Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Colonization: Venus

To stabilize Venus biosphere, a large planetoid could be introduced into the system, which would set the planet moving in a different spin.  Normally, Venus has one face always facing the sun which causes superheating ... one imagines this is a major contributor to the nearly 500 degree lead-melting surface temp.

Another hope is that any flora inhabiting the clouds successfully integrate new DNA(?) allowing them to multiply and dwell at lower and lower heights (current estimates range from 30-40 km above surface for archaeans).  This obviously pulls down more and more carbon and the greenhouse effect gets slowly tempered.  As water is held in greater and greater amounts in cytoplasmata  oceans are formed with microenvironments merging.

The gravity is already comparable to this earth's so why not plan a colony someday?

Friday, December 24, 2010

eclipses and coronae

The recent conjunction of a lunar eclipse with a winter solstice, the last such occurrence taking place 372 years ago, allowed some scientists to view the earth's bioprint as they studied the fluctuations in the shadow it cast on our nearest astral neighbour.

This might lead one to search for similar flux in distant stars, as proxies for habitable (M class in any case) worlds.  For example, if one watched the corona of Arcturus for a century, one could mark the transit of various objects should these fall in the same plane as ours.  A stemming question would be, do the orbitals of other systems follow the galactic plane?  This would be a most useful thing to check in our proposed study.

Other activity around the corona might include the space traffic of more intelligent life forms, which may be more erratic than a simple elliptical orbit.  The corona of the star would presumably be a place where such transits would be more highly discernible, as the background is in the twilight between the blazing more central regions, and the vast blackness beyond.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Gigaverse Theorem: Mass Increases with Time

Theorem: The universe is expanding, its mass is too.

Proponents of Big Bang often miss the obvious solution to the mass problem. Some call on dark matter or other mysteries to fill the void.  Far from such ethers lies a simple solution, one which integrates higher-order structure and proposes a simple and obvious mechanism.

Let's assume for a minute that what lies at the centre of our galaxy is super-massive, perhaps a black hole>  Or, could it be a wormhole, which links different universes together, sort of a Gigaverse.

It's like a spider spinning out a web, the Milky Way, throwing out stars at the event horizon and perhaps even pulling things in, as Hawking proposes. What experiment or observation could be helpful in assessing the hypothesis?

Friday, December 17, 2010

Focus B Moons etc.

Focus B let's call it for future discussions, apparently forms a nexus of forces intersecting in opposition to Sol. The most interesting fact I could spot on a table of eccentricities is the fact the Venus has a near-circular orbit (with no moons) while Earth has eccentricity (with a relatively large moon).  Thus we can simply adhere to the sum-of-forces calculus.  There are surely programmers out there building matrices for such models.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Atrial Fibrillation POsitive?

Could atrial fibrillation serve a useful purpose? What if microscopic invaders can be shorn by the motion? What type of study could be designed around this problem>?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Wealth of Nations, Part 2

The true cornerstone of any future economy will of necessity require profit sharing.  Not like the days of old, we extract it, we own it or tax it.  No, if we are to be responsible for the future generations in proper form it must be a Green model and a red model.  For they are us in situ.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

To Space!

With nuclear nations turning to space, entrepreneurs steel themselves to ride into the century poised to catch a piece of the pie... spaceports in New Mexico, Near-Earth Object monitoring/harvesting, moon options and futures, shareholders of the dream, unite!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Cosmic Soup


Have u heard the theory that colds sweep over the earth not only due to rapid vectors within biosphere, but because viroid particles shower the earth continually?

From outer space, yes!

Think about it, we could send a satellite to collect space gas (use a collecting surface hospitable to such) and verify the theorem.

What if we are swimming in a vast ocean of life... the seeding theory expanded (not only comets but all of space teeming with space's most hardy voyagers, micro-organisms).

The question arises of course, if these clouds of space-colonizers are everywhere, they'd have to be proof that life generates life.  Some succeed in leaving the womb and go forth on intra and intergalactic voyages settling wherever conditions permit.  Ingenious, these primitives nonetheless carry that fundamental script or some variant qualifying it as self-replicating, even adaptive.  Engaged with the materials on the new terras, these archeae begin to form mergers, colonies specializing in the collective.  Each native soil plays a different theme, resulting in an infinity of scenarios and symphonies, filling the vast unknown skies with music.

If one moves the analysis back, the question poses itself... where did these spacefarers arise?  As it may for no other reason than intuition be that the galactic core is older than the rim that speciation must have begun there.  It is exactly as Sid Meier would have it in his imaginarium computer game, SPORE.

http://leiwenwu.tripod.com/panspermia.htm

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Equipoint Focus Theorem 1.1

Why is the shape of the planterary orbitals ellipsoid?  I haven't read this anywhere yet but if u have let me in on it...

The problem of course is this:

If the circle as Greeks thought is not the actual orbital shape as determined by lengthy and precise measurements then what is at the other focus, with Sol in the obvious seat as local Gentry?

If the planets tho near be summed they ought not exert such disproportionate force on the system although equipoint theory is birthed at the inquiry of such matters.

What then?  The other focus will certainly be determined by the inverse law of gravity, Newton's data pending.  So we hunt for larger folks nearby...  Alpha Centauri field stirs a movement, budging us - "Move over!"

The others chime in, one by one : Barnard's, Wolf, Lalonde... each throwing its weight into the equipoint, a sum total of all the surrounding matter in the universe, accounted for by weight, distance and other as-yet undefinable variables.

The aha moment comes when we inquire as to the usefulness of defining this point and sending someone over to have a peep at it... measure time and space fluctuations, send back imaging of any equipoint matrix technology, tokens from the universe ahead in light and yearning to be one in kingnesses...

Sagan in Contact dreamed it for us, may we go forth in the name of the Maker to see what's there at the rim.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

World Peace: A Just Solution

You should spread the word...


the answer to world peace says one think tank, is to send all the nukes to the moon at a precalculated target... with some exploratory mining options we're looking at untold wealth for all generations from all nations. they could farm out space transport to one company, telesatellites to another... etc.

think about it. who'd want to miss out on tomorrow's yahoo or google. space! 

swords into ploughshares!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The SHoes i was lent

He approached me with a thoughtyful indexing of reflexes, insomniac inanities and winks for asconcers, just to start... "Lenny my boy!" we winced at the nammeries. "Such a right time to be brought blusterinbg down this path two-day!" i brought it up a bit, catching a wery eye, after aLL..

"Guess it doesnt hurt to remember manners" mumser. What would Cloddy have done? Dunno.  Wish i had er ear.  Imagery degrot stubenschafted wrapped self frood the bine. A cracker she chirruped. I found the gravity both above anf below; stowawayed?

Feeders greouping at the foot, allowing it to root in the mind, grope the flesh promisses of liveries undress who spied thisss?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Gray

distinctions fade into various shades of gray
The earth from whence i first took form dissipates
and all fades to gray
gray the great gargantuan golems we mistook for gods
gone now to everlasting tropes
gray the brilliant white sun of our youth
smudged all about with chocolate and toothless grin
gray the appled cherry-blossom surgarplum fairy-gum all yokes of cain and abel
gray the cloaks of rum with gory fame and fable
gray now
all gray
for the forlorn mysteries unfold to reveal the true nature of man:
that he is spirit oft-found amongst the branches or the spires
kinder than forgotten

Monday, November 1, 2010

Medical Ethics, Boundaries and Professionalism: quotes

Part A: Professionalism, Ethics, Medicine

"...medicine's current crisis of pofessionalism is not connected to a loss of knowledge, skills, or overall technical competence, but to its loss of moral standing and authority."
Educating for professionalism: creating a culture of humanism in medical ...By Delese Wear,et al, ch. 2 ("In Search of a Lost Cord Profe..."), p. 14

... profession: social contract... 1.priority of other's interests over own; 2. autonomy (proportionate to specialized claim to knowledge) & self-regulation

Self-regulation requires freedom to self-disclose. Flexner and Codman demonstrated this effectively but we are, nearly 100 years on, still needing a reminder of that fact.  If we take the punitive path, we prohibit process.  In a dynamic environment, mistakes are openly studied and growth ensues.

"These standards may help him to discover how little he knows
and how much there is he does not know. They may help him to
grow in knowledge, and also to realise that he is growing. They
may help him to become aware of the fact that he owes his growth
to other people's criticism and that reasonableness is readiness
to listen to criticism."
KARL POPPER, 1978

"A standard critique of professional ethics in medicine has been that it is chiefly concerned with decorum and never rises above the level of etiquette to genuine ethical reflection." -Professional ethics and primary care medicine: beyond dilemmas and decorum
 By Harmon L. Smith, LR Churchill - 1986, Duke University Press, p.3.

"Moreover, even among those who believe that the concept has some independent normative value worth preserving, the claim that "professionalism" can be taught remains deeply controversial.1" Wilkins 1996, p. 241

There is no absolute certainty in science. Scientific knowledge is
conjectural, hypothetical. As a consequence there can be no authorities.
What we might call the "old" professional ethics are based on the
search for objective truth and on the ideals of rationality and intellectual
responsibility. But the old ethics are built on the view that scientific
knowledge can be certain knowledge, that knowledge grows normally
by accumulation, and that it can be acquired and stored in a person's
mind. These ideas create an environment favourable to the emergence
of authorities. To be an authority became an ideal of the old professionalism.
These ideas have terrible consequences. Authority tends to become
important in its own right. An authority is not expected to err; if he
does, his errors tend to be covered up to uphold the idea of authority.
Thus the old ethics lead to intellectual dishonesty. They lead us to
hide our mistakes, and the consequences of this tendency may be worse
even than those of the mistake that is being hidden. They influence our
educational system, which encourages the accumulation of knowledge
and its regurgitation in exminations. Students are punished for mistakes.
Thus they hide their ignorance instead of revealing it; this makes
it difficult for them, and for their teachers, to correct their deficiencies...
...
(5) For all these reasons our attitude towards mistakes must change.
It is here that ethical reform must begin. For the old attitude leads to
the hiding of our mistakes and to forgetting them as fast as we can.
(6) Our new principle must be to learn from our mistakes so that we
avoid them in future; this should take precedence even over the acquisition
of new information. Hiding mistakes must be regarded as a deadly
sin. Some errors are inevitably exposed-for example, operating on
the wrong patient, or removing a healthy limb. Although the injury
may be irreversible the exposure of such errors can lead to the adoption
of practices designed to prevent them. Other errors, some of which
may be equally regrettable, are not so easily exposed. Obviously,
those who commit them may not wish to have them brought to light,
but equally obviously they should not be concealed since, after discussion
and analysis, change in practice may prevent their repetition.
(7) It is therefore our task to search for our mistakes and to investigate
them fully. We must train ourselves to be self critical.
(8) We must recognise that self criticism is best but that criticism
by others is necessary and especially valuable if they approach problems
from a different background. We must therefore learn to accept gracefully,
and even gratefully, criticism from those who draw our attention
to our errors.
(9) If it is we who draw the attention of others to their mistakes we
should remind ourselves of similar errors we have made. We should
remember that it is human to err and that even the greatest scientists
make mistakes.
(10) Rational criticism should be directed to definite, clearly
identified mistakes. It should contain reasons and should be expressed
in a form which allows its refutation. It should make clear which
assumptions are being challenged and why. It should never contain
insinuations, mere assertions, or just negative evaluations. It should be
inspired by the aim of getting nearer to the truth; and for this reason
it should be impersonal.
We submit these ten theses...

Popper et al, BMJ 287, 1983, p. 1920

In 1910 Flexner published a scathing attack on the standard of
American medical schools and hospitals.7 It led to drastic changes in
American medical schools and stimulated the Clinical Congress of
North America to announce plans for the reform of hospital care and
of surgical practice. The Congress was influenced by Codman, who
had resigned from the Massachusetts General Hospital because of his
dissatisfaction with the standards of surgical care.8 Codman set up his
own hospital; he published abstracts of all cases admitted to it between
1912 and 1916 and analysed unfavourable results. He advocated critical
appraisal of the care of individual cases, arguing that it would help to
unearth correctable deficiencies and to improve the overall quality of
medical care.
Codman's views...
...
There were sporadic but unsuccessful attempts to promote audit
of patient care during the '20s and '30s. After the second world war
interest revived; surgical studies provided the impetus.410 1 They
showed wide variation in the performance of different hospitals,
and of individual surgeons in the same hospitals, but, more importantly,
it was found that when surgeons were told of the findings the number of
"unjustified" operations fell dramatically. Subsequent studies of medical
problems, such as diabetes and pneumonia, showed similar variations
in the performance of physicians." Since then many similar
studies have been reported,4 12 and in most instances there was evidence
indicating corrigible deficiencies in medical care.
Only a few of these studies tried to assess whether performance
improved as a result of the study. So it has been questioned whether
audit has any practical consequences. It has been argued that effort to
identify deficiencies would be wasted if they could not be corrected.
When such an assessment was made, however, there was usually evidence
that performance did improve.'I11 13 -23 Almost all of these
studies emphasised the importance of critical evaluation, of the feeding
back of information. The value of "feedback" in the modification of
behaviour cannot be doubted. It is a fundamental biological process:
it is the basis of all learning, of "profiting from experience," of "learning
from mistakes...
...
The reluctance of people to have their work evaluated is closely
linked with their reluctance to comment on, or to complain about,
the behaviour of others. Most people "live and let live." This attitude,
we admit, is not only understandable: it is invaluable. Social life
depends on it. Who should throw the first stone ? Who indeed can
really distinguish between an honest mistake and culpable negligence ?
This is why we believe that efforts to improve performance must come
from a desire for self improvement, a desire based on an essentially
ethical insight. Audit must not be part of a disciplinary instrument;
it must be a tool for learning by feedback."
Ibid, p. 1921

A new ethos
In monitoring medical care tolerance is essential and in the
search for mistakes there should be no denigration of others nor
any condemnation associated with the process of peer review.
It would be morally wrong and would deter doctors from taking
part. The goal must be educational and practical: it must be
linked to the improvement of all doctors and not to the punishment
of those who err. Only with such an ethos can we establish
a new type of confidence: that mutual criticism is not personal
and perjorative but that it springs from a mutual respect and a
desire to improve the lot of patients.
If this view is accepted certain consequences follow naturally.
It then becomes important not only to acknowledge mistakes but
to search for them, in order to correct them as quickly as possible.
Not only would we learn from our errors but others would learn
from them as well. When errors are due to lack of skill we will,
we hope, try to improve our skill; and when, as is sometimes the
case in medicine, our errors are due to carelessness, or our failure
to do what we know we ought to do, then we will look for ways of
improving our behaviour.
Our ideas are not as revolutionary as they seem. A tradition
similar to the one the medical profession should emulate still
exists among great artists and scientists and among musiciains.
Around 1513 Durer wrote: "But I shall let the little I have learnt
go forth into the day in order that someone better than I may
guess the truth, and in his work may prove and rebuke my error.
At this I shall rejoice that I was yet a means whereby this truth
has come to light."2 8 This spirit is still alive, and needs encouragement,
not only in artists and scientists, but in doctors
and those in other walks of life.
-Ibid, p. 1922

Refelective Practice Schon
5 pgs

"The intellectual skills and education of doctors have seldom been doubted, and medicine has usually managed to evade close external regulation. This independence has excited criticism from some outside observers. George Bernard Shaw famously pilloried the seemingly conspiratorial conformity of the profession, suggesting that the medical profession made decisions only guided by “the sort of conscience that makes it possible to keep order in a pirate ship or a troop of brigands”.3 The authority of professionals could also be construed as wielding power, ultimately the power to create and preserve a monopoly of practice.4 In the eyes of some, such a monoculture has allowed medical practitioners to work impervious to criticism, unaware or unaffected by the impact of their decisions on other aspects of their patients' lives or on public welfare." Stephenson, 2001.

"Medical students should, therefore, be forewarned about the tensions associated with joining a profession that has always faced threats to its independence—but threats that can usually be countered by a clear commitment to advancing the interests of patients. Such a commitment could be embodied in the compassionate care of both individual patients and populations, thereby completing the triad of professionalism." Stephenson, 2001.

"The care of populations" - call and mission.  Rahab and the spies, the Jews in the cupboard, etc.  Single acts of evil which bring about a greater good.

"In the absence of an explicit moral base, critics could readily claim that self-regulation by physicians was nothing but a cover for the monopolization of trade." NEJM 1999


"The core of professionalism constitutes “. . . those attitudes
and behaviors that serve to maintain patient interest
above physician self-interest. Accordingly, professionalism
. . . aspires to altruism, accountability, excellence,
duty, service, honor, integrity, and respect for others” (1).
Ethics is an endeavor. It refers to ways of understanding" Roberts 2004, p. 1



-Fox, 1995, p.762

-Ibid

Ibid, p. 3

"As in the US longitudinal study,13 we did not observe the increase in the development of moral reasoning that was expected with maturation and involvement in university studies. We found a significant decrease in weighted average scores after 3 years of medical education. Our findings do not, however, establish a direct causal relation between the observed decrease in moral development and medical education."
+Patenaude, 2003



"The results of studies performed in the United States
and elsewhere suggest a negative trend in the progress of
ethical skills during medical training.7–10 These studies,
which used 3 different instruments, yielded divergent results,
showing sometimes decreased ethical sensitivity11 and
sometimes inhibited development in moral reasoning.12–15
Some of the results demonstrated a strong correlation between
low levels of moral reasoning and the number of legal
proceedings for malpractice (unpublished data)."
-Patenaude, 2003, p. 840

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Part B - {Predicting Behaviour from Medical School Patterns}

Stern 2004:
+The outcome measures of clerkship professionalism scores were found to be highly reliable (alpha 0.88–0.96). No data from the admissions material was found to be predictive of professional behaviour in the clinical years...
+One might expect that with hundreds of excellent tests for knowledge and skills used in medical schools around the country, we must have developed some assessment of professional behaviour. Regrettably, there is not a single reliable and valid method available to predict the behaviours of our medical graduates in this domain.7,8
+The most certain method of maintaining professional behaviour in doctors would be to ensure that only those students who are likely to behave professionally are admitted to medical school. When studied, the admissions process has been found to lack predictive power in areas outside academic performance.16 Although we can predict future performance in communication and moral reasoning skills as components of professionalism,17–20 these measurements have not been shown to correlate prospectively with global measures of professional behaviour.
+(Conclusion) This study identifies a set of reliable, context-bound outcome measures in professionalism. Although we searched for predictors of behaviour in the admissions application and other domains commonly felt to be predictive of professionalism, we found significant predictors only in domains where students had had opportunities to demonstrate conscientious behaviour or humility in self-assessment.

...This might suggest a primacy in the formation process itself -
->Educating for professionalism: creating a culture of humanism in medical... {afterword: Growing the Physicians we Need}:
"the most urgent challenges and opportunities at the intersection of professional development and social consciousness" (p. 184)
which may lead one to address residual issues surrounding the hidden curriculum.  Clearly there are better institutions and what defines one as such bears investigating...
Sulmasy's "Rebirth of a Clinic".

Papadakis 2004:
+Problematic behavior in medical school is associated with subsequent disciplinary action by a state medical board. Professionalism is an essential competency that must be demonstrated for a student to graduate from medical school.
Acad Med. 2004;79:244 –249.

+Another limitation of our study is that physicians disciplined by a medical board comprise an unknown percentage of the total group of physicians engaging in unprofessional behavior. Furthermore, various social biases may well influence which physicians behaving unprofessionally are ultimately disciplined. Thus, we caution against generalizing the identified associations to all types of unprofessional behavior in physicians.


Greenburg 2004:

PROFESSIONALISM
Variables associated with poor professionalism ratings included
(Table 2): poor performance in any academic marker during
medical school (annual grades, cumulative grades, annual
class rank, USMLE exam scores), nonwhite race (RR=1.5, 95%
CI=1.04–2.2), earning a masters degree before USU matriculation
(RR=1.9, 95%CI=1.1–3.2), and having an academic
difficulty noted in the student’s academic record (RR=1.8,
95%CI=1.2–2.8).
Again, despite numerous strong univariate associations
between potential predictors of poor professionalism in multivariable
models, only the third year GPA was an independent
predictor (OR=7.29, 95%CI=4.1–13.0). This model (Fig. 2) was
also well fitting (Hosmer–Lemeshow test, p=.72) and
...
CONCLUSION
Despite our limitations, a number of important conclusions
emerged from this large, comprehensive longitudinal database
of our graduates. First, competency during internship is hard
to predict with commonly used data collected before and
during medical school. Despite the broad range of potential
predictive variables available, our predictive ability was only
modest. Secondly, the USMLE and clinical year GPA are the
best predictors that program directors currently have to
identify interns who may perform poorly in professionalism
and cognitive domains. Third, our paper has implications for
medical educators and program directors. As our multivariable
analyses suggest that the many candidate variables evaluated
in our study do not predict performance after controlling for
the third year grades and USMLE exam scores, we feel that
applicants for internship should be evaluated most heavily on
their performance during their clinical clerkships and on the
USMLE exams.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
C: Boundaries

Post (2000), Physicians and Patient Spirituality: Professional Boundaries,
Competency, and Ethics
"Spirituality as manifested by faith in a higher
being is remarkably resurgent in the contemporary
United States (4). But why address this form of
spirituality now as a matter of serious medical and
ethical concern? First, when patients feel that their
spiritual needs are neglected in standard clinical
environments, many of them may be driven away
from effective medical treatment. This tendency is
exemplified by a review of the medical records of
172 children who died after their parents relied on
faith healing instead of standard medicine. The researchers
found that most of the children would
have survived if they had received medical care (5).
More attention to patient spirituality in the clinical
context of standard medical care could attract more
patients to proven interventions."

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Message from brother Youcef Nadarkhani

Message from  brother Youcef NadarkhaniThis is a message from  brother Youcef Nadarkhani, a pastor of an Iranian church who is remaining in prison and to be excected on 24 October 2010 (see articles below).  Our dear brother has been kept in custody since the October of 2009 and has recently been sentenced to death. This message has been translated from Farsi to English.  (for more information visit  http://presenttruthmn.com/) Dear brothers and sisters, Salam In the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, I am continuously seeking grace and mercy to you, that you remember me and those who are bearing efforts for his name in your prayers. Your loyalty to God is the cause of my strength and encouragement. For I know well that you will be rewarded; as it’s stated: blessed is the one who has faith, for what has been said to him by God, will be carried out.  As we believe, heaven and earth will fade but his word will still remain.Dear beloved ones, I would like to take this opportunity to remind you of a few verses, although you might know them, So that in everything, you gu give more effort than the past, both to prove your election, and for the sake of Gospel that is to be preached to the entire world as well. I know that not all of us are granted to keep this word, but to those who are granted this power and this revelation, I announce the same as Jude, earnestly contend for the faith that was once delivered to the saints.We are passing by special and sensitive days.They are days that for an alert and awake believer can be days of spiritual growth and progress. Because for him, more than any other time there is the possibility to compare his faith with the word of God, have God’s promises in mind, and survey his faith. Therefore he (the true believer) does not need to wonder for the fiery trial that has been set on for him as though it were something unusual, but it pleases him to participate in Christ’s suffering.Because the believer knows he will rejoice in his glory. Dears, the “ judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?” Therefore those who are enduring burdens by the will of God, commit their souls to the faithful Creator. Promises that he has given us, are unique and precious. As we’ve heard he has said: “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you” How can it be possible for a believer to understand these words? Not only when he is focusing on Jesus Christ with adapting his life according to the life Jesus lived when he was on earth? As it is said ” O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.” Have we not read and heard: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Many attempt to flee from their spiritual tests, and they have to face those same tests in a more difficult manner, because no one will be victorious by escaping from them, but with patience and humility he will be able to overcome all the tests, and gain victory.  Therefore in the place of Christ’s followers, we must not feel desperate, but we have to pray to God in supplication with more passion to help us with any assistance we may need. According to what Paul has said: In every temptation, God himself will make a way for us to tolerate it.O beloved ones, difficulties do not weaken mankind, but they reveal the true human nature. It will be good for us to occasionally face persecutions and abnormalities, since these abnormalities will persuade us to search our hearts, and to survey ourselves. So as a result, we conclude that troubles are difficult, but usually good and useful to build us. Dear brothers and sisters, we must be more careful than any other time.Because in these days, the hearts and thoughts of many are revealed, so that the faith is tested. May your treasure be where there is no moth and rust. I would like to remind you of some verses that we nearly discuss everyday, (Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.) but as long as our human will has priority over God’s will, his will will not be done. As we have learned from him in Gethsemane, he surrendered his will to the father, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” What we are bearing today, is a difficult but not unbearable situation, because neither he has tested us more than our faith and our endurance, nor does he do as such. And as we have known from before, we must beware not to fail, but to advance in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, And consider these bumps and prisons as opportunities to testify to his name. He said: If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. As a small servant, necessarily in prison to carry out what I must do, I say with faith in the word of God that he will come soon.”However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” Discipline yourself with faith in the word of God. Retain your souls with patience. For there is no man that doeth any thing in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly.May you are granted grace and blessings increasingly in the name of Lord Jesus Christ.Yusef NadarkhaniLakan Prison in Rasht2/June/2010 Next few days Critical - Youcef Update (see original article below)The next few days are very critical days in the case of Brother Youcef Nadarkhani, who is currently in solitary confinement. According to our sources, unfortunately, the Rasht politicians have been very un-cooperative with Youcef’s attorney.A written verdict is necessary to appeal to the supreme court of Iran and as of yet they have not provided the written verdict, it has only been given verbally to Youcef and his attorney. No written notice has been given. The attorney was informed this week that Youcef may be executed anytime without even having the opportunity to appeal.This is a very strange situation and many that are involved are puzzled at how it is proceeding.Remember him in your prayers and ask that God would give him strength to overcome and endure through this process so that he would honor and glorify Jesus Christ through it.Adapted from www.presenttruthmn/blog/days-critical-youcef-update/Attacked: Elderly Christian Couple: Pakistan (compass)SARGODHA, Pakistan, October 21 (CDN) — An 80-year-old Christian in southern Punjab Province said Muslims beat him and his 75-year-old wife, breaking his arms and legs and her skull, because he refused a prostitute they had offered him.

From his hospital bed in Vehari, Emmanuel Masih told Compass by telephone that two powerful Muslim land owners in the area, brothers Muhammad Malik Jutt and Muhammad Khaliq Jutt, accompanied by two other unidentified men, brought a prostitute to his house on Oct. 8. Targeting him as a Christian on the premise that he would not have the social status to fight back legally, the men ordered him to have sex with the woman at his residence in village 489-EB, he said.“I turned down the order of the Muslim land owners, which provoked the ire of those four Muslim men,” Masih said in a frail voice. District Headquarters Hospital (DHQ) Vehari officials confirmed that he suffered broken hip, arm and leg bones in the subsequent attack.His wife, Inayatan Bibi, said she was cleaning the courtyard of her home when she heard the four furious men brutally striking Masih in her house. “I tried to intervene to stop them and pleaded for mercy, and they also thrashed me with clubs and small pieces of iron rods,” she said by telephone. Berkat said the Muslim assailants initially intimidated Fateh Shah police into refraining from filing charges against them. After intervention by Berkat and Albert Patras, director of human rights group Social Environment Protection, police reluctantly registered a case against the Jutt brothers and two unidentified accomplices for attempted murder and “assisting to devise a crime.” The First Information Report (FIR) number is 281/10.Death sentence confirmed: Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani: Iran (ANS)TEHRAN, IRAN (ANS) -- A Christian pastor in Iran who was sentenced to death for what is being called a "thought crime" has less than a week to live.  Advocates for Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani told ASSIST News that while all of the other prisoners arrested in a wide-ranging crackdown by Iranian authorities have been released, Nadarkhani still faces the death penalty on October 24. Present Truth Ministries (www.presenttruthmn.com ) says all detained recently by the Iranian Government, except for Youcef and one other pastor who is awaiting one more judge to pass the death sentence, are now free from prison.   The ministry says Youcef only has one more week before his sentence is due to be carried out. Sunday, October 24 is the date of his impending execution. However, the ministry did have good news to share about Youcef's wife, known affectionately as "Sister Tina."  Pastor Youcef and 'Sister Tina' Nadarkhani (Courtesy Present Truth Ministries). Writing on the ministry webblog, Jason DeMars says: "We have received news that Monday, October 11, Fatemeh Pasandideh (Youcef Nadarkhani's wife) has been released! A second trial was held and she was acquitted and released and is now home with her two children! What a wonderful thing to be thankful for on Thanksgiving!! (in Canada)."   DeMars had just received a report that Fatemeh Pasandideh (Sister Tina), the wife of pastor Youcef Nadarkhani was released as of early last week.  DeMars writes: "Previously, she had been convicted and sentenced to life in prison for the 'thought crime' of converting to Christianity."   He continued: "The attorney that was hired appealed the verdict and a new trial was held. She was acquitted of the crime and released. She has now been reunited with her two boys. Give thanks to God our Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for his grace and mercy in answering our prayers and allowing sister Tina to be released."DeMars asks Chrstians in the West to continue to pray for Sister Tina's husband, Youcef Nadarkhani and to approach government authorities to lobby for Youcef's acquittal and release. "He is still in prison and has been sentenced to death. We have a week to spread the word to others to pray and to inform government officials of the violation of his human rights."   DeMars said Nadarkhani was convicted of converting to Christianity and bringing others to faith in Christ.  DeMars added: "Pray also for pastor Behrouz Sadegh-Khandjani, who is being held in prison in Shiraz, Iran and has been given limited contact with his family and his attorney.   "It is reported that he is being held in the area of the prison that holds HIV and Hepatitis patients and that he is quite ill. He will not talk about it to those with whom he speaks, however, he barely has a voice. Please pray for them and ask God to deliver them from the hands of their enemies."   According to webblogs following the case, Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, responsible for one of the largest Protestant communities in Iran, "has been" sentenced to death for apostasy Saturday, October 2 by the 11th Chamber of The Assize Court of the province of Gilan.  This information was given to his lawyer Nasser Sarbaz. It was communicated to him verbally, news sources said. Pastor Youcef was transferred after the verdict from Lakan prison to another place of detention, which is under the direction of the Political Police of The Islamic Republic.  Pastor Youcef was arrested in October 2009 for protesting against a decision of the Corporation to impose Koranic teaching to his son. Iran adheres, at least officially, to the Charter of Human Rights and the Iranian Constitution recognizes the right to religious freedom and according to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad there is no thought crimes law in Iran.   There is a petition to the Iranian Government in several languages www.petitiononline.com/IRANPET/petition.html  to have Youcef released.   The petition asks Iranian Presidemt Ahmadinejad to release Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, Fatemeh Pasandideh, Fatemeh Kojouri Tork ( the wife of Pastor Behrouz), Mehdi and Mina Kerbalayi and their mother, Nahid, Brother Afshin, Sister Mahsa, brother mid, Sister Nasrin, Pastor Behnam Irani, Pastor Behrouz Sadegh immediately, without charges.  Concerned believers are being asked to contact the German government and human rights associations to let them know about this problem. Www.worthynews.com  reports Pastor Youcef faces execution after two judges agreed to make him "liable to capital punishment," as part of a crackdown on the growing Protestant church movement in the Islamic nation.Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani was detained in June along with wife Fatemeh Pasandideh in the city of Rasht in northwestern Iran because of their Christian activities, Iranian Christians said.  A senior pastor of the Church of Iran movement, which includes house churches across the country, told Worthy News that judges had "already signed" an Islamic order that would potentially allow a death sentence for Nadarkhani, pending further investigations. The pastor usually speaks on condition of anonymity amid security concerns.   News of the execution overshadowed joy over the release of two Church of Iran Christians, a man and a woman, and the expected release this week on bail of two other members, who the movement only identified as "brothers Mehdi and Afshin." MORE DETENTIONSWorthynews.com reports they were part of a group of eight Church of Iran members detained June 18, according to the senior pastor. One of them, a pastor's wife identified as Fatemeh Kojouri Tork, remained in Tehran's notorious Evin prison Tuesday, July 13, while her husband, Behrouz Sadegh Khanjani, was kept in isolation in a security prison in the southwestern city of Shiraz, the Christian leader said.  "We still do not hear from Reverend Behrouz Khanjani..." Iranian Christians have also expressed concerns about reports of other detentions, including last month's capture of Pastor Behnam Irani in the city of Karaj, 20 kilometers (12.5 miles) west of Tehran.  Several believers have allegedly been mistreated, sources said.  "We have learned that information that [security forces] have been using substances to extract confessions from Christians," the senior pastor said.  Iranian officials have not commented on the cases, the sources stated. AUTHORITIES CONCERNEDWortheynews.com also says religious rights groups have linked the crackdown to concern among authorities about growing churches and the spread of Christianity among Muslims in the country.Church sources say the number of Christians in Iran has grown from 500 known believers in 1979 to at least 100,000 today.   President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has reportedly said the government needed to halt the growing movement of house churches across Iran.  Under Iran's strict interpretation of Islam, "apostasy" -- or the formal renunciation of religion -- is punishable by death. One Christian persecution watchdog reports that over the last decade, the Iranian church has grown significantly and estimates now say the total number of Christians in Iran to be about 450,000.  The group said the government has intentionally sought to stop this growth and make it impossible for Christians to practice their religion.  Although churches connected to minority groups, such as Armenians and Assyrians, are allowed to teach their own people in their own language, it is forbidden to minister to people with a Muslim background (speaking Farsi). Please pray:1. Remember believers such as Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, Fatemeh Kojouri Tork, Behrouz Sadegh Khanjani and Pastor Behnam who are in prison because of their faith. Ask God to strengthen them physically, emotionally and spiritually, so that they will be a 'light in the darkness.'2. Thank God that despite the horrendous circumstances for Christians in Iran and the opposition they face from the government, the church is growing.3. Pray for the house church movement, which is responsible for much of the growth of the church. Ask God to protect its leaders and give them wisdom and understanding.The death sentence imposed on Pastor Youcef is expected to be carried out by October 24.Please feel free to forward this email to members of your church, friends and family.


brother Youcef Nadarkhani, a pastor of an Iranian church who is remaining in prison and to be executed on 24 October 2010

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Channing

Q. 3) William Ellery Channing
Meyer (1973) paints the Reverend Channing, venerated by the more definitively Transcendentalist Emerson and Fuller, not as an innovator, nor as a great thinker, but posits rather that, “Channing summed up well what many people were thinking and wanted to hear” (p. 173) – in other words, he represented the evolving nature of American thought in his day.  Here was “the best of the Puritan past” moving towards “intelligent adaptability to change and a spirit of sensible optimism concerning the future of the still new nation” (ibid).  The current study seeks to understand the social, political and religious contexts in which Channing formed his thoughts, as well as exploring the legacy of this remarkable individual.
Late eighteenth-century American Unitarianism had roots in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Socianism, a theological movement associated with John Locke and with the Latitudinarians.  From here was derived an emphasis on free will, moralism, the role and capacity of reason,” as well as the belief that Christianity included only a very few fundamental doctrines necessary for salvation (Marshall, 1998). This movement was ”explicitly undogmatic but centred on disbelief in the Trinity, (and) original sin” with emphasis on the prophetic role of Christ, the use of reason in the interpretation of Scripture over and above “creeds, traditions and church authority,” as well as a concern for religious toleration” (ibid). Schneider (1938) posits three forces which influenced Channing’s formation which are of import to the question at hand.  The first was Pietism, via Jonathan Edwards’s Calvinism, with its “renewed attention to questions of personal piety and devotion” (Guelzo, 1998).  The second was natural religion (or natural theology), which “consists of truths about God which are either (1) self-evident or evident to sense perception, or (2) derived by deductively valid proofs the (ultimate) premises of which are self-evident or evident to sense perception(MacDonald, 1998).  The third force named by Schneider is republicanism (or liberalism), with consideration of “the importance of civic virtue and political participation, the dangers of corruption, the benefits of a mixed constitution and the rule of law” wherein “the paramount republican value is political liberty, understood as non-domination or independence from arbitrary power” (Lovett, 2008).  Further influences on the young Channing include the Great Awakening (module 4), an evangelical movement of the 1740's (which) played a key role in the development of democratic concepts in the period of the American Revolution,believed to be “a precursor to the War of Independence and the New Lights, who believed that salvation was more important than religious training” (The Wikipedia).  One cannot ignore the importance of another source, that of Enlightenment Rationalism and Scottish Common Sense Philosophy (module 4), which is taken as “a general confidence in the powers of the human intellect, in opposition to faith and blind acceptance of institutional authority, as a source of knowledge” (Markie, 1998).
Having considered some of the influences on Channing in the context of late eighteenth-century American Unitarianism, it follows to survey some of his most important writings. In his 1819 sermon, Unitarian Christianity,” Channing presents a defense of reason and its usefulness to the project of biblical study.  An explanation of the Unitarian rejection of trinity is followed by a statement of belief in the “moral perfection of God,” aimed at undermining orthodox religion’s emphasis on sin and judgment.  Channing goes on to argue for Jesus as a moral example to be followed and provides a discussion of the meaning of Christ’s death.  After this, he provides exhortations on the virtues of loving God, Jesus and one’s fellow-humans.  Taking up the charge of the reformer, he reiterates the ills of traditional forms of religion:  “sheltering under the name of pious zeal the love of domination, the conceit of infallibility, and the spirit of intolerance, and trampling on men's rights under the pretence of saving their souls (Channing, 1819).  The text is seen to have had an integrating effect on the Unitarian movement, giving definition to its liberal tendencies, in contradistinction to the Calvinists (Robinson, 2004).
In “Likeness to God” (1828), Channing discourses on the potential of humanity’s higher nature: “true religion consists in proposing, as our great end, a growing likeness to the Supreme Being”.  He speculates that this ascension is the means by which we can “enjoy God (and) the universe” – an ambition compatible with the American “pursuit of happiness” (Schneider, p. 4).  Channing’s kinship with Plato and the Idealists is evident in this work and his exhortation to preachers to “turn men's aspirations and efforts to that perfection of the soul, which constitutes it a bright image of God” (Channing, 1928) make this sermon a practical bridge en route to Transcendentalist thought
In “Slavery” (1835), Channing attacks the policy of human beings as property, using arguments based on “Rights”, Essential Equality and the imago dei
“He cannot be property in the sight of God and justice, because he is a Rational, Moral, Immortal Being; because created in God's image, and therefore in the highest sense his child; because created to unfold godlike faculties, and to govern himself by a Divine Law written on his heart, and republished in God's Word”  (Channing, 1835).
Other important works not to be considered here which were also written by Channing include a pacifist sermon, “War” (1816), “Spiritual Freedom” (1830) and “Self-Culture” (1838).  Rather, it follows from this brief digest of some of Channing’s writings and thought, to consider which contemporary religious, social, and political issues captured the attention of our subject.
As a student, being reared, as were his fellows at Harvard in a conservative, Brahmin milieu (module 4, p. 6), Channing was a Federalist and thus not sympathetic towards the ideals of the French Revolution.  For a time during a visit to Richmond, he expressed socialist tendencies, decrying the “distinctions of property” which, if not borne out later in full extent, at least demonstrated a concern for “the place of government in American life” (Reinhardt, 156).  During the next few years, while preparing for the ministry, he recanted these early political musings, recognizing government as a civilizing force, yet with the decline of Federalism and the rise of Jacksonianism, Channing ended up disillusioned, with rather eclectic views on politics (ibid, 157).  This led him to search for repair to society in the development of the individual conscience, a project which was to be aided by the “coercive sovereignty” of the Republic, naturally providing justification, for Channing, for the War of 1812 (ibid, 158).  This emphasis on the need for strong government was held in check by the promise of a time when (wo)men would rule themselves by virtue of their heightened consciences - until then, its role would be simply to “secure to us the unobstructed exercise of our powers in working out blessings for ourselves” (ibid, 160).  As he became disenchanted with the abuses of government and its aid in securing monopolies for privileged classes, Channing advocated for “little government”, placing hope instead on a “transcendent individualism” (ibid, 160-61).  In this he pursued the elevation of the laboring classes not by political action but by education, a manifestation of “Self-culture”, which sought “to make the man equal to his own support by awakening in him the spirit and the powers of a man” (ibid, 161-62).  Channing’s concern for the underprivileged was best seen in his support for the abolitionist movement during his later years, as evidenced by his treatise, “Slavery” and his thoughts on the necessity of personal growth were important in the genesis of proto-feminist thought, notably in the writings of Fuller (Robinson, 84-85).
Having examined the influence of contemporary religious, social and political thought on Channing during various stages of his life, it follows to turn to a consideration of how the man’s writings exemplify both establishment Unitarianism and revolutionary Transcendentalism.
Ladu (1939) provides a clear understanding of Channing’s rapport to establishment Unitarianism and revolutionary Transcendentalism, highlighting his role as a bridge between the two.  With respect to the former, he relates that Channing agreed with Unitarians in:  their rejection of Calvinism, the unity of God, the dignity of humans, Jesus’ role as a moral exemplar, as well as his belief in a “spirit of free inquiry” (p. 130).  However, as the group later tended towards formality in creed, Channing identified with them less and began criticizing them more.  As a transition towards Transcendentalism, Channing is said to have migrated from the Unitarian belief that (wo)man is essentially good to the opinion that humans are divine (Ibid, 132).  Thus he shared with the Transcendentalists a zeal for the individual project, although he differed from them notably in their rejection of miracles (ibid).  More conservative than the later Transcendentalists in political thought, Channing inclined towards Republicanism rather than democracy, yet he maintained his dissimilarity from the religious establishment in his Platonic ideals, which he derived from reading such authors as Price and Madame de StaĆ«l. Channing held to “an idealistic version of Unitarianism against Locke and Priestley, and he used the doctrine that ‘almost every object in nature grows gradually, from a weak and low, to a mature and improved state of being’” (Schneider, 14).  His pietism extended towards social concern, with the notion of duty following less along political lines (i.e., of service of to a republic out of greed) than religious. His notion of liberty, too, became distanced from the merely civic and took on the form of a personal morality whose aim was to combat the enemies of “republicanism, rationalism, and pietism,” which were, namely, “Slavery, bigotry, and worldliness” (Ibid, 19-20).   Schneider sums up the transition:  “Channing began virtually  a  pietist,  with  a socialized  version  of  the  theology  of  regeneration; he  ended virtually a humanitarian,  with a firm faith  in human nature” (Ibid, 21).
Now, having investigated all these things, in order to learn more about the legacy of Channing, one might consider which of his writings most influenced New England Transcendentalists.  The most direct link is made to “Likeness to God”, in which direct communion with God’s mind via self-knowledge is promoted and the divinity of humanity is highlighted in a redefinition of religion from the traditional to a more personal, Idealist conception: 
“In truth, the beauty and glory of God's works are revealed to the mind by a light beaming from itself. We discern the impress of God's attributes in the universe, by accordance of nature, and enjoy them through sympathy. -- I hardly need observe, that these remarks in relation to the universe apply with equal, if not greater force, to revelation.” (Channing, 1828).
There is also nascent in this work a helpful notion of moral responsibility:  ”It is the lawgiver in our own breasts, which gives us the idea of divine authority, and binds us to obey it.”  It is this idea of conscience which leads, for some transcendentalists, to a theory of social reform.

Works Cited
Channing, William Ellery. Unitarian Christianity” (1819). http://www.transcendentalists.com/unitarian_christianity.htm (accessed July 29, 2009).
Channing, William Ellery. “Likeness to God” (1828). http://www.americanunitarian.org/likeness.htm (accessed July 29, 2009).  
Channing, William Ellery. “Slavery(1835). http://www.americanunitarian.org/slavery.htm (accessed July 29, 2009).  
Guelzo, Allen C. (1998). Pietism. In E. Craig (Ed.), Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. London: Routledge. Retrieved July 29, 2009, from http://www.rep.routledge.com.proxy.queensu.ca/article/K068.
Ladu, Arthur I.  "Channing and Transcendentalism."  American Literature Vol. 11 (1939):  129-137.
Lovett, Frank. (2008). Republicanism. In Edward N. Zalta (Ed.), The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved July 29, 2009, from http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/fall2008/entries/republicanism.
MacDonald, Scott (1998). Natural theology. In E. Craig (Ed.), Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. London: Routledge. Retrieved July 29, 2009, from http://www.rep.routledge.com.proxy.queensu.ca/article/K107.
Markie, Peter J. (1998). Rationalism. In E. Craig (Ed.), Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. London: Routledge. Retrieved July 29, 2009, from http://www.rep.routledge.com.proxy.queensu.ca/article/P041.
Marshall, John (1998). Socinianism. In E. Craig (Ed.), Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. London: Routledge. Retrieved July 29, 2009, from http://www.rep.routledge.com.proxy.queensu.ca/article/DA069.
Meyer, D. H.  "The Saint as Hero: William Ellery Channing and the Nineteenth-Century Mind." The Winterthur Portfolio, Vol. 8 (1973): 171-185. 
Reinhardt, John E.  'The Evolution of William Ellery Channing's Sociopolitical Ideas".  American Literature, Vol. 26 (May 1954):  154-165.
Robinson, David M.  "Margaret Fuller and the Transcendental Ethos:  Woman in the Nineteenth Century."  PMLA Vol. 97 (1982):  83-98.
Robinson, David M. (Ed.), William Ellery Channing: Selected Writings (Sources of American Spirituality)New York, 1985. Retrieved July 29, 2009, from http://www.americanunitarian.org/channing.htm.
Schneider, Herbert Wallace.  "The Intellectual Background of William Ellery Channing."  Church History Vol. 7 (March 1938):  3-23.
The Wikipedia. Great Awakening.  Retrieved July 29, 2009, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_awakening.