The task of ethics is to determine the values which, acting in harmony, constitute a sort of human summum bonum. My candidates are non-idolatry as the root value and democracy, tolerance and helpfulness as active and dynamic values within the immanent frame.
Revaluing Values: "Universalism has been the underpinnning of my thinking and the consistent principle underlying my own conclusions. The ethic which I would advance is based on the theory (assumption) that it is in the very nature of reality and of human beings to live in an immanent frame where values - the term "willed values" is in my understanding is an oxymoron - are the engine of history. Human beings by their choices individually and severally determine the course of events. Insofar as ethics has any reality it refers not to a choice of what is right or wrong but to the values whose espousal makes a life vibrant, beautiful, admirable. I think that in this I am not far from Peirce. Nor, for that matter, from Jesus and a number of others who have been movers of history because they held and practiced the most admirable of values. ."
Marcellus Shale, Hydraulic Fracturing, and the E.P.A. : The New Yorker: "The trouble with this sort of argument is that, in the absence of a rational energy policy, there’s no reason to substitute shale gas for coal. We can combust them both! The way things now stand, there’s nothing to prevent us from getting wasted mountains and polluted drinking water, and a ruined climate to boot.
In the coming decades, ever-improving technologies will almost certainly make new sources of hydrocarbons accessible. At some point, either we will outgrow our infatuation or we will burn our way to a very dark place."
Up to 1 million lots in Central Arizona were in some stage of approval for new homes when the market crashed, according to the Sonoran Institute.
Many were set aside for long-term developments. Others were graded and ready for construction. All through the suburbs of Phoenix, it’s easy to find vast swatches of empty land once prepped for two-by-fours and work crews."
Markman: A Film About Jesus: "The congregation has gathered for the FUNERAL service. The casket is draped with flowers. The only symbol in the whole building is a huge, rough wooden CROSS which leans against the wall in front of the congregation. The congregation sits on simple wooden benches. Kelly and her cameraman are recording the scene. Rex Cooley is seated at a cheap electric organ. He is wearing a multi colored robe that bears the legend on the back: "AWAKE"
He brings the singing to an end. Then he stands and moves to the lectern. He looks around and raises his fist.
REX: John didn't even get a chance to leave his last words. But on the night that he was framed by the Mayor's security guard, he didn't call a lawyer. He called a friend. He called this man."
Manhattan Bully Wars: "Adam pressed his head against the cool walls, trying to think. His inhaled the dull smell of the yellow paint. He listened for the liberating bell. Freedom. Release. Now. But it did not ring. The only ringing was in his head. Maldbar was directly behind him, breathing heavily. "Well?" the teacher demanded. Adam could think of only one thing. Out of this building! Now. He felt cornered. Something snapped. This was do or die."
Manhattan Bully Wars: "Adam was among the most tweaked of all. Two notorious bullies in the sixth grade were never tweaked. And all but a few of the twenty-five remaining class members avoided tweaks by appearing to heed every word Maldbar spoke. Adam was a half-hearted heeder and now he was entirely lost in window-gazing and attendant thoughts."
The Grass Roots Church: "Mergers at the top are hardly likely to reduce the costs and duplication that already haunt Protestant policy. Nor is there any likelihood that a merger at the top will have more than an antagonistic effect on local churches. I am advocating a sweeping away of an already formidable Protestant superstructure. The renewed Church would seek to operate from a decentralized base. It would adopt a new polity forged by existing local congregations in concert with one another and a new specialization which would enable many acting together to accomplish what separated Christianity finds impossible to do. "
Windows on The Bible: "It is for the sake of the world that we should be one. Unless the world sees us as light upon the hill, as salt of the earth, unless the Spirit infuses us with a visible common goodness, we will continue to betray the call of Jesus that we die and rise in Him to the new life of obedience and reconciliation with God."
The biggest issue dividing Christians may be choice. I regard it as a Solomonic issue. That is there is no answer that suffices and therefore it must be up to each person without legislation that mandates a particular choice. The operative values are non-idolatry, democracy, tolerance and helpfulness.
"The No 1 agenda item: get the money out of politics. Most often cited was legislation to blunt the effect of the Citizens United ruling, which lets boundless sums enter the campaign process. No 2: reform the banking system to prevent fraud and manipulation, with the most frequent item being to restore the Glass-Steagall Act – the Depression-era law, done away with by President Clinton, that separates investment banks from commercial banks. This law would correct the conditions for the recent crisis, as investment banks could not take risks for profit that create kale derivatives out of thin air, and wipe out the commercial and savings banks.
"No 3 was the most clarifying: draft laws against the little-known loophole that currently allows members of Congress to pass legislation affecting Delaware-based corporations in which they themselves are investors.
"When I saw this list – and especially the last agenda i…