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Thursday, September 27, 2012

God or Man?

What pressures have you felt lately? In practical terms, does relying on God in such times mean not involving the help of anyone else? How can you tell when it is wise and right to rely on others, or when that shows independence from God? (Serendipity Bible 10th Anniversary Edition, page 1001).

The need to recognize concurrently expertise in others and one's own limitations is key to effectively coping with life. It is the height of arrogance and ignorance to assume all knowledge in all things. This denies the complexities that underlie phenomena and the assiduous work needed to be done on earth. Sooner or later we must come to understand the severe limitations of individual competencies.

With this great need for dependence on human expertise, where does God [or perhaps for the nonreligious “intuition”] come in? Surely there is a pervasive need for the voice of conscience in much of our affairs. We all have the duty and responsibility to negotiate life faithfully guided by the leadings of our best lights. The heavenly realm provides us with the Golden Rule. This Rule provides an overarching principle by which to guide our actions. All things in my view are subject to a fundamental criterion: is what is proposed helpful towards achieving this end? Often the answer comes not, so to speak, from prose and an exhaustive listing of evidence, but from poetry and it's ability to discern tone between the lines. Even those who have a penchant for insisting on “Just the facts, mam” must admit that many of their most momentous decisions—such as choosing a mate—are not easily explicable or even readily defendable in terms of what might be called narrow self-interest.

The search for realty in terms of facts (as is provided by specialization in the workplace) will always remain essential. But undeniably so also will conscience. As Winston Churchill reminded us, even great achievements (he was specifically referring to science) without conscience are susceptible to perversion.

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