I just intervened to thwart a war. Alex colonized Evan’s island demanding more property. Evan refused and in protest tore down what Alex built there. I intervened suggesting more beach land so both could share the land. Evan was firm in his position to leave the land as it was. Alex refused to build on other land.
I needed a different solution for peacekeeping.
The only solution was that both share property by together building in another area of the island. With a slick architectural plan I offered, Evan was free to rebuild his land as if unscathed by the invading regime. The trade was fair, and a war was thwarted.
My kids learned a few things. First, wars start over property and resources. There is only so much land in the world and people want each other’s land so they can have more people live there. Second, it is not fair to go in and steal another person’s land or to destroy someone else’s property. Third, there is an organization called the United Nations whose job it is to get countries to cooperate so that they share land in the world and stop wars.
When they get old enough to watch the news they will see that the UN fails more than it succeeds. The US supports Israel even though they terrorize Palestinians out of their own land, and that acquiring wealth on a global scale is valued more than protecting people. All this happens as the UN basically sits back and watches while the US runs rampant through international law.
Amazing how shared distribution of wealth can stop two kids from fighting. Good ideas work. Grown-ups are just bigger versions of kids most of the time. What would happen if we just shared more stuff instead of killing each other to have more.
Professor Daddy gave them their first social studies lesson.
Now to fix some bowls of Lucky Charms, blueberries, and strawberries as they play – like adults should.
Personhood is social, or it is nothing: “To be myself, I need you.” – Kallistos Ware of Diokleia
James Loder was my adviser and mentor at Princeton Seminary. His life’s work was to imagine how the Spirit of God grounded and transformed the human person – the human spirit. His radical vision was that the Spirit of God and the human spirit worked in a mysterious loop. It is in the intersection of the two spirits that human creativity is present and blossoms.
To be human is to be in a relationship. It is to have a face and to look upon others not with covetousness, jealousy, envy, pride and the like – but with charity and love. As we love others, we become more human. This is a theological lens for the experience of having that voice to speak the truth to others.
So we have here a boy with a learning disability. He is a person, but has no voice. But when the creative and self-transcendent truth of who he is in community with others blossoms, the blessings on those who gaze back at him are profound.
Each of us has a spirit. Each of us has a creative self always aching to be born new every day. When we experience our selves in the midst of others, we experience the truth of who we really are.
The statement “the lesser of two evils” is a principle adopted in political strategy. It is a defensive idea. When faced with two threats it is reasonable to choose the lesser threat. But what does this really mean without an understanding, even a basic understanding, of evil itself?
St. Augustine asks the question, What is evil without the good? His answer is simply, nothing – an understanding that has shaped much of philosophical and theological through for centuries.
Nothing evil exists in itself – St. Augustine – The Enchiridion
When we are faced with a political choice between what we think are two evils, we are basically saying that by choosing any evil we are making a choice for nothing over something at all. There is no freedom in that choice. It is not even a choice since there is nothing to choose from.
So what do we really mean?
What we mean when we say this is “I am choosing something that does not fit my ideal.” When we look at candidates for office we want someone to represent our best interests and to fit our ideal of what “good” means. If someone does not fit our idea of good, it does not follow that such a person is bad. It simply means that he or she is not quite as good as we would expect or desire.
In short, the phrase itself is about self-interest. The choice between candidates is not a choice of two evils. Rather, it is a choice for or against our desire and ideal image of leadership.
Another way to put it is this: So conditioned by self-interest are we, that choosing what does not meet our self-interest is considered evil.
Doesn’t that view of other people strike you as just a little…evil?