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Leonard Felder: The Ten Challenges (The Second Challenge) Review

The Talmadic Second Commandment, or First Commandment in the Philonic or Augustinian traditions, is phrased "Thou shalt have no other gods before me" (Exodus 20:3). Felder notes that this is usually, and incorrectly, interpreted as an edict against building and worshipping idols.

The New Seminary Buddhism Review

1. What are the Four Passing Sights that Siddhartha saw and what did they mean to him?

According to the traditional biography, Prince Siddh?rtha Gautama was shielded from religious teaching and knowledge of human suffering by his father King ?uddhodana, who desired his son to develop expertise on secular and royal affairs. According to the prediction of the shramana (ascetic) Asita, he too would become a ascetic if he came into contact with the existential conditions of life. Siddhartha thus spent 29 years as a prince in Kapilavastu [1], a region of the ancient Shakya kingdom, near the border of contemporary India and Nepal, in relative luxury.

Euthyphro

The Sacred Text archive lists Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, and Phaedo by Plato as separate dialogues, which they are, they are of the same narrative to be included as study in sequence, as has been done for some time (e.g., the Penguin edition of The Last Days of Socrates). Expressed in dialogue form, they provide some of the most insightful moments in philosophy on the issues of religious piety, virtue and the role of conscience, justice and the notion of a social contract, and the nature of the soul and mortality. "The use of God in the singular is a reflection of the interest of Greek philosophy to discern generic essences from particular cases e.g., Athena, Zeus, Hermes etc are Gods - what is their common "God-essence"?

Existentialist Aesthetics and Mimetic Cinema

As a modern philosophical term, "aesthetics" includes theories of perception, and judgment of beauty as well as the implementation of the same through works of art in an objective sense, or to sensual experientialism in the subjective. Of all schools of philosophy the existentialists, both in theory and practise, have made significant the most significant contribution to aesthetics, indeed often the philosophical contribution is expressed almost entirely in through the aesthetic expression.

The New Seminary Hinduism Assignment

The "four desires" of Hinduism is normally interpreted as the puru??rtha [1] (purusha; god, human., artha, object and objective), the objectives of human. These are normally considered within four types; Dharma, Artha, K?ma, and Mok?ha. Dharma suggests devotion to the natural and moral laws (rta) which has conceptual similarity to the Chinese notion of dao, or the European logos. In comparison Artha suggests properity, in the sense of both material well-being as well as reputation and social standing.

Why Freedom, Reason, Dissent and Skepticism Matter

Service for Nigel Sinnott's Address to the Melbourne Unitarian Church, Sunday October 9, 2011

Opening Words

Dr. Diane Ackerman (born October 7, 1948 in Waukegan, Illinois) is an American author, poet, and naturalist known best for her work A Natural History of the Senses. She has taught at various universities, including Columbia and Cornell,

School Prayer --by Diane Ackerman

In the name of the daybreak
and the eyelids of morning
and the wayfaring moon
and the night when it departs.

Difficult Choices: The Morality and Politics of Humanitarian Intervention

Address to the Melbourne Unitarian Church, Sunday 2nd October, 2011

Review: To Be Or To Become

'To Be or To Become: The Emzine Dialogue' by Dr. Marc van der Erve is "a new and unifying theory of our world that goes beyond present-day science and religion." The author's academic background is in applied physics (bachelor's degree) and sociology (doctorate), with employment in various managerial roles in organisations such as Xerox, DEC and KPMG and more recently in leadership consulting.

Machines That Think: From Artificial Intelligence to Artificial Consciousness?

Presentation to The Philosophy Forum September 4, 2011

The Pursuit of Happiness

Presentation to the Melbourne Philosophy Forum, August 7th, 2011

1. Typical Definitions of Happiness
1.1 the quality or state of being happy, good fortune; pleasure; contentment; joy. (e.g., from Collins English Dictionary)
1.2 Origin (hap + y) 1150–1200; Middle English 1.3 Perspectives of "happiness" can come from religious, philosophical, psychological and economic viewpoints - plus a fairly unique revealed here.

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