However, you and your group visits the aforementioned settlement a week later only to find that everyone is dead. Now, tears and laments aside, how much are those trade tokens they gave you worth?

If the people backing the money are dead and gone, their paper bills become just that, paper. The bills represent nothing because the people endorse the bills are all dead. So, what does a prudent merc do? He keeps the settlers alive and their settlements in a good state, if for no other reason to than keep his money from being reduced to scratchy toilet paper.

If we followed this economic concept through, we will see that  keeping  settlements in stable trade relationships with other towns is vital to maintaining the value of their currency with these other towns. Otherwise the settlement will no longer be relevant to other settlements and their money will die out yet again. Canadian pennies are not really in demand in the United States, why? Because no one trades in Canadian currency in the States.

Any good story needs a good hook to capture the player’s attention, and messing with their money is a surefire way to get them involved.

To learn more about economics in a post-apocalypse, click Here to read an article on bottlecaps as an ad-hoc currency.

Original Office Wall Art Piece – Pipe/Wood/Steel – Album on Imgur

 

An interesting example of how creative dream states can be. This fellow woke up at 2:25AM and drew an idea from his dream. Later, he was able to turn that sketch into a wall decoration.

It’s amazing what we miss out through our striving for sleep. Speaking from experience, a good idea is always worth writing down, especially if it’s good enough to wake you up.

Original Office Wall Art Piece – Pipe/Wood/Steel – Album on Imgur.

University, the Last Bastion of the Middle Ages

 The Degradation of the Academic Dogma

usc

TIL Robert Nisbet, founder of Berkeley’s Sociology dept., believed believed that the university is the last vestige of Medieval society and that it has been under attack for the since 1945 by something called The Last Reformation.

The core value that has been under attack? That “Knowledge is important”, in the Aristotelian sense of the word. The university was meant, according to Nisbet, to stand apart from society and discover knowledge that could then be used by others. This Ivory Tower of separation is what actually kept the University autonomous as their purpose was only to discover and document, rather than become involved in social matters.

Social Change

Exhibit A, a masters degree in Women’s Studies.
Exhibit B, a Credited course on Male Privilege.

These classes are courses in Dogma, meant to change and lead people’s thinking. Of course there ought not to be solely One Truth, yet these fields of study are not intended to bring about knowledge. Instead,  the new philosophy of Universities is to bring about social change. This change of objective creates a sense of dependency and interconnection that compromises the University’s ability to objectively seek out and communicate knowledge.

In essence, Nisbet was observing the transition of Universities from reservoirs of knowledge to Institutions of  Social Change via the mechanisms that F.A. Hayek wrote about in his essay The Intellectuals and Socialism. Universities today are training camps of social dogma, wherein the average student will walk away a less competent and independent thinker.

We see this in the double standard language of campuses for example: advocating equality and freedom while at the same time denying open debates and shutting down Free Speech. The modern day University has the intended goal of reeducating people to think and believe certain things, instead of just teaching people knowledge.

Read More

Researching this essay led to the following Essay, Blending Social Theory with Effective Actions for Change

Hayek’s Theory of Social Change

Social Change

In Hayek’s essay Intellectuals and Socialism, Hayek laid out a novel theory as to how society is changed. Rather than assuming that the social powers are what influence and change society, it is the novel thinkers and prolific writers that draft the beliefs of our society.

The Four Levels of Social Change

Pyramid of Social Change, Hayek
Pyramid of Social Change, Hayek
  1. Scholars develop ideas and theories.
  2. Intellectuals take these ideas and spread them through the populace.
  3. The populace adopts these ideas over time and assumes the values are natural and common sense.
  4. Politicians use these ideas as the shared values and canvas upon which to enact their agendas.

 

Theory Applied

Communism
Communism and Marx

The Scholar Karl Marx,  crafted new ideas and theories.  The Scholar’s role is to create a novel theory and provide core values.

The Intellectual is represented by teachers, public figures, or populist artists.  Their role is that they communicate the Scholars’ ideas to the general populace.

The Populace adopt the ideas and incorporate them into their general beliefs. This is a crucial step as it represents more than straightforward, platonic adoption of the ideas.  Instead, it requires the people incorporating  these values into their personal worldview.

The Politician base their agendas around the social landscape of preexisting values and ideas established by the intellectuals and scholars. Rather than being the initiators of change, the politician is a reactionary manipulator who must meet both the desires of the populace as well as push forward their own goals.

Analysis

The language has been updated, for instance an intellectual seems to cover both the scholar and the Bill Mahers out there, yet the ideas how up.

Like any essay, Hayek’s basic theory is too simple and easy to side step.  Hayek fails to  point out the the interplay between these groups and how they operate with the others levels, As an example, a politician can over time influence his constituency and intellectuals can become composite messengers of their combined learning meaning that there is no one single scholar informing the intellectual of what message to share. In addition,  Hayek fails to recognize that the intellectual will inevitably inject his own opinion and thereby warp, adjust, and modify the scholar’s concepts. As examples of these two points, let’s look at Ron Paul and Stalin.

The Good and the Bad and Ugly

Ron Paul was technically a politician, and so should be the lowest level in the order. However Dr. Paul’s character and adamant commitment to free market values made him the first glimpse into libertarianism for many people. Ron Paul was thus a lousy politician, but an excellent intellectual.

Joseph Stalin on the other-hand is an excellent example of an Intellectual perverting the Scholar’s message. Karl Marx had a simple belief that everyone could live intellectually and socially fulfilling lives while  at the same time engaging in manual labor. (A fisher and painter in the morning, and a factory worker in the evening).

Stalin took Marx’s message of equality to create a social conviction in shared suffering and collective prosperity, meaning that the poor were truly destitute and that the rich were merely more “Equal”.  As Orwell noted, some are just more Equal than others.

Relevance

If you want to make a difference in the world, focus on what works rather than tradition. Socialism became dominant not because it was a better idea but because it was taught to younger generations.

My Theory of THE IDEAL SOCIETY!!!

My Theory of THE IDEAL SOCIETY!!!

Or why I know more than everyone and obviously should be Lord Imperious of the Free World and also France.

 

From my two and a half years involvement with the libertarian movement, I have pulled together a personal theory of the ideal society and methods for crafting said society. Like any good libertarian, I have a funny name that no one will recognize.

I am a pragmatic Communitarian Agorist. In short, I believe in people helping people.  So, let me get started and lay it out.

Pragmatism

Pragmatism is taking the best course of action without bias as to methodology or philosophy. It is a fluid methodology of getting to the desired result. So long as the values are not violated, feel free
adapt to situations.

Primary Values

Pragmatism without values leads to ruthless evil. Values guide the pragmatism and give it sight and goals. The values are as follows:

  1. That people be free to live their lives.
  2. That people be free to help one another.
  3. That no one harms another without just cause.

Chicago School of Economics

The Chicago School of Economics is simply a pragmatic approach to economics. The question is not based on principles, it is on end results. The conclusion is simply that all systems will make mistakes, both governments and free markets. The difference is that governments have a well-established history of making bigger messes than free markets. Therefore, free market solutions are
preferable to government solutions, whenever possible.

What is Agorism?

Agorism* is the strategy of starving the government of its justifications by meeting the needs of the people. By helping people, the government is not needed, and so will have minimal to non-existent influence over the community.

What is Communitarianism?

Communitarianism is the social theory that freedom and liberty is not ensured by the individual but by the community. An individual given freedom does not ensure freedom for his fellow human beings, but a community that values freedom given liberty ensures liberty for everyone.

Communitarian Agorist

The Communitarian Agorist then is a community that values freedom and works to meet the needs of the people in and around the community. The individual is empowered by and through the community to do maximum good. In essence, libertarians desire communities comprised of libertarians, yet by putting communities as the focused structure, individual liberty is given greater structure and long term viability than if the focus were placed on individuals.

  • The liberty value helps keep the community from being insular as well as placing priority on the individual.
  • Rule of Law will work to ensure people’s rights and freedom.

Done as Done

So, I hope that helps explain my overall idea. I am a devout follower of brevity, but I’ll follow up with actual explanations of how this all comes together.

 

 

Respect Through Offense

 

Respect through Offense

I adhere to the concept of respect through offense. Now, to explain this idea, I am going to paint a picture for you. Imagine a Christian is walking by and sees a gay couple on the street. Now, the Christian and the gay couple give each other a nice long stair. Neither likes what they see. The Christian has a big King James Bible, and the gay couple have cut off shorts with the pockets going past where the jeans have been cut off.

Now, arguably we’re all offended by the cut off jeans, but let us move one. Who is at fault here? The Christian or the gay couple? My vote, neither is guilty. They both offended each other and both deserve to be offended. Offense is not a crime. Not only is offense not a crime, it is a sign of respect.

Weaker Brothers

When you self censor yourself or allow others to make you do that,
out of fear of offending someone else because “they’re weaker
brothers” or such like, You are asserting yourself over them as their
betters or superior. Hiding your opinions from them because you don’t believe they can’t take it. mark-twain-censorship-quote1
Instead, people should expect to be offended now and again. When you respect a person enough to give them your actual opinion, offensiveness and all, you’re giving them a compliment. They may even learn something or have their views broadened.

PC or Opie & Anthony

People can be insensitive, they can forget to think about everyone else in a room and say something rude. There are two ways we can deal with this, either we say nothing which could potentially offend someone (Which is everything) or we expect ourselves to grow up.

Now, I am not talking about going up to people and trying to make them cry. There is a definitive difference between offending someone and harming them.

Harm Versus Offense

To harm someone with your words is to use a connection that bypasses a person’s defenses and hurts them personally. To offend someone is to say something that agitates them. If a person starts a fight over something said, that is offense and not harm. The distinction between the two is when there is a known emotional hurt or vulnerability for a given topic or issue. Harm is done when someone deliberately hits on those topics to cause emotional distress and pain in another person.

Now, let us say a person is lording over a rape victim, making jokes about it, such a person is not just being offensive. He or she is inflicting actual, emotional harm. While there is no law against such behavior per se, it would take a special kind of piece of crap to do that. Anyone and everyone would and should be completely justified in not speaking to such a person.

White Knights

The other issues to consider is when someone takes offense on someone else’s behalf.
Taking on other people’s offenses is a terrible breach of
communication. To be offended on another person’s behalf is
detrimental because there are no limits on what that person may do, especially if the victim is a hypothetical. If someone in the room is not being harmed, there is no foul.

Final Thought

This idea is not a full expression or guide for social behavior. There are times when being confrontational or offensive are neither beneficial, kind, nor constructive. Not everyone is well suited to being offensive either, some folks are just too darn nice!
That said, people do need to try and grow up a little.