Category Archive: Knowledge

A video on science and religion

Just a few thoughts from one of the contributors to this blog. A document titled “One Common Faith” writes: Religion is religion, as science is science. The one discerns and articulates the values… Continue reading

HEALTH EMPOWERMENT

THE CURRENT STATE OF THE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM Our current model of health care places the provider, in many cases the physician, as a gatekeeper to access to health.  For whatever historical, political,… Continue reading

Evidence Based Practice

Reality is vast.  Yet, action requires knowledge.  So over time, we have created systems of practice and knowledge by which we can understanding reality and effectively do something.  Clearly, then, the way in… Continue reading

The Ontological Circle

Baha’u’llah’s Solution for Religious Fanaticism

The Word of God dictates the dynamics of civilization over history and dominates the destiny of events. It is our privilege as souls and individuals to participate and contribute to the inaction of God’s… Continue reading

Re-Birth of the Clinic

Humanity is on the threshold of the crowning stage in its evolutionary history – its collective maturity, characterized by a unification of the entire human race, manifest through a new world civilization which… Continue reading

Technology: Good or Bad?

It would be unrealistic to adhere to a retrogressive and romanticized notion of a “simple” life, in which technology is non-existent, and humanity subsists in some type of passively blissful coexistence with nature.… Continue reading

Ridvan 2014 Message Summary

Paragraph#: To the Baha’is of the World 1 – 3 years down. 2 to go. 2 Movements reinforced by youth conferences. 2000 Programs of growth (PG) remain of the goal.2 – 3000 PG’s.… Continue reading

Artificial Scarcity & The Baha’i Faith

The Problem . ARTIFICIAL SCARCITY is a term used to describe the condition in which masses of people are deprived of their bare necessities, while wealth, resources, and infrastructure exist in sufficient proportion… Continue reading

The Price of Exclusivity

from a guest author:   A friend and I recently had a fairly common exchange about which show was better – Community or The Office. I argued for The Office, because in my… Continue reading

Thoughts on Health Care

All too common diseases, the vast majority of which are preventable and becoming more prevalent, are not befitting the inherent nobility of a human being.  The imperative of health care is to empower patients… Continue reading

120 years of discourse

A few days ago passed the 120th anniversary of the first mention of the Baha’i Faith in the Western hemisphere.  At last, the spiritual forces released by Baha’u’llah’s Revelation had an “initial conversation”… Continue reading

The Power of Truth

For thousands of years, beginning with the birth of the family – the smallest unit in the scale of human organization – humanity’s evolution has been characterized by a process of integration, which… Continue reading

A De-scription Pad

A ‘prescription’ is that which is laid down as a rule, an order, a precept.  A ‘description’, on the other hand, is a statement that indicates and notes observations.  Common to both words… Continue reading

Pedagogy of the Empowered

The Baha’i world has been learning how to use an education program to raise capacity in individuals and populations to take charge of their own spiritual, social, and intellectual development and to build… Continue reading

Coherence in Conversations

Recently, a gathering took place in which friends from diverse backgrounds, ages, geographies, and experiences came together to explore participation in discourse.  Coherence, it seemed, was the key.   The weekend began with… Continue reading

Collective Reflections

This past weekend, nearly forty individuals gathered together for an exploration of participation in discourse. (See post, Discourse: Session at Bosch)  The aim was to connect everyday conversations – those with neighbors, with… Continue reading

Advent Youth Conference

“In the young people of the world, then, lies a reservoir of capacity to transform society waiting to be tapped.  And the release of this capacity should be regarded by every institute as… Continue reading

Abdu’l-Baha on Economic Policy

According to Abdu’l-Baha, wealth inequality, can be attributed to the “extreme greed and rapacity of the manufacturers and industrialists.” He furthermore  identifies  the root cause of income disparity as the defunct operations of… Continue reading

Double Cure: Eliminate Parties and Campaigning

Partisanship is a bane to effective governance. Identifying with a political party exacerbates a bitter partisan divide that threatens the very fiber of social order and governance. Motivations of civil servants should be… Continue reading

The Structure of Future Scientific Revolutions

Science is in its infancy. It will evolve, change, and grow until it achieves a more mature form. To date, the human experience suffers from an underdeveloped understanding of the nature and scope… Continue reading

Summary Ridvan 2013 Message: Growth and Discourse, A Dynamic Coherence

Paragraphs: 1- “The Book of God is wide open, and His Word is summoning mankind unto Him. Incline your ears, O friends of God, to the voice of Him Whom the world hath wronged, and… Continue reading

The Scientist Believer

Development as an enterprise will fail until it studies the inter-penetration of reason and faith, the same way that students who memorize by rote repetition will always be 2nd best to the genius who understands… Continue reading

5 Aphorisms on Science, Religion, and Development

1. I feel like science is that family that screams at each other all saturday night long waking up the whole neighborhood and then shows up to socialize at a local potluck pretending… Continue reading

The Circulatory System and the Beauty of Language

People have been inquiring as to the connection between the concepts of the circulatory system and the beauty of language. The human cardiovascular system is the symbol for justice in the world of… Continue reading

Discourse: Session at Bosch

Please join us ​June 14-16th for a weekend of study of the Messages from the Baha’i World Center. This session is a space to build capacity to participate in the prevalent discourses of society. The… Continue reading

Weapons – A Statistical Update

It was said:  “It hath been forbidden you to carry arms unless essential” “beyond that which is necessary to insure the internal security of … countries.” Good “people need no weapons of destruction, inasmuch… Continue reading

Releasing the Powers of Junior Youth

National and Regional Training Institutes throughout the world offer a course called Ruhi Book 5, “Releasing the Powers of Junior Youth,” designed for the training of “Animators” who mentor youth between the ages… Continue reading

Marx: From Beyond the Grave

The global economy is now in a downward spiral, unemployment is at record highs in country after country, national debt is paralyzing governments, incomes have stagnated for a majority of workers — suddenly… Continue reading

Poverty and Revelation

Poverty is as ineradicable as the house-fly! The misguided conviction that material resources exist, or can be created by scientific and technological enterprise, to entirely eradicate poverty is a myth of global scope. Social scientists… Continue reading

Scholars and Servants

As beings of praxis, human beings differ from animals, which are beings of pure activity. Animals do not consider the world; they are immersed in it. In contrast, human beings emerge from the world,… Continue reading

Justice and Universal Participation

The development of a just society requires universal participation. Why?  Why is this the case?  If you’d like, respond with your thoughts below. Surely, there are many of reasons.  Three come to my… Continue reading

The World of Man: The Rape of Women

“…Should anyone deliberately take another’s life, him also shall ye put to death…” The world of man is a terrifying place. A world constructed on violent notions of masculinity. A world where power… Continue reading

Education and Liberation

Some people think education is an act of depositing facts, in which the students are the receptacle and the teacher is the banker. Instead of communicating, the teacher issues lectures and makes deposits… Continue reading

Guns and Moses

If other people were carrying guns in the Newtown massacre they would have been able to intervene and stop the mentally ill killer — Or so the argument by gun owners goes. The reason… Continue reading

The Difficulty with School

Kings

Disproportionate access to education and employment opportunities for a privileged minority deprives society of the labor and intellectual potential of the masses. From among the privileged, certain members may seek to join the… Continue reading

Spiritual Re-Education and the Power of the Masses

In discourse, thought, reflection and action are intimately interdependent.  Action is coherent only when it is not merely rote but also consultative, that is, when it is not dichotomized from reflection. Reflection, which is… Continue reading

Summary of 14 November Message

Paragraph#: 1. Learning sites and associated clusters (31 in total) contain half the current junior youth groups and participants. 2. Universal youth response to serve as animators. Ruhi 5 releases reservoirs of commitment to social change.… Continue reading

Economics and Human Nature

Our theory of economics is predicated on the assumption that people and wants grossly outnumber opportunities and resources in our society. This is why competition is the basis for our economic system. Biology… Continue reading

Ideology, Service, Change: Is Peace Possible Without Sacrifice?

People say they want an end to violence. What they mean is, they want their opposing party to yield in deference to their will. Everyone wishes for world peace, but so many who… Continue reading

Climate Change and Political Partisanship: Why is the Truth So Divisive?

Every intelligent mind that evaluates the causes for global warming concludes that human-induced green-house gas emissions are responsible for Earth’s atmospheric average temperature increases. The only people who disagree with this are fringe… Continue reading

Summary: Ridvan 2012 Message

Paragraph#: 1. Abdu’l-Baha’s Temple-ground piercing Centenary. Diverse participants then and now. 2. Divine civilization beyond mere adjustments to present order. 3. Erroneous assumptions of human nature, justified by failings, disallow spiritual potential. 4.… Continue reading

Summary of August 9th Message

Paragraph#: 1. 10 new Regional Councils (RC’s). 5-Year Plan messages foundation of action and study. Familiarity with dynamics of growth increases with core activities. 2. Dichotomy of neighborhood and centralized children’s classes (CC) transcended. 2 Junior Youth… Continue reading

Lamps of Truth and Purity

http://educationunderfire.com/ More than ten thousand souls were slain, and a great multitude of women and children, left without protector or provider, dispersed and confounded, they were trodden down and destroyed. This occurrence was… Continue reading

Can Debate Lead to Truth?

Is it possible that a “debate” leads us, the listeners and watchers, to truth? Can a mode of dialogue such as contestational or confrontational debate assist others and people interested in the issues… Continue reading

Progressive Revelation: Historiography and Civilization Dynamics

The endowment which distinguishes the human race from all other life forms is summed up in the reality known as the human spirit, or the rational soul. Of this soul, the diverse faculties… Continue reading

A New Discourse on Religion

From agencyandchange.com http://agencyandchange.com/2012/10/19/discourse-on-religion/ .

Post-Partisan Politics

Identifying aspects of political discourse that is partisan in nature and to be avoided is challenging and will call for a higher caliber of insight and self-mastery as issues become increasingly engrossing and complex and as… Continue reading

The Beauty of Language

One of the most fundamental characteristics of human nature is a soul’s desire to explore reality and search for meaning in the universe – the mind longs to understand.  Language is the medium… Continue reading

Objective Spiritual Reality

Considering how difficult it is to judge objective statements about social reality, it is even more challenging with spiritual reality.  However, spiritual reality exists, human language can attempt to describe it, and therefore,… Continue reading

Claims About Social Reality

The physical and material aspects of our complex reality are not the only ones with objectivity – the human mind is able to make objective statements about all of reality, including social and… Continue reading

Objectivity and Reality

Notwithstanding that all social conventions, including language, are built from shared understanding that are to some extent ontologically subjective, they are not completely arbitrary. Language – as well as social reality – is… Continue reading

Language as Social Convention

In understanding the role of objectivity in language, two types of statements have been presented – personal preferences, which are entirely subjective; and social conventions, which are subjective in their creation or existence… Continue reading

Social Conventions – Objective or Subjective?

Objectivity – another desired quality of the language of science – is a term loaded with connotations and interpretations; it’s rarely a straightforward concept.  It helps to contrast it with subjectivity.  An entirely… Continue reading

Consistency

The statements of a language that seeks to be rational must also be internally consistent. Obviously, premises and claims cannot contradict each other, otherwise, truth could never be sought, and reality could never… Continue reading

Rationality

In addition to clarity, another important characteristic of the language of science is rationality.  Again, as language informs thought, using rational language helps create reasonable thought.  And because words and thoughts influence actions,… Continue reading

Clarity

Human beings understand reality through conceptualization.  For material and concrete objects, language naturally defines them easily.  As concepts become more abstract – such as regarding the social and spiritual reality – this becomes… Continue reading

Language and Civilization

Reality has physical and spiritual dimensions.  Indeed, the world civilization that beckons humanity is one that will achieve a dynamic coherence between these two requirements of social life.  If reality is more complex… Continue reading

A Learning “State”

Continuing the discussion on governance and some principles that it is informed by, the last post on consultation leads to a key attribute that should characterize effective governance.  We know that human society… Continue reading

Beyond Modernism and Post-Modernism

Historically and currently, the relationship between power and knowledge has been strained and complex, to say the least.  Recently, “modernism” – which has constructed systems of knowledge around truth-claims about social reality –… Continue reading

Discourse, Education, and the Collective

Capacity building requires forums in which space has been created for learning about the betterment of society. Open forums for discourse can accompany and assist undergraduate students through their four years of university studies. Through… Continue reading

Walking a Path

That one who generates knowledge can be likened unto a scout evokes images of walking a path, which perhaps can be an analogy to the process of generating and applying knowledge.  Let us… Continue reading

Scouting the Truth

Having explored the nature of knowledge and its generation, thought must now be given to the nature of one who generates knowledge, a seeker of knowledge, a scholar.  How do we view those… Continue reading

Reconciling Relativism and Truth

Like all false dichotomies, an approach to knowledge that is either absolutist or relativist is not helpful nor enlightening in efforts to generate and apply knowledge towards the building of a just and… Continue reading

Relative Latency

Earlier in this blog, there was a post on the concept of latency.  This concept helps us further understand an approach to knowledge that transcends foundationalism and relativism. If one considers the biological… Continue reading

Circle of Participation

This online forum for discourse shares content that is inspired by the Writings of the Bahá’í Faith. Learning how to apply what is written to reality, however, remains a formidable task. In order… Continue reading

Consultation and Objectivism / Relativism

Previous posts’ discussion on the concept of consultation shed some initial light on transcending the false dichotomy between objectivisim and relativism. Some knowledge has a foundational basis, that has an existence beyond the… Continue reading

Beyond Objectivism and Relativism

The history of epistemology and society’s current views of knowledge have been and are plagued by a perennial and pervasive false dichotomy: tension between objectivism and relativism.  That is to say, people in… Continue reading

Education: The Driver of Social Transformation

In reference to human potential it has been said, “Regard man as a mine rich in gems of inestimable value. Education can, alone, cause it to reveal its treasures, and enable mankind to… Continue reading

Wisdom, Science and Religion

Wisdom – the unification of knowledge and action – is a spiritual capacity of every human being. The origin of an individual’s wisdom is the acknowledgement and embodiment of the teachings of God… Continue reading

Information, Understanding, Wisdom

Knowledge is distinct from information.  Facts are the raw materials of knowledge – just as brick and wood do not, in themselves, constitute the building itself but are shaped into a structure, so is… Continue reading

Truth, Civility, and Consultation Part III

Any minority pursuing development on behalf of the collective foists its values onto, and often disturbs, the very population it purports to serve.  Subsuming collective prosperity to their personal values of progress, and sacrificing the… Continue reading

Global Learning

A culture of learning that operates through study, consultation, action, and reflection, depends on empowerment and capacity building on the level of both the individual and the institutions of society. Individually, all are… Continue reading

Truth, Civility, and Consultation Part II

The history of philanthropic movements recounts many instances of people who believe in noble ideals and strive to fulfill their vision of what they think the world ought to look like. One may… Continue reading

Truth, Civility, and Consultation Part I

Unity and Truth are closely related. If two people argue about a matter both are wrong about it. Prevalent assumptions hold that truth can be known and should be sought by individuals. Alternate epistemologies hold… Continue reading

Study, Consultation, Action, Reflection

An approach to the generation and application of knowledge within a learning mode occurs through a process of study, consultation, action, and reflection. Science and religion are the two systems of knowledge and… Continue reading

Habits of Thought

Certain habits of thought also need to be fostered in connection with a culture of learning, often at odds with current society’s tendencies – three will be mentioned.  It is clear that society… Continue reading

A Culture of Learning

The choice to adopt assumptions with the intention of operationalizing them does indeed entail challenges – overcoming habits of mind, resisting corrosive social forces, understanding the dynamics of change, etc – however, the… Continue reading

Conscious Choice

Beyond the highly propagated fragmentation of science and religion in current thought, and the resistance to reconceptualize these complementary systems of knowledge and practice, there are, in general, voices that resist change, especially at the level of… Continue reading

Fanaticism and Ridicule: Science and Religion

Currently, there are some who resist the reconceptualization of science and religion.  They fragment science and religion, and dismiss one for the other, claiming that only one or the other has led to humanity’s successes. How often… Continue reading

Fruits of Assumptions

The last post mentioned some equivalent basic assumptions that underly science and religion as systems of knowledge.  All of these assumptions or articles of faith cannot be empirically proven, but rather, their validity… Continue reading

Underlying Assumptions

There are commonalities between science and religion as systems of knowledge that help conceptualize them as complementary and reciprocal.  The first is that they both derive from  assumptions and articles of faith. Religion… Continue reading

Crisis of Knowledge

The advancement of a civilization aiming to achieve a dynamic coherence between the material and spiritual dimensions of reality recognizes that science and religion are the two reciprocal knowledge systems that impels its… Continue reading

Truth and Beauty

Developing our latent capacities requires self-knowledge about our nature and purpose – both individually and collectively.  Knowledge of self and of civilization cannot be separated, as each individual exits in a social context… Continue reading

Science and Religion

All human beings have spiritual capacities that can be revealed to contribute to humanity’s development and betterment.  This process of empowerment occurs through access to knowledge, both self-knowledge and knowledge of reality.  This… Continue reading

The Centrality of Knowledge

The advancement of civilization is propelled through increases in knowledge, as has been mentioned multiple times in previous posts.  Every human being is a protagonist of humanity’s maturity, and all can contribute through… Continue reading

Love, Power, Justice

Just as the physical world has laws and functions in ways that reveal underlying patterns, so the spiritual world has laws and patterns that can be observed and understood. We can observe that… Continue reading

Champion of Justice

Knowledge of human nature is essential in championing the cause of justice. Ontologically, human beings are dual-natured – there is capacity for egoism and altruism, competition and cooperation; in short, there is a… Continue reading

Advertising

Let us take advertising as an example of social forces that cause oppression through distortion of self-knowledge.  Advertising, a euphemism for propaganda, mutilates our conceptions of reality.  Images presented to youth, at a… Continue reading

Oppression

One of the major causes of injustice and oppression is lack of knowledge and perpetuation of ignorance.  This is done through words, actions, and policies of self-interested governments, leaders, corporations, media, clergy, etc. … Continue reading

Justice and Discourse, Part II

Both extremes are to be completely avoided; the first of accepting everything one reads – this is the state of being an easy prey to eloquence and dazzling and elaborate presentations of those… Continue reading

Discourse and Justice, Part I

As a community of discourse we need to ensure that we develop the ability to read and examine other people’s views and thoughts on a given subject with fairness. This does not mean that we… Continue reading

Defender of the Interests of All Humankind: Justice

Ideals are wonderful as they are, but what really can we say are the practical implications for speaking or believing in a principle as lofty as the spiritual concept of ‘Justice’? Are its implications… Continue reading

History of the World, Part 4

Humanity’s social life is evolving towards fruition of a world civilization.  This process is propelled by two complementary systems of knowledge and practice – religion and science.  Both of these systems advance human… Continue reading